Ep. 1.3: Oscar (ft. Claudia Restrepo) 

Transcription by Colette Arrand. Hire her if you need things transcribed!

Mary Phillips-Sandy: Claudia, I’m very excited to talk with you, but let’s not mess around with any chit-chat. We’re here for one reason: Let’s talk about cats.

Claudia Restrepo: Let’s talk about cats. I thought you’d never ask.

[UPBEAT, SLIGHTLY FRANTIC ELECTRONIC MUSIC: Let’s talk about cats! Let’s talk about cats!]

Mary: This is Let’s Talk About Cats. I’m noted cat lady Mary Phillips-Sandy. My cat’s name is Grendel, who is actually mad at me right now because I accidentally nicked her claw when I was clipping it the other day.

Claudia: You can’t blame yourself. You can’t.

Mary: Thank you.

Claudia: You have to let it go.

Mary: Thank you for that. It’s very reassuring. So this is our guest. She’s not a therapist. Uh, she’s Claudia Restrepo, a producer, performer, comedian. You’ve seen her on Buzzfeed’s Pero Like channel, but her most important role is as companion to Oscar.

Claudia: Exactly.

Mary: An incredibly good looking cat.

Claudia: Isn’t he, though? We’ll get to that later. He’s very handsome.

Mary: We will get to that. Oh, you know it. But for now, just give us a taste. Can you tell us about Oscar in five words?

Claudia: Chaotic. Uh, comforting. Wild. Uhh, anxious, but uh, ultimately friendship.

Mary: Oh, I like that.

Claudia: It’s been a lot of up and downs with sweet Oscar.

Mary: Alright, like I said, we’re going to get more into this. But first, it is time for the cat quiz, and today’s cat quiz, I promised you a bad pun, I’m going to deliver. Here it is, today’s cat quiz: Perro Like.

Claudia: [Laughter.]

Mary: Dog Like. What do you know about cats and dogs?

Claudia: Ohh, not bad.

Mary: Claudia, I’ll remind you, there is a prize at stake. So this counts.

Claudia: Oh no. okay.

Mary: We’ve got five questions, there’s no time limit, but you can’t drag it out. Try to answer as quickly as possible, got it?

Claudia: Got it.

Mary: Okay, here we go.

[CAT QUIZ MUSIC: FAST DRUMS AND RUMBLING PURR SOUNDS.]

Mary: Which animal has a better short-term memory, a dog or a cat?

Claudia: Oh, cat.

Mary: Correct!

Claudia: Woo-hoo!

Mary: Their short term memory is about 16 hours. Dogs can only remember things for about five minutes. So.

Claudia: But the cat chooses to act like they don’t have a short-term memory.

Mary: Exactly.

Claudia: They know, but they just ignore you.

Mary: Yup. Okay, question two: Let’s say I have a dog and a cat, and I give each of them a spoonful of sugar. Which animal would enjoy that the most?

Claudia: Hmm. I guess dog.

Mary: Correct! It is thought that cats have no ability to detect sweetness in food.

Claudia: Oh, I don’t think I knew that.

Mary: I learned it last night myself. They’re obligate carnivores. They just want to eat meat. We live with these bloodthirsty monsters in our homes. Okay, according to the American Pet Products Association, are there currently more pet cats or pet dogs in the United States?

Claudia: Oh, cats!

Mary: Claudia, you’re three for three! This is incredible!

Claudia: Wooo!

Mary: Yes!

Claudia: I’m killing it! Cat lady for life.

Mary: There are 94.2 million pet cats versus 89.7 million pet dogs. I also want to give a shout-out to the 9.4 million reptiles who might be listening. So good job lizards.

Claudia: Wow, that’s awesome.

Mary: That’s a lot of reptiles, actually.

Claudia: Yeah.

Mary: More than I would be comfortable with. Okay, question number four: Which was invented first, commercial dog food or commercial cat food?

Claudia: Oh, I would say commercial dog food.

Mary: Oh my god, Claudia! Four for four.

Claudia: [Gasps.]

Mary: Dog food was invented in 1860 by a British guy, and for a long time people just thought cats would fend for themselves.

Claudia: Yeah, they got rats.

Mary: Alright. Our last question. My fingers are crossed. You can’t see me, my fingers are crossed.

