Denise Day Spencer

November 26, 2010

Magical Mistoffelees

Filed under: Home Front — denisedayspencer @ 8:28 pm

In the past year I have lost three cats and one husband — not exactly in that order. Since I’ve written a lot about my husband, today I’d like to write about one of the cats. I write about one and not two or all three not because I didn’t care for them all, but because the one had such an interesting — at times even bizarre — life.

His name was “Mistoffelees.” Not “Mephistopheles,” as some misunderstood the name to be. He was named after the “Mr. Mistoffelees” in T. S. Eliot ‘s poetry book, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Even more specifically, he was named after the “Magical Mr. Mistoffelees” of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cats. Just in case you don’t know, Webber’s Cats is based on the felines in Eliot’s book of poems.

When Clay was in the fourth grade we made a family trip to Memphis to see Cats on stage. Magical Mr. Mistoffelees is described as “quiet and small; he is black from the ears to the tip of his tail…” He is called “the original conjuring cat” because in addition to being able to do card tricks and make things disappear, “His voice has been heard on the roof when he was curled up by the fire, and he’s sometimes been heard by the fire when he was about on the roof.” (more…)


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