The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021) Movie Script

[static on wireless]
[man on wireless]
The artist Louis Wain
made the cat his own.
He invented a cat style,
a cat society,
a whole cat world.
Cats that do not look and live
like Louis Wain cats
are ashamed of themselves.
But that is not
what is important.
What is important is that
Louis Wain devoted his life
to making all our lives happier,
and cattier.
In doing so, he undoubtedly
raised up the cat in society
and he changed our world
for the better.
[female narrator] Aside from
its bizarre social prejudices
and the fact that everything
stank of shit,
Victorian England was also
a land of innovation
and scientific discovery.
Many of the worlds finest minds
were digging deep
into the nature of electricity,
to harness its power
for practical use.
But for the young Louis Wain,
electricity was something else,
something so extraordinary
and strange
that the human mind was barely
able even to comprehend it.
A mysterious, elemental force
that on occasion,
he could feel
shimmering in the ether,
and the key to all
of lifes most profound
and alarming secrets.
[thunder crashes]
[train hooter blares]
[train attendant] Please keep
your animals under control.
Sorry. Uh, thank...
thank you.
Thank you.
Ooh. Are you an illustrator?
Yes, I do illustrations
for money.
Im also working on several
patents at the moment.
Youve just come from
the country show, I take it?
Youre very muddy. Did you get
into a fight or something?
Uh, no, I was attacked
by a one-and-a-half-ton bull.
Oh. That was you, was it?
Yes, I heard about that.
How much would you charge
for a drawing of Cleopatra?
Oh, I... I dont really
draw people.
Oh, no, sorry. Cleopatra.
Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.
Ah. Well, that
you can have for free.
[gasps] Thats awfully kind.
My sister usually takes her,
but shes unwell,
so its up to me today.
Thought it might cheer her up.
Dan Rider, by the way.
Yes. Good.
[man] Find his weak spot,
but just dont show him yours.
Move. Think.
All right, Wain, thats enough.
Youll be late for your
meetings, you daft apeth.
Just allow me to have
one more crack at him, sir.
The Bendigo Shuffle.
Come on. Here we are.
Left to right, or right
to left. Ha, ha, ha, ha.
Im so sorry. Sorry.
I received word
of your foolish antics
at the country show.
A whole raft of complaints
about an odd fellow
being dangerous,
climbing nonchalantly
into the Longhorns pen
and standing not three yards
from the largest
and most ferocious animal
on the entire site.
I wanted to get
a closer look at him,
and, well, he didnt have
a very good sense of humour,
- put it that way.
- Thank you.
Not renowned for their
sense of humour,
- are they, really, bulls?
- Arent they?
Every time I commission you
to illustrate a story for us,
you manage to create
some kind of ridiculous chaos.
Why were you throwing peanuts
at a bull?
I heard they like peanuts
and that it calms them down,
but it didnt work.
The trouble with these
show cows, huge egos.
Its a good job you can draw,
Mr Wain,
or we would have parted ways
some time ago.
And dont think
I havent noticed
the state of your visage.
Oh, this wasnt from the bull,
Sir William.
Ive just come from a boxing
class with the great Jem Mace.
- Boxing?
- Mmm.
So when did you draw this?
On the train. From memory.
- All of them?
- Mm-hmm.
So, how fast
do you work exactly?
Oh. Ill just show you...
Ill be frank with you, Mr Wain.
One of our speediest and most
prolific staff illustrators
has been poached
by a rival publication.
Do you think youd be up to it?
Well, yes, obviously.
I mean...
Well, I dont find this work,
um, very taxing, Sir William.
I do it to pay the bills
and to provide
for the five hungry
and precocious sisters
that I live with.
Until they get married,
of course.
As a matter of fact,
I find the whole thing
rather inconvenient.
I dont think
you quite understand me.
On the basis of the speed
and quality of your work,
and with the proviso
that you can curb
your more imbecilic behaviour,
I am offering you
a permanent position
on the staff of the
Illustrated London News.
Thats very kind of you,
but I cant.
I have several
electric patents to finish
and, in fact, Im rather late
for a meeting with Henry Wood,
the celebrated composer.
- Henry Wood?
- Ive written an opera.
This is not an opera, Mr Wain.
By conventional standards,
it barely qualifies as music.
And this is not a plot.
Its just some of your thoughts.
I applaud your enthusiasm,
but you have to master
the basics of harmony first.
I... Ive invented
my own harmonies.
Yes, and that could be
part of the problem.
If its any consolation,
I thought the little drawing
you did on the cover sheet
was rather charming.
[Louis humming]
[narrator] In the 18 months
since his father had died,
Louis had nominally become
the head of the household.
He was entirely unfit
to shoulder these new
worldly responsibilities,
but as the oldest and malest
of the six Wain siblings,
it had unfortunately
become his duty.
- [girl] Evening, Louis.
- Yes, good evening.
- [girls] Evening!
- [woman] Louis!
Yes, hello. How are you?
- [woman 2] Ooh, are you back?
- Yes, Im back, Josephine.
Of course Im back.
What do you mean?
Louis, did you meet an eligible
young lady of means
in Hampshire?
No, I did not, but I did meet
some goats, some geese
and a rather cantankerous bull.
[Josephine] Thats no use.
You cant marry a goat, can you?
[narrator] Far better suited
would have been his beloved
sister Caroline,
who had become frustrated
by their rather whimsical
and bohemian mother
and stepped up at a young age
to take charge
as the familys matriarch.
Have you been boxing again?
[Louis] I told you, Caroline,
he barely charges me
because I gave him
that drawing of Bendigo.
Louis, will you practise
quadrilles with me after supper?
Ah, youve come
to murder me at last.
- Felicie, defend me, quick.
- En garde!
Dont! We have to talk
about finances.
How was your meeting with
Sir William? Is he satisfied?
Sir William is, if anything,
overly satisfied.
He has offered me the position
of staff illustrator.
Now, I really do need
to get to my room.
[Josephine] Oh, my goodness!
Did you say staff illustrator?
Yes, staff illustrator,
but I did not accept it.
I beg your very pardon? Why?
We already have twice as many
outgoings as you have wages
and weve just hired
a governess.
I told you to keep that room
for my secondary projects.
Besides, I can teach them.
Im perfectly qualified
in all the relevant subjects.
No, you cant! You need
to be out there working!
Quite right. You need to be
out there working, Louis.
[Louis] Governess!
Im afraid we do not require
- your services at present.
- Louis!
[Louis] Sorry for any
Governess? Governess?
Do not go into
that womans room.
Where are you?
