When I was a child I loved the part in Lady and the Tramp when the Siamese cats slunk their way onto the screen. Yes, they were naughty, but they were clever and they were fun, and I thought the cocker spaniel was bit too cutesy and sanctimonious for her own good, even though I didn't know the meaning of the word sanctimonious at the time. Anyway, they don't really feature in much else, so they don't make the final list, but they are worth an honourable mention.
5 Favourite Cartoon Cats:
- Henry's Cat - the small yellow cat who liked nothing better than eating and sleeping grew to have cult following among students; I wonder why...? (I should also mention Custard of Roobarb and Custard fame here, as they were both animated by Bob Godfrey)
- Bagpuss - he may be just an old saggy cloth cat, baggy and a bit loose at the seams, but Emily loved him. And so do I. Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin created one of my childhood legends.
- Garfield - he was fat and not particularly attractive until Jim Davis redrew him supposedly to make him less cat-like, and to suit modern audiences who wanted something cuter. He may have the most merchandise of any cartoon cat (although I have never seen the animated version, nor do I wish to), but he still gorges lasagna and despairs of his dim-witted 'owner'.
- Hobbes - Okay, so he's actually a tiger, but Calvin's feline companion is fantastic. Whether he is being the floppy stuffed toy or the sardonic, sarcastic anthropomorphised live creature, Hobbes is brilliant. Created by Bill Watterson and named after the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes (with whom he shares a similarly dim view of human nature) the tiger is far more rational and practical than his childish playmate. Incidentally, Bill Watterson insists that cartoon strips should stand on their own as an art form and there are practically no Calvin and Hobbes merchandising products apart from the book collections and calendars.
- Simon's Cat - simplistic animated drawings by Simon Tofield about a cat who goes to desperate lengths to get his 'owner' to feed him. These display some of the most naturalistic cat behaviours of any cartoon and they never fail to make me laugh.