cat film festival New York City 2017

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Cat Film Festival at The School of Visual Arts 2017

Rejoice New York City cat lovers! Lucky for us, the first annual Cat Film Festival happens December 9, 2017 at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. But not to worry if you can’t attend the festival, here’s a peek into sharing our love for cats at the NY CFF. The festival is organized into two programs, screening documentaries, fiction, and fun quirky films.

WHERE: The School for Visual Arts Theatre – 333 West 23rd Street (Between 8th & 9th Avenues)
WHEN: Saturday, December 9th 2017 at 3:00 PM & 4:30 PM

  • 3:00 PM “Nobody Owns a Cat” (70 minutes)
  • 4:30 PM “Little Works of Art” (68 minutes)

    The two programs screen completely different films – each program a medley of films celebrating the cats we love so much, in varied environments and situations.  To have the full Cat Film Festival experience you’ll want to see both programs – which are appropriate for everyone in the family.

PROGRAM #1 “NOBODY OWNS A CAT”  (70 minutes)

Pure Fluff (5:00) Sean Skelton’s documentary sketch of a professional cat groomer, who shows how it’s done.
Winter Break
(5:00) Rick Hamilton
Enjoy this funny story of a preschool teacher who has only her cat for company during winter break.

Jetty Cats, Sheila O'Rourke

Jetty Cats,  Sheila O’Rourke

Jetty Cats (56:00) Sheila O’Rourke
A sweeping overview of cats throughout human history, while exploring the contemporary debate about Trap-Neuter-Return as the best management for community cats by looking at a long-surviving feral cat colony on a seaside jetty in Southern California. Here is a 3 minute 38 second trailer for Jetty Cats

Cat Film Festival Amulet by Jeff Malmberg

Amuleto by Jeff Malmberg

 

Amleto (2:00)
Jeff Malmberg’s visual “poem” to the morning ritual of a Tuscan cat.

 

 

 

 

PROGRAM #2 “LITTLE WORKS OF ART” (68 minutes)

Rescue (2:00) Lava Sheets

Cat Film Festival Rescue, Lava Sheets

Rescue,  Lava Sheets

 

Ms. Sheets self-portrait of the isolation and depression of being disabled, imagining the consoling thoughts of her devoted kitty, Apple Brown Betty.

 

 

 

Akamatsu the Cat (10:00) Ian Christopher Goodman

Akamatsu the Cat, Ian Christopher Goodman

Akamatsu the Cat by Ian Christopher Goodman
photo by Ian Christopher Goodm

Documentary about life with a disabled kitty cat,
Akamatsu, who was hit by a car and paralyzed
but went on to live another 4 vibrant years with the use of a wheelchair.

 

 

 

 

Portrait of a Cat Fighter (4:00) Graceann Dorse

Portrait of a Catfighter from Graceann Dorse on Vimeo.
Ms. Dorse’s mockumentary spoof gives a funny peek at what a New Jersey “cat fighting ring” run by mahjong-playing old ladies might look like. (who run their own non-profit cat rescue in Los Angeles) examined the community cats living in the iconic Buenos Aires Recoleta cemetery, and what became of the cats removed by well-meaning American rescuers.

Gus the Cat (5:00) Lisa Donato

Gus the Cat, Lisa Donato

Gus the Cat, Lisa Donato

Ms. Donato’s quirky film about Gus, who seems to think he is a cat and can hide his identity from others, although the people around him can see right through his mask.

Mittens from Kittens (4:00) Kim Best
This documentary showing how one woman’s nusiance cat fur is another woman’s inspriation to spin and knit it into useful items.

Scaredy, the Cat (8:00) Markie Hancock’s heartwarming documentary about a very shy cat who avoids everyone where she was adopted – at the tennis courts in NYC’s Riverside park- except for a few choice people whom she eagerly greets.

Little Works of Art (13:00) Also by Kim Best.
Ms. Best looks at  Harold “Cat Man” Sims’ and his self-styled American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, NC, which houses over 10,000 cat-related objects and honors cats as “little works of art.”  In addition, it supports Sims’ own no-kill, open space cat shelter and adoption efforts.

NY Cat Film Festival™ was founded by Tracie Hotchner, a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate.

Tracie Hotchner, the NY Cat Film Festival Founder & Director

Tracie Hotchner, the NY Cat Film Festival Founder & Director

 

NY CFF is “an exploration through film of the fascinating felines who share our lives, creating a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets for the NY CFF are $15 for each program
The NY CFF will give back to the animal welfare groups that keep cats protected and healthy. In New York in particular, the NY CFF will be giving back to a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the NYC Feral Cat Initiative.
NY Dog Film Festival happening the next day, December 10, at the same SVA Theatre, with showings of two films at 2:45 and 4:45 pm.

cat art the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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cat art at The Metropolitan Museum

Last week, my friend Jenny and I went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City,  Although we didn’t seek out cats in art, we happily found two excellent examples. The first one is a sculpture by Giacometti. I really like most of his work, but hadn’t seen this particular cat sculpture in bronze. Turns out the only other animal sculptures he did was one of a dog, two of horses.

Giacometti (1901-1966) cat bronze, 1954

Giacometti bronze cat

Giacometti cat
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

 

Giacometti remembered that his brother Diego’s cat “passed just like a ray of light,” squeezing it’s lithe and predatory form close to objects without ever touching them.

from The Metropolitan Museum

The other wonderful surprise was because Jenny wanted to track down an artist she likes: Balthus. Luckily for us, when asking for directions from a Met guard, he steered us to the painting Jenny wanted to see, then generously directed us to Balthus paintings scattered in other collections, around the museum. That’s how we came upon Thérèsa Dreaming, a 1938 painting by Balthus.