Is she not in there?
[Louis] Where... Where are you?
[Caroline] Shh.
Is that you in there?
Miss Richardson,
if you are in the wardrobe,
we shall be most displeased.
Theres no need
to be frightened,
but I am going to
have to open the door.
Oh, for fucks sake.
[Louis] After a count of three.
Three, two, one.
Right, yes.
No, I can see how...
I mean, as
first impressions go...
How do you do, Mr Wain?
Miss Richardson,
get out of the wardrobe.
Yes, of course. Would you like
to know my name, Mr Wain?
So you dont have
to keep shouting "governess."
I believe your mothers napping.
Not very thoughtful, is it?
Miss Richardson,
why were you in the wardrobe?
It helps me to concentrate
to be in a confined space.
And with Shakespeare,
- SHAKESPEARE - THE TEMPES - I know it inside out already,
so I block out the world
and play it through in my head.
Thats all very nice, but the
thing is I was just saying,
I am perfectly well versed
in mathematics and chemistry...
You shant be needing
my services, then.
- Ill be on my way.
- No.
Miss Richardson,
hes just being an ass.
Im actually relieved
not to have to get up
at 4:30 every morning
to prepare lessons.
And I was a bit worried
about the ancient Greek.
Homers use
of the metrical ictus
does make it rather hard.
All those feminine caesuras.
I have no doubt
theyll be much better off
in your accomplished hands.
I was just thinking,
I promised myself to submit
my steady cycle patent
before the end of the month,
if Im teaching my sisters
the feminine senoras...
- Caesuras.
- Exactly that.
I wont have time.
So youd like me to stay?
My poor husband William
was thrown out
by his family in Staffordshire.
- They were all Protestant.
- Leek.
The towns called Leek,
Miss Richardson.
- Isnt that funny?
- Thats hilarious.
[northern accent]
They talk like this up there.
[Mrs Wain] He wanted
to be a Catholic,
but his father wouldnt let him,
and so he just ran away.
- He was a Cathoholic.
- Shush, Marie.
- How did you meet him?
- I thought it was funny.
Through the church.
I designed tapestries for the...
Ooh. Youre getting heavy.
...for the church
and he came from a silk family.
He was a draper.
And my own father...
- Im French, you see.
- [laughter]
...smuggled himself to England
by disguising himself
as a woman.
Were a family
of mischief-makers,
Miss Richardson.
We may as well have been called
the Shenanigans.
Youll have your hands full
with these three.
And as for you two,
high time you found
some nice husbands
of your own, dont you think?
[Caroline] We will, Mother,
in time.
[Josephine] Well,
I was given quite the look
from a hatted man
with a moustache on the bus.
Absolutely enormous moustache
and a very prominent brow.
Yes, it was very prominent.
It was like a dome.
But, um, it...
Well, it was quite the glance.
It was embarrassing.
- Did he seem wealthy, Josephine?
- Mother.
[Felicie] Josephines
going to marry a man
- with a big moustache.
- [laughter]
[Marie] Caroline,
he might have a brother.
[floorboards creak]
Miss Caroline.
Is everything to your
satisfaction, Miss Richardson?
Very much so.
Why do you ask?
Oh, no.
Just, I was going to say,
if the room
wasnt to your liking,
I would be perfectly happy
for you to swap with me.
That wont be necessary.
Im very comfortable.
Of course, but I wouldnt
want you to feel... ill at ease.
Sharing the floor...
with a man.
Why would that make me
feel ill at ease?
Very well.
Please keep
all of your belongings in order.
You are here
as an example to my sisters.
Of course. Youre very good
with them, by the way.
It must be exhausting,
having to be the grown-up.
Well, I am a grown-up,
so its not exhausting.
Why are you holding a rock?
I travel a lot,
so I like to bring a few rocks
with me from Shrewsbury,
where I grew up.
Helps me to feel at home.
Why dont you have this one?
Sleep well...
Miss Richardson.
- Morning.
- Morning.
[narrator] Louis had learnt
to control the chaos in his mind
by always moving
and for many years
had been quite content
frantically pursuing
his various interests,
as failed art teacher,
failed musician,
aspiring inventor,
enthusiastic polyhobbyist,
and, of course,
part-time illustrator.
But the one thing
he had never considered,
in spite of constant pressure to
find an eligible young spouse,
was the possibility
of ever leading
any kind of romantic life.
And so, as a strange, tingly
feeling crackled in his breast
and sparkled through this loins,
I think it would be fair to say
that the innocent Mr Wain
didnt really know
what the hell was going on.
He had an inkling, of course.
But how could he be sure
that these feelings
would be reciprocated?
What of the unsightly harelip
that he so sproutily disguised
with his careful moustache?
Upon closer scrutiny,
she would surely notice
this unfortunate deformity
and run a mile.
Or perhaps, she would not be
so impressed to discover
that in spite
of the rather playful exterior,
his mind was a dark,
screaming hurricane
of crippling anxieties
and recurring nightmares.
Not to mention, of course,
the gossiping neighbours
who would all consider it
ghastly for a lowly governess
to be engaging in these
bourgeois games of courtship.
Emily Richardsons slightly
unconventional attitude
to her employers privacy
had already caught the eye
of nosy-posy Mrs Du Frayne,
who was, by all accounts,
the blabberiest mouth
this side of the River Thames.
Suffice it to say,
there were a great
many obstacles
that stood in the way
of Louis and Emily.
And in a different world,
he might well have decided
not to disturb Sir William
Ingrams daily splosh
at the Turkish baths
in Islington.
Ah. Good morning, Mr Wain.
Good morning, Sir William.
Dont often see you in here.
Ive come to speak to you.
- Have you got a moment?
- Yes, of course, Louis.
Just let me finish
my morning exercises.
Yes, of course.
Actually, I might do some laps
myself now that Im here.
Careful! Careful, Louis.
Oh! Louis?
So youve come
to your senses, young man.
Why the sudden change of heart?
Well, weve hired a governess
to teach my younger sisters.
- A governess?
- Mmm.
Ah, and you dont want her
dashing off to some other family
because you cant pay her.
[Louis] Something
like that, yes.
Well, Ill start you off
on poverty wages,
as is standard,
but they will be regular.
And Im afraid we cant pay you
for holidays
or expenses at the moment.
Will those terms be
to your satisfaction, Mr Wain?
[Emily and girls]
Tap, tap. Advance.
- Advance.
- Tap, tap.
- Tap, tap. Advance.
- Advance. Okay.
En garde!
- En garde!
- En garde!
