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The Paraplegic Possum, the Cross-Eyed Cat, and the Fish That Can't Swim

Apr 24, 2018 | 656 videos
Video by Amy Nicholson

Growing up, Amy Nicholson would never have described her father as “one of those kooky pet people,” even though the family owned dogs, cats, ponies, rabbits, sheep, and chickens. “But they didn’t sleep in the house or go under the blow dryer,” Nicholson told The Atlantic.


Years later, Nicholson’s father remarried, and the couple decided to rescue animals. But not just any animals—a menagerie of variously sick, deformed, or otherwise abnormal creatures, which would become pampered house pets. “When I visited my father over the years,” Nicholson said, “there was always some chicken being nursed back to health, or a cat had been hauled away since my last visit, or some other creature had been eaten.”


Nicholson’s enormously entertaining short film Pickle surveys the quirky animals her father and step-mother accrued, such as obese chickens, a paraplegic possum, a cross-eyed cat, and a body-less fish. The film shows how the couple goes to great lengths to keep their pets comfortable; in many cases, despite their unusual medical conditions, the creatures have lived well beyond their expected lifespans.


This film is available courtesy of Oscilloscope Films.


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Author: Emily Buder

About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic