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Duke the Cat SLOP
Photograph: Graham Denholm


"I like to play music by walking up and down the keys of the hammond organ"

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As the current catboss of St Kilda’s Astor Theatre, Duke oversees the day-to-day operations of the famous cinema alongside general manager Zak Hepburn. Duke’s fan page on Facebook is followed by thousands of theatre-goers keen on catching a glimpse of the famous feline in action.

How old are you and how long have you called the Astor Theatre home?
I’m three years old and I’ve been helping run the Astor since last year.

What are your duties at the Astor?
Quality control is my thing. I like getting up into the projection room to ensure everything is working to my liking. As a bit of a renaissance man, I also like to play music by walking up and down the keys of our Hammond Regent Organ. I also help Zak out by greeting guests and organising special events.

You sound like one busy kitty. What types of events do you help out at?
Oh, film festivals and things like that. I even got to walk on the red carpet one time! Because the Astor is a historic theatre, I like to inject some old school Hollywood into my look, so I often wear a dapper tie for special events. Men just don’t dress up like they used to in the old days. It’s a shame.

What do you think of digital projection?
Are you kidding? Next question.

What’s your favourite movie genre?
I love Westerns. I’m actually named after John Wayne because I’ve got a real manly swagger like his. Women dig it. One time Megan Gale gave me a cuddle. That was a really cool day for Duke.

You’re referring to yourself in the third person?
Yeah. I’m the boss. Whatchya gonna do about it?

Read more about the Secret life of Melbourne Pets.

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