Ep. 2.2: Henry (ft. Evan Ratliff) 

Mary Phillips-Sandy: In my freelance writing days, I had to go interview someone, and I had my little recorder and the batteries were dead. Yeah.

Evan Ratliff: I've been there.

Mary: Yeah, at one point they looked down, and they're like, is that thing on?

Evan: It's causing me physical pain to even think about this scenario.

Mary: Well, of course we are not here to talk about faulty recording equipment. We're here to talk about something else. Evan, do you know what it is?

Evan: I could take a guess.

Mary: Go ahead.

Evan: Cats!

Mary: Let's talk about cats!

Mary: This is of course Let's Talk About Cats. I'm noted cat lady Mary Phillips-Sandy. My cat is Grendel. And I'm very excited to have with us here today Evan Ratliff, journalist, author, most recently of The Mastermind, which has a very dramatic subtitle: Drugs, Empire, Murder, Betrayal. If there's not something that you enjoy in that, I don't know what's wrong with you. Oh, and I should say also, you're the co-host of the Longform podcast.

Evan: Yes.

Mary: Which is an excellent podcast. And you are, most importantly, the... owner? Companion? Father?

Evan: I say friend.

Mary: Friend.

Evan: I don't like the parent pet situation.

Mary: Yes. Friend of a cat named Henry. I know this is difficult for someone who makes their living in longform. In five words, can you give us Henry's life?

Evan: Fastidious weirdo. Tongue always out.

Mary: You know, you might, you might want to reconsider the longform thing. That was really good.

Evan: Thank you.

Mary: So we're going to talk a lot more about Henry later in the show, as you know, but it is now time for our Cat Quiz. Here's how it works. There's going to be five questions. There's no time limit, you just have to answer quickly. There is a prize at stake. Today's Cat Quiz is: How much do you know about cats and things that are long? Are you ready?

Evan: I guess so.

Mary: Question number one. Waffle the Warrior Cat set a world record for the longest jump by a cat, in January of 2018. In feet, how far did Waffle jump?

Evan: Oh, it's gonna be embarrassing how far I could get this wrong. Six feet.

Mary: You're incredibly close. It was seven feet. It was seven feet. Seven feet, that's pretty good, right? All right, question number two. In the 1993 movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, a cat named Sassy travels hundreds of miles through the wilderness to find her family. There are also some dogs in the movie, but I don't care. Which Oscar-winning actress provided Sassy's voice?

Evan: Meryl Streep?

Mary: So close. It was Sally Field. All right, you're doing great. Question number three. Which of the following is not a long-haired cat breed? Javanese, York chocolate, Somali, or snowshoe?

Evan: Snowshoe?

Mary: Evan Ratliff! You're correct. Snowshoe is a short-haired breed of cat. Alright, question number four. The longest noodle ever measured was made in Henan province in 2017. It was 10,119 feet and 1.92 inches long. Earlier this year, in 2019, a cat in Henan went viral after it was caught on video doing what to a woman working in a bank?

Evan: Licking.

Mary: Ahh, no, I can't give it to you. The cat fell out of the ceiling and landed on her desk. It's a great video, we'll link it in the show notes.

Evan: It was unrelated to the noodle?

Mary: Unrelated to the noodle, just a lot of interesting things happening there in Henan province. Okay, final question. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest whisker on a cat measured 7.5 inches and was found on a Maine coon named Missi in which chilly yet cheerful full country?

Evan: The Netherlands?

Mary: Nope, I'm so sorry. It was Finland. Finland. Apparently Finns are very happy people, according to a number of psychological reports. And they also have cats with very long whiskers. Evan Ratliff, you win the Cat Quiz. Tell the people what I am handing you.

Evan: It's a cat.

Mary: And would you say the tail is-

Evan: -is long. And curled over the cat. It's incredible.

Mary: It is a Finnish cat with a very long tail for you. Congrats.

Evan: Even though I got that one wrong. I'm honored.

Mary: The secret is that everybody wins the Cat Quiz, no matter what they-

Evan: Don't tell me that.

Mary: Okay.

Mary: Now it's time for a segment that we call Hot Topic. And this is where you and I resolve a divisive feline issue that's been plaguing the cat community for some time. And I thought this would be a really good one to talk about with you, because it does involve crime, investigative research, etc. So let me give you some background. In 2013, forensic scientists at the University of Leicester created a cat DNA database from 152 cats. And this is relevant because they used that DNA to help convict a man who had been accused of manslaughter. The victim's body had cat hairs on it, they were able to make a match between the rare mitochondrial DNA type of the cat hairs on the victim and the alleged murderer's cat. The cat's name was Tinker. I don't know that that really matters, but it was. And that was the first time in the UK that cat DNA had been used in a in a criminal trial.

