Created By: Luppercus on November 27, 2017 Last Edited By: Arivne on November 29, 2017
Troped

A Cat In A Gang of Dogs

One of these dogs is actually a cat!

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You have your standard Heroic Pet Story with a pack of friendly dogs; you may have a street-smart mongrel, a friendly Great Dane, a tough Bulldog, a half-blind clumsy Sheep dog a spoiled Poodle and... a cat?

For some reason, in works of fiction featuring a cast of dogs, writers often include a cat as part of the team.

In those settings where Cats Are Mean, this is done to avoid the Unfortunate Implications that a race of pets is Always Chaotic Evil (and avoiding the risk of alienating cat-lovers among the viewing audience), turning said cat into the Token Enemy Minority. But in those settings where there's no Animal Jingoism and cats can be good or bad equally as often as the dogs, this is generally a way to show some "ethnic" variety and maintain a broader appeal for all animal lovers. Due to the commonly associated trope, Cats Are Superior (or they think they are), the cat is likely The Lancer of the team, representing the counterbalance to the canine leader.

Contrast with Heroic Canines, Villainous Felines, Female Feline, Male Mutt and Cat/Dog Dichotomy.


Examples:

Films - Animated
  • Sergeant Tibbs in 101 Dalmatians. In a movie with literally hundreds of dogs, he's the cat that helps them against Cruella. The character exists in the original book, but is a female cat.
  • Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw has two cats as part of the group: Hairball and Charlamange.
  • Oliver & Company: This is a particularly notable example as the cat, Oliver, is the protagonist who works with a gang of stray dogs.
  • In The Secret Life of Pets, Chloe is the only cat among the large group of dogs that go on the rescue mission to save Max and Duke. There are also two birds: Tiberius (a hawk) and Sweetpea (a parakeet).

Comic Strips
  • Inverted in Garfield, in which a part of the eponymous orange cat and his friends (mostly Nermal and Arlene, but also various other cat characters from different media), the dog Odie usually accompanies Garfield and his crew as the Token Good Teammate.

Films - Live Action
  • A tabby cat probably based on Sergeant Tibbs from the original animated movie makes a cameo in 101 Dalmatians although he's Demoted to Extra.
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is about two dogs and a cat traveling long distances in the wild to be back to their family.
  • Marmaduke: Carlos a Balinese cat is Marmaduke's (a Great Dane) best friend and the only cat among a group of dogs.

Literature

Western Animation
  • Sergeant Tibbs is a feline character among dogs in 101 Dalmatians: The Series.
  • Hanna-Barbera's Foofur is based around a gang of six dogs and a cat known as the Troop, under the guidance of the eponymous Foofur. The Lancer and Foofur's best friend is the Karate Kat Fencer,
  • Tuffy the cat in Pound Puppies (1980s). In the reboot Pound Puppies (2010), there's a friendly rivalry with a squad of cats lead by two cats named Ace and Fluffy who seems to be the cat counterpart of Lucky and Cookie.
  • Krypto The Super Dog has Streaky the supercat, the rest of heroic characters, including Krypto himself and Ace the Bat-Hound, are dogs.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • November 27, 2017
    AndreaTx
    Fixed some of the grammar and solved the red links. The title might read smoother if it were something like "A cat in gang of dogs"
  • November 27, 2017
    Luppercus
    Thank you, and yes that is a good name
  • November 27, 2017
    AndreaTx
    Alright. Changed it then. Good luck!
  • November 27, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    Literature

    Although I can't remember exactly, I'm pretty sure the dogs always knew she was a cat, but I can't remember why she uses the disguise. I think it was to fool humans, but I'm not sure.
  • November 27, 2017
    JoeG
    • In The Secret Life Of Pets, Chloe is the only cat among the large group of dogs that go on the rescue mission to save Max and Duke. There are also two birds: Tiberius (a hawk) and Sweetpea (a parakeet).
  • November 27, 2017
    eroock
    The trope image from Token Enemy Minority.
  • November 27, 2017
    Luppercus
    That's from Foofur my friend is already listed.
  • November 27, 2017
    skadooshbag
    Should it count if the gang only has two members to begin with such as in the animated film Bolt?
  • November 27, 2017
    Luppercus
    Hmmm I think that's a duo.
  • November 27, 2017
    Arivne
    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

