You might have thought Audrey Hepburn was the star of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I’d have to say that Orangey, better known as “Cat,” was the real standout in this classic film. Rarely do we see this kind of feline with such acting chops, but Orangy did in fact win a PATSY award (a.k.a. Academy Awards for Cats)for this performance, so it should come as no surprise that he stole literally every scene through which he traipsed.
But acting skill aside, the real magic of “Cat” comes from that fact that Truman Capote wrote an animal as very effective supporting character in a way that didn’t make the entire movie about the protagonist’s relationship with that animal. If this had been Where the Red Fern Grows, then the entire plot would have been about Holly Golightly and her adventures with Cat. Obviously, both are great stories, but Breakfast at Tiffany’s is unique in how it uses this integral relationship to develop the plot and reveal Holly’s character.
If you’ve seen the movie, you’re probably familiar with this classic quote, “I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.” But I’m pretty sure this is an inaccurate description of Cat’s personality. Yes, I know I might be taking a lot of liberties here with my character analysis of a cat, but hear me out. Holly might not be clear on the fact that she belongs to Cat, but Cat is definitely certain that Holly is his. Cats don’t just lovingly accept people who throw them out in a torrential downpour unless they had already decided they were friends. Puppy dogs might do that but cats just don’t.
I know we’re supposed to accept the ending of this movie as evidence on how much Holly Golightly has grown through her relationship with “Fred” and is now willing to take a chance on love and life. But I would like to think that it’s equally about the fact that she realized she was just fooling herself for all of these years about how lucky she is to have such a nice cat.
On another note, could someone please write Holly Golightly and Her Adventures with Cat? I would love to read it. Could it be a picture book?