Black cats are no strangers to pop culture. There’s Salem, Binx, Luna, Scat Cat, Felix, Sylvester, Jiji, Kitty Softpaws, Snowball II (and other Snowballs), and many others. And that made a certain question very difficult for us HelloGiggles staffers answer: Which pop culture black cat is the absolute best?
We tried to anyway because, hello, the most wonderful holiday is coming up — HALLOWEEN — and black cats are practically synonymous with the spooky day. The debate to settle on a black cat was heated, and passions most definitely ran high. But in the end, there was a clear winner…
Salem, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
“Salem Saberhagen is the best black cat by far. Firstly, black cats evoke a sense of whimsy and magic. Also, they should talk, and Salem delivers on all fronts. Not only is he roomies/gaurdian-ed by the three best people on TV (Aunt Hilda, Sabrina, and Aunt Zelda, in that order), but he’s off the wall wacky. I remember one episode where he just decided to start calling Fridays “Frigyahh” — for no literal reason. That’s why hands down Salem is the BEST black cat around.” — Dan Magro, Sr. Video Editor
“Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch was the best thing about ABC’s TGIF lineup. I definitely had a crush on Harvey as a kid, but he was kind of slow on the uptake. I remember wishing I could fuse Harvey’s hotness with Salem’s quick wit. He was like the original ‘FML’ meme, before that was even a thing. I used to laugh hysterically at all of Salem’s zippy one-liners. For me in the late ‘90s, Salem was the height of humor.” — Emily Popp, Deputy Editor
“I’ve always been a big fan of Salem, and I think it comes down to why I like cats in the fur-st place: You want them to love you and when they could care less, it makes you fight for their love even harder. Salem couldn’t give two shits about anything, so obviously I was — and still am — obsessed with him and watched many an ABC Family (RIP) rerun of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
That biting wit and dry sarcasm make him a picture purr-fect feline. But he did have some warmth and humor, and could occasionally shed a tear and wear a weird outfit or two (or 12 or 50, who’s counting?!). Throw a bit of magic in there and some not very lifelike animatronics, which never cease to amuse me, and you have the perfect pop culture black cat. ” — C. Molly Smith, Assistant Entertainment Editor
And here are the runner-ups…
Thackery Binx, Hocus Pocus
“Maybe it’s weird that one of my first childhood crushes was on Thackery Binx, because he’s a cat that then turns into a boy. But then again, maybe I should be proud of my childhood self for having a crush on a character who was loyal, looking out for his family and friends, and on a quest to make good triumph over evil. How can you not love an undead cat who can talk and save lives?? And he was much nicer than Salem the animatronic cat, I must add. Long live the ghost/cat/boy Thackery Binx.” — Anna Buckley, Social Media Producer
Felix the Cat, Felix the Cat
“Felix the Cat is a classic — nay, ICONIC — black feline with staying power. Felix was born in the silent film era, yet, somehow, your girl possessed several Felix the Cat pajama sets from Target as a ’90s youth. Oh, a backpack shaped like Felix the Cat? I had it (and rocked it daily). A Felix the Cat coin purse? Hold on one sec, let me grab it from my childhood closet. You need change for a 5? Oh no problem, I got some singles in the FELIX THE CAT WALLET I HAD IN FOURTH GRADE.
Felix is an aesthetic. When you couple his longevity and history with his legendary cartoonish grin — I’m sorry, but your fave could never.” — Rachel Sanoff, Features Editor
Jiji, Kiki’s Delivery Service
“If you took pop culture’s boldest, blackest cats and put them all together, I’m convinced you’d get Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service. He has Salem Saberhagen’s sense of humor, Thackery Binx’s biting sarcasm, the concerned nature of Sailor Moon‘s Luna, and at times, the adorable, blinking silence of Felix the Cat. When Kiki leaves home to face the world at the alarming age of 13, Jiji is right by her side, tumultuously flying through the air on our heroine’s newly anointed broomstick.
Though Kiki makes him nervous — at one point, he exclaims, ‘I’m going to put my paws together and pray that you’re not serious!’ — Jiji never once gives up on her. And that, witches and wizards, is what makes a great black cat companion.” — Anna Gragert, Associate Editor
Snowball II, The Simpsons
“My favorite black cat has to be Snowball II from The Simpsons. As far as fictional cats go, The Simpsons were pretty on the ball with this cool cat’s portrayal — she’s a little standoffish, but shows love and support in her own way. Just like the real thing.
After entering the house soon after the unfortunate demise of Snowball I, Snowball II has become somewhat of an asset to the family. Nobody should ever forget the time Snowball II saved Homer from Bart’s posh treehouse that had caught on fire due to faulty wiring. Did the dog help out? I think not.
It’s important to know that Snowball II technically died, and Snowball V — an exact lookalike — took her name, as buying another engraved bowl would have been tedious. To me, that just means that Snowball II was so fantastic that the family couldn’t imagine a life without her.” — Karen Belz, Writer
Like we said, there are so many other uh-mazing black cats in pop culture. So if you have a favorite, we’d love to hear it. Sending all our love to black cats everywhere, and Happy Halloween.