The Catcat of Cancan

Kittehs! You know how evabuddy is always asking me, “Sparky! How did you ever get so graceful?” or, “Sparky, wow! Are you a high-stepping prancer or what?!” or “Sparky! you ought to be on stage, you know?”

Well, yes.  We all know.  But now we know why.

Thanks to my friends at the Etsy shop, Max and the Animals, I have more photographic evidences of my famous relatives! Here is my great great great great great aunt Minnie, star of stage and screen, performing at La Scala, where she got many a starched shirt collar in a bunch with her famous rendition of the Cancan dance.  Teh starched stuffed shirts wanted Opera.  They got, instead, the avante-garde de danse; Le Catcat Cancan. She was renowned for her ability to kick like a rabbit, to leap over the other dancers, climb the stage curtains, do a backwards somersault and a pirouette in mid air, land in the splits and then flick hats off of audience members’ heads with her tail.  

She was a phenomenon, but she had to overcome many critics and nay-sayers who got in the way of her dreams. There is in an early illustration, by the great Cancan connoisseur himself, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, called “Le Secret.”  She is listening to the advice of her own Mrs. Whatsername who, like many many grumpy and frumpy Mrs. W.’s before and since, tried to talk her out of dancing-fool dreams.  

“No Brass Rings for you, Little Lady,” she is saying to my Aunt Minnie.  “and stop wasting time day-dreaming about being famous.  No one needs a Dancing Cat. I need you here to catch mouses.  Very dull, very slow moving mouses. The house is full of ‘em. Now, get to work.”

To which Auntie Minnie very wisely said, “talk to teh tail,” and left.  The rest, as they say, is history.  

Aunt Minnie’s story was later picked up by Hollywood, of course.  Her name was changed to Mewsette and she was turned into an innocent helpless fluffy white kitteh – all her dashing tiger stripes and devil-may-care Tabby Cat flair white-washed out of her. A pity, of course, but what can you expect from Hollywood of the mid-twentieth century? 

from the movie "Gay Purreeee"But try as they might – they can’t white-wash out this:  I give you my own High Prancing Devil May Care Dance. 
and do it againflip aroundjump in teh air!

IMG_2616Vive La Danse!

32 thoughts on “The Catcat of Cancan

  1. She does indeed have talent! And we must be related somewhere in the realms of the Bohemiam lifestyle of the era, as Mimi is the feline lead in the opera La Boheme, and her children, especially Mewsette and Giuseppe Basil Verdi, have carried on the tradition, if not the lifestyle.

      • Mai oui! She sang to me that they call her Mimi the day she arrived here with her three-day-old results of living the Bohemian life. You see, the feline version ends a little differently than the human version. But her son, Giuseppe Basil Verdi, is a well-known castrato (he thinks).

  2. Ah, mon amour, you iz zee Dancing Queen! Young and sweet! My little darling, your twirling and cavorting in your hallway has me stunned into near-silence. You are a Goddess, Sparky Spitfire, and I am your unworthy worshipper.

  3. We love the idea of going downy ocean to celebrate! There are lots of Murlin bloggers – ML just moved to Rockville & Auntie Deb lives there too (they might still be furrinners though), Angel Squashies mom lives in or near Bawlmer, Mark’s Mews in S. Murlin. Sparkle’s mom’s boyfriend lives in Frederick (technically an associate, maybe). Blogpaws is being held in Tyson’s Corner this year & our mom is going to go. Are you? Discounted prices until 1/15.

  4. Thank you for the warm welcome on my blog!

    You are so lucky to have that evidence! I am never going to know my background since I was dropped of at the farm. But that doesn’t mean I can’t rule the house. It’s all mine. Mine. Yes.

    • also doesn’t mean you own any kind of “background” your imagination can make up. I do it all teh times. It’s very easy. For all you knows, you could have been a kidnapped heiress who escaped to that farmhouse, where you had to assume a new identity to keep teh KGB off your back. Happens all teh times. you probably not only own teh house, but also several little charming Dachas in Vladivostok. Or sumfing like that.

  5. Oh, I can be a ManCat of Action when circumstances warrant it, but yeah, I like to lay around and get in my napping quota and my staring into space time. Yawn….why, I think a nap is coming over me right this min….ut…………………….

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