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Chariot Drawn By Cats

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A cat-drawn (or big-cat-drawn) cart, chariot, carriage or sleigh. Played for awesomeness or laughs.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
XFllo on Aug 15th 2015 at 11:16:06 AM
Last Edited By:
eroock on Mar 13th 2018 at 4:11:12 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Discussion:

  • We need input on whether to extend this idea to other unusual animals pulling the vehicle.

Description:

Cool and unusual vehicle pulled by cats or big cats. Used for awesomeness or comedy.

(Draft description to be added. I intend to work on it, but ideas are welcome!)


Trope title ideas:


Examples:

Literature

  • In Bubaci a Hastrmani (Bogeymen and Water Goblins) by Josef Lada, a kindly, good-natured water goblin Brčál has a vehicle pulled by six black cats. In the animated version, he only has four of them. Inspired by Czech mythology.
  • From Dave Barry's Year in Review (2000):
    [...] there is tension at the Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where the Gore camp suspects that Bill Clinton is trying to hog the limelight. A Clinton staffer denies this, claiming that "security considerations" led to the decision to have the president enter the convention hall riding a chariot drawn by lions.
  • In several of the Land of Oz books, Princess Ozma's chariot is pulled by the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger. This is often the extent of their participation in the books.

Live Action TV

  • In Community episode "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics", Star-Burns tries to develop the world's first cat-powered vehicle. He's seen trying to escape on a prototype. In a Brick Joke, there appears a crowd-funding video in which Star-Burns asks for donations for his cat car idea.

Mythology

  • As part of her role as goddess of war, the Babylonian goddess Ishtar is depicted as riding in a chariot drawn by seven lions.
  • The Greek Mythology deity Dionysus is shown in artwork as being in a chariot drawn by panthers.
  • Goddess Freyja, goddess of love from Norse Mythology, drives a chariot pulled by two black or grey cats.
  • Cybele, a Phrygian mother goddess worshipped by the Greeks and (eventually) Romans as a goddess of nature, mountains, wild animals, magic, and city walls, is often depicted driving in her chariot drawn by lions.
  • Water goblins (evil beings residing in water areas like rivers or ponds who drown people and store their spirits in pots) from Czech mythology traditionally drive (or ride in) a carriage pulled by six black cats, though it's not their most known feature.
  • Jakub Krčín of Jelčany is a real person who founded many fish ponds in southern Bohemia. A legend of him emerged after his death — he was so successful in his business because he made a deal with the devil. He is seen riding in a shabby black carriage drawn by six black tom-cats.

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer: High elves have chariots pulled by white lions.

Web Original

  • This gif features a guy driving a cart pulled by five grey cats. It's heavily edited.

Western Animation

  • Crazy cat lady of The Simpsons is seen in the intro to "White Christmas Blues" driving a sleigh pulled by several of her cats.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Kiss Me Cat" (a sequel to "Feed the Kitty"), Marc Anthony tries to get Pussyfoot to catch the mouse that has been raiding the kitchen. Instead, the mouse hitches Pussyfoot to a wagon and uses him to get more food.
  • Filmation produced the cartoon series Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle in 1976. The lost City of Gold has Queen Nemone riding in a chariot drawn by a pair of lions because she's an Alpha Bitch. Her royal guards also use paired lion chariots, most especially Phobeg, the queen's most badass guard.


Indexes:

Feedback: 62 replies

Aug 15th 2015 at 11:26:16 AM

Does it have to be cats? Or can it be any unusual animal to have power a vehicle. I think the later would get us better examples.

Aug 15th 2015 at 11:34:52 AM

^ Seconded. Expanding the focus to incorporate other animals will increase viability for this trope.

Aug 15th 2015 at 11:58:04 AM

Well, I actually think it should be just cats. I think it's strange that there are quite a few examples already. We have Swan Boats and Horse Of A Different Color and Dragon Rider — these are also quite specific. But if there are more examples with unusual animals, then I guess it would be ok to expand the definition and the trope would be very broad.

