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

Mary Phillips-Sandy: If I would just upgrade the stuff, I’m sure it would all work better, but I refuse to do that. My phone is like, you know, five years old and my laptop is like seven years old, which is a lifetime in these years.

Holly Frey: Yes.

Mary: It’s an artifact, if you will.

Holly: It’s like the Fred Flintstone of laptops at this point.

Mary: You can hear it kind of giving off steam when it’s starting up. Maybe it does run on steam. I don’t know. It works, ish.

Holly: You’re actually using a difference engine. Is that a little too nerdy?

Mary: Yeah, a little. Holly—wow. But you know what, we’re not here to talk about how much we love technology. We are here to talk about something else.

Holly: Yes! Kitties, please!

Mary: Let’s talk about cats!

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

Mary: Welcome back to Let’s Talk About Cats. I’m noted cat lady Mary Phillips-Sandy. My cat is Grendel. And today, I am super-excited to have Holly Frey with us. You host so many podcasts.

Holly: I do.

Mary: Let’s see. You’re probably best known to most people, of course, as one of the hosts of Stuff You Missed In History Class. It is a long-running show and truly one of my favorite podcasts. For anybody who loves history and is fascinated by the odd and interesting corners therein, it’s a great listen. You also host Full of Sith, which is a Star Wars podcast.

Holly: I do.

Mary: And Fauxthentic History, which is dedicated to fictional history. Fascinating.

Holly: Yeah, we treat fictional worlds as though they’re real. So we just did one on the Springfield Monorail System as though it were a real, historical event.

Mary: That’s one of those ideas that’s so perfect it kind of makes me angry that I didn’t think of it myself, you know what I mean? Holly, you also have a record-setting five cats. And let me tell you—

Holly: That’s a record?

Mary: That is the record on this show.

Holly: Oh.

Mary: Recently we had a guest with four cats, and we thought that was pretty exciting. But you are now the cat owner to beat, as it were. Can you tell us their names?

Holly: I can. I have Mr. Burns, who is very bad. Veers and Ozzel are brothers, they’re both little grey monsters. And then Rolly and Xavier are also brothers, and they are Siamese.

Mary: Excellent. Now normally, we start off the show by asking our guests to introduce us to their cat or cats with a five word memoir. You have five cats. We’d be here all day.

Holly: I mean, I’m ready over here.

Mary: Okay. Alright. Well, let’s hear it.

Holly: Adorable fluffwads, belligerent and numerous.

Mary: Wow. So you actually managed to encompass all five cats in one memoir. See, some guests have had to do individual memoirs for each cat.

Holly: No.

Mary: They argue that each cat is so distinct. I’m going to challenge you to give us another one, Holly: In five words, tell us how you came to be a person with five cats.

Holly: I mean, the easy answer is, one cat leads to another.

Mary: You know what? I think that is accurate. [Laughter.] Cats are a slippery slope. Let’s face it.

[UPTEMPO, GUITAR DRIVEN ROCK MUSIC WITH FEMALE VOCALS]

Mary: It’s time for our Cat Quiz. Today, how much do you know about cats and the future, and the future of cats? So here’s how this works. I’m going to ask you five questions, you don’t have all day. You’ve got to give me an answer when I ask you the question, and there is a prize at stake. Now, are you ready?

Holly: I guess we’re going to find out, yeah.

Mary: Okay, we’re going to find out. Here we go, question number one.

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

Mary: In 2003, a cat named Nicky died. He had lived with Julie, his person, for 17 years. She was devastated. So Julie paid a California company $15,000 to do what?

Holly: Clone him.

Mary: That is correct. Little Nicky, the world’s first commercially cloned pet. Kind of cute, kind of creepy. Okay. A company called Petrionics sells Mousr, which is an artificial intelligence powered robot mouse. You can control it with an app that you download to your phone. In U.S. dollars, how much does one Mousr cost? Is it $89.99, $149.99, or $399.99.

Holly: I’m going to go $89.99.

Mary: I’m sorry, you’re going to have to spend more than that on a Mousr. It’s $149.99.

Holly: I’m sorry, children. Mommy doesn’t have the scratch for your robot. 