Balthus Thérèsa Dreaming

Thérèsa Dreaming
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

Being that Jenny is a cat person too, we were both delighted by the cat in the painting.

cat in Balthus painting Thérèsa Dreaming

the cat in Thérèsa Dreaming
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

 

Thérèsa Blanchard, who was about twelve or thirteen at the   time this picture was made, and her brother Hubert were neighbors of Balthus in Paris. She appears alone, with her cat, or with her brother in a series of  eleven painting between 1936 and 1939.

From The Metropolitan Museum

Jenny and I had a fabulous day. Can’t wait to return to The Met to discover more cats in art.

 

T.S.Eliot author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats cat item for auction

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T.S.Eliot, author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

His great grandniece has a T.S. Eliot cat item for auction, including old family photographs, found in the attic of the family’s home. The author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was no slouch –
T.S. Eliot wrote The Waste Land, published 1922 and considered

…by many to be the single most influential poetic work of the twentieth century, Eliot’s reputation began to grow to nearly mythic proportions; by 1930, and for the next thirty years, he was the most dominant figure in poetry and literary criticism in the English-speaking world.

  poetry.org

T.S.Eliot author Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,

 

T.S.Eliot’s writings ranged from the dark despair of The Hollow Men, 1925, to the whimsical Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, 1939.  The name “Old Possum” came from Ezra Pound, his nickname for Eliot.

T.S.Eliot items auctioned

 

 

 

In 1982 the cover of the book was illustrated by the fabulous Edward Gorey. The book is the basis of the successful Broadway musical, Cats written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

author of "Cats" needlepoint

T.S. Eliot needlepoint
courtesy Heritage Auctions

 

Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lived until he was sixteen.

At six years old, he created this playful cat needlepoint as a Christmas gift; it’s signed “Tom” in pencil on the back.

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw –
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!

And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

T. S. EliotOld Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

The kitty needlepoint work is conservatively valued at $1,000. Bidding opens online this Friday and concludes online and as a live auction in Dallas on September 14, 2017.

new Beatrix Potter Kitty-in-Boots tale

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new Kitty-in-Boots tale

Beatrix Potter’s unpublished manuscript was found two years ago by Jo Hanks, who works for the publishing company Penguin Random House, (Children’s department) London. The manuscript is a new Beatrix Potter Kitty-in-Boots tale.
Ms Hanks came across the story of Kitty-in-Boots by chance in 2013 after reading an out-of-print biography of Potter (which may have been Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, by Linda Lear). It mentioned a letter Ms. Potter sent to her publisher in 1914, in which she described Kitty-in-Boots adventures, a tale about a “well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life” as a crime-fighter.

Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter

Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter

But the story was put aside because of various interruptions: the outbreak of World War I; her marriage; illness and a growing interest in farming — which resulted in an unfinished book.

Ms Hunt checked the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and found three unedited manuscripts of the story, two in children’s school notebooks and one typed, along with a rough sketch of Kitty-in-Boots and the villainous fox Mr Tod. The tale includes Peter Rabbit, one of Potter’s most famous characters, and another Potter favourite, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
“The tale really is the best of Beatrix Potter. It has double identities, colourful villains and a number of favourite characters from other tales – most excitingly, Peter Rabbit makes an appearance, albeit older, slower and portlier,” Ms Hanks told The Bookseller.

this is what kitty-in-boots looks like

this is what kitty-in-boots looks like

The Illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake. He was chosen because “he understands the rebelliousness of animal characters and doesn’t patronise children, which was one of Potter’s bugbears”, Ms Hunt said. Sir Blake also illustrated Roald Dahl’s children’s books.

Helen Mirren, British actress

Helen Mirren, British actress

The voice in the audiobook version by Dame Helen Mirren, her first audiobook recording. Scheduled release is September, 2016. The book publisher is Frederick Warne & Co, Potter’s original publisher (part of Penguin Random House Children’s). Expected release also in September, 2016. Both coincide with Beatrix’s Potter 150th anniversary of the year of her birth.

younger portrait Beatrix Potter
Born: July 28, 1866, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died: December 22, 1943, Near and Far Sawrey, United Kingdom

 

 

Japan Society Life of Cats

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Japan Society Life of Cats

My Kitty Care visited The Japan Society Life of Cats. The Japan Society is located on 333 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017. Life of Cats was a wonderful exhibit with exquisite prints and paintings from Japan: art with cats, and about cats, in Japanese culture. The earliest dates to the Edo Period (1615-1867) and the most current is a lovely contemporary print from the 1930’s. It portrays cats historically in Japanese culture, ranging from funny, diabolic, and sweet to beautiful and touching. Cats remain integral to the Japanese.
My Kitty Care’s Japanese Hiraki Ukiyo-e Cat Prints is a video of the pieces in the exhibit, which is not only for cat lovers, but also art lovers and people interested in Japanese art and culture.

Japan Society Life of Cats 1845 print

detail from Housewife swats cat, 1845

My Kitty Care loved this show – why wouldn’t we? It is about cats, art, culture, beauty and fun. Enjoy this 6 mins. video Japanese Hiraki Ukiyo-e Cat Prints, Japan Society Life of Cats on my kitty care youtube channel.