Stanley Kubrick was so particular about his cats, he created a 15-page guide to caring for the beloved felines while he was away making films.
Kubrick, who is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time, was a homebody and recluse — when he wasn’t working behind the camera — whose eccentricities have been documented in books and interviews over the decades.
Of course having cats isn’t an eccentricity, but Kubrick was very particular about how his pride of house lions should be treated, how they should eat and drink, and how their behavior should be monitored.
His lengthy instruction booklet detailing the particulars of their care had at least 37 sections!
His daughter, Katharina Kubrick-Hobbs, said the guide was titled Care Instructions: How To Look After The Animals, and the director left a version of it behind when he went to Ireland to shoot 1975’s Barry Lyndon. The 37th item dealt with breaking up potential fights among the kitties, Kubrick-Hobbs recalled:
“When we went to Ireland on Barry Lyndon, he left this 15-page document, Care Instructions: How To Look After The Animals. And the 37th instruction is: ‘If a fight should develop between Freddie and Leo–‘ and that was the father and son tomcats that we had– ‘the only way you can do anything about it is to dump water on them. Try to grab Freddie and run out of the room with him. Do NOT try and pick up Leo. Alternatively, if you open a door and just let Freddie get out, he can outrun Leo. But if he’s trapped in a place where you can’t separate them, just keep dumping water, shouting, screaming, jumping up and down, and distracting them, waving shirts, towels… just try and get them apart and grab Freddie.‘”
Kubrick died at age 70 in 1999 after a film career that spanned five decades, from 1953’s Fear and Desire, and 1960’s Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas as the eponymous warrior, to Full Metal Jacked (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut in 1999. One of his best-known works was 2001: A Space Odyssey, a 1968 collaboration between Kubrick and celebrated science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke. The film was groundbreaking for its realistic portrayal of space travel and exploration, and created a visual shorthand that still defines the genre today.
Stephen King adaptation The Shining (1980), Cold War black comedy Dr. Strangelove (1964) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) are among his most popular films.
10 thoughts on “Stanly Kubrick Had A 15-Page Guide To Caring For His Cats”
Thanks for this interesting article! I’ve seen only a few of Kubrick’s movies and frankly didn’t like some (looking at you, Clockwork Orange!). But the man liked cats and took good care of them, that’s good enough.
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My intact male cat Leo and the neighbors’ intact male cat used to try to fight to the death.
I learned that, when they were in the eyeball-to-eyeball, yowling stage, to put anything solid between them. – beginning with a board and ending with a bedsheet. – just so that they couldn’t see each other, and then I could herd one of them away from the conflict.
No shouting or jumping up and down required.
But if you are into making films, I guess a turn for the dramatic comes with the territory.
(And then I took both of them to the vet and they weren’t intact any more.)
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Did they calm down with trying to kill each other after neutering? Buddy doesn’t have any problems with other male cats challenging him because he’s so intimidating, of course. One look at his 10 pounds of rippling meowscles is enough to make any cat back down!
I remember reading that he would have anywhere between 10 and 12 cats with him in the editing room.
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Whoah. Sounds like my friend Dave’s house, where they had about a dozen cats at any particular time. My allergies are manageable with just one Buddy, but twelve of them? Too much.
I wonder how many times Kubrick had to fix editing mistakes after his cats walked across his video equipment.
Mew mew mew Mistur Stanley sure was thorough wasn’t hee Buddy an Big Buddy???
An mee thott BellaSita was inntense leevin 3-4 pagess of innstructshunss when shee used to go away!!
Shee iss furry purrticular…..
Iss sorta sweet that shee cared that much! An sweet of Mistur Stanley two! May his memoree bee fore a Blessin….
**purrss** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum
I once wrote a ridiculously long guide to caring for Buddy with absurd requirements to keep him happy, a multiple choice quiz at the end, and directions for an essay on why the prospective cat sitter is qualified to serve His Grace.
The guide stipulated the cat sitter must stand next to the litter box and offer words of encouragement, then clap and say “What a good boy!” when Buddy finished his business and emerged from the litter box.
It also specified that, on comfortably warm days, Buddy takes his meals in “his solar,” which is a fancy name for our balcony.
He was 72 when he died. Kubrick was born in 1927.
Oops, I was wrong. Nevermind.
That’s insanity, not the boundaries or being methodical that is a must with furry souls, but his approach is boarding on abusive.
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