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.