Claudia: [Whispering] Okay, I’m sweaty now, okay.

Mary: In the 2001 action comedy film Cats and Dogs, a ruthless Persian named Mr. Tinkles plans to conquer the world by doing what?

Claudia: Is it like, it’s something to do with like, hypnosis, and turning the owners against dogs?

Mary: Oh, am I going to give it to you? I’m going to give it to you on a technicality. He wanted to make all humans allergic to dogs.

Claudia: That’s giving me almost too much credit, but—

Mary: No, no, you know what, we’re going to give it to you because you did say turn them against dogs. If you’re allergic to the dog, you’re going to turn against the dog. I’m calling it, five for five.

Claudia: Alright.

Mary: Amazing.

Claudia: I’m not going to fight you on it.

Mary: Claudia, congratulations. That was an incredible performance on the Cat Quiz.

Claudia: I feel like a lot of it is just showing that dogs, uh, they’re always on like, sugar highs, and forgetting whatever bad thing happened five seconds ago.

Mary: We will mail you your prize.

Claudia: Mmm.

Mary: I’ll tell you right now, it is a cats versus dogs checkers set. Not a movie tie-in, just cats and dogs generically.

Claudia: Oh my god, I love it. That’s so great.

[UPTEMPO, GUITAR DRIVEN ROCK MUSIC]

Mary: It is time to get more serious now. Our Hot Topic debate. I want to go back to something that happened in July. This show is Let’s Talk About Cats, not Let’s Talk About Current Events. Um, this summer, the New York Times, the paper of record, made a very bold claim in a video saying that dogs had supplanted cats as the internet’s animal of choice. And I want to read you a quote from this New York Times piece:

In their platonic online forms, cats are individualistic, aloof, extremely spooky. Dogs are loyal, happy-go-lucky, not very spooky at all. Cats gaze impassively as the world burns, dogs always look like they’re smiling. Cats are entropy. Dogs are order.

Claudia, how do you feel about these very bold statements?

Claudia: I do think it’s sort of silly to compare chaos to cats. I think they are incredibly steady creatures, and dogs are probably the more easily spooked or frenzied. Like we just said, their short term memories, like, what is it? Five minutes?

Mary: Five minutes, yeah, yeah.

Claudia: That’s ridiculous. No. I mean, my main job is like the internet, right? And I think half of what’s on the internet right now is stuff that’s like, “I can’t even,” or “Waking up to another day.” And cats are like, like, that’s the cat spirit.

Mary: Yes. Yes. It’s not that they represent chaos, it’s that we don’t understand the order that they symbolize and that they bring to our lives.

Claudia: It’s still a cat’s world. Like, I promise.

Mary: Right.

Claudia: I also think cat personalities are so much more like people that enjoy the type of humor online, like people that share things or really like sarcastic, sardonic—and so the people that share it are going to share cat stuff. And even if people love dog stuff, that type of person isn’t as active on the internet. So it’s just, cats are always going to win.

Mary: I like that. That’s a really good insight. Thank you, Claudia. So this is a debate where we both agree, so we both win. I love when that happens.

Claudia: [Laughter.]

Mary: The other thing I wanted to talk to you about, one of my favorite memes from 2017 were these Russian cat translations. Are you aware?

Claudia: [Gasps.] I don’t know if I am.

Mary: Claudia!

Claudia: Russian cat translations.

Mary: Cat translations. I think it started on Tumblr. Pictures of cats living their lives, climbing trees, eating sausages, whatever they do.

Claudia: [Laughter.]

Mary: And um the captions were in Cyrillic. They were in Russian. And people would sort of guess as to what it might say, and then someone who spoke Russian would translate and say, you know, what the caption actually said. And it was usually something very mundane, very dry.

Claudia: Oh, that’s great.

Mary: Just a goofy little thing that some Russian person has written about their cat.

Claudia: Were we picking up on something? Were the Russian cats trying to save us?

Mary: Like, no one should ever hack an election. If you’re listening to this, don’t do it. But if you’re going to, I mean, cat memes is a pretty good end game, I think.

Claudia: Yeah, absolutely.

Mary: If you’re going to like, commit cyber-espionage.

Claudia: [Laughter.] It’s a way to get into a lot of people’s homes for sure.