Mary: Question three. As many of us know, the human genome project was completed in 2003. That was the sequencing of the human genome. A year later, researchers sequenced the rat genome. Which furry, four-footed creature had its genome sequenced next?

Holly: See, it should be a cat because we’re on the cat show, but I want to say dog because people get real excited about dogs.

Mary: Holly, you are correct. It was the dog.

Holly: Thank you.

Mary: And I have a quote from prominent geneticist Stephen O’Brien, who said, and this is a quote, “The truth is, there were more powerful people interested in dogs.”

Holly: See? The dog lobby is very real.

Mary: Yeah, conspiracy theory alert. Shane Dawson, get on that one. Okay, alright. Here we go. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, a cat named Spot lived aboard the Enterprise and helped Android Lt. Commander Data become just a little more what?

Holly: There are so many answers that are accurate, right? Like, adorable, human.

Mary: I will take that. That’s right. I was looking for the answer “human.” Final question, Holly, you are killing it. Speaking of space, of course the final frontier, the first cat to survive space flight was a black and white stray who underwent training, and then made a 13-minute sub-orbital flight in 1963. She was launched by which European country that was trying to keep up with the USSR and the United States in the space race?

Holly: I should know this and I don’t, I’m embarrassed. But it’s a scratch. I’ll say France, just to be funny.

Mary: You pulled it out! That’s right, it was France! And her name was Felicette!

[CAT QUIZ MUSIC STOPS]

Mary: There is an effort underway to have a statue erected in her honor, and you know what, I endorse that effort.

Holly: I’ll go visit that statue.

Mary: Field trip!

Holly: Yes.

Mary: History? Cats? Let’s do it. Holly, I’ll see you there.

Holly: I’m totally in. I’m not even joking.

Mary: Well Holly, you win the Cat Quiz, and you win today’s prize, which is—it’s a graphic novel called Catstronauts In Mission Moon.

Holly: I love.

Mary: About cats who go to the moon.

Holly: That sounds perfect for me.

Mary: I believe it is not based on a true story, but you’ll find out and you’ll let us know.

[FAST ROCKING AWESOME GUITAR MUSIC]

Mary: Okay, so it is time now for a segment that we call Hey, You Need a Cat.

Holly: Yeah.

Mary: We’ve done this before—we’ve addressed celebrities. We’ve talked to Keanu Reeves, we’ve talked to Sandra Bernhard. I just want to be clear, they have not been on the show, they’ve probably not even listened to the show. I don’t think they know the show exists. But there are people who don’t have cats, and we think they should have a cat. And given your background in history, Holly, I thought it would be fun to set aside the constraints of the time-space continuum and let’s believe that time travel exists, and you and I can sit here today and address a historical figure who did not have a cat and tell her why we think she should have a cat. And the person I’d like to talk about is one of my very favorite figures from history, a really great person who did a lot of good for the world. Her name was Jane Addams. Do you agree with me, Holly, that Jane Addams should have a cat?

Holly: That’s a loaded question, because everyone should have a cat, provided they’re not monsters.

Mary: Okay.

Holly: How great would Hull House have been with a few kitties running around?

Mary: Yes.

Holly: Perfect. I’m sure there was a lot of stress involved, there was certainly a lot of hard work. How comforting and perfect would it have been at the end of a long day where she’s lobbying for change to come home and just have a cat curl up on her and purr.

Mary: She took care of others so much, but did she take care of herself? I wonder about that. The other thing, I was reading about this, apparently there were legends that the area around Hull House and Hull House itself was haunted by the ghost of Charles Hull’s wife, who had apparently died there. And you know, maybe having some cats around at night would have been comforting for Jane and for the residents.

Holly: I agree. I mean, I think cats are magical in this regard, for two reasons. One, they will spot the ghost before you and raise the alarm. Two, for me, I’m like a lifelong insomniac and some of that is like a weird anxiety that pops up, not so much lately, but when I was younger I got night terrors all the time. And it wasn’t until I started having cats that I actually slept through the night. And I think my brain just was like, oh that noise, it’s just one of the cats. And so it gave me much better rest.

