Sufferin' Cats! is a 1943 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 9th Tom and Jerry short movie directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It was produced in Technicolor and released to theaters on January 16, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and re-released on June 4, 1949. This is the final cartoon to have Clarence Nash voice Tom Cat, though he would later voice the vicious cats in Mouse in Manhattan. After this cartoon, Tom or any other MGM cat character would just yelp in pain whenever they get hurt. Tom's yelps were done by creator William Hanna.
The cartoon opens with Jerry running with a fishing line tied to his tail, which proceeds to retreat; Jerry is pulled under the radiator, through a mousehole, and towards Tom at the end of the line. When Jerry reaches Tom, the cat makes a face and scares Jerry, causing him to run away. 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, stating "JERK".
Jerry escapes through an open window and runs into an 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 Meathead, who grabs Jerry back and hisses much 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 runs into Tom. Jerry 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 can, he returns the injury.
The two felines fight until Meathead, while holding Tom by the ears and fist back to punch him, spots Jerry 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, but meanwhile Tom has replaced himself with a flower pot and stolen Jerry. Meathead chases after Tom, but runs into the front gate.
In the backyard, Tom sits on Jerry to hide Jerry 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 Tom holds it out for Meathead to promptly hit. Tom runs away with Jerry, but soon trips into a garbage can and loses Jerry to Meathead; as Tom emerges from the can, he wallops Meathead with a frying pan and flips Jerry in the pan a few times. The mouse escapes and 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 waves him ahead, and Meathead receives the same punishment.
Jerry runs away and disguises himself as an old 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". The two cats shrug, run away, soon realize their error and go back to search the mop. They then look in front of the drainpipe the mouse has hidden in, who ties both cats' tails together and then provokes a chase. The alley cat moves first and drags Tom across the ground, and both 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 podiatric 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. He then makes an X on the alley cat's head, which Tom swings for, but stops short, panting at his inability to commit murder. The devil appears again, disgusted, 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 and instead of being beheaded, Meathead is whacked on the head and a bump forms on the top and goes through his toupee. The incensed alley cat chases Tom and beats him with the stick, Tom hissing and spitting. Meanwhile, Jerry escapes and ducks under the front gate. The cats chase the mouse instead, but crash through the gate with their heads, hands and feet on the front side and their defenseless rear ends hanging out the back. Jerry arrives with a huge smile carrying a very thick wooden paddle and goes behind the cats' back. He has decided that as punishment for tormenting him, that both cats deserve a good paddling, and uses their compromising position to do just that. Then he brushes off both of their waiting butts to let them know what is about to happen. Then he takes aim with the paddle; the cats look up to see a sign on the gate saying MAKE ALL DELIVERIES IN REAR, and Jerry uses the large paddle to give both of them a good spanking on their presumably bare bottoms as the sound the paddle makes is met with yelps of pain. The cartoon goes to black while Jerry continues the spanking to his heart's desire, enjoying his sweet revenge on them. Jerry had spanked Tom in past cartoons, but this cartoon was the first one to feature another cat being spanked along with Tom.
The spanking scene
For the first time, another cat receiving a severe spanking along with Tom. Both Tom and Meathead are caught in completely helpless positions. They are stuck in a gate with their bare bottoms hanging out the back, very similar to the way that Tom is in the episode, Professor Tom. The audience enjoyed seeing another character getting a good old fashioned spanking along with Tom. Jerry severely spanks them both and they cry loudly as the cartoon ends.
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