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: