Cats of the Day

Cats of the Day

January 19, 1996

Reaching back 25 years, all the way to January, 1996. I was clicking through the old stuff, and I came across this one. Yeah, I know: anchovies on the pizza for the cat’s enjoyment. It’s been done. The point I want to bring up here, though, is that I have never been satisfied with my depiction of Ludwig the cat. I feel I have never been able to capture the distinctive essence of the cat, something other cartoonists seem to be able to do routinely. Well, I tell myself, at least Ludwig is “cartoony,” and over the years I have gotten used to not being able to draw cats. When the strip above appeared in newspapers, Ludwig had not been a player in the cast for very long. His early depictions were more realistic, perhaps none more so than here. I don’t see it as much of an improvement. Something in between, perhaps. And for what it’s worth, my cats have to fight me for the anchovies.

112 responses to “Cats of the Day”

  1. Re 11-10-21 real-time cartoon: Know your audience, Janis…the important thing to them was not that you entered the wet t-shirt contest without a chance to win, it’s simply that you entered it.

  2. “I feel I have never been able to capture the distinctive essence of the cat, something other cartoonists seem to be able to do routinely”

    Sorry, Jimmy, but I have take issue with the second clause of that statement; the only cartoonists to capture the essence of cat are Darby Conley & Gilbert Shelton.

  3. I know it is a Zero tolerance attitude, but be careful of
    pepperoni (garlic) & onions on pizza for cats (& dogs)
    BTW JJ you draw a great Ludwig. If we want a lifelike representation
    we will look at “That is Priceless” 🙂

  4. Re: Ludwig: JJ, you seem to have two separate styles for Ludwig’s head. One is smaller with more prominent jowl curves while the other is larger, as shown above. I, myself, much prefer the smaller style; it seems rather more expressive than does the larger size.

  5. Continuing on about Ludwig: I find the smaller edition a more “playful” depiction, while the larger size seems anything but playful.
    Chacun a sin gout and all that….

  6. Having worked in pizza parlors, I agree that anchovies aren’t popular on pizzas. However, when I was young, Mom would occasionally add anchovies to salads, and we’d all have to guard our salad bowls to keep Dad from stealing them. Later, when we were teens, we had the reach and speed to steal his.

  7. Unfortunately, many people, my family included, feel that anchovies on even one slice contaminates the entire pizza. Luckily, I am a charter member of the Double Anchovy Pizza club (founded in the mid-80s). Unfortunately, relocation and retirement of members have made the meetings very infrequent.

  8. I’ve never tried anchovies on a pizza. Of course, I never even knew any toppings were available until I got to college in ’57 (true), whereupon I found that pepperoni filled the bill. Still recall having a whole pie delivered to my dorm for less than $2. Once or twice a year, the delivery guy could not find who ordered the pie and simply gave it away to anyone nearby – sometimes me. No, I didn’t work any such scam.
    I should think I’d like anchovies since I am a halophile. When I have (rarely) come across anchovies in, say, a salad, they got snarfed up with relish.
    My MBH continues her recovery from corneal surgery and now has a prescription for glasses which may allow her to use BOTH eyes simultaneously. Imagine that.

  9. I LOVE anchovies. My cats seem to care less…pepperoni, however…

    Didn’t Charles Schulz finally drop the story line with Freida’s “boneless cat” Faron because he coukldn’t draw cats…and because he said it would turnSnoopy into a “real dog?”

  10. Nov. 10 the Edmond Fitzgerald was lost.

    Nov. 11 Armistice Day – Let us Honor and remember all the Veterans that
    keep us free. And those that gave “The Last Full Measure”

  11. I like your current Ludwig. I personally think you do cats very well and just said to Ghost a few days ago “Jimmy must spend a lot of time paying attention to his cats. He gets their action so perfectly. “

  12. Uncles and cousins who served in the US Armed Forces:
    LCF – USA (WWII)
    NCF – USA (WWII)
    CCF – USA (WWII)
    WCC – USA (WWII)
    ED – USN (WWII)
    RC – USAF (Vietnam)
    WD – USAF-Ret’d (Vietnam etc.)
    DV – USA (1st Gulf War)
    Thank you, gentlemen.

