Most Important Cat in Cinema

Holly Golightly and CatCats appear a lot in cinema… probably not as much as dogs but certainly more than lemurs, hamsters and tapirs when i comes to significant characters in the plots of movies. Dogs are the quadrapeds that dominate Hollywood partly because they can be trained much more easily, because human beings can rely on dogs as companions. Cats can buggar off if they like, they can sit and listen and participate or they can do their own thing. That is why cats are so interesting when they have a significant part to play in a film!

My top 3 feline film stars are all pivotal characters in their respective films (all female-led too). SPOILER ALERTS BELOW!!!

2nd Runner Up: Pouncer from Beaches starring Barbara Hershey and Bette Midler
Pouncer comes into the film relatively late along with Victoria (Hershey’s character, Hillary’s daughter). Pouncer comes into the story shortly before Hillary is diagnosed with a heart condition. Pouncer gives comfort to Victoria and is taken along to the family beach house with Midler’s character, C.C. as Hillary’s condition worsens. Now as a cat owner it is odd to see such a docile cat at the beach… cats are not normally seen on beaches, neither are they usually so limp and malleable which drives me to distraction in considering that the cat must have been drugged. Cat drugging aside, when Hillary dies she leaves both Victoria and Pouncer alone in the world. Hillary asked C.C. to be Victoria’s guardian and when C.C. asks if she would like to live with her, Victoria’s heartfelt response is “Can I bring my cat?”. C.C. says “Of course, you can bring any old thing you want.”

1st Runner Up: Ruby in Girl Interrupted starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie
Ruby is the cat that Rider’s character, Suzanna inherits after Ruby’s owner (played by Britany Murphy) commits suicide in her new home after taunting from Jolie’s character, Lisa. Lisa scrams and Suzanna takes Ruby home to the hospital. Ruby comes with Suzanna and Lisa on an illegal rampage around the bowels of the hospital along with the other patients late one night accumulating in Lisa’s breakdown and Suzanna’s revelation. Suzanna is released and so gives Ruby to Polly (the sensitive, animal loving burn-victim) which is touching as Polly now has someone to love and love her unconditionally.

Winner: Cat in Breakfast at Tiffanys starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard
Cat, Hepburn’s Holly Golightly claims, is what she is – a wild thing, nobody belongs to a wild thing. Its a no good slob. Cat provides comedy at Golightly’s party and he appears throughout the film sleeping in interesting places. When Golightly comes out of a short spell in jail Peppard’s character Paul Varjak has to break it to her that her suitor, a Brazilian heir, is no longer interested in her. Varjak is in love with Golightly but her reaction to her rejection is drastic and she throws Cat out of the taxi! Varjak does not play up to her histrionics and throws the Cracker-Jack ring (engraved at Tifffanys) he had been keeping for her in her lap and gets out the cab. Golightly tearfully slides the ring onto her ring finger and realises the error of her ways and chases after the only two things that she loves – Varjak and Cat! Golightly finds Varjak in an alley calling out for Cat (idiot, anybody knows a cat doesn’t respond to hearing its name and in a jungle of boxes and trash cans there is no way it is going to sculk out into the rain). Varjak looks up and Golightly asks him, “Where’s the cat?” She hurries about the alley looking for him and just when you think there’s no hope, a little “Miaow” calls out from inside a box! Golightly gathers the cat up and goes to Varjak, her life complete and anchored for the first time.

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