Hunting Lane Films
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps
Also Starring: Kitty, Chino
Directed by: Ryan Fleck
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) is an unconventional history teacher in an inner-city school struggling with drug addiction when he befriends Drey (Shareeka Epps), one of the girls on the school’s basketball team.
Kitty Cameos: Dan owns a tabby cat named Dave who is seen inside Dan’s apartment. Dan is seen holding and petting Dave and feeding him. It is clear his character, though troubled, cares deeply for the cat.
Kitty Carnage Warning! One day Dan scoops out some food into Dave’s bowl and calls him. When the cat doesn’t come, Dan looks for him and finds him dead on the floor. It’s unclear if Dave was supposed to have died from natural causes or from neglect. The deceased cat is not seen too clearly in the shot and was in reality a fake cat.
A short time later Dan talks to a drug dealer named Frank (Anthony Mackie) and tells him to stay away from Drey. After talking for a while, Frank invites Dan in for a drink. Dan sees a small white and black cat and picks it up. Frank tells him not to touch the cat and then stops him before Dan can bring it inside. Dan sets the cat down and Frank kicks at it, scaring it away.
The part of Dave was played by cat actor Kitty. But the role of the stray was improvised during filming when Ryan Gosling happened to spot the stray cat and picked it up, incorporating it into the scene. Reportedly the cat was later adopted by the film’s wardrobe supervisor and named Chino.
Final Mewsings: Drug dealers have no right to look down on cats.