Edison Manufacturing Company
Directed by: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise
Synopsis: Two cats go paw to paw in a boxing ring in this very early Edison experimental film.
Cinema Cats: Likely the first cat actors to ever appear on screen, the two cats “boxing” in this film were featured performers in Professor Welton’s vaudeville show, and the boxing match was one of their routines. According to reports, the cats in his stage show also turned somersaults, walked through fire and rode bicycles. One wonders how he made the cats do all of these tricks. But the boxing cats bit, as filmed for posterity, is clearly achieved by the cats being manipulated by Professor Welton (seen in the background pulling the cats back up by their harnesses into a standing position whenever they fall over.) Fortunately the cats’ paws are covered with gloves and they don’t seem particularly hostile towards one another, so this was obviously staged as a friendly demonstration match.
Final Mewsings: Cats would rather play in boxes than be boxers.