ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cathy Guisewite, Cartoons and the Single Girl

Updated on May 19, 2012
Cathy has been syndicate in over 1500 Newspaper across America. The cartoon has been a phenomenal success since its start in 1976.
Cathy has been syndicate in over 1500 Newspaper across America. The cartoon has been a phenomenal success since its start in 1976.

We All Have To Start Somewhere

Cathy Guisewite was born on September 5, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio to William Lee and Anne Guisewite, but she grew up in Midland, Michigan. She was educated at the University of Michigan and was a member of the Delta, Delta, Delta Sorority. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1972. She had a career writing for the Campbell-Ewald Agency, and then she worked in advertising for W.B. Doner & Company, where she rose to the executive ranks, before becoming a hit cartoonist.

Cathy talks about how her mother was always a driving force in her life, although, she credits her father for her sense of humor. Her love-hate relationship with mom is often reflected in her famous cartoon strip “Cathy.” In her fifteenth anniversary cartoon compilation, titled Reflections, Cathy tells about how her mother had always taught her to write things down, when she was experiencing negative emotions, such as jealousy or hurt, instead of expressing her feelings verbally. She says that this didn’t help her relate very well to other people, but she did develop a closeness with paper. One day in 1976, when she was feeling conflicting emotions, she wrote a letter to her mom with an illustration, to show how she was feeling. Her mother now knew her daughter’s true calling and told Cathy that her drawings were the making of a cartoon strip. Mother knows best, and the rest is history.

Cathy has often been a reflection of Guisewite's life and experiences.
Cathy has often been a reflection of Guisewite's life and experiences.

A Brilliant Career that has Touched the Lives of Many Readers

In November 1976 "Cathy", America’s favorite single gal, made her debut in Newspapers

Guisewite credits Charles Schultz, the creator of “Peanuts” and Mort Walker, the creator of “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi & Lois” for paving the way for her into syndication. Since that time Guisewite has been chronicling Cathy’s love life, career, friends, diets, and personal hang-ups. Cathy invented, what she calls, the four major guilt groups in the lives of most women. These four major guilt groups being mothers, food, love and career, which are major themes throughout her cartoon strip.

Cathy’s cartoons touches on the things that are important to most women. Guisewite has an interesting twist on such things as: trends, men, meeting men, her significant other, Irving, mom, fashion, and diets. Her cartoon regulars consist of: Andrea, Charlene, Zenith (Andrea’s daughter), the shop keeper or waitress (every time Cathy goes shopping, or dines out, she’s there to assist Cathy in her shopping adventures, or food choices), Cathy’s parents, her boss (Mr. Pinkley), the farrago of men she dates, Flo (Cathy’s mother’s friend), Andrea’s husband, Blank, and last but not least, Cathy’s dog Electra. These pretty much make up Cathy’s world.

Cathy’s cartoons center around the trials and tribulations that plague most single women. Trial number one is “bathing suit season.” Bathing suit season is when you have the famous cartoon strips, with Cathy being tortured in the fitting room trying to find the right bathing suit. Like most women, Cathy has her problem areas, or she just hasn’t finished with her diet yet. Here is the dialog from one of her fitting room scenarios:

  • Cathy: AAACK
  • Shop Keeper: May I help you?
  • Cathy: Yes, I would like the phone number of the lunatic, who designed this bathing suit. I want the home address of the person whose idea it was to combine the “cut-out-tummy” look with the “thong-rear-thing” I want past criminal records of the person who thought contemporary women would enjoy a tourniquet waistband on our bikini bottoms. I want you to find one man, who would be willing to wear a bathing suit that expose the equivalent of what 99.9% of all women expose! And last I want compensation pay for the fortunes women will spend on therapy this year when—after waxing, bleaching, electrolysis, tanning bars, and total starvation—we still feel “normal” wearing these #65 rubber bands out in public.
  • Shop Keeper: Did you need a different size?

Her next biggest challenge would definitely be her significant other, Irving. Here is the dialog, of one of the many hilarious scenarios between Cathy and Irving:

  • Cathy: “Minoxidil” you’re trying to fight thinning hair with “Minoxidil”?
  • Irving: Yeah…See, Cathy? Women don’t have all the problems.
  • Cathy: Irving I’m dealing with wrinkles, sags, bags, lines circles, flab,…50 billion younger women as my competition…and about fifteen minutes left to decide whether or not I’ll ever be a mother!!! All you have to worry about is going bald.
  • Irving: Want to trade places?
  • Cathy: No.

If you are looking for humor between the sexes, you need to look no further, than a dialog between Cathy and Irving. Another area I would like to cover is Cathy’s relationship with one of most women’s greatest nemesis, the diet. Here’s a dialog from one of her cartoons:

  • Andrea: Earlier today you turned down a 15 cent donut, a 35 cent cookie, and a fifty cent cupcake…And now you’re diving into a $10.00 box of chocolates. Cathy how could you do this to yourself?
  • Cathy: I was hoping the more expensive fat would look better on me.

