I like cats.
There, I said it. I know that this makes me, in the minds of many readers, subhuman. But I can’t help myself. Cats are soft and furry and make that nice purring noise when they’re content while they’re allowing you to scratch them behind their ears.
I know, I know, all you dog lovers out there think that cats are too independent and don’t follow slavishly every command that dog owners bark at their dogs.
But all you dog lovers out there have one thing that we cat lovers can only dream about – dog-hero movies. I only bring this up because my children were watching one of the endless series of Air Bud super sports hero dog movies on television the other day. The Air Bud dog can play soccer, basketball, baseball, blah, blah, blah, and always saves little Timmy from being trapped under the tractor.
So you have your Air Bud, and your Lassie, and your Rin Tin Tin, and your Santa’s Little Helper, but what television hero cat personality do we cat lovers have? Morris the cat? Hardly, he was lazy and fat and had a bad attitude. He would have left little Timmy trapped under that tractor until the cows came home. The cat in Disney’s That Darned Cat? Nuh-uh, just the movie title reveals its antipathy towards the feline. Nope, cats in movies are always portrayed as evil. Look at the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp, the brutal alley cat in Mouse Trap, the mean-spirited cat in Stuart Little, Mr. Bigglesworth in Austin Powers, or the cat protagonists in Cats and Dogs.
There can be no doubt about it. Cats in Hollywood are zero hero fodder in what passes for movie entertainment today. Even monkeys fare better. Look at the chimp in the Most Valuable Primate movie series. He is allowed to rescue little Timmy trapped under the tractor. But you never see a movie called “Most Valuable Hockey Cat!”
This is why I have decided, in my sincere desire to be awarded an Oscar award for original script writing that will lead to multi-million dollar writing deals, to pen an original script where the cat is the hero.
The working title of my work is “The Olympic Swimming Cat.”
Opening Scene: Little Timmy, the son of a farmer who owns several heavy tractors, slowly ambles down the corridor of the cat orphanage.
“That’s the one I want Daddy,” Little Timmy exclaims.
“Are you sure son?” his Daddy replies, “That cat has no fur. It looks like it’s wearing a skin diving suit. And I don’t think it will purr when it allows you to scratch it behind its ears.”
“I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I…,” said Timmy.
“Alright then,” said Daddy.
Middle Scene: Little Timmy rides home with his father in the main family tractor with his new pet cat.
“I’m going to name him, or her, Classie,” said Timmy.
“That’s a ‘Classy’ name,” said Timmy’s Daddy. “I can’t wait to see your Mommy’s reaction to your new pet cat.”
Timmy’s Mommy, upon seeing Timmy’s new pet cat exclaims, “Well, that’s an unusual looking cat, I hope that it can swim because the first time that I am alone with it, that’s where it’s going to be headed…right into the ole swimming hole.”
Closing Scene: Timmy’s Mommy is screaming for her husband, Timmy’s Daddy, to come rescue Little Timmy from underneath the tractor in the swimming hole. But Timmy’s Daddy is trapped under a different tractor in the North Forty.
Just then, Classie, sensing that this is his, or her, opportunity to become a hero and become embalmed in the American subconscious in terms of making millions in cat vittles through a serial movie deal, leaps off of the top of the refrigerator and dives into the swimming hole with the grace of a Greg Louganis, or a Lou Ferrigno, whichever actor happens to be available for the first film, and is willing to put on a cat suit for the computer generated special effects like the guy who did Gollum.
Classie, unencumbered by a coat of luxurious fur, sinks like a furless cat to the bottom of the swimming hole where he, or she, attracts the attention of a giant bottom-dwelling swimming-hole dog shark (voiced by Bruce Willis if he is available). Classie and the dog-shark embark on a comical chase scene that stirs up enough deep underwater swimming-hole currents to overturn the tractor, thus freeing Timmy who swims his way up to freedom.
“Classie sure is an Olympic Swimming Cat hero because he, or she, saved me, right Daddy?” said Timmy.
“That’s right Timmy,” replied Daddy. “An Olympic Swimming Cat that will be in theatres everywhere this summer, and every summer for the next ten years appearing as a lucrative franchise cat, like Jason and Freddy.”
The end: followed by credits.
Pretty exciting, huh? I can just imagine the critical favorable reviews.
Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.