Evan: I would think so.

Mary: So I want to read you a quote from the lead forensic scientist, Dr. Jon Wetton, who said that he was very excited about the possibilities of this, because "the 10 million cats in the UK are unwittingly tagging clothes and furnishings in more than a quarter of households." Basically saying, people who have cats, we can find out if you did a crime.

Evan: Well, first of all, this is confirms what I've always sort of believed, which is that I'm just walking around through life with cat hair on me.

Mary: Yeah, basically, everybody who has a cat has cat hair on them, even if you can't see it. But often you can see it in my case. So I'm curious what you think about this. Are there ethical implications?

Evan: There are definitely ethical implications. I mean, there's a lot of junk forensic science, so you can easily see this being misapplied and abused. And I feel like so much forensic science has been debunked recently, that was for a long time used to put people in prison, that I am naturally very skeptical of even a cat-based, new version of forensic science.

Mary: Well, I'll tell you this. Cat DNA is different from human DNA, and the only sort of DNA that can be measured on cats in this way is mitochondrial DNA. And there are a limited number of mitochondrial DNA types in cats in the world, I think a little over 100. So it can be used as an exclusionary tool. That that can be a way to rule out people. And of course, multiple cats can have the same mitochondrial DNA. That's how mitochondrial DNA works, I guess. It can be shared among relatives or people of a similar type. And then of course, with cats, there's a lot of interbreeding. It's not necessarily- unless you're dealing with purebred cats, which most people are not. To me, the problem is this: How do we know that the cats are not framing people?

Evan: They certainly have the motive.

Mary: I don't know about you, when I feed Grendel an hour late because I get home late, she's very angry. Is she angry enough to frame me for murder? I don't know that I can say.

Evan: Some days perhaps.

Mary: Right. So do you think that this is an avenue of research that should be shut down, or continued?

Evan: I don't think it should be shut down. But I do think there should be government commissions to assess the implications. What if they started collecting DNA from the cats and created a kind of database, which then they could use to solve unsolved crimes. But then, do you need a cat's consent to put their DNA into a cat DNA database? What about the cats' privacy?

Mary: And the way this particular DNA analysis works, they need fur from the cat. They need fur. And so again, some cats, really happy about being brushed, groomed, that sort of thing. Other cats... you know, it could be dangerous for the researchers themselves trying to collect this sort of evidence. You could be putting yourself at risk of clawing, hissing, I don't even know what else.

Evan: It seems like they should just slow it down. Assess the consequences before we're seeing cat experts testifying in courtrooms without any standards.

Mary: Yeah, or actual cats.

Evan: Or- who knows, even cats.

Mary: Maybe that's really what it is. Maybe instead of relying on DNA evidence, we need to hear from the cats themselves. I mean, I mean, that's the other thing right? We have a right to representation. I don't know how it is in the UK. Here in the U.S. we do. So is the cat an accessory to the crime now? What is the judicial perspective on that? I don't think that we currently have enough of a legal framework to move ahead with this sort of thing.

Evan: I think that's fair. You always do wonder if your cat would sell you out, if given the opportunity. If they got on the stand and someone said, Are they a good owner? And the cat, the cat is kinda like, "Eh. They could've done better."

Mary: "They could've done better." Yeah! Okay, I think we've reached a conclusion, which is that forensic science of cat DNA in criminal justice settings is potentially very dangerous, and should be stopped immediately. So if you are listening to this from the University of Leicester, I'd like you to stop. Thank you very much.

Mary: So now it is time for my favorite part of the show. Let's talk about your cat. But before we do that, I want to talk about your cat podcast. Now, many many years ago, you promised the world a podcast called Cat Men, and that podcast does not exist. Can you tell me: Why did you let the people down?

Evan: First of all, there were supposed to be three hosts of the Cat Men podcast, which was going to be interviews with men talking about their cats. That was the premise. One of them was Choire Sicha, who was the first guest, I believe, on this podcast.

Mary: Yes, he is the muse of Let's Talk About Cats.

