An avid animal lover, the late King Bhumibol published a book on his royal pet dog “Tongdaeng,” but a lesser known royal animal is the Siamese cat named “Tito,” the late HM the King’s one and only cat.
In the famous portrait of young King Bhumibol by Ukrainian photojournalist Dmitri Kessel, the late HM the King composes a song on his piano while a snoozy, plump cat sits on the top of his instrument.
The photo was reportedly taken in 1944 at Villa Vadhana, the residence of the royal family in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to Morning News.
Tito, referred to politely by the Thai people as “Khun Tito,” was reportedly a tomcat who liked to escape the royal residence. King Bhumibol raised Tito with his mother’s cat, “Tita.”
Khun Tito was a Siamese cat with blue eyes. He was said to always “pur like he could talk.”
Tito was named after Josip Broz Tito, former president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who kept the nation together during World War II.
Photos: Dmitri Kessel