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Garfield, the Lovable Fat Cat

Updated on February 28, 2008

Jim Davis was born in Fairmont, Indiana, and he grew up on a small farm with his mother and father, one brother and 25 cats. I guess that's where he came up with so many of his humorous Garfield cartoon strips. Davis went to Ball state University. At Ball State, he was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity. While there, he had the improbable accolade of having one of the lowest cumulative GPA's in the history of Ball State.An accolade fortuitously shared with David Letterman, the talk show host of the Late Show.

Davis now resides in Muncie, Indiana, where Garfield is written along his staff at his company, Paws, Inc., which began in 1981. Ironically, DavisLabrador retriever when he started Garfield, and did not own catsbecause of his wife’s allergies. After divorcing his first wife and her allergies to cats, Davis along with his new wife, expanded his animal family to include two cats and another dog.

Before deciding to create Garfield, Davis worked at an advertising agency and in 1969 he began assisting Tom Ryan with his comic strip, Tumbleweeds. Following that, He did his own strip called Gnorm Gnat, about bugs. It ran for five years in a Michigan newspaper. Davis tried to sell it to a national comic strip syndicate, but an editor told him, "Your art is good, your gags are great, but bugs — nobody can relate with bugs!"

Garfield is a humorous comic strip based on the lives of a fat, lazy, arrogant orange cat that graves lasagna, coffee, and his remote control. He was born on the comic strip pages in 41 newspapers on June 19, 1978. The other main characters of the strip are his nerdy owner, Jon Arbuckle, and Odie, a good-natured but very dense dog. Garfield quickly became the fastest growing and most widely syndicated comic strip ever. Today, the strip is read in over 2570 newspapers by 263,000,000 people around the globe.

Garfield is named after Davis’s grandfather, who’s middle name was Garfield, who in fact was named after President James Garfield who was assassinated while in office.

With the huge success of the comic strip it created a beloved cartoon on CBS-TV for 7 years called, "Garfield & Friends," The show is currently in syndication around the world and is available on DVD as well. Over 130,000,000 Garfield books have been sold worldwide, and Garfield shows no signs of disappearing very soon.

Twentieth Century Fox gave the fat cat unending fame with a feature film, Garfield: The Movie and a sequel, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties..

"He's a human in a cat suit," as creator Jim Davis likes to say, is a big reason that people relate so much to Garfield. He hates Mondays and loves to watch TV. He'd rather pig out than work out. His disfavor to diet and exercise is obvious. He prefers lay-downs to sit-ups. Mornings would be much more tolerable if they started later. The only way to start the day is with a cup of coffee "strong enough to sit up and bark." What could be more human than that?

Garfield, Fat, Lazy, and Lovable, says and does the things that we all want to say and do, if we could actually get away with it. People nowadays are made to feel remorseful for overeating and sleeping in late. “Garfield defends our right to grab a jelly donut and take a long afternoon nap," says Davis. "Somehow, Garfield relieves our guilt and we love him for it."

Garfield is never at a loss for words. Part of his overall appeal is his exclusive way of looking at things in life. Here are some of Garfield's more astute observations.

"Diet is 'die' with a 't'."

"I'll rise, but I won't shine."

"Never trust a smiling cat."

"The meek shall inherit squat."

"I'm not overweight, I'm undertall."

"Show me a good mouser, and I'll show you a cat with bad breath"

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      Gammy 5 years ago

      Poor Blake....

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      Flu-Bird 6 years ago

      We used to have botha cat and dog the dog would sit on the cat at times and the cat would get the dog on her back and lick her belly REALY FUNNY

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      blake 7 years ago

      its been four months sence ive been here

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      blake 8 years ago

      wow he did not talk to me i like you but you will not talk to me

    • profile image

      BLAKE 8 years ago

      JIM DAVIS HI I WANTED TO MEET YOU GO ON THE COM PUTER AND TALK TO ME

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      jim davis im blake hello i love garfield he is funny im a big fan realy im a big fan of garfield lets be friends

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      hear is a song im gonna be ritch ill work hard make money evey day what are you gonna do about it im gonna be ritch im gonna be ritch yeah wow ill make 70007 dollars evey day ill make to many in two years ill be ritch im gonna be ritch im gonna be ritch yeah its a lot of money and with you mess with me ill shoot your head off and ill be ritch im gonna be im gonna riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      garfield is the best fat cat is so funny so i whant to get a book of garfield he is so funny i want to get ritch this is some cool stuth but i want to make money

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      i will tell you what happens in four brothers just kiding i wont tell you what happens

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      hey don't cry when he dies

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      sad right

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      blake 8 years ago

      my faverite movie is four brothers i like jack he is funny hes the youngest and....he dies closer to the end

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      blake 8 years ago

      my faverite movie is four brothers i like jack he is funny hes the youngest and....he dies closer to the end

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      blake balzer 8 years ago

      my granma died

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      blake 8 years ago

      the kids in school said the cat they used to scetch him died i was told bilmurrey died

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      joe 8 years ago

      sweet i love garfield he is funny

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      sorry i don't know with you can find it

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      garfield is funny

      so so funny

    • profile image

      blake 8 years ago

      garfield is funny

      so so funny

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      alyson 8 years ago

      I'm looking for the 'I'm not overweight, I'm undertall' Garfield comic strip. Can you help me find it please?

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      Cat Personal Checks 9 years ago

      Hi! What a great hub you have here regarding this cute orange-colored cat who loves lasagna (just like me!)! I'm also a great fan of Garfield especially that dumb and at the same time smart Odie! I even have some great merchandise of Garfield an incomplete, unofficial collection of Garfield comic strips which I cut out from newspapers! But I'm proud to put his pictures on my own Cat Personal Checks & a lot of people are impressed with this. You should try to check this out. In the meantime, I'll read again your hub from the beginning! Have a nice day! Maybe I'll put a Garfield comic strip on my check next time I order again....hmmm

      http://www.onlychecks.com/cat-personal-checks.html