Evan: Which just- it just hurt even to hear him talking about his cats, because that was exactly what we were trying to capture. And the third was Aaron Lammer, who's my Longform podcast co-host, who's also a cat man. And we taped a couple episodes, but then I think everyone just got too busy to edit it. And then at least one of the episodes I do have on a hard drive, but we just could not coordinate to, to get it off the ground.

Mary: That's why I don't have a co-host.

Evan: That's wise. Wrangling three people to get together-

Mary: Would you say it's like herding cats?

Evan: Yes. I would say that.

Mary: All right.

Evan: That's what I was reaching for.

Mary: So now we're going to talk about Henry. And how did you and Henry meet?

Evan: Henry and I met, I guess, when he was picked up from his original home. He's not a rescue, which I think is controversial.

Mary: Yeah.

Evan: Controversial among cat and pet owners in general. But he was the kind of like, runt of his litter. And so I like say that I rescued him from a lifetime of feeling lesser than his- he was, he came from a show cat family. He's a Himalayan.

Mary: Oh, wow. So he's purebred?

Evan: He is purebred. Yes.

Mary: Wow, I think this is the first purebred cat we've ever had on the show.

Evan: I'm probably gonna get a lot of mail, you're going to get a lot of mail about it.

Mary: You know what, all cats deserve a good life.

Evan: Who knows what might have become of him?

Mary: What prompted you to decide to get a purebred Himalayan cat? Did you just wake up one morning?

Evan: I became obsessed with Himalayan cats I think because of a cat on the internet. This was years ago. I mean, he's 12 now, but my partner at the time was also obsessed with Himalayan cats. And so we decided to get a Himalayan cat.

Mary: And then after the breakup, you kept the cat?

Evan: That is correct. She very generously said, You should keep him.

Mary: Wow. Well, I'm glad that that worked out for you and for Henry. I want to talk about Henry's career on Vine. I know that he became a bit of a sensation. What inspired you to start doing that? And then, did the attention go to his head? Did he know how popular he was on the platform?

Evan: He, he's the most oblivious creature, even among cats, I would say. But when Vine came out, I loved the Vine format. And it was the only social media platform that I really ever just loved. And it was so perfect for him because he's kind of weird looking, and he behaves in very weird ways. And so these sort of like six-second videos of him were, they were the perfect way to capture kind of what he's all about. And it grew a pretty good following initially and then somehow he like leapt from people that I knew into a wider community. I'd post videos of him that would sometimes get 500 or 600,000 views like within a day, I would just see them- hearts just like lining up. I've never experienced true virality in that way. And it was completely insane.

Mary: And it was completely not by design.

Evan: No. I mean, I wasn't trying to make him famous. In fact, he was, in a way, it's kind of scary, when that's not what you're after. I mean, I did think, Wow, maybe I should monetize him now. I probably could have.

Mary: Right, a lot of people do that, yeah.

Evan: And even he did a photoshoot after that for Wired magazine. They were doing a story that involved Schrödinger's cat, the famous puzzle kind of thing. But anyway, he was the cat in a box.

Mary: So he modeled!

Evan: He modeled. That was when I stopped thinking about making him famous, because I had to take him into Manhattan, and take him to a studio, and they took all these photos of him and he- I've never seen him more miserable than doing that.

Mary: It's not for everybody. It's a tough life.

Evan: He doesn't like going out of the house. It did- the whole thing was just like, I'm torturing this cat.

Mary: I went online and I found some things that fans said about Henry. And here are some things that fans said Henry resembles. Wilford Brimley.

Evan: Yes!

Mary: Donald Trump's head. And I should note this was way before the election.

Evan: Wow, I never saw that one.

Mary: And this one: "Are you sure that's a cat?"

Evan: He would get that a lot.

Mary: Does Henry know that he looks a little different? Does he care?

Evan: I think he knows. I mean, he looks- he looks like a very, like, irritated old man. Most of the time. But as he's gotten older- so he always had this thing where he would stick his tongue out if he was happy. And then sometimes it would go back in when he was alarmed. But as he's gotten older, he just leaves his tongue out of his mouth all the time. That gives him this effect of, like, he just does not give a shit about anything. And I think he knows that he's got his tongue out all the time.

Mary: And then after Vine died, did you try to pivot to YouTube?

Evan: No, no, because it also coincided with- some of the most popular videos that I did with him were actually during the presidential debates, and he would sit right in front of it. And it was just his kind of like tongue out face and then Donald Trump's saying something absurd or awful or racist behind him. Then when the election happened, it sort of... it didn't seem like fun anymore. And internet changed. I used to put them on Twitter too. And then I stopped as well.

