Mr. Mistoffelees

Of all the characters of TS Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (later brought on to stage by Andrew Lloyd Webber, in"Cats!"), it's Mr. Mistoffelees aka Quaxo that really draws my attention. This character is the magician cat who brings back Old Deuteronomy - the Jellicle Cats' leader - after the wise cat is kidnapped by the villain Macavity.

Mr. Mistoffelees is described as a clever cat that often "deceives others into believing that he's only hunting for mice". Some picture him as a cheerful cat, some others as a quiet one. Those conflicting views on Mr. Mistoffelees, in my opinion, show Elliot's geniality in featuring the most important role in the story.

I'm glad that Andrew Lloyd Webber could see this, because that's how he projects the character in the musical: Mr. Mistoffelees moves a lot, many times doing very difficult spins (and therefore the role requires an excellent ballet dancer), but sings only a few parts. It is the figure that has been humbled in the earlier parts of the show and emerges to be the saviour of the feline community.

And after Old Deuteronomy is back with the Jellicles', what does Mr. Mistoffelees do? He doesn't claim his fame, he doesn't need press conference -- heck, he doesn't even ask for his order of the knights. He simply returns to the ordinary cat's life.

Because he understands that real power lies in modesty.

Somehow, my mind goes to this passage, about a woman revealing to her friend that: the biggest challenge in wearing a hijab is conquer the feeling of being the rightest of all. Hmmmm. If I were in an influential position, would I be able to resist the temptation of playing God?