  13. Just had stuffed peppers as leftovers. I followed a recipe and they were boring and bland. Ghost reheated them with thick marinara which improved them dramatically. Now he gets pineapple upside down cake.

    Happy birthday a little longer!

  14. Just had stuffed peppers as leftovers. I followed a recipe and they were boring and bland. Ghost reheated them with thick marinara which improved them dramatically. Now he gets pineapple upside down cake.

    Happy birthday a little longer!

  15. Re 11-12-21 real-time cartoon: Ahh…a “pillow yawn” or a “pillow belch”? I’m guessing “belch”. Whichever, perhaps not so amusing to Janis if it had happened while she was discussing her deficiencies in the wet t-shirt contest.

  16. Deficiencies? More than a handful is wasteful. If a woman is small, the older she gets, the more reason she & her significant other have to be grateful for her “deficiencies.” We were blessed. Peace,

  17. Having my one remaining breast, size 44DDD removed or seriously cut down in four months to match the totally missing one burned off after replacing it following my cancer. I am still upset by that.

    My orthopedist pointed out that being top heavy caused difficulties walking and problems in orthopedic surgery and repair. I knew that but nice he did too.

    My orthopedist is very proud of both my legs. He said I heal amazingly and rapidly. He said people my age just don’t heal like I do, forget that I am under treatment for Stage 4 metastatic cancer. His opinion was have the two breasts rebuilt alike so I walk better on his surgery.

    I know that is opinion of my plastic surgeon already. Both think other is genius surgeon.

    Definitely smaller.

    • Jackie just got an email announcing her plastic surgeon’s clinic’s upcoming Christmas Open House in December. We attended the one he hosted a couple of years ago, and even if it doesn’t abound with patients of the female persuasion showing off samples of his, ah, work as it did last time, I look forward to attending the one this year. For one thing, he is a cool dude, as well as being the only physician I’ve ever seen with Airborne jump wings and a Ranger tab embroidered in black on the breast of his black lab coat. For another, he has what must be one of the largest privately-owned collections of Santa Claus dolls in the country, and even with what his receptionist assured us was only a small fraction of it being displayed in the clinic, it was wall-to-wall St. Nicks all up in there.

  18. To Jackie and Ghost, thanks for the great news. Keep on going, Jackie, even if I no longer see you I feel better knowing you are there.

    Jimmy, love today’s strip. You caught the essence of my big cat perfectly there. We would nap together on my recliner, with him assuming the position Ludwig’s in in the strip. I think Ludwig is one of the best comic strip cats today. As I expressed it to someone else, he is not a human in a cat costume. He acts like a cat and also reacts like one. Of course there are the exceptions, like the Christmas Eve talking strips, but mostly he does what any cat does.

  19. Mark, I think Ludwig is BEST cartoon cat because as you say, he is a CAT. The best cartoon cat who is antimorphidized is Bill the Cat in Bloom County. Once upon a time I would have said Garfield too for I was huge fan. However, Garfield is no longer creative nor even funny.

    Mark you are welcome to visit us at any time. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? We are cooking and staying here. You would be welcome.

  20. Watching old movies as part of my mental exercises, trying to pick excellent movies or excellent writers or excellent actors. Plus free on Prime!!

    Tonight it was Heartburn by Norah Ephron based on her marriage to Carl Bernstein. I laughed that in two movies about Carl Bernstein he was played by Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson, both better looking than Bernstein was.

    I read the book Heartburn and I remember she put recipes in plot as her marriage fell apart. Ephron had been food critic and writer in New York. I was huge fan. Sadly she died of leukemia.

  21. Sitting at desk, looking at sofa, where currently there are three cats sleeping. (At least I think they are all still breathing.) Wondering why the word “indolent” keeps coming to mind.

    • Same situation in our marriage- wife is an early bird and I am a night owl. Fortunately we went to different colleges while courting, so we made an effort to keep the same schedule when we got together once a month. I doubt we could have made it work if we were at the same school.

