Coffee the cat


Coffee, official Maneki Neko

Coffee is the company mascot, replacing the much missed Chuffy RIP.

Coffee was born on a farm in Kent, just one little kitty amongst three litters delivered almost simultaneously by the three farm cats. She spent her first two months hanging out in the laundry room with her brothers and sisters and three tiny ducklings (protected from the felines by a tupperware bowl), with occasional visits from the farmer, his wife, the farm sheepdog and the farm rottweiler.

Despite being a nervous hissing ball of fluff for a few days after moving in with the team, Coffee soon became one of the most spoilt and contented cats on the planet, treated to a mountain of toys and gourmet cat foods, a 5 foot high "cat activity centre" and a multitude of comfy little feline beds around the house. She came out of herself and quickly learnt the feline art of human manipulation.

Despite never allowing most mere humans to get anywhere near her highly prized coat, bribery with tuna and honeydew melon has developed a fine repertoire of tricks including kiss (numerous variations), shake hand, spin, sit like a meercat, "show" (where she points with her paw at what toy she wants to play with, which food she wants, or what door or whatever she wants opened for her), jump the stick and "don't start fights with the 10 stone dog".

The arrival of said dog (Baron, a Japanese Akita; known for their instinctive desire to hunt anything smaller than them, their stubborn refusal to back down or acknowledge pain and their ability to grow into 10 stone monsters capable of taking out bears) resulted in a brief spate of depression that quickly cleared up when she realised dogs can't climb on the piano, jump up on work surfaces, get over the newly installed baby gates or even negotiate stairs without considerable mental strain. The even more recent addition of a second cat, Cookie, met with similar frosty reception, however after a year Cookie is still the size of a kitten whilst Coffee is the same weight as the average wildcat and has discovered that a second cat means a second bowl of food that she can claim and stand over growling when she's peckish. For her own part, Cookie has mastered the surprise ambush and they keep each other on their toes.

Coffee is very literally one in a million suffering from the genetic disorder polycythemia, a form of leukaemia which forces red blood cell production into overdrive and very nearly killed her when it surfaced in 2004. Pet Plan insurance learned to curse her name with a five figure veterinary bill taking in the most advanced facility for feline medicine in the country and Coffee is now not only one of the youngest cats to have experienced polycythemia but also one of only a handful to survive it's onset and the ongoing treatment of a weekly pill; thanks to Newnham Court Veterinary Practice and the Animal Health Trust for keeping our little bean alive. Coming up to almost 10 years of age she shows no signs of letting some trifling bone marrow issue prevent her from her long time favourite activities of eating tuna, sleeping on Piper's desk and taking walks in the garden on sunny days, she even managed a 30 foot drop from an open upstair window onto a solid patio because she fancied chewing some grass and couldn't be bothered to moan at the door.

Coffee made her film debut in Gelli and Coffee, Coffee Films' submission to the One World One Minute project and appeared as an example of a domestic cat in Last of the Scottish Wildcats, she has had occasional work modelling for the RSPCA, cat accessories companies and greetings cards and was also a key inspiration for the company's move into natural history filmmaking and eventual establishment of a wildlife conservation charity for Scottish wildcats (the Scottish Wildcat Association). She has been the most beautiful and wonderful thing in our lives for nearly a decade, our own little tabby coloured Maneki Neko and always the most independent of spirits in the team; every indie filmmaker should give a good home to a cat!