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Western Animation / Feed the Kitty

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"Feed the Kitty" is a 1952 Merrie Melodies short, and one of Chuck Jones' most beloved shorts.

A bulldog named Marc Anthony encounters an adorable little tuxedo kitten (retroactively named "Pussyfoot") who is unfazed by Marc's attempts to scare him, and in fact takes a liking to Marc as he naps on the dog's back. Marc Anthony takes the kitten home with him, but also tries to hide Pussyfoot from his owner, who is fed up with him bringing trash home.

Not to be confused with Pet the Dog or Feed the Cat.

"Feed the Kitty" provides examples of:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Marc Anthony tries to represent this when he first meets Pussyfoot, barking and growling at him. It fails miserably.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Poor Marc Anthony runs himself ragged trying to keep Pussyfoot out of trouble.
  • Big Friendly Dog: No matter how tough he acts at first, Marc Anthony ends up going gaga over Pussyfoot. It's no good denying it, Marc Anthony.
  • Black Comedy: Marc Anthony watching in horror at what he believes to be his beloved kitten getting turned into cookie batter.
  • Bully Bulldog: Marc Anthony turns out to be a subversion. He at first acts unfriendly to Pussyfoot, but quickly melts after the kitten refuses to act scared. Later entries in the series have Marc Anthony playing this trope straight as he protects Pussyfoot from others.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: The first thing we see is Pussyfoot's eyes inside a can.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Marc Anthony positively melts when Pussyfoot acts cute.
  • Cute Kitten: Enforced with Pussyfoot's design. The artists wanted to make Pussyfoot as cute as possible.
  • Dramatic Irony: Unlike Marc Anthony, the audience knows that Pussyfoot climbed out of the cookie batter and is quite safe and sound. It makes his tears while watching his owner bake her cookies all the more hilariously dark.
  • Easily Forgiven: Marc Anthony does express some mild irritation over the trouble that Pussyfoot keeps getting him into and tries scolding the cat, but he just can't stay mad at his little buddy.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: The mistress of the house sees Pussyfoot running away under a bowl and think it's a mouse. She has the standard reaction, shrieking in fear as she hitches her skirt and runs away.
  • The Faceless: The lady of the house is only seen from the chest down.
  • Faint in Shock: When Marc Anthony is witnessing (what looks like) Pussyfoot getting baked into cookies, he passes out several times.
  • Fake Rabies: Marc Anthony pretends to be rabid to scare off his owner in order to save Pussyfoot, but she just scolds him for wasting her whipped cream.note 
  • Gentle Giant: Marc Anthony.
  • Housewife: Marc Anthony's owner is your standard '50s housewife, taking care of the household for an unseen family.
  • Heroic BSoD: Marc Anthony breaks down sobbing when he believes that Pussyfoot has died in his master's baking. His breakdown gets worse when he is given a cookie in the likeness of a kitten that he believes to be the corpse of Pussyfoot, but suddenly, the real Pussyfoot, who managed to climb out of the batter bowl earlier, shows up and meows, overjoying the grief-stricken bulldog.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Marc Anthony after observing the cookies being prepared and fearing the worst.
  • I Kiss Your Foot: Marc Anthony kisses the lady's feet to appease her.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Marc Anthony when he thinks Pussyfoot is being baked into cookies. He's created a sizable puddle by the time he's let back in the house and his eyes are noticeably strained.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Marc's owner tries to cheer him up with a cookie. However, it's a cat-shaped cookie and he's currently under the impression that Pussyfoot was made into said cookies.
  • Jaw Drop: Marc Anthony's jaw drops over Pussyfoot in his hand after the owner told him that he could keep the kitten.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Marc Anthony again! His mistress also proves to have a soft spot for cats, letting Pussyfoot stay once she discovers him.
  • Knee-High Perspective: The cartoon is a good example of what Chuck called "baseboard cartoons". The only human character is only seen from the waist down.
  • Large Ham: Marc Anthony has a multitude of hilariously huge facial expressions. Even when in a brief mourning, the dog is still a total ham.
  • Leitmotif: For Pussyfoot, "Ain't She Sweet". This is actually one of the few cartoon shorts not to end with a big crescendo, instead ending quietly with "Ain't She Sweet" while Pussyfoot sleeps (as a nod to this, when Pussyfoot made a split-second cameo decades later in the 1995 short Another Froggy Evening, the kitten's blink-and-miss-it appearance is likewise underscored by the opening notes of "Ain't She Sweet").
  • Licked by the Cat: Marc Anthony starts to warm up to Pussyfoot once he licks him in the mouth, even after the dog barked at him.
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy: Pussyfoot as the Little Guy and Marc Anthony as the Big Buddy. The trope even used to be named "Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot".
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Trying to get Pussyfoot out from under a rug, Marc Anthony accidentally grabs his owner's leg and startles her. He does this after she scolds him for it.
  • Papa Wolf: Marc Anthony's role to Pussyfoot, played up in "Feline Frame-Up" and "Cat Feud." For both cartoons, Claude Cat is the antagonist: In "Feline Frame-Up," he plays the role of a jealous house cat who schemes to dispose of Marc Anthony so he can easily do away with Pussyfoot. "Cat Feud" saw a scraggly looking "Claude" harass Pussyfoot (who in this cartoon has been thrown in a sack and left for dead at a construction site), and Marc Anthony stop the bully cat at every turn.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pussyfoot. Especially when we see his face in a measuring cup (just eyes, nose and mouth).
    • Even the cat-shaped cookie that Marc Anthony thinks Pussyfoot was made into is ridiculously adorable.
  • Screaming Woman: Marc Anthony's owner screams a few times.
  • Shout-Out: Marc Anthony's name is a reference to politician and general Mark Antony.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Odd because Marc Anthony is a dog making these distinctions, but when the mouse kisses him it provokes a very different reaction, than when Pussyfoot licks him earlier.
  • Wild Take: Marc Anthony grabs a mouse from the hole that it was living in, thinking it's Pussyfoot, and lets it ride on his back until he sees his kitten eating from the bowl. He then has a Delayed Reaction, leading up to the trope in question. After the mouse kisses him on the nose, the dog then chases it back to its hole.
  • Wind-Up Key: Marc Anthony takes a key off of a toy car and pretends to wind up Pussyfoot with it to fool his owner that the cat is a toy. He succeeds, and Pussyfoot then gets himself into the aforementioned toy car, barring the key. Marc Anthony finds it cute, until Pussyfoot manages to get the toy car working and starts driving erratically, possibly because of the prior removal of its key.
    • He tries the trick a second time, but his owner doesn't buy it.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Marc Anthony's expression after Pussyfoot responds to his angry barking without the slightest ounce of fear.