‘Cat Daddies’ documentary shows that cat’s best friend is its man

The outdated myth that men who love cats are somehow weird would probably elicit something like “That’s a crock of kibble” from filmmaker Mye Hoang. Hoang is a Los Angeles-based producer and director who’s earned writing and directing awards for several films, including an entire litter for her new documentary “Cat Daddies.” The film’s goal isn’t so much to convince everyone to love cats, which we all know is impossible, but to dispel the abovementioned untruth.

“Cat Daddies,” produced by David Boyle, is scheduled to screen at Long Beach’s indie Art Theatre on Retro Row on Saturday, April 16. The film interweaves stories of guys who love their cats and whose lives—both human and feline—have changed, “whether by becoming an occupational-stress outlet or creative inspiration, or simply hope to survive in the challenging world we live in.”

The event will be a fundraiser for Long Beach cat rescue The Little Lion Foundation (scroll down to Great Furballs of Fun).

“I think men have always been conditioned to love dogs over cats—this is further perpetuated by the images we see in movies and TV in the past, and from jokes about the ‘crazy cat lady,’ which I hope is going out of fashion,” Hoang said. “We see that changing now with social media and the internet—everyone has a camera at home, and we can see more authentic footage of how cats behave.”

Five minutes on Instagram or TikTok will show more regular guys who revel in their feline roommates than you can shake a selfie stick at. Hoang herself said that she observed her husband transform from meh-on-meowsers into a staunch cat guy after they adopted their first cat.

“He seemed to grow into a softer, more patient and compassionate person,” she said. “This inspired me to find more men who had undergone a similar transformation and document their stories.”

“Cat Daddies”’s pivotal character is David Giovanni, a disabled, unhoused person living in New York City with his beautiful brown tabby, Lucky. Both are determined to remain together despite a devastating medical diagnosis for David and an uncertain transitional housing status for him thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interspersed throughout David’s narrative are a crew of firefighters who successfully snuck a stray cat into the fire station, an actor and social-media influencer, a buffed and tatted stuntman, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker and a teacher whose cat becomes an Instagram sensation.

man with short, gray beard in hoodie and tan pants cuddles his brown tabby cat as they sit on the sidewalk. in hoodie

David Giovanni lives with his cat Lucky on the streets of New York City. Image by Eric Yang

 

The men in the movie don’t “unapologetically” love cats—that’s like unapologetically loving free cheese. Most cat guys haven’t ever been aware that there’s some assumed problem. Mark Twain’s cats knocked his inkwells off the table and batted at the clacking bars on his typewriter. Literary tough guy Ernest Hemingway loved cats; descendants of his many-toed polydactyls still live happily at his former home on Key West, now a museum. Snarky comic Ricky Gervais’ moggies appear more frequently on his social media pages than does anything else; he and his longtime girlfriend publicly mourned the death of Ollie, their 16-year-old Siamese, saying that “naps won’t be the same.”

And of course, there’s the daddiest cat daddy anywhere: Jackson Galaxy, with his heavily tattooed arms, earlobe plugs and shiny scalp balanced with a furry goatee. Galaxy hosts Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell on which he instructs humans how to communicate with their cats and contend with the hiss, claw and attack minutiae of living with unpleasant felines.

“I don’t know why it’s a thing for guys to own cats,” stunt man Ryan Robertson said. Adopted cat Toodles was a big help in brokering the relationship between Ryan and his girlfriend.

At least two Long Beach local felinious fellas manage feral colonies; they feed the cats, get them medical treatment and grieve over deaths. Gatsby Books’ owner Sean Moor pampers the store’s cat-eared prized volume: an old, stripy girl. Rather than ban his two from the bedroom, my bestie just bought a new bedspread to match the color of the shed fur.

“Cat Daddies” likely wouldn’t amuse cat haters, but they’re welcome to come as long as they don’t heckle the kitties. The rest of us will feel uplifted, which we need to feel, and drown out the dialogue with choruses of “Awwwwww.”

“The film may not convert everyone to love cats, but I hope seeing images of men caring for these little creatures wins over a few skeptics and becomes a catalyst for compassionate change,” Hoang said. Pun intended, surely.

Virtually pets

Sales from tickets to “Cat Daddies” will help The Little Lion Foundation care for the cats and kittens the volunteers rescue and pull from shelters. Here are a few reasons to attend the movie. Follow this link to adopt any of them and to see the rescue’s other little hopefuls waiting in foster homes.

adorable fluffy charcoal-gray kitten sits up on an unmade bed.

Bagheera loves to climb anything, from a footstool to a 12-foot tower! Baggy is a very fluffy, mildly affectionate femme fatale. She enjoys long brushings and will return the favor with some lovely kisses. She is her own boss, coming and going as she pleases. She sleeps when she wants and isn’t afraid to wake anyone up. She is very gentle when playing and will quickly run away for a game of tag. She would vibe well with a family with older children that has time to take care of her fur.

