We often experience it in our lives. It can range heavily in its meaning depending on where it is applied. Anywhere from the strong romantic love I have for a girl named Catherine to the unconditional love between owner and pet. The latter of those two is what we saw in this short but poignant series. She and her cat is not some sort of symbolic mind bending series that people love to get hyped over. No, this is just a simple everyday story that many of us have come across. It is deep because of the emotional response it will strike with many viewers, myself included. She and her cat is to me one of the finest pieces of anime I have had the pleasure of smiling and crying at. It is only the fifth piece of anime to make me cry, and as with all of the works in the medium to do so, it holds a place in my heart as a special artwork to be remembered.
She and her cat was originally a short single shot of animation made in 1999 by the now well-known Makoto Shinkai. This however is not the same piece of anime merely the spiritual successor to the original. What we have here is a brand new story. It is all in the title too. It is a simplistic story told through two people’s point of view, a girl and her cat. I would say this show is most definitely a story about two things. Those two primary themes being love and the power of love. So simply put yeah this show is a love story through and through just not in the traditional sense of the word.
Have you ever had a pet? I’m sure most people reading this would say yes. And I’m also certain the majority of you would also agree in saying a pet can be more than just that label we give it. After a while the bond you create with them and share together over years together flourishes into something more. They become a family member right before your eyes. That is the small-scale story we get in this anime. We see the intense love and scope of feelings created within the relationship between this girl and her cat. Watching how much they care and love for each other on the micro level. It’s not hard to believe it at all because many of us have it now or once had it. Your pet can mean the whole world to you. This anime really hit me hard because of my recent experiences with my own pet.
For the better part of 9 years I had a cat. His name was about as boring as they come. Good ole Kitty. I loved Kitty though. It is no exaggeration when I tell you all that through the course of my high school and college years Kitty was my best friend. I’ve always been one to keep my emotions to myself. I’m not the sharing type, but with my best friend who would just comfort me and listen without a word, I felt safe. And I felt love. He was my single source of pure happiness for those 9 years. Being a cat I guess it is fitting it was 9 that was his number. Kitty gave me a lot of strength when I was down and meant a lot to me. So when he passed away this year I felt lost. When you lose a pet, a family member, a best friend, you don’t just get over it. You have to find a way to stay strong.
In the anime this is what happens. Daru leaves his owner after helping her get back on her feet with one more showing of love. His pure unconditional love. The most beautiful love in the world by far is that of the one you are given by your pet. After he used the last of his energy to do this for her he could finally rest at ease. He knew she would be okay. This is where the love and the power of it collide into a storm of meaning. The power of his love was the motivation for the girl to find her way(ahh Hercules pops in my head everytime I type that), and to take a step forward.
Taking a step forward is hard. Especially when you are an adult. *Language Warning* Fuck, I mean fucking hell, life is hard. Really god damn hard sometimes. You feel crushed by the weight of your own problems and all the expectations it thrusts upon you. I have felt it more than my fair share. Hell it was happening again a little bit here lately. The struggle of everyday can become taxing beyond description. But you know what, I took a step forward. How did I do it? This anime reminded me of the power of love. Love is powerful and can take hold of you in many ways.
The girl used the love and care Daru gave her to inspire her to not stay beaten down by the world and it’s hardships and rather fight against it for a future where you can be happier despite how hard it gets. I started sobbing like a child about 3 minutes in when the cat died because it reminded me of two things. One I lost my dear friend, and two that he loved me so much and gave me a life to be happy about. My step forward was different from his. I mentioned a girl named Catherine at the start of this post. She is the person who I am taking my step forward with. I won’t go into very deeply about what I’ve gone through in the past year but a lot of death and depression. I felt like giving up. And finding the resolve to hold on has been hard. Watching this anime reminded me that I am thankful. Thankful for the love I’ve had and the love I have. I’m thankful for Kitty and his 9 years of dedicated unconditional love. He was my biggest support through so much. And now my life is scarier than ever.
You know what though? He left me in good hands. The love of my present and future(The lovely Catherine <3) is now the person I find my strength in. I can see who I am and why I can be a better me. I can see why I can be happier and why life is beautiful. I can see so many things that I wasn’t because it was clouded in a flurry of confusion and pain. I can see all of these because Kitty’s love(And other close people like my Onee-chan! 😉 ) from before, and the woman who is in my life now who shows me the best and happiest me. And I do love her with all my heart.
So, why did I love this anime? It was personal for me. It was a great tale. My favorite kind of story. A story about love. Love is built-in many ways. I have great love right now for the perfect girl for me and I have incredible love from a kitty. And that kitty I could see in Daru. As all pet owners can see if they watch this anime. Yes, you can experience great loss. I’ve lost a parent, my cat, and almost myself in the past year. However, you can find yourself again if you keep taking a step forward and remember to be thankful for those people. This anime reminded me once again how wonderful the love I’ve had in my life is and how wonderful it is going to keep being. Thank you She and Her Cat. Thank you for reminding me, love is great, and life is great.
I highly recommend this anime to anyone who can handle a bit of emotional leakage from your eyes. It’s sad but it is a reminder to never forget or take for granted what you care about most. Life is wonderful my little wanderers, now go out there and find the people you love most and do something for me. Give them a hug, a cute message, something. Any way you can express how much they mean to you. Life is too short to miss your chance to show your love. Now go out there and spread the love.
See ya my little wanderers, take care and travel safely.