I am a devoted Cat guardian. At first I had two. Nixie, my first and the undisputed queen of the household, is now six years old. Sugar, a gray chunk of love, is now five. But I have gained several new additions in the last half year. First there was Lucky. Family friends rescued her from a winter storm but then had no time to give her the attention she needed. My 92 year old Aunt and I re-homed her. Lucky is feral and has some behavior problems but she fell madly in love with my Aunt at first sight and was devoted to Aunt E until Aunt E died in April. During the winter, we started feeding a handful of strays. Two of them, Little Guy and Georgie, were brave enough to come inside for a warm bed at night. We tried to find a new perfect home for them at a farm where they could roam safely and still have a nice warm bed at night. But before we could get them re-homed, poor, sweet Little Guy was hit by a car and drug himself home to us to die. Georgie now is fully adopted into our family and, like the others, strictly indoors only. But he is a happy, lazy Cat and does not miss his former freedom at all. But on one of his last nights out, Georgie found and brought us our newest family member: little Stormy. Stormy is now about four months old and has grown from an itty bitty kitty to a long lean tortoiseshell panther. Nixie does not know it yet but her reign as undisputed queen may be nearing its end.
So, obviously, I am a Cat person. Although my first beloved pet was a feisty little toy miniature Poodle and I still love Dogs. I guess I am really a Cat and Dog person. And I also love cartoons. Early in 2015, I did a post, “Cats Gone Wild at the Internet Archive”, that featured some fun Cat-centric Public Domain cartoons. Since I have added new Cats to my fur family I thought it was time for a new post on more rowdy and rollicking Cat-centric cartoons. Enjoy!
Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus (March 17, 1916)
First up is a very early silent black and white cartoon from 1916. Krazy Kat was originally a newspaper comic strip by cartoonist George Herriman which ran from 1913 to 1944. The earliest Krazy Kat animated shorts were produced by legendary newspaper man William Randolph Hearst. Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus is the first ever Krazy Kat animated short and features Krazy Kat, a simple minded cat that has been referred to as both a “he” and a “she” over the years, and the grumpy mouse named Ignatz that Krazy adores. In this little cartoon, which runs only a tad over three minutes, Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse try to prove their courage by scaring a lady circus performer.
Krazy Kat Goes A-Wooing ( February 29, 1916)
This is the fifth ever Krazy Kat animated short. This little silent black and white cartoon only runs two minutes 18 seconds and has poor lovesick Krazy serenading Ignatz Mouse. Ignatz is none to happy and gets his revenge on Krazy. These early Krazy Kat cartoons feature simple art and simple slapstick antics. They are silent films with the characters speaking through speech balloons.
Krazy Kat – Bugolist (March 14, 1916)
Krazy Kat – Bugolist is a silent black and white little short that runs three minutes 24 seconds. In this, the eighth Krazy Kat cartoon, Krazy and Ignatz bike into the woods and have a run in with a tiny bee and an elephant. Like our two earlier Krazy Kat animated shorts, this one is simple slapstick done in simple black and white line drawings.
Krazy Kat in Bars and Stripes (October 15, 1931)
Our final Krazy Kat cartoon is a black and white sound short from 1931 that runs six minutes 21 seconds. Krazy Kat gets frustrated during a music lesson and throws all the instruments out the window. The musical instruments are very upset about this and declare war on poor Krazy. Krazy Kat goes solo in this adventure with no Ignatz in sight. Krazy is also sporting a new and very different look more reminisent of early Disney cartoons.
The Farmerette (June 11, 1932)
The Farmerette is a black and white sound cartoon that runs a little over six minutes. The Farmerette is Miss Kitty, a sexy flapper Betty Boop imitation, who comes to Farmer Goat’s unproductive farm. Miss Kitty sings and dances and wakes up the lazy farm animals. From her first words, “Here I am, big boy!” to the swing of her shapely hips, Miss Kitty is pure big city confidence and loads of fun.
