Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pyewacket

This week's animal tribute in honor of Halloween is to Pyewacket from the film Bell, Book, and Candle (1958).



Pyewacket, cast with Kim Novak and James Stewart, and the first ever Siamese in film, Pyewacket would steal the show in Bell, Book and Candle and earn the animal version of the Oscar, The Patsy (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year) in 1959.



Bell, Book, and Candle (1958) stars Kim Novak as Gillian Holroyd, your modern-day witch, living in a New York apartment with her Siamese familiar, Pyewacket. Gillian admires Shep Henderson (James Stewart), a mortal, from a far. To make matters worse, Shep is about to marry Merle (Janice Rule), a old college enemy of Gillian's. So Gillian, with the help of Pyewacket, casts a spell on Shep and wins her man.



Pyewacket, is now one of the most famous cat names espeically among the Siamese Cat lovers of the world.

The name Pyewacket actually appeared in 1647 on an infamous woodcut of the General Matthew Hopkins (a witch hunter) with two accused witches caught naming their familiars. One of the familiars is named on the woodcut as Pyewacket. A familiar for a witch, like Gillian in the film Bell Book and Candle, acts as an extension of power. The witch's power embodied in animal form. The familiar can be assigned tasks to complete for the owner which in the film Pyewacket performs plenty. He is the most magical being in the film.

Pyewacket is credited as being played by "the cat" in the film Bell, Book, and Candle and it is his one and only movie. Sources stated that actually nine different siamese cats played Pyewacket in the movie.

Most sources state that Kim Novak is an animal lover and a siamese cat lover and had many siamese cats of her own which were used in the movie. One being renamed Pyewacket in honor of the movie's Pyewacket.



Kim Novak once gave Fred Astaire a siamese cat, he named Caryle, named and her character in their movie The Notorious Landlady (1962).

With Hollywood running with the popular Siamese craze at the time of Bell Book and Candle it fueled the breeding of the cats.



Americans had only enjoyed the Siamese Breed in this country since the beginning of the century. Fifty Six years later, this Siamese in the film, Pyewacket, would be one of the audiences favorite characters in the film. He was smart, gorgeous and funny! Siamese cats would become one of the most popular cat breeds in America.



Pyewacket's success in Bell, Book, and Candle led to other famous siamese cats in television and movies.

In the television show Betwiched, Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) has to handle a magical Siamese in an early episode.



In the movie, That Darn Cat (1965), Haley Mills and Dean Jones had their hands full with a siamese.

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