The Cheshire Cat
Who is The Cheshire Cat?
Alice “But I don’t want to go among mad people”
Cheshire Cat: “Oh, you can’t help that,’ `we’re all mad here.”
The Cheshire Cat first appears in Chapter 6, Pig and Pepper, in Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He belongs to the Duchess and plays a crucial role in helping Alice understand the insane rules of wonderland.
What’s so famous about him?
His trademark smile and clever conversation. The Cheshire cat has a way of disappearing, leaving only an image of his grin behind. This grin has become part of modern day nomenclature inspiring sayings like: “Grinning like a Cheshire cat”
The Cheshire Cat lends its name to two public house in the county of Cheshire; one near Stockport and another just south of Chester .
Although the true origin of this crazy cat is still a mystery.
The Cheshire Cat has made appearances in almost every area of pop culture and media, including:
Although the Cheshire cat appears in every new version of Alice in Wonderland (there are quite a few) He also occasionally does a cameo, like the one in the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”
It has been said that cheese was formerly sold in Cheshire molded like a cat that looked as though it was grinning”. The cheese was cut from the tail end, so that the last part eaten was the head of the smiling cat, kind of like how people always eat the chocolate Easter bunny’s ears first.
The Cheshire Cheese Campaign won a Gold award at the 2009 Cheshire County Show with their entry into the cheeseboard category. The board, called ‘The Cheshire Cat’ was constructed using White, Coloured & Blue Cheshire cheese, all made at the Joseph Heler dairy in Cheshire
In the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonis?”, Kirk and Chekov argue over the origin of the “vanishing cat” and Chekov muses that it came from Minsk. ( Of course the plot of the show was actually about a god who is no longer needed and runs home crying when he gets rejected by a mortal woman. But we wanted to bring up the Star Trek reference.)
#4. Art Science
If you have read our previous article “6 Reasons you shouldn’t believe your eyes” You may already be aware of some of the optical illusion tricks your eyes play on you.
The Exploratorium museum of science, art and human perception has an exhibit that shows you how to turn your friend into a Cheshire cat as seen here: Make a friend disappear leaving only a smile behind.
The exhibit was created by Bob Miller in 1978, features a mirrored eyepiece that allows you to look at a picture of the Cheshire Cat’s face with one eye, while your other eye sees a reflection of a white screen at the side. When you wave your hand across the white screen, the Cheshire cat starts to disappear. This optical phenomenon is called the Cheshire Cat effect.
#5. Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll
Okay we only have examples of drugs and rock n roll, but were assuming the former occasionally gets thrown in.
The Cheshire Cat is commonly found on LSD blotters (possibly due to the popularity of the Song “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane) as well as in song lyrics and all types of music. Blink 182’s Debut album was called Cheshire Cat
#6. Video Games
Remember the game Dragon’s Lair? In part 2 The Cheshire Cat appears as an annoying talking head, reciting the Jabberwocky poem while trying to devour “Dirk the Daring”.
The Cheshire cat is sometimes depicted with a little more edge like as seen as the mangy and emaciated enigmatic guide for Alice in the video game named “American McGee’s Alice”
#7. Novel Adaptations
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. The story then begins many years earlier, on Alyss’ seventh birthday, in the Wonderland of Alyss’ memory, which is ruled by imagination and is the source of all imagination for all other worlds
Here the Cheshire Cat is the Red Queen’s top assassin. The Cat has butcher knife claws and can change from his true form to the form of a small black kitten.
He initially has nine lives, but loses all but one by the end of the book.
As you can see, wherever you are, it may be good idea to keep an eye out. You never know, you could be under surveillance by a Grinning Cheshire Cat.
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