Ayn Rand Writes Letter to Cat Fancy

Cat Fancy remembers a long-lost letter from Ayn Rand.

Cat Fancy remembers a long-lost letter from Ayn Rand.

When one thinks of Ayn Rand, one often thinks philosopher, writer of such works as “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” One does not usually associate her with the title of ‘cat lover.’ But we would be wrong not to do so.

Like so many of you, Rand was a subscriber of “Cat Fancy” magazine, even writing to our then-circulation manager, Elizabeth Smith, on March 20, 1966.

Rand’s letter, which can be found in the book “The Letters of Ayn Rand,” reads:

Dear Miss Smith,

You ask whether I own cats or simply enjoy them, or both. The answer is: both. I love cats in general and own two in particular.

You ask: “We are assuming that you have an interest in cats, or was your subscription strictly objective?” My subscription was strictly objective because I have an interest in cats. I can demonstrate objectively that cats are of a great value, and the charter issue of Cat Fancy magazine can serve as part of the evidence. (“Objective” does not mean “disinterested” or indifferent; it means corresponding to the facts of reality and applies both to knowledge and to values.)

I subscribed to Cat Fancy primarily for the sake of the picture, and found the charter issue very interesting and enjoyable.

Anyone familiar with Rand’s work is probably not surprised by her letter. As someone who has read her work, I would have been shocked had she not tied objectivism to cats. As a writer at CatChannel, the online counterpart to “Cat Fancy” magazine, I think discovering long ago treasures such as these exciting. I just wonder how (or if) Ms. Smith responded.

Current Cat Fancy editor Susan Logan was born the same time the charter issue came out, in 1965.

Follow Cat Fancy at @catfancy.

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