Cat World


Cheshire Cat: Alice’s Fictional Friendly Character

When Lewis Carroll wrote his fictional piece called Alice in Wonderland, he created a fictional type of cat called the Cheshire cat that appeared as well as disappeared at will. It took up Alice’s time in amusing as well as vexing conversations and, was instrumental in pointing out philosophical aspects in order to get Alice angry. In one particular instance, the Cheshire cat disappears and the only visible trace that it leaves is its grin, prompting Alice to remark that she has never seen a grin without a cat. This vanishing act of the Cheshire cat is what people most remember if for.

Supposed Origins

A carving in a church in the village of Croft-on-Tees was what inspired Carroll into creating the Cheshire cat, though some would have it that it was based on the gargoyle that appeared on a pillar in St. Nicolas Church Cranleigh. Whatever be its source, there is no doubt that the Cheshire cat got its name from Carroll’s home county named Cheshire, though even this is disputed? “Grinning like a Cheshire cat” is a saying popularized by Lewis Carroll and, may be attributed to the fact that cheese was sold in Cheshire that was molded like a cat which appeared to be smiling. Also, the last part of the cheese that could be eaten was the head of the smiling cat.

Tales apart, a somewhat more likely origin of the Cheshire cat could be the cats that inhabited the port of Chester, which had a cheese warehouse and, it was believed that cats sat at the dock waiting for rats and mice to come off ships used to transport Cheshire cheese to London. These cats seemed to be the happiest in the world and, therefore appeared to grin.

The Cheshire cat is also a notable personality in works other than that of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and, is also seen in Disney’s film adaptation of the book and can also be seen speaking to viewers in games found on the Disney Platinum DVD. American McGee’s Alice has a tattooed as well as withered Cheshire cat that is Alice’s good friend as well as guide. It may come as a little bit of a surprise to know that the first to enshrine the Cheshire cat was not Lewis Carroll but, Peter Pindar who wrote about Cheshire cats between 1794 and 1801.