Legendary Dogs from Myth and Folklore

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Our dogs are our best friends. They’re sweet cuddly, friendly, and bring light and life into our lives. Moreover, they’re also great guardians. They serve and protect. In fact, some dogs are trained in the field of safety and are better guardians than any human could ever be. As lovable as they are, there is something about them that makes them the perfect addition to a spooky tale. Such as can be seen through the Grim in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Stephen King’s Cujo. They can easily double back from friendly companions to creepy, foreboding creatures that stalk the night.

Ancient mythology and folklore are no foreign territory for dogs. While they can be depicted as paranormal and foreboding, some dogs in mythology and folklore can also be shown as companions to heroes and guardians to forbidden treasure. Here are a few legendary dogs from ancient myth and folklore.

1. The Guardian of the Underworld

Cerberus is one of the most popular dogs in mythology. The three-headed beast stands guard at the entrance to the Underworld. Cerberus allows spirits to enter and sees to it that they never leave. However, he’s no mere dog. He has three heads, a serpent tail, lion claws, and a mane made out of snakes. He is one of the most prominent canines in Greek mythology. This hellish hound is the original guard dog.

2. The Bad Omen

The Barghest is one of the most chilling creatures seen in English folklore. Also called the Boguest, Bargtjest, Bargheist, Barguist, Bargeist, Barguest, or Bargest, this monstrous canine is said to roam the north of England, appearing in any form. The Barghest is most known for being able to foretell death. If a Barghest is seen laying on the threshold of a person’s home, the legend dictates that the person will die before the end of the day.

3. The Nighly Stalker

The black shuck is deathly black, has flaming eyes, and can be seen stalking the eastern coastline of England. Also known as the Old Shuck, Shuck, or Old Shock, the giant beast prefers bodies of water, coastlines, cemeteries, crossroad, and forests.

4. The Faithful Companion

Argos is the famed creature from Homer’s Odyssey. He was a faithful companion to Odysseus, recognizing his master even though Odysseus had been gone for twenty years and was in disguise when he returned. Argos showed his recognition by wagging his tail, not wanting to approach his master, as that would ruin his disguise. He was intelligent and faithful until the very end.

5. The Fearless Hunter

Cavall was a great hunter. He belonged to King Arthur, who used him to hunt the elusive Twrch Trwyth, which was a much sought after, enchanted wild boar. There are numerous legendary dogs in mythology, folklore, as well as history. Dogs are guardians and as history dictates, they do that job very well.

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How to Deal with the Loss of a Pet?

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Losing a beloved pet is akin to losing a family member. The emotional and mental upheaval is a lot to deal with, especially if that pet has been a part of the family for a long time. To deal with your pet’s loss, it’s essential to accept and feel the pain. This is a necessary first step because, in our modern society, we’re always looking for ways to avoid feelings of grief. We typically hear things like “cheer up,” “stay busy,” or “get a new pet.” However, this does nothing but prolong the feeling of grief.

Listed below, are five effective strategies on you can deal with the loss of your pet:

1. Talk

One of the best things you can do is talk about your beloved feline or canine to another person. Find someone who wouldn’t mind a lengthy discussion about your pet. This can be a person, a hotline or even a support group. Engage in this process for as long as you feel the need.

2. Address Feelings of Guilt

Most people assume that they will pass away in their sleep, however, this is rarely the case. Your pet may get very sick and need to be euthanized. As a result, pet owners struggle with this guilt at having to make this choice. Don’t look at it as taking your pet’s life. Rather you spared him or her the pain and struggle of suffering.

3. Hold a Ceremony

This is an important part of the healing process. Host a small gathering of close friends and family members, like you would if it were a funeral. You may do this before, after, or even during your pet’s life (just before it passes). The ceremony is definitely gut-wrenching but necessary to start dealing with grief.

