25 Desperate Questions I Have After Seeing Cats The Movie
When I was eight years old, I saw Cats on Broadway for my birthday. I don’t remember much about it beyond the coup of getting to buy Twizzlers during the intermission, but my experience is forever documented in this picture. (I still don’t know where to put my hands in photos.) Twenty years later, I made “being really excited for the Cats revival” such an exasperating bit that my now-husband revenge-bought us a pair of tickets. We laughed so hard that we wept; we were completely sober yet felt like we were trapped in a terrible acid trip from which we would never emerge. But nothing—not seeing the musical twice, not watching the trailer repeatedly, not muttering “and James Corden as Bustopher Jones” over and over in the mirror until I was sure he couldn’t hurt me—could have prepared my mind, body, and spirit for seeing Cats, the 2019 feature film.
What can I say about Cats? Cats somehow convinced some of the greatest artists of the screen and stage, and also Jason Derulo, that performing elaborate song-and-dance numbers while CGIed into terrifying cat-human hybrids was a good idea. Cats is technically two hours long but spiritually two cat years long. Cats is the most money anyone’s spent on something so disastrous since the Iraq War.
When I staggered out of my morning screening, the chorus of “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” boring a hole into my brain, I looked down at my notebook to find a page of frantically scribbled questions. No man, God, or cat can ever truly answer them, but here they are.
Warning: This post technically contains spoilers for Cats but if you don't already know the plot of Cats seeing the movie will not help.
1. Did they run out of the CGI budget 95 percent of the way through and is that why the cats have hauntingly realistic human fingers and toes?
2. When the Rebel Wilson cat unzips her skin to reveal a pink sparkly outfit underneath, are we to believe that she was wearing a jumpsuit replica of her naked body?
3. Were Rumpleteazer and Mungojerrie trying to get Victoria to be their third?
4. Why did the main cat narrator guy look like he was going to invite me to his improv show?
5. The “catnip” the Taylor Swift cat forcibly sprinkles all over the other cats is ketamine. This is not a question.
6. Can someone invent time travel so I can transport myself back to the set to watch Jason Derulo say “Jason Derulo” to Judi Dench?
7. (This one’s just for Judi Dench.) Dame Judi Dench, could you please sternly admonish me while wearing your full cat costume?
8. Why is it briefly implied but never addressed that Judi Dench and Ian McKellen’s characters were involved back in the day?
9. How many takes did it take to get 80-year-old Sir Ian McKellen singing, and this is verbatim, the words “meow meow meow meow?”
10. Where are all of these cats getting their tiny yet elaborately crafted cat-sized jewelry?
11. More specifically, is it from a Cats universe version of Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems?
12. Bustopher ... Jones ??????
13. How big, exactly, are these cats so that a mouse is proportionately the size of a fly, and yet a bowl of potatoes is the size of a sedan, and a ring is big enough to fit as a bracelet?
14. The cats are definitely in the uncanny valley, right?
15. If there are “Wanted” posters for MacCavity (Idris Elba) plastered everywhere, does that imply that there’s a cat police force?
16. Did Idris Elba stipulate “my cat has to be hot” in his contract?
17. What kind of conditioner does Idris Elba’s hot cat, who is presumably a feral street criminal, use that it gives him such a lustrous coat?
18. Why are there so many human-sized cat-specific businesses?
19. Is there cat currency and, if so, how and where do the cats make their money?
20. Does Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat know that his skintight red jumpsuit shows his nipples?
21. How could anyone who isn’t familiar with the plot of the musical even remotely figure out what’s going on onscreen at any given time?
22. How could anyone who is familiar with the plot of the musical even remotely figure out what’s going on onscreen at any given time?
23. Where are their bottoms?
24. Why do I want to see Cats again so badly?
25. Has anyone involved in making this movie ever interacted with, touched, or even seen a cat from either close up or very far away?