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Tongue Tied

The Cat

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INDIVIDUAL
The Cat
640x960Cat
Race Felis sapiens
Place of Origin Red Dwarf (originally from Earth)
Appearances Every Red Dwarf episode.
Alter Egos Duane Dibbley, The Riviera Kid, The Dog, The Padre, High Cat, Low Cat, Bhindi Bhaji, Gerald Hampton, New Cat, The Professor
Family The Cripple (mother), The Idiot (father), Cat Priest (mentor), Frankenstein (ancestor)
Actor Danny John-Jules
Cat redirects here, for other cat characters see Cat (Disambiguation)
"I’m not here to help. Read my CV. Does not help. Does not clean. Will have sex with anything."
-The Cat (RD: Entangled)

Biography Edit

Early LifeEdit

The character has no name other than "The Cat" or simply "Cat". In the first Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers it is explained that The Cat does have a name, but he figures he is the center of the universe and if they don't already know his name he's not going to tell them (in the failed American pilot episode, his real name is stated as being "Woo-fen", although of course this is not 'canon'.)

Cat is the humanoid descendant of a modern domestic cat called Frankenstein who had been Dave Lister's pregnant pet cat. He may be the last remaining member of his species, Felis sapiens. His species expanded and evolved into a humanoid form over 3,000,000 years while sealed in the cargo hold of Red Dwarf while Dave Lister was in suspended animation. They formed a religion based on the saviour of Frankenstein: "Cloister the Stupid", the father of their race according to their legends (actually Lister), and "Fuchal", their promised land (actually the Fiji islands, a place Lister held in high regard and planned to retire to). The race eventually splits and descends into civil war, over what colour the hats at the hot dog and doughnut stand Lister planned to open on Fiji were going to be (the cause is the name of their god in the original novels). Ironically the two factions claimed they were going to be red or blue, whilst Lister had wanted them to be green. Eventually the two factions formed a truce and build two great space arks to go and search for Lister and the promised land. One of the two arks, following a set of sacred directions (Lister's laundry list, which he lined Frankenstein's basket with), promptly crashed into an asteroid; it is not known what happened to the other. The assorted lame, sick and stupid were left behind; these all eventually died off, but a crippled female and a retarded male (who ate his own feet, which Cat had wondered about) produced The Cat before dying. It appears that The Cat was mainly raised by a blind Cat Priest, though a brief mention is made to The Cat's mother in the original novel, when a young Cat tried to sleep with her and she attacked him.

As one of the Boys from the DwarfEdit

In early episodes, The Cat exhibits typical feline behaviours such as licking anyone who gives him food, playing with 'shiny things' and marking his territory, for which purpose he carries a small spray-can, of which the contents are unknown (possibly urine, seeing as this is how cats mark their territory), in his pocket. While scent-marking, he repeats, "This is mine, this is mine, and all of this is mine." The Cat also had shown little concern for the welfare of his crewmates. His extreme self-confidence results in him thinking himself to be irresistible to women, without ever having met any. He is originally very self-centered, acting purely without concern when his old mentor the "Cat Priest" dies, giving Kryten an earring which he hates on the day before his automatic self-destruct and choosing to finish his lunch rather than carry Lister to the medical bay when he collapses, he later improves however. In the episode Stasis Leak, the crew discover a portal, referred to as a "Magic door" by Cat, which allows them to go back before the crew are wiped out, he sees actual human females, and remarks "They make me want to do something. I don't know what it is! Whatever it is, I wanna do it a lot of it!" By Series IV, the Cat becomes less obsessed with mating, and begins to develop a friendship with Dave Lister — possibly due to their mutual contempt for Rimmer. The Cat vaguely taught Lister the meaning of the cat word JOZXYQK, which is a sound that is made when one's sexual organs are trapped in something, during a game of "Scrabble"

