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Canadian cats land roll in Pet Sematary remake

Leo and Tonic are not like ordinary cats. 

The two Ontario felines landed a role in a Hollywood film that opened this week thanks to their owners and trainers Melissa Millett and Kirk Jarrett.

Both Leo and Tonic appear in the remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, sharing the role of Church, the Creed family’s pet. 

“My cats can do anything,” Millett told the London Free Press.

In Pet Sematary, the Creed family move to rural Maine and discover a burial ground near their new home where the dead are brought back to life.

When the Creed’s move into their new home, Church is hit by a truck, which kills him. The family bury their pet in the ancient burial ground, but the next day, it returns home with a whole new personality.

Millett, who owns and runs In Dogs We Trust, an obedience school in London, Ont. for canines, said before Pet Sematary she had been involved in some smaller productions where she recruited animals from clients. But it wasn’t until Jarrett approached her that she secured a role for her pet on a bigger stage.

Jarrett also trains animals and runs Kirk Jarrett Productions — his own business based in Toronto that deals with animal co-ordinating, coaching and entertainment.

The two have had a partnership since 2017 in which Jarrett has found contracts for projects and Millett had found the animals who best fit the role.

For Pet Sematary, Jarrett trained his cat, Leo, while Millett trained her cat, Tonic.

As pet parents pleased with the cats’ accomplishments, both have been active on social media, expressing their pride over Leo and Tonic’s newfound fame.

Millett told London Free Press it was an amazing feeling to see the cats on the big screen after so much training.

“To be part of something that everyone around the world is talking about is just surreal,” she said.

Since Pet Sematary, Jarrett and Millett have picked up additional projects, one being a Netflix feature film called Fracture. It is expected to be released later this year.