4. Involve Children with Remembrances

Keep in mind that children also feel loss and grief. Some of them may not be able to express it as easily as adults. Encourage your child to talk about how they’re feeling. Whether they talk about their beloved pet or require physical comfort, encourage them to deal with their pain. Request your child to draw a painting or footprints of your pet.

5. Don’t Rush

Deal with the sadness at your own pace. There’s no need to rush it. Grief and how you deal with it is a highly individual experience. There is no right or wrong period to overcome this grief. Even if this means leaving your beloved dog’s food dish out for another month or so, then so be it! Dealing with your pet’s death is a painful process, but by enabling yourself to feel the grief and dealing with it in a slow and effective manner, you will experience closure.

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Famous Dogs in Pop Culture

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Dogs are the most adorable companions that anyone could ask for. Everything about them is lovable. They’re the purest of pets. They’re loyal, playful, supportive, obedient, friendly, and the list goes on. Dogs are just the best. Apart from being man’s best friend, dogs have also been quite busy in the entertainment industry. They’ve always been a steady presence in first literature, then film and television. Over time, the audiences have grown attached to certain specific dogs that have graced their screens. Here are a few of the most popular dogs in popular culture.

1. Snoopy

Although a common name, the most recognized Snoopy, is undoubtedly the dog from ‘Peanuts.’ Charlie Brown’s pet has been a constant presence on the iconic comic strip which started appearing in newspapers in the early 1950s. A world without Snoopy and the joy he brings to the Peanuts comics would be a dull one.

2. Doug

Doug is the happiest dog in ‘Up’. Doug is enigmatic and would never turn down an adventure. Or a treat. He’s the adorable golden retriever who has the unique ability of speech. Although he may have been raised to be a mean, attack dog, Doug had other plans. He’s a plump, cheery fellow who brings love and joy into the old man’s life. He was the underdog who, at the end of the movie, turned out to be the hero.

3. Lady and The Tramp

It would be a shame to leave the iconic spaghetti sharing scene from ‘Lady and the tramp’ while discussing famous dogs in pop culture. Besides being the most adorable couple, theirs is a love story for the ages.

4. Scooby-Doo

He solves mysteries, he fights monsters, he eats an entire hoagie sandwich in a single bite, he’s Scooby Dooby-Doo! The Mystery Inc. gang would be incomplete without this lovable goof in the picture. Besides always being the good dog that unmasks the bad guy at the end of every episode, Scooby’s bond with his best friend Shaggy is enough to make even the iciest heart melt.

5. Pluto

The world of Mickey Mouse is a magical one where animals can talk, walk, drive, and even go to work. But in Pluto’s case, he’s just a regular old dog, living his best dog life. Although everyone around him seems to be doing better than him, Pluto never complains.

6. Santa’s Little Helper

‘The Simpsons’ is perhaps the 20th century’s most popular cartoon. Although he has a little bit of a sad story at first, life starts looking up for Santa’s little helper when he gets adopted by the best family on TV. He’s playful, loyal, and friendly. More than anything, he’s the most lovable character in The Simpsons. Although these are but a few examples of the very good dogs in pop culture, they are some of the best. If you’re unfamiliar with any dog on this list, you’re missing out.

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Cat Gods and Goddesses from Ancient Myth

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Felines are godly creatures. Not because they think of their human parents as their personal slaves, or because they expect to have all their whims immediately fulfilled. But because of their unparalleled grace, intellect, poise, and beauty. Before they were domesticated, cats were worshipped by all. Clearly, they haven’t forgotten this. If you pay close attention, you may even notice that these beautiful creatures make more than a few appearances in ancient mythology. We’re all familiar with the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses who donned the appearance of fierce felines. Contrary to popular belief, the Egyptians weren’t the only people who worshipped cats. Here are a few tales from all over the world about cats who were considered Gods.

1. Freyja’s Majestic Cats

Freyja is the deity of wealth, love, war, fertility, magic, and divination. She is a Norse Goddess whose carriage was driven by two powerful and able cats who were given to her by the God of thunder himself. It was believed that the cats brought good fortune, leading farmers to leave offerings to ensure a bountiful harvest season.

