Category Archives: Kitty Cameo

Musical Monday bannerThe Harvey Girls (1946)

The Harvey Girls poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Judy Garland, Marjorie Main
Directed by: George Sidney

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A train full of beautiful women arrive in a small western town to work as waitresses at a Harvey House restaurant franchise.

Kitty Cameo: In one scene a woman named Sonora Cassidy (Marjorie Main), who is in charge of all the women, is seen opening a window and putting out an orange and white tabby cat. “Good night, Arabella,” Sonora says to the cat, which is not seen again.

The Harvey Girls - Sonora Cassidy Marjorie Main carrying orange and white tabby cat Arabella to window

The Harvey Girls - Sonora Cassidy Marjorie Main putting orange and white tabby cat Arabella out through window

The Harvey Girls - Sonora Cassidy Marjorie Main putting orange and white tabby cat Arabella out through window animated gif

Final Mewsings: If you put a cat out, sometimes it decides to stay out permanently!

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this film!


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The Hand (1981)

The Hand poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Michael Caine, Mara Hobel
Directed by: Oliver Stone

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Jonathan Lansdale (Michael Caine) is a cartoonist who loses his hand in a freak accident and then thinks he’s losing his mind when his disembodied hand haunts his life.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the film Jonathan is at his country home with his wife Anne (Andrea Marcovicci) and daughter Lizzie (Mara Hobel). He notices Lizzie poking at something with a stick. A black cat is in the background.

The Hand - black cat Amanda in background behind Lizzie Mara Hobel

Lizzie is poking at a lizard’s tail which is moving each time she pushes the stick closer. The black cat is eating the rest of the lizard by a tree.

The Hand - black cat Amanda eating lizard by tree

As they contemplate the wriggling appendage, the black cat suddenly pounces on the tail and devours it, then runs away. Lizzie calls after the cat, “Amanda!”

The Hand - black cat Amanda eating lizard's tail

The Hand - black cat Amanda running away

The Hand - black cat Amanda jumping on lizard's tail and eating it then running away Lizzie Mara Hobel Jonathan Michael Caine animated gif

After the accident, Jonathan is in his studio attempting to draw with his left hand. He hears a noise behind him and looks but nothing is there. Suddenly Amanda leaps out of nowhere onto the drawing board and hisses violently.

The Hand - black cat Amanda hissing

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Amanda then inexplicably turns and dashes through the glass window with a crash.

The Hand - black cat Amanda going through window with Jonathan Michael Caine

The Hand - black cat Amanda going through window with Jonathan Michael Caine animated gif

This scene is repeated later in the film as a memory in black and white. It is never explains exactly what happened to Amanda or if she survived the crash through the window, although in the context of the film her fate could be deduced. But we won’t give spoilers here.

The Hand - black cat Amanda hissing in black and white

In the DVD commentary track, director Oliver Stone explained that the shot of the cat leaping through the window was difficult to achieve using a mechanical spring cat matched to the real cat actor who had to jump on the table and then turn and run in the right direction. “Working with animals and getting the stunt right is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in the films. So to get a cat to jump in the correct manner and scare somebody is not easy.”

Final Mewsings: Oliver Stone wasn’t content with just one spring-loaded cat!


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Chamber of Horrors (1966)

Chamber of Horrors poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Patrick O’Neal, Wayne Rogers
Directed by: Hy Averback

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A seriously demented killer named Cravatte (Patrick O’Neal) is on the loose with an obsession for women in wedding dresses.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the film a tabby cat is sitting next to a player piano which is playing a roll of music.

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting on piano stool by player piano

The rolls gets to the end and rewinds. The cat seems unfazed by this sudden noise.

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting on piano stool by player piano

The piano is the background music for a wedding taking place betweem Cravatte and his murdered victim, performed at gunpoint by a very unwilling minister. The cat is watching this from the piano stool (note how the music roll changes positions between cuts).

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting on piano stool by player piano

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting on piano stool by player piano

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting on piano stool by player piano

Eventually the minister tells the police and Police Sgt. Jim Albertson (Wayne Rogers) arrives at the house to find the tabby cat sitting next to the dead women, whom Cravatte has laid out in her wedding dress.

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting next to body of dead woman on bed

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting next to body of dead woman on bed being checked by Police Sgt. Jim Albertson Wayne Rogers

The cat remains mostly aloof and sleepy-looking as Albertson does a quick check, only leaning over to sniff at the Sergeant’s hand once. In the end the Sergeant briefly touches the cat before the scene ends.