Mary: I have this theory that if everybody who wanted to own a cat was able to, we would actually end up solving a lot of problems when it comes to basic needs and housing. Because if you are able to support a cat, that means that you have adequate shelter for yourself and your family, you have some security, you have some space, you have some income that you can spend to support yourself and your cat. All things that Jane Addams was fighting for. So if instead of these crowded tenements, we had houses with cats in them, where the cats were pets and not just vermin, that would have transformed Chicago as well, really.

Holly: I can get behind that 100%. I think too, because Jane Addams, her work and her advocacy took her all over the country all the time, cats don’t always travel well, and I’m not advocating for leaving your cat behind, but you get all the benefits of a pet, but an animal that you can go away for a little bit and not worry that you have to let the cat out or take it for a walk.

Mary: True. I think it would have been very hard for Jane Addams to have a dog given what she was doing.

Holly: Right. But a cat would have fit into her lifestyle, I think.

Mary: I agree. And she was a pacifist, of course. And cats, you know, they play at violence, but in the context of play, right?

Holly: [Laughter.] I might be the wrong person to talk to on this.

Mary: Let’s just say this: A cat would not like war to break out on their front lawn.

Holly: No, all of their aggression is usually because they’re afraid of a war breaking out on their front lawn.

Mary: Exactly. It’s a different way of diverting their energy, and one that I think is in line with a pacifist, activist tendency.

Holly: Part of me is like, how much is actual pacifism and how much is just sheer laziness. [Laughter.]

Mary: Look, as long as the end result is no more war, I kind of don’t care, really.

Holly: Yeah, me either. I’m in.

Mary: So I think it’s really pretty clear. Jane Addams, if you’re listening, you’ve got to get a cat. You deserve one. We look forward to hearing from you, Jane. Contact us through whatever medium you feel compelled to do, and see how it goes. We’re wishing you the best, Jane. Thanks for all you do.  

Holly: We’ll have a cat séance later and see if we can come through. Kittens, come through.

[FAST ROCKING AWESOME GUITAR MUSIC]

Mary: It’s time for the reason we’re really here, which is the interview portion that we call Let’s Talk About Your Cats. Holly, all five of them. All five glorious beasts that you live with. So I want to start at the beginning.

Holly: Okay.

Mary: The first cat or cats that you acquired.

Holly: For a long time, I had kind of been making noise, the first eight years we were married, that I wanted a cat. And Brian, my beloved, who had never really spent a lot of time with cats, he never got over his dog that passed away like right after we got married. Like even now, I mean, we’ve been married more than 22 years, and even now he gets really choked up talking about that dog. Like I said, he’s a very softhearted dude. And I just kind of got in the habit of picking up cats when I could and rescuing them and adopting them out. And we were very lucky that we had quick turnover. Like they never stayed with us at all. But I always told him, you know, if a little black cat shows up on our doorstep, I’m keeping it. And he was like, that’s fine, that’s a deal. And it went to the wrong address. It went to my work, but that is how I ended up with our first cat, who was a little black Manx who we named Gigi after the Gigi in Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Mary: Oh yeah.

Holly: And he was spectacular, and we called him the sultan, and he was very saucy and very bossy and wonderful. We started out with the intent to only ever have one, as everyone does, and then because he had been [inaudible 12:32] as a kitten and we didn’t know how it was going to go, but I knew that my husband, who is a very wonderful and softhearted person, if he went through the heartbreak of losing that cat, he would never let me get another. So I immediately wanted to adopt a buffer animal. We adopted his little sister, who was named Zizou, on New Year’s Day. And we had the two of them for a bit, and then several months later was when the ghost cats showed up.

Mary: Stranger things have happened, I’m sure.

Holly: I am really in my heart a woman of science, and I don’t buy into too much of that, but there was a moment when my husband and I were in our apartment, and we both, independently, heard clear as a bell my deceased mother’s voice. And both hallucinated a small, grey cat.

Mary: Wait, so you heard your mother and you saw a cat?

Holly: Both of us, independent of one another. And then literally two days after this happened, our friends found this litter of grey kittens. I was like oh, that’s from Jan. [Laughter.] And we took two of them, so.

