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Blofeld's Cat is a white blue-eyed Turkish Angora or Persian cat which belongs to the founder and head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. It often sits in his lap, and is the only thing, animal or human, that Blofeld displays any real affection for. The cat has become a cultural icon in its own right, and has become a regular fixture in the series, becoming one of the most frequently recurring characters... as well as the only non-human character to appear in multiple films including the non-EON Never Say Never Again. It is often presumed to be a tom cat, however this is not stated in the films, apart from For Your Eyes Only, where he is named "Solomon".

In some scenes, especially in Thunderball, we are more likely to see Blofeld's cat than Blofeld's face.

History[]

Thunderball - SPECTRE lair 8

The cat sits on Blofeld's lap in Thunderball

Along with Blofeld, the cat made its debut in From Russia with Love and has appeared with the villain in every film appearance since (except for one). Although implied to be loyal to its owner, there have been a few scenes that indicate that said loyalty was not absolute. One scene was in You Only Live Twice when the base was discovered to be under attack by ninjas, where the cat is struggling to get out of Blofeld's arms (an unscripted reaction to the sudden explosions). Another was right before Blofeld's presumed death in For Your Eyes Only, where the cat is seen making a run for it when Bond reveals his survival and flies toward Blofeld. It was initially a convention of the films not to show Blofeld's face, only a close-up of him stroking his cat (this is also the basis of the rationale for assuming the unidentified man killed by Bond in the opening sequence of For Your Eyes Only is Blofeld). The cat is also seen in Never Say Never Again. It has a brief appearance in Spectre, where it jumps onto a captive James Bond's lap as the latter's adoptive older brother, Franz Oberhauser, reveals his change of identity.

On-set photograph of Jan Werich from You Only Live Twice

Jan Werich with cat in You Only Live Twice

The cat is absent from No Time to Die which is the first Bond film in which Blofeld is seen without his cat. In Diamonds Are Forever, more than one cat appears owing to Blofeld's duplicates each having one of their own.

In Diamonds are Forever, Blofeld's cat features heavily in the title sequence, opening with a shot of its face, then eye which cuts to a diamond. Later we see it bedecked with diamonds.

Blofeld's cat and the Thunderball controversy[]

SolomonFyeo3

Solomon decides to defect.

Blofeld's cat forms part of the controversy over Thunderball. Kevin McClory fought for the rights to the story, and to the characters including Blofeld. Blofeld's cat did not appear in Ian Fleming's books, but did appear in the films, so McClory considered it to be part of his creation.

Thus, the cat's official last appearance in Eon productions, before Daniel Craig's tenure, was in Diamonds are Forever. But there are two eighties appearances related to the McClory affair:

  • Firstly, in For Your Eyes Only, an Eon film in which a Blofeld clone character appears with a cat called Solomon. The man was not officially Blofeld at the time, but is clearly based on him. The Blofeld clone is later unceremoniously dumped down a chimney by Bond using a helicopter, but not before Solomon the Cat manages to escape from him (and so survives). This is an injoke by Eon about dumping the Blofeld character, and thus McClory.
  • Secondly, in Never Say Never Again, a non-Eon film which McClory was involved in. Here the cat appears clearly with Blofeld and there is little doubt who it is. However, this film was not part of the Eon continuity.

If McClory had succeeded in making his second Thunderball remake known as Warhead 2000, before his death, then it is likely the cat could have reappeared in the 1990s.

The cat would not appear again for many years after this, until McClory himself had died, and the legal rights were settled. It reappears in Spectre in 2015, and shows some friendliness to Bond, before being taken away by Blofeld. This is its last appearance to date.

Solomon[]

The Solomon name is controversial since it appears with the parody of the Blofeld character mentioned above. However, it has associations with King Solomon of the Bible, who was noted for his wisdom, and more importantly wealth.

Video games[]

Blofeld (GoldenEye - Rogue Agent)

As featured in GoldenEye Rogue Agent

The cat's first appearance was in the 2004 first-person shooter video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, developed by EA LA and published by Electronic Arts. During its development official footage of character renders released by the publisher featured the terrorist leader 'Number One' holding his Persian Cat, with the likeness of Donald Pleasence. Because of the McClory controversy, there was some licence, and the character could not be called Blofeld, although he holds the trademark cat.

Behind the scenes[]

Blofeldscat

A rare shot of the cat without Blofeld

Due to the length of the series, a number of cats have performed this role. Even within the individual films themselves, multiple cats have played the role. The scene in Diamonds are Forever called for more than one cat to be onscreen at a time.

PanickedcatYOLT

A genuinely terrified cat trying to get out of Donald Pleasence's arms

During the filming of the big final battle in You Only Live Twice, the cat that played Blofeld's pet was so panicked by the effects of the explosion on set that it ran away and was only found a few days later between sets, some say up on the rafters of the volcano set.

