(Elderly couple, Mr. A and Mrs. B are staring through french
windows at a cat that is sitting in the middle of their lawn
motionless and facing away from them. A car is heard drawing up.)
Mr. A: Oh good, that'll be the Vet, dear.
Mrs. B: I'd better go and let him in.
(Mrs. B: goes out and comes back into the room with the Vet)
Mrs. B: (stage whisper) It's the Vet, dear.
Mr. A: Oh very glad indeed you could come round, sir.
Vet: Not at all. Now what seems to be the problem? You can
tell me - I'm a Vet, you know.
Mrs. B: See! Tell him, dear.
Mr. A: Well...
Mrs. B: It's our cat. He doesn't do anything. He just sits
out there on the lawn.
Vet: Is he ... dead?
Mr. A: Oh, no!
Vet: (to camera dramatically) Thank God for that.
For one ghastly moment I thought I was... too late. If only more
people would call in the nick of time.
Mrs. B: He just sits there, all day and every day.
Mr. A: And at night.
Mrs. B: Sh! Almost motionless. We have to take his food
out to him.
Mr. A: And his milk.
Mrs. B: Sh! He doesn't do anything. He just sits there.
Vet: Are you at your wits' end?
Mrs. B: Definitely, yes.
Vet: Hm. I see. Well I think I may be able to help you.
You see ... (he goes over to armchair, puts on spectacles, sits,
crosses legs and puts finger tips together)... your cat is
suffering from what we Vets haven't found a word for. His condition
is typified by total physical inertia, absence of interest in its
ambience - what we Vets call environment - failure to respond to the
conventional external stimuli - a ball of string, a nice juicy
mouse, a bird. To be blunt, your cat is in a rut. It's the old
stockbroker syndrome, the suburban fin de siècle ennui, angst,
weltschmertz, call it what you will.
Mrs. B: Moping.
Vet: In a way, in a way ... hum ... moping, I must
remember that. Now, what's to be done? Tell me sir, have you
confused your cat recently?
Mr. A: Well we ...
Mrs. B: Sh! No.
Vet: Yes ... well I think I can definitely say that your
cat badly needs to be confused.
Mrs. B: What?
Mr. A: Sh! What?
Vet: Confused. To shake it out of its state of
complacency. I'm afraid I'm not personally qualified to confuse
cats, but I can recommend an extremely good service. Here is their
Mrs. B: (reading card) Oooh. 'Confuse-a-Cat
Mr. A: 'Confuse-a-Cat Limited'.'
Mrs. B: Oh.
(Cut to large van arriving. On one side is a large sign
reading 'Confuse-a-Cat Limited: Europe's leading cat-confusing
service. By appointment to...' and a crest. Several people get out
of the van, dressed in white coats, with peaked caps and insignia.
One of them has a sergeant's stripes.)
Sergeant: Squad! Eyes front! Stand at ease. Cat confusers
(From a following car a general alights.)
General: Well men, we've got a pretty difficult cat to
confuse today so let's get straight on with it. Jolly good. Thank
Sergeant: Confusers attend to the van and fetch out...
wait for it... fetch out the funny things. (the men unload the
van) Move, move, move. One, two, one, two, get those funny
(The workmen are completing the erection of a proscenium with
curtains in front of the still immobile cat. A and B watch with awe.
The arrangements are completed. All stand ready.)
Sergeant: Stage ready for confusing, sir!
General: Very good. Carry on, sergeant.
Sergeant: Left turn, double march!
General: Right men, confuse the ... cat!
(Drum roll and cymbals. The curtains draw back and an amazing
show takes place, using various tricks: locked camera, fast motion,
jerky motion, jump cuts, some pixilated motion etc. Long John Silver
walks to front of stage.)
Long John Silver: My lords, ladies and Gedderbong.
(Long John Silver disappears. A pause. Two boxers appear. they
circle each other. On one's head a bowler hat appears, vanishes. On
the other's a stove-pipe hat appears. On the first's head a fez. The
stove-pipe hat becomes a Stetson. The fez becomes a cardinal's hat.
The Stetson becomes a wimple. Then the cardinal's hat and the wimple
vanish. One of the boxers becomes Napoleon and the other boxer is
astonished. Napoleon punches the boxer with the hand inside his
jacket. The boxer falls, stunned. Horizontally he shoots off stage.
Shot of cat, watching unimpressed. Napoleon does one-legged
pixilated dance across stage and off, immediately reappearing on
other side of stage doing same dance in same direction. He reaches
the other side, but is halted by a traffic policeman. The policeman
beckons onto the stage a man in a penguin skin on a pogo stick. The
penguin gets halfway across and then turns into a dustbin. Napoleon
hops off stage. Policeman goes to dustbin, opens it and Napoleon
gets out. Shot of cat, still unmoved. A nude man with a towel round
his waist gets out of the dustbin. Napoleon points at ground. A
chair appears where he points. The nude man gets on to the chair,
jumps in the air and vanishes. Then Napoleon points to ground by him
and a small cannon appears. Napoleon fires cannon and the policeman
disappears. The man with the towel round his waist gets out of the
dustbin and is chased off stage by the penguin on the pogo stick. A
sedan chair is carried on stage by two chefs. The man with the towel
gets out and the penguin appears from the dustbin and chases him
off. Napoleon points to sedan chair and it changes into dustbin. Man
in towel runs back on to stage and jumps in dustbin. He looks out
and the penguin appears from the other dustbin and hits him on the
head with a raw chicken. Shot of cat still unimpressed. Napoleon,
the man with the towel round his waist, the policeman, a boxer, and
a chef suddenly appear standing in a line, and take a bow. They
immediately change positions and take another bow. The penguin
appears at the end of the line with a puff of smoke. Each one in
turn jumps in the air and vanishes. Shot of passive cat.)
(Cut to Mr. A and Mrs. B watching with the general.)
General: I hope to God it works. Anyway, we shall know any
(After a pause, the cat gets up and walks into the house. Mr.
A and Mrs. B are overcome with joy.)
Mrs. B: I can't believe it.
Mr. A: Neither can I. It's just like the old days.
Mrs. B: Then he's cured. Oh thank you, general.
Mr. A: What can we ever do to repay you?
General: No need to, sir. It's all in a day's work for
(Picture freezes and over still of general's face are
superimposed the words 'Confuse-a-Cat Limited'. Dramatic music. The
words start to roll, like ordinary credits but read.')
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