Category Archives: Reality Cat

West of Memphis (2012)

West of Memphis poster

WingNut Films
Directed by:
 Amy Berg

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

Synopsis: Compelling documentary about the conviction of three teenaged boys in the murders of three younger boys which came into question years later when new evidence came to light.

Reality Cat: During footage of the newly released Damien Echols in New York, he is seen picking up and petting a long-haired white cat in a shop.

West of Memphis - Damien Echols holding long-haired white cat in New York shop

West of Memphis - Damien Echols holding long-haired white cat in New York shop

Final Mewsings: Cats are happy when justice is done.


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Cat Show – Olympia (1969)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Many cats are showcased at the National Championship Cat Show, Olympia in 1969.

Reality Cats: A newsreel segment from British Pathé shows many lovely cats featured in the show, which drew more entries that year than ever before. First shown is a Seal Point Siamese Champion named Redleaf Benni.

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - Siamese cat Redleaf Benni

Two Devon Rex cats are then then showcased.

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - Devon Rex cat

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - Devon Rex cat close up

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - Devon Rex cat

Champion White Persian Coylum Marcus is then seen. The cat was worth 2,000 pounds, winning a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive, and even had his own security guard.

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - white Persian champion cat Coylum Marcus being held

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - white Persian champion cat Coylum Marcus close up

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - white Persian champion cat Coylum Marcus being put in cage by security guard

Some Persian kittens are then seen being held and petted.

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - black and white Persian kittens

Finally a “well-preserved” nineteen year old cat is shown, the oldest cat at the show.

Cat Show Olympia 1969 - 19 year old tabby cat

Final Mewsings: Every cat is a champion in their own way.


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Mammals Are Interesting (1953)

Encyclopedia Britannica Films

Synopsis: An educational film all about mammals.

Reality Cats: When the subject of mammals having hair is introduced, footage of a long-haired tabby cat mama with her kittens is shown.

Mammals Are Interesting - tabby kitten cleaning itself

Mammals Are Interesting - tabby kitten looking at camera

Mammals Are Interesting - mama tabby cat with kittens

Mammals Are Interesting - mama tabby cat cleaning kitten

Mammals Are Interesting - mama tabby cat cleaning kitten

Later the discussion of carnivores includes footage of a Siamese cat playing with a ball of string as the narrator explains how they have sharp claws to catch their food.

Mammals Are Interesting - Siamese cat looking at ball of string

Mammals Are Interesting - Siamese cat looking at ball of string

Mammals Are Interesting - Siamese cat playing with ball of string

Final Mewsings: Cats wish they had claws sharp enough to open tuna cans!


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A Pigeon Gets a Medal (1946)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows a carrier pigeon named G.I. Joe who receives a medal for delivering a message through artillery bombardment in Italy during World War II.

Reality Cat: At the end of the newsreel segment a tabby cat (identified as the Tower of London’s tabby) sits watching the proceedings as the narrator explains, “For some folk he’s still just a pigeon.”

Pigeon Gets a Medal - Tower of London tabby cat sitting by

Final Mewsings: The cat was thinking just one word . . . “Squab!”


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June Lockhart and her swimming cat, George

“What Do You Know?  George is a Swimmer!”
Thus proclaimed ad copy accompanying some photos taken for an Associated Press piece at the home of actress June Lockhart in April 1963 of her pet cat, George, who apparently enjoyed taking a dip in the Lockhart family pool. AP Photographer David F. Smith was on hand to snap images of June and George as they swam about the pool.

June Lockhart and her swimming cat George

This copy accompanied the above photo:

HOLLYWOOD – April 24, 1963 – George, a cat owned by actress June Lockhart and her family, goes for a swim yesterday with his owner in the family pool in Hollywood. George is one of five cats owned by the actress and her husband, architect John Lindsay, and their two daughters. The youngsters were instrumental in getting George’s feet wet for the first time. Now he seems to enjoy a daily dip in the pool with the family. Miss Lockhart plays the role of the mother in the television series, ‘Lassie,’ which goes into its eighth year on the air next season.” (AP Wirephoto)

June’s other cats were named Jenny, Lavinia, Charlie and Tusla Ruby (a stray they picked up in Tulsa, Oklahoma.)

Most newspapers ran the photo with an abbreviated version of the story, such as this:

April 25, 1963 – George, the swimming cat, enjoys a dip in the pool and even lets actress June Lockhart paddle along with him. Miss Lockhart claims title to the Hollywood pool, but she and George both know it really belongs to him.

Later that year, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune ran a longer story about George in their June 15th issue:

CAT LIKES WARM POOL
June Lockhart’s Feline Wins Swimming Contest
By Joseph Finnegan

    HOLLYWOOD (UPI) – We had a swimming race with June Lockhart’s aquatic cat “George” the other day and lost.
      George seemed like a pussy cat possessed as he streaked along the water, all four paws feverishly clawing up a wake.
      It’s not easy to lose gracefully to a swimming feline, but it should be pointed out that Miss Lockhart’s cat gets plenty of practice in the actress’ hot water pool.
      Most humans don’t have a hot water pool, let alone a cat.
      George, a two-year-old cat with a hint of Persian in his background and little else, is the pride of Miss Lockhart’s household zoo which consists of two dogs and four other kitties who don’t dare go near the water.
      They look at George with stars in their eyes, not to mention a bit of wonderment when he joins June for a paddle around the pool.
      “I’m sure George could go the whole length of this 45-foot pool if he paced himself,” bragged Miss Lockhart as she dried off the winner.
      “George’s motivation is quite simple. He wants to get on the other side. That’s the same with all of us.”
      Miss Lockhart, who plays the mother on CBS-TV’s “Lassie,” said the cat’s swimming victory marked its debut in competition.
      “I don’t know what we call his stroke,” she said. “It’s certainly not the dog paddle. I guess you could call it the cat paddle. This was his first freestyle open competition. Actually, though, George is nothing with his backstroke.”
      The pretty actress, wearing a fetching black bathing suit, joined George for his first race. The cat was understandably nervous when he saw a photographer alongside the pool waiting to record the winner.
George might be a good swimmer, but Miss Lockhart admitted he’s no good as a mouse catcher.
      That’s probably because he spends all his time hanging around the pool.
      One fact is certain, Miss Lockhart has the most mouse free swimming pool in Hollywood.

Another photo shows June drying off George with a hair dryer after the swim:

June Lockhart and her swimming cat George

Click here to see more of David F. Smith’s images from the photo shoot on Corbis Images

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