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?
But try as they might – they can’t white-wash out this: I give you my own High Prancing Devil May Care Dance.