    There are also several examples that violate How To Write An Example - Remember That This Is A Wiki. When you write an example, you should not assume that the person has completely read every other example on the page already.
  • November 28, 2017
    Dgon
    Man, this is an example on how the "Zero Context Example" rule is sometimes taken to ridiculous extremes. If the trope is about X in a group of Y and an the example says Character A appears in show B you don't have to be a genious to know that character A is an X. Now this trope is going to have all the examples probably like this:

    • Fencer the cat in Hanna-Barbera's Foofur the dog.
    • Tuffy the cat in Pound Puppies (1980s). In the reboot Pound Puppies (2010), there's a friendly rivalry with a squad of cats lead by two cats named Ace the cat and Fluffy the cat who seems to be the cat counterpart of Lucky the dog and Cookie the dog. The puppies in question are dog cubs (just in case).
    • Krypto The Super Dog has Streaky the supercat a cat, the rest of heroic characters, including Krypto a dog and Ace the Bat-Hound, a dog.
    • Sergeant Tibbs a cat also appears as a recurring character in 101 Dalmatians: The Series where all the other characters are Dalmatians (a race of dogs). -Just in case you don't confuse the Dalmatians with people from the Croatian region of Dalmatia.

    Use Felidae a couple of times at least to avoid repeating a cat anda dog a hundred times.

  • November 28, 2017
    Theriocephalus
    I feel there's a pretty simple way of keeping this trope from being too dry and repetitive: actually discuss how it's used.

    As it stands, most or all of the examples — in all revisions that I'm seeing, page or comments or whatever — seem to boil down to:

    • Work A: This trope happens.
    • Work B: This trope happens here too.
    • Work C: This trope also happens.
    • Work D: This work has this trope.
    • Work E: This trope is here.

    And the characters involved are named, and that's it. The description at least goes out of its way to dedicate a substantial paragraph to how or why this trope is employed in works, what uses it's put to, etcetera. It really think it would help if the examples mentioned this too. It would take care of the ZCES, keep everything from being too repetitive, and make the page more interesting to read, too.

    Put it another way: this is an ensemble trope. Surely there's some recurring character dynamics here.

    On another note, regarding this example:

    • Krypto The Super Dog has Streaky the supercat, the rest of heroic characters, including Krypto himself and Ace the Bat-Hound, are dogs.

    First, the grammar needs a lot of help. Second, I should think that "Krypto the Superdog" and "Ace the Bat-Hound" make it as clear as it's needed to be what species these two are — the "are dogs" bit is redundant and unnecessary in this example.
  • November 28, 2017
    Basara-kun
    I don't know if this counts but...

    Comic Strips:
    • An inverted example occurs in Garfield, in which apart of the eponymous orange cat and his friends (mostly Nermal and Arlene, but also various other cat characters from different media), the dog Odie usually accompanies Garfield and his crew as the Token Good Teammate.
  • November 28, 2017
    Luppercus
    ^ I guess inversions count. ^^ I think D Gon was ironic about that part. I do my best with grammar as I'm not an native English speaker, that's why I welcome when it is corrected on the TLP.

    I think some of the observations of Arivne have merit (I guess I thought that Foofur, for example, was a very well known work but I guess there's people who hasn't see it and the names are meaningless) and some maybe were done more on a hurry, for example Marmaduke is not a gang on himself but the example says that Carlos is "the only cat of the (non-human) cast" which I think it clearly means that is the only charatcer that is not a dog or a human in the movie. The "gang" may have been taken to literally as in most cases refers to a cast of dog characters and a cat. But that's just me. In any case I will expand some of the examples soon enough when I have more time.
  • November 28, 2017
    girlyboy
    I propose the alt-name "Token Feline Teammate". :P
  • November 28, 2017
    Luppercus
    ^ Not bad, I will add it as a a.k.a.
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