By Kyle Price-Livingston
You’ve probably heard dogs referred to as “man’s best friend.” This is because dogs are generally thought to be loyal, playful and happy, exactly the characteristics most people look for in a best friend. If you have a problem, your dog will try to solve it. Of course, it probably won’ have any idea what the problem is, since dogs are pretty dumb, and so it’ll end up pooping on the floor or eating your shoes, but the point is, the dog will think that it’s helping. Cats, on the other hand, are aloof, judgmental, and helpful only in that they reaffirm the universal truth that our problems are ours alone, and that the universe doesn’t care about us. This is why cats are often described as “Nature’s Therapists.”
I kid, I kid. I love cats. And therapists. Hell, I married one! (A therapist that is, not a cat). And no sane person would go to a cat for therapy. Their prices are outrageous, and they insist on curling up in your lap and going to sleep while you talk to them. No, a cat therapist would only be appropriate for other animals, which, thankfully, is the niche currently being occupied by Fifi (skillfully voiced by Sascha Alexander).
[Editor’s Note: in researching this piece we found a link on Sascha Alexander’s IMDB page for a project called “Romnegeddon.” Sascha plays “Charlotte Bartholomew: good Christian with a bad womb.” Also listed on the project is Kelly Carlin-McCall, daughter of the late George Carlin. None of this is relevant, but isn’t it interesting? Has anyone seen Romnegeddon? Is it about Mitt Romney? It has to be, right?]
Fifi: Cat Therapist is an excellent animated series springing from the mind of Mike Blum and presented by the good folks at DreamWorks TV (yes, THAT DreamWorks. The one with the panda). Each episode brings a different animal to Fifi’s [servant’s] nagahide sofa. Though anthropomorphized, the creatures present with actual, realistic animal problems (a tough bob cat who just wants to be pet, a dumb, paranoid dog who thinks he’s being stalked by his own hind leg, etc). These problems are immediately identified by our snarky hero, who makes an effort to dispense advice before throwing up her paws and settling in to mock her clients as only a cat therapist can.
The art style is really neat, with most of the backgrounds looking as though they’ve been filled in crayon. It gives the show a childlike feel that vibes nicely with the subject matter and character models. The dialogue mostly exists to work us around to various groan-inducing animal puns, which aren’t to everyone’s taste, but which I actually really enjoy. This is the rare web series which can be enjoyed by parents and kids alike, and helps to fill the void in online family entertainment.
Check out Fifi: Cat Therapist on the DreamWorks TV Youtube Channel, then spend some time talking to your cat. They’re great listeners. If they start to talk back, though, you may want to spend some time talking to a therapist instead, preferably a human one.