Last night I watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. Am I the only one who was scratching their head at the sheer ridiculousness that was exhibited? Not with respect to the dystopian future portrayed. Not with respect to blowing up planes with exploding arrows, while the archer remains unscathed despite standing directly in the path of the aircraft’s machine gun fire. I’m fine with all of that. What I cannot get on board with is the behavior exhibited by Prim’s cat. Let’s walk through the events that unfolded.
Katniss visits what remains of District 12, where she discovers her sister’s cat within the family’s former residence. She then picks up and places the cat inside her satchel bag, as she peruses the house for other items to salvage, at one point opening the bag and tossing a picture frame in alongside the cat. All things (and cat) in bag, she returns to District 13 (presumably by air since that is how she got to District 12 in the first place), makes her way through the compound to find her mother and sister, opens up the bag, and out comes the cat…a cat who has been shockingly indifferent to hanging out in a bag during the tumultuous journey over land and air.
At this point I turned to my wife and said, “this movie has lost all credibility”.
Ok, well maybe this cat hangs out in satchel bags devoid of breathable mesh screens all the time. Maybe he spent his adolescent years at a military base where he was a frequent flyer. And maybe he’s got an extremely serene disposition to top it all off.
But alas, the plot thickened. Later in the film, residents of District 13 are rushed into an underground bunker to take shelter from an impending airstrike from the Capitol. However, the bombing commences before Prim makes it into the bunker - you see, she had gone to retrieve her cat and is now racing down the stairs with the animal in her arms, in the midst of explosions, falling debris, and cascading water spewing from what I assume was a sprinkler system set off by the bombing. At the last moment, they make it into the bunker in one piece, as the cat continues to hang out in Prim’s arms without ever having squirmed an inch; wet and seemingly content with the entire ordeal.
Now, I ask you, what kind of mystical fucking cat is this? Unless the cat’s actually a robot, this is either the most relaxed cat in the history of the feline species, or the movie decided to cut out the part where the cat gets injected with Valium. Or the movie was produced by dog owners who have no experience with cats and are strangely under the assumption that they are meditative beings capable of achieving extraordinary levels of zen.
Regardless of how the cat came to be portrayed in this manner, rest assured - I don’t care how awesome that cat is (and I’ve known some pretty awesome cats in my day), Prim’s arms, body, and/or face should have been cut up and bleeding from the clawing that would have transpired as that cat lost its fucking nerve. Merely managing to hold onto the cat at all during that fiasco would have been miraculous. To do so and remain unscathed…perhaps the single greatest feat of all time. To have the cat stay as calm as a summer afternoon nap throughout it all…fucking impossible. The movie should have just made Prim a sorceress, as a magic spell would have been more believable than what was depicted.
But in case you thought that was the last of the cat, fear not, for at the end of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, he makes one more appearance. By now, days or weeks have elapsed since the bombing of District 13, a war has been waged, and many have perished. Katniss is now back in District 12, trying to make sense of the chaos that has led her to this point, when lo and behold, the cat appears in the window. He has traveled untold miles, through battlefields and ruins, persevered against bombings and starvation, and has finally made it back home. In response to the cat’s truly heroic efforts, Katniss goes completely psychotic, unleashing all of her pent up anger onto the cat who has unknowingly become the symbol of everything she lost. The screams escalate into attempted battery, as Katniss throws a glass across the kitchen with the intention of stoning the cat, all in a furiously loud and violent rage as she aggressively moves closer toward the cat…a cat who remains stoically silent and still in response. He doesn’t run away; he doesn’t hiss; he doesn’t even flinch when the glass flies within inches of his face, smashing into shards upon contact with the countertop and backsplash…he just looks at Katniss, as if to say, “Katniss - I know - it’s not your fault”.
My wife turned to me and said, “that cat would never have sat there like that”. To which I replied, “are you kidding me, if that cat did anything other than sit there, the movie would have been totally inconsistent”.