Mary: Okay, so there you have it. The paper of record is wrong. I’m expecting a correction any day now. I will accept credit for it if they want to give it to us. But Claudia, thank you. I think we agree. Cats have not been replaced by dogs on the internet, and they never will be.

[UPTREMPO ROCK MUSIC AND FEMALE VOCALISTS SINGING.]

Mary: And now the reason that we’re really here. Claudia Restrepo, let’s talk about your cat. I have so much I want to ask you.

Claudia: [Laughter.]

Mary: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you and Oscar meet?

Claudia: So my aunt, uh, fosters kittens. And when me and my boyfriend at the time were hoping to get a cat, we just kind of went over to see what kittens she had, and we ended up picking Oscar.

Mary: Now was he named Oscar—you named him yourself, right?

Claudia: So he actually came with the name Ridley, named after Ridley Scott.

Mary: Okay, oh.

Claudia: So his middle name is technically Ridley. We kept that.

Mary: Okay.

Claudia: But we sort of had like a running joke before we ended up getting a cat. We kept talking about our cat Oscar. When we get our cat Oscar. So we walked into it knowing, you know, this cat would be named that.

Mary: The name Oscar came from a movie as well?

Claudia: It comes from Ghostbusters 2, in which the baby is named Oscar.

Mary: Is that your favorite movie?

Claudia: Uh, it was actually my boyfriend at the time’s favorite film.

Mary: Oh, okay.

Claudia: But through a long relationship became one of my favorites, and to this day I still love them.

Mary: Has Oscar seen the film Ghostbusters 2?

Claudia: Oh, I’m sure he has. From the time that he spent living with us, absolutely.

Mary: Got it. Did he see the 2016 remake?

Claudia: We weren’t able to take him to the theaters, but I really hope that by the time there is a third, we will have created a world where we can take our cats to theaters, so, hopefully.

Mary: Yeah. He might like that. you know, Kate McKinnon, a great, great actor and also a great cat lady.

Claudia: Yeah, she is! Got to get her on the show.

Mary: We should! Kate, come on! Um, but you know, they have screenings, at least here in New York, some movies they have like screenings for people with babies, which sounds like a hell to me, to sit in a movie theater full of babies.

Claudia: [Laughter] It really does. Stay home, then. Like.

Mary: But a screening for people to bring their cats, I feel like that could be interesting for the right movie.

Claudia: It’s just a film of like, ahh, fish. It’s just an underwater documentary, and they’re all transfixed.

Mary: Finding Dory. Isn’t that what that was?

Claudia: Or you could just do that.

Mary: So I’ve been watching your videos, the Pero Like videos for awhile now. I really enjoy them. And one of the things I love about the videos you guys make is the camaraderie between you and the other people on your team. However, I’ve noticed, as a longtime viewer, I get the sense that you might be the only cat person on the Pero Like team. Is that true?

Claudia: That is very true.

Mary: [Gasps.]

Claudia: Um, I am often singled out as the cat lady, which is a crown I wear, you know, with pride. So that’s fine.

Mary: How do you handle that on a day to day basis?

Claudia: [Laughter] I’m the butt of a lot of jokes. I don’t know. A thick skin, I suppose.

Mary: Do you try to educate them on cat person culture?

Claudia: Oh, absolutely. They’ve learned a lot from me. I’m like the ambassador to the team. I’m really teaching them a lot about their fellow cat people. Or like, anything I do that’s like, at all like a cat’s behavior. They’re like, look at her. She’s doing it. She’s just a cat lady!

Mary: There was one, uh, one video where I believe they voted you most likely to be a spy, because you liked cats?

Claudia: [Laughter] Yeah, pretty much, yeah.

Mary: I mean, Claudia, I’ve got to ask: Are you a spy?

Claudia: If I was, I wouldn’t tell you. So I’m going to deny it.

Mary: Alright. That was a test, and you passed. You know, one of the operating theories of this show that I do is that being a cat person can transcend a whole lot of differences. But at the same time one of the great things that you do is bringing Latinx culture to the world in a way that really isn’t happening in a lot of other places. So I want to know, as someone who works in that space and as a cat person, is there anything unique about the relationship that a Latinx person might have with their cat, versus someone like me who is a whole bunch of other things?