Caroline, can I show you
how I do fencing?
Not right now.
- En garde.
- Please be civilised, girls.
[Emily] Mrs Wain, would you
accompany us on the piano?
[Mrs Wain] I would love to
accompany you on the piano.
[Emily] Lets show them
what weve been practising.
Every penny-counting rogue
in London knows that trick.
- Youre not supposed to say yes.
- Did you not bargain with him?
- Have I taught you nothing?
- Im happy with it, Herb.
Actually, I really ought
to be getting back.
I have to start work
on my steady cycle patent.
Forget that.
Nobody understands what it is.
Dont be such a fucking drip.
If youre happy, youre happy.
I mean, youve been swindled,
so I dont understand that.
Lets have some fun. I havent
seen you for three weeks.
Youve been spending too much
time with your weird sisters.
You are staff illustrator
for the top newspaper in London.
All you need now
is the loving touch
of a well-bosomed aristocrat.
Thats the thing about
Phil May, the saucy fiend.
Always hosting a skulk
of wealthy young vixens.
We cant celebrate
your success without you.
Therell be dancing
later, perhaps?
There will be if youre here,
I know that much.
- Im in.
- Come on.
- Shh!
- [gasps]
[whispers] Be quiet.
[whispers] Oh. I was so quiet.
Marie is having a nightmare.
Youre drunk.
Perhaps a little.
Ive been celebrating.
I accepted the job...
with Sir William.
Now go to bed.
[Marie] Caroline.
I can feel prickles.
- Its okay.
- Im scared.
- Im here. Im here.
- Im scared, Caroline.
[Caroline] Its all right.
Its just our silly brother
trampling up the stairs.
- Shh.
- [Louis mumbles]
Try to think of a meadow
or a breeze.
Keep calm, Marie, keep calm.
[Emily humming]
Uh, good evening.
- No.
- What?
- Go away. Go away.
- Yes. What? Why?
- What do you mean, why?
- I dont...
Yes, of course. Yes, sorry.
What are you doing, Mr Wain?
- I dont understand.
- Get out!
Right, yes, of course.
Sorry. I apologise.
I am under your employ, Mr Wain,
but I do not expect
to have to tolerate you
barging in here after hours
while Im...
Well, it doesnt matter
what I was doing, does it?
Yes. Sorry. Of course.
Its just I have so many sisters
that sometimes I forget
that its...
Were you painting something?
Thats none of your business,
Mr Wain.
But, yes, if you must know.
Ive got a drawing lesson
with the girls tomorrow,
and all you Wains
are such accomplished artists
that I rather thought I could do
with a bit of preparation.
I see.
Well, I was, um...
Well, I just wanted to
invite you to the theatre.
THE TEMPES As an educational trip,
with Felicie, Claire and Marie.
Im so sorry again, Miss
Richardson. I do apologise.
Im terribly embarrassed.
Its just I was excited
to share the idea with you
and I just dont want you to
think you have to be cooped up
in this house all the time,
thats all.
I think it sounds
like a rather splendid idea.
Please just knock the next time
that you wish to see me.
Of course.
- Is something funny, Mr Wain?
- Not at all.
Not at all.
Good night, Emily.
Good night, Mr Wain.
Miss Richardson?
When it comes to drawing,
theres only really one rule
you ever need to teach.
Its to look.
[boy sobbing]
Mummy! Daddy! Help me!
Im drowning! Im drowning!
Youre so ugly! Ugly!
You dont belong here!
You dont belong anywhere!
[Felicie] Its magic.
What a clever bugger
Mr Newton was.
[Emily] Uh, language,
please, Felicie.
- [Felicie] A clever sausage?
- Sausage I will accept,
although I fear
it rather fails to capture
the spirit of Newtons genius.
[Marie] Im a genius.
If you work hard and continue
with your studies, Marie,
perhaps one day, you will be.
[girls] Thank you,
Miss Richardson.
Youre very welcome.
Thank you.
Quiet on the stairs,
please, girls.
[Marie growls]
Crumpets, biscuits, cake!
Ooh. Come in.
[door opens]
[Louis] Good morning.
How was your lesson?
It was very good, thank you.
Turns out that your sisters
dont need my help with drawing,
so we tried something
else instead.
Good. Thats good.
I hereby atone
for my drunken imposition
by presenting myself
to you naked.
Please dont present yourself
to me naked, Mr Wain.
I might consider that
to be a secondary imposition,
arguably greater than the first.
But you cannot have failed
to observe
that I have quite
a profound harelip.
Yes. What of it, Mr Wain?
Sorry. Have I made a mistake?
No, I think you look
very handsome.
So, uh...
Well, am I forgiven?
Why do you need me
to forgive you, Mr Wain?
When do you think we might
make our trip to the theatre?
For the, uh, for the education
of the girls, of course.
Of course.
Well, Ill just consult
my diary.
Excellent. Well, I shall
look forward to it.
Thank you.
I appreciate the gesture.
[Caroline] But, Mother, we have
not yet settled our accounts
with the coal merchant
and the butcher.
He should have
consulted me first.
Boring. [blows raspberry]
We cannot let him out
looking like this.
Why youve committed
this most wanton
and violent act of self-harm,
I do not know.
How will he ever
meet a woman of fortune?
Caroline, hes had a shave,
thats all.
Marie, darling,
where have you gone?
[Josephine] Well, I think
we should all go.
Make an evening of it.
[Caroline] Josephine,
we at least must stay.
- Marie?
- [Marie whimpers]
[Marie] Dont come in.
[Emily] Marie, whats happened?
[Marie sobs]
Oh, its all right.
Its all right.
Its perfectly natural.
If anything, its a good thing.
It means youre a woman.
Well, I should like to go
not so much for the play
but for the handsome
young bachelors in the crowd.
We can practise our flirtations.
I should like to go
because I should like to go.
If you change your mind,
youre more than welcome
to join us.
I think it fair to say
that Miss Richardson
has had a positive effect
on this family
and we should show
our gratitude.
Im a woman!
[Josephine] Hurray!
Sorry, everyone.
Bit of a situation,
but everythings under control.
Thats the governess
I was telling you about.
- Oh.
- For the Wains.
- Uh, you look very...
- No, thank you. So do you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you. Shall we...
- Yes, lets...
- Yes, lets sit down. Good.
Is this...
Is this your first time?
- Yes, it is, it is.
- Okay.
- Its exciting.
- Good.
- Here.
- Thank you.
- [howling wind, thudding]
- [crunching]
[man] Boatswain!
[boatswain] Here, master!
What cheer?
