Wednesday, September 9, 2009

MOVIE: Cat Ladies

When cats mean "meow" to you than people.

CAT LADIES is a one hour verité documentary that unravels the real story behind the oft-ridiculed 'cat lady' - a cultural stereotype and figure of ridicule for women of a certain age with too many furry companions. Through the intimate portrait of four unique 'cat ladies' we create a sensitive and emotionally honest portrait of women whose lives and self-worth have become intractably linked to cats.

It's not the number of cats that defines someone as a 'cat lady', but rather their attachment, or non-attachment, to human beings. They create a world with their cats in which they are accepted and in control - a world where they ultimately have value.

Cat Ladies

Margot's universe revolves round her three cats – Bongo, Fritz and Little One. She skips work to stay at home with them and has re-designed her entire apartment to accommodate them. But the love and connection she gets from her cats is also getting in the way of her developing any relationships with human beings - and it's only through tragedy that she can glimpse an alternative.


In her mid 30s, Jenny appears to have it all – an attractive, fiercely independent sales agent with her own home that she just happens to share with 16 cats. It's not that she wouldn't want to find a partner or have children, but the experiences she endured as a child have prevented her from having healthy adult relationships. Jenny knows she's on the cusp of becoming "the Crazy Cat Lady". All it would take is a few more cats…

Cat Ladies

Diane is a vivacious former banker whose early and un-wanted retirement turned her to a life of saving cats from the streets. Now, she's sharing her home with 123 felines and when she's not feeding, cleaning and nursing them she's feeding and trapping feral cats in the wild. Diane wants to stop – but the thought of a cat starving or suffering breaks her heart. It's also ruining her health, sucking her bank account dry and alienating her from friends and family.

Cat Ladies

Sigi is on a mission to save cats. Like Diane, she's turned her house over to hundreds of the furry creatures, but unlike Diane she's unapologetic about her choices. If women like her didn't take matters into their own hands, who else would? Sigi's mission isn't one that her neighbours are buying into – the acrid smell and noise is an intolerable toll on anyone living close by – but Sigi's been a fighter all her life and being on the margins only makes her more defiant.

Women like Margot, Jenny, Diane and Sigi are easily dismissed as "crazy cat ladies", but these women deal with the issues that all of us face to some degree – alienation, loss and loneliness in a society that devalues the "different".