Claudia: I will say that I think at least from what I’ve seen, the majority of Latino families are probably a little more—lean towards dogs. And I think that’s just like a cultural thing. Families are really important to us. We have big families. I feel like dogs sort of fit into that. And cats, you know, they’re a little more singular. They do their own thing. But I’m trying to think if that [Laughter] sort of translates into a way that I, like, experience Latinidad or like, create content. I do think me as a content creator, if we like, take the stereotypes of being a cat person, like, I’m a little more private, maybe get a little too heady sometimes for something that’s for the internet.

Mary: Oh, I can’t relate to that at all.

Claudia: Um, yeah, there you go. This podcast about cats.

Mary: Yeah.

Claudia: Um, if we were to like, give a personality to I think a lot of online personalities, you would say they’re dogs, right?

Mary: Right.

Claudia: They’re like, look at me, look at this cool thing. Look, I just posted this photo. You want to see this photo? Oh my God, I just went on this cool trip. You want to see my trip pictures? They’re awesome. Whereas I’m like, very careful and like curated about the work I do. And I do think I try to bring that to my work that’s like, on Pero Like, or anything about Latinidad is um, just sort of thinking very carefully about what I’m presenting or saying, and sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes you just need to get your work out.

Mary: Yeah.

Claudia: I don’t know, does that answer the question?

Mary: Yeah, absolutely! No, I mean, there’s no right and wrong here. We don’t believe in that. Is Oscar bilingual?

Claudia: Absolutely! I don’t know, he can tell the tone that I’m upset with him in in any language, so. He doesn’t listen either way, but I assume he does.

Mary: Okay, well that’s the thing with cats, right? Like whatever language they understand, it’s really a matter of whether or not they choose to react.

Claudia: Yes, absolutely.

Mary: Do you foresee a career in entertainment for Oscar? I mean, agents. Hello!

Claudia: God, you know? I truly—this is such a silly thing—is like, I kind of wish he was better, like, traveling or on sets, because he’s so handsome. I’m like, the mom with like, a perfect kid for Gerber commercials, but it cries all the time and doesn’t like to be around people. So I can’t, [Laughter], take him on sets. He’s too wild.

Mary: He’s too wild.

Claudia: You know, you can’t tame him.

Mary: You hear that about some celebrities, right? Like they’re so talented, they’re so good looking, but they’re just, you know, like, tough to work with.

Claudia: Yeah. He’s going through his like, Shia LeBeouf phase. He’s too crazy.

Mary: Oh. It would be tough, I think, to live with Shia LeBeouf as a cat.

Claudia: It is difficult, but you know, he’s my guy.

Mary: Does he watch your videos when you release new content? Does he curl up with you and watch?

Claudia: I think he doesn’t care at all.

Mary: But that’s good, that keeps you humble.

Caudia: Yeah, he keeps me humble.

Mary: Yeah. It’s very easy, I think, in show business, to get carried away with the public persona, and then if you come home and cat Shia LeBeouf is there waiting for you not caring, I think that’s got to be good.

[UPTEMPO, GUITAR DRIVEN ROCK MUSIC]

Mary: You work in entertainment, I’m here in New York. New York has lost a lot of its great comedians to Los Angeles, um, I guess because you can make money there, and that’s a thing people are into. Do you feel like cats in L.A. are perhaps more show-biz oriented?

Claudia: Probably cat parents are. I was in New York a few weeks ago for the first time in my adult life. I was like a, wow! In the big city. Like holding my backpack straps, like I’m here!

Mary: [Laughter.]

Claudia: So it definitely felt like a different city and a completely different vibe, and I kind of am like, how do you have a cat in New York? And I’m a little spoiled because Oscar is indoor/outdoor.

Mary: [Gasps.] Oh!

Claudia: And he would be a terror if he was just indoors. Like it would be a film where like, I end up dead on the floor. So I just can’t imagine having him in a tiny New York apartment.

Mary: You have a yard?

Claudia: We moved very recently, me and my roommate, and we have a backyard area. But he’s just kind of good at keeping close to home. I mean, a yard’s not going to keep a cat in. if he wants to get out, he’s out.

Mary: Does he hunt?

Claudia: You know, I was out of town just this last week in St. Louis, and my roommate said he brought me a mouse.

