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The Premier Online Magazine
devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

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The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

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(Mrs. Norris, the cat in "Harry Potter)

While the Disney films have often featured feline actors, recently we have seen more pedigreed cats being featured on the silver screen in a wide range of films… a silver Persian in Stuart Little, a Sphynx in Austin Powers, an entire cast of recognizable breeds in “Cats and Dogs”. And most recently, a Maine Coon was used to portray the cat belonging to Filch in the blockbuster movie, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”.

Filch is the Hogwarts Castle’s caretaker.

He’s a cantankerous, nasty man who hates students with a passion… and he has a pet cat called Mrs. Norris with whom he has an almost psychic connection. Mrs. Norris wanders the corridors of the castle and if she spots anyone putting a toe out of line, she somehow lets Filch know and he is there within minutes. In the movie, the part of Mrs. Norris the cat is actually played by three Maine Coons. The Mrs. Norris you see most often wandering the corridors of Hogwarts is a Maine Coon spay named called Pebbles.

The Casting Call

This is the story of how Pebbles was chosen to play the part of Mrs. Norris in the Harry Potter… and became a Maine Coon Superstar in the process. 


Pebbles was a breeding queen owned by Dawn Talman of Kittycoonz cattery in southern England. Following two caesarians, Pebbles was spayed. Pebbles loved having babies and was a wonderful mother. She seemed to become bored however after being spayed and entertained herself by smacking around her kitty roommates. Bad kitty! The decision was made for everyone’s peace of mind to place Pebbles in a new home. That’s when fate stepped in and made Pebbles a star!

Dawn received a telephone call from the head trainer for Birds and Animals Unlimited, a company providing animals to the movies. Warner Brothers were casting Harry Potter and were looking for a Maine Coon to play the part of Mrs. Norris. Birds and Animals Unlimited is owned by Gary Gero, one of the world’s leading experts in animal training, and they calling many breeders throughout the United Kingdom to find the perfect cat who could play Mrs. Norris.

A Star Is Born

When Dawn was contacted, she mentioned Pebbles and it wasn’t long before Gary himself came to see her personally. Pebbles showed herself off very well and Gary said she was just what they were looking for. The company had already found one Maine Coon from London for the part but they wanted two other cats which looked similar to the one they already had. The third Maine Coon came from the North of England, so there were in fact two males and one female playing the same part of Mrs. Norris. Dawn and Pebbles’ breeder, Catherine, went to see Pebbles’ new home and decided that she would be very happy there and she would have an active life which she needed.

Acting Classes

Before filming started on the movie, like all good starlets, Pebbles was enrolled in acting school. The most important thing she needed to learn was how to “Hit Her Mark”, basically how to walk across the stage or set and stop at a specific spot.

Hitting Her Mark

Pebbles was an excellent student.

Pebbles comes out of her carrier, her trainer tells her to find her mark, a small disk on the ground.

The Perfect Performance

On cue, Pebbles performs her task and receives a tasty treat as a reward.

Take Two, Scene One

Pebbles is asked to find her mark again – this time it is next to Allison.

The Reward

Pebbles is rewarded by a kind stroke on her head.

The two male Maine Coons responded to more complex training than Pebbles, so they had the harder parts to play. Pebbles’ specialty became striding up and down the long corridors of Hogwarts school checking on the students. The Hollywood gossip newspapers report Pebbles is asking for a private dressing room with a personal masseuse. I think she deserves it! 😉

Dawn Talman
Or Telephone + 44 (0) 1323 449392
Photos by Bob Fox E-mail

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Maine Coons evolved to survive harsh winters by developing characteristics like large, tufted paws that serve as built-in “snowshoes” and a thick, bushy tail they can wrap around their bodies when they’re cold.