Cats in The Magical World

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Cats in The Magical World Empty Cats in The Magical World

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:33 pm

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

Tom Marvolo Riddleton - Jul 5, 2006 9:42 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 20, 2006 1:04 am

I was wondering about the significance of cats within the magical world of Harry Potter. I believe that JKR has said that Mrs. Norris is an unregistered Animagus, but there are other instances of cats playing a role in HP that suggests that they are of importance even in the magical world. I don't know if this has anything to do with the stereotypical Muggle view of witches dressed in black and flying around on broomsticks always owning black cats, but I was curious if magical folk might have a certain bond with the creatures. (I got the following references from the Lex.)

- Minerva McGonagall is a registered Animagus who changes into a cat.

- Mrs. Figg has cat/Kneazle crossbreeds: Mr. Tibbles, Snowy, Mr. Paws, and Tufty.

- There are many cats on Platform 9 3/4 in PS.

- Millicent Bulstrode has a black cat in CS.

- Of course, there is Mrs. Norris.

- There are cats of every color sold at the Magical Menagerie, where Crookshanks was bought.

- Here's what the Lex has to say about the Kneazle: "This very intelligent cat-like creature can detect unsavory or suspicious persons very well and will react badly to them. However, if a Kneazle takes a liking to a witch or wizard, it makes an excellent pet. The Kneazle has spotted fur, large ears, and a lion-like tail (FB). Crookshanks is part Kneazle"

Perhaps many of the cats in the magical world are really just Kneazles, and perhaps Muggles just get the Squib form of the Kneazle as there pets. One thing I don't understand though is how one communicates with a cat, even if it is part Kneazle; Mrs. Figg says that Mr. Tibbles was on guard duty when Mundungus was left his post at Harry's house in OoTP, and Sirius said "this cat - Crookshanks, did you call him?- told me Peter had left blood on the sheets" in PoA. The main purpose of this discussion, though, is to discuss what role, if any, cats might play in book seven. Jo herself says that there is nothing she can say about cats without giving anything away, although that was back in 2000. (See Quick Quotes Quill: Interviews with J.K. Rowling)
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Cats in The Magical World Empty Cats in The Magical World (posts #1 - #37)

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:35 pm

Solitaire - Jul 5, 2006 9:49 pm (#1 of 37)

I do agree that cats/Kneazles have played an important part in the series, but I do not remember anything about Mrs. Norris being an Animagus, registered or otherwise. Alas, I'm not on as often during the school year, and that tidbit may have been one I missed. It could certainly explain Filch's attachment to her. Please, can you give the source of that info?


Tom Marvolo Riddleton - Jul 5, 2006 10:18 pm (#2 of 37)

I have made a grave error, but as I am not Dumbledore my mistakes tend to be smaller... I was reading a post on some part of the forum where somebody said something about Mrs. Norris being an unregistered Animagus. I didn't understand that that this was intended to simply be a rumor posted on JK's official website; her response to the rumor was: "No, she's just an intelligent (and unpleasant) cat." (See Rumors on JK's Official Website: Mrs. Norris)

I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies in having made this error.

Solitaire - Jul 5, 2006 10:53 pm (#3 of 37)
Edited Jul 5, 2006 11:55 pm

Thanks, Tom. No problem. As I said, I really am scarce during the school year (too many papers to grade), so I occasionally miss important things. Mrs. Norris the Animagus might very well have been one of them ... and I just wanted to know.

Actually, I think there used to be a thread about cats and Kneazles. I looked for it, but I think it must have been deleted. Alas, earwax!


Soul Search - Jul 6, 2006 7:00 am (#4 of 37)

As for cats in book seven, we know the trio will come to Privet Drive. Now, when Hermione comes to Privet Drive, she will probably have Crookshanks. Harry will want to introduce them to Mrs. Figg. Will Mrs. Figg recognize Crookshanks as half-Kneazle, and tell Hermione. Perhaps she will even tell Hermione of the Kneazle's special abilities.

darien - Jul 6, 2006 3:08 pm (#5 of 37)

Will there be need for Hermione to be told? Wouldn't she have read everything about cats and discovered by herself that Crookshanks is part Kneazle just as she recognised Lupin as a werewolf? After that she'd have read about Kneazles and their magical abilities.

Finn BV - Jul 6, 2006 6:09 pm (#6 of 37)

I quite like that connection, actually, Soul Search. Although, it seems both Figgy and Crookshanks have had their moment when it comes to being a plot point.

