After the Jellicle Ball, Old Deuteronomy complains about "what happiness is", referring to Grizabella, but the Cats do not believe him, so he sends the message to Jemima (or Sillabub, depending on the production), the youngest of all Jellicles, who sings it in simpler terms ("The Moments of Happiness"). Gus — short for Asparagus — shuffles forward ("Gus: The Theatre Cat"). He was once a famous actor but is now old and "suffers from palsy which makes his paws shake." He is accompanied by Jellylorum , who tells of his exploits. Gus then remembers how he once played the infamous Growltiger , the Terror of the Thames ("Growltiger's Last Stand"). He tells the story about the pirate's romance with his girlfriend, Lady Griddlebone, and how he was overtaken by the Siamese and forced to walk the plank to his death.
Cats as yōkai in literature date back to the Kamakura period (1185–1333). In the collection of setsuwa (oral tradition of folktales before the 14th century), the Kokon Chomonjū , from this period, there can be seen statements pointing out cats that do strange and suspicious things, noting that "these are perhaps ones that have turned into demons."  Old stories about bakeneko from that time period are often associated with temples, but it is thought that the reason for this is that when Buddhism came to Japan, in order to protect the sutras (sacred texts) from being chewed on by rats, cats were brought along too.