That Time When Andy Warhol Gave Sean Lennon a Dead Cat for His Birthday

Could it be the weirdest gift ever?

Sean Lennon. Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son Sean revealed that Andy Warhol gave him the fright of his life when he bought him a taxidermy cat as a gift for his eighth birthday.

According to Lennon, the artist’s unusual present not only scared him as a young boy, it also “kind of disturbed” his mother “despite her love of cats.” Page Six reports that Lennon revealed the anecdote in association with an exhibition at New York’s Cadillac House on the pop artist’s correspondences, titled “Letters to Andy Warhol.”

“After a brief time on a shelf in my bedroom, it was decided that Andy’s cat should reside permanently in the window of the office on the ground floor,” the singer told Page Six. He explained that it didn’t stay there for long, because it even freaked out the residents next door. The “neighbors complained,” he says, “and we had to take it down.”

Andy Warhol. Photo: Getty Images.

Andy Warhol. Photo: Getty Images.

Lennon insisted that he has no idea why the famously unpredictable pop artist decided to gift a dead cat to a child. “Each day on my way to school I would walk by the office and wonder why it was that Andy gave me that cat,” he admitted.

Either way, Lennon said he was fairly certain that Warhol did not consult his parents before presenting the bizarre gift. “Judging from my mom’s surprise, I don’t think she knew about it ahead of time,” he said, adding that the gift provoked his living pet cats to become “immediately enraged.”

“Letters to Andy Warhol” consists of five letters from the following people and institutions to the Pop artist: Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York State Department of Public Works and “a mutual friend of his and Truman Capote,” according to the press release. The exhibition is on view at Cadillac House, 330 Hudson Street, from November 15-December 26, 2016.


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