      • Similarly for us: I may be awake until 3a.m. or 4a.m., while she starts her countdown to sleep about 8p.m.! She rises around 6a.m. or so, and I will awaken anytime between 6:30a.m. and, say, 9:30a.m. Yes, I do take a sleeping pill, but still am lucky to get 5.5 hours of sleep each night. I do tend to nap some afternoons, though.
        In college, we were both constrained by class schedules which favored morning classes, so everyone rose fairly early – and separately. There were no coed residences. As I was scholarly and she was even more dedicated to her courses, we rarely had actual dates – maybe a movie on a Friday evening or some school-sponsored dance. While we became engaged at Thanksgiving of our senior year (no ring, though), we managed only 2 dates that entire year mainly because she always went to the library to study each evening at 7p.m.!
        More than 59 years of marriage ensued, however, and still counting.

  22. For no particular reason, I checked to see what “National Days” fall on today’s date (11-18-21). One is the “Great American Smokeout”. The desire to stop smoking tobacco must start from within. (Ask me how I know.) But outside encouragement can’t hurt. So, if you know a smoker, encourage them today to kick the habit.
    On a lighter note, today is also Mickey Mouse’s birthday. Happy 93rd Birthday, Mickey. And thanks for the joy and entertainment you’ve brought to the world.

  23. The 3-story resthome I live in updates & distributes a roster of inmates now and then. It lists us by apt #: 101 to 323 [or so], simply skipping the ## of unoccupied apts. Unless we demur, it also lists phone ##, e-mails, & birthdays. If we prefer, it says DO NOT LIST in appropriate columns. One of us says that in every column except apt # & name. An outgoing fellow BSU emeritus [chemistry] delisted his birthday. I let it all hang out, as do most of us; however, in contrast to some resthomes, we don’t make a big deal of birthdays here. Some notice, & may tell me “Happy Birthday” at table or in the mailroom, or a lounge. & I get a few cards, maybe even from fellow inmates, & emails from devoted BSU alums.
    But, at a 6-place breakfast table yesterday [we sit wherever], a grade school emeritus announced it was my birthday, & all 5 sang me “Happy Birthday” [standard version, not Volga Boatman]. So people at other tables knew, but not those who missed or have opted out of breakfast. [We have several meal plans; I’m on the 21 m.p.]. Word gets around; I got serenaded again at lunch, but not supper.
    The real celebration will occur Sunday evening [resthome serves a passable box supper to eat in our apts Sundays]. But, Sunday 21 Nov., supper w/b curry [boneless, skinless chicken thigh?] at my elder son’s home, with pound cake & caramel sauce for dessert, baked by a beloved daughter-in-law.

  24. Our inside cats prefer sleeping on sofa with Ghost or in our bed or my arm chair or even Ghost’s desk chair.

    But sometimes they take turns sleeping in the one pet bed still in house. Even Dickens the Adventure Dog is occasionally in it, conveniently out of the way but close to Ghost’s desk. They watch Ghost closely.

  25. Re 11-20-21 real-time cartoon: Not only does Arlo’s “cord” of firewood appear to be nearly the same size as his house but, based on what it was the last time I priced firewood, it probably costs about the same, too.

  26. In the days when I bought firewood – last century [sounds odd!] – there was a distinct tendency to short me by cross-stacking the wood. Instead of having the axes of the logs all parallel, the stacker would start with the bottom axes lying E-W, then put the next layer with axes N-S. Continuing upwards with the alternating direction of the axes, he’d get a “face cord” using rather a lot less wood than that for which I paid. Burned me up, and very few vendors did it correctly, even when asked about it.

  27. I have not burned wood since we sold our Houston condo in 1987. I remember the wood was messy and heavy to carry to second floor where fireplace was.

    Our current fireplace is gas with “looks like logs.”

    The only fireplaces with wood that I remember enjoying were in rustic log cabins in remote places and cold. Our current location is sometimes cold and Okie.

  28. The most memorable fireplace was in a cabin on Mona Loa, high high up on volcanic mountain at the observatory at Waimea. It was so cold and freezing, snowing in Hawaii.

    Fireplace was only heat, we gave up on bedroom and huddled with blankets on hearth. We burned every scrap of wood and I was ready to break up and burn the furniture.

    Wood is expensive in Hawaii.
    I think my condo in Honolulu had an electric fireplace. It was unheated and no central air! We bought a big a/c and installed on “oceanfront balcony ” but I think we just dressed warmer if Waikiki got cold.

