Captain Marvel may have a kickass female hero, two new alien races, and the solution to all of our Infinity Wa r problems — but as any rational, altogether objective cat fan can tell you, this multi-million dollar tentpole is largely( if not entirely) about Goose the cat.
Carol Danvers’ feline companion( who’s like trying to not outdo her, but also can’t hold back his star power ?) marks the first starring role for a cat in the MCU. This landmark appearance continues a long legacy of on-screen kitty-cat greatness, and as such we thought it fitting to look back on the rich history of badass cats in film.
A few things to note before we get started ranking our favorites:
( 1) This list is exclusive to domestic, home cat forms. Big game cats such as Aslan, Tigger, The MGM Lion, and the Pink Panther have been excluded.
( 2) Villain pets, like the cats belonging to The Godfather ‘s Vito Corleone and Austin Powers ‘ Dr. Evil, have been similarly discounted. Sitting on a rich dude’s lap while he threatens someone is very rarely badass.
( 3) The kitten Christian Bale been trying to feed to an ATM in American Psycho was seriously considered for this list. However, he was ultimately deemed to be more a victim of circumstance than genuinely badass. As such, we salute but do not include him in our rankings.
Now, the 9 most badass cats in cinematic history.
9. Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland ( 1951 )
Perhaps the mountain of Chesire Cat Hot Topic merch we owned as teens clouds our decision, but it’s pretty difficult to imagine a badass cats list without this asshole.
Sure, the Chesire Cat wasn’t particular nice to a child who fell down a pit and was subsequently stalked by a full-grown woman with control issues. But, he did seem to know everything about Wonderland, pulled regularly hilarious pranks, fell a total bop of a single within his first few minutes on-screen, and eventually helped Alice get back topside. Clearly, a badass.
8. Keanu, Keanu ( 2016 )
Within his first few weeks of living, Keanu the kitten was kidnapped, re-kidnapped, re-re-kidnapped, and re-re-re-kidnapped in the most heart-wrenching game of capture the flag to ever appear in theaters.
Rocking killer style and starring in a high-speed automobile chase, Keanu is without question the highlight of his own cinema. The best part? Considering Keanu has that rare illnes keeping him a kitten forever, we could still get a sequel. His star-power obviously remains red-hot and basically badass.
7. Crookshanks, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ( 2002 )
As far as underrated Wizarding World heroes go, Hermione Granger’s cat Crookshanks should near the top of most everyone’s listings.
Not merely was this fluffy, half-Kneazle angel the first to blow the whistle on the not-rat that Peter Pettigrew is, he also aided in bringing Ron and Hermione together. An iconic, legendary badass full of love and likely hairballs.
6. The Cat, Coraline ( 2009 )
This magical bundle of black clay and bad omens may look like the cat of your nightmares, but in reality he’s just trying to save Dakota Fanning’s dumb ass from get buttons sew into her face.
The Cat offers Coraline warning after cautioning in all regions of the film’s first half, and when she wholly disregards them like the exhausting protagonist she is, he continues to offer helpful tips-off and tricks until the big finale. At one point, he even blinds the Other Mother because he is what? An overachieving badass.
5. Puss in Boots, Shrek 2 ( 2004 )
Equal proportions brain and braun, Puss in Boots knows how to nail a glance so tempting it remains in the public consciousness long after its source material is forgotten.
With killer fencing moves, snappy dialogue, and some thigh highs even Beyonce would covet, Puss is the kind of sleeper cell badass that knows how to make you where it hurts, right in your kitty-cat caring feels.
4. Thackery Binx, Hocus Pocus ( 1993 )
Yaaaas, Thackery. Drag Bette Midler, drag her straight to Hell.
Considering the teenage heroes in Hocus Pocus are useless and can’t dancing — even when the Sanderson Sisters are offering them up a truly iconic banger — Binx is essential to moving this plot along.
Full of punchy one-liners and unafraid to claw a witch’s face to pieces, this colonial son turned black cat is the definition of hero material. Funny, adventurous, brave, weirdly a little sexy? Pretty badass.
3. Jake, The Cat from Outer Space ( 1978)
You thought your cat was a genius? Turns out, Zunar-J-5/ 9 Doric-4- 7( aka “Jake”) genuinely is.
This extremely good and intergalactic son crash lands his spaceship on Globe in the beginning of The Cat from Outer Space. Unable to receive aid from his own kind, Jake enlists the help of the U.S. Government to try and fix it.
Telepathic, telekinetic, and with more charisma than Airbud, Jake is the kind of badass diplomat we wish our present international leadership had on-call.
2. Church, Pet Sematary ( 1989 ) Considering the Pet Sematary remake is due out later this year, we’re not gonna get into too many spoilers here. Suffice to say, Church the cat is bad news.
Not in an “I’m angry so I pee-pee in your bed! ” way. More in a “You should have let me bide dead, you worthless idiot” kinda route. Sure, it’s horrifying. But also, badass.
1. Jonesy, Alien ( 1979 )
Anyone and anything that can survive a Xenomorph attack is pretty badass, but the USCSS Nostromo’s most valued crew member did it in perfect cat style.
In typical feline way, Jonesy expends the majority of his time in the Alien franchise straight-up chilling. Sure, he hisses some, but he principally eludes death by staying the hell out of the way. We presume when he wasn’t on-screen, Jonesy was napping it up, chasing space mice, or licking some of Officer Kane’s chest gunk off the floor. You know, cat stuff.
Honorable Mention: Goose, Captain Marvel ( 2019 )
Don’t get us incorrect, we love Goose. We love him so, so much. But with mounting evidence indicating he isn’t actually a cat at all, we question whether or not he should be included on such lists. After all, can a god be measured among mere mortals?
Flerken or no, we love this little guy and every disturbing power he may or may not have. Captain Marvel ( aka Goose: The Movie ) is in theaters March 8.