Cat Came Back, The

DESCRIPTION: (Old Mister Johnson) makes many attempts to rid himself of his cat -- blowing it up, shipping it away, etc. But in every instance "The cat came back the very next day... They thought he was a goner, but the kitty came back...."
AUTHOR: probably Harry S. Miller
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (sheet music attributed to Henry S. Miller); as a traditional piece, 1924 (recording, Fiddlin' John Carson)
KEYWORDS: animal separation return humorous
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Randolph 444, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 350-352, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 444)
Boette, pp. 144-145, "The Yaller Cat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, p. 147, "The Cat Came Back" (fragmentary text, partial tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 400, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Robert A. Fremont, editor, _Favorite Songs of the Nineties_, Dover Publications, 1973, pp. 52-54, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text, 1 tune, a copy of the sheet music)

Roud #5063
Yodeling Slim Clark, "The Cat Came Back" (Continental 8063, n.d.)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Cat Came Back" (Okeh 40119, 1924)
Riley Puckett, "The Cat Came Back" (Columbia 15656-D, 1931; rec. 1930) (Decca 5442, 1937)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, "And The Cat Came Back" (instrumental) (Challenge 307, 1927; Silvertone 8179, 1928)

NOTES [94 words]: Spaeth, in A History of Popular Music in America, p. 265, says that Harry S. Miller's version of this song was popular in 1893. (Spaeth once calls him "Henry S. Miller," but uses "Harry" thereafter.) The sheet music is copyrighted in this year and proclaims it "The Song that Beats 'McGinty,' and shows a cat with a paw in a sling and a bandage over an eye. The sheet music is in dialect, and has only two verses and a chorus somewhat different from the one I've heard.
Thanks to Jim Dixon for pointing out to me that Miller used the name "Harry," not "Henry." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.4
File: R444

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