BY NICK GILLESPIE -Ayn Rand on the objective (Objectivist?) value of cats, in a 1966 letter to the editors of Cat Fancy magazine.
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 carter 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.
Readers of Anne Heller’s excellent Ayn Rand and the World She Made know not only of Miss Rand’s predilection for felines but her apparent unwillingness to housetrain successfully. A Random House employee who visited Rand and her husband Frank O’Connor’s apartment in New York reported that the couple’s “unneutered male cat Frisco” had run of the joint, scratching furniture and “emitting a foul-smelling spray on furniture ands rugs. The stench was terrible and permanent.”
Check out Reason TV‘s Ayn Rand playlist, featuring nearly 20 vids about the life and legacy of the author of Atlas Shrugged.