Is Garfield a real cat?

Garfield is an enormously popular fictional cat from the imagination of Jim Davis. But that isn't the complete story in my opinion. I believe that Garfield is a ginger tabby cat. Ginger tabby cats are very real. Garfield is real in the sense that there are real versions of him everywhere. Ginger tabbies are normally considered to be savvy and leaders of other cats in colonies. They are sometimes called red tabbies.

Garfield
Garfield. Picture now in the public domain. Disagree? Please comment.



It is interesting to note that Davis named Garfield after his grandfather whose name was James A. Garfield Davis. Before he created Garfield, Davis tried a comic strip about a gnat. It didn't work out and decided to choose a cat as a cartoon character because he "noticed there were a lot of comic strip dogs who were commanding their share of the comic pages but precious few cats."

I have no record of this, but I suspect that Davis looked at pictures of cats to choose a suitable coat colour and pattern as a basis for his character. Or he may have seen a stray cat or his neighbour may have had a red tabby cat. He must have known about the red tabby because Garfield is certainly one. Garfield is orange but then sometimes red tabby cats are also called orange tabbies! And even yellow tabbies! You get the drift.

A ginger tabby cat called Garfield
A ginger tabby cat called Garfield. Photo: his human guardian.

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Wikipedia says that Garfield is a Persian purebred cat. I would argue that that is unlikely because Garfield's personality is almost the opposite to that of the Persian which is rather sensitive and genteel. Garfield was always playing cruel tricks and was selfish and hedonistic. Wikipedia describes him as lazy, smug, sarcastic with a passion for human food. Not a Persian :) .

Davies drew the cartoon strips 8 to 10 weeks in advance of publication. In 2021 this comic character is still running daily which is remarkable considering his continued popularity and the fact that he was launched on June 19, 1978.

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