NewsWorld Cat Day: The ten most influential kitties in...

World Cat Day: The ten most influential kitties in the world

Created: 08/05/2022 Updated: 8/5/2022 4:31 p.m

Larry, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.
Larry, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. © AFP

They are naturally present on the Internet, stroke important personalities from politics and society or boost business as advertising icons: For International Cat Day on Monday, we are showing ten of the most influential cats in the world

chief hunter

“Larry”, or to be more correct: “The Right Honorable Larry”, has been doing his job at 10 Downing Street since 2011. The London office of the British Prime Minister must be kept mouse-free; it is also important to entertain media professionals waiting in front of the building and to let them film and photograph you. The current “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office” has a website, a Twitter account and is the title character of at least one illustrated book. What “Larry” thinks of his master Boris Johnson is not known. And not that important anymore, because soon someone new will be moving in here. sha


Karl Lagerfeld mit seine Birma Katze Choupette.
Karl Lagerfeld with his Birman cat Choupette. © picture alliance / Eventpress

Karl Lagerfeld once complained that his “Choupette” was more famous than himself. Of course, the fashion designer was anything but innocent: not only did he approve of a “Choupette” diary on Twitter and had her accounts set up on Facebook and Instagram, he also gave the white Birman cat an image as a caviar-eating diva with her own chef and bodyguard. She became a media star and “gave” interviews. After Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, she was taken into the care of a friend. sha

world ruler

Die allgegenwärtige Hello Kitty.
The ubiquitous Hello Kitty. © picture alliance / dpa

This Japanese cartoon cat actually seems quite harmless: black lines on a white background, plus a little bow, mostly in pink. Who would have thought that she would take over the world? Hello Kitty, whose real but lesser-known name is Kitty White, was created by designer Yuko Shimizu in 1974 and has since graced almost every product imaginable. From sneakers to waffle irons, Miss Kitty has it all in her iron claw. valentine


Statue der ägyptischen Göttin Bastet.
Statue of the Egyptian goddess Bastet. © IMAGO/piemags

“Bastet” is the name of the daughter of the sun god Re, depicted as a cat in Egyptian mythology. Initially depicted as a lioness, she was later mostly seen as a less frightening sitting velvet paw. As a cult, mummified cats are said to have been sacrificed to the goddess, who stood for fertility and love and thus also for the protection of pregnant women. But there are also more positive things that have been handed down: Every year, ancient Egypt celebrated a lavish festival in honor of “Bastet”. sha


Winkekatzen sind in vielen asiatischen Ländern Glücksbringer.
Waving cats are lucky charms in many Asian countries. © PantherMedia / apolobay

Before. Return. Before. Return. Before. To… – ahem! Anyone who watches the golden waving cat for too long can fall into a trance. The originally Japanese lucky charm “Maneki-neko” often guards the shop windows of shops and restaurants. There she is supposed to lure the customers inside with her hypnotic paw play. It is particularly popular in Japan, China, Taiwan and Thailand, but it is also a constant greeting from the counters of many Asian restaurants in this country. valentine

Animated film star

Als Zeichentrickfigur verewigt, als Graffiti gehuldigt.
Immortalized as a cartoon character, paid homage to as graffiti. © picture alliance / imageBROKER

“Paulchen Panther”, as the pink big cat is called in the German version of the animated series, has enriched our language with one or two sayings, such as: “Who turned the clock, is it really that late?” Doesn’t sound right away the associated melody in your ear? The colorful character originally comes from the opening credits of Blake Edwards’ crime comedy “The Pink Panther” from 1963. Because audiences and critics were enthusiastic, the lithe animal soon took on the leading role in his own films. sha

bringer of bad luck

Wer so lieb schaut kann doch kein Pech bringen oder?
Anyone who looks so nice can’t bring bad luck, can they? © PantherMedia / lifeonwhite

A black cat from the left brings bad luck? For mice or garden birds, this is probably true every now and then – apart from that, it is probably the other way around: the superstition that has been widespread among people for centuries has plunged many a black-furred kitty into misery. In the Middle Ages, animals were even burned at the stake. Far away times? Nice. But the jet-black specimens are said to be much more difficult to find in animal shelters today. sha


Hier ausnahmsweise mal gut gelaunt: Garfield.
Here for once in a good mood: Garfield. © picture alliance/United Archives

“Garfield”, the protagonist of Jim Davis’ comic strip of the same name, likes to sleep and eat – especially lasagna. Externally an “orange bacon with stripes”, as owner Jon once disrespectfully described him to the veterinarian, the character head comments on what is happening around him laconically and sarcastically. Clearly the master of the house, he communicates in thought bubbles that are not understood by those around him, but are understood by other animals. Although “Garfield” usually moves, sits and lies down like a tomcat, the facial expressions and gestures are those of a human being – which is what makes this hybrid creature so appealing. sha

web phenomenon

Für immer im Herzen des Internets: Grumpy Cat.
Forever at the Heart of the Internet: Grumpy Cat. © Getty Images via AFP

“Tardar Sauce” was her original name, but in 2012 she became world famous as “Grumpy Cat”. Her unique facial expression was the result of genetically determined feline short stature. Fame began with a photo, followed by a YouTube video, and in no time the supposedly fierce animal was a social media star with an audience of millions. Owner Tabatha Bunden, an American, soon got overwhelmed by the hype. She employed a manager to handle public relations for “Grumpy Cat” and to coordinate her promotional schedule. The business with fan items such as T-shirts and stuffed animals was also booming, and several books were published. Was “Grumpy” as grumpy as she looked? In any case, she died in 2019 at the age of only seven. sha


Da hat wohl jemand Hunger...
Somebody must be hungry… © Canongate Books / Simon Tofield

“Simon’s Cat” has no words, but many strong gestures. The pet likes to point its paw at its wide open mouth; or it pushes its master, using the whole cat’s body, to the gaping empty bowl. The unambiguous (and dramatic) statement: “I’M HUNGRY!!! FEED ME!!! NOW!!!” It is varied again and again in the cartoons and strips by the British illustrator Simon Tofield, from which numerous books and videos have emerged. sha

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