 

cat with brown tabby mask and white chest lounges on a bed staring longingly into space.

Tiger Lily is a shy and cautious girl who needs a patient and loving home so she can show you what a dynamo she is! This girl is very bright and a top-notch goalie and tackler to boot. Playtime is the key to her heart—a lickable kitty Churu or two doesn’t hurt, either—and you will be amazed at her stunt work. TL also likes things to be very neat and tidy, even by cat standards, and she keeps her rabbit soft fur always polished. Tiger Lily is looking for a home with her sibling, Lincoln. She has not yet been exposed to dogs or small children. She would do well in a quieter household with a young and confident feline playmate to form close bonds with.

white cat with a black fleck by his right eyeblack ear bases and nose leans against a gray armchair staring out into space with huge, green eyes.

Say hello to Sebastian! This boy is a big lover and charismatic like no other. Sebastian will make you laugh as he tumbles around the room playing silly with his favorite toy. He’s the ultimate lap kitten who loves to cuddle up close in your arms and has the best purrrrr you’ve ever heard! Sebastian will be devoted to you and keep you company wherever you go in the house. Great with other cats, children and some dogs.

tuxedo cat with white muzzle and chin mask and missing a right eye sits, white paws folded, on a gray-print rug.

Raspberry is always on the go! She is a very busy kitten with a lot to accomplish. She did have to have an eye removed when she was younger because of an infection. This does not hold her back one tiny bit. Raspberry’s especially curious. She loves all toys, especially the ones that make noise! She is terrific at puzzles and masters them quickly. She’s also purrrrr-ry when you pick her up and hold her. She loves kisses and chin skritches and back scratches. Raspberry would do better in an active house—she gets bored easily. If there is only one other kitty in the home, she would prefer they be a younger cat friend to play with. With a proper introduction, she might like a dog friend as well.

 

Great Furballs of Fun

“Cat Daddies” screening at the Art Theatre: 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach, $20

Who says men usually don’t like cats? Kitten rescue The Little Lion Foundation and The Art Theatre, Long Beach’s oldest movie house, are partnering to present some intertwining tales of adult human males whose lives were deepened and even transformed by their love for cats. The award-winning documentary will follow with a Q&A with filmmaker Mye Hoang, a prize raffle and giveaways, and a chance to learn more about what The Little Lion Foundation is doing to benefit the local community. Proceeds will benefit The Little Lion Foundation. Buy your tickets here.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

The Cat Cove & Jellicle Cats adoption event: noon–5 p.m., Sunday, April 10, Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd. Free to browse the kitties, adoption fees vary.

 Be the final step from a kitty’s journey from birth or abandonment on the streets to a fine home—yours! The Cat Cove volunteers are Jellicle Cats may be small, but they’ll fill your heart completely. Pet Food Express carries everything that their own little hearts need and desire, and this Sunday, you’ll be there, too!

Long Beach Animal Care Services open Sundays, with no appointment necessary

smirking woman in sunglasses and black cap and apron has arm around a white German shepherd mix. Photos are from chest up.

Dee has been with LBACS over five years, during which time she has handled the animals and takes photos of as many as she can. You may have read her hilariously stern bios of many of the shelter dogs posted on social media. Reese is a favorite of hers.
“Reese has been with us over six months,” Dee said. “She’s around three years old and weighs 40 pounds. She is very playful and loving and will chase her favorite toy until the cows come home.” No word on whether she chases the cows. Photo courtesy of Dee Glick.

 

Please make the shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Service your first stop for adoption—it continues to fill with dogs and cats. LBACS is now open without any appointment necessary on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for adoptions and for intake of healthy stray dogs. If you can’t come Sundays, appointments to adopt one of these sweet animals are readily available at [email protected] or 562-570-4925.

Appointments are easily available Wednesday through Saturday at the shelter. It has been open since June 2021 for redemptions of personal pets without an appointment during regular business hours and also accepts any sick, dangerous or injured animal without appointment during regular business hours. Appointments are still required to surrender a healthy owned animal or to adopt a pet during regular hours, excluding the above-mentioned Sunday hours

Foster for awhile—or furever!

two dogs and a cat on one border, two cats and two dogs on other. Caption says, "May we couch-surf at your place?"

May we couch-surf at your place?

If you’ve always wanted a pet but aren’t sure if you’re ready for a lifetime (the animal’s) commitment, or if you’ve passed the pet-roommate days for any reason, fostering might be a great way to go, especially with one or more of the kittens popping up during kitten season. All the organizations listed below are in desperate need of fosters who’ll social them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing!

These nonprofits regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.

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Kate Karp is the Pets Columnist for the Long Beach Post covering the world of animal activism, pet adoptions and lots of cute cats. She’s called Long Beach home since 1994 and has written for the Post for about 10 years. Kate’s day job is as a copyeditor, which she discovered a love for during her 30-year tenure as a teacher. She describes the job as “like taking the rough edges off a beautiful sculpture.”
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