a bitch-slap at human love: daniel and our cats.

Do you think you really love the person next to you? Do you, do you really? If the answer is “yes”, then you won’t mind to compare your kind of love with the kind of love you’re going to discover below. What I’m talking about? I’m talking about a british documentary film, “Daniel and our cats”, produced and directed by Julika Kennaway which tells the story of a married couple in Namibia who owned two leopards and a lion before they were cruelly taken away. The documentary originally aired in the UK on Animal Planet on 25 December, 2007 and – what a shame – it took me a few years to discover it.

This award-winning documentary film tells the fateful story of Catherine, a 30 year old French woman arrived in Namibia in search of Africa’s big cats. In the midst of the desert she married Daniel, known locally as ‘the lion man’. Fascinated by his extraordinary ways with animals, Catherine lived an unusual and idyllic life in the remote Namibian hills with two leopards, a black-maned lion and her new husband. But one fateful night everything she loved was snatched away. Daniel, Catherine and their cats were on their way to a film shoot when their cats were confiscated by the authorities at the Namibia/South Africa border. Without the right paperwork they stood no chance with the authorities. Daniel was imprisoned and the cats taken to a secret location. Following Daniel’s eventual release, viewers watch as he and Catherine are forced to start a new life in South Africa with a baby lion cub, whilst still battling for their other cats.

When Daniel is finally able to track his cats down in Namibia, incredible footage shows the reunion between him and cats, as all three cats remember Daniel, highlighting their unique bond. But as Daniel begins the long journey home to Catherine and his lawyers in a desperate attempt to reclaim his cats, yet another tragedy befalls them all: Daniel dies in a car crash. The car is being hit just when he tells Catherine – on the phone – he’s very optimistic about their cats’ future. The rest of the story is just incredible: Catherine continues the battle for their cats and, after 2 years, she gets them back and makes sure they will have a peaceful life in Amani, a wild reservation. In swahili, “amani” means “peace” and Catherine says, by the end of the movie, that a peaceful life is just what she wants for her and Daniel’s cats and the rest of their lives. After making sure her and Daniel’s cats will have a beautiful life, Catherine finally moves back to Namibia, the place Daniel loved the most and the place where they shared the happiest moments and their lives.

It’s a bitter-sweet story and it’s incredible to discover such a strong bond between humans and animals. The strangest fact is when Daniel visits his cats and – even after 2 years – they recognize them: their love (let’s call it love, cause that’s what it is) for the people that cared for them is un-altered. It’s a great story that highlightens the fact that sometimes animals are way better than humans: they don’t hurt unless they’re hungry or unless they’re provoked. And they never forget, no matter what. Ain’t that a bitch-slap lesson for humans? Secondly, it’s a great story that highlightens the fact that sometimes true love never dies: it survives everything, even the people that once shared it. Ain’t that a bitch-slap for those who don’t believe in it?

To make it short, “Daniel and our Cats” is a personal, true story of love, loss and healing, told in Catherine’s own and charming words. And here it goes a little spoiling, I can’t help but sharing this, sorry: after a few years, Catherine married another man and eventually had a baby girl named Tara. So it’s a happy ending… in the end. Photo Credits: Animal Planet

Categories: Uncategorized | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “a bitch-slap at human love: daniel and our cats.

  1. Claudia Bento

    Its a wonderfull story and it shoes that we all can contribute to protect this marvallous criatures. They are peaceful and can interact with humans and establish love bounds.
    Protect this lovely criatures.

  2. Paula

    It is a true love story, like no other in the world…

  3. karen evans

    This was not a love story. It was a French model who tracked Daniel down for her own gain. Daniel died on the way to finally get the cats back. After he died Catherine could only get one released the other two had to stay caged up. They would never been used for a photo shoot if she hadn’t turned up. How well her life turned out married with a child living off the back of Daniel!

  4. This was not a love story. Catherine went there for her own gain. He lost the cats because of a photo shoot for her. He died on the way to get them back. She only managed to get one released the other two had to stay caged. Daniel would still be alive today if she hadn’t come into his life. She got a life she wanted married with a child and continues to live off his name.

    • Brian Uranovsky

      Karen I have just seen what you wrote and feel that I must reply to put things right and in perspective. Firstly the french model Catherine is and was no french model and she never ever remarried to this day. She did have a child yes. Daniel was arranging the film shoots for the cats to do commercials not Catherine.
      Catherine wanted all the animals to go to good places and that was what she tried to do.
      I know this because after the accident when Daniel was tragically killed in a truck accident I took over the filming with Julika Kennaway to complete the film.
      So before you judge find out the facts first
      Are you connected to Daniel or anyone in the film that you seem to know things that you can made these rediculous statements or a girlfriens scorned – Brian Uranovsky Cameraman Daniel and Cats

      • Eddie Graham

        Well said Brian. I thought this was such a moving story. I watched this whilst working in Namibia so I could connect with what was happening in the documentary. I would like a copy of this if it is available. Many thanks and well done with this documentary.

  5. Mr. Probeer

    @Karen and @Brian

    Don’t you think its funny that they leave out the death of Leevi, ehich occured just before they went to “show the water to their cats” in the middle of the night? or how daniel went back to probeer to take everything that was on the farm with him? No ofcourse not cause that would shed a bad light oin him… this movie is touching but leaves out a lot of crucial details….

  6. BrianUranovsky

    Eddie please contact me on brianuranovsky@gmail.com

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