James was the cat of Glenn Quagmire. In "420", Quagmire discovered him living under his house and took him in. Quagmire became preoccupied with James, neglecting his friends. At one point, he even uses James to talk to Cleveland when he tries to borrow his lawnmower. Peter accidentally kills James while attempting to shave him as a prank, believing James had 9 lives. At the end of the episode, Peter admits he was the one who killed his cat.
Quagmire eventually gets over James prior to "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q.", when he tells Joe and Peter that he got another cat.