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Life with Feathers is a 1945 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng.


The title is a pun on the 1939 play and 1935 book Life with Father.


A lovebird is depressed because his wife no longer loves him, so he decides to commit suicide. He finally settles on getting eaten by a cat. The bird happens on a hungry Sylvester and calls him over with a whistle. Excited, the cat runs to the bird, only to stop when he finds the bird wants to be eaten. Sylvester, thinking the bird is poisoned, refuses. Determined, the bird tries to sneak and even force himself into the cat's mouth, but to no avail.

Finally, the bird tunes into food commercials on the radio to increase Sylvester's appetite. The cat decides he "might as well die" eating the bird. As the feline is about to have a meal at last, a telegram arrives for the bird. It reads that that relations between him and his wife are going to be just fine. Unfortunately, the cat hasn't changed his mind and pursues the bird off a balcony.

The bird, overjoyed, returns home and says that his wife has returned to her mother. A dish is thrown from across the room. It was from the wife, who changed her mind. The bird runs back outside and calls for Sylvester.




On Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TNT, TBS, and The WB the part where the lovebird thinks of different ways to commit suicide after his wife has thrown him out is cut.[3]


  • This is the debut of an unnamed cat, who would be later known as Sylvester. He got this name three years later in a 1948 short, "Scaredy Cat", directed by Chuck Jones.
  • It was nominated for an Academy Award for best short subject.[4]
  • This was the final cartoon to have 1941-45 rendition of Merrily We Roll Along. The opening themes would be shortened, but the ending rendition still remained unchanged for another ten years.
  • This was the final non-Bugs Bunny Merrie Melodies short with the WB shield appearing before "WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC.", Present, the production code, and the copyright notice appear. Some cartoons from 1949-51 would have this feature, but only for Bugs Bunny cartoons.
    • The next cartoon "Behind the Meat-Ball", would be the final non-Bugs Bunny short to have the WB shield appear before the byline words "WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC." This was also the last cartoon to have the WB shield as big as it first appeared in 1936. In later shorts, the shield is smaller, even with the big background circle Merrie Melodies shorts still had in later years.
  • When re-released in the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies program, like most reissued Merrie Melodies at the time, the original closing bullet titles were kept. All Merrie Melodies shorts that were part of the Associated Artists Productions package originally released between 9/1/44-7/10/48 had their original closings bullet titles kept, except for the Cinecolor ones.
  • In 1951, Chuck Jones reused a similar concept for Hubie & Bertie's final short, "Cheese Chasers".
  • On September 5, 2014, a Facebook post by a cartoon historian Jerry Beck revealed a 35mm print of the original titles [5]. Despite the existence of this original titles print, the restored version uses the credit-less blue ribbon titles instead, possibly because the original stock music is lost.
  • In the 1995 Turner "dubbed version" (and presumably other TV prints), Sylvester has black fur (similar to his current appearance). The restored version on Blu-ray and DVD releases shows that Sylvester originally had a lighter bluish-black fur.



← N/A Sylvester Cartoons Peck Up Your Troubles →
Sylvester Cartoons
1945 Life with FeathersPeck Up Your Troubles
1946 Kitty Kornered
1947 Tweetie PieCrowing PainsDoggone CatsCatch as Cats Can
1948 Back Alley OproarI Taw a Putty TatHop, Look and ListenKit for CatScaredy Cat
1949 Mouse MazurkaBad Ol' Putty TatHippety Hopper
1950 Home, Tweet HomeThe Scarlet PumpernickelAll a Bir-r-r-dCanary RowStooge for a MousePop 'Im Pop!
1951 Canned FeudPutty Tat TroubleRoom and BirdTweety's S.O.S.Tweet Tweet Tweety
1952 Who's Kitten Who?Gift WrappedLittle Red Rodent HoodAin't She TweetHoppy Go LuckyA Bird in a Guilty CageTree for Two
1953 Snow BusinessA Mouse DividedFowl WeatherTom Tom TomcatA Street Cat Named SylvesterCatty CorneredCats A-weigh!
1954 Dog PoundedBell HoppyDr. Jerkyl's HideClaws for AlarmMuzzle ToughSatan's Waitin'By Word of Mouse
1955 Lighthouse MouseSandy ClawsTweety's CircusJumpin' JupiterA Kiddies KittySpeedy GonzalesRed Riding HoodwinkedHeir-ConditionedPappy's Puppy
1956 Too Hop to HandleTweet and SourTree Cornered TweetyThe Unexpected PestTugboat GrannyThe Slap-Hoppy MouseYankee Dood It
1957 Tweet ZooTweety and the BeanstalkBirds AnonymousGreedy for TweetyMouse-Taken IdentityGonzales' Tamales
1958 A Pizza Tweety-PieA Bird in a Bonnet
1959 Trick or TweetTweet and LovelyCat's PawHere Today, Gone TamaleTweet Dreams
1960 West of the PesosGoldimouse and the Three CatsHyde and Go TweetMouse and GardenTrip for Tat
1961 Cannery WoeHoppy DazeBirds of a FatherD' Fightin' OnesThe Rebel Without ClawsThe Pied Piper of GuadalupeThe Last Hungry Cat
1962 Fish and SlipsMexican BoardersThe Jet Cage
1963 Mexican Cat DanceChili WeatherClaws in the Lease
1964 A Message to GraciasFreudy CatNuts and VoltsHawaiian Aye AyeRoad to Andalay
1965 It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the HouseCats and BruisesThe Wild Chase
1966 A Taste of Catnip
1995 Carrotblanca
1997 Father of the Bird
2011 I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat