I realize that many of you love cats. Sadly, I don't share your zest, as I'm allergic as hell to the animals. Whenever a playful kitten sidles up next to me, I don't think "Gumdrop jubilee candyfloss." No, my first thought is "A domesticated quadruped. Now is the time to leak enzymes out of my eye sockets." Truth be told, I'd rather be responsible for the general welfare of 300 pounds of weevils than one happy Manx.
"Your name is Ambrosia, your name is Napoleon, and your name is -- oh fuck it, you're all named Roy."
In fact, I can only hang out with cats after one or two "Benagronis" (standard Negroni, swap out the Campari with Benadryl, garnish with poor life choices). Luckily, I can delight in the li'l fluffballs from a safe distance, as humans have been artistically immortalizing felines for centuries. This proud tradition -- which spans from the Bast cults of ancient Egypt to the werejaguar worship of the Olmec -- continues unabated to this day.
And this is our generation's The Last Supper.
Yes, it is only through civilization's great works of cat art that I can deduce what it's like to own a wonderful pet that stealthily harbors a horrific barbed penis. (Art: It's transcendent like that.) Now that such thoughts are marinating in our collective brain like so many Toxoplasma gondii parasites, here's my monolithically objective list of humanity's best cat doodles.
#10. Demonic Cat: Ghana, Circa Late 20th Century
The advent of home video in the 1980s also saw the birth of Ghanaian mobile cinemas. These wheeled movie houses drove from town to town, screening everything from kung fu blockbusters to Nigerian horror flicks armed with nothing but a TV, a VCR, a portable generator, and a secret weapon -- lurid homemade movie posters, usually painted on flour sacks.
And they said Across the River 1 ran out of ideas.
On a bunch of these posters, it's unclear if the artist even knew what the heck the movie was about (let alone the actual title), but one thing's for certain: These guys knew what filled seats.
Camp Movie Camp
If this is how Ghana was sold Twilight, somebody deserves a CLIO.
Anyway, back to Demonic Cat. I have no idea what the hell's going on here, and the Internet's not giving up answers. Is there a Nollywood thriller called Demonic Cat? Did somebody think Deliverance was about dwarfs and man-eating tabbies instead of banjos and Burt Reynolds killing yokels in a wetsuit? All I do know is that Demonic Cat looks like the best film since Zoltan, Hound of Dracula.
We think this is The King's Speech.
#9. Distracted by the Cat: Japan, Circa 1802
From what I understand, cats can be bossy. The gripping scene above epitomizes this. Distracted by the Cat comes to us from woodblock artist Kitagawa Utamaro, who depicts a needy feline spoiling some Edo-period logjamming. Sexy prints weren't uncommon back then, but who exactly was the target demographic here?
Was "cat ruins the mood" an erotic subgenre, much in the same way modern pornography is divided into increasingly arcane niches, like "amateur," "pork pie hats," and "filmed on a Thursday"? As the old adage doesn't go, "Three XXX Japanese woodblock prints don't constitute a trend," but we'll let you be the judge.
Apropos of nothing, shout-out to the cast of This Is Not a Tuesday XXX. There's a film that knows its audience.
Finally, here's a painting of a rascally cat surrounded by grotesque toadstool dongs you never knew you never wanted.
#8. He-Gassen: Japan, Circa 1600s-1800s
And while we're on the topic of living-room-friendly artwork of the Tokugawa period, you really owe it to yourself to see the He-Gassen, a series of scrolls depicting gassy warriors sparring with anal typhoons. Sadly, this particular scene wasn't actually the shogun equivalent of reprimanding your pet with a squirt bottle.
#7. This Stamp: Comoros Islands, 1992
This is a stamp commemorating Felix, one of France's pioneering astro-cats. As you can see here, researchers implanted electrodes into his skull so they could visualize how much Felix hated them for implanting electrodes into his skull. One can but assume that this stamp was a ploy by the Comoros Islands postal authority to trick people into believing they were receiving mail from the future.
#6. Sleepwalkers: Ghana, Circa Late 20th Century
Here we have another Ghanaian mobile cinema poster detailing the climax of the 1992 Stephen King movie Sleepwalkers, which -- I shit you not -- was about a duo of incestuous cat vampires whose mortal weakness was common house cats. Here's video evidence:
What's magnificent about this is how the artist tried to cram as many deranged cats as possible into a single poster, going so far as to transform the werecatpire's right foot into a vaguely constipated tabby. The artist wins further points for misquoting William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar for no apparent reason. Incidentally, this wasn't the only placard that Ghanaian mobile cinema artists drummed up for Sleepwalkers. Here's another smashing design that also bears the "humans grafted together with cats" motif ...
The font promises a zany Marx brothers comedy.
... and here's an ad for a film named Swart Cat, which I'm guessing is about a Gorgon who opens a Boar's Head franchise. Please note that the artist has implemented his own rating system.
"Swart Cat is rated 'Brutal Film' for the following reasons: a plot that defies the written word."