Friday, July 17, 2009

Long live cat worship

Cats have always attracted some degree of reverence. The Ancient Egyptians would worship the cat, and set up temples in its honour. One thinks of the Batman’s villain, Catwoman. In Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, it is the cat which provides an otherwise meek and timid woman with a villainous, dangerous, and menacing streak. The suggestion is that cats have a mythical, magical, and somewhat unnerving quality to them. The most obvious exception to this in popular culture would be Garfield. Garfield is for all intents and purposes a feline couch potato. He makes no excuses for his lazily laissez faire approach to life, which includes regular servings of lasagna and constant pranks on Odi, his live-in hound. Garfield gives us a glimpse of a mythical, powerful creature that has become unapologetically ordinary and quotidian.