On July 30 2023, an anecdote about actor Antonio Banderas arranging a cats only premiere of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was shared to Facebook by the page “Tacatshi Purrakami” (presumably named as a pun-heavy reference to artist Takashi Murakami):
Alongside a set of three images depicting Banderas in a theater full of cats, text of the post explained:
[In] 2022, Antonio Banderas hosted a premiere for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish just for cats in Los Angeles. He said that he was inspired to host the screening after learning about the number of cats that are abandoned or surrendered to shelters each year. The event was held at the CatCon LA convention, and Antonio personally invited hundreds of cats. He even made sure the cats were treated to a special menu of cat-friendly snacks and drinks while they enjoyed the film.
After the screening, the lucky cats were able to meet Antonio Banderas and get their pictures taken with him. The screening was a huge success, and it raised awareness about cat adoption and animal welfare.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a CGI animated film released in December 2022, starring Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas (voicing the titular role of Puss in Boots). A brief IMDb synopsis described the film’s plot:
When Puss in Boots discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll and he has burned through eight of his nine lives, he launches an epic journey to restore them by finding the mythical Last Wish.
Commenters on the post largely took the claim at face value. Comments included:
“Thank you Antonio. More actors and actresses should bring this to the forefront. These rescues need help. You have a big heart
Antonio and it shows in all you do. God bless you. ❤️ ???? ???? ❣️ ???? ❤️ ???? ???? ❣️.”
“Antonio is a class act! ❤️”
“I wish that more actors and actresses used their platforms to advocate for noble causes like this one, Antonio you are amazing indeed ????????”
“This is so wholesome. Also, that movie was shockingly great. Definitely my favorite Shrek-based movie since Shrek.”
“I’ve always liked him as an actor, but now I adore him!! ????”
Aside from the photographs attached to the Facebook post, no citations or links to corroborating information were included. However, the poster provided a recent and specific film and timeframe.
Searches for any news items about the Antonio Banderas “cats” premiere didn’t lead to any additional iterations of the claim. Reverse image search via TinEye appeared to contradict the claim — returning images first crawled in May 2012:
TinEye links dating back five or more years were often not functional, but one of the IMDb links worked. A caption below one of the three images indicated it depicted “Antonio Banderas at an event for Puss in Boots (2011)”:
In total, the Facebook post featured three collaged images. The other two images appeared in the same image set from 2011 on IMDb. An October 2011 entertainment blog post, “‘Cat Premiere’ of Puss in Boots,” featured the images alongside what seemed to be guerilla marketing for the film:
The “felines only” unspooling on the lot of Paramount Pictures brought the crème de la crème of industry kitties before the kliegs, including such breed standards as Cat Blanchett, Don Cheetah, Leonardo di Catrio, Zach Galifurnakis, the Real Housecats of Beverly Hills, Kitty Perry, and Justin Timberlynx. “It was a purrfectly enjoyable event—I’m so glad I got up from my nap in time to make it,” one attendee was overheard saying.
Another reverse image search match led to an October 7 2011 Facebook post on a verified page for the Puss in Boots franchise. If the images were in some way staged to “raise awareness” about cat welfare, the page made no mention of it.
A caption read:
Tinseltown’s most touted felines walked the red carpet for a special screening of PUSS IN BOOTS! Headlining the event was the suave and sophisticated Antonio Banderas. Check out these purrrfect photos from the star-studded night!
A July 30 2023 Facebook post claimed that “in 2022, Antonio Banderas hosted a premiere for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish just for cats in Los Angeles,” and that Banderas “said that he was inspired to host the screening after learning about the number of cats that are abandoned or surrendered to shelters each year.” The images were actually published in October 2011, and they appeared to be part of a promotion for the Puss in Boots films, not an awareness-raising exercise. While the photographs appeared to be real and unaltered, the backstory was a fabrication. However, the “CatCon” mentioned in the post does exist; a Pasadena-area event is scheduled for the weekend of August 5 and 6 2023.