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Who Would Win? John Wayne or a Cat?

Updated on August 16, 2012

Who Would Win? John Wayne or a Cat?

Could John Wayne be victorious over a cat? So many variables to consider. No John Wayne poster of The Duke taking on a cat was ever produced. There are no known John Wayne movies involving cat antagonists; we can only speculate.

Could The Duke defeat A Lion?
Could The Duke defeat A Lion?
The Leopard plans an attack on Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort
The Leopard plans an attack on Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort

Scenario 1: John Chisum vs a Cat

John Simpson Chisum, as portrayed by John Wayne, was a powerful and successful man with a streak of common sense. He built his empire by accumulating land, empowering people to be successful along with him, and, as Lawrence Murphy, played by Forest Tucker, said in the movie, "putting his name on everything be possible could". Chisum had grand ambitions but was still interested in the well-being of those around him. He earned his empire and his friends along the way. He inspired fierce loyalty. His closest associates looked to him for guidance and followed his instincts without hesitation. On the other hand, Chisum recognized integrity in the people he met; Henry Tunstall was as different from Chisum as oil from water. However, Chisum was willing to put aside his temper and accept Tunstall's council. A turning point in the movie occurred when Chisum was talked out of resorting to gunplay and instead agreed to Tunstall's strategy of pursuing legal redress.

What could a cat do against the business acumen and strength of will of John Simpson Chisum? Not much. Perhaps the cat might be stealthy enough to sneak into the Chisum homestead and piddle on the bearskin rug in Chisum's office. The resulting odor would be extremely unpleasant, especially during the hot Texas Summer. The Chisum housekeeping staff would eventually find the source of the smell and discard the rug or scrub it clean. Regardless of the discomfort caused by the cat pee, it's very unlikely that anyone in the house would associate the offense with a particular cat; all cats would be blamed, but no single cat could hope to get satisfaction from the activity.

Scenario 2: Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort vs a Leopard

Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort, as portrayed by John Wayne in the movie "The Longest Day", was a dedicated soldier who knew the risks and horrors of war. He went into France on D-Day, despite being a Lieutenant Colonel. He expected the utmost effort from his troops, but he placed himself in harms way right along with them. With an injured ankle he insisted on moving toward the front lines rather than looking for a safe locale to recuperate. His men admired his bravery and were inspired, perhaps intimidated, by his unflinching dedication to duty. Although he carried enough rank to command a litter and soldiers to carry him, his men never begrudged him the so-called luxury.

Could Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort survive against a leopard? The leopard has stealth on it's side. With his damaged ankle the colonel certainly couldn't outrun the cat. If the cat managed to catch The Duke alone, without his soldiers around him, the struggle might be even. If The Duke has his carbine and is able to raise it up, aim, and fire before the cat gets on him, he would have a fighting chance to survive. However, a rifle is not by any means a close-in weapon; Wayne would be at a huge disadvantage if he was not carrying his side arm or a knife of some type.

The leopard, being stranded in 1940's France during the D-Day invasion, would struggle to survive under the best of circumstances, even if Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort wasn't gunning for him. Any soldier on either side with a serviceable weapon would probably shoot a leopard on sight in the heat of battle. Add to that the shortage of leopard food and habitat in a war zone, and Vandervoort has to be the prohibitive favorite in this tussle.

Scenario 3: Chance Buckman vs a Lion with Cubs

Chance Buckman, as portrayed by John Wayne in the movie "HellFighters", was a wildly successful oil fire putter-outer who parlayed his petroleum-based talents into a financial empire. Buckman made a living doing things on oil fields around the world that no one else could manage to do. He extinguished oil field fires by moving in close enough to the inferno to locate high explosives dangerously close to the burning oil. He then scuttled back to relative safety and detonated the explosives, which removed the ambient oxygen and caused the burning oil to stop burning. Oil companies and oil sheiks were willing to pay him huge money to rescue their equipment from certain destruction. Chance Buckman commanded a cadre of loyal and near-crazy employees who worked beside him to solve problems that no one else could deal with. The guy had a lot of guts. His company was respected and revered throughout the oil industry.

Could Chance Buckman face down a lion with cubs? The lion would be strongly motivated to protect her family; she would consider Buckman a threat because of his assertive nature and his risk-taking behavior. The simple task of driving a bull dozer up to a burning oil rig might be enough to convince the lion that her cubs were in danger. She might wait for Buckman to back away from the fire and attack while he was distracted with detonating the explosives. She could possibly be even more patient; while Buckman and his crew were celebrating a successful extinguishment, she could sequester her cubs in the construction trailer and pounce on him when he least expected it.

On the other hand, a lion with cubs would be very disoriented by the terrific inferno generated by an oil rig fire. The heat, noise, and soaking oil are all distractions that she is completely unprepared for. If her cubs were to get singed by the flame, she would probably lose all sense of intent; she would have no defense against the Buckman bulldozer. Obviously Buckman would not be carrying a weapon in this challenging environment, but he could improvise with a shovel or any other implement of destruction on the job site. Advantage; Chance Buckman.

J.B.Books vs a Rabid Feral Cat

J.B.Books, as portrayed by John Wayne in the movie, "The Shootist", was a professional gunfighter who learns he is dying of cancer. He resigns himself to his fate, but in the process of preparing to meet his doom he encounters people who react to him in many different ways. The movie is mostly boring and not at all up to the best work of John Wayne. Anyway, as a professional gunfighter, J.B.Books has gritty experience in self-defense and offensive tactics. A rabid feral cat would have virtually no chance of finishing him. Unless Books was on his death bed, the cat has little to offer in the way of destructive weaponry. The cat might somehow contrive to hide under his bed, scratch him, and hope to give him rabies, but considering he already had cancer, it's a futile gesture. The cat would only get one chance; Books would probably kill him after he got scratched. Even if Books did suffer the ill effects of rabies, the cat wouldn't live to see the result; Books would pop a cap in him. Ron Howard was in the movie, also.

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    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Oh, yeah! I remember that film now. No cougar could hang with The Duke.

    • profile image


      6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      Very interesting idea here. With all the westerns he did I am surprised he never fought a cougar. You could add the character he played in Daktare. I am probably butchering the title but he played a professional hunter in africa who,along with his crew, captured wild animals for zoo's and circuses back in the states.


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