Aug 15th 2015 at 11:16:14 PM

  • From Dave Barry's year in Review (2000):
    [...] there is tension at the Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where the Gore camp suspects that Bill Clinton is trying to hog the limelight. A Clinton staffer denies this, claiming that "security considerations" led to the decision to have the president enter the convention hall riding a chariot drawn by lions.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: High elves have chariots pulled by white lions.

Aug 16th 2015 at 12:56:43 AM

This is startlingly common in ancient mythology.

Mythology

  • As part of her role as goddess of war, the Babylonian goddess Ishtar is depicted as riding in a chariot drawn by seven lions.
  • The Greek Mythology deity Dionysus is shown in artwork as being in a chariot drawn by panthers.

One of the first two is probably the Ur Example.

Aug 16th 2015 at 1:06:18 AM

^ Thanks, Arivne, I added Ishtar and Dionysus. Freya was one of my first examples in the draft :-) Though I noticed this wiki spells her Freyja.

^^ I don't know what category Dave Barry should be in. I've seen him in folder titled "comedy" or "newspaper".

Aug 16th 2015 at 1:09:45 AM

  • Blue Linked (Norse mythology).
  • Corrected spelling (wno -> who, apppears).

Aug 16th 2015 at 1:56:45 AM

^^ Put him in Literature.

Aug 16th 2015 at 7:42:36 AM

^ The Review is what exactly — an artcile, or a book? I ask because of formatting. :-)

Aug 16th 2015 at 11:07:42 AM

More Mythology:

  • Cybele, a Phrygian mother goddess also worshipped by the Greeks and (eventually) Romans as a goddess of nature, mountains, wild animals, magic, and city walls, is often depicted driving in her chariot drawn by lions.

Aug 16th 2015 at 12:02:58 PM

It's a newspaper column, but many of his columns are compiled into books as well.

Aug 16th 2015 at 5:00:31 PM

Needs A Better Description

  • In the Looney Tunes short "Kiss Me Cat" (a sequel to "Feed The Kitty"), Marc Anthony tries to get Pussyfoot to catch the mouse that has been raiding the kitchen. Instead, the mouse hitches Pussyfoot to a wagon and uses him to get more food.

Aug 16th 2015 at 7:04:37 PM

  • In several of the Land Of Oz books Princess Ozma's chariot is pulled by the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger. This is often the extent of their participation in the books.

Aug 17th 2015 at 1:21:53 AM

I favour the idea of having chariots pulled by unusual animals in general instead of cats only - like Horse Of A Different Colour, except not as mounts but as carriage pullers. So horses, oxen or reindeer don't count, but other, more strange animals do.

  • In The Hobbit, Radagast the Brown's sleigh is pulled by giant rabbits (Radagast calls them "Rhosgobel rabbits").
  • In The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, the White Witch goes to battle in a carriage pulled by polar bears. (At least in the movie she does, I haven't read the book.)

Aug 17th 2015 at 2:33:38 AM

^ It would make more sense to keep that in another trope, likely a supertrope to this draft, and keep cats and big cats as its subtrope. But I'll respect the communituy's wishes.

Aug 18th 2015 at 10:25:02 AM

^ You haven't given a reason for focusing on cats, other than just having examples, which isn't enough to make a trope without a solid concept. So what's the concept that makes cats stand out over other atypical animals?

Aug 18th 2015 at 3:21:46 PM

^ Possibly cats being independent and unlikely to work with each other.

If we go beyond cats:

  • The Iliad: In order to avoid being drafted into the Trojan War, Odysseus tries Obfuscating Insanity by greeting the delegation of kings by plowing the beach and sowing salt with a plow pulled by a donkey and an ox. He is found out when his wife and infant son are placed in the plow's path.
  • Lucky Luke: One story has Luke escort a wagon convoy west. At one point the convoy packs up and leaves in the dark, hitching animals without checking who they belong to, resulting in wagons being pulled by pairs of donkeys, horses, cows, and one very confused buffalo.

