Fat Freddy’s Cat is a fictional orange tomcat nominally belonging to Fat Freddy Freekowtski, one of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, a trio featured in Gilbert Shelton’s underground comix.
While the Cat is usually featured in a small ‘topper’ strip below a Freak Brothers strip, he has had independent appearances and storylines of his own.
Fat Freddy’s Cat first appeared in 1969 in underground newspapers as a character in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers strip. He soon gained his own small spin-off topper strip, in imitation of the early Krazy Kat strips below The Family Upstairs by George Herriman. Some full-size stories also featured Fat Freddy’s Cat.
Many of these strips have been collected in comic book form by Rip Off Comix in a series of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers compilations and later The Adventures of Fat Freddy’s Cat, which ran for four small size issues in the 1970s. Fat Freddy’s Comics and Stories (one shot, 1983) also included several stories about the Cat.
The Adventures of Fat Freddy’s Cat were reprinted and expanded (starting over from #1) in six comic book size issues in the 1980s. They included new longer stories about the Cat. A seventh edition was released (in the US only) in 1993. After the demise of the underground newspaper, the Cat continued to appear in various comic books. His last appearance to date was in a 1990 strip reprinted in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #12.
The Cat is much smarter than Freddy, and while sharing many of his preoccupations such as drugs, food, sleep and sex, his stories also feature a fair amount of defecation. Like Garfield (whom he predates) he is laid back, but in his personal habits and outlook he is more like the Freak Brothers. However he tends to regard the Freak Brothers with amused contempt, frequently expressed by defecating in inappropriate and inconvenient places, such as stereo headphones.
Like Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes he has a fertile imagination. He is apt to tell tall stories to his three “nephews”. One storyline features him playing the role of “F. Frederick Skitty”, an undercover agent sworn to stop the distribution of “Tee Hee Hee”, a drug that turns people into homosexuals. Another story involves a scheme by Fat Freddy to replicate Dick Whittington’s success and sell the Cat to the (fictional) small, oil-rich nation of Pootweet to deal with mice.
Comics and stories 1,2 Cat 1-7