Highbrow Cat Week

Now and Forever: A Treasury of Fan Fiction Inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

After a record-breaking 18 years on Broadway and countless productions worldwide, it’s no surprise that the legacy of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s bizarre musical Cats has lived on in the depths of the Internet fan-fiction community. After all, a musical featuring adult humans covered in makeup, Lycra, and fur seems like the perfect building block for creative writing exercises in which amateur authors imagine a world full of human beings dressed as anthropomorphic cats doing a variety of things, such as falling in love, rescuing abused kittens (again, this is a world in which people are dressed as cats), discovering confusing sexual urges, and building racially pure progeny. After the jump you’ll find a collection of excerpts from the Cats fan-fiction community. … Read More

  • 0

The Best Cats in the World of Music

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Throughout this week we’ve been analyzing the place of cats in popular culture, and why they’re such an ongoing obsession for the Internet, along with various other fairly cerebral cat-related topics. But shit, it’s Friday, so perhaps it’s time to get a little less highbrow and just appreciate some of the cats we’ve known and loved in popular culture. With that in mind, here’s a brief survey of some of the best cats in the world of music — 15 of our favorite music-related feline friends. Let us know in the comments if you’ve any to add. … Read More

  • 0

The Code Behind the Kitty: Unpacking the Racist Myth of the Siamese Cat

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

The Siamese cat, as canonical as it is controversial, has developed a legacy in American cinema for embodying undeniably racist stereotypes about Asians and Asian Americans — most notably through the Siamese duo Si and Am of Lady and the Tramp, often cited as one of the most racist cartoon characters ever depicted on film. … Read More

  • 0

Flavorwire Interview: Marc Maron on Life at the “Cat Ranch”

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Marc Maron is having a very good year. His WTF podcast is now approaching its 400th episode. He just published a book, Attempting Normal, a thoughtful, candid, and frequently hilarious series of autobiographical essays. And his IFC series Maron is halfway through its first season; Maron is “thrilled with the way it came out. I feel like we really captured a tone in that, and the stories are compelling and yeah, I love it.” But we’re not here to talk about those triumphs. We’re here to talk about cats. … Read More

  • 0

‘The Cat Show': Feline-Inspired Works by Your Favorite Artists

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Great news: all of your favorite artists have eagerly contributed to a gallery show about cats. It’s true! “Art isn’t only for a meditative, aesthetic experience,” artist and curator Rhonda Lieberman says in a a press release. “It can also be a conduit for the redemption of pussycats and people.” The show opens June 14 at New York’s White Columns Gallery and is presented in partnership with Social Tees Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization that takes over 3,000 at-risk animals from kill shelters every year, gives them veterinary care, and finds them loving homes. … Read More

  • 0

Meet the Directors of a Documentary About Men Who Love Cats

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

The crazy cat lady is one of the oldest and most persistent cat-related cultural stereotypes — the eccentric old spinster with a bazillion cats whose company she prefers to that of her fellow humans. Cats are traditionally identified as feminine, and they’re generally characterized as pets for women, while men have dogs. If this was ever reflective of reality, it certainly isn’t in the 21st century, but cat-loving men remain curiously underrepresented in both the media and in popular culture. Into this breach step Australian filmmakers Cam McCulloch and Ben John Smith, who are in the process of making a feature-length documentary called Cat Men. The film explores the relationship between male cat fanatics and their pets, and it promises to be fascinating viewing. Flavorwire spoke to the duo about machismo, stereotyping, and the folly of talking to deaf cats. … Read More

  • 0

Why Do Villains Always Have Cats?

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

The list of dogs in film and television is long and distinguished: Lassie, Benji, Air Bud, Fang, Rin Tin Tin, and Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood. (Just me? Okay then.) But more noticeably, they’re almost all heroes: saving damsels, rescuing kids, alerting townfolk to people trapped in wells, dunking basketballs, etc. Even the troublemakers — your Beethovens and Hooches — are ultimately lovable rascals who may do some minor property damage, but remain fiercely loyal, admirable creatures. Movie cats, on the other hand, are less heroic; in fact, they are usually the accessory of choice for evil masterminds, gangsters, and other villainous types. Why the split? What’s the explanation for pop culture’s deeply ingrained cat-ism? … Read More

  • 0

Exploring the Work of 19th-Century Psychedelic Cat Painter Louis Wain

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Plenty of artists have attempted to capture the spirit of the humble housecat over the years, but no one’s ever done so in a manner quite so compellingly idiosyncratic as Louis Wain. Born in 1860, Wain was well known in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for his anthropomorphic depictions of cats, but the most interesting thing about his work from a modern perspective is the way that it grew gradually weirder as his career progressed. Fairly naturalistic in his early years, his style became decidedly more… well, psychedelic as Wain got older. … Read More

  • 0

10 Great Books Starring Cats

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Looking for something that’s kind of like a cat video, but a little more literary? Writers have long been inspired by their pets, and particularly, it seems, by their cats. It’s not surprising then that our feline friends figure prominently in some great books, from Russian classics to YA masterpieces to that one book everyone has definitely read. After the jump, find ten of the greatest books starring kitties of every persuasion. Is this list missing your favorite? Add it in the comments. … Read More

  • 1
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,932 other followers