Turtledove
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Cats, first performed in 1981, is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the children's book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles, who periodically gather for the "Jellicle choice," when their chieftain announces which cat has been chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Literary comment[]

In Harry Turtledove's "The Mrem Go West," most of the Mrem characters are based on Cats characters in varying degrees.

Cats in "The Great White Way"[]

The cast of Cats were an integral part of Brent Birley's army of virtual reality Webberites although all perished at the hands of the Sondhead champions. Brent Birley based his virtual character of Macavity the mystery cat on a Cheshire Cat model from an existing Alice in Wonderland program. Jennyanydots the gumbie cat was one of the first Webberite casualties of the Sondheim-Webber battle, being devoured by the Sondhead Wolf at the start of the conflict.

Bustopher Jones the cat-about-town scored significant points for the Webberites by discovering (and devouring) Jack's pie, but was subsequently killed by Sweeney Todd's razor.

Cats in "Natural Selection"[]

Delip, a Hripirt immigration screener stationed in New York City, attended a Broadway performance of Cats to help her better understand the human mind. The play featured humans dressed up as small domesticated beasts, cavorting in a heap of garbage. The play was not simply animal-mimicry, as the actors playing beasts represented human characteristics, such as vanity and gluttony. From a Hripirt frame of reference, the allegory was similar to the morality plays of Tipli the Humble, although the concept of sentient actors playing beasts who behave like the actors' own kind had no precedent.

The beasts paraded before their Elder, hoping to be chosen to ascend to animal paradise, with their characteristics determining which one was to be selected. This amused Delip, for it seemed similar to her job of screening Earth candidates for work visa applications on Hripirt. Thus, Delip later told Mullnor and Bingokk that the play amused her, though not for the same reasons that the humans liked it.

Literary comment[]

While Cats is very clearly described, the story does not state its title nor the names of any characters.

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