What is it about him? Is it his chill nature? His sarcasm? The way he knocks his buddy around like a little brother? The fact that he hates Mondays, loves to eat, and will stay curled up in his bed all hours of the day? Why do we love him so much?
I am, of course, talking about Garfield; that fat, old, lazy cat schemed in the mind of Jim Davis.
I’ve always enjoyed the Garfield comic strip — almost like it was born in me. I don’t even remember a time before I knew who was Garfield. I do remember when I got a chance to really enjoy the comic. It was at the library where I lived when I was a pre-teen; they had many books of Garfield comics. I checked them all out (not all at once), and eventually “got to” keep one. (It was lost for a long enough period of time that the overdue fines ended up paying for it.) It made me so happy to read so many short (and some actually book-long) adventures with this lazy little cat (or do I mean “big”?) who does nothing but treat the world as would a half-grumpy old man. (This was also when I started dotting my “I”s with circles like Jim Davis does.) I even drew a couple of my own Garfield strips. (Sorry, I can’t find them to share with you. I think my old art folder is still in a box I left in my parents’ attic…)
I had some things I could have done today, but when I saw the library I decided I could use a break. I went straight for the adult fiction section, to a book I’ve been considering reading by my favourite author, but not until I finish the series I started. After looking it over a bit, I instead decided I wanted to finish the last series book I have yet to read. I read the prologue and couldn’t continue. It’s a great series by a great author, but the low fluorescent lights in the building were already starting to bother me. So instead of continuing to read at the moment (I have the series at home, after all), I wandered around just to pass some more time.
I happened across a comic section, and in browsing it I found some Garfield books. Ah, memories. I decided on one to start looking at, but would probably take it home –where I don’t have fluorescent lights– to finish later. I sat in one of the “comfy” chairs, kept turning pages with laughs (quiet ones, of course) and ended up finishing the book. Yes, the lights still bothered me, but for some reason I was able to carry on easily through the book.
I grabbed a couple more to check out before I left to grab some actual sunlight.
So, to answer the question at the beginning: I think we love him for all of those things. He says what we all want to say at times. “No, I don’t want to get out of bed today — now go make me a sandwich!” We would love to stay in bed all day, finish the entire lasagna, and smack into the table the face of anyone who comments on our weight. Since there are repercussions for such things in the real world, we’ll just watch our favourite orange, fat cat — *SMACK* *BLAT* Ow! Sorry, Garfield — do it for us.