As he learns to relate to the crew, he eventually stops licking them and marking his territory, and even begins to show genuine concern for others on several occasions. He becomes a skilled pilot of Starbug and develops an ability to "smell" danger, even in space — although he does not grasp scientific terms, describing anomalies as either "wibbly thing" or "swirly thing". Also, when a complicated issue arises or a strange anomaly is encountered, he is commonly known to pose the question, "What is it?", usually until the various explanations he is given make sense to him. His escape plans are almost always fashioned out of fantasy, and are generally reliant on objects that the crew either do not possess or are nonexistent anyway for success. For example, he suggested that they "drop the defensive shields" when they had none, and in another situation, to don their "rocket pants", which Kryten promptly pointed out they didn't have and hadn't even been invented. Kryten usually replies to these types of suggestions by saying "it is an excellent plan sir with just two minor drawbacks: one, we don't have any (whatever the cat said), and two (something related to what the cat said — for instance, there's no such thing as rocket pants)". When the crew finally does go with one of his plans, the Cat questions their sanity for heeding his own advice, remarking, "What if we all get killed? I'll never hear the last of it!". In Back in the Red Part III, The Cat found the crpytic clue to get out of AR which, according to Kryten, proved that it wasn't reality and later when he found the way to turn off the power to the AR suite from within, Lister remarked "pity he's only this smart when he's made of plasticine" (as the "screen saver" of the AR suite involves claymation).

In Out of Time, it is implied that he has at some point in his life taken Catnip as after going through a few unreality bubbles, he says "Boy, this is worse than triple-strength catnip!", hinting that for Felis Sapiens, it has narcotic effects.

PersonalityEdit

When described by Arnold Rimmer as being "flees at the first sign of danger, only out for number one, vain, narcissistic, self-obsessed" Cat said those were his "best features". As described in the novel his psyche is purely id and ego without a trace of super ego. He acts similar to a domesticated cat. As a humanoid cat, he exhibits the qualities of coolness, vanity, and aloofness. He loves to dress well in extravagant clothing, and to dance and scream like the soul artist James Brown. He often carries a mirror and is meticulous about his appearance. His first words in Episode 1 are: "How am I looking? I'm looking nice!". He rarely calls his crewmates by name, preferring to call Kryten "Novelty Condom Head" or "Half-Eaten Lollipop Head"; Rimmer "Non-Bud", "Goalpost Head", "Alphabet Head", or "Trans-Am Wheel Arch Nostrils"; Lister "Buddy", "You Stupid Monkey", "Dormouse Cheeks" or "Gerbil-Face"; and Kochanski "Officer Bud-Babe" ("Officer BB" for short).

He takes particular pleasure in using the food synthesizer to get fish dinners, at one point standing in front of it repeating the word "fish" six times as the machine cranks out meal after meal, much to his obvious delight.

In the episode "Parallel Universe", The Cat performs the song "Tongue Tied", which appears as a dream sequence on a "dream monitor". The song was later released as a single in 1993, and reached number 17 in the UK charts. The artist was listed simply as "The Cat".

In "Camille" he sees Camille as himself (he is the object of his own desire) when Camille asked him if there was anyone more deserving, he replies "Now that you put it like that, I guess you're right, damn my vanity!"

In the first and second pilot episodes of an American version of the television series, the Cat was played by Hinton Battle and Terry Farrell respectively. (Farrell's version was more outwardly catlike in appearance.)

