It is no secret that humans adore cats, and with good reason. We are ferocious hunters in a gorgeous package. Despite what you may think, veneration of cats predates the Internet significantly, as anyone who has studied the ancient Egyptians can tell you. Sometimes, humans let us inspire them in new and creative ways, and we end up with fictional felines who are worthy of the name. Below are my favorite.
All three long-time readers probably remember my review of the character’s eponymous movie. While Black Panther may be a man with a fancy suit, he channels the spirit of the panther, nature’s most bad-ass animal, and he rules over a country where basically everything has a panther on it. This level of dedication is truly moving.
Cheetara and the ThunderCats
The whole show revolves around a group of warrior cats whose names are bad variations of feline species. What’s not to love? Sure, they may be anthropomorphic, and they may run around with human weapons, but this is an understandable symptom of a humancentric view of the world. ThunderCats still rock.
Meanwhile, the Cathar are an entire race of cats in the Star Wars universe. You know what that means, don’t you? Cats with lightsabers! We’ve reached maximum coolness.
The Warriors books
Finally, cats who are allowed to keep their gracious feline form! These books follow clans of wild cats evolving in a world much like our own. It is the ultimate back-to-nature fantasy for kitties of my ilk.
Honorable mentions: Cheetor in Beast Wars: Transformers, Trini the original yellow Power Ranger (she of the saber-toothed tiger), Luna and Artemis in Sailor Moon, and Jake the cat from outer space.