  29. deplume:
    The standard for stacking cordwood is:
    “the squirrel can get through but the cat cannot.”
    Anything other than 4X4x8 stacked all the same way (exception
    is end to keep it from falling – and then it must be packed solid)
    The lesson is know your dealer – and if he is a cheat spread the word.
    Neighbor is selling a cord for $150 but he wants to get rid of the trees.
    He said on line he has seen $450 cord. But many sell by pick-up load not cord.
    We also have restrictions on how far wood may be transported because of bugs.
    Unless you have a growing supply it no longer pays to heat with wood.
    Though wood heats 3 times – once when you cut it, once when you split it, &
    once the you burn it.
    Did hear a bout a man that had perpetual heat from small amount of wood ==
    He carried an armload up to second floor – threw it out the window – ran down the stairs
    and carried the same armload up again. Over and over. 🙂
    Jackie: Many people are amazed that there is snow in Hawaii.

  30. And still a little on Kilimanjaro, at least as of a few years ago, when a former BSU biology major, now emerita from Gustavus Adophus College, took the guided hike up there. Earlier, her daughter kept a journal when mom was on sabbatical in Tanzania; kid is a gifted writer. Unfortunately, I’ve lost touch / them. Kibo is quite the site from across the border in Kenya. Measured that mt. starting where the contour lines bunch up around the base. Footprint is about the size of R.I.

  31. Re 11-21-21 real-time cartoon: Well, yes, the idea of an outdoor fireplace is kind of interesting. The reality, not so much. Sitting in front of one always makes me feel like the planet Mercury…hot on one side, cold on the other.

  32. The only thing I dislike about the holiday season is how busy we get with various organizations having parties, putting on concerts (and practicing for them!), church services, etc. And this is with the pandemic having caused some groups to cut back! The week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day will be a welcome break for us… and this year we’re only going to fit in touring the lights at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT. That will be enough during that week.

    • That is indeed the funniest Thanksgiving post/cartoon EVER. Thank you for posting it Mark!

      Where are you eating Thanksgiving dinner? Ghost and I are alone. We are having turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, his mom’s asparagus casserole, his sister’s pumpkin bisque (in their memory) I am making pecan pie, homemade cranberry sauce, chocolate fudge pie with sweet cherries and whipped cream, baking bread.

      We would love to have you come eat with us too.

  33. That is indeed the funniest Thanksgiving post/cartoon EVER. Thank you for posting it Mark!

    Where are you eating Thanksgiving dinner? Ghost and I are alone. We are having turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, his mom’s asparagus casserole, his sister’s pumpkin bisque (in their memory) I am making pecan pie, homemade cranberry sauce, chocolate fudge pie with sweet cherries and whipped cream, baking bread.

    We would love to have you come eat with us too.

    • Thanks for the invite, Jackie, but I am planning to eat here. I only have the one day off and then back to work Friday, so I’m staying close to home. All of you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  34. Mark you work so hard. I hope to see you for eating out with us sometime. Are you ever off on a week day when I am there for medical appointments? some day I need to ask some questions about area you live in.

  35. Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of the great singer and frontman for Queen. Freddie Mercury had one of most beautiful voices ever. His deTh at 42 was a tragedy.

    Last night I was listening to recordings from Freddie and Elvis, thought of what a loss their beautiful voices were. Both died in their 40s, too soon, such a waste of talent.

  36. I give thanks to the Almighty for all the worldly gifts He has bestowed upon us and which have allowed us to relay such to others in need. Even more so, for the greatest Gift of His Son, whose earthly birth we celebrate in a month.
    We all are blessed in some way or other. Amen.

  37. Just a quick hello and Happy Thanksgiving from NK. We leave shortly for dinner at a friend’s house. This is one couple from a group of four who have been the closest of friends for more than 50 years. Most people are not so blessed—and we are truly grateful.