[master] Good, speak
to the mariners.
Fall tot, yarely,
or we run ourselves aground:
bestir, bestir.
[boatswain] Heigh, my hearts!
Cheerly, cheerly, my hearts!
Yare, yare!
Take in the topsail.
[mariners] Topsail!
Tend to the masters whistle.
[young Louis]
Mummy! Daddy! Help me!
Im drowning! Im drowning!
Help me! Im drowning!
Help me! Im drowning!
Um... this is the
gentlemens toilet.
Yes. Sorry.
I was worried that you might be
distressed about something.
No, no. Just a funny turn,
thats all.
Right, yes.
No, I thought it might have, um,
might have reminded you
of something.
Something you found frightening
as a child, perhaps,
like a recurring nightmare.
Like "The Sea
Full Of Big Ships."
I might have accidentally
looked in your journal.
Well, that... that was nosy.
Im afraid its one
of my many flaws.
- Nosiness?
- Im very nosy, yes.
Its partly why I chose
to become a governess.
Did you find it horrifying?
All those dark
and disturbing visions?
No. I found it quite reassuring,
to be honest.
I tend to have nightmares about
not being able
to get out of places.
I once spent an entire dream
stuck in a
very complicated barn.
Well, thank God you didnt
get stuck in that wardrobe.
Yeah, thank God.
Thank God I had you
to let me out of it.
[toilet flushes]
[door opens]
[turns tap, water runs]
[turns tap]
Good God!
It definitely did happen
in the toilet.
- [Marie] Oh, hello.
- [Felicie] Hello.
Well, if it isnt
my favourite family,
the Wains. Hello, girls.
How are you, Louis?
Very well, thank you,
Mrs Du Frayne. Um, how are you?
Quite well. Terrific eulogy
at your fathers funeral.
Thank you. You say that
every time I see you.
And you must be
the famous Emily Richardson.
- Nice to meet you.
- We were just remarking
that we dont often see
governesses at the theatre.
Was it your first time?
I hear you got a little
bit confused...
about the lavatories.
[all laugh]
[forced laugh]
Yes, confused.
Quite charming.
[Caroline] You are clearly
an intelligent woman,
Miss Richardson,
and weve been impressed
by your teaching.
But there are certain aspects
of your behaviour,
and certain aspects
of the behaviour
that you encourage
in my ridiculous brother
that we simply cannot tolerate.
This evening was intended
to be an educational event.
Yet now, thanks to you,
this family
is the talk of the town.
And not in a good way.
You have three days
to get your affairs in order.
[door opens]
I just wanted to thank you,
Mr Wain,
for a very pleasant evening.
I had a very nice time.
Ive taught
of countless adventures
from the safety of a schoolroom.
But it was exciting
to be taken on one for once.
I... I like your shawl,
by the way.
Thank you. It was my mothers.
Its blue.
Yep. Its blue.
Goodbye, Louis.
I dont care, I dont care,
I dont care what people think.
Nor do I.
- Mmm! Close the door.
- What?
Close the door. Ooh. Ooh.
- [Louis] What happened?
- I fell over my dress.
- [Louis] Im sorry.
- Its not your fault.
Sit down.
As this peculiar romance
blossomed clumsily into flower,
the discrepancy
in their social standing
became the cause
of great controversy.
One neighbour,
it was widely rumoured,
vomited immediately upon
hearing news of their courtship.
For the coupling of a gentleman
with a lady of the servile class
was considered
nothing short of revolting.
Not to mention
that the undeniably
charming Miss Richardson
was, by the standards
of the day,
positively geriatric.
But Louis cared little for
these foolish preconceptions,
and in January of the year 1884,
he asked Emily
for her hand in marriage.
Trim the bottom.
Trim the bottom.
- [coughs] Its dusty.
- Its a bit dusty.
[narrator] The weeks
turned to months,
and in spite of the newly
fractious relationship
with his sisters,
Louis quietly continued
in his endeavours
to support them.
Every week, he would
post a modest cheque
to his dear mother,
and even began to take on
private commissions
as a dog portraitist,
visiting dukes and duchesses,
lords and ladies,
and their pampered
canine friends.
At the same time,
he continued with his work
covering general news
and various agricultural shows
for Sir William.
And thus for six
precious months,
Louis and Emily
lived a perfectly normal,
if societally unconscionable
married life.
I gather youre an
educated woman, Mrs Wain.
Yes, Doctor.
I was a governess.
I... I see.
Well, in that case,
I trust you will
understand me when I say...
you have terminal
cancer of the breast.
Yes, Doctor.
Just when I was starting
to enjoy it.
[kitten meows]
What was that?
[meowing continues]
[thunder rumbles]
[meowing continues]
Oh, Louis, look.
Hello there, little thing.
- Hello.
- Hello there, cat.
[Emily] Youre soaking wet.
You poor little thing.
Why dont you
come in the warm with us?
Yeah? Hello.
Well take care of you.
Wont we, Louis?
Yes, we will.
Hello. Hello.
[Emily] Its all right.
Its all right.
Rain. Its just raining.
[thunder rumbles]
- [Emily] Whos that?
- [meows]
Its Louis.
Got another
little towel for you.
- Thats better, isnt it?
- See?
Thats better.
- Thats better.
- [meows]
- Hello.
- Hello.
- Hello.
- Hello.
Where do you think youre going?
What would you like
to be called?
[Louis] Percy?
- I quite like Percy.
- Paul?
Not Paul.
- Peter.
- Peter.
[man] Its sure to be a quick
kerfuffle when Bendigos here
with the Bendigo Shuffle!
Curious little fellow, isnt he?
Yes, but hes electric, Herb.
Look how his fancy
all adore him.
Half his opponents size,
yet he knows how to harness
the electricity of the crowd.
Are you talking
about the photographers?
Look properly, Herb.
The electricity.
Finally, Im starting
to understand it.
[Herb] Is everything
all right at home?
- With Emily, I mean?
- Oh, yes, of course.
We have a new friend.
Hes called Peter.
- Peter?
- Hes a cat. We have a cat now.
- For mousing, you mean?
- No, Herb, as a pet.
Okay, Louis,
Im worried about you.
- Why?
- You have a cat as a pet.
Do you know the true meaning
of the phrase,
"Theres no time
like the present," Herb?
Its that there isnt.
Its too fleeting.
In fact, I have a hypothesis
that electricity is what
pushes us through time.
We turn the past into the future
with the power
of our electricity.
But that process
is entirely reversible.
Remembering the past
is no different
from imagining the future.
And neither is different
to life itself.