Aug 18th 2015 at 3:43:15 PM

^ Not the only animal that does that, so it's still not a good reason to focus solely on cats.

Aug 18th 2015 at 5:01:46 PM

I'd suggest broadening the trope to include any Real Life animals that aren't usually used for pulling chariots.

Aug 18th 2015 at 9:02:43 PM

My thoughts were in this direction: this seems to be related to Cats Are Magic, that's why I think it should be kept separate.

I don't think Odysseus fits at all. He was ploughing, so it is not an insance of Travel Cool. Oxes and horses are common animals to pull a vehicle, especially in agriculture. I'm not sure about donkeys, but they might work as well. Lucky Luke seems a bit different, considering the wild west context, but only the buffalo really stands out. :-)

Aug 19th 2015 at 5:43:42 AM

I agree that this trope should be broadened to include non-feline species. Creatures like the sleigh-pulling boars from Hogfather or Radagast's sledge-team of rabbits in The Hobbit surely aren't any more manageable than cats, as draft animals, and carry much the same overtones of magic as the OP was going for.

Sled dogs, much like horses, donkeys, mules, oxen and reindeer, should still be omitted from this trope, as pulling things around is what their breeds exist for; however, types of dog that aren't normally expected to pull vehicles would probably qualify. Camels and llamas are occasionally used to pull carts IRL, so should also be exempt.

Aug 24th 2015 at 3:47:48 PM

I propose this trope picture, if you will.

Aug 24th 2015 at 6:35:40 PM

If cats are particularly significant then it can have its own section in the trope like how nekomata and oni have their own section in the Yokai page

Aug 25th 2015 at 6:08:10 AM

Soft-split pages are the worst. :-( They are very hard to manage in my opinion.

Aug 29th 2015 at 10:16:15 AM

Hmm, seems like the majority is in fabour of doing it not cats-only way. Ox Of A Different Colour seems like a good idea. Seems like a sister trope to Horse Of A Different Colour.

Aug 29th 2015 at 11:43:55 PM

Not sure if that is the best name, because horses are common draft animals too. Plus it is a snowclone, because "horse of a different color" is an idiom, while "ox" etc is not. Also, both horses and oxen are used to pull carts and plows; if the latter is excluded, the trope name should preferably indicate that.

Aug 30th 2015 at 1:46:17 AM

Horse Of A Different Color is about using creatures other than horses to fill the roles of horses. It includes the following:

Horse-replacements may also be used as draft animals.

To replace the larger draft animals, vaguely ox-like creatures and large lizards seem to be popular, and some may be Mix-and-Match Critters.

So this will be a Sub Trope of Horse Of A Different Color, and the above statements can be changed to Pot Hole to it when it's launched.

Aug 30th 2015 at 3:15:38 PM

^ No, that is about fictional creatures, while this is about real ones. So this would be a Sister Trope.

Aug 30th 2015 at 4:29:17 PM

Western Animation

  • Filmation produced the cartoon series Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle in 1976. The lost City of Gold has Queen Nemone riding in a chariot drawn by a pair of lions because she's an Alpha Bitch. Her royal guards also use paired lion chariots, most especially Phobeg, the queen's most badass guard.

Aug 31st 2015 at 8:29:04 AM

^^ Actually, some examples in Horse Of A Different Color use real life species that are simply unusual choices as mounts.

Sep 29th 2015 at 7:19:35 PM

The image on some versions of "The Cart" (one of the major arcana cards of a Tarot deck) is a chariot drawn by two sphinxes.

Nov 1st 2015 at 3:43:41 PM

^ you mean The Chariot

Nov 1st 2015 at 3:52:35 PM

So Horse Of A Different Color counts unusual carriage pullers too? If so then we don't need this.

Nov 1st 2015 at 4:02:21 PM

I'm willing to entertain that this could be it's own trope, but an actual description as to what makes fantastic chariot animals different/special compared to fantastic mounts. Like is there specific plot points that tend to happen around this version only? Same with it being only cats. What's the difference between if this was cats or say lizards? If there isn't one, that's a problem.

