What Happens to the Cat in ‘Smile’?

Paramount Pictures/Paramount+

“Smile” main character Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) seems to be losing her mind after a patient commits suicide in front of her and she begins seeing the same hallucinations the patient described.

Things are obviously going to get a lot worse for Rose, especially when we see that she has a sweet cat named Mustache. As any genre fan knows, the odds are not good for an animal in a horror movie.

So, does anything happen to Mustache? [SPOILERS]

Sosie Bacon in “Smile”

First, Mustache disappears, just as things are beginning to unravel for Rose. She asks her fiancée Trevor (Jessie T. Usher) if he’s seen the cat, and he hasn’t.

She takes a bowl full of kibble outside and shakes it, hoping the sound will bring Mustache back, but it doesn’t.

Rose tries to take her mind off everything and focus on her nephew’s upcoming birthday party. Her sister (Gillian Zinser) told her he likes toy train sets, so she goes to a toy store and buys one, even though she isn’t sure she can make the party itself.

On the day of the birthday, Rose does show up in person with the gift, to her sister’s relief and delight. But when the nephew (Matthew Lamb) opens the box, although we can’t see what’s in it, we know something is very, very wrong.

Horror movie veterans will surely have guessed that, despite the outside packaging, there is no train set in the box. Instead the stunned little boy slowly pulls out the limp body of Mustache, to the horror of all the families present.

A distraught Rose grabs the cat, holding him tenderly and insisting she didn’t do this, but no one believes her. As she becomes even more hysterical, she trips and falls backward through the glass coffee table, badly cutting her arms.

While it’s upsetting, the cat’s death is not actually shown and we never see or hear the cat suffer in any way. But it does establish that Rose is losing her mind, that no one trusts her anymore, and that she herself is in as much danger as her late pet.

Bacon told Variety. that she doesn’t believe that Rose, no matter how unhinged she’s become, was the one who killed Mustache.

“I was living inside of her head, so I don’t think that she did it. It would be hard for me to conceptualize thinking she would do something so awful. I just don’t think she would, because she does everything she can to not hurt anybody. I have a lot of animals, so if I didn’t know where my animals were — oh, my gosh, I’d have nightmares about that.”

“Smile” is now streaming on Paramount+.

Gillian Zinser, Nick Arapoglou, and Matthew Lamb in “Smile” (Paramount)

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