Today, we're all well acquainted with the diverse pack of internet celebri-cats: Grumpy, Lil Bub, Hamilton the Hipster Cat, Princess Monster Truck, Oskar & Klaus, Nala Cat and Henri le Chat Noir, to name a few. The roster is growing every week! Each cat has a loyal following that checks in daily via Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. But, long before social media, fans had to get their feline fix from the newspaper comics pages, at the movie theater or even via the airwaves on television.
Here are the Top 10 "Fictional Felines" in the hiss-tory of print and screen.
Tom & Jerry have been in the throes of an epic "game of cat & mouse" that has endured 75 years! Tom is a grey tuxedo cat who, like Sylvester, cannot seem to outsmart his arch-rival. However, you can't help but root for Tom as Jerry's relentless teasing can sometimes "cross the line".
9. Cheshire Cat
The Cheshire Cat was popularized by the various adaptations of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He is known for his mischievous grin and the magical ability to disappear and reappear about the forest canopy. One possible origin of the expression "grinning like a Cheshire Cat" is the one favored by the people of Cheshire, a county in England. This region has numerous dairy farms, hence the cats grin because of an abundance of milk and cream!
Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr., or simply, Sylvester the Cat, or "Puddy Tat" is the three-time Academy Award-winning tuxedo cat from the Looney Tunes repertory. Even after appearing in 103 cartoons since 1945, the persistent Sylvester has yet to outwit his arch-nemesis, the clever Tweety Bird. Thufferin' Thuccotash! Sylvester was voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc for over 40 years!
7. Mr. Bigglesworth
In the hugely successful Austin Powers franchise, Dr. Evil may have taken the world ransom for $1 million. But, we think Mr. Bigglesworth stole the show as Dr. Evil's equally bald companion. Mr. Bigglesworth is played by a purebred hairless Sphynx cat named SGC Belfry Ted Nude-Gent. Sphinxes are among the most easily trained of all cats and among the most sociable.
If you spent any time watching after school cartoons in the '80s, you'll know that Heathcliff was a street-smart cat with a short fuse. Heathcliff was the antithesis of that other plump orange cat of the '80s. While Garfield was the cynical house cat from the Sunday comics, Heathcliff was terrorizing the entire neighborhood on television. Fortunately, Millennials also had their gentler neighbor, Mister Rogers, to balance things out a bit. Heathcliff, like Sylvester, was also voiced by, "The Man of a Thousand Voices", Mel Blanc.
Heavens to Murgatoryd! Snagglepuss is a dandy mountain lion who yearns for a more refined aristocratic life - "hospitable, even!". But, alas, he usually just ends up dodging bullets from a tiny mustachioed hunter named Major Minor. Snagglepuss first appeared in 1959 on Hanna-Barbera's The Quick Draw McGraw Show. He went on to have his own segments on The Yogi Bear Show and Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics. Exit, Stage Left!
Calvin & Hobbes was a syndicated daily comic strip from November 18, 1985 to December 31, 1995. Calvin is a mischievous six-year-old boy. Hobbes is a bit more difficult to define. To Calvin, Hobbes is a living anthropomorphic tiger who serves as a voice of reason, much more aware of the consequences to Calvin's flights of fancy. To any other characters, Hobbes is merely an inanimate stuffed animal, blankly staring into space. Nearly 45 million Calvin & Hobbes books have been sold to date.
3. Puss in Boots
Though small in stature, this domestic cat is a capable sword fighter with a razor sharp wit. But, his most powerful weapon is his ability to soften his foes' hearts by staring up at them with an innocent, wide-eyed expression. Appearing first in Shrek 2, Puss in Boots went on to appear in the following Shrek sequels and was even the main protagonist in his own spin-off prequel, Puss in Boots. The character is based on the 17th century French fairy tale, Le Chat Botté.
2. The Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat may be the single most recognizable children's book character to at least three generations since he burst onto the scene in 1957. The Cat in the Hat was written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, after being challenged to write a story that "first-graders can't put down!" The radical approach to an elementary school primer was an immediate hit. As of 2007, The Cat in the Hat has brought his unique brand of chaotic whimsy to over 10 million copies in 12 different languages. It is the 9th bestselling children's picture book of all time.
It’s hard to resist the laissez-faire musings of this lazy, lasagna-loving lay-about. It’s no wonder Garfield's merchandise sales rake in a whopping $1 billion each year! Not even Grumpy Cat can top that level of mass appeal. This "Top Cat" has been expanding his empire while stuffing his face since 1978.
Honorable Mention (and shameless plug):
Real internet celebri-cats, Oskar & Klaus, have also undertaken an adventure into the world of "feline fiction". Check out their PAWsome Adventures today! Over 100 Five-Star reviews and counting! Plus, FREE Audiobook CD with the Oskar & Klaus Gift Set when you buy today!
Oskar & Klaus