Great Cats of Cinema

You can buy this poster in the new PHX Film Collective online store. Artwork by Chris Ayers at Chris Ayers Creative.

Great Cats of Cinema by Jason Keil at

Let’s be honest; cinema ignores cats.

The canine is front and center in at least three movies coming out this year. The felines get Cats, an adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that everyone likes but no one has ever seen. It is time to stop overlooking our purr-fect four-pawed friends. Here is our list of some of our favorite kittens and cats to ever strut across the screen.

Blofeld’s Cat (makes appearances in several James Bond 007 movies)

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is the leader of the terrorist organization SPECTRE and the arch nemesis of secret agent James Bond.  Donald Pleasence and Telly Savalas have portrayed Blofeld, amongst others, but the one constant for the character is the white Persian cat in his lap. The cat's name is unknown, but he does provide the villain some much-needed companionship in his lonely lair.

Buttercup (The Hunger Games series)

Buttercup belongs to Primrose Everdeen, sister of warrior Katniss. The feline is portrayed by a shaggy black and white tomcat in The Hunger Games but recast in Catching Fire as a resilient orange Maine Coon. The change in actors gave the film a dash of realism when Buttercup survives President Snow’s attack on District 12. Though not expressed in the film, Buttercup was likely the inspiration for Katniss’ assault on the Capitol in Mockingjay.

Goose (Captain Marvel)

Don’t let the cute face fool you. Goose is a Flerken, a race of aliens that resemble the felines of Earth. Inside Goose’s little body is a pocket dimension that can hold anything from tentacles to Infinity Stones. Are you still not convinced that this furry friend of Captain Carol Danvers is a dangerous creature? Then ask Nick Fury how he got that eye patch.

Salem (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)

We know that Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a television show, but we’re making an exception for this witty American Shorthair cat. Salem was doomed to his feline form for 100 years as punishment for his attempt to take over the world. Sabrina often takes the rap for Salem’s schemes, but he often redeems himself by helping his adolescent owner with her problems, magical or otherwise.

Church (Pet Sematary)

This reanimated feline was played by a British Shorthair in the 1989 horror classic but became a Maine coon in the 2019 “reimagining” to fit with the northeast setting of the film. Church (short for Winston Churchill) is revived inside an ancient burial ground after he meets his demise in a battle with the business end of a truck. His new form wreaks havoc on the Creed family.

Keanu (Keanu)

Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key get the laughs in this 2016 action/comedy hit, but the titular tabby, voiced by Keanu Reeves, gives the movie its heart. The comedy duo has to infiltrate the city’s criminal underground to find the kidnapped kitty. But with any typical pet/owner relationship, it’s Keanu that rescues his owner both literally and metaphorically.

Jonesy (Alien and Aliens)

Jonesy used up all of his nine lives as the furriest passenger on the USCSS Nostromo, the cargo ship carrying Ripley and her crew in the science fiction/horror hybrid Alien. Taking his cues from The Hunger Games’ Buttercup, the ginger American shorthair lived up to his job description of controlling the rodent population on the ship by helping Ripley lure the vicious Xenomorph to the airlock. He joined Ripley in cryostasis for 57 years, making him the longest living cat in history according to fan sites.

Mr. Bigglesworth (the Austin Powers franchise)

The hairless Sphynx cat, owned by Austin Powers' nemesis Dr. Evil, is an obvious parody of the white Persian that is constantly stroked by Blofeld. Mr. Bigglesworth once was the same breed as the feline he’s parodying, but due to complications in the unfreezing process, the feline loses his hair. Dr. Evil’s clone Mini-Me even has a smaller version of the Meow Mix-loving cat.

Crookshanks (the Harry Potter franchise)

Hermione Granger purchased this orange half-Kneazle because she was told by a witch that nobody wanted him, but he has proved his worth time and again by solving complex problems and unmasking evil frauds. Sirius Black, who is better known as the Prisoner of Azkaban, says that the playful cat is the most intelligent cat he had ever met.

Chris Ayers