Frederic Mistral (1830 - 1914), the Provencal poet, received an award in 1912 from a society called "L'Assistance aux Animaux." The award was given in recognition of Mistral's fondness for animals.
Exactly how fond was soon made evident when Mistral wrote a letter identifying his poodle Barboche as a reincarnated Roman slave. Read the article in the New York Times of March 17 1912. His love for his cat Marcabrun was also well known, but to date I have not found evidence that Mistral thought the cat had ever been anyone else.