Mary: Oh my God. Your mother sent you cats.

Holly: I think she did.

Mary: So now which cats were this?

Holly: Ozzel and Veers, who we still have.

Mary: Ozzel and—can you tell me about their names? How did you come to name them that?

Holly: Ozzel and Veers are Imperial officers in the Empire Strikes Back. That’s how they got their names.

Mary: Okay.

Holly: We went from having no pets to four cats in like six months. [Laughter.]

Mary: What does that do to your household? To your lifestyle?

Holly: I mean, the first one was the hardest, right? Because when you go from having no pets to having pets, you realize all the stuff in your house that’s not kosher for pets to be around. And then when we got the kittens, because we got two, like I said, Ozzel and Veers, that worked out fine. And then Mr. Burns came to live with us and everything fell apart.

[AGGRESSIVE, HARD-DRIVING ROCK MUSIC]

Mary: So Mr. Burns is the—I’m gathering that he’s a disruptive presence in your life?

Holly: I mean, he’s the best, but he’s the worst. I have a friend who always makes this joke that if I put an order out into the universe for a specific kind of cat, the universe always delivers. Like I had always said that I loved Manx cats and a Manx kitten showed up at my work. I really like Devon Rexes. They’re crazy looking, but I, like many people, am conflicted about the idea of buying a cat, because there are so many rescues available. And so I was volunteering in animal husbandry at the Georgia Aquarium at the time, and one of my fellow volunteers and I had gotten to be friends, and she knew I was into this, and she worked with a cat rescue group. And one day she came in and said, you know how you’ve always said that you really love Devon Rexes? And I said yes. And she said, we have one, and you can just have it. And I was like, what? And it turned out it was Mr. Burns, who they found in like a junkyard trying to merge with a feral community, and they were like, we don’t know what you are, you might be a chupacabra. And he was very ill-behaved. So he came to live with us.

Mary: Wow, so I guess then once you have five cats, your two eldest cats, I assume they passed away and then you were just like, well we have to get back up to five cats. That’s just sort of the?

Holly: No. No, there was a time where we actually had six.

Mary: Oh my God, Holly!

Holly: I know, right? I know, I know, I know. So Mr. Burns came in, he really was kind of a disruptive force, because he doesn’t speak cat. Do you know what I mean? Like he doesn’t communicate well with other cats, he doesn’t know how to do the deference dance to the alpha and that makes other cats angry. And then we lost Gigi, and so we had four at that point. I’m like, cat math is hard. We had four at that point. We moved right after Gigi passed, to our house, and we had done a volunteer day at a local animal shelter, and I was totally good, I did not walk out with any cats stuffed in my pockets, but I was in their kind of email list and their feeds, and one day they emailed me and said, there’s a really beautiful Siamese here, but he’s kind of feral and he’s terrified, and no one will take him and his time is up. And I panicked and freaked out.

Mary: Yeah.

Holly: And I called my husband, who was not very pleased at being put in the position of like, if I say no to this, I’m a cat killer. Like I was like—I know, I know, I know, I don’t want to do this to you, but please? He finally was like, fine, I’m not into it, but fine. And so I called them and left a message and they didn’t call me back until the next morning, and they called and said well that cat’s gone. And I was like what? And they were like, no, no, no, one of the volunteers took him home last night. She didn’t want him to be here this morning, because it is a kill shelter in a busy metro area.

Mary: Sure.

Holly: And she called me, no joke, 15 seconds later and was like, do you want the cat? I was like, I do want the cat. She goes, uh, did they tell you there were two? [Laughter.]

Mary: Oh my God, it was two cats?

Holly: No they did not! Yeah, she was like, well he has a brother who is really feral and like nobody can even touch him so they couldn’t get a picture. I was like, okay. And in my head I’m thinking like, my beloved husband, who is so tolerant and amazing, is going to divorce me. And I was like, bring over both cats. So they both came to live with us, and at that point we had six. Now we’re at our five, and we’ve been at five for quite some time. So Mr. Burns and Veers and Ozzel are my senior dudes. They’re all right around 14. And then the Siamese are—I think they turned six this past year.

