Everywhere I went in Paris I saw this cat high up on the rooftops! There’s a fantastic background to this street graphic:
M. Chat (also known as Monsieur Chat and Mr Chat) is the name of a graffiti cat that appeared in Paris and then other European cities around 2001. The graffiti appeared most frequently on chimneys. Up until March 2007, the originator of the street art managed to remain anonymous.
The yellow cartoon cat is characterized by its large Cheshire Cat grin. The cat is most often portrayed in a running pose, but has also been variously depicted waving signal flags, bouncing on a ball, sporting angel wings, and waving in greeting at the entrance to a train station. It is sometimes accompanied by tagline M. CHAT in small letters.
A 2004 documentary by filmmaker Chris Marker, Chats Perchés (titled The Case of the Grinning Cat in English), used the phenomenon of M. Chat’s appearance across France as a springboard for a reflection on the state of the country post-9/11. When the film was shown at the Pompidou Center, an enormous version of the cat was temporarily painted in the plaza outside.