Red Dwarf: Cultures: Cats

Three million years ago, Lister smuggled a pregnant cat on board Red Dwarf against the ship’s most stringent regulations. He rather stupidly took a picture of it and when the knowledge of the cats existence came to the attention of the Captain (Hollister), Lister was told that he could either turn it over to be destroyed, or would face the rest of the voyage in Stasis (a sort of cryo-sleep).

Lister loved his cat Frankenstein and would never give her up to be destroyed. He had always talked to his cat in times of depression (or boredom) about his dream of retiring to Fiji and his love Christine Kochanski (where they would open a hamburger stall). He therefore opted to go into Stasis and hoped that Frankenstein could manage to fend for itself.Lister & Frankie

As we all know. While in Stasis the ship suffered a terrible radiation explosion and all human life was destroyed (except for Lister in the radiation proof stasis chamber). Frankenstein managed to survive in the ships hold where she had her kittens and ‘yay, over the years the cats did multiply and become numerous, until behold, they didst evolve into a mighty race of humanoid shallow creatures’.

After a couple of million years, the cat race numbered many thousands and had it’s own religious and social infrastructure. The religion in particular talked about the father of the cat people being a person called Cloister who hailed from the promised land (Fushal). Cloister becomes frozen in time so that Frankenstein and the cat people may flourish.

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By the way, Cat never believed Lister was his god. Lister is far too ‘un-cool’. In the episode Waiting for God (where most of this page is explained in more detail), Lister tries to convince Cat of the truth of his religion. Cat completely dismisses his logic. “I godda go,” he says, “but lets do lunch sometime. I’ll put it in my diary, 12.30: Lunch with God!  And erm… formal dress, you know what I’m saying.”  For someone purporting to be shallow and stupid, Cat’s humour can be extremely sharp!

An extract from the Cat Holy Book seems to support Lister’s hypothesis, “And Cloister spake, Low I shall lead you to Fushal and there we shall open a temple of food, wherein there shall be sausages and savoury doughnuts and all manner of bountiful things.    Yay, even individual sashes of mustard. And those that serve will wear hats of great majesty.  Yay, even though they be made of coloured cardboard and have humorous arrows through the top.”

And herein lies the reason for the Cat’s mass exodus from Red Dwarf.

Battle of the reds and bluesHolly, the ships computer related the story of the Cat wars! Thousands of years of war resulted between two Cat factions who believed that the ‘Hat’ (worn in the Hamburger stall of the Promised Land) should be either red, and the others that believed that the hat should be blue. Most of the cats were killed during this troubled time until finally the two sides made a truce and built two arcs journeying in separate directions in search of Fushal.   They used a sacred script to glean directions – unfortunately; this turned out to be Lister’s laundry list!  The Blue Hat brigade thought it was a star chart leading to the Promised Land and flew into an asteroid.  The other went off to find Fushal believing that they were righteous.

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The only other member of the Cat race seen during the Red Dwarf Saga was a dying Cat priest. The old blind priest was loosing his faith. on his deathbed, he was heard to mutter, “You never really existed did you Cloister?” But Lister, hearing this from outside the room, suddenly opens the door and shouts, “It is I Cloister” Cat confirms Lister’s identity to the blind priest (under threat of grievous bodily harm) and Lister consoles the priest on his deathbed. The priest dies, happy to have finally met his God.

Cat’s don’t read in the same way as normal (are we normal?) humanoids. They smell the words! This is complete bollocks of course, but waddan idea!  To go to the library and listen to lots of sniffing as cats read books would be an experience and a half! Lister was shown how to read in this manner, but was only ever able to get past the Jack and Jill children’s stories.

The Cat race are prone, just like other races it seems, to proverbs. A favourite is, “It’s better to live one hour as a tiger than a whole lifetime as a worm.”   Which by the way, is totally out of character! Cats are not into bravery!

Race Rating – Cats
Personality 1 (rancid butter) – 4 (cool dude) 4
Attractiveness 1 (requires paper bag) – 5 (Drop-dead-gorgeous) 4
Humour 1 (stomach-turning) – 5 (sidesplitting) 4
Dress Sense 1 (laughable) – 5 (hip) 4
Aggression 1 (big/little softy) – 5 (hard as nails) 3
1 (scumbag) – 5 (god) 2

Sad Geezer Race Rating (out of 30) = 21          

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This Culture review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without  the authors express permission

The Red Dwarf names, characters and everything else associated with
the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation,
Rob Grant & Doug Naylor.  All rights reserved.

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