The trailer for this year’s adaptation of Cats is something we, as human beings, must take responsibility for. Despite having to live with the instinctual knowledge that no other species on this planet is capable of dreaming up and enacting as much horror as we are—despite enduring countless cruelties and suffering needless indignities—Earth’s other animals have dealt with us up-jumped monkeys with incredible grace.
Now, we may finally have pushed them too far. The poor creatures whose very essence has been transmogrified into the perversion of nature that is the Cats trailer are being made to watch what we’ve wrought in their name and they do not seem to like it.
Janna Layton tweeted out one of the few worthwhile reaction videos to date, which shows her sitting her cat Eponine down in front of the Cats trailer. Just after glimpsing the odd placement of tail above human buttocks, Eponine looks at the camera with wounded, questioning eyes. Something has been taken from her in this moment.
The cat’s expression, which peers back at her owner and our species as a whole with incredible disappointment, is making the rounds as an important reminder for all of us to do better.
To make sure this wasn’t an isolated reaction, maybe due to Eponine’s distaste for Andrew Lloyd Webber or the entire genre of musicals, others have replicated the cruel and unusual experiment. The incredible melancholy in Eponine’s eyes aren’t fully replicated in each video, but almost every cat seems either deeply unimpressed, disdainful, or vocally displeased with what’s put before them.
Let these cats stand as a reproach of all humanity. For too long we’ve run roughshod over nature, belittling the incredible animals we share this planet with. Bloated on the hubris that comes from our opposable thumbs and place atop the food chain, we’ve allowed ourselves to go so far as to ruin the very image of the majestic house cat. When they stare back at us with disdain, helpless to stop us from inflicting further insults on their species, we must listen. The cats deserve better than Cats.
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