  38. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! There’s a sour orange pie chilling in the frig and it’s almost time to put our boneless turkey in the oven; then it’s on to fixing vegetables, reheating sweet potato rolls, and the rest of the usual suspects. While I miss seeing family, I have to admit that cooking for just the two of us takes off a lot of the pressure. I do have some homemade cranberry cordial, vintage 2020, just in case however 🙂

  39. Happy Thanksgiving to the village. Hope you are all having a good day and have plenty to be thankful for. I’ve had a pleasant and quiet day, having set myself up to be able to eat at home and avoid the crowds. Also warmer staying in. I just stepped out for the first time today and brrr. Big difference from the last couple of days, and supposed to go into the upper 20’s tonight.

  40. Rest home TG noon meal, all white meat [prefer dark], hold the mashed potatoes [plenty of stuffing for the gravy], good cranberry sauce, served by favorite current BSU undergrad [psych major, works only suppers on school days, good student], best server we have, a real “people person.” Have realized many times today how blessed we are. Box supper soon [as always on Sundays], to be washed down w/ a good pale ale. Skoal, & Peace,

  41. This past Monday was the one year anniversary of my broken left leg, a life altering event. Rather than losing my leg or life, as was most likely the outcome given my age, stage 4 cancer and multiple comorbidities, I have totally recovered with much BETTER health. This includes just having the second right knee replaced and already recovering from that in perfect shape.

    I do have much to be thankful and grateful for today and the rest of my life. I could not and would not have recovered from four major surgeries nor cancer were it not for Ghost who has been the strength who gave me the pushes, shoves and love to do what I did.

    Say thank you to those who need to hear it too.

    Thanks Jimmy Johnson for A and J, this page and those that visit the Village.

  42. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! For the past couple of months, I have been dealing with some health issues. Not life-threatening – more of a “sever” annoyance. But, in the grand scheme of things, of much to be thankful. I have resolved to look on the bright side and be my old, ornery self again! Thank you, Village, for being a bright spot in my life, lo these many years – and many more to come!

  43. I spent the day with family at home. No visitors, no obnoxious male relatives (by marriage) who instantly oppose anything anyone else likes, just my wife and 3 daughters to cook for and care for. I baked a turkey roll, wife did homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce (NOT the gelatinous gloop from a can), youngest daughter baked rolls… And we all ate a bit more than we should have.
    Tomorrow evening my community orchestra will help everyone decompress from whatever they did on Black Friday with a free Christmas concert. It’s part of the town’s lighting ceremony of their Christmas lights. Those who come get free hot chocolate and donuts, and they’ll also have Santa arrive on a firetruck to throw the switch. This time around I’ll be playing the timpani and, on the one number without timpani, sleigh bells.

  44. In my 12:03 p.m. entry on 11/25 (here, that is yesterday), I forgot what was to me a real biggie in the realm of things for which to be thankful: the availability of effective vaccines against covid-19. For me – and I am sure some will not feel this way – it made 2021 so much better and more serene than was 2020. True, the vaccines are not perfect, but I am still thankful.
    This is not a political comment; just my thoughts.

    • I totally agree with you. I am grateful for my own vaccination and yours. Thank you to all who help protect us all through their actions. Please know your wearing of masks and social distancing is also appreciated.

  45. I hope everybody here had a happy Thanksgiving. Not, you’ll notice, Turkey Day because that makes it all about the food and completely misses the point. And, we couldn’t find a bird small enough for the two of us and you can’t get turkey parts here in Trinidad so we roasted a duck. Only the second time in my life that I’ve done that and it came out well, and enough meat for two meals for each of us. And just to make everything completely different, we had about an inch and a half of snow Wednesday night that lasted until early afternoon today. Hope everybody here is happy, healthy and stuffed to the brim with good food!

    • Hmmm, my response with a link didn’t post so I’ll try again without it. Butterball makes a “boneless turkey roast” that’s just right for two people, 2 1/2 pounds of white and dark meat, plus an 8-ounce packet of gravy base. Look for it in advance of a major holiday, before they fill the coolers with all those giant frozen birds. We like duck too, but I usually wish there was more of it 🙂

    • Something we’ve finally figured out regarding any size turkey or turkey roll — the charts telling you how long to defrost it in the refrigerator are wrong by a day. This year’s little turkey roll was still frozen in its center, as has been every bird we’ve ever done. Why? We suspect our freezer is colder (set for 0° F) than the chart allows for. Or it might possibly be our refrigerator? It keeps everything at 40°. Or perhaps even our elevation?