I can remember Emily
in the future
and she will be there.
Do you see
what Im saying, Herb?
Do you see what Im saying?
[crowd] Bendigo! Bendigo!
Bendigo! Bendigo!
Bendigo! Bendigo! Bendigo!
[Louis] But these dont capture
the spirit of the fight,
Sir William.
[Sir William] Yes, they do.
Thats why theyre in vogue.
Theyre fast, theyre cheap
and theyre 100% accurate.
But where is the electricity?
Louis, I hear your wife
is very sick.
I know that you continue to
support your mother and sisters,
which is admirable, Louis,
so Im...
Im sorry to have to say this.
But it may be
that I cannot use you
quite as much as I would like
for the time being.
I have to get
our finances in order,
and that means making
difficult, practical decisions.
But my advice to you is this:
Spend the time that you gain
with your wife,
because when she is gone...
it will hurt.
These are precious weeks, Louis.
Do you understand?
- [Louis] Come on, Peter.
- [Emily] Come on, Peter.
[Emily] Up the stairs.
Come on.
- [Louis] I think hes coming.
- [Emily] Peter.
- Peter?
- [gasps]
[Emily] Good boy.
Good boy.
Good boy.
Well done, Peter.
- Well done, Peter.
- Well done.
Lets go for a walk. Yes.
- After you.
- Thank you.
[Louis] I think
Peter likes the oak trees.
[Emily] Mm-hmm.
- Theyre amazing, arent they?
- [Louis] Mmm.
They live for a thousand years.
Three hundred years to grow.
Three hundred years to live.
Three hundred years to die.
- [Louis] Oh, thatll do.
- [laughs]
[Louis] It looks lovely.
Peter likes it now.
- Dont you, Peter?
- [meows]
[Louis] Electricity.
I feel electricity.
Can you feel it?
This is our place.
This is where Ill be, Louis.
When you need me.
[Louis, in high voice]
Stuffed mouse for lunch,
Mrs Wain?
No, thank you, Peter.
Im not partial to mouse,
[Louis] Sparrow pie?
I dont care for sparrow either,
truth be told.
- Its a bit gristly.
- Oh.
- Perhaps a slice of...
- Oh, could you stop it, please?
I dont have an appetite today.
Im a bit tired.
Whats the matter?
I have cancer, Louis.
Im in quite a lot of pain.
[Louis] Ready?
That depends on what
youre about to show me.
[Louis] Ta-da!
Oh, Louis. [chuckles]
When did you do all this?
Has Sir William seen these?
Sir William hasnt seen these.
These are for you, Emily.
- Well, you must show him.
- Why?
Sir William doesnt care
for Peter, does he, now?
And besides, I shall be...
I shall be spending more time
with you while youre still...
Im the one whos ill, Louis.
Dont you start wallowing
in it too.
[Louis] Sir William!
Sir William! Whoo-oo!
Sir William!
[Emily] Whoo-oo! Sir William!
[Louis] Whoo-oo! Sir William!
[man] Excuse me.
Excuse me, sir.
- Oi!
- Whoo!
Oi! Stop!
- Oi!
- [laughs]
This clubs for gentlemen only!
[Emily laughs and screams]
Im sorry she wasnt allowed in,
old boy. I did try.
[Louis] It wasnt a very
convincing disguise, was it?
[Louis chuckles]
[Sir William]
She should be at home resting.
[Louis] It was her idea.
[Sir William] Hmm.
Very sorry if weve wasted
your time, Sir William.
I have two pages earmarked
in the Christmas edition.
Reserved for a bit
of festive frivolity.
Something to raise the spirits
of our readers.
Id like you to fill them
with cats.
With... cats?
Yes. With cats.
Dont you think perhaps
a spread of silly dogs
would be more appealing
for your readership?
Ive seen dogs before.
And you capture
something of the cat, Louis.
Perhaps because you yourself
are a bit of a renegade.
An outcast, dare I say.
How youve managed to conjure
images of such delight
at such a dark time...
I dont know.
[children laughing]
Merry Christmas.
[boy] Illustrated London News!
Illustrated London News!
[Emily] Throughout history,
cats have been worshipped
as mystical gods
and maligned as the evil allies
of witchery and sin.
But I think youre the
first person ever to see
that they are
in fact ridiculous.
Theyre silly and cuddly.
And lonely.
And frightened and brave.
Like us.
One day, I dont think
itll be so peculiar
to have a cat in the house
as a little pet.
Whats going on in that
funny little head of yours?
I think about the day
you wont be here...
I have to say, Emily,
I find it intolerably
difficult to imagine.
I will be so very alone.
Youll be all right, Louis.
Youll have Peter.
This time with you, Emily...
playing with Peter in the
evening, sitting by the fire...
these have been the best days
of my entire life.
I dont know why it is
that I find it so very difficult
just being here
on this earth, but...
I can say with absolute
that you have made it
much, much better.
You make the world beautiful...
and warm and kind.
I just wanted to say thank you
for that before its too late.
I dont make
the world beautiful, Louis.
The world is beautiful.
And youve helped me
to see that too.
Just remember...
hmm, however hard things get...
however much you feel
like youre struggling...
the world is full of beauty.
And its up to you
to capture it, Louis.
To look.
And to share it
with as many people as you can.
You are a prism.
Through which
that beam of life refracts.
Here we are.
A special New Years breakfast
for you today, Mrs Wain.
Dont worry, Peter.
Yes, I havent forgotten
about your eggs.
[strikes match repeatedly]
Thank you.
Louis Wain special
in the Illustrated London News!
Come and get it!
Illustrated London News!
In the years following,
Louis buried
the pain of his grief
under a quite extraordinary
quantity of cat pictures.
Almost without realising,
he had achieved
an alarming degree of success
and completely altered
the publics attitude
towards the humble cat.
[woman] Look! There he is!
Louis Wain!
Your cats have won you
many fans, Wain.
He says thank you,
but go easy on the sherry.
You dont mind if I work
for other people, do you?
[laughs] Thats the cheek
thats catapulted you
to fame, my boy.
Oh, weve had a telegram
from Miss Judith Shenton
of the National Cat Club.
Theyre having
a kind of cat competition
and would like you to judge it.
Its so wonderful to meet
a kindred spirit, Mr Wain.
Ive heard even gentry
are keeping cats as pets now.
- Hmm.
- And so handsome too.
Im just astonished at your
level of knowledge, I really am.
Although I must admit, I dont
fully understand your theory
about cats preferring
to face north.
Cats will always prefer
to face and walk north,
especially along a wall,
you will notice.
