Wednesday, November 2, 2022

cat daddies

Terrible title, but a great movie if you like cats. B. found a blurb for this online, and forwarded it to me, and when I found it was playing in the City, a block from one of my favorite BART stations (the one next to the great burrito place, where I of course stopped for food on the way in), I decided to go.

It's a series of documentary interviews with about ten men who have cats. With plenty of footage of the cats, of course. Men from around the US, mostly men with pretty traditionally masculine lives, some of whom were a bit surprised to find themselves cat people. A truck driver who's taken his cat to 45 states. An outdoorsman who takes his cat hiking. An entire fire station full of men who've adopted a cat they found behind the station. It lives in the bay with the fire engines - doesn't like to come inside - but knows enough to get out of the way when the engines head out. A shaved-head bruiser of a stunt man whose girlfriend, a fellow stunt performer, fell for him when he sent her a photo of him cradling his cat, a 25-pound Maine Coon. (That men having cats will impress women is a minor but continuing theme in this movie. Don't hold your breath waiting for incels to notice this.) The founder and CEO of a cat neuter-and-release nonprofit in Brooklyn, who got the idea from walking the streets and seeing all these feral cats around, and who gives most of the film's narration about the virtues of cat ownership.

But the most touching part is a series of segments tracing events in the life of a homeless man in Manhattan who rescued a dying kitten he found and nursed it back to health, and has become utterly devoted to this cat. Then he had to go in the hospital for several months for a series of operations; fortunately he'd befriended a woman, a secretary who worked in the area he hung out, who volunteered to take the cat in while he was hospitalized. I hope their friendship survived the scratches from her cat that he's tsking over on his cat when we last see them.

Most of the cats are disconcertingly placid. But some like to ride on their humans' shoulders or lick their faces, things that Tybalt does to me. So I know I'm not alone in having a cat who does that.

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