Bad Cats

The backglass to the pinball game Bad Cats as described in the post

Bad Cats, Williams, 1989.

I don’t know what was going in at Williams in 1989 but it seemed to have a lot of imagination, I’ll give it that. And when you figure that most of the current century has been dominated by Stern and licensed properties, there is something positive to be said about games that were just… out there.

And out there this one is. The backglass is a scene taking place between a house with orange siding and a red brick house. There’s a patio stretching between the two buildings with what appear to be cement pavers. Behind the outbuilding is a pine colored picket fence, and on the left we can see a white cat in a tree on the other side of the fence trying to get to some eggs in a bird’s nest. The bird is displeased and attacking.

On the roof of the left building a striped cat is lying on a blanket as if at the beach, with a blue, red and yellow striped umbrella over its head. Its tail is being levitated by two balloons.

In the leftmost window of the left house, we can see a Doberman-like dog trying to pull a cat off the drapes by the tail. For some reason the doberman is blue.

Next to that window is another window.  A boy in a yellow and red striped sweatshirt and a Mario from Super Mario style red hat is half out the window, aiming a slingshot at a cat on top of the dog house.

The dog house has a red roof and orange walls and contains a huge bulldog wearing a spiked collar. Think Loony Tunes or Tom and Jerry tropes. The dog has his paws on the back of a white cat who is pinned down to the ground. Another cat, as mentioned, is on the roof, holding a fishing pole that has a bone tied to the end of the line. It’s unclear whether the cat is trying to catch the dog with the bone as a lure or whether the cat is trying to steal the bone, because the bone is hovering over a blue dog bowl. Could go either way.

A little further forward in the scene a grey cat has jumped onto a 50’s red round barbecue grill, and is midair with its fur all sticking out indicating displeasure with the coals. We have no idea how the cat got there.

At the foot of the grill three mice are standing around on their back feet pointing at some cats further to the right as if in discussion. The three cats, orange, black and white spots, and brown stripes, are watching a circular mouse hole in the cement. The mice have clearly left that mouse house via the back door, which is another hole near them.

To the right of that a little girl in a short red dress is pushing a toy baby carriage that has a cat tucked into it like a baby. She’s offering the cat a mouse. To the right of that is a kids’ wading pool, maybe a foot deep, that two cats are fishing from. One has hooked a foot-long goldfish and the other cat is holding a net out to land the catch. A second goldfish head the size of a dinner platter is also surfacing in the pool. I don’t know who put those fish there but I wouldn’t let the kid anywhere near it.

Behind the kid and the pool is our aforementioned outbuilding. We can see through the wall to a woman in a red dress, white apron, makeup, heels, and a hair ribbon. She is well-endowed and unnaturally perky in the top region, with a four inch waist. She’s also wielding a broom like an ice hockey player about to commit a serious penalty.

The woman is aiming the broom toward a workbench covered in tools. Below the workbench we see a cat screaming, an empty birdcage, and an empty bird chiding the cat like Tweety Bird would be if a license had been purchased somewhere  in here. One of the features of this table is that during certain parts of the game play the woman beats the cat with the broom and the cat spins in circles. Good wholesome entertainment.

There’s an orange cat on the roof of the outbuilding leaning over the edge to watch the woman.

There’s also a sign in the outbuilding that says “There are crazy cats and there are copy cats!”

To the right of the outbuilding we find a full sized orange tiger leaning over the fence with fangs bared. Below him an orange cat is peeking out of a lime green trash can.

A large pole of blocks used to light the jackpot progress stands next to the brick house, with a fish bowl on the top labeled Jackpot. A large goldfish is inside. Four cats are standing in a tower, each on the other’s head, to try to get into the fish bowl.

A white striped cat is riding a skateboard off the red brick building’s roof.

In the window of that building we see a grey striped cat hiding in a hanging plant, and a white cat who has impaled a mouse from stomach to butt on a stick roasting the mouse over a candle flame.

To top it all off, there’s a creature best described as a snake with a human’s head in the front right corner. Instead of a rattle like a rattlesnake it has a pinball flipper on its tail. Its body is grey blotches on a yellow and brown background except where the words “pinball python” are written near the tail. Its head… well, imagine if you cut off a snake’s head, left the “neck” straight up like a human neck, and attached the head of Mick Jagger with purple hair.

Are you having nightmares yet? Because I think I will be.

Below the scoreboard two large grey cats are both stalking a mouse standing on its hind feet on a step stool.

As you may guess by the fact that it took 1,000 words to describe this one, it’s a bit of a doozy.