Their whiskers act as antennae,
attracted to the positive poles
of the earth.
The tabbys markings are defined
by the electricity
of their feline heritage.
This particular animal
might have had
a great-grandmother
that was struck by lightning,
so defined are the markings
by the jaggedy lines.
- Fascinating.
- Electricity. From the head.
Right down the body to the tail.
Cats are excellent
conductors of electricity.
Their features
are already changing
as they become more domesticated
and intelligent.
Their eyes will become larger,
their heads bigger
as their brains grow in size.
They will turn blue.
Eventually, they will stand
on their own hind legs
and communicate to us
in our own language.
Gosh. Id no idea
it was so complicated.
Did you say
that they would turn blue?
- Yes. Of course.
- Wow.
Well, Mr Wain, thanks to you,
us cat people
are out of the shadows
and finally able to celebrate
in the open
with our feline children.
Id like to thank you.
Oh, sorry.
Yep. Arm in.
The new president
of the National Cat Club.
Is that what it says?
I assumed youd been spending
it all on frivolous luxuries.
Cause youve forgotten
about your family.
Yet here you are
living in squalor and chaos!
- Dont shout, Caroline!
- I am not shouting, Claire!
Im explaining
to him with force.
Theres a cadaver now.
Its eating a hawk.
Where has it all gone?
[Josephine] Were in huge
amounts of debt.
Its really starting to affect
Mothers health.
- Where has it all gone?
- I didnt copyright the images.
Oh, my God.
- Oh, my God, help us, please.
- What does that mean?
It means people have been
reprinting his pictures
all over the country
and he hasnt seen a penny.
Which explains why he is living
rather like a pig.
The stench is quite unbearable.
Some of the originals I have
exchanged in place of money.
So, in fact, theyve become
a sort of currency
in themselves.
I gave the barber, well,
a handful of dancing cats,
and now I have free haircuts
for the rest of my life.
Youre not a child, Louis!
Youre the man.
Youre a man.
Our parents worked hard
for our reputation.
They worked hard to build
a fortune for their children,
and you have squandered it
on wretched cats!
And on a wilful, doomed,
tainted romance.
Youve destroyed our family
with your selfishness
and you continue
with your childish delusions
which conspire
to keep us all in penury.
The indignity that weve
suffered at your hands, Louis.
- I didnt do it on purpose.
- You didnt do what on purpose?
You didnt get married
on purpose?
[Louis mumbles]
No one told me I needed
to copyright the images.
What about Sir William?
He should have advised you.
I havent seen Sir William
for some time now.
- I am working for other people.
- We dont have any money, Louis.
And poor Marie...
Just tell him.
What has happened?
[Marie] They hate me, Louis.
Theyre plotting.
Theyre going to murder me.
- Were not going to murder you.
- Liar!
Theyre going to throw me out
because I had relations.
I had relations
in the graveyard.
And we laughed.
Theyre just jealous
because I saw heaven.
And thats why Ive got
the leprosy as punishment.
Theyre all spinsters.
They say its your fault.
Because of Miss Richardson.
But its because theyre ugly
and they lie
and plot and scheme.
Marie, why dont you
come and stay with me?
- And you can play with the cats.
- No, no, no, no, not cats.
Theyre poisonous
and theyve got diseases.
And Ive already got leprosy.
Get it off me, Louis!
Get it off me!
Get it off me! Get it off me!
[Felicie] Its going to be okay.
Were all here for you.
[narrator] After a local
doctors tentative diagnosis
of schizophrenia,
the Wain family had done
everything they could
for poor Marie.
But Louis was at a loss,
and so he went to an old friend
for advice.
[Sir William]
I have a series of properties
in the village
of Westgate-on-Sea.
Theyre quite habitable
and youre welcome to stay there
for as long as you like,
at a reduced rate,
on one condition.
- You take your family with you.
- I...
I couldnt possibly,
Sir William.
Especially after Ive been
so callously unloyal.
I have plenty of illustrators
on my books, Mr Wain.
- Dont flatter yourself.
- Why, then, Sir William?
Because in spite of your
rather irregular temperament
and nigglingly peculiar foibles,
in this occasionally
bleak world,
you have shown a resilience
that I admire.
And if you must know,
youve brought me rather a lot
of cheer with your pictures.
Of cats?
[Sir William] Mmm.
But theyre not just cats,
are they?
You are a brave soul, Louis,
but you cant do all this
on your own.
It sounds to me like Marie
needs a change of scenery.
Fresh clothes,
proper food, brisk walks.
- Thank you. Just in there.
- Yes, sir.
- [sisters] Louis!
- Hello! Hello! Hello!
- Its wonderful, Louis.
- Welcome to Bendigo Lodge.
Caroline, welcome.
Louis, its lovely.
Welcome to Bendigo Lodge,
- [Claire] Ooh, Bendigo.
- [Felicie] Bendigo.
Its perfect.
[breathes deeply]
[all] Bless us, oh, Lord,
for these, thy gifts,
which we are about to receive
from thy bounty...
Well done, Peter.
You show them how to eat.
Very good manners. Nina, try
and slow down a little bit.
Youre terribly tiny to be
eating that much so quickly.
Pass me your plate.
Felicie, plate.
Thats it. Well done.
We could go and walk tomorrow,
wear our nice clothes
and smile at men.
- [Claire] Theyll run away.
- [Felicie] Run away?
I dont want to run away.
We just got here.
[Josephine] So what
are we looking for, then?
- [Mrs Wain] A writer.
- [Josephine] Oh, no.
[Mrs Wain]
Who writes for the newspaper.
[Felicie] No. A doctor.
I would like dark hair.
- [Claire] Dark hair.
- [Felicie] Blond.
[Mrs Wain]
Oh, no. Untrustworthy.
[excited chatter]
[Claire] Give me the pillow,
[Louis] I think for you still
its better beside your legs.
[Felicie] That was good.
[Louis] Triumph.
I get another go.
- [Caroline] Shall we shell?
- [Louis groans]
- Some plates.
- Bravo.
- Theyre a little fancy.
- Ooh.
Yes, dont drop them, please.
Felicie, did you see
a better knife than this?
- [Felicie] Why?
- Cause this ones dreadful.
[Felicie] All right.
[Caroline] Or a sharpener.
[Felicie] Ill go
and get the pie.
[Peter meows] Louis?
[Louis] Its all right.
Not long now, Peter.
[Peter meows]
Where are we going?
[throbbing electrical drone]
[Peter meows]
Where are we going?
[Mrs Wain] I think
we should stop quite soon.
