Freddie Mercury may have set records by rocking Wembley Stadium harder than any human alive. He was obsessed with showmanship and arranging music that stomp, stomp, clapped its way into heavy rotation in arenas around the world.
But when he arrived home, he gave all his attention to his cats.
According to Dangerous Minds, Mercury lived with as many as 10 cats at a time, and often called to speak with them when he was away on tour.
“He would constantly fuss over them, and if any of them came to any harm when Freddie was away, heaven help us,” said Mercury’s former partner, Jim Hutton. “During the day the cats had the run of the house and grounds, and at night one of us would round them up and bring them inside.”
Of all his cats, Tom and Jerry, Tiffany, Delilah, Dorothy, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo, Delilah was Mercury’s favorite.
“When Freddie went to bed, it was Delilah he brought with us. She’d sleep at the foot of the bed, before slipping out for a night-time prowl around Garden Lodge,” Hutton wrote in his memoir, Mercury and Me.
“Delilah was a spoilt cat and depended on Freddie for everything, even protection from the other cats. They would gang up on her and she would run into our bedroom—it was a cat sanctuary, In many ways the cats were Freddie’s children, and we all thought of them that way. The slightest feline sneeze or twitch and he’d send them off to the vet for a check-up. And we were old-fashioned when it came to having to have sex in total privacy. Whenever Freddie and I jumped in the bedroom to make love, he would always ensure that none of the cats were watching.”
Mercury never kept his love for cats a secret. His solo album Mr. Bad Guy (1985) was dedicated to his cats, “Jerry—also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else!” And, according to Vanity Fair, on Queen’s Innuendo album in 1991, Mercury even wrote a line for Delilah:
Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my – you’re irresistible
You make me smile when I’m just about to cry
You bring me hope, you make me laugh – and I like it
You get away with murder, so innocent
But when you throw a moody you’re all claws and you bite
Not everyone was a fan of the song, least of all Mercury’s own bandmate, Roger Taylor, who said, “I hate ‘Delilah.’ That’s just not me.”
Whether or not you’re a fan of Queen’s music, there’s something to be said about a cat lover, and Freddie Mercury was one of the greatest!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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