Wristcutters – A Love Story, which deals with a wide variety of characters who committed suicide and have ended up in a Purgatory-esque afterlife, one of the afterlife inhabitants is an older man of Russian extraction whose entire immediate family of Russian immigrants to America committed suicide at different times, eventually to re-unite in this particular dimension of the afterlife. The story goes that his wife “offed” because she “missed Russia”, and that he followed sometime after, because “he couldn’t go on without her”, in combination with the shock of finding that his youngest son was gay. His chosen method of suicide was hanging. As the camera pans in his living room, an orange-and-white cat was shown on a credenza, atop a white tablecloth, next to a collection of family photos.

As the paterfamilias of the Russian emigre clan makes the fateful decision to hang himself, the cat in the background becomes more out-of-focus.

As the paterfamilias of the Russian emigre clan makes the fateful decision to hang himself, the cat in the background becomes more out-of-focus.

Then the staging of the suicide was shown: the man facing a noose of slim rope in the foreground. Significantly, the cat, now seen in the background, becomes more out-of-focus as the man makes the fateful decision to hang himself. He grimly puts his head into the noose and the scene fades to black.
The cat is seen nowhere else in the movie, and, from all appearances, the grim and gritty afterlife inhabited by characters who committed suicide seems to have no cats at all, though there are dogs, and one plays an important role in the picture.
The cat’s sole cameo appearance (significantly, in the earthly life) was as a visual significator of the comforts of home.

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