2. Ai- Apaec

The Mochica people, who were a pre-Inca civilization, believed in and prayed to a God with a catlike appearance. His power was such that he was the most adored and feared God of all punitive Gods in the Mochica civilization. The old and powerful God had wrinkles and deep lines on his face, catlike whiskers protruding from either side of his fanged mouth, and wise, sullen eyes. He was believed to be able to shapeshift into the form of a tomcat at will.

3. Li Shou

This cat God is one of the most prominent Gods appearing in the Chinese Book of Rites. Li Shou protected the crops against mice and rats who sought to destroy. Many farmers paid respect to and offered offerings to Li Shou in hopes that he would look favorably upon their farms.

4. Hecate

From Greek mythology, Hecate was a Goddess who assumed the shape of a cat to get out of a particularly tight spot. She was being chased by the monster Typhon and her only escape was adorning the shape of a cat. After her transformation, she treated all feline in the land as equals.

5. Ovinnik

Ovinnik is a Polish creature who took the form of a cat to watch over domestic animals. He was especially adored by farmers as he also chased off mischievous faeries and evil-natured ghosts.

6. Ceridwen’s Little Helpers

Ceridwen is the Welsh Goddess of Wisdom. Her aides were wise, white cats who descended to the Earthly plane to carry out her wishes for her people on Earth. There are many notable gods and goddesses across history and mythology who either took the shape of cats or were cats themselves. The First Nation and Native American lore are a good place to start.

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Books About Losing a Pet

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Pets are a child’s best friends, and saying goodbye to one can be incredibly hard. But that’s the tide of life, and as parents, you’ll need to help your little one cope with this loss. One way to do this is by introducing them to pet-themed literary gems. The books in this list deal with the loss of a pet, and they can help your child grieve and cope with the pain.

  • Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant

Ages: 3-5

This beautiful and touching book about the death of a dog promises readers that there is life after death. With its bright and colourful pictures and uplifting lines, Dog Heaven assures young readers that although their dogs aren’t with them, they are at peace. They’re with God and they’re cared for with lots of biscuits and loads of hugs.

For those who have lost a cat, Rylant has written another title – Cat Heaven.

  • The Goodbye Book, by Todd Parr

Ages: 3-6

This book is perfect for those who’ve lost their aquarium friends. Narrated through the eyes of a wee fish whose just lost his tank-mate, The Goodbye Book explains the various stages of grieving, without directly referencing death. The author provides advice to cope with grief in a way that tiny tots can understand.

  • Paw Prints in the Stars: A Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet, by Warren Hanson

Ages: 5 & above

This book is a real gem. A journal and short story combined, Paw Prints in the Stars, allow your child to paste favorite pictures and collar tags of their pets in the book. As the story progresses, you can reconstruct your happy memories with your pet by adding cherished keepsakes. The best part about this book is that it never specifies a particular animal. You can use it to preserve beautiful memories of all your furry and non-furry friends.

  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst and Erik Blegvad

Ages: 6-9

Extremely tender and soulful, The Tenth Good Thing About Barney is a book that will leave anyone – children & grownups – teary-eyed. But this is a good thing. Narrated as a series of conversations between a boy who lost his beloved cat and his father, the book explores the realistic side of death and how to move on, even in the midst of crippling grief.

  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children, by Bryan Mellonie, illustrated by Robert Ingpen

Ages: For all ages

This is the only book in this list that’s written like non-fiction. But it’s just as gentle and just as powerful in helping little ones cope with the heartbreak of losing a pet. Written in a poetic format, Lifetimes explains how plants, insects, birds, animals and humans live. Using short and simple sentences, the book explains three stages of life – birth, living and death. The stunning graphics, combined with the comforting lyrics, make the book very calming to read. This is the perfect book if you’d like to introduce your child to the reality of death gently. 

