Scaredy Cat

Scaredy Cat is a 1948 Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones and produced and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was the first of three Jones cartoons which placed Porky Pig and Sylvester the cat (in a rare non-speaking role as Porky's pet) in a spooky setting where only Sylvester was aware of the danger the pair were in (the other two films in the series are Claws for Alarm (1954) and Jumpin' Jupiter (1955). It is also the first film in which Sylvester received his now-official name.

This was only one of five post-1948 WB cartoons to get a Blue Ribbon reissue prior to 1956 - with the original credits cut. The others were Daffy Dilly, The Foghorn Leghorn, Kit for Cat, and You Were Never Duckier.


In Scaredy Cat, Porky Pig purchases a new home from a real estate agent, which turns out to be a dilapidated old house. His cat Sylvester is horribly frightened of the creepy-looking place, but Porky finds it "quaint" and "peaceful", and looks forward to his first night in the place. Before long, Sylvester learns that the house is overrun with mice; killer mice, in fact (one wearing an executioner's hood and carrying an axe), who are just in the process of carting off the previous owners' cat to the chopping block.

Throughout the rest of the short, Sylvester is forced to dodge various knives, projectiles, trap doors, and other obstacles intended to kill him and his master. Porky, however, is completely unaware that anything is wrong, and is embarrassed that Sylvester is acting like such a craven coward. The mice have taken up primary residence inside the kitchen, where Sylvester does not dare to tread. Porky, sick and tired of Sylvester's foolishness, declares that "I'm going into that kitchen my self, and prove w-w-what a yellow dog of a cowardly cat you really are!" Porky goes into the kitchen and slams the door. After a few seconds of silence, Sylvester peers into the kitchen. Sure enough, the mice have Porky bound, gagged, and on his way to be decapitated (Porky holds up a sign as the mice carry him away, which reads "You Were Right, Sylvester").

Sylvester scrambles out of the house, not stopping until he is a good half-mile away. As he rests to catch his breath, his conscience appears and (via signs, not dialogue) cuts him to the quick, calling him a coward, reminding him of how Porky raised him from a kitten, showing him the "comparative sizes" of a cat to a mouse, and demanding that he get back in there and "FIGHT!" Suddenly bursting with courage, Sylvester (grabbing a tree branch for use as a weapon, and then changing his mind and coming back for the whole tree) races back into the mice-infested house and sends the hordes of murderous rodents running for their lives.

Porky graciously thanks Sylvester for saving his life, just as one leftover mouse (the executioner) pops out of the longcase clock and clobbers the cat with a mallet. The mouse yanks off his hood, puts on a Napoleon army hat, and declares (in a Lew Lehr voice), "Pussycats is the cwaziest peoples!" and chuckles as the film irises out.


  • The US version of Cartoon Network has aired two versions of this cartoon, each with violent parts edited:
    • One version has the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies title card and cuts the scenes where Sylvester produces a pistol from a dresser drawer and threatens to kill himself if Porky does not let him stay to protect him from the mice and the scene where Porky bends over to pick up a scared Sylvester and nearly misses being shot by a mouse in a black hood.
    • A rarely shown version (which only aired once on a 4:00am showing of the compilation show Bugs and Daffy) has the original title cards and credits and leaves in the scene where Porky bends over to pick up a scared Sylvester and nearly misses being shot by a mouse in a black hood, but edits the scene of Sylvester putting a gun to his head—that was replaced with a closely cropped shot of Sylvester sitting and panting (from the scene near the end of the cartoon where Sylvester escapes the house and encounters his conscience, who urges him to fight back) and removes Porky's spoken references to Sylvester threatening to kill himself.
  • The version that aired on the now defunct WB! channel removed the scene of Sylvester threatening to kill himself with the gun by merely dissolving to the scene of Porky and Sylvester in bed after Sylvester runs up the stairs.


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