SAN FRANCISCO -- B. Kliban, 55, an art-school washout with a childhood allergy to cats whose cartoon drawings of plump, striped cats went from the pages of Playboy to greater fame on T-shirts and calendars, died Aug. 12 at a hospital in San Francisco. He had a heart ailment.

The cartoonist's droll, round-eyed cats often pursued human activities. They worked at the office, strummed guitars, skied and spent summers at the beach. By the mid-1980s, those cats had become a $50 million industry.

Mr. Kliban's cat-design T-shirts included a best seller with the caption: "Sex, Mice and Rock and Roll." A popular poster featuring a Kliban cat read, "Cat: one hell of a nice animal, frequently mistaken for a meatloaf."

His cartoons were first published in book form in the 1975 volume titled "The Cat." It was followed by others, including "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head & Other Drawings," "Tiny Footprints," "Two Guys Fooling Around With the Moon and Other Drawings," "Whack Your Porcupine," and "Playboy's Kliban."

Critics and fans admired Mr. Kliban's cats for their convoluted logic, puns, and seemingly ribald personal lives. They were never cute.

His cats also were on calendars, bed sheets, bath mats, beer mugs, coffee cups and umbrellas. Neiman-Marcus, the posh department store, put a non-feline Kliban of camels toting rainbows on its shopping bags and catalogs in 1981. Harrods, the exclusive London department store, and Bloomingdale's put on big Kliban displays.

Bernard Kliban, who lived in Corte Madera, Calif., was born in Norwalk, Conn. He said he had had an allegery to cats until he hit his twenties. At his death, he had four cats.

He flunked out of Pratt Institute and Cooper Union before he went to California in 1959. He began drawing for Playboy in the mid-1970s. In his pre-cat days, he said, he drew ads, corporate logos and annual reports.

As his fame grew, he tried to avoid publicity. He stopped giving out his first name, admitting to just the initial "B."

Mr. Kliban said in an interview that if cartoonists ruled the world, "there would be weird cartoon sculptures 500 feet high and free rubber chickens, regardless of a person's religious beliefs."


Marine Brigadier General

Robert C. Kilmartin, 93, a retired Marine Corps brigadier general, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Aug. 12 at his home, Vinson Hall in McLean.

Gen. Kilmartin was born in Petersburg, Va., and moved to Washington as a child. He graduated from Western High School.

He joined the Marine Corps in 1917 and served in France during World War I. Later duty included service in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic and assignments in Washington, Quantico, and the West Coast. He received a law degree from George Washington University while serving in the Marines.

During World War II Gen. Kilmartin served in the South Pacific and particiated in combat operations on Guadalcanal and Tulagi. He was awarded a Bronze Star. Later in the war he was commander of the Marine Barracks in Washington.

He retired from the Marines in 1949, then worked for 20 years as a Washington stockbroker with Ferris & Co. Later he was a staff attorney for the Retired Officers Association.

Gen. Kilmartin was a former secretary and treasurer of the Army & Navy Club in Washington. During the 1950s he was a boxing judge for the D.C. Boxing Commission.

His first wife, the former Alice Claytor Smith, died in 1977.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores L. Kilmartin of Vinson Hall; one half-brother, Frank Kilmartin of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; two stepsons, Dr. William F. Bobzien III of Rocky Mount, N.C., and David P. Bobzien of Reston; and six grandchildren.


Congressional Researcher

Elizabeth Murray Boswell, 70, a retired researcher in the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress, died of respiratory arrest Aug. 13 at Capitol Hill Hospital, where she had undergone surgery for a hip fracture.

Mrs. Boswell, a resident of Washington, was born in Selbyville, Del. She graduated from Duke University and received a master's degree in English from New York University. She was a high school English teacher in Wilmington, Del., before moving to Washington in 1946.

In 1954, she went to work at the Legislative Reference Service, remaining there until 1971. She specialized first in economic issues, then in water resources and environmental issues.

Mrs. Boswell was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington.

Survivors include her husband, Paul N. Boswell, whom she married in 1941, of Washington; one son, Thomas Boswell, a sportswriter and columnist for The Washington Post, of Edgewater, Md., and a grandchild.


Legal Secretary

Frances Kibler MacPherson, 77, a retired Northern Virginia legal secretary who had been a member of the Chantilly Golf and Country Club, died of a heart ailment Aug. 13 at the Cameron Glen nursing home in Reston.

From 1950 to 1982, she had worked in the Arlington and Fairfax offices of what is now the law firm of Kendrick Gearhart Aylor & Lockowandt. She was a past president of the Arlington Legal Secretaries Association.

Mrs. MacPherson, who lived in Herndon, was born in Prince William County. She grew up in Arlington, where she graduated from Washington-Lee High School.

Her husband, Duncan Stewart MacPherson, died in 1982. Her survivors include two sons, Donnie, of Herndon, and Jack, of Catlett, Va.; two brothers; three grandchildren; and two grandchildren.