Is Richard Armitage a cat person?

Has anyone else noticed a career pattern emerging?

First, Richard Armitage appeared together with a very large cat in series 3, episode 5, of Robin Hood.

Then, he narrated The Lost Land of the Tiger for broadcast in September, 2010 (excellent documentation of this production at Richard Armitage Online, along with a different excerpt). Here, he’s bookending the speculations of a tiger researcher who’s just found some tigers at an unexpected altitude:

Next, we enjoyed his narration of Elsa, the Lioness that Changed the World, in February, 2011 (similarly stringent documentation of this production at Richard Armitage Online, along with a different excerpt). Here, he’s narrating the end of and meaning of the life and deeds of George Adamson:

 

Stupid Servetus question for our UK readers: He’s definitely got his RP voice on for this gig. So why does he pronounce “appreciate” like “a-pre-SEE-ate” but “species” like “spe-SHEES”? Is that just how you do it over there, y’all?

These last two programs are rather serious tearjearkers about the disappearance of and need to preserve very large felines. Now, it’s been revealed (See “News” for September 2, 2011) that Mr. Armitage also narrates a National Geographic program called The Leopards of Dead Tree Island. A clip is here, and it’s pretty much the saddest of all of these stories. Seriously — I am not kidding — I am not especially tenderhearted when it comes to animals, but Richard Armitage brought tears to my eyes with his narration.

So, is it possible that Richard Armitage is a cat person? I mean, I don’t think we can necessarily draw conclusions on this basis, but I thought this summary of research on personality differences between dog and cat people was fascinating. Cat people are supposedly both less extroverted and more creative and philosophical.

I was also thinking about the whole acting question (in the vein of “I’m not a cat person, but I play one on tv“) and thinking that here, it’s really hard to say. Some of these roles he’s played definitely seem to be dog people! I’d say that I’d group his characters as follows.

Suspected cat people: Guy of Gisborne, Lucas North, Peter Macduff

Suspected dog people: Harry Kennedy, John Porter, Mr. Thornton, Ian Macalwain, Steven (Frozen), Paul Andrews, Heinz Kruger, Angus

Neither (either too narcissistic or too busy, or just don’t care): John Mulligan, Alex Track, Ricky Deeming, Lee (Cold Feet)

And finally, not that this issue would tip the balance either way, but I find John Standring hard to place, since people who work on farms can be imagined with all sorts of animals. Here’s a poll to ask you what you think.

Given these possibilities, is Richard Armitage a cat person who’s often seen playing a dog person?

And finally, what about the future? What can we expect to see from Thorin Oakenshield?

For the record, Servetus is neither a dog nor a cat person, but, if forced to have one or the other in her house, would pick a cat. She assumes that Richard Armitage, traveling between continents for work as he does, does not have a house pet.

~ by Servetus on September 9, 2011.

63 Responses to “Is Richard Armitage a cat person?”

  1. I love how your mind works! I have never before even asked myself about the possibility of Richard’s having a pet! But I agree with you that, with his current lifestyle, he probably doesn’t. I’m neither a cat or a dog person but would probably choose a cat like you if forced to make a decision. I simply choose not to have any pets these days so that I’m free to go away at any time on the spur of the moment.

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    • I think the fair conclusion based on this evidence is that he doesn’t object to being paid to narrate tearjerker wildlife stories that involve big cats in the wild — lions, tigers, and leopards, oh my! — but this post was fun to write.

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  2. oh yes……appreciate (see) and species (she) is the way most Brits and Australians I know say those words.

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  3. Yeah, I would assume with his busy lifestyle jetting all over the globe for his roles, RA really wouldn’t be able to keep a pet. As the co-owner of four cats and three dogs, I know they can be quite a handful.

    You know, I love both cats and dogs, but I appreciate them in different ways. Cats fascinate me in a manner that dogs do not. I love how there is still a wild quality to cats–and how they never apologise for misbehaving. Whereas my dogs look so cowed when I have to scold them. Cats have chutzpah. πŸ˜‰

    My husband says cats are women in tiny fur coats and dogs are men in fur coats . . . and I can see where he gets that.
    The Sloth Fiction boys are quite fond of all the canines and felines around here . . . which is a good thing. πŸ˜€

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    • my main reason for picking a cat over a dog would be its sense of independence. I don’t like needy things.

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      • They’re not needy, they just show their love for you πŸ˜‰

        I can’t put RA in a category but I always thought Guy to be a dog man, although by the description he does fits as a cat man.

        OML πŸ™‚

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        • you’re so charitable, OML πŸ™‚

          The dog I spent two weeks with in August was afraid of thunderstorms. He was needy! But I guess dogs could also be loving.

          I have ot check out the dogs in series 1 — if he shows them any affection.