Mary: [Gasps.]

Claudia: Which, uh, honestly, I have never seen him do. My roommate’s cat is indoors now, but at our last place, um, her cat was also indoor/outdoor, and I just assumed—we would get treats every once in awhile. And I only saw her cat bring treats. So I was very flattered. Touched very much that he had brought something while I was out of town. But then felt very bad I was not there to receive the gift, I suppose, or say thank you but no thank you.

Mary: How does Oscar get along with your roommate’s cat?

Claudia: They tolerate each other. They’re like an old couple that’s been together 50 years and is just like, I’m glad you’re here, but I also don’t want to talk to you. So it’s one of those relationships.

Mary: Can we give a shoutout? What is your roommate’s cat’s name?

Claudia: Olive. She’s such a sweetheart, just such a different personality. She’s a homebody, home loaf.

Mary: A home loaf. [Laughter.]

Claudia: Yeah. Oscar’s just like the blue collar guy with a drinking problem, comes home and is just like, what’s for dinner? He’s just, such a different personality.

Mary: I mean, I know we’ve talked about how he’s difficult to work with but I kind of feel like I want a sitcom starring Olive and Oscar right now.

Claudia: You know, it’s like great having a creative job, but then at the end of the day you’re like, I just want to have a beer and sit at home and, you know, not do some more video work, but that has been a goal of mine is to at least do some sort of short. Either about like him just as a comedic character or like, my relationship with him. Because I do feel like there’s a lot there, and he can raise a lot of emotion with his little face.

Mary: How would you describe your relationship with Oscar?

Claudia: I’m like the mother that’s being called into school for like, something awful that he did. And I’m the one who is like, well he must have been provoked. I mean, have we talked to the other child? Can we talk to their parents? Like, it wasn’t his fault. But it often is. It’s like, always his fault. He’s always been like an aggressive cat, like whenever someone pets him I’m like, be careful because he might swipe at you. Or when he wants something or is upset, he will like, nip ankles. It’s like a dance. Like I know when I can pet him, and I know when he’s going to be in a good mood. But anybody that comes into contact with him is just like, wow, he’s, uh, he’s kind of wild. I’m like yup, that’s my boy.

[UPTEMPO, GUITAR DRIVEN ROCK MUSIC]

Mary: I don’t mean to pry—well, I do mean to pry. That’s what I’m here doing, but—

Claudia: Please. This is what, yeah.

Mary: [Laughter] Yeah. When you and your ex, uh, you got Oscar together, this is something I’ve experienced, when you break up with someone and there’s a cat involved.

Claudia: Oh my gosh, yes.

Mary: Always a difficult situation. So how did that go down?

Claudia: It was rough. Um, you know, pets are an emotional thing, and I see other people uh, with dogs where they try to do sort of like split parenting.

Mary: Mm-hmm.

Claudia: And sometimes that works and, awhile ago I had a co-worker that kind of had to decide that he didn’t need more contact with his ex, you know, and sort of had to decide to uh give the dog to her, and like my heart just like bled for him, because he loved that dog.

Mary: Yeah.

Claudia: I remember for the first summer that we were broken up, Oscar was with him. And I think it was certainly an emotional bomb. And then when it was time for him to move as well, Oscar came to be with me, and it was kind of always assumed that he’d probably end up with me. I don’t know why it works out that way, but it like, kind of did. He wasn’t able to take him. It was very sad. I just remember him sort of being like, can he stay one more night or something, or say bye?

Mary: [Sobbing.]

Claudia: I know, I’m going to cry. Uh, it was very—it was very emotional. And we talk so rarely, but in the very rare instances that we do talk, he’s like, you know, say hi to Oscar for me, like give him a kiss for me. It’s hard, um, having the reminder—

Mary: Yes.

Claudia: Of that you know, kind of every day. And I’ve done very good, finally, at the purging, right? Like where I like truly don’t have any artifacts of that past relationship anymore, and it’s been hard and it’s been a process, but like you could ask me, what do you have? Like, nothing. I got rid of it all. But I have Oscar, and he’s there every day.

Mary: And he’s there for you. He’s there for you as you navigate this emotional terrain.