In her cartoon, the character Cathy was originally meant to stay perpetually single. All her cartoon strips reflect on singleness and a single woman's mindset. She is the voice of the female baby boomers, which chose to forgo marriage, to pursue careers and have a little fun, before finally being tied down. Her boyfriend Irving, for most of the cartoon strip, tended to be a tad commitment phobic. Therefore, Cathy lived life to the fullest, being the icon, of all single women. Until a big change took place in Guisewite’s life, she got married!!!

Cathy, an endearing portrait of how a girly girl deals with the ups and downs of life.
Cathy, an endearing portrait of how a girly girl deals with the ups and downs of life.

After the Nuptials, How this Changed The Cartoon and the Single Girl

Cartoonist, Cathy Guisewite finally found that special someone to share her life with. The lucky guy is Christopher Wilkinson, who is a screenwriter, producer and director. He wrote Nuts, Ali, Copying Beethoven and co-wrote Nixon. Cathy and Christopher got married in 1997. This step in Guisewite life, changed things for Cathy eight years later. Guisewite’s original intention was to keep her cartoon gal single. Guisewite makes the following statement, when asked about Cathy’s becoming a bride: “I never thought Cathy would get married in the comic strip. And I also thought I would never get married in real life. So both are shocks to me. When I got married, people said, "Oh, now the character's going to get married." And I thought, no, this will really be where our lives separate. She'll go her way, I'll go mine, and that will be that. But the truth is, now that I'm married and actually living with a man 24 hours a day, the wealth of material is too great to pass up.”

Guisewite, who finally found all the joys of married life to outweigh the singleness mystic, decided it was time to make Irving declare his love and let Cathy be swept of her feet. She even made an online wedding registry for her Cartoon heroine, the site was called “” and she raised twenty five thousand dollars for the Pet Orphans of California. She did her fund raising with her adopted daughter, twelve year old daughter, Ivy.

Guisewite felt that there was so much material to be gleaned by the marrying of Cathy, and that many of her readers felt it was time for Cathy and Irving to tie the knot. Guisewite did several cartoon strips focusing on the wedding and all the events surrounding the wedding. After all, every phase of a woman’s life, has lots and lots of details to share. She chose February 5, 2005 for Cathy and Irving’s wedding day, this is Guisewite’s mother’s birthday.

Since the beginning of her career, Guisewite has authored many books with her wonderful cartoon strips. Here is a partial listing of some of her masterpieces:

  • The Cathy Chronicles (1978)
  • What do You Mean I Still Don’t Have Equal Rights??!! (1980)
  • What’s a Nice Single Girl Doing With a Double Bed?
  • Cathy’s Valentine Day Survival Book, How To Live Through Another February 14th (1982)
  • It Must Be Love My Face is Breaking Out (1982)
  • Eat Your Way to a Better Relationship (1983)
  • Climb Every Mountain, Bounce Every Check (1983)
  • Thin Thighs in Thirty Years (1986)
  • Why do the Right Words Always Come Out of the Wrong Mouth (1988)
  • $14 In The Bank and A $200.00 Face in My Purse (1990)
  • Reflections, Fifteen Anniversary Compilation (1991)

I can go on and on. There are many other books and carton strips, which reflect on the joys of being Cathy. You can even have Cathy on a daily basis, if you decide to purchase the Cathy 2010 Calendar. If you looking for a few good laughs and some wise advice, in the significant areas of life, get some Cathy books, or a calender now.

For more information on Cathy Guisewite and her fantastic cartoon strip, Cathy, here are some links for you convenience.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Really what a pity, even though it been a while I enjoy reading her strip as well. I guess after 35 years she had to retire or maybe she'll be back, with more humor.

    • TheMonk profile image


      7 years ago from Brazil

      I heard Cathy got discontinued last year. October I think. So sad. I just loved those comic strips.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks labmom, I agree, it nice to know that you have someone that speaks for the singles population. I guess, Cathy Guisewite, had a lot of marriage situations for her cartoon gal so she it was of to the alter for her.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I live the life of cathy.Diet food in the freezer, dog on the couch! I felt like a lost a friend when cathy married Irving. she could have done better.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you ainehannah, I don't know how you can get her cartoons in Ireland, you may want to buy one of her cartoon books on I love her stuff, it is well worth the money.

    • ainehannah profile image

      Aine O'Connor 

      9 years ago from Dublin

      This is hilarious. We get quite a lot of the cartoon series syndicated here but I've never heard of Cathy.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks Patty, I really like "Cathy" to, the cartoon strip helped me see through many of the issues of life with a sense of humor. I have read many of her cartoon compilations.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Great Hub that brings back good memories. I saw Cathy at a conference some eyars ago that was held to honor Ohio Women of Achievement and have always enjoyed the comic. Thanks for the memories, and Thumbs Up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)