Deja View : An Updated Look at Some of the Stories Featured Here During the Year : Cat Classes: : Tabby’s Education Leads to First TV Acting Role
Ryatt Redford is not related to that other Redford, Robert--movie star, social activist, sex object.
But Ryatt has his own ambitious streak. Not even 2 years old, the red-and-white tabby landed a bit role in a television comedy special, starring Paula Poundstone, which may be on cable TV next year.
Ryatt is a graduate of College for Cats, a weekly acting class in Van Nuys for felines, which was the subject of an article in May.
Owners seek a little socialization for their finicky friends and perhaps a little fortune. Sandi Wirth, animal behaviorist and instructor, started the class last year, teaching cats how to respond to verbal and hand cues, hiss on cue and stay at ease. The 10-week course costs $75.
“Ryatt was very, very shy,” said Jackie Lugo of Culver City, proud owner of the aspiring actor. “I thought the class might be a way to get him out of his shell. At first, I hadn’t really thought of the acting, but it’s wonderful.”
For his debut, Ryatt, along with other cats, entered the stage in a graduation cap and sat on a chair in front of the audience as “Pomp and Circumstance” played in the background.
Meanwhile, Poundstone interviewed the owners in a skit about education classes for cats.
Ryatt didn’t get paid for the HBO part, “but, hopefully, he’s got a long career ahead of him,” Lugo said.