Sunday, 14 September 2008

Pussies Galore (Channel 4, last Friday)

I only caught the last fifteen or twenty minutes of Channel 4's Pussies Galore documentary, which followed three women whose lives are dominated by their cats, but what I did see was fairly troubling. Perhaps most grotesque of all was the moment when, not content with having endlessly rewashed her fluffy white chinchilla (not an ACTUAL chinchilla, a chinchilla cat) Mr Darcy, his owner, Julie, proceeded to rub what appeared to be talcum powder on his bottom. I probably would have been more shocked, had this not been the same week that I witnessed a man at my gym blow-dry his pubic hair, but I was still alarmed - as, it seems, were the numerous members of Facebook's Under The Paw group who wrote to Janet to express their outrage.

I'm not sure that the documentary ultimately proved anything, other than that Channel 4's researchers' are increasingly adept at hunting out human extremes for their reality shows. Almost as disturbing as Julie was Kelly, who thought nothing of taking her Mr Bigglesworth-style pedigrees out into the neighbourhood in a pushchair. If you had any prejudices about cat-lovers, this programme was not going to disarm you, although the case of the final member of the ailurophile trio, Anne, was actually rather sweet. I wouldn't like her cleaning bills, but her 20 acre Welsh farm, which houses 83 cats, came across as something of a Utopia. There appeared to be a sadness at the heart of Anne's cat love, but in sharp contrast to that of the documentary's other subjects, it was obviously not a selfish sadness. What was also impressive was how well the cats all seemed to get on with one another. It reminded me a bit of the video below, which proves that, while Feliway and Valerian have their uses, there really is nothing better for encouraging feline mellowness than repeatedly playing them the beatific sound Talking Heads' 'This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)'....


5 comments:

natalijah said...

The Chinchilla, Mr Darcy, got his revenge after all that blow drying, two baths and talcum powder- he had a total hissy fit during judging ...with his loud low growl that it put off his owner from taking him to shows. Stupid woman- she kept Mr Darcy up ALL NIGHT with the bloody grooming. Sheesh. It seems Mr Darcy found his cojones at last!

Helen said...

Yeah, I'm glad Mr Darcy didn't perform for those judges. Hope she isn't mean to him now that he is no further use to her for cat shows.
The woman with the 83 cats looked like she could do with someone to help with them.
And the other one with the hairless cats - well someone has to love them - but I think she went a bit far taking one to the pub.
TheYoutube video 'thecatonthekings' in LA was brilliant. It looks like cat heaven. Are they neutered? I don't know how she manages not to have a cat odour problem.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely appalled that Julie is allowed to mistreat her cat with such sadistic routines. The RSPCA should take Mr Darcy away from her IMMEDIATELY. This is nothing more than sadistic torture. Held for 5 hours against his will. MADE to shower twice. MADE to sit still for hours on end and be blow dried, then smothered in talc. The powder will go up its nose when he tries to clearn himself. I have never seen such a sad, depressed cat in all my life. Mental torture is a crime if on humans, what about poor animals forced against their will for hours on end having to endure a MAD SAD old BAG preening, washing, brushing, smothering for hous on end. CALL THE RSPCA OR CATS PROTECTION IN CHESHIRE AND TAKE THE CAT AWAY FROM THE MAD OLD COW.

Whicky Wuudler said...

I too felt sorry for the poor show cat Darcy. People involved in the show world for many animals - cats, dogs and horses are often addicted to the kudos they get from winning ribbons and bows. They seem to forget the actual needs of the animal that allows their ego to be fed. I think show animals in general have a most wretched life.

Nicola said...

I bet Mr Darcy has his revenge - bum dragging across the work surfaces at night, horking up a furball or dozen...