Robert Heinlein must have known and loved many cats. Pete, in The Door into Summer is a fully realized character, and Pixel in two of the Lazarus Long books is also memorable.

The title of The Door into Summer

was triggered by a remark which Heinlein's wife Virginia made when their cat refused to leave the house: "He's looking for a door into summer." (See first link.)

But other than the page Robert A. Heinlein Quotes About Cats on A-Z Quotes, I have not found any mention of Heinlein writing about real-life cats. Did he write or comment on the real-life cats who inspired his cat characters?

  • 3
    Yes, his real-life cats could indeed walk through walls.
    – Paul
    Mar 15, 2018 at 3:53
  • Hey, when I sneeze, I'd swear my cats teleport away.
    – RDFozz
    Oct 31, 2018 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


In the book Grumbles from the Grave which was assembled from Heinlein's papers post-mortem, a number of Heinlein cats are discussed in chapter 13, subsection "CATS". Example:

January 12, 1957: Robert A. Heinlein to Lurton Blassingame

Pixie is dying...uremia, too far gone to hope for remission; the vet sent him home to die several days ago. He is not now in pain and still purrs, but he is very weak and becoming more emaciated every day-it's like having a little yellow ghost in the house.

  • 1
    I want to point out cats will sometimes purr when they are in pain so don't take it as a sign they are content. May 16, 2019 at 16:37

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