Gus: The Theatre Cat
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 mares his paw shake.
Yet he was in his youth? Quite the smartest of cats,
But no longer a terror to mice and to rats.
For he isn’t the cat that he was in his prime;
Thought his name was quite famous, in his time.
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighboring pub)
He loves to regal them, if someone else pays,
With anecdotes drawn from his palmist days.
For he once was a star of the highest degree.
He has acted with Irving, He’s acted with Tree.
And he lakes 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
Firefrofiddle the Fiend to the fell.
"I have played in my time every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I’d extemporize backchat. 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 the 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 Firefrofiddle, the Friend 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
Sa Firefrofiddle the Friend 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.