Mary: I noticed that, I thought that was very interesting.

Evan: I didn't want myself on there. And I didn't want him on there. And everything got so sort of rancid.

Mary: Reported nonfiction, there's always a choice, right? How much of yourself goes in the story? And you're there, you're in the book. But we don't really know you in the book. And I find this very interesting because you've written a lot- you've been writing, I've been reading your writing for many, many years. I don't know you. I wonder is that by design? And is that something related to this idea of keeping Henry private, keeping yourself private in some ways so that you can do this work, or?

Evan: When I first started out, I wrote more about myself. It was sort of early internet days, you didn't feel so much like, you could end up with a bunch of strangers in your feed, you know,

Mary: You had more control. Or it felt like you had more control.

Evan: Yeah, or- making fun of you. It's just like, you put it in a magazine, and it went out in the world. And you thought maybe some people laughed at that. And then, over time, I just, I don't think I'm that interesting. So I just started thinking, especially when you start reading great essayists. And I think in the context of reporting, I like to do it because I like to be the kind of vessel by which people learn about something, and they can learn about it as they're watching me learn about it or talk to people are trying to discover or solve something. But even in that context, myself personally, I don't think that I'm that interesting. And so I don't want that to be the focus of the story.

Mary: You've never written about Henry, really, have you?

Evan: Not really, no, I don't think so.

Mary: The exception might be like, if Henry committed some sort of global crime. I mean, do you think he would be good at committing crime on a global scale?

Evan: Well, he's not smart. So that component of it would be difficult, but he is very fastidious, like if he gets into something, he will do it in a very exacting way. For instance, he eats one meal a day, which he has eaten literally the same thing for 12 years. Every single day. He will not eat one other piece of food, human food, milk, chicken, he will eat one type of canned food, half a can with one quarter cup of dry food, once a day. That's it. He drinks out of the same coffee cup of water every day. So by this I mean, if he really found a successful criminal scheme, I feel like he could execute on it. Coming up with a scheme, that seems farfetched to me. He's not a strategic thinker, let's just say.

Mary: What you're saying is sort of interesting because what I thought was really cool about the you that we see in the book is the level of sort of... mmm, shall we say obsession?

Evan: Mmhmm.

Mary: -that happened, where you became focused on this one thing and you were determined to pursue it until the end. Sounds like you and Henry- is that maybe something you have a little bit in common?

Evan: Yeah, I think so. I think it's kind of like stalking something, stalking the answer to something is, that's what I like to do. And reporting and kind of unraveling it and staying on it even way beyond what's necessary in terms of how much time I spend on reporting. That feels like a very Henry-ish quality. I mean, sometimes, if he sees, for instance, a roach in our house. Wherever it went, like let's say it went under a door, went into a crack. He'll just sit there all night long, waiting for it to come back out thinking that it might come back out, and a lot of times he will catch it. In fact, one night, in the middle of the night- Henry wakes me up at night all the time. I kind of felt him on my back with his little whiskers. And I was like, Ugh, Henry, come on. Let's- I'm trying to sleep. It's like three in the morning. And then I slowly realized that it was not actually Henry. He had brought me a not-yet-deceased large roach and deposited it on my back while I was sleeping.

Mary: See, I think that is a global crime. I think that actually-

Evan: That is his crime!

Mary: That is a crime. That is a thing I am now going to have nightmares about.

Mary: I want to go back to the Longform office. I have intel that tells me there was one Feline Friday at the Longform office the first and last feline Friday.

Evan: That's good intel.

Mary: Well, they wrote about it on The Awl because of course they did.

Evan: Oh, right! I forgot about that.

Mary: So what was the impetus for that, and what caused it to stop after one session?

Evan: Well, we had one of those modern offices where you were allowed to bring your dog. And myself and Aaron Lammer, who also worked in the office, we're both- being cat aficionados, we number one thought this was unfair, that there was not a day for cats. And number two, I love the dogs that we had, but they can be disruptive. And cats could offer the same thing, the same sort of like vibe, but not be disruptive, because all they're going to do is sleep all day. It turned out that wasn't exactly accurate. Because the thing they did most of all was hide. They found incredible hiding places because they were terrified. The two cats that we brought did not want anything to do with each other, obviously. I mean, in hindsight, it all made sense. And I spent the whole day kind of worried about Henry. Then I took him home.

