Garfield is the most relatable cartoon cat, because he loves lasagna and hates Mondays. These may be the two most uncontroversial opinions in existence and it's made him a star! But we've all been assuming Garfield is like us: he loves lasagna because salty, cheesy carbs are delicious and he hates Mondays because they're the beginning of the work week.
He's looking forward to the weekend:
Or is he?
Australian author James Colley decided to analyze Garfield's psychology on Twitter, and the results have stirred up a lot of questions.
First, Colley explains that there's no good reason for Garfield to hate Mondays. He's a cat and doesn't have a job, so one day is the same as any other. Except for one thing:
Garfield is a cat and doesn't have a job. The only ostensible difference between Monday and any other day is that Jon suddenly isn't around after having been home all weekend. Garfield doesn't hate Mondays, he loves Jon and is too proud to say it.— Colley (@JamColley) February 18, 2018
On Mondays, his owner Jon goes to work. Garfield gets cranky when Jon leaves. Thus, Garfield loves Jon. It all makes sense.
But wait. What does Jon do for a living?
“when the strip first begins Jon introduces himself as a cartoonist and we see a panel of him at his drawing board so it is possible he could have been working from home this whole time” is maybe the sentence I’ve typed that has made me hate myself the most— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) February 18, 2018
If Jon is a cartoonist who works from home, then Garfield doesn't miss Jon. What to believe?
I am willing to suspend belief such that, even if this is true, he closes his door or whatever so that he may work. There's still a separation where his time is not devoted to feeding a cat lasagne. I've decided this is the hill I will die on.— Colley (@JamColley) February 18, 2018
Ah! Jon has an at home office or perhaps becomes too obsessed with his work to give Garfield the time and attention he needs. Garfield DOES love Jon.
This is so incredibly true. Very evident in the special Garfield gets a life, where Garfield follows Jon as he tries to find a date. Garfield wants him to date until he realizes that Jon having a girl friend means Jon spends less time with him. https://t.co/oCLFyN9qNU— The ott that never ends (@SpikeBlu) February 19, 2018
But rethinking canon has thrown some more wrenches into possible explanations for Garfield's strange antipathy:
Of course, now that we know he’s a work-from-home cartoonist, I wonder if Garfield truly hates Mondays because Garfield is a figment of Jon’s imagination (a la Sixth Sense) and only exists when Jon is paying attention to him? (Cite: Garfield Minus Garfield.)— Amarand Agasi (@AmarandAgasi) February 18, 2018
Does Jon, the cartoonist, draw Garfield, the comic (and therefore the cat)? It’s Jon all the way down.... Inception-style. Is the real Jon, Jim Davis or is the real cartoonist Garfield, a cat, with a genius mind, lacking opposable thumbs, unable to create art teaming within him?— Amarand Agasi (@AmarandAgasi) February 18, 2018
Layered like a lasagna. But I'm pretty sure it's been established that there is no Garfield: Garfield is Jon's Tyler Durden-esque expression of his id. His hatred of Mondays reflects Jon's weary longing to break his own weekly cycle of conformity, societal expectations and duty.— Michael Williams (@mmccwill) February 18, 2018
Then someone pointed out the actual justification: though Garfield has no job and no responsibilities and his owner is home, the Universe itself turns on Garfield every Monday like clockwork:
But this comic throws the whole into confusion. You're saying he loves Mondays now?!
Considering the reason for why Garfield does what he does is almost as mystifying as the reason why any cat does anything. It's honestly much sweeter to just imagine he loves Jon, the same way we imagine our cats love us.
Believe whatever you need to get through Monday.