The Tell-Tale Jellicle Cat

“Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats”
— Opening lyrics to the musical Cats


You fancy me mad.

And yet, even now, as I recount my tale from within the walls of the New York State asylum, remark how sane I sound. Who’s to say? Perhaps I am mad… But were you to hear that horrid tune as much as I did, you too would surely plunge into the very depths of madness (for fear of the terrible, terrible alternative).

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Please. Allow me to recount my story from the beginning.

You see, for the past several years, I had been an ensemble dancer for the hit Broadway musical Cats. Or, at least, that is, until a few months ago, when the show made the fatal mistake of hiring itself a new dance captain.

And, oh, how I loathed him.

How I loathed his insipid choreography. 

How I loathed his uninspired jazz squares.

But most of all, how I loathed that one song he would sing to himself, over and over again, when he thought that no one was listening… It was the opening song to the musical, titled “Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats.” 

And it was terrible.

But, each and every day (like some hellish clockwork), the man would quietly sing this one, repetitive, horrid tune beneath his breath. Again, and again, and again, and again he would sing… Louder and louder and louder still, until, imperceptibly, the following words were emblazoned into the very firmament of my poor mortal soul:

“Jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats–”

You fancy me mad.

And yet, how very sane I was when I murdered him.

When I grabbed a pair of Grizabella’s claws and did the dirty deed, my hand didn’t even shake. And, when I buried him beneath the floorboards of the historic Neil Simon Theatre, my mind had never been clearer.

I ask you, dear reader, are these the marks of a madman? Ha!

Why, if you were standing in my fur-covered dance shoes, you would have done the same exact thing I warrant…

Indeed, when the cops came the very next day to investigate his disappearance, I was the very picture of sanity. 

“What’s that you say? The dance captain is missing?” I asked the policeman, as I wrung the tail of my calico-colored cat costume sympathetically, a single tear dripping its way down my makeup-encrusted visage. 

It was a performance that would have put even Macavity the Mystery Cat to shame. 

Or, at least, it would have been. That is, until I began to hear the song once more. Softly, softly, ever so softly… 

Coming from beneath the theater floor… 

“Jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs–”

“Hark. Do you hear that?” I asked the policeman, my nose twitching faster than the whiskers of even Mr. Mistoffelees.

“Hear what?”

“The song. The song about Jellicle Cats.” 

“Hell’s a Jellicle Cat?” asked the officer, dumbly. I smiled and said nothing. And yet, all the while, the singing (THAT HORRID SINGING) grew louder and louder still. But how? How? I had murdered the man, yes?

But then how was he still singing? 

“Jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle–”

Louder still! The officer stared at me! He suspected! He knew!

“Jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats–”

And still the music grew! LOUDER! LOUDER! LOUDER! And then, just when I thought that it could grow no louder–

“Jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle cats, jellicle songs for jellicle, jellicle songs–”

“ENOUGH! I ADMIT IT! I HAVE DONE THE DIRTY DEED! HE LIES BENEATH THE FLOORBOARDS!” I screamed, as I sprinted to the rear of the theater and pried up the dusty boards with my cat claws, exposing the man for all the world to see… if only to escape the dreaded music for just a second.

But alas, even then, in the midst of my confession (as I bared my sins, and my soul, to the world) I could still hear him singing.

Why, even now, as I while away my days in solitude, I can still hear it.

The jellicles. The horrid jellicles.

Who’s to say… Perhaps I shall hear it forever.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s