Mary: Oh, yeah, that's not great for productivity.

Evan: No, it wasn't.

Mary: Or Henry, probably.

Evan: It was a lost day. Feline Friday was a lost day and we never did it again.

Mary: Well, that's too bad. Do you now work from home most of the time?

Evan: I do.

Mary: How does Henry feel about that?

Evan: Henry loves that. I mean, I had done it for a long time before I had an office job, and we had a routine. And then as soon as I started working at home again, he was like, thank God, we're back to what we do, which is that he naps and then once or twice a day he gets up, he gets on my lap, and he kind of like sits on my lap for maybe 20 or 30 minutes, takes a little nap there. And then he goes back to his other nap.

Mary: He gets his fill of you and then he's done.

Evan: Every single workday, it's like that.

Mary: And you get your fill of Henry.

Evan: That's right.

Mary: Does Henry know that your book is very successful? Does he know that people are praising it? Does he care? Is he a fan of your work? Have you read it to him?

Evan: Henry does not care.

Mary: Mmm. He doesn't share in your professional successes.

Evan: I don't think so. I don't think so. He wants what he wants. And as long as I'm around, people are around, and they do the things that he wants done, the scratches that he wants. Brushes. He goes for walks sometimes on a leash.

Mary: Outside?

Evan: Outside.

Mary: Really!

Evan: Yeah.

Mary: What- Now how did you come to decide that he wanted to do that?

Evan: Well, you can never quite tell what he wants to do, but he mostly goes once a year on my daughter's birthday. She gets to take him for a walk.

Mary: That's her birthday party, she walks the cat.

Evan: Yeah, cause his birthday is right next, they're in the same week. So they can celebrate together by going for a little walk. And he's not an outside cat. He would be- I mean, it would be hilarious how quickly he would fall apart if he was outside for any period of time. But I think he is intrigued by the outside world and so he likes to, as long as you follow him, I think he really enjoys that. If you try to get him to do anything, he absolutely will not walk in any direction as you can imagine most cats won't.

Mary: Right. Well, yeah, there's this trend. What is it, the adventure cats. There's a hashtag on Instagram that's very big now, of people, you know, sort of showing off, taking their cats hiking or like in canoes or whatever. Which I, you know, again, you know your cat best and if that's what your cat wants to do, go for it. I know personally, Grendel would not stand for it in the slightest I would be you know, I would look like I'd been attacked by a bear if I tried to take her in a canoe. But that's cool. So how does Henry like your children?

Evan: He's, he's really warmed to them. I mean, at the beginning, he was very skeptical. He doesn't like the sudden movements. I mean, the funny thing is, he's, he gets scared of things. His whole life, like if you put his food down, and then you open the fridge, he will make a little noise like, Ahh! and then he'll run away. Nothing bad has ever happened to him, ever, involving opening the fridge, but he'll still get scared. But then like, a baby was the first thing that like legitimately he should be scared of, because they are grabby.

Mary: And unpredictable.

Evan: They make sudden movements, and they yell all of a sudden, so he was very, very standoffish. But once they're like three, and they kind of understand petting- or even two, then it's sort of like a petting machine. He can always get what he wants. And so it's been really fun to watch him evolve from just, like, "I will keep a five foot radius and I'm faster than you" to closer and closer. Now he will sit with my older daughter and just be petted for an hour if if she feels like it.

Mary: That's really sweet. Have you read anything that you can recommend to listeners? Any longform writing that you can think of that is about cats, or that cat lovers might like to read? Other than your book? Of course, which, I will say there were no cats in The Mastermind.

Evan: There were no cats. There were no pets at all. I mean, I think-

Mary: None of the global criminals had cats!

Evan: Yeah, some of the- I actually thought about that at one point. They, some of them had dogs I think, you know, they were sort of like, a lot of the mercenary kind of guys and maybe they have like a big pit bull or something like that. But- and a lot of them had kids. And that made me think, like, anyone can have a kid! But none of them had cats, and maybe that said something about their personalities. Maybe they just never talked about their cats, but I don't know why.

Mary: Maybe they didn't want you to know about their cat.

Evan: Maybe so! Maybe they didn't want me to see that side of them.

Mary: Maybe we need a follow-up to The Mastermind.

Evan: Criminals and their cats.

Mary: Part Two: Criminal Cat Intent. I dunno, you've got one copy sold right here already.

Evan: Done. That's what- I'm trying to move copies one at a time.

