Several years ago, I wrote the definitive Guide to Animal Movies. It’s out of print now, but you can still get it on Kindle. The book covers all kinds of four-footed stars—from ferrets to felines, and everything furry thing in-between.
When I released the book, I was especially happy to be able to put the spotlight on cat movies. Dogs and horses usually get the lion’s share when it comes to screen time. I even added a sidebar interview with my mom (Nancy Bacon) because as a young starlet in Hollywood in the 1960s, she had modeled with Zamba the lion (Fluffy) and Sir Tom the cougar (Disney’s The Cat).
Sometimes I wish I could do a sequel or an addendum to Animal Movies Guide. But, this blog is it for now.
I saw a really sweet cat movie recently. It’s called A Street Cat Named Bob, and it’s based on the internationally bestselling book of the same name. When street musician James Bowen (played by Harry Treadaway) finds a stray ginger tom curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he has no idea how much his life is about to change. James is living hand to mouth on the streets of London, barely making enough money to feed himself, and the last thing he needs is a pet. But sometimes we don’t know what we really need—as the story unfolds, James and Bob teach each other valuable life lessons about the power of friendship. (The DVD comes out on May 9.)
Although I (probably) won’t be writing a sequel to my animal movies book, I do have a lot of stories about horses, dogs, ferrets, rats, and yes, cats, in my new memoir So L.A. which is on Amazon. It was fun to think back on my checkered childhood and our odd assortment of pets. Cats were consistent, though: my mom loved them, and so always had at least two or three. Sometimes more, especially in the 1970s when the litters of kittens rivaled bunny-numbers. Here’s an especially vivid memory I shared in the book:
Our pets were spoiled, but it’s nothing like today. The dogs didn’t get their bones in Bento boxes, and the cats didn’t have their own Instagram accounts. They were lucky if they got flea collars. Spaying and neutering wasn’t a thing yet, so we’d have assorted litters of kitties running around the house, climbing up the curtains, and swinging from the chandelier. When the kittens were old enough to be weaned, it was my job to round them up in a cardboard box, stand in front of the grocery store and yell, “Free kittens!” And you know what? It actually worked. Well, there was one time it didn’t—so, I found a car that looked like it belonged to someone well-to-do and, grateful it was unlocked, I placed the leftover fuzzballs inside. (Don’t fret, kitten-crusaders! The car was not hot inside.)
Of course, no one would dream of doing such a thing today. At least, not in L.A. Times have changed!