Garfield is probably the most famous ginger cat of them all, and today we’re celebrating his birthday! But is Garfield a stereotypical ginger cat or not?
Who is Garfield the Cat?
Let’s find out all we need to know about Garfield.
- History: Garfield was created by cartoonist Jim Davis and debuted in a comic strip in 1978. Since then, the fat ginger cat has had his own books, a cartoon series and even computer animated movies. Garfield was born in an Italian restaurant on 19 June 1978, which could explain why he loves lasagne so much – although he loves most food, lasagne is definitely his favourite. When Jon Arbuckle brought him home from a pet shop, he didn’t know what had hit him, and Jon spends most of his time being teased by Garfield.
- Personality: Not your typical sweet and fluffy cartoon cat, Garfield is proud to be lazy, sarcastic and cynical! His long-suffering owner Jon and Jon’s other pet, Odie the dog, are usually the butt of Garfield’s sarcasm.
- Likes: Sleeping, food (especially lasagne), sleeping, poking fun at Jon and Odie, snoozing, his teddy bear Pooky, napping. Did I mention he likes to sleep?
- Dislikes: Mondays, anything too strenuous, raisins, dieting, Nermal the tabby kitten who likes to visit. Despite his relentless teasing toward Jon and Odie, I think he loves them really.
Is Garfield a Typical Ginger Cat?
Garfield is definitely a typical ginger cat in terms of the fact that he’s male! You might have heard that ginger female cats are rare, and that’s because ginger cats are much more likely to be male – and it’s all in the genes. Put simply, the orange colour (or O) gene is carried on the X chromosome, of which female cats have two and male cats only one. This means that for a female cat to be pure orange, she needs the O gene on both her X chromosomes, from both her father and her mother, but a male cat only needs the O gene on the one X chromosome he gets from his mother. So both cat parents have to possess the ginger gene to result in a ginger female.
Amber – Our Special Ginger Girl
In 2012, we were specifically looking for a ginger female to add to our feline family. We live in a city of over 2 million people and at the time, there were no female ginger kittens listed or available at any rescue organisations or shelters. Online, we found two female ginger kittens in other cities within our State, the first one was located 970 kms (603 miles) away, and the other was at a shelter 635 kms (395 miles) north of where we live. Amber was a Mother’s Day present for my mum, so we adopted her based on a photo and arranged for her flight to our nearest airport so we could pick her up. I remember how vocal and excited she was to see us after her journey, it was a big adventure for a 10-week-old kitten. From our experience, ginger girls are hard to find, but that just makes them all the more special.
What About Other Ginger Cat Traits?
Let’s look at some of the things people say about ginger cats. Now as we all know, all cats are unique and take pleasure in behaving in ways that are unexpected to us, but these are some (non-scientific) suggestions about common ginger cat behaviour:
- Fiery tempered – Well, they say that about red-headed humans, don’t they? Garfield is so laid back he’s almost horizontal, unless someone else eats the last piece of lasagne.
- Intolerant – Garfield certainly doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and by fools, I’m obviously referring to Jon and Odie.
- Laid back to the point of laziness – He takes cat napping to the extreme!
- Confident – Garfield is definitely confident in who he is, and is never scared when he meets new people.
Fiery tempered, intolerant, laid-back and confident…. Based on Amber’s temperament and personality we’d agree with all of these except confidence, although maybe she’ll develop this as she gets a little older.
What do you think? What personality traits best describe the ginger cat/s in your life? Please share below.
Top Image: Jeremy Brooks via Flickr.