Born – Unknown (22nd-23rd Century)
“I’m so gorgeous, there’s a six month waiting list for birds to suddenly appear, every time I am near!” Cat
Cat was completely self obsessed, lacking in intelligence, but always immaculately turned out in the most garish 80’s clothes imaginable.
He was also incredibly vain and self centred but he had a great ass and the dance moves to boot!
When Lister was chucked into stasis for bringing a quarantined animal aboard – his pregnant pet cat Frankenstein, Frankenstein was left in the cargo hold which protected it after the accident which killed the rest of the crew in The End, 1988 – S1.
It was 3 million years before the radiation from the accident subsided enough for Holly to let Lister out of Stasis. By that time, Frankenstein had began the spawning of a population of cats. Over the eons and generation-upon-generations later, the cats had evolved to become a humanoid like race – The Felis Sapien’s.
Their society was religious and had handed down stories about their creator “Cloister The Stupid’ (Lister) who was frozen in time (stasis) and the promised land – Cat Heaven or ‘Fuchal’ (Fiji, based on Lister’s wish to retire there and open a hotdog stand). The rest of the Cat people left Red Dwarf to look for the promised land, leaving Cat and a very old Cat priest aboard.
Lister first happened across the Cat whilst the Cat was out “investigating” as Cat called it, and he led Lister to meet the Cat priest. The Cat didn’t believe Lister when he told him he was their god – Cloister.
The Cat priest had renounced his faith until Lister convinced him he was infact Cloister, the Cat priest then died, his faith fully restored.
It turned out that the rest of the Cat race had killed itself in holy wars over a millenia, fighting over the correct colour of hats to wear at the Hotdog stand in Fuchal – much to Lister’s horror.
Lister intended to go back into statis in Future Echoes, 1988 – S1 taking Cat with him. But when Red Dwarf broke the light barrier, the crew started seeing future events unfold in the present. One of these events which later came true, was Cat losing a tooth after he had attempted to munch on Lister’s robotic pet goldfish.
Cat was also a horder, as on his many ‘investigations’ around Red Dwarf, he would happen across things and store them for later. In Balance Of Power, 1988 – S1 Cat finds a huge stash of cigarettes or ‘shiny things’ as he calls them. Lister eventually manages to persuade Cat to swap them for unlimited fish from the vending machine.
In Better Than Life, 1988 – S2whilst playing a total immersion video game – ‘Better Than Life’, Cat and Lister went to a swanky restaurant. Rather than order some of the gourmet food, Cat asked for a little fishing rod so he could try to catch fish in the aquarium instead.
“…..I’m going to eat you little fishy!
I’m going to eat you little fishy!
I’m going to eat you little fishy!
Because… I like… little… fish!”
Cat became the first choice pilot of Starbug, as his feline senses could pilot the ship with lightening fast speed and smell trouble a mile off, even in deep space!
In Backwards, 1989 – S3 Cat learned the hard way about what a backwards world can do to your bowel movements!
When the Polymorph attacked the cat in Polymorph, 1989 – S2 he lost of all of his style and cool and ended up an incomprehensible tramp.
The cat had to justify his existence to the Inquisitor in Inquisitor, 1992 – S5. The Inquisitor actually took on the form of the judged, thus ensuring a fair trial. The Cat’s reason for not being erased from history was that he had a great ass to share with the universe, the Inquisitor in the form of the Cat, had to agree – naturally!
In DNA, 1991 – S4 the crew found an Alien spaceship and whilst exploring it, Cat started fiddling around with a control panel and ‘Trans-mogrifies’ Lister into a chicken and Kryten into a human being.
In Back To Reality, 1991 – S4, the crew were attacked by a suicide despair squid and the group underwent a mass hallucination. Believing they had been playing the total immersion video game – Red Dwarf for the last 4 years. Cat was infact a rather sad individual with a bowl haircut and teeth which could open bottles – called Dwayne Dibley.
Dibley had a nice line in pleated corduroy trousers, parka jacket, thermos and one extra thick condom – just incase!
In Psirens, 1993 – S6 Cat was tempted by a brainsucking Psiren using a mental projection of a lot of hot woman wanting the cat to come down on the asteroid and spread his seed. It was an obvious illusion, but it had the cat fooled with his limited intelligence. He did however prove his worth, when using his cat senses he smelt that a flaming asteroid heading toward Star Bug – was another Psiren illusion.
He was unlucky to get his cool sucked out again by another Polymorph in Emohawk : Polymorph, 1993 – S6 and once again he was Dwayne Dibley with his thermos and packlunch.
When Rimmer is kidnapped by a holoship crew in Holoship, 1992 – S5, Cat is quick to provide the answer to this predictament :
Kryten: “They’ve taken Mr. Rimmer! Sir, they’ve taken Mr. Rimmer!”
Cat: “Quick — let’s get out of here before they bring him back!”
In Demons and Angels, 1992 – S5 the crew were split by a faulty triplicator device into seperate versions of themselves – good and evil. The good version of Cat was a pacifist, wearing a smock with rosemary beads. The evil version was a homicidal cannibal, with razor sharp walrus fangs!
It was something of an irony that Cat didn’t get to meet any females or cats (or female cats!) on his travels as he was clearly a smooth operator. He was somewhat unlucky when he met his parallel self in Parallel Universe, 1988 – S2, as it turned out to be a male dog called ‘The Dog’.
The Cat was used more as comedy relief throughout Dwarf and didn’t have any stories dedicated to his character. There was an intended episode in series 7 called “Identity Within” which was never filmed due to budgetary reasons and was to cover more of Cat’s background, including a sub-story about cat still being a virgin.
In season 8, Cat and the crew found themselves back on board a nano reconstructed Red Dwarf. Tried by the Captain for stealing a Star Bug – the Cat, Lister and Kochanski were thrown in the brig for 2 years. To pass the time, the crew join a deep space salvage team called ‘the Canaries’.
The Cat was back in Back To Earth, 2009 – S9 a one off special created by Dave channel.
The Cat began as an independant creature in the early episodes, coming and going as he pleased. In later episodes, he stuck more with the rest of the crew, the idea being he had become ‘domesticated’ from his wild upbringing. It didn’t please all of the shows fans though, who felt the character had lost its edge and had been given too much of a backseat.
Cat developed quite a close friendship with Lister and the two of them developed the whole ‘boys from the Dwarf’ routine. The Cat didn’t have alot of time for Arnold Rimmer or ‘Goalpost Head’, although the feeling was mutual between them.
So although the Cat didn’t get as much screentime as he maybe should have. Overall, he did have some of the best quotes in the entire show and Red Dwarf without the Cat, would be like Star Trek without McCoy – unthinkable!