Cat Men Do: Why Philip Bloom is proud to be a cat owner.
British filmmaker Philip Bloom wants to see an end to the misconceptions about moggy-loving men and explains why cats can be man’s best friend…
Do some people make a quick judgement about me when they learn I have cats? Some do for sure. I have had the odd comment on photos and videos of my cats asking if I was gay, some tell me to get a life, but most people either don’t state their opinion or find it lovely that I do love cats so much.
Philip Bloom with his cat Harriet
It’s not like it is just cats, I love animals full stop. It’s just since cats came into my life with my first girlfriend 26 years ago I loved everything about them. They were beautiful, funny, calming, wonderful companions and some are happy to be left alone all day, unlike dogs. At the time I worked in TV news so my life was very unpredictable but it was comforting to know they would be OK if I had a long day at work or if I went away I knew they could be looked after easily.
Philip loves all animals, but particularly cats!
Over the years my love of cats has grown and grown. A big part of that was my beloved girl Noodle who came into my life in early 2000. Through almost two decades she was by my side, my constant companion. She always came to me when I called her, even though I rarely needed to as the moment I sat down she was on me. The moment I went to bed she tucked herself into my armpit. She was there through so many important years of my life and during the times when I was suffering from depression I am certain she helped me get through it. I always talked to her about things that were bothering me and she was a great listener although not a great talker, she just meowed a lot!
Philip's cat Noodle
When she passed away in October last year it hit me hard. She had a long, amazing life and I was lucky to have had her for that time but it didn’t make it easier. She absolutely adored her brothers Bert and Percy. Percy seemed very upset for a number of months, going from room to room howling loudly for her, it was really upsetting. Only recently has he stopped doing it. It is at times like this that I wish they could understand me so I could try and make him feel better.
Philip helps stray cats in Greece with his video work
In the past three years I have also started helping a rescue charity on the lovely Greek island of Skiathos. They do amazing work helping the cat population and for the most part the strays on the island are pretty healthy, which is rare in Greece. I started helping initially by taking photos for them for their cat calendars. When they were hit by a big financial crisis I decided to put my skills as a documentary filmmaker to good use and go over there to make a film about the work they do to try and help raise awareness and hopefully lead to some successful fundraising.
Philip with his cat Jimmy
Since the first film last January I have made three more additional films and last month I went back again to do a follow-up film. When I was there last summer for the second set of films I became really attached to a number of strays and found it really hard seeing the lives some of them have to look forward to. If I could rescue them all I would!
Philip believes men shouldn't be judged for loving moggies
Having cats sadly does seem to affect how people perceive you. For men it seems that many perceive you as less masculine, whether this is more from women than men I cannot be sure. I have heard remarks from both but I honestly don’t care what people think. Will this be amplified since the arrival of Harriet, Jimmy and Lollipop late last year, bringing my total of cats to five? Yes, it is more than likely.
Jimmy and Philip having a cuddle
While I love all of them I wouldn’t recommend getting as many as me. It is a lot of cats for a man living alone, two or three is a great number as you can really give them all the attention they crave. It’s quite time-consuming making sure all five get equal cuddles! That being said I wouldn’t change things for the world, each one brings me so much joy and I know I have given them a better chance at a happy and long life. Showing animals love is a positive thing and if we can be kind to animals then perhaps that will help us be kind to each other.
Philip is proud to be a cat dad
Cats are amazing and I cannot imagine ever being without them in my life. They make everything that little bit better and when I go away with work or on holidays, not having them around does make me sad. At least I have a remote camera so I can still interact with them. Does this make me a crazy cat man? Nah, it makes me a truly loving cat dad and I would never be ashamed of that.
Are you a proud cat dad? Share a photo of you and your cat using #CatMenDo and find out more about our campaign at www.cats.org.uk/cat-men-do