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Characters / Varjak Paw

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Characters appearing in the books Varjak Paw and its sequel The Outlaw Varjak Paw.

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     Varjak's Family 

Varjak Paw

  • Denied Food as Punishment: Varjak's father denies him supper until he can "learn to act like a Blue".
  • The Dog Bites Back: Varjak soundly defeats Julius using the Way, after Julius had bullied him for years.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: In one dream, Jalal shows Varjak a scene from ancient Mesopotamia.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: He turns out to share his eye color with Jalal.
  • Fish out of Water: Being an inside cat, Varjak Paw doesn't know anything about the outdoors.
  • Kid Hero: He's still just a kitten when he leaves Contessa's.
  • Odd Name Out: Varjak is the only (named) one in his living family whose name doesn't begin with "J".
  • A Pet Into The Wild: He leaves his house in order to find a way to protect his family. Having been a pampered pet, Varjak doesn't have any survival skills or hunting skills at the start of his journey.
  • The Pig Pen: He likes being muddy and dirty because it goes against everything his parents forced upon him. Holly convinces him that he should stay at least somewhat clean, or the humans will think he's wild and take him away.
  • Preppy Name: His name gets poked fun at repeatedly.
  • Stock "Yuck!": Varjak is disgusted by caviar.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: His family calls his eyes "the colour of danger", which turns out to be amber like Jalal's. Varjak is the only Paw in generations to be able to use the Way.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Varjak learns the Way from Jalal.
  • The Unfavorite: Varjak is looked down upon by his family for not being a "normal" Mesopotamian Blue.

Jalal the Paw

Elder Paw

  • Cool Old Guy: He's the only one in the family that believes in Varjak and respects him.
  • Doting Grandparent: He's the sole member of the family that doesn't pity or dislike Varjak.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself so that Varjak can run up the Contessa's wall to the Outside.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone calls him "Elder Paw".
  • No Name Given: He's only referred to as "Elder Paw".


  • Unnamed Parent: He's just known as "Father".
  • Would Harm a Senior: Father squares off against Elder Paw after an argument, however Elder Paw backs off before they can actually fight.


  • My Beloved Smother: She has a somewhat condescending, smothering attitude towards Varjak. She sees Varjak as a little kitten even though he's closer to being a teenager.
  • Unnamed Parent: She's just known as "Mother".


Jay, Jethro, and Jerome

Aunt Juni


The Contessa

  • The Ghost: She's referred to but never seen. It's implied that she's grown ill recently and that she dies at the start of the book. Julius blames Varjak for her disappearance.
  • Introverted Cat Person: She is implied to be an introverted old lady who breeds cats.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": She's usually referred to as "the Contessa".


    Varjak's Peers 


  • Friendship Denial: After the loss of Luka, she's lost her trust in friendship. She denies being Varjak's friend but eventually admits to it.
  • Mark of the Supernatural / Shared Unusual Trait: At the end of The Outlaw Varjak Paw, one of her eyes has turned the same icy blue as Sally Bones' eyes. Her new heterochromia implies that Sally Bones was grooming her to be her successor, but could not override Holly's innate goodness.
  • Messy Hair: She has perpetually spiky hair befitting her spiky personality.
  • Parental Abandonment: She's the same age as Varjak but already lives on her own.
  • Street Smart: She's a street-savvy stray.
  • Tsundere: She keeps others at a distance and can be snappy, but she's nice once you get on her good side.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Holly has a gravelly voice.


  • Big Eater: She likes to eat. When she disappears, Holly initially brushes it off as her eating somewhere.
  • Disney Death: Varjak and Holly come across a toy that looks like Tam, however it turns out the real Tam is alive and encaged.
  • Lovable Coward: She's pretty cowardly, which Holly likes to provoke. Subverted in a scene in which she flees from battle, only to return with reinforcements to help Varjak.
  • Odd Friendship: With Holly. Tam is soft and cowardly, Holly is abrasive and hot-tempered.



  • The Ghost: He disappeared prior to the story.


Sally Bones

The Gentleman's Cats





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