- [Josephine] Are you tired?
- [Mrs Wain] Im quite tired.
[Mrs Wain] Louis?
- Lunch.
- Come.
- Come and eat.
- Come.
[Marie] I think hes trying
to divert the electricity.
[Mrs Wain] Oh, that again.
[squealing, laughing]
[Marie] Im scared, Louis.
[Louis] Me too.
[Marie] Get off me! Get off me!
No, I said, get off!
Let go of me!
[narrator] His sisters
went several years more
without finding a single suitor,
and in spite of Sir Williams
cheery prognosis,
Maries condition
did not improve.
- Dr Elphick.
- Miss Wain.
After the catastrophic marriage
of their only son,
the fact that one
of their number
was now officially
a raving lunatic
did nothing to help
the familys social status.
- Thank you, Doctor.
- All the best.
[narrator] And then, his great
teacher and best friend,
his dear old Peter, passed away.
Like a frenzied bat
in a burning oven,
Louis heart was a screaming,
flapping mess.
He wept without ceasing
for several years,
but at the same time,
he was overtaken by an
extraordinary new discovery,
that the more intensely
he suffered,
the more beautiful
his work became.
He realised
that the memories he still held
of his dear wife, Emily,
and darling Peter
had become powerful conductors
of that mysterious electricity
in the atmosphere
that he had so far
been unable to harness.
[thunder crashes]
[thunder crashes]
- Mr Wain?
- [Louis] Hmm?
Are you aware of the reason
Ive been summoned?
I assume its to inform us
on how Marie is doing
in the asylum.
That or to conduct a study on
the neural evolution of my cats.
Bridgets already halfway
to talking. Arent you, Bridget?
I do my best
Im afraid not, Mr Wain.
but I am cat
Although since you ask,
Marie seems to be
- coping much better of late.
- jomping!
[Louis] Im very glad
to hear it.
I have been working
on a psychiatric patent
- that I meant to show you.
- I like jomping!
- Its for an electric suit.
- An electric suit?
Full body suit.
Made of copper and silken steel.
Attached to a large
mechanical motor
that transmits
a positive current
through the nervous system
and into the brain,
thus curing the patient
of all harmful thoughts
and eradicating
their lunacies entirely.
Would you care
to take a look at it?
- No, thank you, Mr Wain.
- Thats a shame.
I think theres
a very high chance
that it could cure Marie
entirely of her sickness.
Ive been called here, Mr Wain,
because your sister Caroline
is concerned for your health.
My health? Why would she be
concerned about my health?
Its not just Caroline
who is concerned, Louis.
I understand youre
planning a trip, Mr Wain?
Indeed. I have sent
some colourful missives
to several publications,
including some new examples.
More electrically
influenced samplings.
Im happy to say
the great William Hearst
of the New York American
has offered me a full-time post
as their cartoonist
at a considerable fee.
Why do you have to go
to New York? Its too far.
Over 3,000 miles.
Because, as you are
all so keen to remind me,
we are lacking in funds
at the minute.
This is not our house.
We are in debt.
And for a variety of reasons
that we are very well
acquainted with,
my work is currently
of little value on these shores.
Whats more,
the people of America
are light years behind
in their attitude towards cats.
I assume youve been reading
about Roosevelt
and his Gentlemens Agreement
with the people of Japan.
Japanese children
will now be taught
in the same school
as their American compatriots
and their immigrant parents
can freely roam
in the streets of America,
but can their cats?
I have helped this country
a great deal in this regard.
Now I must help
the cats of America.
For better or worse,
Dr Elphick, I am a prism
and a transformative funnel
for negative electricity.
In these tumultuous times,
I want to make the people
of America smile.
Ive never seen an American
smile in my life.
You have never seen an American.
Its time to change that.
The only reason
that you are here
is my sister has summoned you
because she is extremely jealous
and has been
since I was 12 years old
and will do anything to prevent
me reaching my full potential.
Mr Wain, there is no question
that you are delusional.
But mere delusions of grandeur
are not sufficient reason
to commit you to hospital.
I would quite strongly advise
against your trip to New York.
Id suggest you stay here
to rest,
gain a little perspective
before you proceed to the
next chapter of your life.
But ultimately,
the choice is yours.
[Mrs Wain] You can run away
from your family, Louis.
You cannot run away
from your grief.
It trails you.
Like a violent shadow.
You, sir, you seem
like the kind of man
who wants to keep up
with the times.
The New York Times.
[man] Chateau Guiraud.
Hurry up.
Yes, sir, yes.
[narrator] Upon arriving
in New York,
Louis was immediately struck
by a palpable difference
in the material content
of the atmosphere.
It was clear
that this was a city
with an enormous surfeit
of electrical energy.
Get those drinks
to table nine now.
Yes, sir.
Every cat fancier knows
puss loves nothing more
than to sit
on a piece of brown paper.
Cats are aware of the dangers
of electrical rheumatism,
and of course if you ever need
to punish a cat,
you could just crumple the paper
to make the sound of thunder.
- Do cats get rheumatism?
- Yes, of course, Miss Simmonds.
Mr Wain, we have been showing
your cat pictures to our staff.
Theyve been laughing.
Theyve been smiling.
Tell him, Alicia.
Tell him Im not lying.
One of our typists, she took
some your pictures to her kids
and she said that
they were running about
on their hands and knees,
pretending to be cats.
Pretending to be cats!
How cute!
[Alicia] And asking to have cats
for their birthday.
Were gonna get you out there.
Youre a personality.
Wouldnt you say, Alicia, honey?
Youre Mr Cat.
- Youre Cat Man.
- [Alicia] Cat Man.
- Hes Cat Man.
- Cat Man.
[Alicia] I think that has
a certain ring to it.
But I like Louis Wain.
I think that has
a certain ring to it too.
Can I ask you a question,
Mr Wain?
Why cats?
[static on radio]
[Emily] Just remember,
however hard things get,
however much you feel
like youre struggling...
the world is full of beauty.
And its up to you
to capture it, Louis.
To look.
And to share it
with as many people as you can.
[distorted meowing]
[breathes heavily]
You all right, Mr Wain?
[Louis] Her whispers come
in the leafy tickle of the wind,
or the wet crackle
of the electric rain.
And at night, I turn the dial
of the wireless,
hoping to catch clues
in the atmospheric electricity
that comes from the afterlife.
How to continue
with this crusade?
For it was Emily
who first taught me
the true nature of cats.
The true value of cats.
It is only
through understanding cats,
how they are misunderstood
and mistreated,
for no other reason
than simple blind prejudice,
that I came to understand
human beings.
