1986 Calendar Featuring Morris the Cat, the World’s Most Finicky Cat – Design You Trust

1986 Calendar Featuring Morris the Cat, the World’s Most Finicky Cat


Long before internet memes, there was Morris the Cat, the advertising mascot for 9Lives brand cat food, appearing on its packaging and in many of its television commercials since the 1970s. This particular appearance was on a 1986 calendar titled “Morris, A Cat For Our Times” that featured several pieces of technology.

h/t: vintag.es


A large orange tabby tomcat, the character of Morris the Cat is “the world’s most finicky cat,” eating only 9Lives cat food and making this preference clear with humorously sardonic voice-over comments when offered other brands. Every can of 9Lives features Morris’ “signature.” Three different cats have played Morris the Cat.


The original Morris was discovered in 1968, at the Hinsdale Humane Society, a Chicago-area animal shelter, by professional animal handler Bob Martwick.] An invention of the Leo Burnett advertising company where Martwick worked, Morris was featured in 58 television commercials which aired from 1969 to 1978. John Erwin provided the voice-over for the cat. Morris won two PATSY Awards (an award for animal performers in film and television) in 1972 and 1973. The original Morris died in 1978.


All cats to play Morris have been rescue animals, either from an animal shelter or a cat rescue. After receiving multiple contacts from individuals who claimed that they were the original owner of Morris, Bob Martwick chose not to reveal which shelter he obtained the second Morris from. After a yearlong search, Martwick selected the second Morris, who began appearing in commercials in 1979. The first two cats to play Morris lived with Martwick as pets. Morris’ popularity continued into the 1980s, with the Leo Burnett Company orchestrating a mock presidential campaign for Morris in 1988.


The current Morris lives in Los Angeles with his handler, Rose Ordile. The Leo Burnett Company parted ways with 9Lives’ corporate parent Heinz in 1994.


If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

The Superb Bizarre Generative Artworks by Ai Ai Capitan
Stunning Black and White Photos of Chicago in 1988
Gorgeous Celestial Maps And Illustrations From A 19th Century American Atlas
In the 1890s The Antikamnia Chemical Company Used Skeletons To Sell Its Killer Cures
Grumpy Cat Not Happy to Be Named First Madame Tussauds Cat
The Earthquake Tower by Remco, ca. 1974
Man Pays $50 For A Sea Turtle At The Market, Releases It Back Into The Sea
The Surprising Beauty Of Microscopic Insects, Isopods And Crustaceans Illuminated With Polarized Light
2020 Sarcastic Vintage Pictures Calendar Is Here!
Fascinating Vintage Photos of a Batman-Themed Dance Class in New York in the 1960s
McDonalds Opens A Tiny Restaurant For Bees
This Photographer Took Dogs From A Shelter And Created Another World For Them
Dog-Shaped Scratching Post Lets Cats Have Their Sweet Revenge
In the Days Before Fridges: Vintage Photographs Show Butcher Shop Fronts In The Victorian Era
Captivating Photographs of the Luxury and Futuristic 1930 Henderson KJ Streamline
A Visit To The World’s Only Black-Cat Cafe
Impeccably-Dressed Bunny Models The Tiny Dapper Outfits Made By His Human
The 1955 GMC L’Universelle Dream Truck
The Freaky High School Fashion Of The Hippie Era, 1969
Me My Dog And I: 30 Lovely Vintage Jack Russell Photographs
Stunning Images Of Jellyfish At The Vancouver Aquarium
Amazing Illustrations by John Bauer in the Early 20th Century
Digital Artist Creates Thought-Provoking Illustrations That May Make You Look At Things Differently
Stunning Photos Of The Colony Of Gannets Diving For Fish Off Coast Of Shetland Isles