Forget Snakes on a Plane. For the next 2 months, Virgin America Airlines will be featuring Cats on a Plane with musician and multimedia artist Amy Raasch’s video called “Kitty Decides”.
The video is captivatingly psychedelic and combines a retro electro-pop novelty tune, with a kitschy 1960’s aesthetic, and a fun commentary on our cultural obsession with the online feline. Oh, and the best part is that all proceeds are being donated to animal rescue efforts. We salute this initiative! =^..^=
“Kitty Decides” will be featured as part of Virgin America Airlines in-flight entertainment in August and September of 2016. It’s fun and lighthearted entertainment but with a serious mission: to translate the massive enthusiasm for cat videos into meaningful donations to animal rescue efforts.
An adoptee herself, Raasch has always had a soft spot for homeless animals. “In a sense, all baby animals are adopted — or left to fend for themselves. Yet unlike humans, they cannot advocate for themselves.”
Cinematographer Kelly Jones of Foo Fighters’ viral sensation, “White Limo,” vibrantly captures the mood for “Kitty Decides” as it pounces from the screen with celebrity cats, a kindle of curious rescue kittens, and a band of seven-year-old girls rocking out to an infectious, electro-pop tune. As a white rescue cat watches it all on TV, the video unpacks the aloofness, unpredictability and downright weirdness that cat fanatics ascribe to their felines and effectively flips the paradigm of humans watching cats to cats watching us. It’s really quite entertaining.
That white cat is ‘Tuna’ (photo below) from The Amazing Acro-Cats. Tuna is a celebrity feline in his own right, and was a purrfect choice to be part of Kitty Decides.
In case you didn’t know, The Amazing Acro-Cats are a circus troupe of domestic cats and a few other small animals, founded by animal trainer Samantha Martin. The troupe is based in Chicago and tours the United States for nine months of the year.
As a volunteer, Raasch witnessed the intense overwhelm experienced by local rescue organizations in the face of a staggering number of abandoned pets. Americans spend $56 billion annually on pet care and countless hours racking up billions of views of cat videos; yet the benefit to the animals they love to watch is practically zero.
That realization inspired Raasch’s vision for a one-touch donation button next to every online animal video that would allow viewers to contribute to rescue efforts in one click.
The video focuses on cats, many of whom have already become Internet sensations, including Wiggle Cat, Marmalade, and the infamous OMG Cat. Raasch also discovered new talent, garnering amateur video from pet owners who believe their cats belong on camera, as well as capturing experienced stage performer, Tuna, in her element.
Raasch quipped that “The project was inspired by that moment when you’re petting a cat and the cat flops over on its side to present its stomach, so you pet the stomach and it chomps you!” “That is when play gets serious. The song and video were inspired by that moment.”
“Cats do exactly what they want, when they want. How different is that from the human heart? It’s equally unwieldy and impossible to control.”
“Cats have an innate quirkiness, austere dignity and complete lack of sense of humor that ends up making them hilarious,” says Raasch. “Why not give back to the creatures that provide us with so much laughter and stress relief?”
An egg-shaped trailer painted bubblegum pink stands alone in a desert, framed by rocks jutting dramatically skyward. From inside, a woman in a skintight catsuit emerges and begins to dance to a percolating electronic beat punctuated by purrs and meows. The video continues with a rock band of seven year-old girls, a handful of curious rescue kittens and the artist alternating between a catsuit and leopard print, hoodie-footie pajamas.
The shoot took place at Vasquez Rocks, the desert park near Los Angeles, which provided a memorable backdrop for 1960s episodes of Star Trek. Cameras rolled on Raasch as she danced fervently in 100-degree sun. “The right way that Kitty likes,” she purrs into the lens. “The wrong way, when kitty BITES!”
Nearby, in a pink, air-conditioned 1956 Pleasurecraft trailer, a rescue cat named Tuna clicks on a remote control, watching videos on an orb-shaped vintage television. “We watch cats. Cats watch us,” muses Raasch, adjusting the ears of her leopard-spotted onesie. “What do we learn from our virtual pets, and how can we translate that understanding into meaningful action to help them?”
Check out the video and tell us what you think.
Planning a flight on a Virgin America Airlines in Aug. or Sept? Let us know if you saw “Kitty Decides” and if you’re kind enough to open your wallet to support the worthy causes benefited by this project, kudos to you! For more info. and how to get involved see: kittydecides.com
Here’s to #CatsOnAPlane