Animal Rentals Blog


January 14, 2015 by Animal Rentals

Ever wonder how animals are able to do the things they do in a movie or commercial?   Recently ANIMAL RENTALS was commissioned for a commercial involving a black cat running across an alley.  Sound easy? Remember, this was to be done at 11:00 pm on a very cold, wintry Chicago night in an alley at The Redhead Piano Bar on Ontario street.  Mobile dressing/hub trailers lined the street while a police car blocked the end of the alley to keep traffic out.  How would a cat possibly perform in this unfamiliar location and with all these distractions?

Carol, a well known cat trainer, brought a team of 3 black cats; FLUFF, MUFF and RUFF.  They live indoors, but are trained to perform outside if necessary. Owing to the low temperature and for the safety of the cat, the shot had to be done quickly.  Trained to sit where they are placed, all three cats sat still allowing the crew to get the first shot of a cat sitting in an alley.  A short break followed, allowing Carol three minutes to rehearse the second shot.  MUFF was to run from one side of the alley to the other.  To do this, a carrier was set out of camera range where MUFF was needed to go.  Setting her down a couple of feet from the carrier, a command KENNEL was spoken and MUFF went into the carrier. Did you know that  cats can be trained to recognize words?  After a moment to praise and reward her performance, the process was repeated until the required length (12 feet) was reached.  MUFF was ready.

With a call of  “Action”.  MUFF was placed at point A (the starting point) and her carrier placed across the alley at point B.  MUFF is trained to walk behind her trainer, but since  they wanted her running, Carol had to run through the camera shot so MUFF would follow her and run into her carrier.  Eight takes were filmed with MUFF performing flawlessly.  Satisfied that they had what they needed, the filming ended.  It was midnight.


All three cats and our wonderful trainer Carol needed baths when they got home as they had soaked up a lot of dirty alley water.

Great job everyone!


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Animal Rentals, Inc., licensed by the USDA, is fully insured and has been in business for over 40 years.