On February 8, 2021, our staff ended a two-week long debate on who should be in the Hall of Fame of fictional cats. Yes, you read that correctly. Honestly, it was maybe the most heated debate we’ve had in our writers room…maybe ever. After looking at a list of 30 cats, and we absolutely missed many, votes were cast, and verbal punches were thrown.
The Rules We Voted By
Of the 30 on the list, writer’s were allowed to pick seven names. Why seven? Because I said so. It’s arbitrary. So sue me. Any cat who appeared on at least 70% of ballots would be inducted. Any cat who appeared on fewer than 5% of the ballots would no longer be eligible. A cat is said to have nine lives, so our limit to cats staying on the list for future voting is nine. Every cat not inducted this time around will be down to eight lives. We also allowed a write-in slot to mention prominent kitties we may have missed.
In the first year we had 15 voters. This year we had only 10. So I decided that any cat that got a majority vote would enter. Is the rest of the staff learning about this as they read this? Yes. Because I decided it right now.
How it shook out in the first ballot
We voted in two famous felines. Garfield received 93% of the votes, followed by Tigger at 81%. And we also saw a couple leave the list. Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp and Snagglepuss from The Yogi Bear Show received 0 votes, and were removed from this year’s ballot.
We also saw some write-ins that technically saw 6% of the votes, and gained entry to this year’s ballot. Those who were then included in this year’s ballot were All 5 Aristocats (voted as a collective), Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia, and Sampson of The Church Mice.
Before we dive into the results, I wanted to give each of our voters a chance to defend their choices.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm
The only one I actually care about here is Hobbes. It was a travesty he wasn’t in on the first ballot. It feels wrong to not have at least one Lion King cat in, and Sarabi is the most badass of that entire group. The rest of my votes are mostly filler.
FIRSTLY, I only vote for women because I do want reparations and I want them in everything. SECONDLY, Pot Roast the Cat is the EMBLEM of the pandemic! She has no teeth, looks taxidermies, and has so many hats she hates I beg of you follow her just to feel something even if it is envy that two beings could have as much self-assurance as PR and PRO (Pot Roast’s owner).
I voted for just four cats this year – the Cat in the Hat, Simba, Nala and Mufasa.
I consider the Cat in the Hat one of the most iconic cats in history. I know some of my fellow voters have withheld their votes for him for reasons of morality and ethics, but I believe that his heart is in the right place and he deserves to be in the pantheon of famous cats.
As for the three cats from the Lion King, I think it’s only fair that these three, who I think are destined to be voted in at some point, go in together. I chose to not include Sarabi, as I don’t believe she reaches the same levels of notoriety as the other three, or Scar because I don’t believe that villains belong in the sacred halls of the cat Hall of Fame.
Mufasa is a legend. He’s the one true king.
Nala is a boss. She drags Simba’s sorry butt back to the pride to help defend it from his awful uncle. Without Nala, Simba stays a bachelor living in his uncles’ basement.
Grumpy cat is a meme legend. I was going for representation across generations here.
The Cheshire Cat is just so crazy that if you see him, you never forget him. Legend.
Bagheera, while a panther, represents all parents (even if he wasn’t Mowgli’s parent). He’s wise, thoughtful, protective, and his kid just won’t listen to him. In the end he was right.
Tony the Tiger just because my kids like Frosted Flakes, and so do I.
Pink Panther is a classic. Also, he’s weirdly the mascot of insulation for houses. He’s got crossover appeal.
Grumpy Cat better not turn into the Barry Bonds of this bunch. If you have a cat hall of fame, the guy’s name has CAT in it so what gives? 18% last year is just despicable. Is there some scandal with Grump I’m not aware of?
His name is Bustopher.
Kevin Michael Morin
While Mufasa is obviously king, Nala is the reason Pride Rock is able to return to any kind of glory. I’ll admit, I was upset Hobbes didn’t make it in first ballot, and Cheshire Cat and Bahgeera are legit legends. All 5 Aristocats were a write in last year, but got enough votes on their own to stay on the ballot. And if you don’t think Sassy is the reason Chance and Shadow were able to get home you’re out of your minds.
