January 18, 2018 |0 min read
Famous Cats Throughout Pop Culture
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There’s no better proof that cats are the coolest pets to be had than pop culture.
Take a look around at television shows, cartoons, and comic books and you’ll find a plethora of sleek, sexy, smart, and savvy cat characters.
Over the past 100 years, these cats top the charts in our book.
Of course, we have to kick things off with the OG of cat characters, Felix the Cat. First appearing in 1919, Felix rose to fame without uttering a word. This star of the silent movie era was the first animated character to collect such a large fan base that he actually became the star of feature movies that thousands flocked to see.
In fact, Felix was so beloved through the 1920s that he became a major collector's item. Felix's face and personage were stamped on everything from coffee mugs to wrist watches to coo coo clocks to shoes.
Felix’s antics made TV and movie goers around the world fall in love with the true nature of cats. Felix represented the whimsical curiosity and mischief we see in our four legged roommates today. While Felix's popularity is dwindling, we'd like to give him a well-deserved salute.
Sufferin' succotash! Tweety’s nemesis is one of the most famous cats of the ‘90s. Featured every Saturday morning among friends like Foghorn Leghorn, Porky the Pig, and Bugs Bunny, Silvester (officially Sylvester James Pussycat, Sr.) is a tuxedo cat on a mission to catch Tweety before Granny catches him in the act.
One of the things we love most about Silvester is his determination. Although Tweety Bird often outsmarts or out-lucks him, Silvester's perseverance is palpable.
Voice actor Mel Blanc, who did the voice of Silvester until 1989, loved Silvester's character so much that he gave the cartoon cat his own voice, adding only the lisp to give Silvester a lovable quirk.
(Image courtesy of Looney Toons Wiki)
True, Catwoman isn’t actually a cat, but we’re pretty impressed with the level of inspiration cats gave to create this mysterious and mischievous hero-villain. Catwoman made her slinky debut in June of 1940 as "The Cat" in the first ever Batman comic book. Since, she’s taken on a cult following of her own.
Perhaps the most famous and beloved version of Catwoman was portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1992 film Batman Returns starring Michael Keaton. In the film, Catwoman (aka Selina Kyle) shows a tender, heroic side when she befriends and feeds stray cats while also saving women from harm throughout Gotham.
While the 2004 film Catwoman was a flop, the Catwoman mythos lives on in the Fox television series Gotham on air now. In Gotham, we get to see the origin story of Selina Kyle and all her adorable cat-like qualities that inevitably lead her down the path to becoming the dark heroine everyone's rooting for.
(Image courtesy of DC Database)
These feisty heroes had a too-short running on television, if you ask us. According to cartoon legend, the ThunderCats come from a planet where all beings resemble cats. Better still, they all possess the very best cat-like qualities and abilities.
In the animated series that ran from 1985 to 1989, the ThunderCats battle untold evils in space, survive traveling through the galaxy in suspended animation (no pun intended), and journey to Earth where their team - including such characters as Panthro, Cheetara, Sydra, WilyKat, and the Snarf family - builds the Cat’s Lair to serve as the base of their evil-fighting operations.
While the ThunderCats didn’t have a huge following in the ‘80s, we’re hoping this out-of-the-box cartoon inspires more cat-themed works in the future.
If you remember nothing else of Austin Powers (and that’s OK), you’ll likely remember the bewildering villain Dr. Evil who compulsively touched his pinky to his smile when he was feeling menacing. But Dr. Evil wouldn’t be as successful of a villain if it weren’t for Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Evil’s long-haired white Persian with hair troubles.
While Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth were making their escape in a cryogenic capsule, Mr. Bigglesworth (and Dr. Evil) lost his hair as an unfortunate side effect. Fitting the part, Mr. Bigglesworth is played by a hairless Sphynx cat by the name of Ted Nude-Gent.
Based on the criteria of creative names, attitude, and character, we have to say Mr. Bigglesworth is our favorite. Who can’t help but love a cat who simply meows and shifts the tides of battle?
Who’s your favorite cat on the silver screen?