Señor Don Gato

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"Señor Don Gato" is a children's song about a cat who is sitting on a roof when he discovers that his true love has agreed to marry him. In his excitement, he falls off and injures himself. The veterinarian is unable to save him and he dies. However, as his funeral procession passes through the market, the scent of fish from the market is so strong that he returns to life.

This English version, by Margaret Marks, is familiar to generations of school-age children in North America due to its inclusion in Making Music Your Own, Grade 3 (copyright 1964 by the Silver Burdett Company). The lyrics are loosely translated from the traditional Spanish song "Estaba el señor Don Gato",[1] but the melody is from a different song, "Ahora Que Vamos Despacio".[2][3] There is also a French version of "Estaba el señor Don Gato" called "Monsieur le Chat".[4]


Oh, Señor Don Gato was a cat,
On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
He went there to read a letter,
Meow, meow, meow
Where the reading light was better,
Meow, meow, meow
It was a love note for Don Gato.

"I adore you," wrote the lady cat
Who was fluffy, white, and nice and fat.
There was not a sweeter kitty
Meow, meow, meow
In the country or the city
Meow, meow, meow
And she said she'd wed Don Gato.

Oh, Senor Don Gato jumped with glee,
He fell off the roof and broke his knee.
Broke his ribs and all his whiskers,
Meow, meow, meow
And his little solar plexus,
Meow, meow, meow>
"¡Ay caramba!" cried Don Gato.

Then the doctors all came on the run,
Just to see if something could be done.
And they held a consultation,
Meow, meow, meow
About how to save their patient,
Meow, meow, meow
How to save Señor Don Gato.

But in spite of everything they tried,
Poor Señor Don Gato up and died.
Oh it wasn't very merry,
Meow, meow, meow
Going to the cemetery,
Meow, meow, meow
For the ending of Don Gato.

As the funeral passed the market square,
Such a smell of fish was in the air.
Though the burial was slated,
Meow, meow, meow
He became re-animated,
Meow, meow, meow
He came back to life, Don Gato.

In popular culture[edit]

Señor Don Gato is sung in the film The Loneliest Planet.[5]

A cat called "Señor Don Gato" appears in the video game Neko Atsume.


  1. ^ "Spanish lyrics for "Estaba el señor Don Gato" with literal English translation".
  2. ^ "Recording by Boikot of "Ahora que vamos espacio""., with the group's own lyrics
  3. ^ "Spanish traditional lyrics for "Ahora Que Vamos Despacio" with literal English translation".
  4. ^ "Side-by-side comparison of Spanish lyrics for "Estaba el señor Don Gato" and French lyrics for "Monsieur le Chat"".
  5. ^ "Eye For Film: Director Julia Loktev talks about shooting The Loneliest Planet".