Since 1697 when Puss first put on boots, cats have been entertaining us with their adorable antics. Even before the world had celebrities, it had celebrity cats. With each new media outlet, we have a new cat basking in their 15 minutes of fame to fascinate us. Below we share some of the most memorable and famous cats.
Books: The first famous felines came to us through books. The Three Little Kittens lost their mittens and children sang happy songs about it. The Cheshire Cat had Alice both mesmerized and confused with his disappearing act. And the Cat in the Hat made a terrible mess but cleaned it up before mother got home, and in the process he taught a generation of kids to read. These famous cats, although fictional, have become household names, and continue to delight each new generation.
Cartoons: Through animated films we came to know first silent film star Felix the Cat and later Sylvester, with his trademark lisp and obsession with Tweety Bird. There’s the instantly recognizable Pink Panther dating all the way back to 1963. In more recent times famous cats such as Garfield came to us came to us through newspapers and made everyone hungry for lasagna. And don't forget Japanese animation's gift to marketing and merchandise, Hello Kitty.
Politics: Yes, even politics produced a celebrity cat, Socks, a stray cat adopted in Alabama by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his family. Socks later moved from the Governor's Mansion to the White House, where he hosted the children's portion of the official White House website, was an advocate of shelter adoptions, and starred in a book, cartoon, and video game. In fact, there also exists an article stating 15 Reasons Why Socks Was the Best Cat of All Time, including the fact that he was dashing, a good listener, and knew what side was his good side.
Today: So who are the famous felines today? On the TV show Friends, there was a Smelly Cat who inspired a song that just wouldn't go away and everyone who is anyone knows the words. In the Austin Powers movies, Dr. Evil was accompanied by his hairless cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, who lost all of his beautiful long Persian cat fur in a cryogenic capsule, which we are sure he did not think was groovy.
The World Wide Web, our most current media, is absolutely inundated with cat photos, cat videos, and cat memes. The biggest celebrity cat today, and that is saying something on the cat-obsessed internet, is probably Grumpy Cat. Her real name is Tardar Sauce, and she debuted in 2012. She is famous for her characteristic grumpy face, which makes her likeness perfect for memes with captions expressing disapproval and general hostility toward a wide variety of people and subjects.
Going back to the ancient Egyptians, people have revered, loved, even worshipped cats. We have been posting cats on our walls, from hieroglyphics on pyramids, to posts on social media, and even dedicating full websites to them like LOLCats.com. Whatever new media is next, we can be sure cats will be featured and they won’t be shy!