Mary: When you meet people for the first time, do you find yourself hesitating to tell them how many cats you have?

Holly: No, because I don’t really care what anybody thinks of me. [Laughter.]

Mary: No, that’s good.

Holly: I mean, I think it’s funny, and if they give me the look I just show them a picture of Mr. Burns because he’s such a punchline cat, that then they just—they don’t care anymore. They’re like oh, what is that? And I’m like, it’s a monster that I live with, and he’s horrible and I love him.

[TRIUMPHANT GUITAR FLOURISH]                    

Mary: Which historical figures do each of your cats identify with?

Holly: This is very hard.

Mary: Okay.

Holly: Okay, so Mr. Burns is Victor Lustig. He was a con man, and he sold the Eiffel Tower twice.

Mary: Yes. Okay, yes.

Holly: Like, I don’t think Victor Lustig was evil, but he was chaotic and a con man and a little bit of a trickster. And that’s kind of Mr. Burns.

Mary: Okay.

Holly: He’s not evil. But he can be. And he makes trouble professionally. [Laughter.]

Mary: Note to self, don’t buy any monuments from Holly’s cat. Got it.

Holly: No, there was a time we had a break-in and, you know, it was very minor as those go, it was not traumatic. All the other cats were panicked and it took us hours to find them, and Mr. Burns was just like lying on his fat back in the middle of the living room purring. And I’m like, did you help them carry the TV? Because I think he just doesn’t care. Nothing bothers him in that regard. Veers, this one was hard for me, but I think Veers is Winston Churchill. [Laughter.]

Mary: Oh, okay.

Holly: Because Veers moved into the alpha spot, but I think he found it more stressful than he anticipated, and he really wasn’t prepared for the management involved in that role. And so I think much like Winston Churchill, he is a very strong presence, and he has leadership abilities, but he also can be very persnickety and has his own anxieties and outbursts that are problematic to be around.

Mary: Yeah.

Holly: If he could learn to paint like Churchill did to vent that off, it would help, but he’s really struggling to hold the brush.

Mary: Okay.

Holly: Ozzel is King Louis XVI. That was the easiest one on earth for me.

Mary: Wow, alright. So why?

Holly: Because King Louis XVI caused a whole lot of problems, but again, not because he was evil. He was just kind of a naïve doofus.

Mary: Yeah.

Holly: And that’s Ozzel. Like he’s the sweetest thing but he’s not bright. Like I always joke with people that you know, there are some animals where people would be like oh, my cat or dog is an old soul, you can tell. And I’m like, it’s Ozzel’s first time. Like everything is new to him, everyday.

Mary: Ozzel is on life number one. He’s just getting started.

Holly: It is his first time around, everything is exciting, everything is amazing. He’s always got like the dilated wow eyes. You know, he’s a little like Louis XVI in that way. He just wants to be loved, he doesn’t really understand the machinations going on around him. He just would like to please, have snacks, and quiet enjoyment. That’s all he really wants.

Mary: Okay!

Holly: Rolly is Napoleon.

Mary: Oh boy.

Holly: He weighs about seven and a half pounds and thinks he’s like a pitbull. He’s that cat that will go growl at the window when the mail person is coming, but the second they hit our front steps, he runs away. He’s Napoleon. Xavier took me longer to figure out, and then last night it revealed itself to me. He’s Levi Strauss.

Mary: Really?

Holly: Because he’s very sweet and unassuming. He’s like, everyone who gets to meet him, which are very few because he is very shy, but once he opens up he’s this charming, sweet, loving—he just exudes kindness and sweetness, and he’ll let the other cats do anything to him. So I feel like he kind of aligns with the very heavy degree of kind of public responsibility that Levi Strauss had, and his philanthropic tendencies. Xavier will just let whatever needs to happen happen and he’ll just find his place in it.

Mary: Can I tell you who my kitty Grendel is?

Holly: Please do!

Mary: She’s Mary Pickford.

Holly: [Gasps.] Really?

Mary: Yeah, I think—

Holly: Is she saucy?

