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Origin of a SF trope - catgirls? - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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August 14th, 2008


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01:03 am - Origin of a SF trope - catgirls?
I've seen feline humanoids in an abundance of older SF - likely related to the generally cat-loving body of fans and authors. However, there's (at least in my opinion) a difference between a feline humanoid like Andre Norton's Salarika, and "catgirls", which I specifically consider to be stereotypically female anthropomorphic cats who are typically scantily clad (except for their fur) and are portrayed as both sexy and highly sexual. Due to a chain of conversation and thought too long and odd to repeat, I got to thinking about where I first encountered this concept, and realized I had a definite answer, the 1965 novel The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, which features a scene where an alien who can only be described as a catgirl swoops down in her spaceship, abducts a hapless human male, and has quite a lots of sex with him (all described in an impressively racy [for the era] fashion that these days might possibly be considered [at the most extreme] PG-13). So, can anyone think of any catgirls (as opposed to simply humanoid felines) in any early novel, story, comic, film, or other media. Given that this novel was fairly well known, it occurs to me that it might well be the direct origin of this idea.
Current Mood: amusedamused

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Comments:


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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:August 14th, 2008 11:41 am (UTC)
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Unfortunately, the only thing that comes to mind for me is the Chanaur series by CJ Cherry, and that isn't what you're looking for.
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From:aki_dreaming
Date:August 14th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
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Bast?
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From:pyat
Date:August 14th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
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The Island of Doctor Moreau had a cat woman of some kind in it, I think. Certainly, the 1932 movie version, Island of Lost Souls had a sexy panther woman.



Cordwainer Smith's SF novels from the 50s and 60s were also full of sexualized cat women.

Edited at 2008-08-14 12:40 pm (UTC)
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From:mindstalk
Date:August 14th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
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I was going to mention Cordwainer.

Also foxes/kitsune in China/Japan, not sure if there are feline equivalents.
From:nancylebov
Date:August 14th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
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Full of? I thought C'mel was the only one.
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From:pyat
Date:August 14th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. It's been a while, but I seem to recall some short stories where there is mention of felinoid concubines.
From:nancylebov
Date:August 14th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
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C'Mel was a cat concubine, but she's the only one I can think of.
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From:pyat
Date:August 14th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
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That may very well be all, then. I may be conflating the stories with others. It's been a while.
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From:heron61
Date:August 14th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
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Good catch, I'd completely fogotten Island of Lost Souls. Also The Ballad of Lost C'Mell was published in 1962. Clearly, it's considerably older than '65.
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From:bruceb
Date:August 14th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Cat People, 1942.

And, of course, Catwoman, starting in 1940.

Various comments I found while playing around with Google suggest that the 1946 movie Tarzan and the Leopard Woman recycled existing pulp motifs, but not much luck nailing down specifics.
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From:heron61
Date:August 14th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
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Wow, I had no idea that Catwoman was nearly that old.
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From:bruceb
Date:August 14th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
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That's why we all need diverse friend groups, to know things for us.
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From:erelin
Date:August 14th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
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The only book I can think of off the top of my head that I own of that nature is "Venus on the Half Shell" by Kilgore Trout, but that was in '75.
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From:tlttlotd
Date:August 15th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
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I was going to say E.E. "Doc" Smith's Masters of the Vortex (which was a spin-off of the Lensmen series) but my copy says it was published in 1968.
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From:sythyry
Date:August 17th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
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Cordwainer Smith's C'Mell.
"The Ballad of Lost C'Mell", _Norstrilia_, and I think a few other stories. 1962 -- she's as old as I am!

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