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For years there was a shorthand used in movies and television. If the character was a good person, they had a pet dog. If they were evil, treacherous or otherwise up to no good, they had a pet cat. For instance, “Legally Blonde’s” Elle Woods had Bruiser the Chihuahua. The Queen of Hearts, however, hung with the Cheshire Cat. John Wick had the late, lamented Daisy, while Dr. Evil had the slinky feline Mr. Bigglesworth.

A new documentary aims to break that stereotype by portraying a different take on man’s new best friend, the cat.

Director Mye Hoang cobbles together disconnected stories of cat lovers from all over the United States—an actor, a stunt performer, an unhoused man, firefighters, a truck driver, a software engineer, an influencer and an advertising executive—to create what may be the ultimate cat video.

The thing that binds the stories is the sense of community that the cats provide, whether it is the story of David, an unhoused man whose cat Lucky was the catalyst to friendships and a better life, or trucker David Durst, who arranges meet-and-greets with his social media star cat while he is on the road.

In each of these stories, the felines are the glue that binds their owners to a larger community and while there is loads of cute cat footage, it is the human aspect of each that resonates. It’s about compassion, a trait that seems to flow easily back-and-forth between owner and pet. In other words, the owners get as much out of their feline relationships as the cats do.

“Cat Daddies” is a beautiful looking film—a cut or three above the usual YouTube cat video—but, for all its amiability and empathy, it is a slight piece of work. The stories vary in poignancy and aren’t all equally captivating. Still, for cat lovers there is enough heartwarming feline action to earn a recommend and if you’re a dog lover, this just might change your catitude.

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