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Top 6 Best Movies About Dogs

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Who doesn’t recall watching a dog movie while they were growing up? Although the plots varied, most movies revolved around the relationship between dogs and their owners, which never failed to tug at our heartstrings and fill us with feelings of warmth and love.

Since the dawn of film making, hundreds of movies have been produced with dogs in starring roles. Here is a list of our favorite if not best movies about dogs:

1. Benji

Benji is a cute dog who loves roaming around a town based in Texas. He leads a normal life- badgering the town’s cats and living on food handouts from shop owners. It isn’t until his two favorite humans are kidnapped that Benji gets into action. In the movie, Benji sets out to find the kids and discovers love on the journey. The movie was released in 1974.

2. Homeward Bound

If you’re a child of the 1980s, you’re likely to have fond memories of Homeward Bound! The film was first released in 1993. In the movie, three household pets feel they’ve been abandoned by their family, who one day decides to leave town. The pets decide to go an adventurous journey in search of their owners. An American bulldog, a Golden Retriever, and a sassy Himalayan cat are the stars of the movie.

3. 101 Dalmatians

This Disney classic was released in 1961 and is one of the company’s most profitable films. Perdita and Pongo are a happy dog couple living with their 15 pups and loving owners, Anita and Roger. When evil temptress Cruela De Ville decides to transform the pups into a fur coat, that’s when things go awry. This movie will take you through a whole range of emotions before triumphing in victory!

4. The Fox and the Hound

This Disney classic was first released in 1981. It’s a light-hearted story of true friendship between a fox and a hound. Through the plot, the movie tackles many complex issues, such as prejudice in society.

5. Old Yeller

Another beloved classic, Old Yeller, is a movie about how pets bestow responsibility upon us, the process of which makes us fall in love with them. More importantly, it teaches us how to deal with their loss. If you’re watching Old Yeller for the first time, be sure to watch it with a set of tissues!

6. Turner & Hooch

In Turner & Hooch, Tom Hanks (a neat freak) partners up with Hooch, a drooling, lazy but loving dog. The duo forms a police pair who set out to solve crime and wins hearts. It’s definitely a favorite amongst moviegoers!

We hope you love our list of favorite canine films. Happy Viewing!

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Top 5 Books About Getting a New Pet For Kids

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Do you have a daughter or son who repeatedly requests you to get a pet? Has your child requested you to adopt a cat, a dog, a hamster, or even a guinea pig? If your little tyke’s requests for a pet are increasing, then perhaps you should consider the books listed below on getting a new pet for kids. These books will not only help your child get excited about pet ownership, but it will help them appreciate the responsibilities they can expect with pet care.

1. Lola Gets a New Pet

A favorite by Anna McQuinn, the book tells the tale of a young girl who is eager to adopt a pet cat. Her mother insists that it would require too much work. Throughout the book, Lola attempts to learn on her own about the care and responsibilities involved in owning a new cat. She does this by reading several books and even practicing cat care with her toy animals. After ample reading and practice, Lola finally feels ready to own a cat.

2. Our Very Own Dog

If your child loves dogs, then this book by Amanda McCardie is the one to read! In the story, a family adopts a new dog from the shelter. They take it home and name her Sophie. Throughout the story, the book offers small tips for dog owners, such as ensuring there is a dog tag present at all times on the collar with the phone number and address of the owner. It even provides suggestions on how to use a calm and soothing voice to relax your pet and provide new chewing toys for their teeth.

3. The Perfect Pet

This book is aimed at girls who truly desire to own a pet. Written by Margie Palatini, the story tells about a girl named Elizabeth, whose parents aren’t too keen about getting a pet for the home. In its place, they give Elizabeth a cactus. Although Elizabeth is appreciative of the plant, she tries her best to convince her parents that a pet is a better choice. It is at this juncture that Elizabeth meets a creature named Doug? Who is Doug? You’ll have to read to find out!

