Growing up in the English countryside, Elizabeth Taylor loved being around animals and felt more comfortable around them than children her own age (chickens, pigs, horses, cats, dogs etc. —young Liz befriended them all). As she grew older, Elizabeth's profound and unconditional love for animals remained and she once called them her "sweetest and most cherished friends". "I sometimes think I prefer animals to people", she said. "And I was lucky. My first leading men were dogs and horses" (referring to Lassie Come Home (1943) and National Velvet (1944)).
Throughout her life, Elizabeth had numerous pets and among them many cats. One of her beloved cats was Cassius. In 1974 when her then-husband Richard Burton went to Oroville (California) to film The Klansman, Liz accompanied him, bringing Cassius with her. The couple had rented a private house in town, but Cassius had trouble settling into his new environment and soon went missing. Looking everywhere for her furry friend, Liz was unable to find him. Very upset, she then wrote Cassius this touching letter, urging him to come back. Sadly, he never did.
(The letter was later found in a drawer by the owner of the house, long after the Burtons had left.)
Letter to my Lovely Lost Cat
I see you, my beauty boy, in the reflection of those shining black-brown rocks ahead of me. I see the green o’ thy eyes in every rained, sweated leaf shaking in my eyes.
I remember the sweet smell of your fur against my neck when I was deeply in trouble and how, somehow you made it better — you knew! You knew always when I hurt and you made comfort for me, as I did once for you when you were a broken kitten.
Anyway, I love you Cassius — and thank you for your beauty.
Please come back!