Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ladies and their Tigers (and Spots, and Fluffies...)

What accessory is more versatile, offstage or on, than the right animal? Generations of stars have known it, from Josephine Baker, who heightened her exoticism in Parisian eyes by walking in the Bois with her pet cheetah...

To Kim Novak, whose innate chilliness was only enhanced by the presence of a minatory Siamese..

Joan Crawford's pack of poodles, by contrast, were carefully marshalled to warm up her image (and at least poodles can't inadvertently use wire hangers).

Today, stars still clutch their four-legged friends, although one senses it's in many cases as much for comfort as promotion. Elizabeth Taylor, for heaven's sake, has no need to raise her profile any further, but remains devoted:

It's hard to imagine some stars romping with animals. Nonetheless, most do, at least on film, as in this touching exchange between Miss Golightly and her pet cat, Cat.

I believe there are lessons in each of these images; what they are, I'm not so sure.

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