Tongue Tied
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The Cat Priest was an elderly male Felis sapiens and a Cat Cleric who lived aboard Red Dwarf.

History

Early History

When the two factions of Felis sapiens built their arks and left Red Dwarf, they left behind anyone who was sick or injured in some way. One of those left behind was a priest of the Red Hat faction, abandoned because he was blind. He had one hand that was black, while his skin was mostly pink.

He lived with the others left behind, befriending The Cripple and The Idiot, a couple who produced a child which grew up to be Cat.

Cat became the sole caretaker for the elderly priest, who eventually became the only other survivor of his race aboard the ship. Cat would often leave the priest alone for days while he explored the ship. Over the years, he kept faith with the teachings of Cloister the Stupid, wearing the holy custard stains and the sacred gravy marks. His religion insisted that he renounce coolness in favour of slobbiness. After so long without any sign of his god, the priest began to lose his faith, convincing himself that Cloister wasn't real. He ordered Cat to burn his sacred hat, a symbol of his priesthood.

Discovery by Lister

When Lister started to study the Cat race, he followed Cat down to the cargo decks through Supply Pipe 28 and into an old chamber of worship. Lister was amazed to find the priest, whom Cat had never mentioned. When he heard the Cat Priest railing against his god, he entered the room and managed to convince the blind priest that he was Cloister and that this was his triumphal return, wearing the doughnut and the golden sausage.

Lister showed the priest that his faith was not misplaced, and told him that his place in Fuchal, the Cat afterlife, was assured and graded him an A+. He even managed to return the priest's hat, which Cat claimed to have destroyed. The priest declared this to be a miracle, but his joy was short-lived as the excitement caused him to drop dead from a heart attack ("Waiting for God").

Trivia

  • The Cat Priest was the only Felis sapiens in the television series besides Cat for over thirty years, until the 2020 television movie "The Promised Land" when the Boys from the Dwarf come upon the remaining Cats aboard the Cat Fleet.
    • In the aforementioned movie the three Cat Clerics featured, Brother Sol, Sister Luna and Sister Peanut, were presumably all that was left of the old Cat religion, and also had likely had been taught by the Cat Priest since they remembered Red Dwarf as the place of their birth.
  • Like most cats have different colourations on the same body, the Cat Priest has one black hand and one white hand.

Behind the Scenes

  • Actor Noel Coleman was advanced in years and struggled with his lines. The hat he was wearing also caused an injury to his nose when it fell down over his face.[1]

References

  1. The 'making of' documentary on the Series I DVD



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