Stanley Kubrick was a cat person and a dog person, meaning he embodied both the appreciation for introversion and mystique associated with cats, and the eagerness to throw sticks that goes hand-in-hand with canine companionship. It’s hard to say whether his love for animals made him a better filmmaker. But he directed The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Full Metal Jacket, so it’s not like having a bunch of pets could’ve possibly been hindering him all that much.
There’re a few Hollywood legends illustrating Kubrick’s affinity for furry non-human folks. Supposedly he flipped out when an accident on the set of Full Metal Jacket annihilated a family of rabbits — which, actually, sounds like a pretty reasonable reason to cancel work for the day. And a Metafilter article quotes an interview in which he explains why he believed one of his cats could hear his thoughts.
Meanwhile, Freddy and Leo were two cats in Kubrick’s stewardship who he clearly did not consider telepathic. In the following clip, Katharina Kubrick-Hobbs, his daughter, quotes a selection from the 15 pages of instructions Kubrick left for whoever was in charge of tending his animals while he was preoccupied elsewhere. Instruction#37 concerns what steps a caretaker should undergo in an instance of Freddy and Leo ceasing to get along.
While that sounds incredibly specific, I gotta say it’s probably better advice for dealing with fighting cats than my standard procedure of letting them go apeshit on each other until they get tired.
My way’s definitely easier, tho!