Sufferin' Cats! is a 1943 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 9th Tom and Jerry short.
The cartoon opens with Jerry running with a fishing line tied to his tail, which proceeds to retreat; Jerry is pulled under the radiator and towards Tom, dressed like a fisherman, at the end of the line. When Jerry reaches Tom, the cat makes a face and scares Jerry, causing him to run away again. Tom starts to reel in Jerry again, but the mouse holds onto a bag of jerked beef, forcing Tom to struggle to regain control of the line. As the line returns to Tom, a piece of the bag is on the end, simply stating "JERK". Jerry then escapes through an open window and smashes into another alley cat (Meathead), who is going through garbage cans trying to find lunch. Jerry quickly runs the other way, but then runs into Tom who is coming towards him. Choosing between evils, Jerry gives Meathead a kiss and hug, plays with his whiskers, and sticks his tongue out at Tom; in retaliation, Tom grabs Jerry and hisses at the alley cat, who then grabs Jerry back and hisses significantly louder than Tom. Knowing he is outclassed, Tom retreats. Meathead makes a Jerry sandwich, but when he adds pepper, Jerry sneezes and is propelled away from the bread - and into the other cat. The mouse now hugs Tom and snubs Meathead, who grabs Jerry and breaks the bread over Tom's head. Tom then grabs Meathead's whiskers and pulls one of them out; after Meathead locks Jerry in a sardine can, he returns the injury.
The two felines fight until Meathead, while holding Tom by the ears and pulling his fist back to punch him, spots the mouse walking out of the can. Meathead scolds Jerry and points to the can as if to say "You belong to me, get back in the can." Jerry complies grudgingly, meanwhile, Tom has replaced himself with a flower pot and stolen Jerry. Meathead chases after his rival, but runs directly into the front gate. In the backyard, Tom sits on Jerry to hide the mouse and shows Meathead the empty sardine can as he comes by. Jerry reveals himself by sticking Tom with a gardening fork and runs away; Meathead attempts to catch him, but Tom has tied Meathead's tail to the garden hose, who is then pulled back into the spigot and rained on. Tom then chases Jerry and catches him near an open window; a pie is sitting on the deck, and the cat holds it out for Meathead to promptly hit. Tom runs away with Jerry, but soon trips into a garbage can and loses the mouse to the alley cat; as Tom emerges from the can, he wallops Meathead with a frying pan. Meanwhile, Jerry wriggles through a hole in a fence, and when Tom peeks through, he is whacked with a length of pipe. When the cat sees his opponent arrive, he "graciously" waves him ahead, and Meathead receives the same punishment. Jerry runs away and disguises himself as an older mouse, using mop bristles in the shape of a beard. Both cats corner him, and Jerry points away from himself as if to say He went that way, adding a sneeze to punctuate his facade. The two cats shrug, run away, soon realize their error and go back to search the mop. They then post a lookout in front of the drainpipe the mouse has hid within, who ties both cats' tails together and then provokes a chase.
The alley cat moves first and ends up dragging Tom across the ground, and both the cats end up tangled around a tree. Jerry continues running and sets out thumbtacks for the cats to step on; at their speed, they cannot avoid the tacks, but manage to survive the assault and catch Jerry. After a brief fight, a tree stump with an ax on it catches their eyes and they agree to cut Jerry in half. The alley cat holds Jerry while Tom readies the ax, and as Tom raises the ax over his head, his devilish conscience appears and convinces him that he doesn't have to share Jerry: "Wait a minute, stupid! You don't have to share that mouse with that guy! Look." He then makes an X on the alley cat's head, which Tom swings for ("X marks the spot. You get the general idea, don't you? Okay then. Let him have it!") but stops short, panting heavily at his inability to commit murder. The devil appears again, disgusted and embarrassed, using his famed reasoning to convince the cat that Tom had priorities on Jerry, successfully breaking through to Tom.
Tom prepares to chop Meathead in half, but the blade slides off the end and instead of being beheaded, Meathead is whacked on the head and a lump forms on the top of his head. The incensed alley cat starts to chase Tom and beat him with the stick, Tom hissing and spitting. Meanwhile, Jerry escapes and ducks under the front gate. The cats put their feud aside to chase the mouse, but end up crashing through the gate with their heads and paws stuck on the front side of the gate and their rear ends hanging out the back. Jerry arrives with a piece of plank, and goes behind the cats' back with a belligerent smile on his face; Tom and Meathead look up to see a sign on the gate saying "MAKE ALL DELIVERIES IN REAR", and Jerry proceeds to hit both of them repeatedly on the bottom that affects their yells of pain.
Harry E. Lang as Tom's Devil
William Hanna as Jerry's sneeze
- It was the first of the only 2 Tom & Jerry cartoons (the second being "The Lonesome Mouse") to use the "Runnin' Wild" theme in the original opening titles.
- This is the first appearance of Meathead Cat.
- The poster has both Meathead and Tom switch fur colors with Meathead grey and Tom orange, which is a continuity error.