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Feed The Kitty
Feed the Kitty is a Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese, in which Bulldog Marc Antony (spelled Marc Anthony on his sleeping basket in the cartoon itself and called that by his mistress) adopts small cat Pussyfoot and tries to hide it from his owner. It was released theatrically on February 2, 1952. In 1994 it was voted #36 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.
This cartoon is the first of a short series directed by Jones and using the characters of Marc Antony and Pussyfoot.
Marc Antony tries to scare off a cute little kitten and stares at the camera confused wondering why Pussyfoot didn't run, Pussyfoot, only to realize the cat is not scared of him, instead using him as a bed and resting on his back. The dog falls for her and decides to adopt it and to bring it home.
Upon his arrival, his human owner (voiced by Bea Benaderet), tired of picking up his things, warns him not to bring one more thing inside the house. He hides Pussyfoot under a bowl and it walks away scaring the women as she thought it was a mouse. Marc Antony finds the bowl leaning against a mouse hole in the wall and reaches in to retrieve the kitten, not realizing it's a mouse until he notices her eating out of his dish. He gives the mouse a nasty look and throws it back into its hole.
He follows the kitten into another room where it starts playing with a ball, but then stumbles and bumps the woman's foot. Marc Antony grabs a key from a wind up car and pretends the kitten is a wind up toy. His owner, thinking it is a toy tells him to keep it out of her way. He kisses her foot and zips out of the room. He then notices the kitten sitting in the wind up car, which starts to zip back and forth. The car goes under the carpet and he attempts to retrieve it before it bumps into the women only to accidentally grab her shin, which makes her scream. He then sees the kitten climb up the dresser. He zips over and pretends the kitten is a powder puff by patting his face with it and doing a dance when the mistress demands to know what it is.
He takes the kitten into the kitchen and disciplines it. He hears the woman coming and barely has time to hide it in a flour bin and tries to look innocent before she enters the kitchen. His mistress asks what he is up to and that he looks very guilty. She pushes him into his basket with a broom and tells him to stay there, as she doesn't want any foolishness while she's baking cookies. Terrified, he looks on as she takes some flour out of the bin to bake the cookies, with the kitten inside the measuring cup as well. The cat is poured into the mixing bowl without the lady realizing it. Marc Antony tries to remove the kitten while the lady is getting milk from the refrigerator and she hits him with a spoon, thinking he's trying to steal batter. Marc Antony unplugs the mixer before she can pulverize the poor kitten. As the lady is about to turn on the mixer, Marc Antony grabs a can of whipped cream from the refrigerator, to spray on his face and pretend to be a mad dog. Tired of the dog's antics, his owner throws him out of the house while, unseen, the cat extracts herself from the bowl, hides behind a box of soap flakes and licks the batter off.
In the backyard, the bulldog watches through a window as what he thinks is his kitten is mixed, rolled and cut before being put in the oven (unaware that the kitten is perfectly safe and out of harm's way elsewhere) and cries a pond. The lady tells him he's been punished enough and lets him back in. Sobbing and heartbroken, he barely finds the strength to take the cat-shaped cookie his owner gives to him and place it lovingly on his back where his kitten used to rest. (Pete Docter and his Pixar team created a similar scene in the movie Monsters, Inc.) Only then does he hear the little meow of Pussyfoot right in front of him. He kisses the cat as his owner realizes he has a pet. He tries the tricks he used to pretend it was something else earlier, but she's gotten wise to this. He begs her to let him keep Pussyfoot because he loves her so much. To the dog's surprise, she allows him to keep the cat as long as he takes care of her. Once again, Pussyfoot goes to sleep on Marc Anthony's back as the content dog smiles.
- The soundtrack for the film would be recycled for use in 1988's The Duxorcist.
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 DVD Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection.
- Beck, Jerry and Friedwald, Will (1989): Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Company.