York Cat Trail New Cat Unveiled - Gus the Theatre Cat

The York Cat Trail was launched in by The Cat Gallery in 2011. Since then, the Trail has grown both in size and popularity. Barely a year goes by now without a new cat sculpture being proposed.

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre, inspired by both the York Cat Trail and the T.S. Eliot poem "Gus, the Theatre Cat" decided to seek permission to put a cat on the front of their Grade II listed, art deco theatre.

Jonathan Newdick, sculptor of many of the Tom Adams era cats, was commissioned to produce a "different" cat and that is certainly what he has achieved. Gus is made from a silver nickel material used extensively during the art deco period and one which was a new medium for Jonathan. Gus' textured fur is sculpted in a way that gives a nod to art deco style icons like the Chrysler Building in New York. He will look simply stunning on a sunny evening. 

 Joseph Rowntree Theatre Cat - Gus

Gus in Position on the Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Jonathan unveiled Gus to a small invited audience at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on 14th April. He explained that planning permission for this non-standard addition to the building had taken 6 months, with planners initially frowning on Gus' proposed location on the prominent building frontage. 

Jonathan Newdick unveiling Gus

Jonathan Newdick at the Unveiling of Gus

Permission was eventually granted once Jonathan explained why the cats' positioning was so important - it could be seen from outside the curtilage of the property - an important point for the York Cat Trail. Also, the location would allow the cat's gaze to be appropriately focused towards the Joseph Rowntree signage. Finally, the cat would be in full view as visitors approached the theatre. His playful pose and art deco stylised texture would help theatre visitors to forget the noise of the Haxby Road behind them and channel their thoughts towards a world of fantasy and escapism within the theatre.

Gus, the Joseph Rowntree Cat in more detail

Gus in More Detail

Gus is a worthy addition to the collection of cat sculptures in York and has earned a special mention in the 2022 York Cat Trail leaflet. The leaflet can be collected in person from The Cat Gallery (also the starting point for the Trail) and the Visit York Information Centre.

York Cat Trail 2022

The 2022 York Cat Trail Guide

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre is just over a mile from The Cat Gallery, where the York Cat Trail starts. If you have the time, Gus is well worth a visit.

The Cat Gallery has recently taken on the custodianship of CatsinYork.com, a website created in 2005 and dedicated to promoting awareness and enjoyment of the York Cats. We will shortly be updating this site to include cats that have appeared since 2011.