We’ve never understood why love of cats is so often associated with women, a.k.a. “crazy cat ladies.” Maybe it’s because women used to be the ones staying at home all the time with the cats. But in our house, the cats relate to both of us, and we are equally crazy about them. If you have any doubt that men can be cat lovers, this debut documentary by Mye Hoang will give you plenty of evidence to prove they are.
Filmed during the early months of the pandemic, when pets provided desperately needed companionship, Cat Daddies focuses on nine men and their cats. Some of them are familiar for being cat celebrities with social media followers:
- Nathan Kehn, an actor known as Nathan the Cat Lady, has 400,000 Instagram followers. He posts daily videos of his four cats from his apartment. He challenges the stereotype that men and cats don’t belong together.
- David Durst is a professional truck driver. He and his girlfriend travel the country with Tora the Trucker Cat, sharing photos of their many wilderness hikes and Tora’s costumes on social media.
- Peter Mares is a school teacher who posted on social media a picture of his cat standing on his hind legs with his paws above his head. The picture became a viral meme and GoalKitty has attracted 100,000 followers.
Several of the men make a point of saying that their cats are so important that those they are in relationship with need to love cats too.
- Ryan Robertson is a stunt performer and dad to a huge Maine Coon named Toodles. When he began to date Megan, he was delighted that she loved his cat. Now the two of them combine their love of cats with community service, helping feral cats in their area.
- Jeff Judkins is a software engineer in California. He and his roommate Erin LernMon take their cats Zulu and Mr. Fitzby on hikes and car rides. Wanting more space for the cats, and putting their needs first, they move to the country.
Communities benefit from these cat daddies too.
- Jordan Lide and Carson Couch are firefighters in Greenville, South Carolina. They have welcomed an orange-and-white cat named Flame the Arson Cat into the station house. They admit that petting the cat and just having him around helps relieve stress for them and their co-workers.
- Will Zweigart is the Founder of Flatbush Cats, a nonprofit organization in Brooklyn, New York. Concerned about the number of feral cats in the neighborhood, he organized a TNR (Trap Neuter Return) program to take cats off the streets, have them fixed, and then returned to their colonies. The organization makes educational videos to post on social media and are making a solid case for TNR worldwide.
The most touching story in this documentary shows how caring for a cat and receiving the cat’s love in return can change a person’s life.
- David Giovanni is a homeless former construction worker, an undocumented immigrant from Georgia, who has been living on the streets of New York City for more than two years. After finding a sick and dying kitten, he takes him to the ASPCA for care and then “adopts” him as his street companion, naming him Lucky. Suffering from cerebral palsy, David faces many challenges, including the need to go into the hospital. But since Lucky is his only friend, David worries about what will happen to him.
- Chris Alese is an empathetic New York police officer who befriends David and helps him find a way to get medical help while assuring him that he will eventually be reunited with Lucky. Chris and David share pictures of their cats in a friendship that enriches both their lives.
Everyone who has a pet will have stories about what they mean to them. The stories from these cat daddies will remind you of many qualities that cats exhibit: presence, curiosity, compassion (see how Lucky comforts David), playfulness, and attention. We can all learn from these wonderful human-animal partnerships.