We have all grown up watching cartoons. Starting from Batman, SpongeBob, and Simpsons all the way to South Park, which isn’t as innocent as other we mentioned. It wouldn’t be fair to leave Garfield out of this list as he was our favorite cat that made us laugh each and every episode. However, when we were young nobody really cared about the gender of Garfield or his religious beliefs. Well, now, people care and want to know. To some, these questions are of utmost importance.
Virgil Texas, an internet troll who is the host of a podcast sparked off numerous debates and rows when he decided to declare Garfield ‘gender-neutral’. He made that remark on Twitter, and as if that wasn’t enough he went on to edit Garfield’s page on Wikipedia. Of course, people decided to take matters into their own hands. Chaos ensued on Wikipedia because hundreds started re-editing Garfield’s page. It all led to a lockdown of the page so as to stop continuous edits.
Did our favorite cat deserve this? All Garfield wanted back in the day was a steaming hot lasagna dish, and that was it. Garfield was introduced to the world in 1978 in a comic and ever since then his gender was not discussed. To be frank, I think that it didn’t need to be brought up as a topic. Some forty years later it seems that people need and want to talk about that.
Die-hard fans of the show stated that Garfield is a ‘he’ and not a ‘she.’ Garfield’s voice was done by Bill Murray in 2004 and 2006 Garfield movies. And that is a really solid argument. If Garfield’s voice was done by a man, then he was supposed to be male. We say ‘supposed to’ because there are no official updates on the matter. But, even this wasn’t enough for some. One Wikipedia user stated that ‘Gender is fluid’ and that Garfield might have been a male back in the 1980s, but now he’s not.
We have mentioned that there was no official update on this matter so the only rational thing now to do is to ask the creator. However, in order to spare his and ours time, we will go back to 2014 when Jim Davis, the creator, spoke about this matter. Jim said that ‘Garfield is very universal.’ There, he said it. He also mentioned that by being a cat he’s not meant to be male or female, he’s not supposed to be young or old and he has no nationality and belongs to no race. Except for the animal race, since he is a cat. He also added that the idea behind this was to make a character more suitable for certain humorous situations on the show. Jim is a reasonable man. We won’t bother him any further.
We said that we wouldn’t talk about this anymore, but we know that his answer isn’t enough for everyone, so we’ll try actually to establish a thesis. Garfield is an orange cat, he might resemble a certain someone because of his color but let’s not get into that now. Garfield loves lasagna, now that I can relate to since I adore Italian cuisine. Garfield hates Mondays, oh my God we have so much in common. We won’t get into how old our favorite TV cat is. And now, his gender. Garfield can’t identify himself so please don’t try that argument in the comments section or real life debates. In the ‘80s in almost every Garfield comic they referred to Garfield as a ‘he’ or ‘sir’ which points out that Garfield is a male individual. There, we said it. Hate us or love us, there hasn’t been an episode or a comic volume where Garfield ponders the question of ‘self-identification.’ We will gladly watch it if they make one.
All in all, this is up to ourselves really. We decide how we see Garfield and no one is truly right or wrong. We live in a peculiar world where everything and anything can cause online riots and fierce debates. Garfield surely wouldn’t take part in those. We won’t either. So go and watch an episode for the old times’ sake and carry on with your everyday life. And please, don’t be so curious to question Odie’s gender. That could really make a whole new chaos online.