Mason the cat with Kelly the trainerOr rather cats in this instance.  Of course we’d heard the old adage about never working with animals in a movie, but since this was the story we were telling, we had no choice. Like we mentioned earlier, the cats haven’t been as cooperative as we had hoped they’d be.  The trainers tell us that Marmalade is under the weather (would this be kitty flu rather than swine flu?) and that’s why he’s refusing to cooperate.  So his backup Mason has been promoted to hero cat – unfortunately, this is his first movie, and he’s still learning the ropes.

In one of the scenes today, Gabriel was supposed to jump up on the bed with Alma.  Mason could not be lured onto the bed with food.  Kelly, one of the trainers, was determined to get us the shot we needed.  So she hid under the bed with Mason pretty much sitting on her head and pushed him up onto the bed at the right time.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, and from the angle we were shooting, it didn’t look too obvious.
Luckily, later in the afternoon we discovered the secret to getting Mason to “act.”  Most cats perform for their food reward, but Mason didn’t seem to care.  For the walking down the hall scene we were trying to capture, he would turn away from the food and head in the opposite direction.  Several of the crew members figured out he wanted his kitty carrier – the little fellow just wanted a cat nap.  So for the rest of the shots, when we needed Mason to walk, we lured him with his kitty carrier rather than food.  It was great to see the team work together to get the footage we needed when things didn’t go according to plan.