Claudia: That’s true. I mean, truly he’s been the constant, even if he’s, you know, a bother sometimes, and like, when I have to take him to the vet because he got into another catfight. It’s just like, goddamn it, Oscar. Um, but yeah, he is a constant, and man, he’s been there.

Mary: And you need that.

Claudia: Yes, absolutely.

Mary: I feel like especially when your job is to be funny in public, and I know that feeling of being absolutely wrecked by something in your personal life, you get to work, and everyone is like, hey! Where are your jokes? And you’re like, uh, I don’t have jokes.

Claudia: [Laughter] Oh my god, yes. Absolutely.

Mary: I just want to lie down and cry on my cat.

Claudia: Yeah, I just want to watch other cat videos online at work. Can I just do that?

Mary: Yeah, yeah.

Claudia: And it’s like, nope. And you’re on in five.

Mary: And you’ve got to have that. It’s like you’re a car that’s running out of gas, and then the cat just puts its paw on your hand and is like, alright, I might rip your face off in a minute, but also you can do this, you know?

Claudia: That’s exactly him. When I’m the most down, he can definitely tell. And uh, he can be very sweet.

Mary: So you have a creative job, and one of the perks of a creative job is that you work really hard, but sometimes you get to work from home. At least I do, I don’t know if that’s true for you.

Claudia: Yes, I do. I do get to work from home sometimes.

Mary: How does Oscar feel about that, when you’re taking up space in his house during the day?

Claudia: The hope is that he’s outside most of the day. Because he is like a toddler. It’s like if he doesn’t work out his energy he will be a terror at night and never go to bed. But he will sometimes get on a really bad schedule where he doesn’t sleep, and then he wants to sleep all day, and it’s nice that I can come home sometimes and be like, go, you need to do a lap. If he’s being bad and kind of being aggressive and annoying, I’m like, go outside and do a lap. Take a walk and then come back.

Mary: It’s funny, because that’s exactly what I say to my three year old as well.

Claudia: Yeah. [Laughter.] Yeah, he needs to be on a schedule. And if I could take, I suppose a moment to be like, I do know that indoor/outdoor cats are sort of a contentious topic.

Mary: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claudia: And I completely understand all the arguments against outdoor cats. It statistically does shorten their lifespan. I definitely have to be on top of my flea medication and tick medication and all these things. Man, but this guy, I just don’t know what I would do if he was a strictly indoor. And he has always been aggressive and anxious and like, sort of up and down. And the second he started becoming indoor/outdoor, it was just like night and day. I just want to acknowledge everybody that’s like, outdoor cats are a bad idea. And I’m like, totally. He’s gotten in fights, but I do feel like if I could ask him, hey buddy, you want to stay indoors and you might have a couple more years with me, or do you want to be outside? He’d be like, outside.

Mary: Claudia, though, that is what being a good parent, whether it’s of a cat or a person, is all about, is knowing your creature and knowing who they are and what they need, and there’s all this advice and stuff out there that you read. I’m talking literally right now about both my kid and my cat, there, it’s like, people want to tell you what to do. And it’s great to take that in, but ultimately it’s, you know, no one else can tell you how to raise your cat.

Claudia: And of course it’s simplest, you know, not comparable to a child way at all.

Mary: Yeah, oh yeah.

Claudia: But in a sense it’s preparing me for the, like, well, they just got a car and I am going to be worried for the rest of my life, but that’s what it is.

Mary: Yeah.

Claudia: Because when he goes outside sometimes, I just have to trust. I’m like, well, let’s hope he comes home. Come on, buddy.

Mary: Absolutely.  I grew up with indoor/outdoor cats as well, and it’s like, there were some nights where it’s like, oh, where is she? This was not in New York City, this was in the middle of the woods in Maine. And then you have that great feeling of like, you know what, she chose to come back.

Claudia: Yeah, that’s true. You know, I live with the reality that he might not one day, but uh, that’s why I try to make use of the time we have.

Mary: That’s inspiring.

Claudia: If I can touch really quick on something.

Mary: Yeah.

Claudia: I’m sure there are other people out there that like also have like kind of difficult cats or dogs and then have had the experience of like, trying to date when they have this like, kind of different roommate, you know? And that has definitely been something I’ve faced with sweet Oscar. Anyone I’ve dated sort of after my ex, you know, has a jab, has a joke about how old is Oscar? Okay, so we’ve got to deal with him for X amount of years?

