April 19th is the official birthday of one of America’s favorite animated kitties: Sylvester the Cat. The lisping tuxie has been entertaining us since 1945, and has appeared in hundreds of cartoons, as well as movies, television shows, and comics. A Spring Hill, TN vet discusses the black-and-white celebrekitty in this article.
A Purrfect Career
Sylvester has been acting since 1945, and it’s probably safe to say he has a few more projects up his furry sleeve. The kitty’s screen credits are actually quite impressive. During the golden age of animation, he appeared in 103 shorts, three of which won Academy Awards. (Even Bugs Bunny, the star of the show, didn’t get that many.) Another distinction? Sylvester has somehow managed to die more times than any other Looney Toons character.
Movies aside, Sylvester plays an important role closer to home. The tuxedo kitty appears on the emblems of the 151st Air Refueling and Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons, both of which operate out of McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville under the Tennessee Air National Guard 134th Air Refueling Wing.
First created by Friz Freleng, Sylvester has spent decades trying to be a better hunter, a better cat, and even a better father. He’s been voiced by nearly a dozen different actors, though it was Mel Blanc who created the furball’s iconic lisp.
What is Sylvester’s backstory? Well, the Baby Looney Tunes series portrayed the character’s kittenhood. However, The Looney Tunes Show delved deeper into the lisping feline’s past. The show depicted him reunited with his mother, a Florida resident who is concerned over her son’s bachelor status and failure to catch Tweety. It clearly didn’t help matters that Sylvester’s brother, Alan, was much more successful.
Though Sylvester has spent most of his numerous lives chasing Tweety, he occasionally shows a kinder, gentler side. For instance, he’s determined to teach his son, Sylvester Junior, the ins and outs of hunting. (Unfortunately, Sylvester chose a baby kangaroo instead of a mouse to demonstrate his skills on, but that’s another story.)
Sylvester eventually decided to become the bigger cat. He eventually stopped trying to eat Tweety, admitting his fondness for his feathered adversary. Whether that truce holds up remains to be seen. Fingers cwossed!
Do you have questions about your kitty’s health or care? Contact us, your Spring Hill, TN animal hospital, today!