If you can't satisfactorily answer these questions than there is no point to this.

Nov 2nd 2015 at 5:01:02 AM

I believe this could be a characterization trope, in that cats are not draft animals; they'll rip you to flinders if you try to harness them. Therefore anyone who succeeds in making felines substitute for equines must be a) awesome (Batman), b) a wizard (Merlin), c) nigh omnipotent (Darth Vader), or d) cuckoo (crazy Cat Lady). It's also a sign of highly unconventional thinking.

Nov 2nd 2015 at 6:02:21 AM

^ what do you think of other non-draft animals?

Nov 2nd 2015 at 11:00:50 AM

^ Offhand, it seems there are enough examples particular to cats to warrant a distinctive trope, with non-draft animals as a whole as a supertrope. Most telling is the six examples under Mythology and Folklore, indicating that cats as a hitch team is a grandfathered mechanism, which has fallen into disuse upon the invention of the automobile.

Jan 21st 2016 at 8:11:00 PM

  • In the Popeye cartoon Seasin's Greetinks, Bluto is introduced being drawn on a sled driven by a small dog.

Jan 21st 2016 at 11:07:06 PM

  • In Age Of Wonders 3, the Tigran Sabertooth Chariot are pulled by sabertooth tigers and the Frostling Ice Queen are pulled by polar bears.

Jan 21st 2016 at 11:52:22 PM

^^^ It's not about the number of examples. I still fail to see what makes cats special compared to other unusual, fantastic carriage pullers. Bears, for example, are also untameable and fierce, therefore a carriage pulled by bears is equally awesome / insane, and a handful of bear examples came up already here.

I'd say a carriage-pulling animal compared to a mount is distinct enough to have it as a Sister Trope to Horse Of A Different Color. The power relationship is different: a mount has a close, special bond with its rider, based on mutual respect, while carriage-pullers are more like slaves, with the carriage-driver dominating them, therefore having a special mount and having a carriage pulled by unusual animals tells something different about the rider / driver.

May 9th 2017 at 7:41:14 AM

This was abandoned a year ago. I remembered I started this trope idea, and I would like to start working on it again — and see if this should be discarted and incorporate the ideas to existing tropes, or we will see if it might have its own page.

May 9th 2017 at 9:32:34 AM

In Warlords Battlecry, The Empire's Titan unit is The Lion Throne, a war chariot pulled by lions.

May 9th 2017 at 6:44:39 PM

I propose that this become a child trope to Horse Of A Different Color. Ancient Egypt had the cat-headed Bastet (or Ubaste) as a warrior god and defender of the throne. The medieval period had witches' cats, called familiars. At the time, close association with cats came to denote magic or specialness, sort of like a human unicorn. Of course, nowadays there are other cues that signify magicians / wizards / sorcerors and such, making this a Forgotten Trope. Still, in period works, someone who can harness cats into a hitch team hints at Reality Warper powers.

May 12th 2017 at 11:01:06 AM

If the trope is limited to cats, but also includes cats that are ridden like a horse, Cat A Mount would be a great punny name ("catamount" being a name for the large American wild cat also known as cougar or puma).

May 17th 2017 at 7:06:52 PM

I've only heard of this trope with rabbits or rodents, never cats.

May 18th 2017 at 5:43:01 AM

^^ Should it be expanded, He Man and Tyrande Whisperwind from War Craft (the RTS games) comes in mind.

May 18th 2017 at 6:55:00 AM

^^ I've also seen carriages pulled by swans in fiction. That's why I suggested that this trope should be "carriages drawn by any kind of unusual animals" in the first place.

Aug 10th 2017 at 9:39:20 AM

"Meow." It's feline for "bump."

