five films to watch when you're feeling clucky for a pet

by rowena grant-frost

There are many advantages to living in the inner city: choice! Stuff! Anonymity! The possibility that somewhere, some place, you can buy a cooked sausage with your pick of sauces at whatever time you like!
But then there are the downsides: chaos! Smells! Strangers! The possibility that your sausage has been rotating silently in its own discharge for many, many hours and sauce costs extra!

WIN SOME AND LOSE SOME, MY FRIENDS. Win some and lose some.

But if there's going to be a Most Terrible Thing about living in the inner city, it's that the likelihood of ever owning a pet becomes severely limited. Living close to the centre of things usually means unfriendly landlords (boo-urns!), allergic housemates (hello), or cramped living conditions that would be unsuitable or impractical for the raising of a lovely furry thing.

If you find yourself in this situation, or one like it, then you'll understand that missing out on pet times can be very, very difficult. Thankfully there are solutions: enthusiastically greeting every dog you see on the street! Adopting a neighbourhood cat and pretending it's your own! Or watching one of the following movies...


James Bond: From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, For Your Eyes Only.

Is there anything more wonderful than a bad guy with a cat? Science says no. So do I! In the James Bond series of films, super-villain Ernst Blofeld's super-villainous cat has become something of a legend. Appearing in no less than six flicks, the moggy (which has no name) puts in quite a performance, almost always reacting calmly when in the presence of evil. The only exception is the following video, which I think we can all agree is pretty fantastic:


The Wizard of Oz

Ah, Toto. So much more than a progressive pop-rock band from California.

As Dorothy Gale's bestie, Toto (played by a scruffy terrier named Terry) is basically single-handedly responsible for their magical trip to the wonderful land of Oz. After biting the sour-faced, bicycle-riding Miss Gulch, Toto runs away with Dorothy to escape being taken away by the sheriff, only to then be whisked off to Oz after a tornado hits the Kansas farm where they both live. Once in Oz, Toto allows the Wicked Witch of the West to deliver one of her most famous lines: "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!"

Without Toto – the aforementioned "little dog" – this line would only be, "I'll get you, my pretty!" which doesn't really have the same ring to it, let's be honest.

Jurassic Park

Look, I've never particularly wanted a dinosaur as a pet, but I'm sure there are all kinds of people who long to come home for cuddles with their Stegosaurus, or Aptosaurus, or Sauron or whatever. Jurassic Park lets these people experience the wonder of dinosaur ownership, but without the food bills and terrified screaming. It's performing a great public service. And you're welcome.

If you haven't seen Jurassic Park, I can't really believe it, but here's what you need to know: Richard Attenborough, brother of David, has created a dinosaur theme park on an island near Costa Rica. It would be totally awesome if dinosaurs liked being displayed in cages, but they don't. And when the power goes out, they decide to stretch their legs and gnash their teeth at whatever fleshy thing that walks past.

Finding Nemo

Fish ownership is something you can probably manage in a tiny flat in the inner city, IF YOU HATE FISH. If Finding Nemo taught us anything it's that living in a fish tank is nothing compared to living in the ocean. This, of course, is a profound metaphor for living in the inner city itself. Much like Willem Dafoe, leader of Finding Nemo's Tank Gang, after too much time cooped up in a little box, you may find yourself dreaming of escaping your cramped, over-populated conditions for the neverending expanse of the big blue ocean and whatever lies beyond.

Unlike Willem Dafoe in Finding Nemo, I hope you do not launch yourself onto a table of dental tools in a failed attempt to escape, which is probably the most encouraging thing I can say, given the circumstances.

The Birds

Birds. One day they're up in the sky being all "cheep cheep" and majestic, and the next they're brutally attacking your scalp and terrifying an entire classroom of children!

True, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds will probably put you off bird ownership, but that might not be such a bad thing. Your bird might turn on you. If you own a bird, he or she might be turning on you right now. Can you ever really trust a bird? Their faces are effectively knives. Think about it.

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