If you’re a cat lover, buckle up: These short documentaries from Sheba will bring a tear to your eye.
Created by AMV BBDO and Academy Award-nominated director Geoffrey O’Connor, each film focuses on how cats are far more than just pets that sleep and watch birds. Called “The Cats That Rule the World,” the three-part series explores the unique bond between cats and their owners, showing how a feline companion can help people battle depression, loneliness and PTSD.
The first film—and perhaps the most emotional—spotlights a cat training program in Washington that relies on prisoners. A local humane society brings stray and feral cats to prisoners participating in the program that rely on them to socialize their assigned cat and keep an eye out for any health issues before it’s put up for adoption.
Much of the film focuses on the relationship between a prisoner and Galileo, a 15-pound cat put into his care. When he’s released from prison, he adopts Galileo, hoping that the cat can help him stay out of trouble.
Spoiler alert: The documentary concludes by sharing that he’s been out of prison for more two years, living with his mom, working and taking care of Galileo.
A second documentary features Jordan, an Iraq War veteran whose cat, Izzy, helped him heal when he returned home.
“I would lose my mind. I still wasn’t out of military mode,” he says. “Having Izzy here was very calming for me. In those times where I really was over the top with anger, that goofy cat would jump in my lap and purr and fall asleep.”
The third film follows Sandra and her cat Denali, which she describes as her “best friend.” As she learns to climb in Colorado, she takes Denali with her via backpack.
“He knows just to sit still in that pack,” she says. “I’m so proud of him. To me, he defies all odds of what a cat should do.”
“The Sheba brand understands the value of a cat’s bond with their human companion. We wanted to create interesting content that highlights the real power cats have over people,” Craig Neely, vice president of marketing at Mars Petcare, said in a statement.
“Leveraging Geoffrey’s creative ability to explore various subcultures around the globe, and with the guidance of the Humane Society, this series allows us to tell a larger story behind the phrase ‘cats that rule the world,’” he continued.