Hobbes is fundamentally the perfect feline to enter the Cats Hall of Fame. Fully imaginary, and yet unbelievably real to everyone who experiences him. Always pointing us in the direction of mischief while simultaneously representing our inner fears of doing wrong. Wears sunglasses like a boss. No notes.
I’m voting Meowth because Meowth’s in-game description is LITERALLY “Meowth, the Scratch Cat Pokemon”, and like…it sounds like a lyric from Cats, you know?
Aslan, the ultimate boss and bringer of the meme from the BBC Narnia adaptations “do not cite the deep magic to me, witch. I was there when it was written.” Something that becomes more and more relevant as I get older and more “get off my lawn”-y
Cats Don’t Dance is my favorite animated movie of all time. It’s also my favorite musical movie of all time. It is, without question, the best movie ever made about dancing Cats. It is an allegory for racism in old hollywood, it is a movie that inspires us to treat others better, and it feature Scott Bakula as a singing and dancing cat named Danny on a quest to be a Hollywood star. Danny is literally everything The Turf was founded to support in Cat culture and if Danny isn’t voted in then there is no God and no justice.
Mufasa and Simba- Lineage of Royalty, the king and the return of the prodical son to royalty. Please respect the crown
Tom because I don’t want to see the door slammed in his face yet again. He desrves to get his mouse. Hall of famer in my book.
Cat in the Hat because Dr. Suess is a HOFer
Meowth was really held back by team rocket but he dominated the feline world in original 151 pokemon. A amaster at communication and docile enough to tarvel freely outside of a poke ball.
Chester Cheetah Hall of famer for the orange dust left on your fingers after all cheetos have been consumed.
Sassy. A house cat braving the wild and dealing with Shadow. Sassy is an understatement.
So just to recap. In Year One the barrier for entry was 70%. This year, we had 2/3 the voters we had last year. So I decided to skew everything and make it so that any cat with a majority vote would be inducted. So that’s 51%, just for that to be clear.
There are two reasons I decided upon this. The first is that it would be incredibly difficult for any cat to get on 70% of the ballots with only 10 voters. Second is no cat that was not inducted last year were on more than 50% of the ballots, so I wouldn’t be creating a situation in which we shafted a kitty who got those votes last year. And, really, 51% should be the absolute bare minimum.
The sad goodbyes
As I mentioned previously, a cat needed 5% to stay on the ballot for the following year. Since 5% isn’t possible with 10 voters, 10% would have been the barrier, as that’s the equivalent of being on just one ballot. So this year we say goodbye to Scar, Sylvester, Topcat, MGM Lion, Princess Carolyn, Milo, and Sampson. RIP you sweet lil kitties.
Since it only takes 5% to get onto the ballot, any write-ins were going to become immediately eligible for next year’s ballot. So today I’d like to congratulate Pot Roast the TikTok cat, Bustopher Jones, and Danny from Cats Don’t Dance for officially making it on to our year three ballot.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for
So who will be joining Garfield and Tigger in this incredibly coveted hall of fangs? After such vitriol being spewed at the exclusion of Hobbes and The Cat in the Hat last year, were they able to get over the edge? Could Mufasa surpass the 50% he gained last year and make his stampede trampling worth it?
The answer my friends lies in the stupidity that is Hall of Fame voting in general. Instead of figuring out how to create a genuine rubric, we rely on the subjectivity of voters to put someone over the threshold and into the Hall. And because of that, genuinely qualified and talented people get left out. I’m still incensed that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will never be in the MLB Hall of Fame, and that Pete Rose still isn’t even eligible to be voted in.
So, if you haven’t picked up what I just put down. The answer is this.
No cats will be entering via the Fictional Feline Hall of Fame on this second ballot. Poor Mufasa got exactly 50% of the vote again, while six cats landed on 40% of the ballots. They are Simba, Nala, Hobbes, Cat in the Hat, Bagheera, and Tony the Tiger.
I’ll leave you with the final table. And I’d say I’m sorry for wasting your time, but doesn’t the BBWAA do that to us ever year?
- / 12 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.