Cat Crazed


For Canada’s animal shelters, this is not “the most wonderful time of the year”.   They know Santa will stuff a cute and cuddly kitten into thousands of Christmas stockings. But, by New Year’s Day, that little ball of fur is one giant nuisance. And so it will be dropped off at the shelter, or worse, dumped on the side of a rural road and left to fend for itself.  

Why do millions of cats live, quite literally, in the lap of luxury, while tens of millions more are abandoned to lead short, miserable lives?

CAT CRAZED, premiering on CBC Doc Zone Thursday, January 6 at 9:00 pm (9:30 pm NT) is a light-hearted search for sanity in a cat-obsessed world, looking beyond the myths and absurd human behavior that’s at the root of the world’s cat overpopulation crisis to reach a new and more realistic relationship with felines.  

The film marries animation created by Oscar nominee Cordell Barker (The Cat Came Back) with classic documentary storytelling to deftly straddle the line between send-up and serious journalism. “Viewers are bombarded with dire stories of environmental disasters, so much so, sometimes they tune out. We believe this approach will entertain – and hit home,” says CAT CRAZED director Maureen Palmer.

“Anyone who has seen my first film, The Cat Came Back, may find it hard to believe I’m a cat lover. But I am,” says Oscar nominated animator Cordell Barker from his Winnipeg studio. “Ever since I made that film more than 20 years ago, I’ve seen the problem of abandoned cats grow exponentially. But we humans tend not to change our behavior when hammered over the head with a message. I think social satire and humour can accomplish so much more. That’s what I think CAT CRAZED best delivers.” 

The cat is the world’s most popular pet – and its most disposable. Some 100 million cats, domestic and wild, roam the North American landscape, wreaking havoc on native flora and fauna – and forcing well-meaning humans to take sides in a cat-bird war. It’s become clear that we don’t have a cat problem, we have a human problem. The species at the top of the food chain needs to get a grip on practical, humane solutions that can save the lives of both cats and birds.  

CAT CRAZED crisscrosses North America, introducing viewers to a fascinating cast of eclectic and eccentric cat-obsessed characters, visiting the giant Meet the Breeds Cats and Dogs Show in New York, where cat owners indulge in all manner of feline fascination, to Washington, where Alley Cat Allies – the world’s most powerful cat ladies – reveal their plans for world cat domination, to Los Angeles, where Fix Nation plans mass cat sterilization, and finally to Texas, where they shoot cats, don’t they? 

In Canada, we visit the world’s largest no-kill shelter in Richmond, BC, home to 1000 cats, learn what happens to a small town mayor when social media savvy cat activists spread the word on his plans to euthanize the town’s feral cats, and meet the wild cats on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. We witness groundbreaking research as even well-fed and neutered cats, caught on camera, commit bird carnage. And, finally, in Calgary, we discover a ridiculously simple, yet radical, made-in-Canada solution that has taken the animal rescue world by storm: license cats the way we do dogs. 

CAT CRAZED celebrates our love affair with felines and encourages a new relationship where all cats are loved and none are abandoned. 

Following the CBC TV Main Network premiere on Thursday, January 6 at 9 pm, CAT CRAZED will get two additional showings on sister network CBC News Network, Friday, January 7 at 10 pm ET/PT, and on Sunday, January 9 at 5 pm ET/PT.  

To view the CAT CRAZED trailer, please go to: 

CAT CRAZED is directed by Maureen Palmer and written and produced by Maureen Palmer and Helen Slinger. Animation by Cordell Barker; Editor is Tim Wanlin; Director of Photography is John Collins; Composer is Graeme Coleman; Sound Design by J. Martin Taylor; Motion Graphic Design by Tiz Beretta; and Trailer Editor is Hart Snider. The film is narrated by Ann-Marie MacDonald. For CBC’s Independent Documentary Unit: Linda Laughlin, Senior Producer; Michael Claydon, Area Executive Producer. Mark Starowicz is Executive Director, Documentary Programming.

CAT CRAZED is produced by Bountiful Films in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and with the participation of the Canadian Media Fund (CMF), Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. 

Bountiful Films was formed in 2001 by Vancouver-based filmmakers Helen Slinger and Maureen Palmer to produce Leaving Bountiful, the story of one woman’s courageous flight from the fundamentalist Mormon polygamous colony of Bountiful, British Columbia. Since then, Bountiful Films has specialized in documentaries which capture compelling characters as they confront contemporary challenges. Recent titles include How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids and Mounties Under Fire for CBC’s Doc Zone, and The Bully’s Mark, Polygamy’s Lost Boys and Alexandra’s Echo for Global Television. In addition to CAT CRAZED, Bountiful Film’s remarkable new documentary When the Devil Knocks will premiere early in 2011 on CBC TV’s The Passionate Eye. The film, which accessed hours of rare and exclusive videotaped therapy sessions, is a spellbinding journey into one of psychiatry’s most intriguing conditions, Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. The film was screened in Fall 2010 at the Vancouver International Film Festival.


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