Penelope Pussycat is an animated cartoon character, a cat featured in the Warner Bros. classic Looney Tunes animated shorts as the protagonist of the Pepé Le Pew shorts. Although she is typically a non-speaker, her "meows" and "purrs" (or "le mews" and "le purrs") were most often provided by Mel Blanc using a feminine voice. In the 1959 short Really Scent, she was voiced by June Foray, in the 1962 short Louvre Come Back to Me!, she was voiced by Julie Bennett, and in the 2000 movie, Tweety's High-Flying Adventure, she was voiced by Frank Welker. Her first speaking role was in the 1995 short Carrotblanca, where she was voiced by Tress MacNeille.
Penelope Pussycat is best known as the often bewildered love interest of Looney Tunes' anthropomorphic skunk, Pepé Le Pew. Penelope is a typical black and white pussycat, though by some means or another, she often finds herself with a white stripe down her back, whether painted intentionally or (mostly) by accident.
She often finds herself constantly being chased by the overly enthusiastic Pepé, but when the occasion has presented itself, Penelope has been portrayed as the pursuer. For Scent-imental Reasons, Little Beau Pepé, and Really Scent have all shown Penelope to harbor an attraction to Pepé whenever his scent is neutralized (though in each cited instance, extenuating circumstances have caused Pepé to become repulsed by her, inciting Penelope to reverse the roles).
In more recent years, merchandising from Warner Bros (such as ornaments, glass wear, statuettes and children's activity books) has portrayed Penelope and Pepé as mutually attracted "sweethearts", though other modern media (such as The Looney Tunes Show and the current Looney Tunes comic book series) has maintained their classic "chasing" relationship. Carrotblanca featured her in an unusual role as the Ilsa counterpart to Bugs Bunny's Rick, with Sylvester portraying her husband and Le Pew as a minor pursuer.
Penelope Pussycat partly inspired the Tiny Toon Adventures character Furrball, a male cat who sees himself chased by an amorous female skunk (Fifi La Fume) whenever he has a white stripe painted down his back.
For many years, Penelope remained a nameless character, simply referred to as "the black cat". She was eventually given a name in the 1954 short, The Cat's Bah, where her mistress referred to her as "Penelope". The name was later contradicted in the 1955 short, Two Scent's Worth, where she was identified as "Fifi". In the 1959 short, Really Scent, she was referred to as "Fabrette". Confusingly, her mother was named "Fifi" in that short. In a model sheet from the early 1990s, she was referred to simply as "Le Cat".
She remained without an official name for many years, until the 1995 release of Carrotblanca (a parody of Casablanca). Her name was then canonized as "Penelope Pussycat", as many advertisements for the short credited her as "Penelope Pussycat in her first speaking role"
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