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Cats! In! Space! A Mostly Fictional History of Interstellar Felines

By / 06.23.10

The Klaxons came out with a new album last week. Who are the Klaxons, you ask? I don’t know. But their album cover looks like this:

That’s a cat in a space suit, ladies and gentlemen. Now, I’m a simple man with simple tastes: I like women in bikinis, beer with my football, and pictures of cats wearing clothes on the Internet. And as soon as I saw Astro Cat there, I knew I’d witnessed something special. Look at him: so brave, so serious, so heavily whiskered. He is a slicker, smarter version of this poorly Photoshopped Space Cat that has made the rounds for ages:

Pffft, what a joke. That cat doesn’t look like it has any interest in taking space travel seriously. Not like the Klaxons’ Astro Cat.

Now, the Internet has long been obsessed with the notion of cats in space. Up until this point, the only known cat to have been to space was FĂ©licette, a French feline who traveled 100 miles into space in 1963. But in this UPROXX EXCLUSIVE, a series of photographs only recently uncovered prove that Astro Cat has a long and glorious history of space travel — a career he parlayed into acting. Here is his history:

1963:Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space by piloting a three-day mission in orbit. What historians have only just learned is that she was the first crazy cat lady in space as well, as she brought along a young star from the USSR’s pawsmonaut program.

Astro Cat became an instant star, far exceeding the fame that FĂ©licette achieved. After gaining wealth and contacts in NATO countries, Astro Cat defected to the United States in early 1965 with a daring midnight escape through a tunnel in East Berlin. He was welcomed warmly in America, where he discussed his fondness for cinema and his intent to pursue an acting career.

1968: Astro Cat scores his first leading role, in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The critical perception was cold — “He meows all of his lines” was a common complaint — and A.C. would never again headline a movie.

1983: Astro Cat, realizing he’d never break free from being typecast as the “space-traveling feline,” accepted a minor role in The Right Stuff.

1986: Most Americans remember who’ve seen SpaceCamp will remember Joaquin Phoenix as the youngest of the astronauts, but his scenes were re-shot with Astro Cat for international screens after Phoenix was deemed “too ethnic.”

Rumors of an affair with co-star Lea Thompson helped launch Thompson’s career, while A.C.’s friendship with Tate Donovan continues to this day: Astro Cat guest starred as Jimmy Cooper’s roommate on “The O.C.” It was a dead-end Season 1 arc, before Jimmy lived on a boat.

1995: Astro Cat co-starred in Apollo 13, making him the shortest link to Tate Donovan in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

1998: Armageddon. Oh, this was a tear-jerker. Who could forget when Michael Clarke Duncan died in Astro Cat’s paws?

2009: Avatar. TRUE FACT: The natives of Pandora were supposed to look like humanized dogs until Astro Cat auditioned for the role of Jake Sully’s bisexual best friend, opening up the possibility for a love triangle that James Cameron hadn’t previously envisioned.

After the commercial and critical success of the movie, Astro Cat sought to bookend his career with a second shot at true space travel. Amazingly, his half-Jewish heritage earned him a trip in a joint American-Israeli mission…

…which earned him a spot in the annals of NASA history:

True story.

(NOTE: Most of these Photoshops were first featured on my Tumblr, RoboShark)

TAGSAstro CatCatsKlaxonsNASAPhotoshopsSpace

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