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  4. Richard is a cat at least here in my country, because we use the slang “cat” (gato in portuguese) to a man sexually attractive. He has the fluid elegance of a big feline, too. πŸ˜€

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    • I loved those sinuous cat-like moves–the slinking down the castle corridors–as Guy, and the stealthy-like-a-panther ways of Lucas. And as Kaprekar said, he PLAYED a cat. And judging from those video clips, he played one very, very well. *thud* So I definitely think he relates well to cats.

      Slightly off topic, but I always thought Guy loved his horses. The way he would give them a pat after dismounting.

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      • Good point about the horses. Esp because apparently Mr. Armitage had a strained relationship with his horse during the first season πŸ™‚

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    • Oooh — cultural knowledge! I love it. I definitely think he has a sexy walk when he wants.

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  5. RA is a dog person, preferably little Pomeranians. I have a gut feeling. πŸ˜‰

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  6. You forgot to mention that Richard has also played a cat, in Cats!

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  7. Of course it’s speculation, but I think he is a cat person. πŸ˜€ Just a feeling.

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  8. Yes, Lucas is definitely a cat person πŸ™‚

    I think Mr. Thornton would be a cat person, too! I can’t imagine him liking a yappy or attention needy dog. He may like dogs, but he’d prefer a cat as a pet IMO.

    BTW, Australia’s PM has been made fun of (by Aussie comedians) for the way she says negotiate.

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    • huh. Interesting. I read Thornton as a definite dog man, but yes, not a yappy dog. A big one.

      Recently I spent (against my will) two weeks with a Rhodesian ridgeback. A dog like that, maybe.

      Thanks for the info about the PM. Interesting!

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      • Yes it would need to be a dog with the right kind of temperament. A cat might get up to mischief with all that cotton, so a mild mannered dog might be more suitable πŸ™‚

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        • There is a cool stiffness about Thornton that reads cat person to me, but I could see him with a large dog. Perhaps a status symbol dog or a guard dog–a dog with a function other than friendship or playfulness.

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          • interesting! I don’t read him as cat person at all. But I see there is a significant minority opinion here that will ahve to be researched.

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          • I could see Thornton having a big dog for companionship. Someone he could actually talk to unguardedly, who’d never tell on him for being less than in command, who’d never stint in unconditional love under any circumstances. That man’s got a deep need for contact and love.

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      • I think Thornton would absolutely hate a small, yappy dog. Something big–a mastiff, perhaps?–that commanded respect in the animal kingdom would go down better. But I can also see him relating to the right cat.

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  9. I would say, that even cat persons might have a dog as pet, as they are searching for something different from what they are themselves. I would characterise myself as a bit of a cat person, as a pet, I would most likely chose a dog, if I could. A cat person and a cat would rarely meet and go their own way, though they would understand each other. (Just my ramblings. It is a hypothetical question for me, as I know I cannot have either a cat or a dog.)

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    • hmmm … I’m not exactly sure what you mean. There may be a misunderstanding here. “A cat person” in the U.S. usually means someone who prefers to have a cat as a pet or likes cats over dogs.

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      • Yes, I do see the idea behind it. It is the same way in German. What I tried to say is that it is normally assumed that people connect and would chose the animal with the more similar characteristics to one’s own and are therefore classified as cat- or dog-person. But, that could also be misleading, as one sometimes is searching for something one is not. With RA I would rather classify him as cat-person, but am not sure he would choose one. Perhaps if the neighbor was the owner of the cat and it only came to visit from time to time, then I think he would not mind, as he would understand its need for independence and its free spirit. (My musings are purely hypothetical and just for fun ;o)

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  10. Am I wrong or are many people in Armitage world cat lovers?

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    • That would be an interesting poll question πŸ™‚

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      • I think it is fascinating that most people I know in real life love dogs precisely because of what you would call them being “needy” and someone else call “they are showing love for you” and most people I met online love cats. I don’t have pets, but it would have to be a cat! If a cat comes to a human, it is out of it’s free will, not because they are it’s master (“Herrchen”).

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        • I love both cats and dogs, but with a cat, there is this sense they have chosen you. If they deign to make you their friend, to spend time with you, somehow–it makes you feel rather privileged. At least it does me. I must be pretty worthwhile if they like me! πŸ˜€

          Certain cats also can have incredible power to charm and twist you around their little paws. Our smart, friendly, playful Ginger, who lived to be nearly 20, was, naturally, adored by cat lovers; yet even those who didn’t think they cared much for cats fell for her. My father, a phlegmatic soul who couldn’t be bothered to get up and change the channel on the TV only a few feet from his recliner, got up and crossed the room quite hurriedly in order to open the hallway door “because Gingie (as he called her) wanted to go down the hall.”

          We always got a chuckle over that.

