Andrew Lloyd Webber got a Therapy Dog to Cope with the ‘Cats’ Movie

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Webber needed a source of support after seeing the film.

The 2019 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical Cats was, to put it politely, dead on arrival. Even before the movie released in theaters, trailers and promotional images showing the cast in full-body makeup severely creeped out onlookers, while fans of the original play found the film’s versions of the musical numbers to be lackluster. When the film finally released, it was absolutely demolished by critics and bombed at the box office, with nearly anyone who said they enjoyed the film meaning in the ironic sense. Apparently, though, this little cinematic disaster hit the absolute hardest for Webber himself.

Cats was off-the-scale all wrong,” Lloyd Webber said in an interview with Variety. “There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.”

Webber and his puppy have been inseparable throughout COVID-induced lockdown. He was so close with his new canine friend, that he brought the puppy with him to the United States on an air trip, where he had it registered as a therapy dog. “I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” he said. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical “Cats.”’ Then the approval came back with a note saying, ‘No doctor’s report required.’”

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