Friday, August 21, 2009

Top Cats #2

Those kittens still haven’t showed up yet, so I’m forced to present the second half of my Top Cats list, my Five Favourite Fluffy Felines, as with the Ferals, mainly in terms of fictitious moggies*.

#5 Bagpuss off of Bagpuss: A very popular candidate in comments on the previous list. But I have to confess that I never “got” Bagpuss. Ivor the Engine, yes; The Clangers, most certainly; but Bagpuss was just too esoteric, too dense with subtexts, simply too Modernist – like trying Finnegan’s Wake after having enjoyed Ulysses. The plots seemed to involve mechanical mice and a large cat that did nothing: Waiting For Godot wasn’t in it. I’m clearly just irremediable middle-brow.

#4 Vienna/Ponsonby: I always remember Leonard Rossiter talking to large fluffy cats: it was the former in Rising Damp (6:14 minutes in), and the latter in The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin. Rossiter, by all accounts, had an exceptionally high opinion of his own talent, perhaps justifiably so considering his nanosecond perfect comic timing. There’s no more obliging straight-man than a lazy pussycat, which is he probably how he honed his craft.

#3 Custard off of Roobarb and Custard Admittedly the dog was the star, but as the phlegmatic pink cat from next door Custard was Sancho Panza to Roobarb’s knight-errant. The animation was as edgy and fidgety as most of the target audience surely felt at that age, and the theme-tune so perfectly grungy that it could’ve been written by The Ramones but with jazzy mouth-organ and (later) double-bass, by Toots Thielemans and Danny Thompson… just my little fantasy :-).

#2 Jess off of Postman Pat: I always felt there was something disturbing about Postman Pat. It’s the way he drives around the lanes of Greendale without ever having to slow down for corners or watch out for other traffic – he’s clearly made a pact with the Devil. And he’s never without the company of that cat – it’s his “familiar”. So what makes Jess A Fluffy? I hear you ask. Well, just think how much worse Pat would be without it.

#1 Tanu: Of our two, Ţuţica is the more trichologically luxuriant but, personality-wise, Tanu’s as Fluffy as they come - he’s simply too stupid to be Feral. Spends his energies chasing butterflies rather than eatables, and has a habit of banging his head on things - very endearing when the thing in question is a part of one's body; another good trick is, when he’s on your lap, surreptitiously move the chair under a table, when he wakes up he’ll yawn, stand up, and bang his head… every time.

* NB: I’ve made no mention of Mrs Slocum’s Pussy – also a popular viewers’ choice in the Feral category - as I felt we’d probably had quite enough of “that” sort of thing in the previous post....

To end, something for all you young people out there, here’s the rave version of Roobarb and Custard:

24 comments:

Gaw said...

The fluffiest pussy I've seen recently was Germaine's.

BTW lovely folk music in Bagpuss.

Francis Sedgemore said...

"But I have to confess that I never “got” Bagpuss."

Gasp! I think I need to go lie down for a while.

In the meantime, see here for a suitably middle-brow tribute to the late, great Oliver Postgate, creator of Bagpuss.

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss,
Old fat furry catpuss,
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring.
Wake up, be bright,
Be golden and light,
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing.


Genius.

As for "that kind of thing", Mrs Slocombe's pussy is in a completely different class to the mangy old thicket from downunder.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Have you inspected next door's dacshund's for suspiciously round tummies?

I find clumsy animals endearing too, hornets are incredibly bad flyers and we often filmed them bumping into things - we're easily amused!

The Jules said...

Viz did an article a while back about Bagpuss getting put down because he was so old.

Best line in it was "And when Bagpuss gets put to sleep, all his friends get put to sleep."

Gadjo Dilo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gadjo Dilo said...

Mr Gaw, boys boys boys, I do realise that when a chap's hormones have irrevocably kicked in Bagpuss & co come a distant second best to Ms Greer's gusset, but I was hoping to return this blog to the innocence and wonder for which it was once so prized by children and The Right Sort of Parents.