How we are all corrupted
by a foul form of electricity.
And it is only through the work
of those who have
the transformative gift
that we can defeat it.
Without change, we are
a fallen species with no future,
an animal whose only instinct
is to destroy!
[Caroline] Dear Louis.
After a long and valiant
struggle with the influenza,
our mother passed away
at 11:36 this morning.
[knock on door]
Even in her dying weeks,
she lived at her own rhythm,
and regaled us
with stories about our father
and their time together
as young lovers in London.
She spoke of how dearly
she had missed you
but understood
that you had gone on your trip
for the good of the family.
I hadnt shared with her
the truth about our finances.
But, Louis,
Im writing to you now
because I want you to come home.
I know weve had
our differences,
but were getting old.
[thunder crashes]
And youve been too far away
for too long.
Meow. Ha, ha, ha.
Your sister, Caroline.
Its funny. Its funny.
[ship creaks]
[waves crash]
[thunder crashes]
Let me out!
Its not safe!
Help! Were... Were sinking!
Were sinking!
Help me, please!
Please, help me!
Help me! Help me!
Please! Please!
Mummy! Daddy!
Help me! Help me! Help me!
Help me!
Just remember...
Just remember...
[Louis] Mummy!
Help me! Please!
Im drowning!
[cat meows]
You would be excused for hoping
that this is where Mr Wains
fortunes would change.
But, alas, a few years
after the death of his mother,
poor Marie was also taken
by the dreaded influenza.
While the creaking heart
of his friend and mentor,
the generous Sir William Ingram,
finally gave in to his gout.
Louis had continued to display
a woeful lack
of financial acumen,
and the family sank ever deeper
in the quicksand of their debts.
[horn blares]
And then,
when attempting one day
to dismount
from a moving omnibus,
he fell head first
into a profound coma
and saw a vision
of the year 1999.
To everyones surprise,
his lucky futurist cats
were a great success
and orders were made
all across Europe.
But, at the same time,
negative electricity
around the globe
had risen to a critical level
and military tensions
blistered into a state of war.
He had worked tirelessly
for several months,
but almost all of his cargo
was destroyed
by a German U-boat
in the North Sea.
[newsreader] A number
of British cargo ships
have been sunk
by German submarines,
leaving thousands of pounds
- worth of merchandise
to rest at the bottom
of the North Sea.
Initial reports imply
that these vessels
were caught in a crossfire...
[electrical buzz]
Caroline would like to see you.
[Caroline] Louis, sit down.
I want you to know that...
I want you to know
that Im very proud of you.
[sobbing continues]
[Josephine] Shh. Shh.
[Josephine] Enough!
Louis, enough!
[sisters shouting]
[Claire] Louis!
[shouting continues]
[Louis shouts]
Stop it, Louis, please!
Calm down!
Louis! Louis!
Louis! Stop it!
[Emily] Cats have been
worshipped as mystical gods
and maligned as the evil allies
of witchery and sin.
But I think youre
the first person ever to see
that they are
in fact ridiculous.
Theyre silly and cuddly.
And lonely.
Frightened and brave.
Like us.
[shouting continues]
Whats going on in that
funny little head of yours?
[Louis] Much better.
You make the world beautiful.
And warm. And kind.
I just wanted to say thank you
for that before its too late.
[Emily] I dont make
the world beautiful, Louis.
The world is beautiful.
And youve helped me
to see that too.
[woman] Ill take you to
what we call the paupers ward.
For, um... Well,
for obvious reasons.
I assure you, the patients
are taken care of
in a perfectly
professional manner.
I hope you will report
back to the committee
you volunteer for?
Im here to assess the welfare
of your patients, Dr Cooke,
and the running
of your hospital.
Not just on behalf
of my fellow committee members
but on behalf of the government.
So I shall report back
- according to what I find.
- Indeed.
What is the average length
of stay here at Springfield?
Have you had much success
with turning patients out?
We have had some successes.
But it depends partly
on the patients willingness
to cooperate.
And as you can imagine,
Mr Rider,
that varies widely
from person to person.
[Rider] Louis Wain.
Yes. This is Mr Louis Wain.
You might remember his rather
charming cat pictures
from all those years ago.
How are you, Mr Wain?
Its, uh... Its me.
Dan Rider. We met on the train
back from Andover.
I had my...
my sisters Pomeranian with me.
Id no idea you were
a patient here, Mr Wain.
He is, Im afraid, quite insane.
Uh, but we do our best
to look after him.
Very sad, isnt it, Mr Rider?
He seems almost entirely
to have lost a handle
on his craft.
Do you like it here, Mr Wain?
There are no cats.
I cannot see... outside.
Oh. That must be
rather difficult
for someone like you, Mr Wain,
whos spent his entire life
examining the world,
suddenly not to see it.
[Louis moans]
I have failed.
I have failed her, Mr Rider.
I dont think you have failed,
Mr Wain...
from what you have been saying.
Why do you think
Emily wanted you
to keep painting pictures,
Mr Wain?
To help people.
To show them.
And theres no doubt
that youve done that.
But I have a rather
different theory.
I think she wanted you
to keep painting
so you would not be alone.
When you paint, Mr Wain,
you connect with other people
and you give them
a piece of yourself,
but... they are also
connecting with you.
And that electricity
that you describe...
that you felt
in the presence of Emily,
Id call that love, Mr Wain.
And that is still here.
[narrator] With the help
of the Wain sisters,
the plucky Mr Rider
decided to start a fund
in support of Louis
and to raise enough money
to move him
to a much more comfortable
hospital in the countryside,
where they allowed
their patients
to keep cats for comfort.
They were joined
by Wain enthusiasts
up and down the country
and even received the help
of some more influential fans,
like the renowned
author HG Wells,
who made a national plea
on behalf
of the Louis Wain fund.
[HG Wells] The artist Louis Wain
made the cat his own.
He invented a cat style.
A cat society.
A whole cat world.
Cats that do not look and live
like Louis Wain cats
are ashamed of themselves.
But now,
as he approaches
the end of his own life,
Mr Wain and his sisters
desperately require
the most generous help
of cat lovers
and right-thinking
people everywhere.
[narrator] For Louis Wain,
electricity was not just
something that we use
to make toast or to power
a bulb in the bathroom.
It was something bigger,
something so extraordinary
and strange
that the human mind was barely
able even to comprehend it.
A mysterious elemental force
that on occasion,
he could feel shimmering
in the ether,
and the key to all
of lifes most profound
and alarming secrets.