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|Title||Bungle, the Glass Cat|
|First Appearance||The Patchwork Girl of Oz|
Bungle, the Glass Cat is a magical creature who lives in the Land of Oz.
The cat is made of glass, so clear and transparent that one can see through it as clearly as through a window. In the top of its head is a mass of pink balls than can be seen working. It has two large, green emerald eyes and a hard ruby heart. Its spun glass tail is really beautiful.
In personality, Bungle is saucy and inconsiderate. Through its incessant prowling throughout the Land of Oz, the Glass Cat has acquired intimate knowledge of its complex terrain; it is sometimes willing to exploit this knowledge to the benefit of Dorothy and her friends. Bungle is very sturdy and resistant to damage or injury, which is a great advantage in its various adventures.
The magician Dr. Pipt brought the Glass Cat to life in order to test his Powder of Life, and so that it would chase the mice out of his home. However, it was too proud and vain to chase mice, so the magician's wife Margolotte named it Bungle.
Margolotte and Dr. Pipt's friend Unc Nunkie were accidently turned to marble by the Liquid of Petrifaction. Although she had never ventured far from the Magician's house, Bungle set out with Ojo and the Patchwork Girl to help find the ingredients for the antidote and along the way met the Woozy and the Shaggy Man. When they arrived at the Emerald City she decided to remain there. Her conceitedness made her disagreeable, so the Wizard of Oz temporarily removed her pink brains and replaced them with clear ones. (The Patchwork Girl of Oz)
L. Frank Baum also magically animated a spun-glass animal in an earlier story, "The Glass Dog," in his 1901 collection American Fairy Tales. The dog is not transparent but pink, with a blue ribbon around its neck and shiny black glass eyes. (There are transparent crystalline people living in a crystal city in Ojo in Oz.)
In its first appearance, Baum refers to the character as "the glass animal" or "it" at first, but within a few pages of Bungle's introduction he refers to the creature as "she." Other writers have also tended to view the cat as female.
The Glass Cat's unique mix of qualities has attracted the attention of Oz imitators and acolytes. Eric Shanower employs the Cat in his 1992 graphic novel The Blue Witch of Oz, where she brings about the story's positive resolution. David Hulan made the Cat his protagonist in The Glass Cat of Oz. Bungle plays an important role in other novels and stories, including Shanower's "Dorothy and the Mushroom Queen," Gina Wickwar's The Hidden Prince of Oz, and Greg Gick's Bungle and the Magic Lantern of Oz.
A few writers find Bungle provoking: Joshua Patrick Dudley shatters her into a hundred pieces (and later magically restores her) in his novel Lost in Oz: Rise of the Dark Wizard, and she appears in a much larger role in the third Lost in Oz novel, Temple of the Deadly Desert, and her ever famous "you can see them work" line about her pink brains parodied throughout her appearace. Michael O. Riley breaks her in two in his story "The Ruby Heart" (though the Cat is magically restored in both). Writers also try to "humanize" the Cat, warm her up emotionally: Riley makes her heart beat at the end of his story, while Atticus Gannaway, in his "Toto and the Truth," makes the dog and the Cat almost friends.
In Magician of Oz (2009), by James C. Wallace II, Bungle the Glass Cat makes a brief appearance in the welcoming party for Jamie Diggs, the great grandson of O.Z. Diggs when he first arrives in Oz. Bungle also shows up to join Jamie, Dorothy, Glinda and Ozma on a rafting journey down the Winkie River to the Tin Palace of the Tin Woodman. Bungle found the journey most unpleasant.
In Shadow Demon of Oz (2010), by James C. Wallace II, Bungle the Glass Cat agrees to a royal request by Princess Ozma and travels to Mount Munch (along with Toto), to make her Leap of Faith and distract the Shadow Demon, allowing Jamie Diggs to defeat the ancient Evil. The Leap of Faith cost Bungle one of her nine lives.
In Bungle of Oz (2013), by Carrie Bailey, Bungle goes on an adventure with a kitchen hand from the Royal Palace of Oz. Having been rendered breakable by the paradox potion, she seeks out her creator Dr. Pipt, the Crooked Magician, for a cure in the land of Ev.