When Your Cat Hates You

LifeFeb41-056To be fair, all cats hate you. The contempt is thinly-veiled. For those of you unfamiliar with the wide-eyed Brazil nut pictured here, it’s Carmen Miranda, aka The Chiquita Banana Lady. And wide-eyed she was!

She may have danced her way to fame with a pile of fruit atop her head, much to the chagrin of Latin nations who felt stereotyped, but she had the last laugh. By 1945, she earned more than $200,000 (over $2 million in today’s money), becoming Hollywood’s highest-paid entertainer.

Numero uno, y’all!


She must have had fabulous posture and core control to forever be balancing colorful edible headgear and bearing the burden of 27 lbs of heavy metal accessories. No pain, no gain.


In August of 1955, Miranda was shooting a a song and dance number for the The Jimmy Durante Show when she fell to one knee. Out of breath, she finished the segment and went home. The next morning, Miranda died from a heart attack at her home in Beverly Hills. She was only 46.


To see her sing and samba, catch this 1943 clip of her in “The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat.”


20 thoughts on “When Your Cat Hates You

  1. I think cats are benevolent rulers. They let people feed them and clean up after the them. After all isn’t it an honor to serve them. So if a cat hates you that just means you forget their feeding time. I remember Carmen Miranda. She had such energy. I had no idea about her death. Always tragic when someone dies so young.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad that she should pass on so early. Her cat is approching cross-eyed – of course Ms. Chiquita’s eyes were always doing someting odd as well. I’m sure that her reality and our realities had very little in common.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love it here because there is no line that can’t be crossed. Making fun of the dead and dissing on cats. Really. That is sad about CM, had no idea. She seemed a fun act. Vibrant in life anyway. And the cat thing? You know how I feel about this. Can’t make claims for any other cat–and some are scary looking–but mine is simply lovely. She’s sweet and kind and tolerant. Not fat so much, but puffy with all of her fur. I still remember bringing her home and the girls being so excited as it was our first pet. They’d be petting her while she ate, while she was looking for some privacy to do her thing in the litter box. My youngest would cart her around, dress her up. And though Cat would eventually hiss and possibly even nip or scratch, it was always only for survival. My point here is really nothing, but am going on recording defending my cat’s fondness for my family.

    But I do have a friend who will attest to her cat being mean and I’ve been witness to this meanness. So there are not-so-nice cats out there, quite possibly in the care of CM.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the 20th Century, I did have a fondness for a cat, but have not duplicated it in this millennium. In college, my roommate had a cat named Misery who moaned like she was constantly in heat, and fortunately she disappeared herself. Since then, liking a cat is like liking the popular 8th grade boy who wants nothing to do with you but might tolerate you petting and/or feeding him. I respect your right to own one and let your daughters live with it.

      I think we can both agree that Carmen, possibly hepped up on rum and bananas, may have attempted to dress her cat as you have described, and this wretched Siamese was not having any of it. Fortunately, Carmen was able to channel her energy into romancing John Wayne and others.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The photographer did something to the cat in the top photo and to Carmen in the second photo. It may have been the same thing. We’ll never know, will we? By the way, that caption for the cat photo leaves open some questions, doesn’t it? How exactly was this film distasteful to Argentina, and was this widespread opinion, or solely one editor’s take on Carmen’s fruit-baring headgear?

    Were Miranda Rights named after Carmen because of the way she screeched and carried on as was so distasteful to Argentinians and American cutline writers?

    Could possibly Jimmy Durante’s cigar smoke have caused her fall to one knee in a cloud, breathlessness, and demise the following morning? His schnoz was big enough to clear an airway, but it was her eyes that were larger than normal, not too much help there.

    Kerbey, this post both delights and vexes me.

    Liz, you sure do have a sweet-tempered cat. Can I pet … Nah. Old Johnny Carson-Zsa Zsa Gabor joke and I can’t go there even with Kerbey’s free and open attitudinal comment thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Zsa Zsa DID have 8 husbands, right? So I guess she did “move that damn cat.” Ahem. Hotch-cha-cha-cha-cha! And speaking of that, I’m surprised no one said anything about the infamous pic of Miranda dancing pantiless with Cesar Romero. And that wasn’t even the distasteful part!

      Evidently her native land did not care for her over-the-top portrayal of Latin people, and she DID tell journalists the only English she knew was hot dog and money money money, so…maybe they thought she was money-hungry.

      You have to at least applaud Durante for making a career in pictures with a face for radio. And two women married and mated with him. Who else could sing Frosty the Snowman?


      1. Thank you for answering my question about what Argentina found distasteful. And for playing along with the Carson line, which is so tasteful cha-cha-BAM! And, lastly, Durante was really cool. Indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

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