Gus is an old, frail cat. He has a lot of history, and as a result of being so old, he is rather vague and a little confused initially. As he gets into the flow of telling his story, he becomes more confident and outspoken, speaking out about "These kittens/who do not get trained as we did, in the days when Victoria reigned!" He sings about having a past of acting in shows, particularly as Growltiger.
Gus is the theatre cat – a fragile old cat who reminisces about his days of being an actor. A fantastic character actor/singer role. Strong high baritone/tenor to G# and very good movement skills a plus. Playing age 31 – 55.
Gus is the first cat we are introduced to in Act II of Cats where he and Jellylorum relate highlights of his career, contrasting his present state with his acting heyday. In that time, it was claimed, "He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree." He and Jellylorum stress in particular his creation of the role of Firefrorefiddle, the "Fiend of the Fell". Onstage he goes on to relate how he "Once played Growltiger, could do it again..." which leads into the "Growltiger's Last Stand" scene. In the Broadway Revival and subsequent US and UK productions, however, he plays the Rumpus Cat in "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles" instead.
In the 1998 film, Sir John Mills played Gus but was too elderly (he was blind by this time) to play more than a cameo role. This has led many fans to consider Gus, the frail elderly cat who has a solo, and his son, Asparagus, the avuncular ensemble cat, as different characters. Onstage Gus is played by the actor who also portrays Bustopher Jones and usually Growltiger.
Gus is a striped grey/brown tabby. His wig is predominantly grey and straggly and has small rolled ears. He wears a patched blanket as a coat that covers him entirely onstage, in order to disguise the Growltiger costume beneath.