A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

Bertha's Kitty Boutique script
Saturday, June 4, 2005

Garrison Keillor: ...and now let's bring up El Cid the Performance Cat (MEOW) and his trainer Sue Scott.

Sue Scott: Up! On the stool! (MEOW, CRACK OF WHIP) Up! (CAT LEAPS UP, MEOW) Good boy. On your hind legs. Up! Up! (CAT GROWL) Good boy! (WHIP) On your front paws! (MEOW) Come on! Handstand! (MEOW) Paws down! (WHIP) Legs up! Up! (WHIP) Good boy! Sit. (MEOW) Turn around and sit down. Good. (CAT MEOW, BREATHING HARD)

GK: Quite a cat, Sue Scott.

SS: Thank you.

GK: And yet six months ago El Cid was an ordinary house cat, lounging on the sofa, shedding, eating houseplants, scarfing up the tuna, gagging on hairballs—

SS: Yes. That is correct.

GK: What's made the difference?

SS: Discipline. And using the correct hand signals.

GK: I noticed your hand signals were very precise...

SS: The hands speak a language.

GK: Yours certainly do.

SS: Once you learn the language, your cat can do anything my cat can do. It's all in the hands.

GK: So what else does El Cid do?

SS: Right now, we're going to bring in this chicken. (CHICKEN) We'll put him up on this chair. (CHICKEN FLURRY) We'll put a cigarette in the chicken's mouth. (CHICKEN) We'll light the cigarette. (LIGHTER) Inhale. (CHICKEN) Good. Exhale. (CHICKEN EXHALE, COUGH) And now we'll give El Cid this loaded revolver and he'll shoot the cigarette out of the chicken's mouth. (CHICKEN FLURRY) Stay! Stay! (CHICKEN FEAR) Stay! Stand still! (CHICKEN GROAN) Okay, El Cid. Ready? (CHICKEN MOAN) Steady. (GUNSHOT, CHICKEN ALARM)

GK: And he did it. Shot the cigarette out of the chicken's mouth.

SS: See that man in the audience with the can of Budweiser? El Cid will shoot that can right out of his hand. (GUNSHOT, METALLIC TWANG) Good boy.

GK: I didn't think anyone in L.A. drank domestic beer.

SS: And now he'll dive off the platform and through this flaming hoop (POOF OF FLAME) and into the reflecting pool— Go! (CAT MEOW, DIVE, SPLASH)

GK: The performing cat El Cid — your cat too can learn tricks with a pamphlet on "The Language of Hands" from Bertha's Kitty Boutique.


Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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