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Meathead is a Tom and Jerry character - a brown, mangy cat - who first appeared in the 1943 short, Sufferin' Cats!, as Tom's rival. Meathead later appeared in the short Baby Puss, as one of the alley cat bullies that tormented Tom because Tom's young female owner treated Tom literally like a baby, especially dressing up Tom in a diaper, a bonnet, and pink mittens for all of his paws. Tom was quite a mock show for Butch and his gang, as well as Jerry.

In later cartoons, Meathead still appeared as one of the alley cat bullies whose leader is Butch, but the alley cat bullies became buddies of Tom instead of rivals.

Occasionally viewers have confused Meathead with Tom's other cat friend Lightning, but there is a significant difference—the dopey Meathead has a longer muzzle, more hair, and is brown (or later, gray), while the smarter Lightning is orange and shares Tom's build. The confusion might have arisen because both cats are sometimes seen with bandaged tails. The two appear side-by-side in Sleepy-Time Tom and Scat Cats.

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