Tom Marvolo Riddleton - Jul 6, 2006 7:25 pm (#7 of 37)

Good point Finn. I guess one of the reasons I wanted to start this discussion was I was curious as to whether JK will somehow slip in something about Kneazles or say something more about cats; I can't decide whether it is something she feels needs more to it or simply feels that it is some sort of test for Harry Potter fans... Did they buy ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, contributing to the charities (Comic Relief and Harry's Books?), and can thus recognize a Kneazle for themselves? I know when I was reading through her website she said that people who didn't know what a Kneazle was should be ashamed of themselves... Which makes me wonder if I should be studying the books rather than reading them casually.

Solitaire - Jul 6, 2006 9:26 pm (#8 of 37)

Sirius was the first to point out that Crookshanks was not an ordinary cat. Didn't he tell them that Crookshanks stole Neville's list of passwords? Once Hermione heard that, don't you think she probably did some research on Crookshanks? It wouldn't be like her at all to just forget that information. She may not know that Crookshanks was bred by Figgy--Of course, neither do we, at the moment, do we?--but perhaps that is something she might find out if she visits Privet Drive. Just a wild guess ...


Phelim Mcintyre - Jul 7, 2006 12:13 am (#9 of 37)

Yes Solitaire, it was Crookshanks that stole Neville's list of passwords. In fact Sirius said that Crookshanks was one of the most intelligent of its kind he had met.

As we are discussing Kneazles, I do hope that your avatar is one.

Solitaire - Jul 7, 2006 3:33 am (#10 of 37)

Hm ... I just searched for images of beautiful Maine Coon Cats. Who knows? Perhaps she is a Kneazle! She has an awfully knowing look, doesn't she?


Choices - Jul 7, 2006 9:32 am (#11 of 37)

Somehow I think we have run the course with cats in the series. We've had Crookshanks and Mrs. Norris and Mrs. Figg’s cats. I just can't see that cats will play much of a role in the final book.

journeymom - Jul 7, 2006 7:59 pm (#12 of 37)

Isn't Hermione already aware that Crookshanks is part Kneazle?

Amilia Smith - Jul 7, 2006 8:11 pm (#13 of 37)

If so, she hasn't said anything about it. Wouldn't surprise me, though.


Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 9, 2006 11:05 am (#14 of 37)

Ginny is often compared to a cat. OoP p. 479 Scholastic hardbound "Ginny was curled like a cat on her chair..."

It seems like the only "magic" squibs can do is have deep relationships with cats, Mrs. Figg and Filch. The cats act like traditional witches "familiars." LPO

vball man - Jul 9, 2006 7:40 pm (#15 of 37)

Well, I've posted it before - don't know when - but I have a theory about the cats:

If a cat is present when a wizard is born, the cat steals the baby's powers. The cat is completely unable to use them - except that it lives longer and is smarter than the average cat.

So, in exchange for being a squib you get a nice feline companion for life. Razz

Solitaire - Jul 9, 2006 9:09 pm (#16 of 37)

Interesting idea ... it reminds me a little of the Changeling Child theory among fairies. But it seems Wizards would have figured it out by now and taken precautions against it. I mean, I should think they would consider all conditions at the time a child was born--or even conceived--when trying to understand why a child from a Wizarding family is born a Squib, given the probable humiliation they might feel. Then again, maybe not ... As I said, it is an interesting idea.


Amilia Smith - Jul 10, 2006 1:25 am (#17 of 37)

Kind of goes along with the old idea that a cat would steal a baby's breath.


Die Zimtzicke - Jul 31, 2006 7:24 pm (#18 of 37)

The odd thing is, though, that Jo does NOT like cats. She has said so often...that she is not fond of cats and has often had dogs. That's why I think she makes her cats out to be either mangy or sneaky. I often do wonder if Jo is thinking of Egyptian legends about the power of cats, though.

I know that Bast, the Ancient Egyptian Goddess was a cat, but she was not a house cat. She is more of a jungle cat, and as a goddess is considered one of the Dark Ladies...the goddesses who teach hard lessons and do not suffer fools lightly.

Though the most famous cat Goddess, she was not the only one, however. Aker was a two-headed lion God, who protected one from snakes, Ami Pe was another lion God, and Pakhet was another cat Goddess.

I wish Figgy would come up again. I find the idea of a squib breeding Kneazles interesting. She must feel pretty secure, having them around to tell her when someone untrustworthy is about.