4. Land Shark

We all know sharks don’t make logical pets, but this book by Beth Ferry might convince you otherwise. In the story, a boy named Bobby would like to get a pet shark on his birthday. He is sure that his parents will get him the shark. However, he is disappointed when they present him with a dog. Bobby is definitely not happy. If you need to wheel in your child’s desire to own a pet and teach him about the practicality of pet ownership, then this is the book for you.

5. Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet

In this delightful story by Kelly DiPucchio, Gilbert engages with a mouse, a fly, and finally a dog. He is trying to discover the right pet for himself. However, he finally finds his best pet friend. Who might this be? The books on this list will help your child not only learn about pet ownership but also whether it’s the right choice for them.

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Top 5 Books About Dogs

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Dogs have been domesticated by man for thousands of years. They have entertained us, rescued us, and become our best friends. It is hardly surprising that so much has been made of this special relationship between man and dog. In fact, some truly incredible stories have been written about dogs that are worth checking out. In particular, be sure to check these top 5 books about dogs.

White Fang and the Call of the Wild

These two books on dogs are counted among the best that have ever been written on dogs. In White Fang, the author Jack London talks about the domestication of a wild dog while The Call of the Wild is about a dog who comes to terms with life in the wilderness. Both these books are narrated from the viewpoint of the dog and will inspire readers to go searching for the exciting Arctic landscapes so eloquently described in these excellent books.

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

You may argue that there are numerous books on dogs that have been written about well-known historical dogs, but this book, written by Susan Orlean, is truly exceptional. It describes a German Shepherd who was born on World War I battlefields. He then comes to America and conquers Hollywood. After overcoming the transition to talking movies, Rin Tin Tin transforms himself to become one of the most family-friendly canines we have ever known.

Old Yeller

This well-known book on dogs inspired the 1957 movie by the same name. It describes life in Texas in the 1860s and includes all kinds of characters, including snakes and wolves, as well as bobcats and wild hogs. Old Yeller, the faithful companion of Travis, helps protect Travis and his family against various threats.

The Lost History of the Canine Race

Dogs have been a very central part of our civilization. In this book, Mary Elizabeth Thurston, an anthropologist cum author, writes about the need to treat dogs with proper respect. The book deals with the history of dogs from the time they were first domesticated. Along the way, the book describes mummified dogs in Egypt and show dogs of the Renaissance era. All in all, this book aptly and vividly describes the evolution of dogs and the special relationship they have with humans.

The Chet and Bernie Series

Written by Spencer Quinn, this is the story of a dog named Chet who, besides being an excellent sleuth, has a very special relationship with his human partner, Bernie Little. Subtly humorous, this book makes you laugh at Chet, when from time to time, he misunderstands certain words and scenarios. It is an action-packed, adventure-filled, and intriguing book punctuated with liberal doses of cheeriness and mystery.

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Top 5 Best Movies About Cats

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Do you love cats? Whether they’re curled up on your lap or purring beside your ears, no day is complete without a little contact with our feline friends.

Here is a list of top movies featuring our favorite furry felines:

1. Puss in Boots

Released in 2011, the movie features a fugitive cat who partners with a seductive kitty and a childhood egg-friend. The trio is on a mission to locate eggs belonging to the legendary Golden Goose. Finding these eggs will clear Puss’s name, reinstate his honor and help regain his mother and neighbor’s trust. This animated film has an all-star cast, including Antonio Banderas, Billy Bob Thornton, and Salma Hayek.

2. Felix The Cat: The Movie

This animated film was released in 1988. An adventure, comedy, containing the wicked scientist named Duke of Zill. Using his geometric, mechanical army, he attempts to capture the Land of Oriana. This prompts Felix the Cat to protect and save Oriana’s princess and restore order.

3. Cat’s Don’t Dance

This family, the animated comedy features Danny, a determined cat who wants to make it big in Hollywood with his dancing and singing abilities. During his journey, he attempts to conquer many challenges and will stop at nothing to fulfill his dream of becoming a movie star. The movie was released in 1997.

