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Crookshanks

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Crookshanks
Physical information
Species

Half-cat/half-Kneazle[1]

Gender

Male

Hair colour

Ginger

Eye colour

Orange

Family members

Granger family

Loyalty
Ron: "What was that?"
Harry: "It was either a very big cat or quite a small tiger."
Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter see Crookshanks for the first time.[src]

Crookshanks was Hermione Granger's pet cat. He is half-Kneazle,[1] as evidenced by his lion-like appearance, ability to solve problems on his own without aid or teaching, and clear dislike of and ability at recognising untrustworthy persons (even if they are transfigured).

Biography

Purchase by Hermione Granger

Ron: "You bought that monster?"
Hermione: "He's gorgeous, isn't he?"
Ron: "Hermione, that thing nearly scalped me!"
— Hermione and Ron after the former's purchase of Crookshanks[src]
Hermione poa

Crookshanks with Hermione.

Crookshanks was purchased in 1993 by Hermione Granger from the Magical Menagerie, who had originally gone there seeking an owl. The proprietor informed Hermione that he had been there for quite some time, and that "nobody wanted him".[2] It could be that as a highly intelligent animal, Crookshanks was merely waiting for someone worthy of his companionship and as Hermione is a very intelligent witch, Crookshanks must have deemed her worthy of his affection.

Crookshanks and Scabbers

"This cat isn't mad. He's the most intelligent of his kind I've ever met."
Sirius Black on Crookshanks[src]

Crookshanks played an instrumental part in Sirius Black's attempts to enter Hogwarts Castle for the purpose of procuring Peter Pettigrew, who was masquerading as Scabbers, Ron Weasley's beloved pet rat. Crookshanks immediately took a disliking to Scabbers, (perhaps because he was half-kneazle and could detect frauds) trying to attack him through Ron's clothes the first time they met. Afterwards, Crookshanks independently sought Scabbers out, causing the rat to seek hiding places. When Scabbers took off to hide in Rubeus Hagrid's hut, Ron was convinced that Crookshanks had eaten him. This caused a row with Hermione, until he was found at Hagrid's.

"There's something funny about that animal! It heard me say that Scabbers was in my bag!"
—Ron after one of Crookshanks' failed attempts to catch Scabbers[src]

Crookshanks met Sirius Black in his Animagus form of Padfoot on the Hogwarts grounds several times, and stole the passwords to Gryffindor Tower from Neville Longbottom to help him get into the castle. Crookshanks helped Sirius lure Harry, Ron and Hermione into the Shrieking Shack. During the scuffle between Harry and Sirius, Crookshanks attempted both to steal Harry's wand and attack Harry, and when both failed, set himself over Sirius' heart. The hesitation that Harry felt gave enough time for Professor Remus Lupin to arrive.

HermioneRonCrookshanks

Crookshanks on the Hogwarts Express with Hermione and Ron.

Crookshanks led the way back through the tunnels. However, when Lupin transformed into a werewolf, Pettigrew stole Lupin's wand and stunned both Ron and Crookshanks, escaping. After all this, Ron accepted Crookshanks as a remarkable animal companion, asking for his 'judgement' of the small owl that Sirius had offered to him as compensation for the loss of Scabbers to confirm that the owl wasn't another Animagus.[3]

Crookshanks soon became more friendly to others; for example, he once curled up in Harry Potter's lap when Harry was waiting to hear from Sirius. However, he still remained unusually perceptive and disapproving of bad behaviour, judging by how he stared at Harry and Ron while they made up answers for their Divination homework.[4] Ginny Weasley, who Ron claimed was a great lover of cats[5], seemed fond of Crookshanks; she enjoyed playing with him, and was able to coax him out in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place during an Order of the Phoenix meeting, rolling butter beer corks for him to catch.[6]

Second Wizarding War

During the height of the Second Wizarding War, Hermione and Crookshanks came to stay at the Burrow, but Hermione left with Harry and Ron after Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding reception was interrupted by Death Eaters.[7] It is unknown what happened to Crookshanks while Hermione was searching for Horcruxes; most likely, he stayed in the Weasley's care, given Ginny's fondness of cats. Alternately, he may have left the Weasley household alone.

