Kim Novak and Pyewacket

Bell  Book and Candle (that is the official title without any comma. The play title is with the comma)  is a 1958 romantic comedy, based on a Broadway play by John Van Druten. It stars James Stewart, Kim Novak,  Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs and Janice Rule. The real star though is Pyewacket, a beautiful Siamese, lucky enough to be photographed with the lovely Kim.

The origin of the name Pyewacket goes way back.  The following is from the IMDB.

 Pyewacket was one of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the “witchfinder general” Matthew Hopkins in March 1644 in the town of Maningtree, Essex, UK. He claimed he spied on the witches as they held their meeting close by his house, and heard them mention the name of a local woman. She was arrested and deprived of sleep for four nights, at the end of which she confessed and named her familiars, describing their forms. They were: – Holt – Jarmara – Vinegar Tom – Sacke and Sugar – Newes – Ilemauzer – Pyewacket – Pecke in the Crowne – Griezzel Greedigutt – Hopkins says he and nine other witnesses saw the first five of these, which appeared in the forms described by the witch. Only the first of these was a cat; the next two were dogs, and the others were a black rabbit and a polecat. So it’s not clear whether Pyewacket was a cat’s name or not. As for the meanings, Hopkins says only that they were such that “no mortall could invent.” The incident is described in Hopkins‘s pamphlet “The Discovery of Witches” (1647).









Also check out this drawing on Pete Emslie blog, The Cartoon Cave of Kim and Pyewacket


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9 Responses to “Kim Novak and Pyewacket”

  1. John Warnock Says:

    My wife and I love this movie so much. It really is a classic.
    Pyewacket looks just like our cat, Mink. He’s not as big yet but
    has the same coloring. We have framed a photo from here for
    our wall. thank you!

    John & Tish

  2. John Greco Says:

    John & Tish,

    Thanks for stopping by. “Bell Book & Candle” is a terrific film. A great cast, James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon and of course Pyewacket.

  3. Al Hryse Says:

    That’s my cat, Houdini, three time grand champion All American Cat. My mother and I gave him that name because he was such a clever escape artiest. I was eight years old when those fat money grubbing suits from Hollywood took him from me. I was at a cat show with my mother in New Jersey and Houdini had just won his third All American Cat title when we were approached by casting scouts from Hollywood California. They pitched the movie they wanted him for repeatedly. It all sounded so glamorous and special. They assured us that even though Houdini was a full on hard-to-handle four year old tom cat he would be in the hands of the finest animal trainers. Later my mother and I were mortified when we were shown the raw dailies from Columbia
    Studios of a terrified Houdini being posed and chased about while movie cameras filmed his every waking moment. We wanted him back, but in Hollywood a deals a deal. No other cat was used or even considered for the production of Bell, Book and Candle. Houdini’s seal point Siamese markings were so striking and distinct that every scene with Pyewacket could only be played by Houdini. When he was returned to us three weeks later he seamed none the worst for wear but four years latter he died from feline agranulocytosis (distemper). In those four years he sired but one last offspring, Daphne. When Daphne was breed she gave birth to but one beautiful kitten, Faydra. Because of complications at birth Daphne could not have another litter. Then my step father, Wilbur, in a drunken angry stupor slammed the hall door as four month old Faydra crossed the threshold thereby ending that spectacular bloodline forever.

  4. Cat (Food Coupons) Says:

    What I like most about kitties is that they read your mood so accurately.Then they without fail make you feelso wonderful:)Go Kitties!

  5. Terry Christie Says:

    Kim Novak and her lovely cat called Pyewacket in the 1958 movie Bell,Book & Candle alongside James Stewart & Jack Lemmon.

    Kim as Gillian Holroyd who cast a spell on Shep Henderson and falls in love with her.

    Bell,Book & Candle is the great American film and once again to the wonderful performance by the Lovely Kim Novak and her famous cat Pyewacket.

    Terry Christie
    A Great Kim Novak fan
    From Sunderland
    Tyne & Wear

  6. mike fagan Says:

    I am looking for a poster of Kim Novac and Pywacket when she was casting the spell
    Anybody know if they exist ??

  7. ruth Says:

    You begin stating, “Bell Book and Candle (that is the official title without any comma. The play title is with the comma)”; however, clearly in the ad for the movie there is a comma, “BELL, BOOK and CANDLE”

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