  46. IMO, domestic or wild duck is far better than turkey: yum! Have a friend, retired MDNR waterfowl biologist who is a crack shot; most of the pellets go in the head end, find few or none in the cooked meat. Still eat shot birds carefully. Time to head down stairs for resthome lunch. Seafood tonight. Peace,

    • I read several comics in past who had characters who died. I remember grandparents being deceased and funerals held. It was however the death of Farley the dog that dissolved me and thousands of readers into crying grief.

      I love Gus and I hope he doesn’t pass away but Ludwig’s loss would lose me.

  47. Here’s one I have always wanted to fix from my first viewing (when it was current): .
    Apparently, what was meant was to locate the point x=-3 and y=2 on Cartesian coordinates. One could have written such as in this very line, or one could have used the shorter form wherein the abscissa followed by a comma followed by the ordinate are all enclosed within parentheses: (-3, 2). Most use the parenthetical style for its brevity.
    That feels better from the viewpoint of an odd mathematician perhaps commenting to an even odder one!

  48. However, it’s delightful to follow a comic that makes use of academic insights. Wm. S. Gilbert does a lot of that, often to dig at the unlearned Brit peerage. Best example that comes to mind is the solo, “When Britain really ruled the waves …,” from Iolanthe. There’s a reason that Victoria knighted Sullivan but not Gilbert. Expect I’ve noted that here before. Peace,

  49. deplume
    It is not a mathematical problem (where I assume you are correct.
    It is a map co-ordinate where x is not only the axis it also marks the spot.
    Or is that X – Professor Jones was wrong, it occasionally does.

  50. Maybe I did not wait long enough but :
    It is not a mathematical problem (in which I assume you are correct) but a map co-ordinate.
    Where x is the axis but also marks the spot.
    Or is that X. Professor Jones was wrong and occasionally it does.

    • Y’know, Janis didn’t jump all that high off the ground – her head is at about the same height as Arlo’s. The reason one gets the impression of a magnificent leap is that she bent her knees considerably.

  51. Re 11-28-21 real-time cartoon: I have three “watch caps” (or beanies or whatever they call them these days) I wear for ear protection on cold and windy days. They are very similar in appearance to what Arlo wears. And I have little doubt I look just as dorky in them as he does.

  52. Ghost DOES resemble Arlo a lot in my opinion but that is not bad. I like Arlo who I suspect resembles Mr. Johnson a great deal or so I have read.

    I spent a great deal of today reading about and researching Tulsa’s All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church i can see why my psychologist has been suggesting I consider attending services and becoming active there. I had made a list of 42 areas of my life I wanted to change or improve. I swear this church could possibly answer 2/3s of the list!

    When Jimmy was raising money to help restore his Unitarian church he attends I was one of his larger donors. Seeing the work done locally, nationally and worldwide, I am so glad I donated!

    I see those same principles, morals and ethics refleted in Arlo and Janis. Thank you Jimmy.

    • He commented on the Iron Bowl game on Saturday over on Facebook. Last I heard anything from him was that post on the Arlo and Janis fans site there.

  53. He commented on the Iron Bowl game on Saturday over on Facebook. Last I heard anything from him was that post on the Arlo and Janis fans site there.

  54. I’ve been wondering if the Village would shut down soon because of the number of days since Jimmy posted a new retro cartoon. We are 20 days since this one?

    Ghost says it shuts down comments after a certain number of days.

  55. Mr. Johnson, I assure you that Luddie is an accurate depeiction of a cat. In comics, there is the “Hallmarks of Felinity” in 9 Chickweed Lane, and then there’s Luddie the cat in A&J, and then there are a lot of cartoonists who really can’t draw or write a cat, though many have tried. Berke Breathed had an accurate cat (briefly), but around the time he ran the cat for President, the accuracy drifted away. Ack. Pffft. Even comics with a cat as the title character fall flat (looking your way, Heathcliff and Garfield.)
    Luddie the cat is so accurate that when you put out strips suggesting he can sometimes speak English, I had to wonder if my cat could, too, and I just hadn’t been listening at the right time.

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