In the pantheon of cartoon cats, only a handful stand out as true legends. Sylvester’s adventures with Tweety are of course legendary, and Garfield would certainly have his visage carved into the Mount Rushmore of animated felines (likely alongside Felix, Cheetara from “Thundercats” and Gargamel’s pet kitty Azrael on “The Smurfs”). But though the exploits of all those cats will live on, do any of them have a song that sat on top of the Billboard Hot 100? MC Skat Kat does, as on this day in 1990, his tag-team smash with Paula Abdul “Opposites Attract” found itself in just such a position.
“Opposites Attract” was one of the centerpiece tracks of Abdul’s 1988 debut album Forever Your Girl. It was also the last of four singles to take the top spot on the Hot 100, as “Straight Up,” “Forever Your Girl” and “Cold Hearted” all made their way to the top of the heap. The actual male vocals on “Opposites Attract” were handled by Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, a duo who called themselves the Wild Pair. But when it came to the public face of “Opposites Attract” (including the famous video, which found itself in extremely heavy rotation on MTV), it was all about MC Skat Kat.
Created by Michael Patterson (one of the animators responsible for a-ha’s groundbreaking video for “Take On Me”) and animated by a team from Disney lead by Chris Bailey (who worked on “The Lion King,” “The Littler Mermaid” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks”), MC Skat Kat became something of a cultural phenomenon for a few years. In fact, MC Skat Kat was so popular that he inspired an entire album called The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob, still the only rap album recorded by a cartoon cat. That album wasn’t much of a success, but “Opposites Attract” lives on.