A 35-Year-Old Garfield Novelty Telephone Mystery Has Been Solved

Date:29 March 2019 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:, ,

For more than 30 years, a lasagna-loving tabby has been washing up on the beaches of northwestern France.

Novelty telephones in the shape of Garfield the cat, dating from the 1980s, regularly show up as detritus on the shores of Brittany. The orange phones are the bane of litter-decrying French environmentalists and a symbol of careless, throwaway cartoon strip capitalism. But nobody could explain where the Garfield gadgets kept coming from.

Nobody but local farmer René Morvan, that is. Morvan recently told France Info he’d seen the source of the scourge: a cave of forgotten cat phones.

Decades ago, shortly after a major storm blew threw the region, the Frenchman and his friends set out to explore seaside caves accessible only at low tide. He said he hadn’t been in 30 years, but brought a French news crew there to show them the visible proof. There they saw the remains of a busted-up shipping container that had once been full of Garfield phones and had apparently fallen off a cargo ship in the 1980s. The container found its final resting place inside the cave but has spent years releasing plastic recreations of Jon Arbuckle’s cat into open water.

The Garfield phone may seem ridiculous now—a relic of a time when novelty landline devices and Monday-hating fat felines held sway over the American psyche. Behold the wonder of this device as the cartoon cat awakens when a telephone call comes in:


The phone has become a kitschy collector’s item in certain parts of the world (get yours on eBay!). But not Brittany, where the French have spend decades wondering what they did to earn the eternal wrath of Jim Davis. Now, at least, this Monday-hating mystery has been put to bed.


Originally published on Popular Mechanics

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