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Tabby is a Disney character created by Dick Kinney and Al Hubbard as a domestic cat of Donald Duck. He debuted on Mickey Mouse #453, in the story "Donald and the Fanatical Hygienist."

Appearance

Tabby is a thin, scruffy tomcat with very expressive eyes and whiskers. His fur color varies wildly from one country and one printing to another, from white in the earliest to beige, brown, or reddish with a white chest.

Character

Equipped with a strong personality, Tabby is most famous for his conflictual relationship to Fethry Duck, whose fads and eccentricities break the peace of Donald's house, and, therefore, Tabby's own quiet. Though he is unable to speak to the anthropomorphic characters, Tabby's thought-bubbles are surprisingly eloquent in his acerbic sarcasm concerning Fethry and Donald's antics. One of the only things that Tabby seems to feel positively about is fish, and he is often torn between his enmity towards Fethry and the fact that the beatnik does occasionally offer him some quality tuna.

Trivia

  • Tabby is commonly reckoned to have debuted alongside Fethry Duck himself in the 1964 comic story The Health Nut. However, a beige cat belonging to Donald Duck, called Tabby, whose routine was disrupted by an eccentric addition to the Duck household appeared briefly in the 1946 Carl Barks story Singapore Joe. Opinions are split between Disney scholars over whether this was mere coincidence, or a conscious borrowing.
  • In Dick Kinney's first few scripts featuring Tabby, the cat is referred to as female. However, Al Hubbard drew him as a male, and letterers ‘corrected’ the speech bubbles accordingly. In the end, Kinney retconned Tabby to indeed have been male all along.