Dick Whittington and his Cat

In England a story with great tradition is that of Dick Whittington and his cat, which appeared for the first time as a theater performance, now disappeared in 1605.

It was based on the real story of Richard Whittington, who was in fact; the real Dick Whittington came from a wealthy country family that made its fortune with the commercialization of wool.

The story presents him as a poor boy that walks to London with its cat looking for fortune. After several adventures in which the cat brings him good luck, he marries the daughter of his master, and they live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, “the cat” was really not an animal, but a ship that carries coal with a route between Newcastle and London.

They say that preparing the illustrations for the first published versions of the story, an artist represented Whittington with a hand over the head of a skull. This illustration didn’t seem adequate and a cat substituted the skull.

However, the story of a poor boy that does good with the help of his cat, considered by the British as a story about the money you can acquire at the city of London, also appears in the Persian folklore, Scandinavian and Italian.

In Great Britain, the story is so familiar, through the diffusion of  books for children and in theater at Christmas performances, that you couldn’t convince any British that the action didn’t happened in London or that Dick’s cat wasn’t real.

Cat Houses Horace Walpole and the Angora Cats Cats in Literature Dick Whittington and his Cat Macavity, The Mysterious Cat Cats in Art Cat's as a Popular Theme