Katie Drummond and Carl Franzen of The Verge are both longtime cat people. Their love of cats is so complete that they’ve written a piece about their favorite famous cats. We might assume that they’re talking about cats that are currently well known, famous Internet cats, and LOLcats. However, the piece that Drummond and Franzen wrote talks about famous cats through more history than just that of the Internet. Here are the ones we might not think of when we think of famous cats.
Persian battle cats (525 B.C.)
According to Drummond’s and Franzen’s piece, Persian armies tried turning the Egyptians’ love of cats against them. They painted cats on their shields, and rounded up so many cats that they created a “wall of furry creatures” when they attacked Pelusium in 525 B.C. Egyptians, who feared for the cats, let the Persians take the city instead of fighting.
Felix the Cat (1919)
Did you know Felix the Cat first appeared way back in 1919? Cartoonist Otto Messmer created Felix just when motion pictures were first becoming popular. Felix also appeared in the first-ever continuous television broadcast as a “haunting, flickering image of a cat just staring at you.” Since then, he’s appeared in thousands of cartoons.
Penelope Pussycat (1944)
The beautiful, sleek Penelope is Pepé Le Pew’s love interest in the Looney Tunes cartoons. She has actually gone by several names, but Penelope became her official name when she appeared in an animated short in 1995, called “Carrotblanca.” That was also her first speaking role.
The Cat in the Hat (1957)
Creme Puff (1967-2005)
The Guinness Book of World Records dubbed Creme Puff the World’s Oldest Cat (ever). There is currently a search going on for the world’s oldest living cat after Poppy, the last holder of the crown, died earlier this year at age 24. Creme Puff, however, lived to be a ripe old 38, which is nearly unheard of for cats.
Who doesn’t love Garfield? The world’s fattest, hungriest, laziest cartoon feline has been around in our newspaper comics since 1978. He’s also starred in his own television shows, and even his own movies. There are more than 50 books out that compile the comic strips, along with many other books showcasing Garfield. He’s quite possibly the most famous cartoon cat out there.
Socks was the Clintons’ cat when they lived in the White House, and the first presidential cat since Jimmy Carter. Sadly, they sent her to live with a friend after they left at the end of 2000.
Cyprus Cat is quite possibly the oldest known example of a pet cat. While newer studies show that cats have lived among humans for the last 10,000 years or more, they weren’t generally pets for much of that time. Cyprus Cat is the remains of cat found inside the grave of a human who was ostensibly his owner. The grave is thought to be 9,500 years old.
The rest of the list includes Keyboard Cat (who has actually been around since the mid-1980s), and other Internet favorites such as Maru, Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat, Business Cat, and even Nyan Cat. To see the full list, along with brief descriptions, visit The Verge.