Chevil - Aug 27, 2006 11:12 pm (#19 of 37)

Going back to what LPO said about Ginny often being compared to cats...there is definitely a reference to Ginny's catlike appearance or something in CS. Also, given that Rowling has said something about cats being important to the plot, it wouldn't surprise me too much if something about Ginny/cats turned into an important plot point. Actually, speaking of cats, it just occurred to me that lions (the Gryffindor animal) are cats. So what if there was some sort of connection between Ginny and Gryffindor. I know that Voldemort is often compared to snakes (slitlike nostrils, long limbs, etc.), so what if Rowling is making a connection between Ginny and Gryffindor...

Yes, give me some time and I will definitely turn this into some harebrained theory, but most of what I have printed above is almost definitely fact.


Hoot Owl - Aug 29, 2006 11:14 am (#20 of 37)
Edited Aug 29, 2006 12:27 pm

Chevil, Do you mean beyond the obvious connection of Ginny being Gryffindor's House ? The Weasleys may be descendents of Godric Gryffindor.

But didn't JKR say there was no significance to the cat references to Ginny? I was hoping for a lioness Animagic form or patronus. (The long mane of red hair reference.) Oh, well!

Die Zimtzicke - Aug 30, 2006 10:53 am (#21 of 37)

Alastor was described as having a mane, too, and so was Rufus. Do we know if either of them come from Gryffindor?

Vulture - Sep 22, 2006 11:41 pm (#22 of 37)
Edited by Kip Carter Sep 23, 2006 2:04 am


Is there a thread for this character who plays such an important role in Book 3 ? I couldn't find one. Crookshanks is the first (apart from Sirius) to see Scabbers/Pettigrew for what he is, and he helps to save Sirius's life - and save Harry from a terrible mistake.

More mysteriously, I had thought of calling this thread "The Curious Incident Of The (Huge Ugly Orange) Cat In The Night-Time". You may recall that, in some Sherlock Holmes story, Holmes uses that phrase about a dog, and Dr. Watson, puzzled, answers: "The dog did nothing in the night-time" - to which Holmes replies, "That was the curious incident".

Almost the same applies here: after chasing Scabbers like mad for a year, Crookshanks never appears at what we might expect to be the obvious moment that he's needed - i.e. when Pettigrew re-transforms into a rat and takes off. Why not?

Anyway, feel free to comment on that or anything else to do with Squashed-Orange-Face.

P.S. Strictly speaking, of course, as JKR has told us, Crookshanks is not an ordinary cat, but a Kneazle.

I moved the new Crookshanks thread into this existing Cats in The Magical World thread because I felt that discussions involving Crookshanks would eventually include characteristics of other cats and did not feel that the Crookshanks would survive on its own merits, being that two previous threads have been automatically deleted due to lack of posts after thirty days. - Kip

Steve Newton - Sep 22, 2006 5:48 pm (#23 of 37)

I believe the Sherlock Holmes story is 'Silver Blaze'.

Meoshimo - Sep 22, 2006 7:13 pm (#24 of 37)

Part-Kneazle, I think. Possibly half-Kneazle.

Vulture - Sep 22, 2006 8:12 pm (#25 of 37)

Why do we think the possibly half-Kneazle didn't take off after the rat after chasing the daylights out of him all year?!!

journeymom - Sep 22, 2006 9:35 pm (#26 of 37)

He was locked in the girls' dorm at the time?

S.E. Jones - Sep 22, 2006 11:24 pm (#27 of 37)
Edited Sep 23, 2006 12:41 am

Vulture --Almost the same applies here: after chasing Scabbers like mad for a year, Crookshanks never appears at what we might expect to be the obvious moment that he's needed - i.e. when Pettigrew re-transforms into a rat and takes off. Why not?

Crookshanks got zapped by Peter. Lupin transforms and drops his wand, Black transforms and goes after Lupin, Peter grabs the dropped wand and zaps Ron and Crookshanks, then transforms himself and runs for it.... That's why Crookshanks didn't go after the rat.

PoA20, pg381, US:

Pettigrew had dived for Lupin's dropped wand. Ron, unsteady on his bandaged leg, fell. There was a bang, a burst of light -- and Ron lay motionless on the ground. Another bang -- Crookshanks flew into the air and back to the earth in a heap.

He's definitely part Kneazle, if that helps any.

So, do you think we'll be seeing him again? It doesn't really seem likely that Hermione would drag him with her Horcrux hunting in Book 7, though he'd probably pretty useful....

