"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..."
Alleycats invariably spend their evenings singing opera while standing on top of a wooden fence. 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
. 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
, not "entertaining".
Compare That Poor Cat
- 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. Att 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!'"
- Gioacchino Rossini's Duetto buffo di due gatti* is made of this trope.
- "The Pussy Cat Song," sung by Patty Andrews and Bob Crosby.
- 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.
- Dozens of Looney Tunes shorts, e.g. "Back Alley Oproar"
- 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.
- Disney's The Aristocats is an obvious example. It has 10 full minutes involving a full house, accompanied by wild music and drug-induced background color. It's possible that they do it again at the very end.
- Superman turning into "Super-Cool Cat"...
- 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.
- Occurs in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants when Spongebob and Squidward are turned into snails and perform with Gary on a fence, complete with Patrick throwing a boot in annoyance.
- 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.
- In Scooby Doo And The Reluctant Werewolf, the Hunch Bunch do this, in full cat-costumes, to keep Shaggy from being well-rested for the big race. They are promptly pelted with boots thrown by Frankenstein. "Doggon kitty-cats!"