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You could blame Garfield for starting it all, but you’d be missing a few details. Society as we know it got its first introduction to the personality of cats through Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The Cheshire Cat of Alice’s dark fairytale was a know-it-all troublemaker who could disappear like a mist but always leave his smirk behind.

We have been fascinated by cats ever since.

Composite-for-FB-and-TwitterMany names have made it into our pop culture, among them; Felix The Cat, Abraham Lincoln’s First Cat Tabby, Sylvester and his longtime foe Tweety-bird, Morris - a shelter rescue who went on to represent the cat food brand 9Lives throughout the 70’s - and finally, Garfield.

Perhaps the most famous of animated cats for an entire generation of cat lovers, Garfield’s persnickety observations and cool reserve earned his creator - Jim Davis - a healthy retirement plan and spawned every cartoon cat that came after him. Bloom County’s Bill the Cat was every political activist’s dream feline with his pre-Jackass style willingness to try just about anything. Today, The Oatmeal’s irreverent online comics make you think twice about that long stare your beloved cat is bestowing on you.

To cat devotees the wonders of their beloved companions is no surprise. It’s why our resource pages about Keeping Your Cat Happy Indoors and Outdoor Enclosures for Cats are so popular with our readers. Understanding cat behavior is precisely what inspired all of these famous cats to become the pop icons that they are.

Tipping the interest in cats over the edge was the recent news of the Hero Cat, a California cat who saw its human companion in trouble and sprung to action. This behavior in cats caught many people off guard but is no surprise to cat behavior specialists.

Hear Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s MY CAT FROM HELL talk about the Hero Cat

If you’re a feline fanatic and you’ve got some cats in your care, remember that the best way to protect your loved one is to spay or neuter. Why Spay & Neuter?

Curious about being a cat guardian? Visit PAWS’ adoptable pets page to find out how you can meet the perfect fit for you.

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