What is the name of Uncle Jack's cat in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Uncle Jack’s cat is named Rose Aylmer.

Uncle Jack (John Hale Finch) is Atticus’s younger brother.  Atticus put him through medical school.  When the children see Uncle Jack at Christmas, they ask him about his cat.

She was a beautiful yellow female Uncle Jack said was one of the few women he could stand permanently. (ch 9)

The children comment that she is getting fat, and he says it is from eating fingers at the hospital.  Scout does not believe them, obviously, and says, “that's a damn story.”  Atticus tells Jack not to pay any attention to her because she is just trying to get his attention, and bad language is a stage every child has to grow out of.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

John Hale Finch, Scout's Uncle Jack, is ten years younger than his brother Atticus. Atticus put his brother through medical school, and Jack has a practice in Boston. A confirmed bachelor, Jack visits Maycomb and Finch's Landing every Christmas, and Scout looks forward to his arrival more than anything else about the holidays except, possibly, the Christmas tree. Jack always has interesting stories to tell his niece and nephew and, according to Scout, "was one of the few men of science who didn't terrify me." Jack's cat, Rose Aylmer, is a "beautiful yellow female" and "One of the few women he could stand permanently." He always carried photos of her for the children to see, which Jem and Scout "admired."

     "She's gettin' fat," I said.
     "I should think so. She eats all the leftover fingers and ears from the hospital."  (Chapter 9)

The name of the cat is taken from the 18th century poem, "Rose Aylmer, by Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864). The sister of a Welsh nobleman, Lord Aylmer, Rose Aylmer died of cholera in 1800, but not before making a lasting impression on Landor.

     ... Ah, what the form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
     Rose Aylmer, all were thine...  (Landor, 1798)

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial