Title: Ginger the Cat
Age: "The prime of his life"
Species: Talking Cat
Physical Description: A big ginger tom-cat
First Appearance: The Last Battle, Ch. 1 (1954)
~ The Last Battle ~ (1956)Aslan arriving in Narnia, all manner of Narnians flock to Stable Hill to try to see him, Ginger the Cat among them. Shift the Ape tells the Narnians that Aslan is very angry with them and has chosen to ally himself and Narnia with Calormen. Shift goes on to assert that Aslan and Tash (the god of the Calormenes) are one and the same. Ginger asks the Calormene commander Rishda Tarkaan if he agrees with Shift and when Rishda affirms the "Tashlan" claim, Ginger is satisfied with the answer. Ginger then begins to take part in the schemes of Shift and Rishda Tarkaan, inventing new lies to corroborate theirs (like claiming that he saw Aslan angrily swallow Tirian whole). As Shift begins to lose control of the situation, the fate of Narnia falls into the power of Ginger and Rishda, with Shift becoming their puppet. When the Narnians start muttering that it is all a trick and there is nothing in the Stable after all, Ginger boldly announces that he will look upon the face of Tashlan willingly (in order to give credence to the plot). But when Ginger walks through the Stable door, he looks upon the face of the real Tash. Ginger flies out of the Stable hissing and spitting and runs up a tree. The Narnians try to question him about what he saw, but Ginger has become a dumb beast and cannot answer. He climbs farther up the tree and is never seen again.
Ginger the Cat is the ultimate traitor, a quisling who collaborates with the enemy for personal gain. Like other famous turncoats, Ginger eventually turns on his fellow traitors, as he plans with Rishda to control Shift. Ginger exhibits the worst traits associated with his species, as he uses his intelligence to manipulate others. Because Ginger is able to keep his head when everyone else is panicking, he exudes a haughty, cool assurance the night he enters the Stable. It is a fitting judgment on Ginger that he should be punished by becoming a dumb animal; he who had used his abilities so wrongly was deprived of them instantly.
The character of Ginger is named after a real cat which lived at The Kilns with the Lewis family. He was a big ginger tomcat, an imperious beast who regarded humans as his personal staff. It was with Ginger in mind that Jack once remarked, "Dogs think, 'they pet me and feed me, they must be gods.' While cats think, 'they pet me and feed me, I must be God.'"
- "I just wanted to know exactly what we both meant today about Aslan meaning no more than Tash. ... You mean that there's no such person as either." (LB, Ch. 6)
- "Do you, like me, grow a little weary of the Ape?" (LB, Ch. 6)
- Paul Ewing: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
- Janet Maw: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia