These friends are watching the incomprehensible terror of Cats for 24 hours straight in the name of HIV charity

Josh Milton January 30, 2020
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The trio will see this scene of a scrappy Francesca Hayward in Cats 13 times. Repeat, 13 times. (IMDb)

Someone needs to get Dante on the phone, because we’re sorry to announce that a tenth circle of Hell has been discovered; watching the movie Cats on repeat for all eternity.

While this isn’t exactly true, three pals from New York City have decided to watch Cats over and over again for 24 hours, which makes Hell look like St Barths.

To those asking why anyone sound of mind would subject themselves to such insurmountable torture, it’s all in the name of raising funds for charity Housing Works.

The non-profit aims to help people living with and impacted by HIV and AIDS, and the trio are aiming to raise $15,000 on their GoFundMe page.

So, wait, how many times can you watch Cats in a day?

Steve Kendall, Emily Lind, and Kris Imperati must watch the one hour and 50 minute film on loop.

We’ve done the quick maths, and it’s 13 times.

Let us pray for them, for watching the film that many times consecutively may plunge them into a pocket dimension of pure pain.

The rules are simple.

They are only allowed to take breaks during the credits and the entire marathon is live streamed so anyone can tune in to the descent into madness.

Stephen (L) and Kristopher are two out of the three martyrs who are doing a Cats marathon to raise money for charity. (Stephen Kendall)
Stephen (L) and Kristopher are two out of the three martyrs who are doing a Cats marathon to raise money for charity. (Stephen Kendall)

The group chat about the film a lot, and while on their way to watch Dolittle, Stephen pitched the idea to Emily.

“We had talked about working on some sort of silly project together, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity,” he told PinkNews.

“We talk about Cats on Twitter pretty nonstop. When Kris wanted to come on board, I was overjoyed because we’ve been friends forever and I knew he’d be great to work with.”

Cats is a perfect mess, a beautiful ghost if you will.’

Kristopher explained that the trio saw the film on opening night at a packed screening and “our lives were forever changed”.

He added: “I’ve seen it in theatres two more times since, and they went to see it again a week or so ago.

“It is a perfect mess, a beautiful ghost if you will.

“The thing is so fundamentally misconceived that it transcends good and bad. It’s just absolutely hilarious and like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

Stephen said: “It is a movie that is almost indescribable. Every choice that they made was a bad one, and it made something beautiful.”

Emily (L) and Stephen donned cat eats on their second viewing of Cats. (Stephen Kendall)
Emily (L) and Stephen donned cat eats on their second viewing of Cats. (Stephen Kendall)

Emily, on the other hand, knows the film is “objectively bad”.

“But I love how committed it is,” she said, “it’s a pure spectacle and I don’t think we see many of those on film.

“I love how audiences have embraced the strangeness of it all.

“I mean, how can you not be amazed watching Ray Winstone playing a cat in a sweater vest?”

The trio are raising as much money as they can for a HIV charity. 

Kristopher knows their donation target is steep, but even if it’s just their buddies and family wiring money, they’ll still stream their marathon for all to see and take relief in knowing that they are not watching Cats 13 unholy times.

“Meanwhile, I’ve been kinda going through a change of life thing and wondering what my legacy will be,” Kristopher said.

“The past couple of years I’ve had opportunities to raise funds for the HIV/AIDS community in New York and I found the experience very rewarding.

Judi Dench as a cat
Dame Judi Dench in the Cats movie trailer. (Universal)

“I wanted to try to step up those efforts this year, so when Steve mentioned that he and Emily had this harebrained scheme I knew it was meant to be.”

Kristopher continued: “In this age of PrEP I think a lot of people, especially young people, think that the battle is already won but that is not the case.

“Minority communities are disproportionately affected by the virus now more than ever – and they are also much more likely to experience poverty and homelessness.

“I would want my tombstone to read, ‘He helped as many people as he could,’ and I would like those people to be the ones most vulnerable in our world.”

More: cats, Charity, HIV/AIDS, New York

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