Netflix’s Cat People is a six-part docuseries exploring the close bonds between cats and people. As cat lovers, there are clichés and demeaning stereotypes about “cat people.” But this series breaks through the judgments while presenting stories of folks from all backgrounds and cultures. We see the unexpected: surfing cats, Rock Cats, and acrobatic circus cats. Also, we see cats revered as high art; a Japanese artist paints beautiful cat portraits while a rapper creates music about his much-adored feline family. In addition, we see ex-military men devoted fully to saving feral cats. As such, it challenges gender stereotypes and promotes caring for animals – always a good thing.
Across the world, the bonds between cats and their humans are deep and beautiful, and often unexpected.
What Inspired the Cat People Series?
Cat People’s producer, Glen Zipper, previously produced a Netflix documentary simply titled Dogs, which celebrates the bonds between people and their pups. After Dog’s release, cat lovers began appearing on his social media. Of course, they insisted that Netflix needed a show about cats too! Immediately, he knew they were right. In a pitch to Netflix, Zipper presented all the tweets from people asking for a series on cats, and it worked.
From the start, the sci-fi author wanted to make the show meaningful. By telling the stories of diverse cat lovers, he wants to break through the stereotypes. After all, all kinds of people love cats.
“We have episodes in just about every flavor and every variety with all sorts of fascinating characters,” says Zipper. These characters “absolutely will challenge your idea of what a cat person is.”
Cat People Who Rap
Moshow and his wife, M.C., have five cats that give him plenty of inspiration. Now, a source of income comes from the viral videos he creates about his furbabies.
Compassion is Cool
Meanwhile, the TrapKing grew up as the “only guy in his neighborhood who loved cats.” From his early days working cleaning litter boxes for a shelter, he realized how much he loved cats. Now, he’s working to save cats while changing stereotypes about men in cat rescue.
“You don’t lose cool points for compassion,” says Sterling Davis, better known as the Original TrapKing. Through his work, he’s building a bridge between communities of color and animal welfare organizations, which are predominately white.
The Cat Circus
In another episode, we learn about a woman who runs a “Cat Circus.” Ummm, a cat circus? What’s that?
“It’s hard to explain. But, once you see it, you’ll never be able to un-see it,” Zipper explains.
Samantha Martin and her Amazing Acro-Cats began when a cat named Tuna came into her life as a child. Now, as a professional cat lady, Martin proves cat ladies can be awesome and glamorous. Also, cats can be born performers capable of much more than some might think.
Of course, you may have seen the Amazing Acro-Cats if you watch The Late Show (see below):
An Idyllic Cat Sanctuary
In one episode, we learn about a cat sanctuary on the island of Syros in Greece. In 2018, over 40,000 people from 90 nations applied to run the idyllic cat sanctuary called God’s Little People. And who could blame them? Living on a beautiful Mediterranean island and cuddle and care for over 50 cats? Yes, please!
For over 20 years, Joan and Richard Bowell helped the stray cats, where the cats roam free in the sunshine. In the process, they gave up everything, working tirelessly. As for the rescue’s name, the British owners said it wasn’t a statement of faith but a belief that “cats are important as individuals, with a right to be free and to be cared for.”
It seems imagining life in Syros could make a cat lover out of almost anyone.
“I think all of us are going to want to retire and move to that sanctuary, whether you’re a cat person or not. It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Glen Zipper.
More about the sanctuary from Wonderbot Animals:
Surfing Support Cats
In another sunny place a world away, we find “Surf Cat Mav,” or Maverick, riding the waves in Malibu, California. From an early age, this cat has loved the water. Mavi has over 48K Instagram followers where you can see this 2-year-old feline named after a famous Cali surf spot. Maverick and his human, Nick Liam, enjoy swimming, paddle boarding, and skateboarding. Most recently, they began surfing, creating a sensation in the process.
As Maverick surfs, he’s helping raise awareness about mental health as Liam works to help non-profits.
“We’re trying to open up a dialogue and let Maverick be on the forefront and also allow people to realize that having an emotional support animal or therapy animal enhances your life and adds so much,” Liam told ABC10 San Diego. “It’s really important because a lot of organizations focus on suicide and depression, and we’re trying to work with stomping out the stigma.”
Besides advocating for mental health, Surf Cat Mav also shows that cats can be safely active away from home. Now, Liam says he’s seeing his surfing feline inspire people to take their cats for walks. During the pandemic, it’s helped people spend more time safely with their pets in the outdoors.
See Surf Cat Mav from ABC10 News below:
Teary-Eyed Responses to Cat People
First, the Dogs series melted hearts all over the world. Now, after watching Cat People, people everywhere have been profoundly touched. As cat lovers know, the loving bonds between a cat and its human family are extraordinary.
On Twitter, people have been expressing the emotions they had after watching Cat People.
“There’s a mini docuseries called Cat People on Netflix and tell me why I’m crying,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another person tweeted, “Watching Cat People on Netflix and I’m crying over a cat just because it is so lovely.”
Whether your pet is a four-legged dog, cat, bird, a turtle (we stand by turtles), or you name it, they touch our lives with their love so very much!
“That’s what having a pet is about, that unconditional love,” says Zipper.
We couldn’t agree more!
See Zipper’s interview with Jenny Wilkowski below:
Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube