44 years ago - Thomas Blake is born.
29 years ago - 15-year-old Thomas is acknowledged as one of the best hunters in the world.
25 years ago - 19-year-old Thomas moves to Africa where he begins hunting & trading in endangered species.
17 years ago - 27-year-old Thomas retires to Gotham, wealthy from years as a poacher & smuggler.
12 years ago - 32-year-old Thomas, bored, decides to join the ranks of Gotham's costumed criminals, competing for Carmine Falcone's 50 million dollar bounty on Batman.
11 years ago - 33-year-old Thomas is shot & beaten by The Joker. He retreats to his lodge in Africa.
5 years ago - 39-year-old Thomas, after living for years among a pride of lions, one of them is killed by a poacher. He tracks him & kills him, but is caught & extradited on old warrants, recruited to the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller.
3 years ago - 41-year-old Thomas is denied his early release for killing a senator. He stays with the Suicide Squad's new membership.
2 years ago - 42-year-old Thomas escapes the Suicide Squad with help from Deadshot. He returns to Africa.
Catman is such a bizarre nugget of comic book weirdness, but I'll try to sum it up.
Originally, he was just another in a long string of themed characters with questionably feasible themes. While Catwoman had a certain purity in her role as Batman's main femme fatale, Catman rode a giant mechanical cat. HE was the sort of character easily cast aside as we left the Silver Age, and no one really missed him. He was even brought up as a punchline, an overweight former villain, in the pages of Green Arrow.
It was Gail Simone that found a way to use the character and make him awesome again. Her strength, beyond just being a great writer and generally awesome, is her ability to structure a whole complete person inside what on the surface is a simple comic character... to make their behavior and motivations clear and human, so that the character can the be used in other books by other writers for other purposes, but still maintain that core humanity. It's a subtle skill, but profoundly valuable, and I don't think she gets enough credit for it.
Thomas had become a lethal brawler, someone questing for redemption but forever unable to see just how at odds his desire to be a better person was with the twisted actions he took to get there. He was a brutal killer who WANTED to have a heart of gold. When you also realize that he was being written as bisexual, and in some sort of endless frenemy/bromance with fellow secret six member Deadshot and he just became incredibly readable.
There are a lot of little threads that we can pull together to build our version of Catman. We're not doing the Secret Six, as that team is tied pretty heavily into the infinite crisis crossover that we're intentionally leaving out. His relationship to Deadshot, a longtime mainstay with the Suicide Squad, actually immediately suggests that that's where he should be. We're actually taking one of the very cool moments in Floyd's history with the Squad, when he followed the letter of his orders and killed a senator, and let that be a moment the two characters share. It's cool to have them bonding, and that's an absolutely badass way to make it happen.
Because we have the benefit of making our timeline from scratch, we can re-work his initial run as a Batman rogue so that he has more of a purpose. There's a distinct shift that happened in the world of Gotham villains when they transitioned from gangsters and career thieves to freaks and lunatics, and we can very easily use Catman as a a sort of tent pole to illustrate that shift. By having him be a sort of gentleman hunter he has a very silver age flair, but still fits into the world. His brutal beating and humiliation at the hands of the Joker fills a similar role as his fall from grace in existing continuity, but now it feels more like a true part of the overall story.