Split Decision: Filmic Felines
Welcome back to Split Decision! Each week, we pose a question to our staff of knowledgable and passionate film geeks and share the responses! We may never know if it is legal to park in the center of Broad Street, but we’ll answer movie questions all day long. Chime in on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below!
This week’s question:
In honor of Captain Marvel's cat, Goose, who is your favorite filmic feline?
I love the name Pyewacket from Bell, Book, and Candle, but I am loyal to Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly and her cat, "cat" from Breakfast at Tiffany's. They are a couple of no-name slobs who belong to nobody and nobody belongs to them. But I'd still go out in the rain after both of them.
I've got to go with the nameless cat who serves as the wraparound device for the Stephen King anthology Cat's Eye. When you meet a cat, especially one of those unique "outdoor" cats, it's hard to shake the sense that the feline stranger has seen things, a notion made literal by the film's titular furball. This cat wanders in and out of three excellent horror shorts, serving first as a passive observer to each, only to become heavily involved by the end of the film...just like I'd imagine a cat would do in the real world.
I have to give it to my boy Ulysses Gorfeins, the cat from Inside Llewyn Davis. I'm more of a dog person, but can appreciate that the Gorfeins' cat, who memorably has a scrotum, fulfills all cat stereotypes. Our hero spends the movie wandering around, casually causing everybody stress, giving absolutely zero consideration to the trouble he's wreaking. I also just appreciate him as both a metaphor for Llewyn and example #100 of Llewyn's careless incompetence.
Oh my god, so many good picks for this one! But I have to tip my hat to DC, the Siamese feline informant in one of my favorite movies, That Darn Cat (1965). A rapscallion through and through, DC goes secret agent and helps the police locate the whereabouts of a kidnapped bank-teller. In addition to solving crimes, DC gets into other antics during this nightly prowls, including stealing roast ducks from porches, and charming the ladies (the film ends with DC and his new adorable family...neuter and spay your pets people!).
Originally I was going to pick Thackery Binx, the boy bewitched into cat form in Hocus Pocus, but since he is really human, I thought better.
And so Blofeld’s unnamed cat across several of the James Bond series. Nothing says unworried evil luxury like stroking a pure white cat while plotting world conquering.
Jonesy from Alien, obviously!
This one is a tie for me. The Demon Cat from Obayashi Nobuhiko's HAUSU (1977) and of course the Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro (1993). One cursed, one kind, both unforgettable. Honestly it's just hard to deal with a world of non-bus cats once you've seen the rapturous joy of riding in one.
If we're going the animated route, Danny T. Cat and his glamorous partner Sawyer in Cats Don't Dance. A supremely underrated kid's movie about animal abuse by big Hollywood studios and the struggle to become a singing and dancing wonder on the silver screen. Clip for proof of genius:
Sassy in the Homeward Bound series is the best live-action cat. She's voiced by Sally Field!
And we thought we’d share some of our own kitty companions, all named for things in the world of cinema:
This is Gary’s cat named Tsai after Tsai Ming-Liang:
Dan’s cat Loomis:
And Ryan and Jill’s cat Sofie, named for Sofia Coppola: