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Large catbus in museum exhibit.
The Catbus (ネコバス Nekobasu) (referred to in the film as ねこのバス, Neko no basu) is a character in the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is a large creature, depicted as a grinning male cat with a hollow body that serves as a bus, complete with windows and seats coated with fur, and a large bushy tail. The character's popularity has led to its use in a spinoff film, toys for children, an art car, and being featured in a museum, among other products and influences.
Character description 
A door magically appears when a person would like to board it to travel. With its multiple caterpillar-like legs, it runs, flies, bounces, and hops across forests and lakes to reach its destination, making whole rice fields sway in its wake. Its eyes shine a yellow light brightly like headlamps to guide it. Mice with glowing eyes suspended next to its destination sign on its forehead and from its rear serve as tail lights. It is visibly male.
With its large elongated smile and its ability to appear and disappear at will, the Catbus is reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. Often used to transport Totoros, in the film it makes an exception to help O-Totoro, the main Totoro, who is also the biggest. O-Totoro calls the Catbus and asks it to help Satsuki find her lost sister Mei. As Satsuki boards it, its destination sign changes to "Mei." After the sisters are reunited, the Catbus volunteers to whisk Mei and Satsuki over the countryside to see their hospitalized mother. After Satsuki and Mei return home, the Catbus finally leaves them, its body fading into the evening shadows.
In popular culture 
- The Catbus was also featured in the short 20-minute film Mei and the Kittenbus, which is shown only in the Ghibli Museum. In the film Mei, the younger sister, meets the child of the original Catbus, which is simply named Kittenbus. It is just large enough to fit Mei inside, and can only stir up dust devils. They fly into the forest with many other cat-based vehicles, including different types of catbuses and cattrains, which are carrying Totoro and many other forest spirits to a catliner, which is depicted as an ancient cat. Mei meets O-Totoro and befriends the catliner, before returning in the kittenbus to her home.
- The Catbus was used in a custom map in the popular FPS game Team Fortress 2. The map was loosely based on Mario Kart. In the map, the Catbus circles around the outer edge of the map. It is used as a means of transportation in-game, and as a popular sniping spot.
See also 
Further reading 
External links