The Jellicle cats, or simply the Jellicles, are a type of feline mentioned in T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
Introduced in his poem The Song of the Jellicles, they were originally depicted by Eliot as common black-and-white cats whose daytime nature is peaceful, pleasant and restful — but who possess an active love of nightlife. Specifically, Eliot mentions that they like to gather at an event called the "Jellicle Ball".
They are featured in Cats, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on Eliot's work, in which a subplot surrounds the disappearance of the Jellicle patriarch Old Deuteronomy. The names are taken from T. S. Eliot's poem "The Naming of Cats", and are used for many of the ensemble characters in the musical. In contrast with the poem, Lloyd Webber's Jellicles possess many kinds of coat-patterns, diverse personalities and individual talents. Also detailed on this page are Chorus characters from the musical Cats whose names are from other works by T. S. Eliot, or not directly derived from the poems.
The name jellicle comes from a previously unpublished poem by Eliot entitled "Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats", where jellicle cats is a corruption of dear little cats and pollicle dogs of poor little dogs. It also appears in the musical Cats in the song "Jellicle Song for Jellicle Cats".
Read more about Jellicle Cats: Characters in The Musical
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