Nov 9th 2017 at 4:53:20 PM

Personally, I support the idea of making this a sister trope to Horse Of A Different Color and expanding it to include the use of any "exotic" animal (i.e. not oxen, draft horses, sled dogs, etc.) as beasts of burden. There just doesn't seem to me to be a good thematic reason to only include cats — the reasoning seems to be that they're difficult to train and associated with magic, but these things apply to a lot of animals.

Anyway, if the trope does get expanded, here's some examples for later. I included some examples I saw in the comments to put them all in one place.

  • In The Hobbit, Radagast is shown riding a sled pulled by a team of enormous rabbits.

  • In The Death Gate Cycle, the humans of Arianus use a species of enormous flightless birds known as tiers as beasts of burden.
  • In Leviathan, the Darwinists use a large variety of bio-engineered creatures as chariot-pullers and beasts of burden. Among those seen are elephantines and mammothines (presumably modified elephants and mammoths) as well as a cart pulled by a pair of wolf-tiger hybrid creatures.
  • In The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, Jadis the White Witch rides a chariot pulled by a pair of polar bears in battle.

  • Norse Mythology:
    • Thor rides a chariot pulled by a pair of billy goats.

  • Warhammer
    • The Dark Elves use chariots pulled by Cold Ones — essentially, vicious, scaly Jurassic Park-style raptors.
    • The Beastmen use chariots drawn by enormous, mutated boars covered in bony spikes.
    • Among the Greenskins, Orcs use chariots drawn by normal (but still huge and foul-tempered) boars, while the Goblins use wolf-drawn chariots instead.

Oct 19th 2017 at 2:23:21 PM

If this becomes a sister trope to Horse Of A Different Color which I personally consider the best of the provided options here are some non-cat examples:

Mythology

  • Classical Mythology:
    • Aphrodite's chariot is drawn by swans or geese when not being pulled by the Erotes.
    • Apollo's sacred swans pulled his chariot.
    • Artemis's chariot was pulled by a pair of her sacred deer.
    • Demeter gave Triptolemus a serpent drawn winged chariot after she was reunited with her daughter Persephone and her own chariot was drawn by her dragons.
    • Medea's chariot was pulled by flying dragons that were born of Titans blood.
    • Poseidon had a pair of hippocamps draw his chariot.

Perhaps the cats can have their own soft split section with other animals listed beneath.

Sep 4th 2017 at 10:55:01 PM

In a quick vote count, it's 9 people suggesting to extend this to any unusual carriage beast (including myself) versus 3 people keeping it cat-exclusive.

Sep 8th 2017 at 1:23:22 PM

For another which applies only if this trope ends up as sister to Horse Of A Different Color with the inclusion of fictional animals:

Mythology and Folklore

  • The Korean gye-lyong, a cockatrice like dragon, is depicted as a chariot puller for various legendary figures.

Oct 28th 2017 at 7:00:10 AM

S'more image proposals:

Nov 9th 2017 at 3:54:03 PM

This needs to be expanded to other animals. In Norse Mythology alone, I can think of at least three animals that pull chariots (cats, boars, and goats). Also, there's still no description despite the example list.

Nov 9th 2017 at 4:56:43 PM

I vote for expand. also, here's an image with polar bears

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tv_7.jpg

  • The cover of The Silver Warriors features a man in a sled being pulled by (weirdly tiny) polar bears

Dec 4th 2017 at 2:46:47 PM

Expand the trope to other unusaul chariot-pulling animals, like with Horse Of A Different Color for ridden animals.

Feb 11th 2018 at 9:19:44 AM

Thanks for all your input. I hope to work on this. Current consensus leans to include all unsual animals used to pull chariots or sleds, and make this draft into a sister trope to Horse Of A Different Color.

Feb 23rd 2018 at 5:50:54 PM

Webcomics

  • The giant dogs characters ride instead of horses in Unsounded are also used to pull carriages.

Mar 13th 2018 at 4:11:12 PM

Webcomics

  • In Girl Genius the Geisterdamen have a number of monsterous draft animals, including giant fuzzy things with webbed feet and tentacled faces and some kind of gigantic pale crustacean.

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