The Garfield comic strip was published first on June 19, in 1978 by creator Jim Davis, making the comic strip forty years old. Jim Davis named the popular character after his grandfather James Garfield Davis.
Curiously, the cartoon strip was initially supposed to focus on Odie, the dog since dogs made popular comic characters. However, Davis decided to go with the cantankerous cat, with the rationale that it would appeal to cat lovers. Obviously going with a cat proved the right and most lucrative choice, which goes to show you the power of cats in the world.