Vulture - Sep 27, 2006 3:59 am (#28 of 37)

Pettigrew had dived for Lupin's dropped wand. Ron, unsteady on his bandaged leg, fell. There was a bang, a burst of light -- and Ron lay motionless on the ground. Another bang -- Crookshanks flew into the air and back to the earth in a heap. (PoA 20, pg 381, US)

Ah, I see. Thanks for that.

I imagine we will see him again. The Trio's pets do seem to turn up routinely - well, of course, Harry's and Ron's are part of the postal system !! But I get the feeling Crookshanks will hang around out of loyalty - he's also pretty smart, as Sirius told us, and brave too (protecting Sirius from death in the Shack in Book 3). Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor rolled into one - who wouldn't want him along ?! He himself may want to discuss that zapping at close quarters if Wormtail turns back into a rat!!

S.E. Jones - Sep 27, 2006 10:55 am (#29 of 37)

You know, now that I think about it, how is Harry going to know if an object has been magicked into being a horcrux? He didn't seem to be able to tell where the magical door was that led to the cave? Maybe that's where Crookshanks will come in handy? He was able to tell Sirius and Peter weren't really animals, so maybe he can tell when objects aren't what they appear to be as well?

far from prefect - Sep 27, 2006 1:28 pm (#30 of 37)

I sure wish he would give that Pygmy Puff a good once over...

legolas returns - Sep 27, 2006 1:47 pm (#31 of 37)
Edited Sep 27, 2006 2:47 pm

As far as I remember he was always looking at the pygmy puff with interest. I don’t know if this means he looks tasty or he’s something suspicious.

Phelim Mcintyre - Sep 30, 2006 3:37 am (#32 of 37)

What, a quote that isn't in the UK edition about what happened when Wormtail escaped!!!!

valuereflection - Oct 11, 2006 4:24 pm (#33 of 37)
Edited Oct 11, 2006 5:25 pm

I think Crookshanks still has a role to play. He is too useful to ignore. Not only is he a walking sneak-o-scope, but he is so intelligent that Sirius used him to steal Neville's passwords and to deliver the order form for Harry's Firebolt. (Besides, it’s curious that Crookshanks was described with the same adjectives as Mundungus Fletcher: bandy-legged with ginger hair.)

Solitaire said in Post #3: Actually, I think there used to be a thread about cats and Kneazles. I looked for it, but I think it must have been deleted. Alas, earwax!

I have a copy of the old thread, and I think that posters on this thread would be very interested in reading it. (I saved a copy of the old thread "Cats" in the "My Documents" file on my computer.) But I don't know how to put it here, into this thread. Can anyone help me?

haymoni - Oct 12, 2006 5:04 am (#34 of 37)

If I were Hermione, I'd never let that cat out of my sight.

S.E. Jones - Oct 12, 2006 1:50 pm (#35 of 37)

I think Crookshanks could be helpful in the future for finding objects that have been magicked as Harry doesn't yet have Dumbledore's ability to see the imprint magic leaves behind.

Solitaire - Oct 22, 2006 6:00 pm (#36 of 37)

Harry doesn't yet have Dumbledore's ability to see the imprint magic leaves behind

I agree he doesn't have DD's ability ... but he certainly seemed to know that there was something odd about the Diary, even before it "showed itself" to him. He took it back to his room where it was quiet and he could concentrate on it ... what it was and how it worked. I sometimes think Harry simply needs to pay closer attention to little things in his surroundings. I believe he has abilities he has not tapped, because he doesn't take the time to stop, look, listen, and "feel" what is around him.

Harry has a tendency to plow into situations with his wand drawn, completely focused on the task at hand and blocking out extraneous clues. This isn't a criticism, necessarily ... lots of people operate this way. Get in, fix the problem fast, and get out. We all know that it is possible to concentrate on details so intently that we can miss the big picture. No matter how urgent the matter at hand, Dumbledore seems to gather his wits about him and "register" all of the details of a situation. When Harry learns to do this, I think a lot of his "latent" abilities will shine.

But this is Crookshanks' thread, so I do need to comment on him. I think he will be a help to Harry. Crookshanks seems to see below the surface. He is far more discerning about people and their motives than just about any human character we have seen thus far. Like S.E. Jones, I believe Crookshanks might be able to sense those "magic traces" that are left around an enchanted item. He would be the perfect Horcrux-hunting companion for Harry, I think.


S.E. Jones - Oct 22, 2006 8:39 pm (#37 of 37)

Solitaire, I posted about the Dumbledore/Harry thing in the Harry Potter thread.
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