Dr Francis, that really is a very nice tribute to Postgate. I always wanted to be one of the Clangers... indeed, perhaps in some sense I was. And I am now pondering the existential significance of Bagpuss's yawn.

Lulu, three cheers for clumsy animals :-) I hope you're wrong about those dachshunds - they're as stupid as Tanu, but have the run of the entire street and I suppose it's possible :-(

Jules :-) Vis was often very funny, though the cynicism could be a bit unremitting. Here is the Geordie take on Postman Pat!

Gorilla Bananas said...

I don't like any of these cats, they're too stupid. Whatever happened to cats like Kipling's Cat Who Walked By Himself. "Nenni" was a damned good word.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I was always under the impression that Jess was sedated or something. We worked out a scenario where Pat had kidnapped her from a wealthy household and had been holding her hostage for a small fortune.

And what about Winston the cat from "The Bash Street Kids?"

Gadjo Dilo said...

Bananas, to be fluffy is to be a bit stupid, I reckon, but I may well be tempted to compose a list of literary cats to please you and others.

Kevin, yes, that could well be the case - and Pat's son Julian doesn't look much like his dad either. I'm afraid I don't know this Winston of which you speak.

Madame DeFarge said...

I think my favourite cat was the one in Alien, who was so clearly the actual alien that I was surprised that no-one noticed its evil killing ways.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Madame, I haven't see Alien so I'm at a loss. I can't remember any sci-fi films (not that I've seen many) where the Creatures from Outer Space arrive with their domestic pets - it sounds like a interesting twist!

The Dotterel said...

But what about that lovely, smooth French feline Zsazsa from Hector's House, Gadj? Soooo sensible, especially with 'silly old Hector'. But secretly, well... you could just tell, couldn't you?

The Dotterel said...

Oh, and I forgot to say. You're 'it' at my place if you want to play! http://bringingupcharlie.blogspot.com/2009/08/call-yourself-writer.html

Gadjo Dilo said...

Dot, Zsazsa was surely a Hungarian and therefore looks more classy than the other characters in that garden, but 20 years down the line she'll have gotten through nine husbands like her namesake Ms Gabor. Thanks for the tag, I'll do it: bashing out a post like that certainly beats researching a proper one!

No Good Boyo said...

Excellent musical clip at the end there, Gadj. Goes to show that even student types can redeem themselves if they have a young lady dancing about in a corset and stockings. A lesson that Mr Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra might study to their profit.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Great post. Love the name dropping. -Jayne

Gadjo Dilo said...

Boyo, glad you like it, and that you're thereby still counted amongst the ranks of the young people. But surely Barenboim's a Good Egg with his Semitic brotherhood - though, as Alexei Sayle once said, you can't hope to solve the world's problems with a simple song, no, you've got to do the dance as well.

Jayne, thanks, duckie. (Did you get Bagpuss over Stateside??)

No Good Boyo said...

I have deep love for Maestro Barenboim, Gadjo, and am merely agreeing with Comrade Sayle that he and his solemn youngsters should host some half-neckid ladies swaying and ululating for Peace.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Not quite vintage, but here's the chappie.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Glad we agree on that, Boyo; but as for half-neckid ladies, the (female) orchestra members themselves (assuming they're over-18) could double in the role - everybody likes to see "posh" birds flashing their bits.

Kevin, thanks for that. The Bash Street Kids was the one strip that could have pursuaded me to go over to Beano after Sparky folded.

No Good Boyo said...

A suitable compromise, Gadjo. Economical, space-saving, and it might attract some plebians.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I'm worried about those kittens.

Emerson Marks said...

No Benny from Topcat, or Henry's cat? Bagpuss was good though. A bit like tamazepam for kids, least that's the effect it used to have on me.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Boyo, I reckon it's a ploy that could unite the entire Middle East. Oslo Accords - Schmoslo Accords.

Daphne, me too: she's eating constantly and is chock full of the old lactose, but rarely seems to go home to feed it to them (assuming they are still extant).

Mr Marks, welcome to you! Top Cat was on the previous moggie post of the top five feral felines. Cats seem quite popular, so I might do more.