Mary: Oh no!

Claudia: And it’s very funny with my current relationship, which is like, you know, one of the best I’ve had in years, even that I’ve had to, at one moment, be like, so sometimes when you make jokes about Oscar, um, it kind of hurts my feelings. So [Laughter] it’s definitely been—

Mary: Yeah! Yeah.

Claudia: A point of contention a little bit.

Mary: Well, Oscar came first. I’m sorry, Oscar has precedent.

Claudia: Yeah, yeah. And it’s a weird thing to be like, I’ve got to find a man that puts up with—or a woman—that puts up with Oscar as much as my ex did, you know?

Mary: Yeah! Listen—again, this is something I can relate to. You love me, you love my cat. We’re a package deal. And if you don’t like that, go on somewhere else.

Claudia: If you want to be my lover, you’ve got to get with my friends. And he’s one of my best friends.

Mary: I love this idea that maybe someday you’ll be with your partner, Oscar’s going to get up, walk over, you know, put a paw on the lap, and be like, I accept you now.

Claudia: [Laughter] I mean, he’s so up and down that like, the other day he swiped at my boyfriend and he was like, what! But you know, several months ago he will sit very calmly with him, and I’m like, wow.

Mary: Does your boyfriend understand how momentous that is that Oscar is now tolerating his existence?

Claudia: The fact that he does tolerate him, it is a big deal. And um, I try to remind him of that when he does take a nip at him. I’m like hey, he takes more nips at other people! That’s something.

Mary: [Laughter] It could be a lot worse.

Claudia: Yeah, basically. [Laughter] He didn’t go for the knees. He went for the ankle. There you go.

Mary: There you go. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

[UPTEMPO, GUITAR DRIVEN ROCK MUSIC]

Mary: Okay, so we have some listener shout-outs. We want to say a very special hello to Sully in New York City. Uh, my note here says, “Sully, you’ve been very good lately. Cuddling all night, not waking up your person at 4:00am.” Good job, Sully. Congratulations. Please keep it up, and keep listening, we’d love to hear from you. Um, I’d like to do a personal shout-out to my friend Harry the cat in Portland. Harry recently lost his brother Capone.

Claudia: Aww.

Mary: Uh, Capone was a dog. I loved him very, very much. And I know that this time has been tough for Harry and for his entire family. Everybody in Portland loved Capone, misses him very much, and I know that Harry is providing a lot of comfort to his friends and family at this time. So Harry, we’re sending you our love and hope you’re doing okay. Uh, if anyone listening would like me to send your cat a shoutout, you can e-mail the show, shouts@letstalkaboutcats.com. Just tell me your cat’s name, where they live, and if you have any sort of special little message you’d like me to include on an upcoming episode. Alright! That is our show for today. Uh, everyone, you should definitely check out Pero Like on YouTube.

Claudia: Woo! Yeah.

Mary: Claudia Restrepo, if people want to keep up with you and everything you are doing, obviously your instagram is @clauddog, but is there anywhere else that people should follow you?

Claudia: [Laughter] You had to like, spit that out. Yeah, Instagram is definitely the place to find me. I have, you know, a website where I kind of update any work I’m like especially proud or excited about, and that’s just claudiarestrepo.com. Um, but yeah, mostly just check out Pero Like’s YouTube page. My Twitter is @ClaudoRestrepo, but uh, I’m not really great at updating it. I’ll work on it. We’ll see.

Mary: Okay. It’s good to have goals. Alright, thank you Claudia!

Claudia: Yeah! [Laughter.]

[UPBEAT, SLIGHTLY FRANTIC ELECTRONIC MUSIC: Let’s talk about cats! Let’s talk about cats!]

Mary: So go check her out, and check us out! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or whatever podcast app you like. They all work. And leave us a review, please, it helps! And you can subscribe to our newsletter at letstalkaboutcats.com. That’s it for this week. My name is Mary, my cat’s name is Grendel. Our producer is the notorious Lizzie Jacobs. Our theme song is by Poingly, with additional music by The English Muffins. Our show logo is by Julia Emiliani. Thanks for listening. We’ll talk more next time… about cats. Bye!