It has been said that whereas dogs have masters, cats have staff. Cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt, where there were two cat-based Gods, and throughout history cats have carefully avoided the limelight and maintained their mystery.
This sheet helps celebrate famous cats and although a number of individual cats feature, there is also room to celebrate those that never achieve fame by name, but are characters in their own right. In the world of Pantomime, aside from Puss-in-Boots, Dick Whittington's cat has no definitive identity, the name changing from version to version. Children's fiction and verse is littered with cats of note, from Orlando the marmalade cat to the Cheshire Cat of Wonderland, not to mention the fact that TS Eliot and Andrew Lloyd Webber have done well out of cat-based poetry. Finally, black cats are renowned for their involvement in the field of Superstition and Witchcraft, and, being the witches' familiar, will usually keep their true mystic name a secret.
Although cats tend to like having things their own way, under the circumstances, it may be permissible for your cat-orientated guest to bring a non-feline companion on the grounds that cats have been part of many famous pairings - the Owl & the Pussycat, Tom & Jerry, Sylvester & Tweety and so on. It may also make for a bit of variety!
Bast (or Bastet):- One of two major cat-based Egyptian deities (the other is Sekhmet). Bast (or Bastet) is the Goddess of Love, Sex and Fertility. Hence the opportunity for a Sex Kitten, or cross between Cleopatra and Catwoman Mk2.
Blofeld's Cat:- It is a movie cliché that villains have a pet of some kind, to show a caring, sharing side. In the case of Ernst Stavros Blofeld, arch-villain in several James Bond movies, it was a white Persian cat with a diamond collar.
Cat:- Aside from those featured here, there are many Cats With No Name. Dick Whittington's companion has already been mentioned. Others include:- The Cat Who Got The Cream; Dr. Seuss' The Cat in The Hat; The Pussycat who went to look at the Queen (cue London Map and Buck House tour-guide accessories); the one that fell down a well and the one that Curiosity killed. (A ghost cat?).
Cat Burglar:- Over a standard cat costume and make-up, use a black eye-mask, black/white striped jumper and a bag marked 'Swag'.
Cats Performer:- The Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical, Cats, was innovative in the early 1980s and continues to be celebrated, even though many of the official runs have now closed. As most people know, the costumes are primarily based on a decorated catsuit with wigs (the originals are of yak hair) and elaborate make-up designs completing the look. There are a vast number of different characters involved in the musical. These are just two: Grizabella:- Grizabella is the Glamour Cat who has fallen on hard times. Apart from a costume which suggests a fur coat that has seen better days, make-up is elegant but flawed - run mascara, smudged lipstick, etc.. Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, on the other hand, are a couple of cats on the up - lithe of body, keen and tiger-like in looks. The 2019 film used CGI for the cat looks.
Cat Ballou:- Not all cat costumes are feline. Cat Ballou was a light western starring Jane Fonda in the title role, as a cowgirl hiring a drunken gunslinger (Lee Marvin), to help hunt and kill the metal-nosed man (also played by Lee Marvin), who had killed her father.
Cat-astrophe:- If your cat costume is a bit ragged or your cat make-up attempt is a disaster, put your paw in a sling, wear an eye-patch and collar label 'Lucky' and go as 'Catastrophe'.
Catwoman Mk. 1:- The Catwoman of the 1960s/70s TV series usually wore a stretch-knit catsuit, flyaway cat eye-mask and ears on a headband.
Catwoman Mk. 2:- The Catwoman of the 1992 film wore a close-fitting black PVC catsuit, with white stitch markings (it was supposedly built from a raincoat), and matching overhead half-mask. Heeled pixie boots, gloves (with optional claws) and a whip complete the ensemble.
Cheetah:- The finely marked sleek athlete of the big-cat world, often kept in pairs as pets by Eastern potentates. The cheetah is usually distinguished from the leopard by more symmetrical spot-marking, usually in groups.
Leopard:- The leopard and cheetah can often be confused, having similar markings. (The leopard's spots are less grouped). In addition to the most familiar beige/brown colour scheme of the leopard of the African plains, the Snow Leopard, in grey and white with a magnificent bushy tail is a lesser known species.
Lion:- As the King of the Jungle, the lion is one of the few undoubtedly male characters to feature in this sheet. Also featured in fiction as a symbol of strength (Aslan (Narnia); The Lion from the Wizard of Oz).
Pussycat (of 'The Owl & the Pussycat'):- Heroine of Edward Lear's romantic rhyme, this cat suggests sophistication but also simplicity of taste - minimal luggage (space in pea-green sailing boats being at a premium) and hence a simple no frills wedding.
Pussy Galore:- Another non-feline cat-type, this time Goldfinger's assistant and pilot in the James Bond book and film by Ian Fleming, who was renowned for the risqué names he gave his female characters. Honor Blackman got the role in the film, after her leather catsuited action sequences in the 1960s Avengers TV series.
Puss-in-Boots:- This pantomime Puss helps raise his master's status from miller's son to Marquis of Carabas by theft, trickery and deception. A military-style jacket or frock coat worn over a catsuit, along with a musketeer hat, sword and belt, and, of course, the knee/thigh boots can create quite an impression.
Sekhmet:- Lioness-headed Goddess of War and Retribution in Ancient Egypt. A cross between a lion and a Warrior Princess, with an impressive cloak and suitable armament should suffice.
Sylvester (& Tweety) - The Cat and the Canary:- Sylvester is the long suffering cartoon cat forever trying to ensnare the Tweety-bird canary.
Top Cat:- In a cartoon series described as 'the Sgt. Bilko Show done with cats', Top Cat (or 'TC') led his street-wise gang of New York alley cats in every shady scheme going, whilst running rings round Authority, exemplified by Police Officer Dibble. For a time, the Top Cat gang featured in adverts for Halifax Bank.
Tiger:- Fiercest and most striking of Big Cats, tiger costumes may be either fur or lycra based, or, if circumstances allow, body paint can also be used.
Tiger-moth:- Variation on the above, making use of butterfly/moth wings plus a tiger outfit. A further variant is to have goggles and a flying helmet and use one of the cardboard biplane play outfits available for children (of all ages).