"The cat is above all things, a dramatist."
- Margaret Benson
If you've seen the trailer for the sequel to Cats & Dogs, you know the film's antagonist is a cunning feline with a diabolical plan to enslave all mankind. The villain in The Revenge of Kitty Galore, which opens Friday is a hairless feline voiced by Bette Midler, who purrs it on.
So, what's up with the evil cats? Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years. (French archaeologists discovered the 9,500-year-old remains of a cat interred with its owner in Cyprus.) Cats outnumber dogs (81.7 million versus 72 million) in U.S. households, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. And it wasn't that long ago that LOLcats were the rage.
Poor kitties. I smell a public relations rat.
Here are some of pop culture's favorite bad cats:
Lucifer in Cinderella: Lucifer belonged to Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and the cat played a role in trying to keep Cinderella away from her royal beau.
Tom of Tom and Jerry: Tom isn't exactly a poster cat for the cunningness of felines. At odds with Jerry since 1939, Tom's generally the loser when he tries to match wits and skills with the mouse.
Mr. Bigglesworth in the Austin Powers series: When you're the companion animal to a guy named Dr. Evil, you've got to expect some fallout. That's what happened to Mr. Bigglesworth: His long white hair fell out after a cryogenics calamity.
Scratchy of The Simpsons: Sure, Scratchy's on the ouch-y end of Itchy's murderous antics, which makes him less evil than the mouse. But, dang, what a loser.
Cat in the Hat: Created by Dr. Seuss, the fashion-forward Cat in the Hat is, of course, more mischievous than evil. Then again, maybe Fish would disagree.
Azrael of The Smurfs: Every great bad guy needs a sidekick. Azrael is the sorcerer Gargamel's sidekick and, as such, his goal is to eat a Smurf. (Note to Azrael: Smurfs taste like chicken. Don't ask how we know.)