Physical appearance

Animalmagic 111305 crookshanks 0001752

Crookshanks

Crookshanks was described as very big, bandy-legged, ginger-coloured and with a "squashed head". His face was described to look as if he had "run headlong into a brick wall."[3] This type of cat's face is known as a "pansy face." Based on these markings, Crookshanks would have the characteristics of a hansa Himalayan, or ginger Himalayan cat.He could also be a Persian, but due to his face shape the former is more probable. Many people get these breeds confused, the Persian has larger, buggier eyes and rounder upper lips than a himalayan. Crookshanks' other most recognisable physical traits were his "bottlebrush" tail and his yellow eyes.

Personality and traits

"Clever Crookshanks, did you catch that all by yourself?"
Hermione Granger after Crookshanks caught a spider[src]
Crookshanks was highly intelligent and helped Sirius Black expose Peter Pettigrew who was disguised as Scabbers. Ron Weasley initially thought that Crookshanks wanted to simply eat Scabbers and accused him of being mad but Sirius Black claimed that Crookshanks was the most intelligent cat he'd ever met. Crookshanks was also very playful and enjoyed catching spiders[8], chasing gnomes in the Weasleys' garden[9], and
Cat

Crookshanks in the Magical Menagerie on Pottermore.

attacking chess pieces[10]. He was affectionate with those he liked and also acted as a shield to Sirius when Harry was planning to kill him. However he was aggressive and disdainful of those he disliked, this list included Ron when the two first met. Crookshanks could also be moody towards those who threw him off their lap, no matter if it was accidental or deliberate.

Etymology

The name Crookshanks seems to refer to the cat's bandy legs, from crook, meaning "a bend", and shank, a term for the lower part of the legs. It is likely to be derived from the Scottish surname 'Cruikshanks', which is pronounced in exactly the same way. Isaac Robert Cruikshank was a well-known British illustrator in the 1800s and illustrated Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, the first of the famous "orphan novels" that influenced J.K. Rowling as she came up with the character Harry Potter.

Behind the scenes

Crackerjack

Crackerjack, the cat that plays Crookshanks.

Crookshanks Plush

Crookshanks plush from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

  • Crookshanks may be named after Poderick Crookshank.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Crookshanks interfered with one of Fred and George Weasley's Extendable Ears, which the twins, Hermione, Harry Potter, and Ron and Ginny Weasley used to listen in on an Order of the Phoenix meeting in 12 Grimmauld Place.
  • Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the film series, named her cats after Harry Potter characters: she has a cat named Luna and another named Dumbledore. She also had a cat named Crookshanks, although it is now deceased.[11]
  • In the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book, Crookshanks was bought by Hermione while Harry and Ron were looking for Scabbers. In the film, this scene was omitted and he was first seen chasing Scabbers when Harry left his room in The Leaky Cauldron. Ron later referred to him as a "bloody beast" and a "pig with hair".
  • Crookshanks' role in the film version Prisoner of Azkaban is considerably diminished compared to his role in the book; he is never shown as friends with Sirius Black nor does he help Sirius in any way.
  • Hermione's ownership of Crookshanks may be reminiscent to her transformation as a cat about one year prior to his purchase.
  • In the films, Crookshanks is played by Crackerjack, as said on the second disc of the DVD of Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • To make Crackerjack's hair look tatty like Crookshanks's, his trainer stuck bits of his already shed fur onto his body.
  • Hermione was forced to abandon Crookshanks during the attack at the Burrow in 1997, and it remains unknown if they ever reunited after the Second War ended. However, it would be safe to assume that the two did reunite, seeing their strong love and affection towards each other.
  • A plush version of Crookshanks is available at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Appearances

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Notes and references


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