25 days of cats

Why Do the Cats in Cats Have Human Breasts?

Taylor Swift as Bombalurina in Cats. Photo-Illustration: Universal

This post was originally published in July. It has been updated in the wake of the infernal imagery of the second Cats trailer.

For much of the project’s lifespan, the question of what the cats in Cats would look like was shrouded in mystery. Back in April, we learned that they would be created with the help of CGI, and would be the size of actual cats. In May, Taylor Swift stoked our curiosity by explaining that performers were given “a tail that moves naturally, and ears and whiskers,” through a “new way that hasn’t been done before.” In July’s digital featurette, director Tom Hooper spoke of cutting-edge “digital fur technology.” But still the cats were kept under wraps. (Though we did get James Corden offering the reverent summation, “These are people, but they’re cats.”) Now, we’ve seen the release of not one but two official Cats movie trailers, and like a shy feline who’s spied an attractive-looking sunbeam, these cats are finally out in the open. Take a look!

As anyone who’s viewed the Cats trailer must, I’m sure you have plenty of questions. However, let us concentrate and focus solely on the most important issue.

Why do the cats …

… have human breasts?

In the issue of the breasts, we get our first indication that Hooper’s attempt to digitally blend human performance with catlike verisimilitude may be destined to go awry. A filmmaker who prized the feline form above all else might have digitally smoothed performers’ busts, so that they more firmly resembled a real cat dancing upon its hind legs. A filmmaker with more outré sensibilities might have given his people-cats eight breasts rather than two, which would have been a different sort of realism. And a filmmaker who chose to retain the costumed looks of the original musical might have avoided the issue entirely, as the humanlike aspects of the performers would shine through more clearly, thus making their physical anatomy something of a meow-t point.

After the cat-breasts made their debut in July, I wrote that the five-month wait before the movie’s release could be “a long enough time to get used to what currently seems an unsettling sight.” However, judging from the round of fresh disgust that has greeted the film’s second trailer, that does not seem to have happened. Still, considering what the movie appears to have done to the cats’ noses, hands, and knees, we should probably be thankful that Hooper seems to have disregarded another aspect of feline anatomy — the movie appears to include zero shots of the cats’ buttholes.

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Why Do the Cats in Cats Have Human Breasts?