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  11. I like both. I’d have both as members of my household (it’s been done and worked for several family members – the cats and dogs get on really well). The only reason I refuse to have a cat is that there are so many neighbourhood cats already, and a domestic cat’s need for a really wide range of territory leads to lots of fights, not to mention the massacre of small wildlife. Over here, we think of keeping cats indoors as inhumane, unless they’re ill or something; it’s a very different attitude to America, which has different wildlife and different diseases to contend with. My American cat-owning friends loved their cats, no doubt, and were upset that I was so uncomfy with having what to me are patently predatory, ranging animals kept indoors all day. It was a real culture shock on both sides and took some time to get used to.

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    • As you say, Karen, it is a very different attitude re cats in America vs. England. All our current cats are inside animals, although we have had several outside cats over the years. However, between the hawks, coyotes, bobcats, vehicles and other dangers we never kept the outside cats for long. : (

      And our three large dogs did not get to grow up with cats the way our previous dogs did, so they would only chase and worry them to death. (I used to love looking outside and seeing a big yellow dog curled up cozily with a big orange marmalade cat. It was pretty adorable)

      Our humane society participates in a Trap-Neuter-Return program which has spayed or neutered more than 450 feral cats in our county to date. There is a huge pet overpopulation problem here and we are trying to help remedy that. They will be happier, healthier animals in the long run once they are “fixed.”

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    • Karen, few people realize the impact of domestic animals in wild populations, and this goes far beyond the predation, including disease transmission as canine distemper and parvovirus, which are lethal to wild carnivores, and competition for limited resources. Numerous species are endangered or already extinct due to the introduction of domestic species to the environment. Population control, disease control and responsible ownership are some of the mitigation measures that can prevent the extinction of many wild species.

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      • Indeed – not to mention the moral considerations over the concept of keeping animals as pets. That can get very heated and acrimonious, given all the personal and cultural baggage that gets hooked into the core questions of entitlement, the evolution of domestic animals, and short and long-term pragmatism. Lots of difficult stuff to chew over, and I’m certainly far less clear in reality than theory!

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    • Growing up we always had what were called “outside” cats — they fed themselves on small rodents and we gave them milk. They weren’t very tame, and they had too many babies. This was the kind of pet my parents grew up with — they did not like animals in the house and i inherited that. Now my parents are hostile about cats like that because they like to watch songbirds and the neighbor’s outside cat is interfering with their pleasure.

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      • Like farm cats, or like neighbourhood strays?

        Sorry, it just intrigues me. I was living in a densely populated urban area in the US, and I’m aware that there are big cultural differences across the nation – I just hadn’t considered it in relation to cats.

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        • Like farm cats. My parents both grew up on dairy farms, and I grew up in the middle of nowhere but not on a farm. Most people we knew did not have house pets, though a lot had farm dogs.

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          • I get you. Yes, they’re very different from the average domestic moggy.

            Mind you, I sometimes wonder how much the difference between cats and dogs is entirely down to biology. Of course, dogs are pack animals, and cats Walk By Themselves; still, it intrigues me that we just automatically treat them differently while telling ourselves (and others) that we do so purely because we’re responding to their behaviour. My uncle trained the kitten he found half dead by the farmhouse just the way he trained the dogs. She came when called by name, sat, lay, walked to heel, and begged for treats. She also went out to hunt and liked to perch alone up in the barn. How much would she have done if he hadn’t taken it upon himself to train her?

            Where’s the point where culture and biology meet? Given that our genes are constantly switching off and on in response to our environment, can we ever tell?

            And I got that from “Is RA a cat person or a dog person?” There is something a bit wrong with me…

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  12. Thing is, Mr. A moves like a cat. A big cat. Perhaps, though, at heart he’s a horse person? After all, he comes from a horse-riding county! And horses can perform such elegant dressage. Acutally, I could see Ricky D with a Doberman. Gisborne with a pack of Rotties…Harry would have a Lab or Retriever….Paul could have a poodle – whoops, getting silly now!

    Judiang! A Pom!!! (Sorry, Patty…though you would fit in his brown leather briefcase)

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    • In one first season episode of Robin Hood (Who Shot the Sheriff?) it shows that Guy does have a soft spot for dogs–at least in a manhunt.

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    • I wondered while writing this when he learned to ride. It was well before RH because he’s on horseback in Cleopatra.

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      • Does he ride the horse in Cleopatra or is he only on the horse. You don’t need to know how to ride to just stay on the horse and say your lines.
        I remember RA said somewhere that there’s a scene where his horse just began to run and crew members were calling him as if he was going away but it was actually the horse and he couldn’t stop him. It doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t know how to ride up to that point but with that I thought he learned in RH.

