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My Undying Love for Daddy Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat

Humor columnist Dorothea LeBeau discusses her totally normal feelings for a CGI Cat

The song sung by Skimbleshanks the railway cat is absolutely the best song in the movie.
The song sung by Skimbleshanks the railway cat is absolutely the best song in the movie.

Over winter break I had the privilege of seeing Cats (the movie, 2019) in one of the many theaters wherein it was showing across the U.S. The audience of six who had come to see this masterpiece grace the screen was ripe with anticipation as the lights dimmed, each of us excited for our own reasons. I presume the group of older men to my left had actually been fans of the Broadway show and were excited to see it on the big screen, in which case I can assume they left the theater feeling incredibly cheated. Everyone else there appeared to be under 25, and was here for one reason and one reason only: to see the absolute disaster of a movie that cost $95 million to make and has only made about $67.4 million to this day. The movie, by all accounts, was abysmal, with fur disappearing and reappearing at random and dance numbers with incredibly sensual overtones for seemingly no reason at all. It was a terrible, overproduced mess that sent out new copies to theaters after release to fix the CGI issues. In short, it was every Gen Z’s wet dream, and I was no exception.

If you have not seen the movie, let me hit some important plot points and characters for you. Every cat in this movie is a jellicle cat at the jellicle ball, competing to become the jellicle choice. The only exceptions are Dame Judi Dench (the leader jellicle cat), Idris Elba (the evil cat) and Taylor Swift (the evil cat accomplice who they couldn’t pay enough to show up for more than three scenes). The jellicle choice is the cat who sings the best little song about their lives, and is then allowed to ascend to the heaviside layer, die and supposedly be reborn, although we only see the first two parts on screen. All of the cats sing songs about their lives and aspirations in order to convince Judi to allow them to be the jellicle choice, and some of those songs are better than others. 

Some of the song standouts include: 1) Not one, but two songs based around how fat the two fat cats are, and aren’t they fat and lazy? They love to eat, you see, and get no exercise, so they’re obviously fat and dumb. Do you get it? It’s because they’re fat. Absolutely enormous. And ugly, obviously. Duh. 2) The most sensual graveyard dancing scene I’ve ever seen in my life. This song is pivotal, as it expands on the concept of what a jellicle cat is, and also introduces the concept of a cat’s three names, one of which is their “true name.” The scene is, for lack of a better word, incredibly horny, and the three names are never brought up again. 3) The scene where they’re in a milk bar, drinking (and rolling around in) milk, and the Jason Derulo cat screams “MILK!!!!!” directly into the camera. Yes, that is real. No, I will not be expanding further.

However, the song sung by Skimbleshanks the railway cat is absolutely the best song in the movie. If you think differently, you are wrong. Not only is it incredibly catchy and features a tap dance number — which none of the other songs have  — it is also sung by the best character in the movie: Skimbleshanks himself. This cat is an absolute Daddy, and I will not be taking any arguments about the subject. If you haven’t seen the movie, go look up a picture of him right now. Finished? Okay, now tell me his little fashion nova overalls and e-girl choker aren’t the sexiest things you’ve ever seen. His whistle? His hat? Literally breathtaking. None of the other cats even have a job, and this man is fully employed at the railway, keeping the rats and mice away. So not only is he incredibly handsome, he is also a provider. But it would be crass to call him a simple sugar daddy. Oh no, he is so much more than that.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this article would go to print if I described all the things I wanted Daddy Skimbleshanks to do to me, but suffice to say I’d let him saunter to my rear, if you know what I mean. And if you too would like to experience this attraction, this feeling, this absolute enlightenment, go see Cats (2019). I promise you, it’s worth it.

Dorothea LeBeau is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at