In between licks as I groomed my butt, I was recently treated to a viewing of the so-called “film” Alien by my human Renee. In a pivotal scene, warrant officer Ellen Ripley attempts to escape the alien-ridden spaceship Nostromo before it explodes. In her frenzied final moments on the ship, a sweat-slicked Ripley picks up her cat Jones, drops him into his carrier, and runs into the corridor, gun in hand.
It is this scene which prompted this critique, as well as this question to all you humans out there: am I a fucking joke to you?
Seriously, you all bought this garbage? It feels like the writer of Alien has never even met a cat, and maybe not even seen one. Do cats seem like animals that you can just go around grabbing off the ground with your big wet meat hands and tossing into little Boxes? In cat-lore, Boxes are the transport vessels to Hell, aka “the vet’s office.” That’s why if my human Renee so much as touches me, she gets a puddle of defensive piss on her pillow. And I *love* Renee.
Did anyone do any research on cats for this movie? It feels like the director read Garfield one day and said, “Oh that’s cute, I guess they’re all like that, better not pursue this any further”? Some of us like Mondays, not that any of you would apparently know!
There are realistic alternative scenarios the movie could have used instead for Ripley to successfully get Jones into the Box. For example, it is acceptable for a cat to be deposited into the Box if they have first been defeated in gladiator-style hand-to-paw combat. Also, for future reference, an alien is not a very scary villain — but a human in a white coat who pokes at you and tries to weigh you on a tiny scale? That sends shivers up my tail.
This movie’s portrayal of cats is all wrong. Cats are aggressive, persistently hungry apex predators whose sole wish is to hide away in a duct and not be bothered. But Jones is not written this way. You know who is? THE ALIEN. And we’re supposed to believe this is the villain of the film? Why, because it wants to spend 18 hours of its day napping then freak the fuck out for 30 minutes? Wow. How dare all of you.
It’s disappointing because until this obvious mistake, the movie has perfect cat representation. Sitting on the table eating kibbles? Exquisite. Running and hiding in a tiny crawl space? Elegant. Watching, unfazed, as a supernatural alien wolfs down a human being whole? Accurate, irresistible, tasteful.
I will mention, however, that in a nearly two hour movie, fewer than four minutes are devoted to Jones. To add insult to injury, for nearly half of those precious minutes, Jones is seen blithely accepting offensive and, frankly, irresponsible human manhandling.
We cats are perfectly capable of suspending disbelief; for example, we know that humans control the laser pointer (nice try with that one). We understand that movies are not real life. But we deserve better. Jones the cat deserves better. They say write what you know, and Hollywood, you really do not know cats.