Mary: She is. She’s saucy and she’s beautiful. I mean, she came from a very humble background. I mean, she came from, you know, dirt around my in-laws’ farm in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. Grendel that is, not Mary Pickford. You know, humble beginnings. But she was destined for greatness. She’s beautiful, she’s captivating, she’s magnetic. I was looking at some pictures side by side of Mary Pickford and Grendel. No offense to Mary Pickford or any of her decedents, but I truly—I sort of see a resemblance, you know? Kind of the—just, her eyes, right? I mean, she did—so expressive. And, but you know, Mary Pickford was not to be messed with. She was a powerful woman. She was successful, she was talented, she was smart. Probably smarter than Grendel is, I’ll be honest. I think she wanted to be loved, and I think Grendel does, too.

[AGGRESSIVE, HARD-DRIVING ROCK MUSIC]

Mary: Who is your favorite cat owner from history? Or do you have a favorite story about cats in history, cats doing things in history?

Holly: Marchesa Luisa Casati was kind of like this style maker and fashion maven. And she would walk around Venice with her pet cheetah on a leash.

Mary: As you do. As you do.

Holly: And she had some other exotic cats that no one should really keep as a pet.  

Mary: Sure.

Holly: That she would trot out at parties, and they would always be, you know, utterly bejeweled with amazing things. She had a very fascinating, wonderfully glamorous seeming but also kind of a mess of a life as is always the case.

Mary: Yeah.

Holly: She might be my favorite though, just for pure style points.

Mary: I mean, just imagine waking up in the morning and being like, I guess I’ll just—I’ll put the jewels on my cheetah and go for a stroll. I mean, what a way to be.

Holly: Right? Yeah, there’s a great famous photo of her walking along and she’s shopping and she’s like standing there window shopping. And the cat is just like, somebody let me out of this.

Mary: The cat’s like, you know, I didn’t ask for this. I did not. You know, it’s interesting though, I do this a lot for the show and we’ve talked about it before, but you know, trying to figure out who had a cat, who didn’t have a cat, right? And for contemporary people it’s usually pretty easy to figure out, everybody has Instagram now. People in the past, you know, you’re relying on biographers and historians to record whether or not they had cats, and often it’s just not something that gets mentioned either way.

Holly: Right.

Mary: Because like so many other details about people’s lives, you know, their romantic relationships, even the foods they ate sometimes, their style of dress, we know about these things. Do you think pet ownership is something that is unfairly overlooked by historians? And if so, why?

Holly: I don’t know if pet ownership is in general. I think cat ownership is in general, right? And part of that is the unfortunate mischaracterization that’s gone on forever that cats are these aloof things that don’t really care about the humans that are providing for them. Of course anybody who has actually had a cat knows that’s not how that works at all. And so I think too because they have been seen as these very independent kind of working animals, like okay, the cats come and they take care of the rodents and they protect the grain silos, but they’re not really family the way a dog would be, unless you live in ancient Egypt and that’s a whole separate party. But I think that’s part of it. They didn’t think of them in that way. I did have one of those moments of discovery of a historical figure having a cat. And I was surprised at how much it kind of affected me and rocked me back. This is going to sound corny and I don’t care, because I am. When Atlanta had the exhibit of Princess Diana’s personal effects and her gowns, I went. My best friend is like Diana bananas. She flew down from Chicago and we went together. But one of the most affecting pieces in that collection was a watercolor painting that Diana did of an orange tabby cat that she had, when I think she was a young teenager. And it really, really struck me, because one, it was quite good. I mean, artistically it was quite a good rendering. And two, it’s like that thing where you don’t think of people in positions like that, like heads of state, people that sit on thrones, people that are in the public spotlight in quite the way she was, as being people sometimes. And knowing that she had this attachment to a little doofy fluffball made her much more real to me. It was like I suddenly was like, oh, the world lost this person.

Mary: Listen, I went to a public high school, my history class was taught by the football coach. We watched the movie Patton three times in one semester, I believe.

Holly: [Laughter.] That sounds about right.

