Feed the Kitty
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|Feed the Kitty|
Title card of Feed the Kitty.
|Directed by||Charles M. Jones|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer|
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Ken Harris|
|Layouts by||Robert Gribbroek|
|Backgrounds by||Philip DeGuard|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|February 2, 1952 (USA)|
Feed the Kitty is a Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese, in which bulldog Marc Antony adopts Pussyfoot, a kitten (unnamed in this cartoon), whom he attempts to hide from his owner. The cartoon was released theatrically on February 2, 1952, and in 1994 was voted #36 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.
Marc Anthony, a massive-chested bulldog, tries to intimidate a cute little stray kitten with his ferocious barking and grimacing. Not only is the kitten not frightened, she climbs right up on the dog's back and prepares to nestle herself in his fur. Despite wincing at her kneading, Marc instantly falls for the sleeping kitten and decides to adopt her, bringing her home with him.
Upon his arrival, his human owner (voiced by Bea Benaderet), tired of picking up his things, orders him not to bring one more thing inside the house. As she reprimands him, Marc Anthony discreetly hides the kitten under a bowl. Much of the cartoon centers on the kitten keeping several steps ahead of the dog, continually getting into things around the house and coming very close to alerting Marc Anthony's owner of her presence, with the dog employing numerous tactics to hide or disguise her as common household items. As the woman becomes increasingly confused by her dog's suddenly odd behavior, the kitten continues to play.
After a while, Marc Anthony takes the kitten into the kitchen and attempts to scold her, but quickly forgets his anger when she playfully reaches for his wagging finger. However, when he hears his owner walking toward the kitchen, he hastily hides the kitten in a flour canister and tries to look innocent. Growing tired of his antics, his owner ejects him from the kitchen and tells him to stay out while she bakes cookies. Marc Anthony watches as his owner scoops out a cup of flour, and is horrified to see that the kitten is in the measuring cup. The lady pours the flour, along with the kitten, into a mixing bowl and prepares to use an electric mixer. The dog tries several times to thwart her, finally spraying his face with whipped cream to make himself appear rabid, resulting in his disbelieving and exasperated owner throwing him out of the house. Meanwhile, the kitten climbs out of the bowl and hides behind a box of soap flakes to clean herself up.
Marc Anthony, unaware that the kitten has escaped, can only watch in horror as his owner mixes the cookie batter, rolls out the dough, cuts it into shapes and places the cookies in the oven. At each phase of the process, the poor dog becomes increasingly distressed until he finally collapses in tears, literally crying a puddle in the back yard. His mistress comes out a short time later and, believing he is crying over being disciplined, lets him back inside and tells him he has been punished enough. She attempts to console him by giving him a cookie in the shape of a cat. Stunned, Marc takes the cookie and places it on his back where the kitten had slept earlier, and bawls uncontrollably.
The kitten then walks up and meows at him. Marc Anthony, immediately overjoyed to see his friend alive, picks the kitten up and kisses her, then suddenly realizes that his owner is watching. He vainly tries to disguise the kitten like he did earlier, but the lady simply stands in front of him tapping her foot, with her hands on her hips. He finally begs at his mistress's feet and, to his surprise, she allows him to keep the kitten, sternly telling him that the kitten is completely his responsibility. At this realization, the dog appears to reconsider for a moment, but that soon passes when the kitten purrs at him, climbs onto his back again, kneads his fur and curls up to sleep. Marc Anthony smiles contentedly and tucks her in using a part of his fur as a "blanket".
Feed the Kitty is available on DVD on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 DVD box set, supplemented with an audio commentary by Greg Ford and a music-only audio track. It is also available as a bonus feature (and was discussed as an example of how Jones used personality in animation) on the DVD release of the PBS documentary entitled Extremes & Inbetweens: A Life In Animation about the life and career of director Chuck Jones. It is also available on the Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection DVD box set and the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1 Blu-ray box set.
- The 2001 Disney/Pixar film Monsters, Inc. features a scene that directly references Feed the Kitty. In this scene, Sulley, believing Boo has been crushed in a trash compactor, exhibits the same reactions as Marc Anthony in the cartoon.
- The South Park episode "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" recreates scenes from Feed the Kitty with Cartman acting as Pussyfoot and Cthulhu as Marc Anthony in his "cute kitten" routine.
- Beck, Jerry and Friedwald, Will (1989): Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Company.