Cat Concerto

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"I came back from vacation and she had somehow... changed. She had gone into heat while I was away... Four thousand male cats are in my front yard reenacting West Side Story. To-NIIIIGHT, to-NIIIIIGHT, won't be just any night..."
—Amy Boyd

Alleycats invariably spend their evenings singing opera while standing on top of a wooden fence or a roof-top. Usually they perform solos, although coordinated choruses and sodden barbershop renditions of "How Dry I Am" are not unknown. A female cat (complete with ribbon) may or may not be seen nearby, the coy recipient of the serenade.

The cat is likely to be treated as a Dreadful Musician, since feline yowling corresponds to really bad human singing. Of course, for Rule of Funny points, the concert is just as likely to be sophisticated Opera or Jazz. Performances usually end with a thrown shoe or piece of trash and a bellowed "shaddup" from somewhere off screen.

For what it's worth, midnight yowling from Real Life alley cats generally means they're fighting or mating, not "entertaining".

Compare That Poor Cat. The Trope Namer is the Tom and Jerry cartoon The Cat Concerto— which isn't an example, since the cat in it isn't singing but playing classical piano. Completely unrelated to Tail Concerto, which is a videogame.


Examples:

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     Advertising 
  • During the 1970s, Meow Mix commercials featured a singing cat.

     Comic Books  

     Film - Animated 

     Literature  
  • The temporarily-talking cat from Moving Pictures was possibly referencing this trope when he commented that whenever he's been in love, people throw old boots at him.
  • In the novel Twig, Old Girl, a cat who hangs around Twig's apartment, gives these kinds of concerts every night. When the Queen of Fairyland visits, Twig employs Old Girl to put on a special concert for her. The queen sits through the concert, far too polite to disparage it.
  • Invoked in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Tom and Huck routinely signal each other with cat cries. At one point Huck complains that "Last time, you kep' me a-meowing around till old Hays went to throwing rocks at me and says 'Dern that cat!'"
  • The Warrior Cats book Thunder Rising contains a bonus story at the back that shows how one character came to the forest. It begins with Ripple and all the other cats of the park yowling together to greet the morning.
  • Tomcat Blue Eyes Diaries:
    • The cats from Blue Eyes' neighbourhood regularly meet for concerts on one big roof and Blue Eyes must learn lots of etiquette rules before White Whiskers takes him there. Green Eyes, Blue Eyes's friend, leads them because she is the only she-cat around; White Whiskers notes that usually it is the other way round: a tom-cat leads female cats. Green Eyes is very strict on tom-cats who sing out of tune. Blue Eyes' first concert is ended by some uncultured human who threw a broom among them.
    • One night, Green Eyes and Tore-his-ear sing a beautiful duet. After some time, Green Eyes had kittens...
    • Once Blue Eyes sang alone in the wood when he felt alone and abandooned, when in fact his human went searching for him.
    • Blue Eyes celebrates his glorious victory over a mean, evil tom-cat called Yellow by singing a quiet a song when he saved little Kiki from him. Kiki carefully listens to his performance.

     Newspaper Comics  

     Music  
  • Gioacchino Rossini's Duetto buffo di due gattinote  is made of this trope.
  • "The Pussy Cat Song," sung by Patty Andrews and Bob Crosby.

     Theatre  
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats is essentially made of this trope, complete with a giant boot which is dropped onto the stage in the middle of a song. The cats pause, look resentfully at it, then keep singing.

     Web Comics  

     Western Animation  
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The 1933 short Sittin' on a Backyard Fence (based on the song from Footlight Parade) revolves around a bunch of cats singing and playing in an alley,
    • The 1941 short Notes to You involves Porky Pig being pestered by an operatic cat. At the end, Porky shoots the cat dead, only for nine ghostly cats to start singing in harmony.
    • The above short was remade in 1948 as Back Alley Oproar, with Elmer Fudd and Sylvester.
    • In the 1965 short A Taste of Catnip, Daffy Duck, who is having delusions that he's a cat, tries singing on a fence before inevitably getting hit with a boot.
  • Garfield and Friends had Garfield doing comedy routines on a wooden fence, and occasionally being upstaged by Odie. This is also a Running Gag in the print version.
  • Also in Tom and Jerry.
  • In Bolt, alley cats are seen to do this in order to eat the food thrown at them.
  • Played for horror in The Cat Piano, where all the singing cats are taken away from the city by a deranged human who uses them as part of his hellish "cat piano". Arranged according to the natural sound of their voices, with the touch of a note, a sharpened nail impaled each cat's tail, causing them to shriek out in pain. The idea of a cat piano is Older Than They Think and attributed to various famous sadists from human history.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: The episode "I Was a Teenage Gary" ends with Gary, plus a transformed SpongeBob and Squidward, meowing "Blow the Man Down" on a fence. Patrick throws a boot in annoyance, knocking Squidward off.
  • In one episode of South Park, a mouse with a penis growing out of its back interrupts a chase scene to do a solo on top of a fence.
  • In one of the earliest examples, the Felix the Cat cartoon "Forty Winks" begins with Felix conducting four of his buddies in a loud performance. Of course, a guy in a house throws things at them.
  • While Doug is watching Stinky, Stinky sings on a fence with other riff-raff cats from the neighborhood, while holding up a carton of milk.
  • The Betty Boop cartoon "Not Now."
  • The 1929 Mickey Mouse short The Karnival Kid has Mickey serenading Minnie by playing guitar while two cats sing "Sweet Adeline". They even being in a fence to complete the effect,

     Real Life  
  • Unspayed female cats in heat will "sing" very loudly to attract the attention of male cats. This can be very obnoxious for their owners. One of the many reasons to spay and neuter your pets!
    • They make a window-rattling yowl when feeling neglected, spayed or not.

Mreeeeooow/Mreeeeoooow/Marooooow/Mreee—CHUKONG!


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