Feed the Kitty
|Feed the Kitty|
|Merrie Melodies (Marc Antony and Pussyfoot) series|
Title card of Feed the Kitty.
|Directed by||Charles M. Jones|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer|
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Voices by||Bea Benaderet (uncredited)|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Ken Harris
|Layouts by||Robert Gribbroek|
|Backgrounds by||Philip DeGuard|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||February 2, 1952 (USA premiere)|
|Running time||7 min (one reel)|
Feed the Kitty is a Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese, in which bulldog Marc Antony (referred to as Marc Anthony in this cartoon) adopts a small cat, Pussyfoot (not officially named in this cartoon), and tries to hide it from his owner. The cartoon was released theatrically on February 2, 1952, and in 1994 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 Anthony and Pussyfoot.
Marc Anthony, a massive-chested bulldog, tries to intimidate a cute little stray kitten with his ferocious barking and grimacing. Not only is the kitten not frightened, it climbs right up on the dog's back and prepares to nestle itself in his fur. Despite wincing at its kneading, Marc instantly falls for the sleeping kitten and decides to adopt it, bringing it home with him.
Upon his arrival, his human owner (voiced by Bea Benaderet), tired of picking up his things, orders him not to bring one more thing inside the house. Much of the cartoon centers on the kitten continually getting into things around the house and coming very close to alerting Marc Anthony's owner of its presence, with the bulldog employing numerous tactics to hide or disguise it as common household items. As the woman becomes increasingly confused by her dog's suddenly odd behavior, the kitten continues to play.
After a while, Marc Anthony takes the kitten into the kitchen and attempts to scold it, but when he hears his owner walking toward the kitchen, he hastily hides the kitten in a flour canister and tries to look innocent. Growing tired of his antics, his owner evicts him from the kitchen and tells him to stay out while she bakes cookies. Marc Anthony watches as his owner scoops out a cup of flour, and is horrified to see that the kitten is in the measuring cup. The lady pours the flour, along with the kitten, into a mixing bowl and prepares to use an electric mixer. The bulldog tries several times to thwart her, finally spraying his face with whipped cream to make himself appear rabid, resulting in his disbelieving and exasperated owner throwing him out of the house. Meanwhile, the kitten climbs out of the bowl and hides behind a box of soap flakes to clean itself up.
Marc Anthony, unaware that the kitten has escaped, can only watch as his owner mixes the cookie batter, rolls out the dough, cuts it into shapes and places the cookies in the oven. At each phase of the process, the poor bulldog becomes increasingly distressed until he finally collapses in tears, literally crying a puddle in the back yard. His mistress comes out a short time later and, thinking he is crying over being disciplined, lets him back inside and tells him he has been punished enough. She attempts to console him by giving him a cookie in the shape of a cat. Stunned, Marc Anthony takes the cookie and places it on his back where the kitten had slept earlier, eventually breaking down in tears once again.
The kitten then walks up and meows at him. Marc Anthony is immediately overjoyed to see his friend safe and sound, picks the kitten up and kisses it, then suddenly realizes that his owner is watching. He vainly tries to disguise the kitten like he did earlier, but she simply stands in front of him tapping her foot, with her hands on her hips. He finally begs at his mistress's feet, and to his surprise, she allows him to keep the kitten, sternly telling him that the kitten is completely his responsibility. The dog, in turn, glares sternly at the kitten in the manner of a disciplinarian, but it simply purrs at him and climbs onto his back once again. As it kneads his fur and curls up to sleep, he smiles contentedly and tucks it in.
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 Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection DVD box set and the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1 Blu-ray box set.
Other media 
- The 2001 Disney/Pixar film Monsters, Inc. features a scene that directly references Feed the Kitty. In this scene, Sulley, believing Boo has been crushed in a trash compactor, exhibits the same reactions as Marc Anthony in the cartoon.
- The South Park episode Coon vs. Coon and Friends recreates scenes from Feed the Kitty with Cartman acting as Pussyfoot and Cthulhu as Marc Anthony in his "cute kitten" routine.
- Beck, Jerry and Friedwald, Will (1989): Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Company.