Saturday 9 June 2012

Desdemona Cartoon Cat

Desdemona was a cartoon cat in a comic strip called Mutt & Jeff. Desdemona belonged to Cicero, who was the son of Mutt. Incidentally, this is not the cartoon "Mutt & Jeff", the videos of which you see on YouTube. However the Mutt & Jeff detectives starring in this movie cartoon were created by Bud Fisher and the creator of Desdemona was created by Al Smith who took over (after ghosting?) from Bud Fisher. Therefore, there is clearly a link and continuity. Nor, by the way, is she the cat that was seen with Cicero on November 18th 1907. It is a bit complicated as you can see.
Cicero's Cat

Desdemona made her debut on December 3rd 1933 in Cicero's Cat. It was "tacked onto" the Mutt & Jeff Sunday comic strip. The strip varied from one row to a half page of panels. It was mainly a two panel comic strip. In was (is?) a long lasting comic strip because it was still around in 1991, when it was a single panel.

Desdemona is a white cat with fine black stripes (the stripes are so close together she looks almost black!). A weird kind of tabby cat, then.  More so because she likes to wear and a hat and coat. She likes milk and likes to hang out in Kat Alley to avoid dogs.

She believes in animal rights (perhaps so does Al Smith, therefore!) and can read but not speak to people. She wants to help chickens being sent to slaughter. She can speak to animals though.  Typical of the domestic cat she likes to sleep. She studies military strategy to catch mice but fails to execute the plan properly because she falls asleep.

Al Smith

Desdemona likes to play but it can lead to the destruction of the toys such as Christmas tree ornaments which she swats.

In one cartoon strip each panel carries a one word description:
  1. Picture: Cheese is set out and a fan used to send the smell down a mouse hole. Caption: Breeze.
  2. One mouse comes out of the hole and Desdemona sniffs it. Caption: Tease.
  3. Mouse runs and Desdemona chases. Caption: Flees.
  4. She peers into the mouse hole. Caption: Sees.
  5. She falls asleep. Caption: Z's.
  6. Her tail is pulled through the mouse hole and knotted. Caption: Seize.
  7. She begs in a wheeze for the mice to let her go. Caption: Please!
Desdemona also featured in the Mutt & Jeff comic book from 1939-45. These were one page adventures.

Al Smith and Cicero's cat cartoon strip courtesy of

Associated: Cartoon Cats.

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