The Cat has an alternate version of himself in an opposite universe called The Dog. Among his other alter egos is the "Duke of Dork", Duane Dibbley, who represents the 'nerd' stereotype and the Cat's idea of a meaningless existence. In the episode "Demons and Angels", The Cat's good and bad side are seen, his good side being a "Ned Flanders" religious type residing in a hooded robe and sandals, whilst explaining to the normal cat that he is his higher self, his spiritual side, extrapolated from his being the normal cat replies "Extrapa"what"elated, buddy there is no way you are a part of me, no part of me would ever be seen alive in sandals". This version is eventually shot at and blown up with the "divine" Kryten when they believe that a bomb thrown from the "Low" versions of the crew is a greetings gift. The other half is more savage and gangster-like than either of the other cats, notably he has no fashion sense being nearly dressed in nothing but rags, furs and black leather. His teeth have grown way out of proportion, making him more like a "Sabre-toothed cat". This version was destroyed when the two new Red Dwarfs regenerate into the old one. An alternative Cat is briefly encountered when the Dwarfers meet themselves from an alternative timeline and are joined by Kristine Kochanski. This Cat seems far more upper-class and subdued in appearance, in line with Kochanski's nature. Cat's mirror opposite is also encountered in the mirror universe (Series VIII episode "Only the Good..."), a wise professor who finds it ridiculously easy to pronounce profoundly long words, e.g., Cesiumfranciolithicmyxialobidiumrixydixydoxidrexidroxhide. This version of The Cat is more intelligent than both the original Cat and Duane Dibbley. In 'Ace' Rimmer's universe (series IV episode "Dimension Jump), the Cat is the base priest. This Cat smokes a pipe and congratulates Ace Rimmer on helping a sick boy recover.

In the Series X episode "Entangled" the Cat is shown to still be afflicted by the primal urge to hunt, running and jumping through the halls of Red Dwarf in pursuit of an illusive Space Weevil. In the series finale episode "The Beginning" he is also shown to be surprisingly astute and sensitive when it comes to to other peoples problems, despite his often apparent aloofness.

SkillsEdit

Despite his somewhat scattered personality, The Cat is a very capable pilot of Starbug, can describe smells as succinctly as "swirly thing", can do more than 150 pelvic thrusts per second (though this isn't all that useful, considering there are no women on Red Dwarf and, at least in the novels, his genitalia is equipped with painful hooks). He makes his own clothes, and is intelligent enough to be familiar with Earth literature and pop culture (likely via Lister).

Likes and DislikesEdit

Likes:

  • Dave lister
  • Fish
  • Sleeping (In "Thanks for the Memory", he says that it is his third favourite thing)
  • Eating
  • 'Number 1'
  • Fashionable outfits

Dislikes:

  • Not being able to eat
  • Being woken up
  • "The 'W' word" (Work)
  • Rimmer
  • When one or more of his outfits gets ruined in one day
  • When something clashes with the outfit he has on.
  • Being seen in the same outfit more than once.

QuotesEdit

  • "Fish!...Fish!...Fish!...Fish!...Fish!...Fish!"
  • "No, mine! The fish is mine!"
  • "OK, I say we put on the jet-powered rocket-pants and Junior Birdman the hell outta here!"
  • "Too slow, chicken marengo! Too slow for this cat."
  • "How am I lookin'? Good! I'm lookin' nice, My hair is nice; My suit is nice; I'm looking really nice."
  • "Hey, this has been a good day. I've eaten five times, I've slept six times, and I've made a lot of things mine. Tomorrow, I'm gonna see if I can't have sex with something."
  • "You'd never get a cat to be a servant. You ever see a cat return a stick? (To an imaginary stick-thrower) Hey, man! You threw the stick -- you go get it, yourself! I'm busy! If you wanted the stick so bad, why'd you throw it away in the first place?"
  • "Am I right in thinking I could get a nuclear explosion all over this suit? Because I'm telling you guys that stuff does not dry clean."
  • "Let's get out of here. I badly need to floss a piece of roasted dead person out of my teeth!"
  • "I'm gonna eat you little fishy"
  • "I'm gonna catch you little fishy"
  • "Damn! I look good!"
  • "150 pelvic thrusts per second? That's me in slow-mo - put a Black and Decker drill on the end and I can make it through walls, boy!"

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Danny John-Jules, a professional dancer before turning to acting, got the role of the Cat when he turned up for the audition half an hour late, in a garish, outlandish suit. One could say he was already in character.
  • Cat is merely the name given to him by Lister, and Cat has never revealed his true Felis sapien name. In the first Red Dwarf novel, Cat says that, as the center of the universe, the others should already know his name, and so he isn't going to tell them. In the non-canon failed American pilot, his name was given as "Woo-fen."
  • A deleted scene in the Series VI episode Emohawk reveals that the Cat's age is 33.

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