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This month's featured animal is

...SALEM the CAT

Salem is a talking black cat. He generally just sits around the house and offers up wisecracks to his human companions Sabrina Spellman, a pretty blond teenage witch and her aunts Hilda and Zelda. When not getting into trouble, Salem likes to play with a rubber mouse. He whimpers when he is displeased. Salem was once a warlock named Salem Saberhagen who was transformed into a cat (American shorthair breed) for a period of 100 years by the Witches Council as punishment for trying to "rule the world." As Salem said, "Like any young kid, I dreamed of world domination. Of course, they really crack down when you try to act upon it." Now, since Salem can no longer go dancing or play squash, the only thing that makes him feel alive is the sound of the can opener. When Salem gets really bored he puts a pencil in his mouth and types on the family's laptop computer to access Internet chat rooms (under the guise of a woman). Salem's family included a daughter named Annabel who he hadn't spoke to in a long time; and his mother who is allergic to him. Among his romantic interests were Paula Abdul (Salem stalked her);  Dreama's cat, Juliet; and his old girlfriend Shelley who dumped him because he was a cat. Salem's favorite newspaper is The Economist.

   Salem the Cat with his friend Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart)
                       Photograph courtesy of ABC and Warner Brothers

TRIVIA NOTE: Salem the cat appears on the sitcom SABRINA, THE TEEN AGE WITCH/ABC/WB/1996+. Nick Bakay provides the voice to Salem, as well as the voice of Norbert on the cartoon The Angry Beavers. Salem the Cat appeared regularly in the Sabrina comic book as a striped tabby cat from 1971-83 (where his thoughts floated in traditional comic balloons). There are two versions of Salem the Cat used on the series: a real live cat and two animatronic puppets (one lying down and one sitting up) created by The Animal Makers and Chiodo Brothers. The facial expressions on the puppet cats are done with radio-animatronics; the tail and head movements are cable-control, and the body movements are performed with animatronic-rod-controls. The names of the real cats who portrayed Salem on the TV are Elvis, Lucy, Witch and Salem. For a fun read try: Salem's Guide to Life With Sabrina the Teenage Witch : A Spellbinding Trivia Book With 50 Stickers (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) by Kitty Richards.

Some Fun 'Salem the Cat' Quotes

Sabrina: Where's my lunch? 

Salem: Not half-eaten and hidden in the draw behind me, that's for sure!                          

Salem: I always found the hardest thing was saying no to pie.

Zelda:  Oh look, the first robin of spring!

Salem:  That's him? Devil bird! 

Salem:  Paula Abdul really knows how to pick a man. I love her.

Zelda:  She doesnít know youíre alive.

Salem:  Well thatís gonna change. I know some people in high places who have some friends who... told me her numbers on the Internet.

Salem:  (Sob!) All right! All right! Itís for Paula Abdul. I faked my own kidnapping so she would pay attention to me.

Sabrina:  Does she even know who you are?

Salem:  Why does everyone think thatís a necessary part of love?

Zelda: Whatís wrong?

Salem: I canít remember what it was like to be human! This voice used to bark orders to a legion of mercenaries, now it begs two old maids for catnip. 

Sabrina:  I believe the correct term is spinsters.

Hilda: Come on ya big wuss, suck it up. Take it like the man you used to be.

Salem: (Sob!)

Sabrina: I know what you canít resist.

Zelda: Your favorite cat-toy.

Salem: I donít need your pity.

Sabrina: This is serious, usually he thrives on our pity.

Zelda: Oh letís go and see if he wants his tummy rubbed.

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