        OML πŸ™‚

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        • He does ride the horse as I recall in Cleo (not that he is in it a lot)–but perhaps he was never comfortable with it and several years elapsed before he played Guy and had to get introduced to Richie during Hood Academy. I thought his horseback riding really evolved as did his character in RH–look at that amazing hip action as he is riding out of the castle to meet Jasper in S2. And he was magnificent on both Richie and that white horse in S3.

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          • I agree, if he had an idea how to ride when he went to shoot RH the knowledge might not have been fresh because if you see him carefully in S1, I think you can tell he’s not in total control of the horse.
            On the other hand he looks awesome in S2&S3, Hood Academy payed off :D.

            OML πŸ™‚

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            • I know the word is ‘paid’ (after I clicked on send I look at the word and said ‘why does it look weird’)

              -comment boxes should have an edit button- *sigh*

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            • Yeah, I think Hood Academy and the ensuing time he spent in the saddle while shooting the three series–after all, he was in, what, 37 eps in all, and on horseback in quite a few of those eps–allowed him to master his riding technique (and how! I refer you once more, ladies and gents, to those hips) and develop quite the rapport with Richie. πŸ˜€

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  13. I can see Thornton as a cat lover but a guard dog type would suit him too. But I especially see Harry as a cat lover. I can see him curled up with a book with a cat snoozing nearby. (Or maybe that was Geraldine…) πŸ™‚
    While I do like dogs, I am definitely a cat lover. My whole family prefers cats to dogs, for all the reasons you mentioned.
    Sadly, I am allergic to both, so no pets for me!
    I love your John Standring Poll! I went with the idea that he loves all animals. How could he pick one over another?
    Love this idea for a post. I had even started a cat themed post myself, but I wasn’t aware of his latest voice work!

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    • Harry? Really? He’s so extroverted.

      In khandy’s Sparkhouse fanfic, she has John Standring having conversations with the animals in his barns. I love those scenes — great characterizations.

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      • I could see Harry wanting to curl up with a good book, a nice cuppa and a cozy purring cat. In Sloth Fic, he is particularly partial to Callie–and she to him. πŸ˜‰

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  14. Standring is a dog person. While he probably has nothing against cats and would happily have a few around the farm, I think he’d be happier with a dog lying at his feet.

    Armitage himself … I’m not sure. I’ve been wondering the same thing for quite some time. I hope he really likes both, even if he doesn’t have the time for either at the moment. If not, he can come stay with us for a bit and Daisy will make him come around. She worked wonders with my dad, who REALLY didn’t like cats! Now he’s happily offering his lap up for hours whenever the neighbour’s cat comes along for a cuddle! πŸ™‚

    Thorin is too preoccupied with his ancestors’ gold to care for pets.

    As for the others:

    Lucas wouldn’t have time for pets, what with being a spy and in jail for almost a decade and all, but maybe … he might consider a cat. Guy strikes me as a dog person, because he’d like to be the master. A cat would just look at him and go, “oh yeah, as if”. Macduff (from Retold?) … he had a family, didn’t he? I could see a feline there, sure. Porter would definitely have a dog, a labrador or golden retriever. Macalwain I haven’t seen enough of yet, but I can’t see him having any kind of pet – except perhaps a snake. πŸ˜‰

    Steven … honestly don’t remember anything except thinking “Frozen” was weird and boring. Andrews … possibly dogs (or do I base that on him being a dawg?). Who’s Angus? Kruger would have a cat, I think – a Siamese or Oriental. Thornton is more likely to have a dog, I would think, but at the same time, I can also see a cat or two lurking about. At least if he lived today. Mulligan would have a rottweiler or dobermann, just because he’s that sort of person. Big and intimidating.

    Track or Deeming I haven’t seen in action (yet – have tGH on DVD tho). Lee probably grew up with dogs in the home even if he can’t be bothered to care for any himself now. Harry Kennedy would definitely have a cat snuggled up in his lap when reading one of those John Le CarrΓ© novels he so favours. πŸ™‚ Or maybe two, named after characters in a novel, like “Frodo” and “Bilbo”. (Nope, not Thorin. :P)

    Can’t believe I’ve just written 400+ words about fictional characters’ pet preferences!!

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    • Yeah, you really care about this issue πŸ™‚ Perhaps you should do a series on each character separately πŸ™‚

      I think Mulligan is too narcissistic for a pet. But you and I really read these things extremely differently. I can’t see Harry as a cat person at all.

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  15. […] this rather silly question, this is how you voted on various […]

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  16. […] I can’t help but point out that I was wrong. […]

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  17. […] chuckling that this is probably the only time when Servetus was wrong and my instincts proved spot […]

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  18. […] the question we have asked ourselves many times before: is he a cat or a dog person? Indeed, Servetus pondered this subject back in 2011, and in a poll, 21 people thought he was a cat person, to ten people who thought he was a dog […]

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