Puss in Boots (May 17, 1934)
This seven minute 13 second color cartoon was produced and directed by legendary cartoonist and animator Ub Iwerks. In this twist on the classic fairy tale, a bagpiper rescues Puss in Boot’s three kittens and Puss repays him by helping the piper rescue a princess held captive by a giant ogre. This animated short is fifth in a small collection that includes : Opening Night, A Robin Romeo, Betty Boop’s Birthday Party, and Flip the Frog: Movie Mad. The first four are all black and white, Puss in Boots is the only cartoon in this bunch that is in color. But do not just watch Puss, take a gander at the other four shirts – they are all great fun.
Dick Whittington’s Cat (May 30, 1936)
This color animated short directed by Ub Iwerks is based on the popular English folklore surrounding real-life Richard Whittington, wealthy baker and later the Lord Mayor of London. In this color cartoon which runs seven minutes 25 seconds (ten minutes 36 seconds in the ASL version) Dick works for a cruel cook. Young Dick befriends and feeds a stray cat until the cook catches him and orders him to throw the cat in the river. Instead, Dick hides the cat in a chest and puts him on a ship. The cat saves the ship from being overrun by rats then, after arriving in a far off land, the cat saves the local king from a horde of rats. This adventurous cartoon also has a version with American Sign Language.
A Tale of Two Kitties (November 21, 1942)
This was one of my favorite cartoons when I was growing up. I love comic team Abbott and Costello and this color cartoon, which runs six minutes 39 seconds, is the first appearance of their animated alter egos. This short also features the first ever appearance of Tweety Bird. Tweety was originally pink but censors complained he looked too naked so his color was changed to yellow. This cartoon has some great slap stick gags as well as some classic lines such as: Tweety exclaiming in surprise, “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!”, Catstello moaning, “I’m a baaaaad pussy cat!”, and Tweety boasting, “Aw, da poor puddy tat. He cah-wushed his widdle head!”. Legendary Mel Blanc is the voice for Catstello and Tweety while Tedd Pierce is Babbit. A Tale of Two Kitties is the first of four in a small collection which includes: The Early Worm Gets the Bird (warning – extremely racist!), Wackiki Wabbit, and A Day at the Zoo.
Naughty But Mice (October 10, 1947)
Naughty but Mice features Herman the Mouse and Katnip the Cat as a city mouse helping his country cousins to get rid of the cat that has been harassing them. While all of these early animated shorts contain scenes of violence the Herman and Katnip series was renown for reaching levels of violence that surpassed even Tom and Jerry. This cartoon is not too bad although poor Katnip meets his end. Naughty but Mice is in Technicolor and runs six minutes 43 seconds.
Texas Tom (March 11, 1950)
This animated short stars classic cartoon duo Tom and Jerry. There are 164 shorts in this series spanning 1940 to 2014 as well as five different television series, a 1992 feature length film, and twelve direct to video films. While Tom and Jerry have been criticized for violence and racial stereotypes this series has also won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons a whopping seven times and been nominated another six times. In Texas Tom, Tom is a cowcat who enjoys tormenting Jerry Mouse. Then a lovely cowgirl cat arrives. With Tom’s attention diverted, Jerry takes the advantage to get his revenge. Texas Tom is directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Texas Tom is also in color and runs six minutes 29 seconds.
These animated shorts are just chock full of Cats going wild. But tender-hearted cartoon fans should be warned: there is a lot of violence in these early cartoons. Characters are slapped, punched, choked, tied up, knifed, thrown in a well and more. Some of these cartoons are in black and white, some in color. Video quality ranges from fuzzy and blurry to crystal clear. Audio quality is pretty good on all (even the silent shorts have a musical sound track). Of course, the best thing about these animated shorts is that they are all FREE in the Public Domain. Just click on the following links to go to the Internet Archive and watch online or download.