CAT OF THE DAY 100: ALIEN (1979) & ALIENS (1986)
To mark our 100th CAT OF THE DAY, here’s one of the most popular cats in movies – Jones, from Alien. This handsome ginger puss performs multiple cat-functions. He is not just a CATGUFFIN, providing a pretext for characters to go wandering off by themselves, but also CATPANION to Ripley, giving her someone to talk to when all her crewmates have been killed off, provides several moments of CATSHOCK when he suddenly jumps out at people, and is furthermore a CATSCALLION, because you’re never quite sure, even at the end of the film, if he has been somehow been infected by the alien. (See CATEGORIES for further clarification.)
In fact, by the time we get to the sequel, seven years later, it’s quite clear Jones is an imposter, because look what 57 years of hypersleep have done! Entirely different ginger puss. Maybe the film-makers thought we wouldn’t notice.
In the event, though, it’s not Jones who turns out to have an alien inside him – the film-makers were fooling with you! – but Ripley herself. And it all turns out to be a horrible nightmare anyway.
I think we’re all agreed Prometheus would have been vastly improved by the presence of a cat.
So that’s 100 cats in 100 days (or nearly 100 – I was obliged to skip a couple when away from home and discovering, too late, that WordPress’s iPad application is useless). It has been harder work than I’d envisaged – the original idea was simply a picture with a caption, but I would sometimes get carried away – but it has also been a lot of fun. Also a pleasure reading your comments here, or on Twitter or Facebook, or even (hi Anne-Maree!) Google+.
But now CAT OF THE DAY is going on semi-sabbatical. It will continue – because I doubt I’ll ever run out of films with cats in them – but no longer on a daily basis. Possibly more like a weekly one, but I’m not going to impose a rule on myself. The cats will happen when they happen, and I hope you’ll look out for them.
ADDENDUM: My short story MY DAY BY JONES, the cat’s eye view of Alien, is now available as part of my book CATS ON FILM, which started out as a book version of this blog, but now includes plenty of original material you won’t find here.
CATS ON FILM, starring Jones, Tabitha, Tonto, Clovis, Snowbell, Wellington, Bleecker, Binx, Ulysses, General and many, many other screen cats, is available from all the amazons in digital and paperback form.
(I’m afraid the paperback is a bit expensive, even with minimal author royalties added on, due to colour printing costs. But it’s 300 pages long, contains more pictures than the digital version, and I have worked very hard to try and make it worth the money.)
CATS ON FILM can also be downloaded in kindle, epub and PDF formats from smashwords, or can be ordered in POD paperback format direct from CreateSpace.
- The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day – On the set of Alien (web1.aintitcool.com)
- The ‘Alien Father’ is H.R. Giger: Giger’s furious letter to 20th Century Fox (dangerousminds.net)
- cat tattoo collection (thesun.co.uk)
Loved the series! One of my favorite cats on film was the cat in American Splendor, who, for reasons unclear, was always ambling about just being a cat. Cat in the bath tub. Cat on the couch. In the DVD commentary Paul Giamatti explains that the cat was an excellent cat actor and his work wasn’t really planned, he was just hanging about. At one point he says something to the effect of “Great cat work here.” 🙂
Thanks for the tip! I must take another look at American Splendor in readiness for my next round of Cat of the Day…
I hope you start updating this again 🙂 I love cats and actively seek them out in movies, life, etc. 🙂
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Great website, clearly one of the most important on the net. I can’t believe I haven’t found it before. Two cat movies I have seen recently which are worth checking out: Rentaneko (Rent-a-cat, 2012), a Japanese comedy-drama the title of which is pretty self-explanatory; and Miss Minoes (2001), a Dutch film based I think on a children’s book, in which a curious cat turns into a girl reporter. Some CGI cats here, which is of course cheating, but otherwise fun. Keep posting!
Thank you! Been a while since I added posts, but one of these days I’ll get down to it. And thank you for your tips – Renat-a-cat sounds right up my street. Funnily enough, just bought an audiobook of Minoes in Dutch (desperate attempt to improve my spoken Flemish – I live in Belgium). Been meaning to watch the film for some time; wondering whether I can tackle the original version…
I think your blog is a fabulous idea, particularly since I’m a film-reviewing cat. I’m ticked to present you with the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Pick it up at my site, Franny’s Film Forum, anytime. 🙂 http://frannysfelinefilmforum.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/i-win/
With the appropriate feline ennui masking enthusiasm,
Franny the cat
Thank you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award! Much appreciated. Sorry ti took me so long to reply to your lovely message – Cats on Film is on sabbatical right now, but I’m sure it will return.
A very good list!
You can include also:
The Cat Returns (Neko no Ongaeshi)
When the cat comes… (Az prijde kocour – Czechoslovakia – 1963)
The Nine livs of Fritz the Cat (1974)
The Cat Creature (TV movie, 1973)
The Cat fro Outer Space (1978)
Many thanks for your suggestions. Cats on Film is on sabbatical at the moment, but I’m sure it will return.
For your catsideration: Inside LLewyn Davis (2013)
Of course I have seen that! It will almost certainly be included in the next batch. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/10572306/Cats-improve-every-film-they-are-in.html
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Reblogged this on The Nostromo Files and commented:
Ann Billson wrote an entertaining short story — from the point of view of Jones, the ship’s cat in Alien — a while back. Based on this blog post of hers, we’ll see it again in the future.
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