You Had Me at Miaow

Cat Daddies

by Christie Robb

Apparently, there’s some sort of social stigma attached to men who like cats? Having grown up in a generally pet-loving family with a cat named Mittens that clearly preferred my dad to all other humans, this comes as news to me. But my husband looked at me like I was shocked to find out that people put milk in their cereal when I asked him if he’d heard about this stigma, so I guess I’m the weirdo?


Anyway, Mye Hoang’s documentary Cat Daddies feels like part of a benign public relations campaign to generate increased interest in the felis catus brand.

The production team has identified a possible new target audience for cats: adult men. To help create a positive relationship between the brand and the target audience, a series of charismatic cats who cohabitate successfully with people of a masculine persuasion in a variety of contexts is presented. Some of the cats help their human roommates gain social media attention. Others accompany their bros on hikes or other outdoor adventures, sometimes while wearing little outfits and/or peeking out of backpacks. Several help their dudes overcome the trauma of being first responders or living without permanent housing. The male feline enthusiasts have diverse careers: actor, former construction worker, firefighter, trucker, stunt performer, teacher, police officer, software engineer, and (not surprisingly) advertising executive.

During the course of the beautifully shot documentary, the pandemic begins to unfold, giving the movie additional depth and allowing for an exploration of the critical role pets played as social/emotional support during an exceptionally difficult time. In addition to this, two of the more serious themes investigated are the need for support in efforts to control feral cat colonies by Trap-Neuter-Release programs, and for adoption efforts to get animals off the streets and into loving homes.

The most compelling story of the eight covered is of former construction worker David and his cat Lucky. David, a man out of work who had been living on the streets,  found Lucky as a kitten dying outside of Penn Station. He helped get Lucky back to health and their bond has helped David keep going while dealing with the effects of lack of housing, the pandemic, and his increasing ill health.

Throughout the film, there is a reoccurring refrain almost that it’s ok for men to feel an emotional bond with an animal, to experience compassion, and a wiliness to care about something other than themselves. This is a positive message, but it kind of sucks to be living in a world where Hoang feels the need to hammer home that it is ok to be masculine and care about something.

But yeah, cats are great. And this movie lets you watch some brawny lads snuggle them.

One thought on “You Had Me at Miaow”

  1. I love Cats and this all started in 1982 when a little black cat saved my two young daughters and me from death or physical harm. I had picked my daughters up at their mothers house and on my way to mine we stopped at Lucky market in Garden Grove, California. The girls were excited because I bought them some treats but they had to go home to open them. As we were heading out the door into the parking lot one of the girls stopped and said, “daddy kitty”. We all stopped and that is when I suddenly looked up, and saw a flash go by about 5 feet away. An Armored Car was speeding by in front of us. If the girls had not stopped to see the little black cat, we would have been killed! I have been a cat parent for 38 years. My wife and I have adopted 14 in our lifetime, we have two left. Since then I have donated thousands to local cat groups also recused a few at the prisons I have worked at and found them homes. I still help with Feral Cat Warriors and if I were not disabled would foster. The movie Cat Daddies had me in tears of joy and appreciation for cats and their Daddies!

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