Sometimes Cats Are Mean, sometimes cats are cute, (sometimes they're both) but if there's one thing all cats exude, it's cool. Cats stride around with a collected confidence and utter grace, always one step ahead of the curve without a care in the world. And why not? From their perspective, they run the world without ever having to get up from their nap.
And in fiction, this is no exception: evil or no, cats are graceful, collected and unshakably cool - the shades-wearing cool cat who never misses a beat is a popular version, as is the witty cat who never has to stop relaxing, or the impeccably collected feline, but the most dominant trait is that air of never having to lose their confident demeanor.
If combined with Cats Are Mean, this can result in cats being aloof. Even so, evil cats are often Affably Evil for precisely this reason. Cats are often associated with jazz music for this reason as well (as seen in The Aristocats for example), stemming from the fact that the word "cat" was used in 1930's and 40's jive slang to mean generally anyone who was cool.
Sometimes, the cool cat is a Sexy Cat as well.
- Cheetos' shades wearing, fun loving mascot Chester Cheetah.
- Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes commercials, of a more "role model" sort of a "cool."
- During the 1990s, in Jamaica, there was a soda ad on TV for the local Desnoes and Geddes (D&G) soft drink brand. The mascot for that series of cartoon ads was a cat aptly named Kool Kat, complete with shades and all. (Whenever he drank a soda, he got varying powers that ranged from invisibility to shape-shifting.)
- Front Row Joe is a hip, dancing tabby cat who is treated like a celebrity and beloved by pretty much everyone except the antagonist, Clyde.
- Garfield, especially in situations where he's not either the aggressor or the guy being put down. His ability to sit around impassive with a smirk and a quip is often the funniest part of the strip.
- A major theme in The Aristocats, from upbeat wanderer Thomas O'Malley, to collectedly refined Duchess, to swingin' hep cat Scat Cat, the moral of the story is "nothing keeps a good cat down."
- The cat in George Orwell's Animal Farm. She is loyal only to the Farm itself - not to any human nor porcine ruler, is utterly apolitical, prefers catching vermin instead of physical labour, and runs away when the things begin to get hairy with the pigs.
- The Cat from Red Dwarf. An obsession with being cool and dressing sharp is implied to be the Cat race's hat. They even have heartbeats that sound like dance rhythms and color-coordinated intestines.
- Salem the cat from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is snarky and aloof - and he thinks he's even cooler than he is.
- In Pee-wee's Playhouse, among the denizens of the titular home is a beatnik jazz band called Puppetland Band, one of whose members is the aptly-named Cool Cat, a white cat who wears a beret and oversized sunglasses and plays bongos in the band.
- The Cure had "Love Cats," which extolled many virtues of how cool cats are.
- Smooth jazz band The Rippingtons have a sunglasses and beret-wearing anthropomorphic cat as their mascot, who appears on each of their album covers.
- "Summer in the City" recorded by The Lovin' Spoonful:
Cool town, evening in the cityDressed so fine and looking so prettyCool cat, looking for a kittyGonna look in every corner of the city
- Sissel from Ghost Trick. He even has the shades to prove it.
- Percy from Pooch and Percy is a perfect of the "cats are cool" via "cats are aloof," where he thinks he's too cool for everyone around him, and acts accordingly.
- The Pink Panther is the quintessential example, of the "never has to lose his cool" variety - even in cartoons where he's the Butt-Monkey, he always keeps his silent wit and rhythmic step.
- Looney Tunes':
- Sylvester Cat occasionally plays with this, particularly in cartoons where Tweety isn't involved.
- There was a late-'60s Looney Tunes character named Cool Cat - a beatnik tiger who was a very obvious knock-off of the Pink Panther.