Update: This initially was posted a decade ago, in December of 2008. As mentioned below in the original post, Ludwig the cat was new to the strip in 1993, when the comic strip appeared in newspapers. (This gets a little confusing, doesn’t it?) Since the introduction of “the cat,” I’ve struggled with drawing a cartoon cat, and I am even now in the midst of noticeable changes to make Ludwig’s face more expressive and to give him ears, because I grew weary of people asking, “Why doesn’t Ludwig have ears?” I mention that now, because I can’t escape noticing the cat in this strip is a pretty darn good cartoon cat. Beginner’s luck, I guess. And, sadly, Stella the calico cat sleeps among the azaleas now, no longer in need of a tummy rub.
The above cartoon was one of the first cat cartoons to run in A&J. It appeared about a week after the introduction of “the cat,” who did not have a name at the time. It was an immediate hit with cat lovers and toleraters. The tummy is a sensitive area for most cats. You have to be on very good terms with a cat before you’re allowed to even touch it. Some never allow it. I’m proud to say my cat Stella lets me wub her widdle tummy. Which isn’t so widdle any more, if you want to know the truth.