Irrelevant of the score line, I was sufficiently bored by the Liverpool versus Tottenham game come half-time to already discount analysing the game in one way or another. I’d hoped for Luis Suarez to start and stir up a talking point in one way or another and an entertaining as ever post-match dissection by Harry Redknapp. But, with neither featuring from the first whistle, all hopes of entertainment in a footballing capacity were void. Predictably, Spurs looked rather lacking in penetration without Rafael Van Der Vaart unlocking defences at will, and typical of Liverpool at home this season, a game of few or no goals looked on the cards. It was very much shaping up to be a game of “he who dares wins,” but neither looked brave enough to take the gamble and when they did, the sole purpose of the opposition was the exact opposite.
However, where Carroll had so far failed to make an impact and Bale was yet to produce something worth £140m there was a much smaller creature willing to risk life and limb to provide a splash of amusement to the proceedings. No, Aaron Lennon hadn’t passed a late fitness test and was eagerly waiting to shift a slow-starting Jake Livermore: a cat, as the eleventh minute passed, made its way on to the pitch where it was met with a rapturous reception from The Kop, which simultaneously broke into anthemic chanting of, “a cat, a cat, a cat, a cat, a cat.”
It had managed to: take the attraction off of Fabio Capello, who was adorned by a hundred or so cameramen; alleviate the attention from Luis Suarez, who, despite being on the bench, was receiving more of the flashes than the playing squad were; and it managed to trend worldwide on Twitter under the trend, “that cat.” Andy Warhol’s prediction, no less philosophical than Plato, “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” hadn’t escaped the cat and with the second half underway, the cat was still more trendy than any of the twenty-two players on the pitch and was only dislodged from his throne, when Gareth Bale lept, rather like a cat in fact, to the floor as Daniel Agger came chomping in. Play-acting was the call and Gareth Bale was the tweet. The cat’s fifteen minutes of Twitter fame was over.
Or was it?
Well no: the cat shall forever live on as some fast acting person quickly made up an @AnfieldCat Twitter, which, at the time of writing, has already amassed 5000 followers: however, I imagine that account’s success will last as long as the cat’s debut did.
After a rather stressful seven days in the footballing world, which had amalgamated into a weekend of penalties, a continual grey cloud of racism and then the American version of something similar, which before Sunday night, I didn’t realise how many people were experts in, light relief in the form of a streaking cat was appreciated and with my own cat currently in animal hospital, with fears of him being put down prevalent over the weekend, it brought a welcome smile to my face.
In tribute to the Anfield Cat is my blog and in further appreciation, here are a few of his furry friends:
The Camp Nou Cats
This cat, typical of the Spanish, showed our English feline friend how to move: looking a lot trimmer than our tabby, the gato elegantly pounced along the turf, not breaking stride to hurdle the advertising hoarding and disappear back off into the stands. That was only at the weekend and it wasn’t the first: in 2010, between Barcelona and Real Sociadad another cat bounded down the left flank, exploiting the space Dani Alves had left, before exiting the pitch with a majestic leap into the stands.