Mary: That's how you have to do it. That's how you have to do it. But truly, is there any book or essay or anything that you have read about cats that you think was really great or that you just think cat lovers might respond to?

Evan: Gosh. I should have come prepared.

Mary: It's an unfair thing to ask someone. I know that you are not the Longform podcast search engine, which is available to people on the internet if they'd like to use it.

Evan: Well, I mean, the funny thing is the first thing that comes to mind I know for a fact has already been mentioned on this podcast, which is the thing that Choire wrote about-

Mary: "The Last Photograph of Cat."

Evan: Yeah, yeah. And The Awl had a lot of great cat content.

Mary: Yes, it did.

Evan: Over the years.

Mary: Tell you what, if you think of something, you can email me and I will put it in the show notes.

Evan: Oh, perfect.

Mary: For our listeners to enjoy. And I will say also that when we recorded Choire's episode, "The Last Photograph of Cat" had vanished from the internet and I gave him a hard time about it, but I have since found it and it is now. And I reread it the other day, man, it holds up. And of course, he told me that it was not, you know, ”It's not very good. It's not important.” That's the exact same face that I made. Thank you. I'm very glad that we agree.

Evan: It's actually the face that Henry makes 100% of the day.

Mary: I wish podcasts had just one little moment of video right now because it was a great face. So we're getting to the end of our time, and I was wondering, what would you like to say to Henry who is listening at home?

Evan: Just let me sleep a full night. Just once.

Mary: He wakes you up every night?

Evan: Yes, you can shut him out of the room, but then he scratches on the door. There's a thing that was bought for him as a kind of bed, which he hates. He would never touch it. He doesn't like the material and I tacked it to the door to try to keep him from scratching the door when he wants to come in. Because he likes to come in like two or three times. And then first thing in the morning he also comes in. And it didn't work, he just finds another place to scratch. I'm not sure that I've ever had a full night where Henry didn't disturb me and one way or another.

Mary: It's kind of amazing that you're able to get so much work done.

Evan: I'm good at going back to sleep.

Mary: Does he wake up other members of your family, or is it just you?

Evan: Mostly just me, but if I don't react, then he'll go looking.

Mary: I mean, again, not to go back to the crime thing, but like if I were a federal prosecutor, I think I have a list of things that Henry could be brought in for. Just, y'know, for questioning, right.

Evan: You wanna know how he does it sometimes?

Mary: How?

Evan: He licks my nose.

Mary: Grendel is also a nose licker.

Evan: What is it? Is there something on your nose that the cat wants?

Mary: No! I don't know. I wish I knew.

Evan: I'm very happy to hear that Grendel does that, because I was worried that I had, like, a salty nose or like I had something weird about my nose.

Mary: Listen, there could well be something about like sweat glands or something that I don't know. I'm not a dermatologist. It could also just be that they know it's going to work.

Evan: You can't really just power through a cat licking your nose.

Mary: You could be underestimating Henry's strategic thinking abilities.

Evan: Maybe his whole life I've just- he's a secret genius.

Mary: It's a long con, and you fell for it.

Evan: He's the mastermind.

Mary: We have a shoutout today, and today's shoutout is going to Jackpot Jacques in Central Maine. My old stomping grounds, always great to hear from you listeners there. Jackpot, Amanda wants you to know that you are one cool dude. And I have not met Jackpot Jacques, but that is a really good name.

Evan: It is a good name. That sounds like a great, a great establishment.

Mary: Yeah, yeah, I mean, do you have a saloon? I would go to Jackpot Jacques if it were a saloon. Anyway, if you have a cat who deserves a shoutout, please email us: shouts@letstalkaboutcats.com. Tell us the cat's name, where they live, whatever message you would like them to hear, and I'll read it out at the end of an upcoming episode. Okay, Evan! How can people find you online if they would like to keep up with you and your work and the latest with your books?

Evan: I'm @ev_rat on Twitter and I have website, evanratliff.com.

Mary: Great. And we'll link all of that, of course, on our website, which is letstalkaboutcats.com. While you're there, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Let's Talk (More) About Cats. And you can find show notes and a full transcript for this episode as well. You can also follow us everywhere at @ltacpod. And that's all for this episode. I am Mary, my cat is Grendel. Our producer, of course, is the real mastermind Lizzie Jacobs. Our theme song is by Poingly, with additional music by The English Muffins. And our show logo was created by Julia Emiliani. That's all for today. Thank you so much for listening. I will talk to you next time... about cats.