Wong, Again!

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.
Today's "Arlo & Janis!"


45 responses to “Wong, Again!”

  1. Yep, Sciurus variegatoides, which has different pelages throughout its range. U Mich. Mus. Zool. has several study skins its collection. My desk was at the back end of UMMZ’s mammal range. Peace,

  2. Nancy in AZ, your screen name here has changed several times. Originally I seem to recall you were NK in AZ. Then Nancy Kirk in AZ, and now Nancy in AZ.

  3. Yes, it was a pretty good cartoon cat! But then, Ludwig is YOUR cat and you can draw him any way you please. Always looks good to me. 🙂

    Sorry to hear about Stella, though….

  4. emb – Did you know that the UMMZ now occupies a new building, and that the Ruthven building will house UM central administration offices? I would include a ink to a news story but I think that they are prohibited. Just google “University of Michigan to unveil plans for former museums building” if you want more details.

  5. Sometimes, when you rub a cat’s belly, you trigger its fight reflex. It’s not uncommon to see it looking puzzled when it stops, because it didn’t intend to fight you and doesn’t understand what happened. This may be the first time it happened to Arlo.

  6. My mind works at about a 33 degree angle from most folks, Jimmy. I just got a vision of you (a few years ago, of course) out the back door yelling for Stella, then realizing what you were doing.

  7. Mark

    Many years ago dad had a Shop Cat that would walk under feet
    so it got stepped on. Just so that person would reach down and pet it.

    With ours it depends where they are – and those that let you belly rub
    it is only 3 or 4 times – then you better hastily retreat.

  8. Ghost didn’t ask for or want a cat but Skipper my elderly Kitler cat has fallen in love with him and cuddles, as has Ashes. Both elderly cats who once belonged to men.

  9. Ludwig is a big hit with me. It’s interesting that your readers feel the need to kibitz you on your drawing. I wonder if that ever happened to Walt Kelly?

  10. I recently read a list of the meaning of some animal actions.
    A cat lying on its back means it trust you.
    However IT does NOT want it’s belly petted and the response Arlo received is to be expected.

  11. Walt Kelly didn’t have a blog.

    Rick, a good thing about 7 Dec.: It’s the date, in the N Hemisphere, of the earliest sunset. They gradually get later starting tomorrow. Actual date may vary w/ time zone.


  12. Re 12-7-18 cartoon: I assume from the smile on his face as he walks away from the bathroom that, rather than trying to invade her privacy while she attends to a personal grooming matter, Arlo is simply yanking Janis’s chain when he discovered the door locked and realized what she was doing. He’s probably also smiling in anticipation of being able to ogle (or more) the results when she’s finished, something that, despite the apparent irony, Janis will undoubtedly not mind at all.

  13. Please remember this is the “Date That Will Live In Infamy”

    Of the survivors of That Date the last 5 from the Arizona were not able to make the ceremony.
    The heroes of that war are dwindling fast.

  14. Here’s a seasonally-appropriate topic we haven’t discussed lately…Chili! This is a good but fairly simple recipe from my collection.

    A Recipe from Ghost’s Kitchen

    Chunky Red Chili

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound ground beef
    1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
    1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    1 medium green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
    One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
    One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    One 15 1/2 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    One 15 1/2 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
    3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    2 teaspoons dried basil
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    2 bay leaves
    Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up the beef, until nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the ground beef with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the pot; when hot, add the stew meat and cook until nicely browned on all side, about 8 minutes. Remove the stew meat with a slotted spoon and add it to the ground beef. Pour off the fat and any accumulated juices from the pot.

    2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and pepper, and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Return the meats to the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, black beans, sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, chili powder, basil, cumin, salt, and bay leaves. Stir well to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the stew meat is tender, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Divide the chili among 8 bowls and serve warm, with chips on the side, if you like.

  15. Old Bear:

    I agree, and I posted “Never forget” earlier yesterday.

    On Nov. 21, the oldest U.S. military survivor of the sneak attack passed. Mr. Chavez was 106.

    Time cannot be stopped, and we have to accept that we are losing that generation, but it still saddens me deeply.

  16. Rick
    I saw your post after I did mine.

    This is a date that should never be forgotten – Like July 4th, November 11, June 6, May 8, & Aug 14

    These are dates that define us – Unfortunately younger generations do not know who or why
    we fought let alone when.

  17. That’s ok, a deceased POTUS didn’t know the Hebrew Bible from Shakespeare.

    OTH, maybe you’re looking for an on-sale T for your significant other. I’m tempted, but already own more than I’ll wear out. Dogs, cats, bears, elephants, giraffes, and, on p. 7, a Billy goat. [Speelczech rejects “billy”.] Peace,


  18. New York Post headline: “Nonstick frying pans can make your penis smaller, study shows”

    May perhaps be something to that, as I’ve noticed that’s what they do to strips of bacon.

  19. Yes – a good one! Evidently everyone else is as tired as I am from doing Christmas “stuff”. Every year, I hope I will have more time to REALLY think about Christmas and what it means, but…

  20. “… tired as I am from doing Christmas ‘stuff’.” Daughter sent me this as a gift; maybe her sibs also. Older son and wife did something similar decades back [/ hunger or poverty, maybe], even before he got ordained. Now retired and living only 20 min. from me, which is the real gift.

    Oxfam Gifts: OxfamGifts@OxfamAmerica.org


  21. OMG, I clicked on PREVIOUS and it went to the previous posting then I pressed NEXT and it went to the next (in time) posting.

    Stop right there. Don’t touch a thing. This is a miracle!

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