In Diamonds are Forever, after Bond faces two Blofelds (one being a double), he kicks the cat present, hoping, it would give him a hint who's the right one. But it turns out that it was the cat of the double, who disappears when the right one enters the room, hissing at the other. This is considered to be one of the most controversial scenes in the Bond franchise, especially by cat lovers. Cats on Film retorts:

Also, wrong move, and awful judgment on the part of the film-makers, because kicking a defenceless cat is a low blow, and now we have lost all sympathy for the so-called hero of the film.[1]

Parodies and cultural impact[]

The World According to Blofeld's Cat

An unofficial ghost written book from Blofeld's cat

Blofeld's cat is one of the icons of the Bond franchise, and is common to most of the parodies of Blofeld. Examples:

  • In Cats and Dogs (2001), a film made for children, a white Persian cat called Mr. Tinkles runs his own SPECTRE-like organisation. Cats and Dogs 2:The Revenge of Kitty Galore Kitty Galore is of course a parody of Pussy Galore, Mr. Tinkles is a parody of Ernst Stavro Blofeld's Blofeld's cat and so was Kitty originally.
  • LIkewise in the cartoon "The Powedpuff Girls" epsiode "Cat Man Do" the girls opponemt is a WHite cat who speaks like Orson Wells and who hypontizes Humans to do evil! (ALso appeared in non speaking cameos later in the series)
  • Blofeld is parodied in all the Austin Powers films as Dr. Evil. Like Blofeld, Dr. Evil also wears either a white or a grey suit, and has a facial scar over his eye. Both characters also possess white Persian cats. Evil's cat, known as Mr. Bigglesworth, however, loses its hair due to a side-effect of the cryogenic freezing process which preserved Dr. Evil for 30 years and becomes a sphinx cat. Dr. Evil is clearly a combination of Donald Pleasence's Blofeld as well as Dr. Julius No. There is also a nod to Charles Gray's Blofeld and Diamonds Are Forever with Dr. Evil's Las Vegas lair.
  • In Danger Mouse, the main villain Baron Greenback is a toad, and has a large white caterpillar which he keeps on his lap and strokes.
  • In the Inspector Gadget cartoon series, the villain, Dr. Claw, shares many characteristics with Ernst Stavro Blofeld, including a cat (Mad Cat) and an underground criminal network (M.A.D.)
  • In the Danny Phantom cartoon series, half ghost/half boy hero Danny Fenton arch enemy half ghost/half man Vlad Plasmius has a white domestic Persian cat nammed Maddie[2]; the cat is named after Vlad lost love Maddie who married idiot scientist Jack Fenton [Vlad has a double grudge against Jack Fenton-it was because of Jack Fenton stupidty that caused an accident with a interdeminstal machine that Vlad not only became a half ghost/half man but also lost the only love he ever had]
  • The Simpsons contains many Bond references. The final segment for the Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror XXVII" is a parody of British spy films (mostly both James Bond, along with Kingsman: The Secret Service), where it was named "Moefinger", a parady of the Goldfinger title. In addition Bart dresses up like James Bond, and Homer is dressed like Blofeld, as well as also owning a white cat (which scratches Homer around the eyes).
  • Giovanni was the leader of Team Rocket in the original Pokemon animated series. He also had a Persian Pokemon that he kept as a pet. It was implied in the English dub that this particular Persian replaced one of the Team Rocket members, Meowth, for his constant failures.
  • The anime adaptation of the Red Ribbon Army saga of Dragon Ball had the main antagonist, Commander Red, owning a cat-like creature who had a similar role to that of Blofeld's cat, and was shown to be particularly vicious, attacking Colonel Silver when he walked into his master's office (with the English dub implying this was orchestrated by Commander Red as a test of reflexes with lethal results if failing the test).
  • Spitting Image A parody called "For Your Eye Brows Only" features a Roger Moore Puppet, Margaret Thatcher Puppet as M and a Mikhail Gorbachev Puppet as Blofeld with a White Cat. Spitting Image parodied Blofeld's cat on other occasions, often recycling its puppets.
  • M.I. High: The episode "The Others" features Rogue M.I.9 (not M.I.6) Agent James Blond who is not only a parody of Bond but also Alec Trevelyan as he turns against M.I.9 for firing him in favour of recruiting young Teenagers as Agents instead. He also says "You've got Dr. No chance". The Grandmaster is a parody of Ernst Stavro Blofeld but he has a white Rabbit instead of a white cat. SKUL is very similar to SPECTRE.
  • American Dad! In the episode "The Never-Ending Stories", a character interacts with a white cat and his speech pattern mimics Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • In Enter the Dragon, a Bruce Lee vehicle, the villain Han has a white fluffy cat that he carries with him.

Gallery[]

Blofeld's cat/Gallery

See also[]

External links[]

References[]

  1. Cats on Film, Cat of the Day, Diamonds are Forever
  2. [Editing Vlad Plasmius | Danny Phantom Wiki | Fandom]

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