Cats in Film 1: The Third Man and the Second Cat

Like any proper self-improvement program, the book Self Help for Cats of course has lots of successful cats populating its page, you know, good examples and role models, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, the images generated in Hollywood and other popular folklore aren’t always the “good role model” we want for our cats.

Cats in film are a fascinating bunch, and while I briefly cover cats in film in my book, I only just recently discovered a new example of a clever cat role, this in the classic black-and-white post-war drama, The Third Man. Unfortunately, upon second viewing of the cat’s pivotal performance, the scene wherein Kitty uncovers that Orson Welles’ character is alive, well, I smelled a fish.

There was something about the shot where the cat looks up and connects with the audience – it just didn’t match. And thanks to the magic of DVD, I discovered that they slipped in a second cat for that one shot! The pattern on the second cat’s face is clearly different from the kitty in all the other scenes. I could not hardly believe it! I had discovered that there was a second cat in The Third Man.

So here I am wondering about The Second Cat these many years since the film was made. I have my theories, of course, all of them inspired by the gritty intriguing underworld of post-war Vienna… probably the first cat is out running an illegal catnip ring after faking his own death. I’m open to other conspiracies and even factual accounts, as well, dear readers.

Have you any cats in film you want to share with Self Help for Cats? Together we can be vigilant watchdogs of cats’ public image, if you can forgive my using the “d” word there.

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Categories: books, cats, film, humor, humour, the book | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Cats in Film 1: The Third Man and the Second Cat

  1. red haired woman in the basement wrote:

    I love Pyewacket from Bell Book and Candle and the children’s book from the 60’s.

    There is a great cat in Steven King’s Cat’s Eye, starring little Drew Barrymore. Accused of stealing kids’ breath and being a “furry little bastard” he nonetheless saves the day. And of course there’s Thomasina.

    SHFC’s responds:
    >>Thanks, red, for sharing these famous cat characters in film and literature. I do recall seing Cat’s Eye, and that really is one of the most redeeming cat film roles ever put “in the can.” I’ll have to fill in the other gaps in my cat-culture knowledge posthaste.

  2. Annie

    I just watched “The Prestige” (for the second time … this is a movie you have to watch twice … take my word for it) and Nikola Tesla’s assistant’s black cat plays a very small but pivotal role in revealing exactly what The Machine does. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the movie for those of you who have not seen it. (It is, after all, a movie about magic and a mystery movie.)

    By the way, Tesla is played by David Bowie, who in his youth was rather a feline creature himself!

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