A star in the animated version of the web, Simon’s Cat is also tremendous on paper: his three books are distributed in 25 countries and the author, Simon Tofield, publishes his daily coloured strips in the Daily Mirror. And there are already some people imitating the famous feline.
A shy cat with green and frisk eyes, Tofield was a guest at Wow – Museum of Comics in Milan – Friday 17 February, National Cat Day: one of the first discoverers of the cat, the curators of the Museum, wanted to pay tribute to what is perhaps the world’s most famous cat at this time. In front of a packed room, Riccardo Mazzoni interviewed the illustrator, while the veterinary behaviourist Sabrina Giussani called Tofield a «great psychologist of felines»; many questions were also asked by the curious audience.
What is this mischievous and hungry cat’s secret to success? It simple: unlike other cartoons, Simon’s Cat is a real cat, with all the merits and defects of his race; to help his friendliness are also his big eyes and round shapes, nurturing features of inspiration in humans (as happens with children).
But let’s move on to some questions to Simon Tofield.
Does the real “Simon’s cat” have a name?
«I have never given a name to the cat because girls like to think that it is female and boys like to thin that it is male. So, by calling it Simon’s Cat everyone can relate it to it It was my cat, Hugh, that gave me inspiration for the character, So for me it’s a male cat; at the beginning of the stories, the gender was more open-ended, now, it is easier to understand that it is a male»
Do you pay royalties to your cats, perhaps in kibble?
(laughing) «Every now and then I give him merchandising to play with or I give him a bowl »
Does your cat have a favourite cartoon?
«Felix, because it was the first, he sees Felix as the original cartoon cat»
Do you feel you have helped improve the relationship between humans and felines through smiling?
«I hope so I show the worse in cats but people love them the same, I reveal some secrets of the feline character, but there is also lots of laughter and much love»
Ordinary cat fan curiosity: what is Hugh’s favourite food?
«Fish or fish dishes»
Last but not least, at the end of the meeting in Milan Bruno Bozzetto, a huge Simon’s Cat fan, came to say hello.