On Monday, I reminded my fellow Geekettes that National Cat Appreciation Day was coming up and asked if we wanted to post something. Within half an hour, there were 42 comments, all about cats and cat merch and cat-like characters.
However, you didn’t ask. So here are our favorite famous cats. (In all seriousness though, my cats are definitely the most beautiful, well-behaved cats ever.)
Luna, Artemis and Diana from Sailor Moon
This feline family has been a part of my childhood since the beginning, and continue to leave an impact on my fangirl heart. Luna, of course, was a born leader. She’s fierce, strong, and has much confidence. Artemis is wise, but he has his moments where his emotions get the best of him. Diana, the daughter of our senshi helpers, is a perfect example of innocence, in all its best and worst qualities. But regardless, even in their slightly awkward moments, you can always find something to love about this crescent-wearing kitty team.
Fatso AKA KEYBOARD CAT (Charlie Schmidt’s Keyboard Cat! – THE ORIGINAL!)
Of course my favorite internet cat is from the ’80s. It’s a simple, silly video: an orange cat who’s been clothed in a baby’s blue shirt appears to play a jaunty keyboard tune. In reality his paws were being manipulated off-screen by owner Charlie Schmidt. The video was recorded in 1984 but didn’t gain popularity until its YouTube upload in 2007. Brad O’Farrell secured Schmidt’s permission to use the footage for his “Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat” vid. It spawned a series of parodies involving the jaunty feline playing the keyboard when someone made a mistake, similar to “getting the hook” in the days of vaudeville. Although Fatso didn’t live to see himself become an internet sensation (he passed in ’87), I will certainly never forget him. Nor how I had to explain the Keyboard Cat meme to my mother over Thanksgiving dinner in 2009.
Magnus Bane and Chairman Meow
The birthday party for Magnus Bane’s cat, Chairman Meow, is one of the most memorable scenes in The City of Bones. This is partially because of the significant plot events that happen there, namely the flashy first appearance of the flamboyant Magnus himself, Simon’s short sojourn as a rat, and his subsequent fateful abduction by vampires. But mostly because most of us crazy cat ladies here at DG dream of the day when we have the resources to throw extravagant parties for our own furry friends and attend each other’s such parties in style. For this reason, Chairman Meow makes our list of favorite literary kitties this National Cat day. And we’ll throw Magnus on the list as well; with his warlock-trait cat eyes, prickly mood, and knack for getting out of tight situations like a cat squeezing through a fence, he practically counts.
Angus from the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series
If you identify as female and did not read these books as a teenager, you still should because they’re super funny. Basically, Georgia, a teen in the U.K. grows up and learns how to date. However with titles such as Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, and Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, you know this is no ordinary coming of age series. One of the factors that makes this series so quirky is Angus, Georgia’s wildcat, who does what he wants when he wants, much to comedic results. “Oh dear. I have just seen Angus hunkering down in the long grass. He’s stalking their poodle. I’ll have to intervene to avert a massacre. Oh, it’s OK, Mrs. Next Door has thrown a brick at him.”
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
The British government employs approximately 100,000 cats to keep down the mice population. In the government headquarters of 10 Downing Street, the title of “Chief Mouser” is given to the resident cat. Although there has been a resident mouser since the time of Henry VIII, public records only go back as far as 1929. While only two cats have been officially given the title, many have fulfilled the expected duties. The longest term goes to Wilberforce, whom the public deemed “the best mouser” in Britain. He served from 1973 to 1988 – that’s FOUR PRIME MINISTERS!
Currently, the Chief Mouser title is shared by Larry and Freya; Larry officially assumed the position in 2011 when he was selected from a group of rescue cats by Prime Minister David Cameron. In June 2012 Freya came to Downing Street to reunite with previous owner George Osborne (Chancellor: link). Later that year the press had a field day with headlines about Larry’s lack of killer instinct and being sacked from his position in favor of the more dominant Freya. The situation was amended to a “job share” to spare hurt feelings. Freya and Larry continue to share the title, although the latter is the only one listed on Downing Street’s official website (link).
Salem Saberhagen from Sabrina the Teenage Witch
For those of you who missed my post about it a while back, you should know that Sabrina the Teenage Witch was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up. And honestly, a large part of that (and my renewed/ongoing love for it) has to do with one of my favorite characters: Salem Saberhagen. Salem was a witch condemned to spend 100 years as a cat with no powers for his attempt to take over the world, and he lives with the Spellman family because Hilda Spellman was one of his supporters in his world domination scheme. Salem was snarky and selfish, but proved time and again that he actually cared deeply for Sabrina and her aunts. He alternated between more human and more cat-like behaviors and just provided an endless source of entertainment sprinkled throughout the seven seasons of Sabrina. Also Salem’s pathetic crying noise will forever be one of my favorite sad noises made by any character of any species.
Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus
Maybe it was my love of Black Cats, or for Jason Marsden’s voice, but lordy lord do I love me some Thackery Binx. This lovable cursed feline from Hocus Pocus is considered to be one of the most memorable aspects of the movie, and probably my favorite (next to Bette Milder being fierce to the core.) From his hilarious sass talking to protagonist Max, to his quest to be reunited with his sister Emily, Binx is a hero to many 90’s kids, and always will be. Now if only we could go back in time and make Jason Marsden play his human incarnation and not just the voice. (#stillbitter #teammarsden)
The Cheshire Cat/Dinah from Alice in Wonderland
Probably one of the most famous fictional cats, the Cheshire Cat, is awesome. He is whimsical, quizzical, and purr-fectly dark. I love that in the book, Alice has a cat named Dinah, and it kind of adds to they mystery of Wonderland’s existence that the Cheshire Cat may be part of Alice’s imagination. He’s also got one of the most profoundly true lines in all of literature, “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe
The Cat that started it all!
In Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe, the main character Jas and her group of friends get involved in solving a murder. Why you might ask? The story starts as Jas (and her unsuperpower of attracting cats) gets attacked by a three legged orange tabby cat named Joe or Mad Joe who then leaves her to deal with the mayhem of what he caused, eventually leading to Jas getting involved in solving this murder. Mad Joe starts it all with one jump and fourteen claws!