If we were to ask you who you think the real hero of Prisoner of Azkaban was, what would your answer be? Sirius? Lupin? Hermione? Ron? Well, we think there’s one furry friend who beats them all – Crookshanks! Let us tell you why…

There’s no doubt that our favourite half-cat, half-Kneazle saved the day in Prisoner of Azkaban. But before we delve into his daring deeds and uncanny ability to sniff out suspicious sorts, let’s look at the other reason why he was the MVP of this story – his purrfect personality.

Right from the moment that Crookshanks leapt into our lives, we knew that this was one pet that was going to firmly find his way into our hearts. Fluffy, bright orange and squishy? He’s got every adorable box ticked! Then there was the fact we first met him as he landed on Ron’s head in a whirlwind of chaos and fur – iconic behaviour.

But as well as being a cat and doing normal, cat-like things, Crookshanks was also a part-time detective, which we saw from the moment he first met Scabbers. A purr-ivate investigator, if you will.

Yep, while other characters may have marvelled at the longevity of what they assumed to be a common garden rat, Crookshanks took one look at him and knew exactly what he was… An Animagus hiding in plain sight. Thankfully for Crookshanks, as a cat chasing down a rat, it didn’t really look that out of the ordinary.

Now, it might have been due to his Kneazle heritage (they have a particular knack for spotting unsavoury characters), but we still think the speed with which Crookshanks rumbled Peter Pettigrew was very impressive. The Weasleys didn’t clock Scabbers’ true identity for over a decade. For Crookshanks, it took less than a Hogwarts school year.

His dogged (or cat equivalent) determination was something we greatly admired too. Crookshanks didn’t give up on his pursuit of Scabbers. He could have easily leant into the soft life of a cat, curling up in a squishy armchair by the fire in the Gryffindor common room, being fed treats and having lots of cuddles with Hermione. But that’s for moggies who aren’t mavericks. No, Crookshanks pursued that rat with pure gusto. It might have resulted in him making few friends – at one point we think he was Ron’s worst enemy – but he was instrumental in revealing Peter’s secret.

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Conversely, he was one of the only characters to see the good in Sirius Black. Even Sirius’ closest living friend, Remus Lupin, had lost faith in him – drawing the dark conclusion that his old friend must have betrayed the Potters and murdered Pettigrew. But the star that he is, Crookshanks decided to help Sirius clear his name once and for all.

This was where Crookshanks really showed his true (vibrant orange) colours. He didn’t just chase after Scabbers, he truly helped Sirius. We imagine that after years of being falsely accused, locked up in prison and adrift from those he loved took its toll. When Crookshanks became his buddy, not only did it help Sirius with practical matters – such as getting hold of the passwords to the Gryffindor common room – but it probably helped to heal his heart too. Finally, there was someone in his corner. Ok, that someone might not have been human or speak any English, but that shouldn’t mean we underestimate the effect he had on Sirius.

Crookshanks kept him company and defended him. In fact, he was so determined that Sirius was good that he threw himself in front of Harry’s wand to protect him. And when that didn’t work, he unleashed his claws to make sure his message really… sunk in.

This caring nature extended beyond his buddy Sirius. When Harry and Hermione were being pummelled by the Whomping Willow, it was Crooskhanks that stepped in and stopped the tree from moving. When Sirius wanted to buy Harry a new Firebolt, it was Crookshanks that carried the order form for him. And despite being a highly intelligent half-cat, who was far above such childish things, he still allowed Hermione to tie some tinsel round his neck for a bit of Yuletide cheer.

Ultimately, Crookshanks was the GOAT of Prisoner of Azkaban – even Ron made his peace with the big, ginger furball in the end. Without him, Harry may never have discovered that Sirius was innocent, and Pettigrew may have stayed hidden for many more years. If we were being bold, we might say that his actions in this book made him our favourite wizarding pet – just don’t tell Hedwig. Well, he was certainly a paw-sitive influence.

With his intelligence, fluffiness and habit of helping to expose Dark wizards, this moggie exhibited classic orange cat behaviour – while cementing his place as a wizarding world hero at the same time.

Crookshanks, we meow to thee.