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A Cat in a Gang of Dogs

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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 Sheepdog, 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. As they often think they are superior, 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. Often goes with Canines Primary, Felines Secondary.


Examples:

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     Comic Books 

     Comic Strips 

  • Inverted in Garfield, in which the dog Odie usually accompanies Garfield and his chiefly feline crew — mostly Nermal and Arlene, but also various other cat characters from different media — as the Token Good Teammate and the dim-witted comic relief.

     Films — Animated 

  • Sergeant Tibbs in 101 Dalmatians. In a movie with literally hundreds of dogs, he's the cat that helps them against Cruella.
  • Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw has two cats as part of the titular 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).
  • Roadside Romeo: Mini is a cat in a gang otherwise made up entirely of dogs.

     Films — Live Action 

     Literature 

  • In Flawed Dogs, the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits team of dogs includes a cat who disguises herself as a dog.
  • In The Hundred and One Dalmatians, the Dalmatians' rescue mission is aided by dogs of all types, and also two cats: Lieutenant Tib, a friend of the Old English Sheepdog called Colonel who helps break the puppies out of Cruella de Vil's clutches; and Cruella's own Persian cat, who helps them take revenge on Cruella.
  • This is inverted in The Last Dogs, where a Chihuahua named Buddha lives in a Crazy Cat Lady's house and thinks he's a cat. The cat leader, Raoul, seems to accept this and even tells the visiting dogs that Buddha prefers to be called a cat instead of a dog. However, Buddha hasn't really gotten used to eating mice all the time and is seen eating regular dog food.
    • It's subverted when Max and his friends are ready to leave the house of cats. A kitten marches behind them, wanting to join them on their adventure, but the other cats call her back to them.
  • Dogs of the Drowned City has Fuzz, a declawed Maine Coon cat who speaks dog language (in a You No Take Candle way). Shep is against this at first, but his wounded pride is enough to make him accept the cat into his pack. Things go okay for a while, but then Shep's roommate Blaze accuses Fuzz of leading cats to steal the dogs' food, and Shep is pressured into letting the dogs chase Fuzz out. He does apologize and lets Fuzz back into the pack, though.

     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 Superdog has Streaky the supercat teaming up with the rest of heroic characters, including Krypto himself, Ace the Bat-Hound, and the other superhero dogs.

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