Famous Cats of Historical Note

Old School Egypt Cat
Old School Egypt Cat

Cats have been very important throughout history. For instance the ancient Egyptians used cats to help transport huge carved stones to the pyramid building sites. How the ancient Egyptians achieved this feat is unknown but it is now known that archaeologists have found large storage vessels of catnip surrounding every pyramid in Egypt. Perhaps the Egyptians used the catnip as rewards to the best cats which, in turn, motivated the other cats to pull the stones a little harder. It is believed that many of the hardest working cats were revered by the Egyptians gaining titles and stature next to that of only the Pharaoh.

Translations of several hieroglyphic relics have revealed the names of some of the most celebrated famous cats of ancient Egypt. These names being:

1. Mr. Hisser
2. Egypt Cat
3. The Thrilla’ from Siam
4. Cougher
5. Slavedriver #8
6. Pharaoh’s Friend
7. Rockheaver

The Cat who Would be King

King Swishtail, becrowned.
King Swishtail, becrowned.

In 1579 in the country which is now known as Luxembourg the populace was fed up with their King. King Arnold VII was an absolute fool and is commonly blamed for the small size of Luxembourg because he was terrified of conflict and found it “distasteful”. So the populace killed Arnold VII and a peasant put a small cat on the throne as a joke of sorts. “Perhaps now Luxembourg will have a ruler with some ruling ability” he was quoted as saying. But the joke caught on and the long terrifying reign of King Swishtail began. A small crown was made for Swishtail. About a week after, he hissed at a jester. A decree was made that whomever King Swishtail hissed at would be killed for treason. Needless to say many, many dogs and people not bearing catnip were killed during Swishtail’s reign. In fact, the jeweler who created the crown for Swishtail was also killed becasue he received the dreaded “Hiss Decree” as he placed the crown upon Swishtails head.

Celebrity Cats

Big, Big Moe the Cat
Big, Big Moe the Cat

Over the course of history there have been some pretty famous cats. One such cat is Morris the Finicky Cat. This cat was reportedly so finicky that he would only eat goose liver pate. This of course did not stop the 9 Lives cat food company. They filmed Morris eating some of his beloved pate and sat a can of 9 Lives next to Morris’ bowl. The rest is history, Morris became an overnight success and 9 Lives sold millions of cans of cat food. It is said that his ‘finicky’ behavior went from amusing to downright annoying over the course of his career and this led the 9 Lives cat food company to begin using a computer generated cat in their advertisements also named Morris. The original flesh and blood Morris lived out the remainder of his life in Paris in what can only be described as a “hedonistic frenzy” and died topping the scales well over 35 pounds. By all accounts Morris, despite his finickiness was “a pretty laid-back cat” and was loved by untold millions of adoring fans.

The Cattanooga Cats

The feisty Cattanooga Cats
The feisty Cattanooga Cats

Speaking of famous cats, who can forget the Cattanooga cats? These were some “far out” cats that played in a band and as a result really transcended time, space and animal barriers. The Cattanooga cats are speculated by some to be an animated version of the popular guitar/banjo player of the time Jimi Hendrix while others have observed The Cattanooga Cats to be a very strong approximation of the hard-driving blues/rock band Led Zeppelin. The Cattanoogs Cats was aired from 1969 to 1971 so you can be sure that the numerous references in the show to ‘Catnip’ were thinly veiled references to a popular herb at the time called Marihuana.

Mr. Paws

Mr. Paws – Tuesday Morning

Not all famous cats were in entertainment or cat food commercials, some famous cats were in modern U.S. politics. In 1970 Senator John Wilburn(D) of New Jersey bought a small cat and named him Mr. Paws. Senator Wilburn decided to begin bringing Mr. Paws to Senate sessions because he found them “hideous yawn fests”. Mr. Paws or “Page Paws” as he became known while upon the Senate floor was a huge hit with most of the other senators. One of the most notable stories about Mr. Paws is when he snuck a few drinks from Senator Ted Kennedy’s “Bowl of Loudmouth Soup” as he frequently called his ever present martinis. The delicious mixture of gin, vermouth and rye whiskey sent Page Paws on a Senatorial rampage that is the stuff of legends. Mr. Paws reportedly shredded the entire summer sessions agenda, bit the speaker of the house Jim Norris, urinated on a then Jr. Senator Albert Gore and hissed at President Nixon who was sitting in on a Senate Sub-committee hearing. Nixon responded to this with hysterical laughter but later it was revealed that Mr. Paws was listed in one of the top spots of Richard Nixon’s Enemies List. One of Nixon’s tapes which he recorded in the Oval office actually contains a 45 minute rant about “That goddamn cat” and he discussed ways to possibly make him disappear with his then Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. Mr. Paws did in fact disappear in 1971 and was found in a running car with a hose connected from the exhaust pipe to the interior of the car. The death of Mr. Paws was ruled a suicide.