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting next to body of dead woman on bed being checked by Police Sgt. Jim Albertson Wayne Rogers

Chamber of Horrors - tabby cat sitting next to body of dead woman on bed being checked by Police Sgt. Jim Albertson Wayne Rogers

Final Mewsings: Cats are apparently bored by both murder and player pianos.

Many thanks to Ted Davis for letting us know about the cat in this movie.


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The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

The Spiderwick Chronicles poster

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger
Directed by: Mark Waters

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: The Grace family moves into the dilapidated mansion belonging to a relative where the children soon discover a secret world surrounds them.

Kitty Cameo: The children consist of an older sister named Mallory (Sarah Bolger) and two twin boys, Jared and Simon (both played by Freddie Highmore). Simon owns an orange tabby cat named Mr. Tibbs. The cat is first seen when the mother and Simon enter the house with Simon carrying the cat and assuring him that it’s okay.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - Simon Freddie Highmore holding orange tabby cat Tibbs in doorway

Jared soon discovers a secret room with a book belonging to the former resident named Spiderwick. After a scare, Jared rushes into his bedroom and awakens his brother. Mr. Tibbs is sleeping on the bed and doesn’t move at all. It would appear a stuffed cat was used during these scenes.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs sleeping on Simon's bed as Jared Freddie Highmore tries to wake him up

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs still sleeping on Simon's bed as Jared Freddie Highmore walks away

This theory plays out when the boys later hear their sister screaming and Simon sits upright in bed suddenly yet Mr. Tibbs still doesn’t move!

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs sleeping on Simon's bed as Simon Freddie Highmore sits up quickly

Later Jared and his sister are fighting and come down the stairs. Simon is holding Mr. Tibbs and they both looks up.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs with Simon Freddie Highmore on chair

As the plot progresses and things become difficult, Jared learns some distressing news. As he does, his sister and brother stand by sympathetically. Simon picks up Mr. Tibbs from the table.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs held by Simon Freddie Highmore behind Mallory Sarah Bolger

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs held by Simon Freddie Highmore behind Mallory Sarah Bolger

Knowing that they have to locate Spiderwick, Jared notices Mr. Tibbs and it gives him an idea.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - closer of orange tabby cat Tibbs held by Simon

Oddly enough in the close up shot Mr. Tibbs has a very distinguishing brown mark on his nose, but in other scenes with the cat this mark is not there. Mr. Tibbs is not seen again throughout the film.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs held by Simon Freddie Highmore with Jared and Mallory Sarah Bolger

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs held by Simon Freddie Highmore with Jared and Mallory Sarah Bolger

The Spiderwick Chronicles - orange tabby cat Tibbs held by Simon Freddie Highmore with Jared and Mallory Sarah Bolger

Final Mewsings: Cat actors appreciate good continuity.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this film!


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Next of Kin (1989)

Next of Kin poster

Lorimar Film Entertainment
Starring:
 Patrick Swayze, Liam Neeson
Directed by: John Irvin

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Chicago police officer Truman Gates (Patrick Swayze) finds himself reacquainted with his hillbilly roots when one brother is murdered and his other brother Briar (Liam Neeson) arrives to seek justice.

Kitty Cameos: After his brother’s death, Truman travels to the hills for the funeral. Outside his family’s home, a white cat is seen walking down the steps, pausing to look at the dog lying there.

Next of Kin - white cat walking down steps outside wooden house and looking at dog

Next of Kin - white cat walking down steps outside wooden house and looking at dog

Later in the film Briar breaks into a vending machine rental company looking for the men who killed his brother. A gray tuxedo cat is lying on the floor inside the door and remains there, seemingly more interested in what’s on the other side of the doorway than the man breaking in.

Next of Kin - gray and white tuxedo cat looking at door

Next of Kin - gray and white tuxedo cat looking at doorway as Briar Liam Neeson sneaks by

Next of Kin - gray and white tuxedo cat looking at doorway as Briar Liam Neeson walks away

This same cat is seen some time later on a security monitor as the bad guys track Briar’s progress into the building.

Next of Kin - gray and white tuxedo cat on security camera monitor

Next of Kin - gray and white tuxedo cat on security camera monitor

Final Mewsings: And hence the cat was never able to obtain another security guard job.


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