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Cat Ladies revealed.

When you think "crazy cat lady," the first thing that comes to mind (after the vision of the Simpsons' crazy cat lady fades) is a middle-aged woman, childless, with a closet packed full of sweatshirts adorned with kitty applique and a brood of mewling cats swarming around her ankles. But how much do we really know about these women?

The documentary Cat Ladies sets out to answer that question by exploring the phenomenon of women whose self-worth and identity has become inextricably linked to their relationships with feline-kind.

Focusing on four women with varying degrees of cat-obsession, the film seeks to understand the human side of this experience.

Margot, at first glance, most fits the stereotype of the cat lady: Middle-aged, single, childless and surrounded by a robust collection of cat-themed bric-a-brac. Living alone with her three cats, feeling isolated from her family and peers, her self-worth stems from being a caregiver to her cats.

For Jenny, a young, successful and attractive cat lover, finding and sustaining relationships has become impossible--so she turns to her cats for comfort--she now has 16.

Diane, a self-professed cat rescuer, began trapping and housing homeless cats after she was downsized from her successful career. What began as a humanitarian effort has taken over her life, but she feels powerless to change her situation as long as there are cats abandoned in the streets.

But most distressing of all is Sigi who, with over 100 feral cats in her home, has become a cat hoarder. She spends her days trapping stray cats and bringing them back to her house. Even the intervention of authorities--who took away her bed, claiming it was a hotbed of disease--has not slowed her efforts to take in feral felines.

While a poignant and intimate portrait of these women--and a very sad one at that--ultimately Cat Ladies falls short by doing very little to challenge the stereotypes of cat ladies, or really uncovering the underlying motivations of these women. But it makes for an excellent cautionary tale for anyone considering adopting that fourth, fifth or sixth furry friend.

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Title Annotation:documentary movie review
Author:Shatto, Rachel
Article Type:Movie review
Date:Apr 1, 2011
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