Mary: I wish I were joking. That was my history class. And no shade to Waterville Public High, but you know, there are all these rich stories and real moments of humanity out there. And cats are sitting there for some of that, and I want to know about it.

Holly: Right?

Mary: Yeah!

Holly: No, I think that’s perfectly valid. Animals are kind of our link to each other’s humanity through time. Even jerks liked cats, right? Like there are pictures of despots and horrible people holding cats sometimes, and it’s like, this is such a universal thing that it kind of is like the baseline of our humanity. It is plesent to hold and pet a purring cat. It just is. There aren’t a lot of things on earth that you can share with probably 80% of humanity. I’m leaving out the people that don’t like cats. I don’t understand them, but I appreciate them.

Mary: And it kind of hasn’t changed that much, right? That experience of petting a cat is really the same now as it was when Princess Diana was a kid or 200 years ago or 5,000 years ago, it’s literally the same. My phone, the artificial intelligence robots, whatever comes, you know, that’s still going to be a thing. I hope. I hope, for humanity, and felinity, that we still have that exact same experience. I don’t think they can take it away from us, frankly.

Holly: I hope not.

Mary: I will fight them. I will fight them. And you know who else will fight them? My cat Grendel will fight them, and she can get mean, I’ll be honest.

Holly: Mr. Burns will fight them, and then I don’t know what will happen. [Laughter.]

Mary: [Laughter.]

Holly: He’s pretty fat and slow, but when he’s angry, he’s really bad, so.

Mary: Holly, we always like to wrap up our conversation by asking our guest, what would you like to say to your cats listening at home?

Holly: [Laughter.] Today I’m like, Mr. Burns and Veers, you little weasels, please just behave your damn selves. That’s what I’ve got for today.

Mary: Okay. You know what?

Holly: Everybody else is like asleep in a pile somewhere, but those two really need to cool their jets.

[HARD ROCKING FAST GUITAR MUSIC]

Mary: Okay, we have a shoutout to do real quick here. We want to say shoutout to Orchid, from Summerville, New Jersey. Orchid, dad loves how much you snuggle on your lap, but mom promises her lap is just as comfy. Love you, boo.

Holly: Oh, Orchid. Orchid, if you know what’s what, you will manipulate the situation to get pretty much constant lap time. That’s how it works at our house.

Mary: And finally, we want to send a shoutout to Rolf, the Warwick University cat in Coventry, England, who is healing after an accident. Rolf, you have lots of friends sending you love during your recovery, and we join them in wishing you the very best. We hope you’re able to get back to your office in the econ department very, very soon. And Warwick University, thank you for listening. Of course, if you would like us to shout out a cat, your cat or any cat that deserves a shoutout, you know what to do. Email us, shouts@letstalkaboutcats.com. And we’ll do that for you on an upcoming episode. Holly, thank you so much for talking about cats with us today. It’s just been such a delight, and I would love to know, how can people find you and all of your podcasts on the internet, so they can get even more of you?

Holly: If you want to find just me, I’m on Twitter as @surliestgirl, and on Instagram as @surlygirlie5. My show, Stuff You Missed In History Class, is everywhere on social media as @missedinhistory. Similarly, Full of Sith is @fullofsith, and Fauxthentic History is @fauthentics. Mr. Burns the cat has a Twitter, you can go check it out. It’s pretty much just him talking about how he’s beautiful and give him food.

Mary: Like I said, Stuff You Missed In History Class has been a regular in my podcast listening for some time, so I urge everybody, go check it out.

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

Mary: And of course you can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual places where you get podcasts. And please, go ahead and rate and review us while you’re there. For more about this episode and to sign up for our monthly newsletter, go to letstalkaboutcats.com. You can also follow us on social media, we’re @ltacpod on all platforms. I’m Mary Phillips-Sandy, our producer is the hotsy-totsy Lizzie Jacobs. Our theme song is by Poingly with additional music by the English Muffins. Our show logo was created by Julia Emiliani. And hey friends, this is the last episode of Season One. Thank you so much for listening. Keep spreading the word, tell your friends about Let’s Talk About Cats. You can go back, catch up on any episodes you missed, and we’ll be back again soon to talk more… about cats.