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Western Animation / Odor-Able Kitty

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"Where have I been all your life?"

"Odor-Able Kitty" is a 1945 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. Notable for being the first appearance of Pepé Le Pew (who was called Henry in this cartoon, but will be referred to as Pepé for clarity's sake).

The story follows a homeless cat who gets sick of being bullied by every human and dog that crosses his path, so he gets the idea of using paint to disguise himself as a skunk so everyone will leave him alone; and it works. The only problem is, his new appearance attracts the attention of a certain amorous French skunk who mistakes him for a female skunk and gets... frisky to say the least. His every attempt to escape his lovesick pursuer is foiled and his only savior is the skunk's wife who appears with their kids and beats the tar out of her husband, allowing the cat to make his get-a-way. The cat washes off his disguise and continues to happily let himself get beaten by the humans and dog from earlier and comments, "Ah, this is the life".


"Odor-Able Kitty" provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Pepé as usual, except in this case it's a male cat who Pepé only thinks is a female skunk.
  • Big Ball of Violence: The dog gets into one with that cat who manages to escape with him fighting himself for a few seconds. The cartoon ends with him willingly getting into another one with the same dog.
  • Big Eater: The cat eats a pile of meat that's bigger then he is.
  • Bully Bulldog: The dog who beats up the cat for no reason.
  • The Cameo: Looks like Bugs Bunny makes a cameo, but it's just the cat in a flawless disguise that Pepé still manages to see through.
    • A mouse resembling Hubie (from the Hubie and Bertie cartoons) can be seen fleeing from the butcher shop.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The cat originally disguised himself as a skunk in order to get revenge on his tormentors and to get something to eat. Naturally, it quickly goes south when an actual skunk takes notice of him.
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  • Cartoon Cheese: The cat uses limburger in his skunk disguise which smells bad enough to be on par with the smell of a skunk.
  • The Cat Came Back: The "cat" being Pepé in this case who manages to see through all of the Cat's tricks to escape from him.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: This particular Looney Tunes cat never makes another appearance outside this cartoon. Neither does Pepe's family.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Pepé didn't and not just because his girl was actually a male, but because he was already married.
  • The Ditz: Pepe can come off as one, given he can't tell the cat is male despite his obviously male voice.
  • Down in the Dumps: This is where the cat makes his home.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Downplayed. The disguised cat doesn't do anything to make himself appear female, yet Pepé is convinced otherwise. Given the thing that initially attracts him to the cat was the cat's mock skunk odor, one could make the case the cat somehow replicated a female skunks odor.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Pepé's appearance is different than in later cartoons, like him having freckles (or dots where whiskers would be) for example.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This Pepe cartoon is vastly different from the ones that would come later:
    • The cat Pepé pursues is a male cat that Pepe just thinks is female.
    • The cat in this short purposely makes himself a skunk so he can get back at the people who abuse him. Usually, in a Pepe Le Pew cartoon, the female cat gets painted accidentally (usually sliding under something that was freshly painted whitenote ) or a human character paints her for some reason ("Past Perfumance" had a director paint the female cat for a role in a movie and "Two Scents Worth" had a French thief paint a female cat up like a skunk so he can rob a bank).note .
    • The cartoon isn't set in France (or a French-speaking part of the world, like North Africa ["Little Beau Pepe" and "The Cats Bah"] or the Swiss Alps ["Two Scents Worth" and "A Scent of the Matterhorn"]). Rather, it's set in America. The second cartoon in the series ("Scent-imental Over You"), Arthur Davis' "Odor of the Day" (though the exact location is vague), and "Really Scent" are the only other Pepé cartoons to be American-based (though "Really Scent" splits the difference and sets it in a part of America with French culture: New Orleans, Louisiana).
    • Besides the ending gag for Really Scent, this is the only short where the cat ends up getting an odor to match their skunk-like appearance.
    • Not counting the Direct to Video Casablanca parody video (Carrotblanca), this is the only one of Pepe's shorts where the cat actually talks.
    • Unlike most Pepe Le Pew cartoons (barring "Odor of the Day", "Dog Pounded", "Two Scents Worth", "Heaven Scent", "A Scent of the Matterhorn" and "Louvre Come Back to Me"), this was written by Tedd Pierce rather than Michael Maltesenote  (though the next cartoon, "Scent-imental Over You" had Pierce and Maltese as writers).
    • Unlike later shorts which would show the odor coming from his tail, in this short the Visible Odor comes from the characters' backs.
    • Probably the biggest example of Early Installment Weirdness here is the twist ending where Pepé is revealed to be married with children and that his French accent isn't real (with his real voice being Mel Blanc's natural speaking voice of the time, no less!). However, there is a good reason behind this: Originally, this was going to be the only Pepé Le Pew cartoon (and he's not even named "Pepé" here; it's Henry). It became a series when Eddie Selzer told Chuck Jones not to make another one because he didn't think it was funny (despite audiences finding it funny).
  • Faking the Dead: The cat uses a skunk fur to fool Pepé into thinking that he jumps off a building and kills himself. It works for all of twenty seconds before Pepé runs back to him and continues to embrace him.
  • Full-Body Disguise / Latex Perfection: The cat's Bugs Bunny disguise definitely qualifies, as it's perfectly flawless and makes you think it's the real Bugs making a cameo... but Pepé immediately sees through it and yanks Bugs's mask off to start wooing the cat again.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The cat succeeds in fooling the world that he's actually a skunk, but unfortunately for him, it also fools a real skunk who becomes infatuated with him (thinking he's a she).
  • Grass Is Greener: The cat learns that while his life as a Chew Toy was pretty bad, it definitly beats being pursued by lovesick male skunks.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The butcher shop owner and the housewife all kick the cat away just for merely loitering.
  • Impact Silhouette: Among the crowd of people running away from the skunk disguised cat in the butcher shop, two men run straight through the shop's display windows creating two people shaped holes.
  • Leitmotif: When "Bugs" appears, the Merrie Melodies theme ("Merrily We Roll Along") plays.
  • Master of Disguise: The Cat is shown to be surprisingly skilled at disguise; he does a really good job painting himself up like a skunk and giving himself the bad odor associated with skunks (so good it fools Pepé), and later on in an attempt to evade Pepé he flawlessly disguises himself in a Bugs Bunny suit and mask (but this does not fool Pepé).
  • No Name Given: The Cat is unnamed.
  • Parasol of Pain: Pepé gets beaten by one by his understandingly upset wife.
  • Playing Possum: When the passed out cat wakes up and notices Pepé being beaten by his wife, the cat continues to pretend to be unconscious and manages to "finger walk" his body away.
  • Smells Sexy: The first thing that initially attracts Pepé to the cat was the cat's mock skunk odor, seemingly implying that (at least for this short), skunks find other skunks odor to be quite attractive.
    Pepé: You are the aroma of spring flowers that bloom in the spring. You are the fragrance of wonderful and exotic perfumes.
  • Smelly Skunk: Pepé, as would follow thorough all his future cartoons. The cat also achieves this for his skunk disguise with the use of items such as limburger cheese, garlic and onions; but this seems to be what initially attracts Pepé to him in the first place.
  • Squashed Flat: After being whacked by a broom by an angry housewife, the cat gets slammed into a fence and squashed into a coin shape.
  • Standard Snippet: "It Had to Be You" plays whenever Pepé gets amorous with the cat.
  • Visible Odor: Pepé's stink is visible like in most of his cartoons, but so is the cat's mock skunk odor.
  • You Say Tomato: While the cat was relaxing he comments on everything being peaceful and "si-reen".