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|~ Sylvester's catchphrase.|
Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. (simply known as Sylvester) is a cat from many Looney Tunes cartoons and Tweety's arch-nemesis who tries to eat Tweety. He usually fails in his attempts to eat the bird from Granny (who owns both Sylvester and Tweety as pets) hitting him with a broom. At times he can be seen to be good by teaming up with the other Looney Tunes in such features as Space Jam. Sylvester also tries to eat Speedy Gonzales but also fails in his attempts due to the fast little mouse constantly outrunning and outsmarting him.
Pitted against Tweety, Sylvester is a brutal but clumsy predator. He is a lazy mouser and an incompetent hunter, so his focus on catching Tweety is mostly obsession. Like Wile E. Coyote, Tom the Cat, and other cartoon hunters, Sylvester's reason for being is to catch and kill the little creature who always escapes him, and is always doomed to fail. Also like these characters he will use any means possible to catch his prey, by carefully placed traps, brute force, disguises or mail-order weapons.
In the cartoon Satan's Waitin' he shows how evil he is when he is killed in one of his attempts, and is sent to cat-Hell. Since he has nine lives, he is allowed to go back. When seven of his other lives are lost, he decides to give up chasing Tweety and makes a home in a bank vault. This backfires when two robbers blow up the vault, sending them, and Sylvester back to Hell.
Role in Cartoons
Sylvester's personality in the early shorts tends to vary depending on which director handled him. Friz Freleng first paired him against Tweety Bird and Speedy, but other directors paired him with other characters, and not always as a villain. In Bob Clampett's cartoon Kitty Kornered Sylvester teams up with other cats to lock Porky out of the house in revenge for putting them out for the night.
Robert McKimson gave Sylvester a son, Sylvester Jr., who Sylvester tries (and fails) to train in mouse-catching. These cartoons also pit him against Hippety Hopper, a baby kangaroo Sylvester always mistakes for a giant mouse.
In Chuck Jones' shorts, he is Porky's cowardly pet cat, and most differently, does not speak. These are the only cartoons that show Sylvester as a hero, trying to protect an oblivious Porky from danger all around him.