With his languid Ivy League accent, contemptuous eyes and tiger-orange fur, Morris the Cat was more than just Garfield’s funny uncle who never married–he was a television icon and considered the world’s first spokesfeline.
Morris, like the Dalai Lama or the Buddha, is believed by his followers to be a transcendent being, reincarnating himself upon death. Each incarnation of the Morrishead is designated by a number. When referring to more than one incarnation, the term Morrisi is preferred. The current incarnation, The Estimable and Right Honorable Morris XI, is the eleventh cat to hold the esteemed position.
Poster From Morris V's Failed Presidential Bid
Little is known about the specific selection process for new incarnations of the Morris, but it is widely held that only cats adopted from shelters have the potential to achieve Morrishood. Selecting the new Morris is a painstaking process, often taking several months. Typically, once the new Morris has been selected, he must endure several more months of study and meditation are required before considered ready to meet the public. A typical Morris is at least three years old before embarking on the grueling series of personal appearances and televised events which comprise many of the duties of the Morrisi.