I have stopped counting how many times I have seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I couldn’t resist watching it again on TV this past Friday night. Like most women, when I saw the film for the first time, I was captivated by Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. Other times when I watched, I was transfixed by the film’s opening scene—a sweeping view of Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, of Manhattan at its midcentury finest.
The other night, while I was surrounded by our three “orange boys,” I focused on the orange striped cat in the movie. He has no name except for “Cat.” Outside of Hollywood, this cat was named Orangey; naturally, on the movie set, Orangey had his own trainer. The very complicated Holly Golightly is portrayed as falling short of being the perfect, compassionate feline caregiver, though I imagine that Orangey did not have to be coaxed to jump into the rail-thin arms of Audrey Hepburn. Surely he approved of her impossibly chic style.
I was prompted to return to Truman Capote’s novel to read about Holly and Cat. In my slightly frayed paperback copy of the book, the back-cover blurb reads, “She’s [Holly] the hottest kitten ever to hit the typewriter keys of Truman Capote.” Remember the days of typewriters?! It’s true that Holly is frisky and naughty like a kitten, but a kitten wants to bond, and intimacy is verboten in Miss Golightly’s world.
As the end of the movie approached, I didn’t want to watch because I recalled vividly that Holly Golightly willfully throws Cat to the streets, presumably consigning him to the life of a stray. “We never made each other any promises,” she says about Cat. But in the fairy-tale ending, she tearfully exclaims, “We did belong to each other. He was mine.” Cat and Holly are reunited, forever, we hope, and “Moon River” plays on.
I can only dream of looking as glamorous as Audrey Hepburn while fetching a wet cat in the rain, but I am anticipating my own Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment early tomorrow morning. I am planning to rescue Saint—the stray kitten whom I found two weeks ago—from a permanent life on the streets. The forecast calls for rain, possibly mixed with sleet. I will be wearing my heart on my sleeve, thinking of Audrey in her Givenchy black dress and knowing that Holly made the right move.
Query of the Day: Was Holly Golightly a Cat Lady?