Wings of bats and tails of rats, it’s the time of year to celebrate famous witches and magical cats! There are many felines and witches that come to mind as Halloween approaches and this is just a sampling of some well-known and intriguing kitty cats.
CROOKSHANKS, MRS. NORRIS & PROFESSOR MC GONAGALL’S ANIMAGUS:
In the incredible Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling, cats appear many times. All students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are allowed to bring with them an owl, a cat, or a toad. Hermione Granger, a young witch, chooses to bring Crookshanks, a ginger colored, long-haired cat. It is said that Crookshanks had been waiting for a home for quite some time and that since he was very intelligent; he was just waiting for an owner worthy of his companionship. Crookshanks is known to torment Scabbers, the rat, belonging to a young wizard, Ron Weasley. At one point, Ron even accuses Crookshanks of eating Scabbers. Crookshanks is seen several times throughout the series of the movies, playing with Butter Beer corks or garden gnomes, helping or protecting Sirius Black (Harry Potter’s Godfather), or just napping in someone’s lap.
Mrs. Norris, the cat of Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch, is a long-haired striped cat with red eyes and first appears in the first movie, “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.” She is portrayed by a Maine Coon cat in the movies. You will most likely see Mrs. Norris following Filch around the castle. She is constantly on the watch in hopes of catching the Hogwarts students who are up to no good. In “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” Mrs. Norris ends up being petrified by a basilisk, a snake-like serpent, that’s on the loose. This event just happened to take place on Halloween night and the young wizard; Harry Potter was blamed by the caretaker, Filch, for this horrible act. Mrs. Norris was later cured by one of the professors, Pomona Sprout. Mrs. Norris lives on to patrol the halls of Hogwarts.
A silver gray striped tabby cat appears in the very first movie of the Harry Potter series “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.” This cat is actually, Professor Minerva McGonagall, a witch, who changes her shape from cat to witch in the first scene of the movie. McGonagall’s is an animagus, which is a witch or wizard who can turn themselves into animal at will. Quite a skill! She is also shown in her cat form on a desk in her classroom at Hogwarts and she changes her shape back to a witch once her students gather in her room. She used this cat form when she did not want anyone to recognize her. Actually, as a child, McGonagall would make her family cat do her bidding, as she was able to control his mind.
“Hocus Pocus” is a favorite Halloween film that portrays a cat, Thackery Binx. The fictional character of Binx is actually a boy from 17th century Salem who has been turned into a black cat. A spell was placed over Binx by a witch, called Winifred Sanderson, one of three sister witches. Binx was trying to protect his sister from the Sanderson witches and was transformed into a talking cat that would live forever. The witches were hung and three centuries later, Binx, the immortal black cat protects the old home of the witches. This home contains the key to bringing the witches back from the dead and as luck happens, the witches come to life in 1993. Binx, the cat is now on a quest to protect those who brought the witches back from the dead and to rid the town of the witches’ havoc. Binx the cat is a brave and heroic figure throughout the movie, would risk his life for all, and holds the knowledge that helps to banish the witches forever.
THE CAT FROM “CORALINE”:
The black cat from the animated movie “Coraline” and the book authored by Neil Gaiman doesn’t have an official name. The cat states that cats do not need official names in order to be told apart from each other. Coraline, a young girl and the main character of the movie, refers to him as “wuss-puss.” The story takes place in two different world: Coraline’s world of reality and a fantasy world of her “other” family and life that she finds through a secret door in her home. In the world of fantasy, the cat has the ability to talk as opposed to the reality world. He is continuously present throughout the movie and befriends “Coraline” helping her to escape from the warped fantasy world that she finds herself in. The black cat can be quite sarcastic in nature and has the ability to disappear and reappear. Although there is not a witch connected to “Coraline,” the movie does give the sense of a magical “other” world and a cat as a protector.
One common item with several of these well-known cats is that they are always available to help someone in need and to protect their owners and those they love.