Back to the main page

"Cats" and all related things are the property of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Really Useful Group, and related parties. Lyrics are taken from and based off "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" and other poems by T.S. Eliot, with additions by Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe. No copyright infringement is intended.
Gus: The Theatre Cat
Sung by: Jellylorum and Asparagus (Gus the Theatre Cat)
Original London Cast
Original Broadway Cast
Original Australian Cast
Video
Gus is the cat at the theatre door
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus, but that's such a fuss to pronounce
That we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of cats -
But no longer a terror to mice or to rats.

For he isn't the cat that he was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring
pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days.
For he once was a star of the highest degree -
He has acted with Irving, he has acted with Tree
And he likes to relate his success on the halls
Where the gallery once gave him seven cat-calls
But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


I have played, in my time, every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag.
I knew how to act with my back and my tail;
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts,
Whether I took the lead, or in character parts.
I have sat by the bedside of poor little Nell;
When the curfew was rung then I swung on the bell
In the pantomime season, I never fell flat,
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's cat.
But my grandest creation, as history will tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


And if someone will give him a toothful of gin,
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne
At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on, pat,
When some actor suggested the need for a cat.


And I say: 'Now, these kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned
And they never get drilled in a regular troupe
And they think they are smart just to jump through a hoop'

And he says as he scratches himself with his claws,
'Well, the theatre is certainly not what it was.
These modern productions, they're all very well
But there's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery
When I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.'

I once crossed the stage on a telegraph wire
To rescue a child when a house was on fire
And I think that I still can, much better than most
Produce blood curdling noises to bring on the ghost
And I once played Growltiger, could do it
again -
Could do it again...
Could do it again...

Gus is the cat at the theatre door
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus, but that's such a fuss to pronounce
That we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of cats -
But no longer a terror to mice or to rats.

For he isn't the cat that he
was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring
pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days.
For he once was a star of the highest degree -
He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree
And he likes to relate his success on the halls
Where the gallery once gave him seven cat-calls
But his greatest creation, as he loves to tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


I have played, in my time, every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag.
I knew how to act with my back and my tail;
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts,
Whether I took the lead, or in... character parts.
I have sat by the bedside of poor little Nell;
When the curfew was rung then I swung on the bell
In the pantomime season, I never fell flat,
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's cat.
But my grandest creation, as history will tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


Then, if someone will give him a toothful of gin,
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne
At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on, pat,
When some actor suggested the need for a cat.


And I say: 'Now, these kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned
They never get drilled in a regular troupe
And they think they are smart just to jump through a hoop - ha!'

And he says as he scratches himself with his claws,
'Well, the theatre is certainly not what it was.
These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery
When I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.'

I once crossed the stage on a telegraph wire
To rescue a child when a house was on fire
And I think that I still can, much better than most
Produce blood curdling noises to bring on the ghost
And I once played Growltiger, could do it again -
Could do it again...
Could do it again...

Gus is the cat at the theatre door
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus, but that's such a fuss to pronounce
That we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of cats -
Though no longer a terror to mice and to rats.

For he isn't the cat that he was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring
pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days.
For he once was a star of the highest degree -
He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree
And he likes to relate his success on the halls
Where the gallery once gave him seven cat-calls
But his greatest creation, as he loves to tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


I have played, in my time, every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag.
I knew how to act with my back and my tail;
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts,
Whether I took the lead, or in character parts.
I have sat by the bedside of poor little Nell;
When the curfew was rung then I swung on the bell
In the pantomime season, I never fell flat,
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's cat.
But my grandest creation, as history will tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


Then, if someone will give him a toothful of gin,
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne
At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on, pat,
When some actor suggested the need for a cat.


And I say: 'Now, these kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned
They never get drilled in a regular troupe
And they think they are smart just to jump through a hoop'

And he says as he scratches himself with his claws,
'Well, the theatre is certainly not what it was.
These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery
When I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.'

I once crossed the stage on a telegraph wire
To rescue a child when a house was on fire
And I think that I still can, much better than most
Produce blood curdling noises to bring on the ghost
And I once played Growltiger, could do it
again -
Could do it again...
Could do it again...

Gus is the cat at the theatre door
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus, but that's such a fuss to pronounce
That we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of cats -
But no longer a terror to mice or to rats.

For he isn't the cat that he was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring
pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days.
For he once was a star of the highest degree -
He has acted with Irving, he has acted with Tree
And he likes to relate his success on the halls
Where the gallery once gave him seven cat-calls
But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


I have played, in my time, every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag.
I knew how to act with my back and my tail;
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts,
Whether I took the lead, or in character parts.
I have sat by the bedside of poor little Nell;
When the curfew was rung then I swung on the bell
In the pantomime season, I never fell flat,
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's cat.
But my grandest creation, as history will tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell


Then, if someone will give him a toothful of gin,
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne
At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on, pat,
When some actor suggested the need for a cat.


And I'd say that these kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned
They never get drilled in a regular troupe
And they think they are smart just to jump through a hoop

And he says as he scratches himself with his claws,
'Well, the theatre is certainly not what it was.
These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery
When I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.'

These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery
When I...

Notes

Pretty much every live production presents Asparagus and Gus as the same character. However, for the video version, they had to do things slightly differently. Sir John Mills (who played Gus in the video) was unable to perform in the whole video, so they split the character in two. His chorus identity, Asparagus, was played by Tony Timberlake; this character shows up throughout the whole video, whereas Gus the Theatre Cat (as the credits call him) shows up only for his song. Since both "Asparagus" and "Gus" are technically meant to be the same character, I decided to use the same font colour for both of them.
Most versions of this song lead into "Growltiger's Last Stand". The video cuts "Growltiger" entirely (half due to time constraints and half due to Sir John Mills not being up for it); because of this, they moved the final verse of "Growltiger" to end of this song. (The short "Firefrorefiddle" sequence in the video essentially takes the place of "Growltiger", btw.) Apparently the 2016 Broadway version and the 2017 International tour instead have this song lead into "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles", with Gus playing the Rumpus Cat instead of Growltiger.