Categories: Cartoon Cats

Fat Freddy’s Cat

Fat Freddy's Cat

Fat Freddy's cat was an underground comic cat. He was a "scrawny orange cat" with a black striped tail. He was clever and funny. He belonged to Freddy of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Freddy's siblings were Franklin and Phineas. In fact he first appeared in "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers."

Fat Freddy's cat has not got a name. I guess that had to be case by the way he is referred to. He talked to the reader and other human characters in the comic but they did not understand him.

He is a typical, adventurous, outdoor cat it seems; prowling the streets at night, invariably getting in to fights and chasing females.

He sings:

I'm an ornery cuss
and I'm so full of piss
if I don't like your looks
I'll hit you with this!

That actually sounds as if the creator, Gilbert Sheldon, was not that fond cats but he did understand them (see below); just a thought. Gilbert Sheldon also created Wonder Wart-Hog.

This cat likes to taunt Freddy through bad behavior such as peeing on Freddy's typewriter or smarter stuff such as performing clever acrobatic tricks and then when his human companion wants to photograph him he sits still (I can relate to that, incidentally).

Like a number of real life cats, Fat Freddy's cat drinks water from the toilet. If a human fails to flush the toilet after use he pees in their drink! He is a bit malicious, it seems, at times.

He gets his own way in relation to food by employing another trick. If his food is not up to standard, he unplugs the fridge. The human food goes off and gets thrown out. The cat takes the thrown out human food. This by the way presupposes that a domestic cat would eat human food that has spoiled - don't be so sure. In fact my experience tells me it would not happen today but perhaps in the 1970s it would have!

He doesn't like dry cat food, a dirty litter box or being called "kitty". I can understand all three. If the litter box is dirty he might defecate on Freddy's pillow or in his boots, in the flower pot or in the stereo headphones.

As is the case for real life cats he can detect when a can of cat food is being opened from a good distance.

The comic strip in which he appeared, "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" (The Freak Brothers) was published in the L.A. Free-Press in 1967. The cat strip was "tagged on" to the paper.

The Freak Brothers featured in a successful six issue comic book starting 1971 published by Rip Off Press. They also published five issues of The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat from 1977 to 1980 and again in 1988.

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Fat Freddy's Cat

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Jul 27, 2010 Thanks
by: Michael

Thanks Finn for your interesting input. And, yes, I think I am changing my mind about the creator not liking cats. As you say he certainly understood cats and that probably means he liked them.

Jul 27, 2010 The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Oh yeah, Fat Freddy's cat was so cool! I recall one comic where Fat Freddy searches his house for the poo he believes the cat has hidden somewhere. As he doesn't find anything, he decides he has been unfair and serves an extra dish of food. While eating the cat thinks to itself, 'Just wait till he pulls his boots on...'

Besides some great rock bands, the San Francisco 1967 'Summer of Love' had spin-offs in many other art forms like the underground comics of Gilbert Sheldon. His comics were a bit too daring for the coffee table and very much belonged to that hippy era, which is probably why many may not know them.

It was not exactly a cartoon for cat lovers, because the poor cat regularly experienced all kinds of horrible accidents like getting electricuted, which caused it to look like a rotating furball. Still I think Sheldon was a cat lover, as he has some great observations - and also the cat is clearly the smartest of the bunch.

Jul 26, 2010 USA
by: Michael

Fat Freddy's Cat is an American Cat. The source material is an American book.

Gilbert Shelton the creator was born May 31, 1940, Houston, Texas. He is an American cartoonist and underground comix artist. He is the creator of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy's Cat, Wonder Wart-Hog, Not Quite Dead, and the cover art to The Grateful Dead's 1978 album Shakedown Street.

Jul 26, 2010 Fat Freddy's Cat
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Michael, That post was hilarious! I'd never heard of this cartoon cat before. Did it originate in the USA or the UK?

The UK cat I love is Simon the Cat. He cracks me up. I wonder what the chance is in reviving Freddy's Cat?

Jul 26, 2010 I kept smiling as I was reading!
by: Tracey (England)

Michael I found that post very interesting! I also found it extremely amusing! I'd never before heard of fat Freddys cat he's great!

I think we can all associate his antics with our own cats (except the fridge thing)

I've even googled him!

They ought to resurrect him in a cartoon, he'd be really popular! I for one would definately tune in! I also think that he would lend the much maligned cat of today a bit more credibility. He would make cats appear to be a lot more intelligent and even fun rather than the poor victims that they appear to be more and more; especially the ferals.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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