4. The Aristocats

This is an American romantic, animated, musical, adventure comedy film made by Walt Disney Productions. The movie tells the tale about an aristocratic cat family and how an alley cat comes to their aid when their butler kidnaps them to steal his mistress’s wealth, which was supposed to go the family. This film was released in 1970 and featured the voices of an all-star cast, including Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Scatman Crothers, and Sterling Holloway.

5. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

This American comedy-adventure film was released in 1993. It was a remake of the film The Incredible Journey, which was released in 1963 and was based on Sheila Burnford’s novel with the same title. The plot revolves around three pets who are accidentally left behind by the family when they leave for a holiday. Assuming that they were abandoned, the pets begin a journey heading to California to reunite with the family. During the course of their journey, they encounter many pleasant and some not-so-pleasant adventures!

This film features the voice-overs of Michael J. Fox, Sally Fields, Veronica Lauren and Don Ameche.

6. Garfield: The Movie This live-action, animated, comedy film was released in 2004 and was directed by Peter Hewitt. Based on the original comic strip by Jim Davis, it features many stars like Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Bill Murray. In the movie, Jon (played by Meyer) tries to impress his high school crush Dr. Liz (Love Hewitt), so he purchases another pet, who he names Odie. He is a dog. Garfield, who is a lazy cat is not impressed. Nevertheless, when Odie is kidnapped, Garfield and his many animal friends must set out and find him before its too late!

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9 Famous Cats in Pop Culture

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From songs to television to movies, books, and comic strips, cats have meowed their way into every aspect of pop culture- and into our lives. In celebration of our furry felines, we’ve compiled a list of 5 famous cats in pop culture.

They are:

1. Salem Saberhagen from Sabrina The Teenage Witch

Salem is the beloved pet cat of a teenage witch named Sabrina and her two quirky aunts. He is essentially a warlock who is trapped inside the body of a cat who is sentenced to a century with humans by the American Shorthair of the Witches Council. Salem is most remembered for his sarcastic wit and one-liners.

2. Smelly Cat from Friends

Whether it’s Phoebe Buffay’s famous song “Smelly Cat” or the show’s numerous cat appearances, the character of “Smelly Cat” became the show’s popular ditty. It’s hard to resist singing the song once you hear it!

3. Mr. Bigglesworth, Austin Powers

Remember the famous one-liner by Dr. Evil in Austin Powers, “When Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when he gets upset, people die!” Mr. Bigglesworth is Dr. Evil’s famous sidekick in the movie. He is often seen sitting in the Doctor’s arms.

4. Garfield, Garfield

Garfield is the famous feline comic strip character who first appeared in it in 1978. He is remembered as the lasagne-loving, lazy cat whose comic strip has grossed more than a $1 billion worldwide. It is also the most syndicated comic strip!

5. Mufasa from The Lion King

The first king of the lions in the movie, he is lovingly recalled for his bravery and courage. In the movie, Mufasa tries to teach his son about responsibility and how to distinguish between arrogance and bravery in order to achieve a balance in the circle of life. Mufasa is the embodiment of a parent- patience, understanding, wisdom, knowledge, and discipline. Mufasa’s remarkable voice is none other than superstar James Earl Jones.

6. Felix the Cat

He is perhaps the most recognizable cartoon characters in movie history, Felix first appeared during the era of silent films. His expressive tail was seen as a great example of surrealism in the making of films.

7. Hello Kitty

This cute cat made her first debut in 1974 and since then she has become one of the largest franchises in Japan and in the world. Hello Kitty is Japan’s most popular pop icon!

8. Tom from the cartoon Tom & Jerry

Tom is a beloved half in the Tom and Jerry duo. He is engaged in a lifelong cat and mouse game with Jerry. Tom’s antics and attempts to catch Jerry never failed to get viewers’ attention, even today!

9. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss This Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters and perhaps the most recollected in pop culture. Since its first publication, it has sold over 11 million copies worldwide and graces many childhood libraries.

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