The Line Between Cat Fancy and Cat Crazy

"I wish there was a smell-o-meter," said Callan-Jones. "The smell just takes your breath away, because it's, it's the ammonia in the cat urine. I guess it's almost like if you were maybe sticking your head in a litterbox, I mean it's very, very overwhelming. But you get used to it very quickly."

Callan-Jones likens Diane's devotion to cats to an addiction. Even Diane herself says, "I have to stop; I need to solve this, I can't live like this. It saves the cats but it doesn't save me."

And she yearns for the life she had before becoming addicted to "cat rescue."

Callan-Jones described a moment in the film when Diane listens to a message from her nephews.

"She's listening to this message from almost a year ago of them singing 'Happy Birthday' to her," said Callan-Jones, "and just like the joy in her eyes, and you can see, I -- I could see her thinking, 'Oh my God, this was my life before and ...' then she says, you know, 'This is my life now.'"

Diane watched cats crawl about, in and out of every space in the home.

"I'd like to see my family," she said. "I'd like to see those kids. I resent what I'm doing. Sometimes I go out there and don't want to come back here."

Since the documentary finished shooting, Diane bought a house in the countryside. But the day before she was to move all her cats into the home, someone told her that there were bylaws that limited the number of cats one could have. So Diane says she was forced to put the new house up for sale and is still in the same home.

Diane says she doesn't get much sleep because she spends her nights trapping stray cats. She wants to find another house and is thinking about moving to Calgary, where the government is more cat-friendly, she said. She wishes there was more access to low-cost health care for cats, including vets who would donate their time to spaying and neutering. It would make her life and all cat rescuers' lives a lot easier, she said.

[Anyone wishing to help Diane with her cat-saving efforts can contact the documentary producers HERE.]

The film ultimately explores this intense relationship between women and cats. Vargas noticed that for some of the women, that relationship was beyond simple devotion and love. "When do you cross the line from being a cat lady to being a crazy cat lady?" she asked.

"I think the line is, from cat lady to crazy cat lady is when, you are no longer taking care of yourself," said Callan-Jones. "And your health perhaps is in jeopardy, your mental health is in jeopardy, then...you've definitely crossed over the line and perhaps you need professional help."

In the end, the filmmakers hope that the audience won't think these women are "crazy." They realize the stereotype of the cat lady is pervasive in our culture, but Callan-Jones says it's not such a big deal.

"People spend hours on their computer, and no one questions that," she said. "But spending hours with your cats, uh-oh, you're a crazy cat lady."

CLICK HERE for more photos inside the hidden world of women who hoard cats, and CLICK HERE to learn more about the documentary.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9033354.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...