If one were going to combine a background in music performance and a fondness for felines, then hosting Animal Planet's new program, Must Love Cats, is pretty much the perfect gig. And John Fulton is the lucky guy. Fulton has been criss-crossing the country to meet cats and interview their humans (because cats can never be owned), as well as composing "Kitty Ditties" for them. The show premieres this Saturday and Fulton, whom you may have seen during the Puppy Bowl halftime show (he also hosted last year's amazing Cat Fashion Show at the Algonquin Hotel), answered a few of our questions... and even made a Kitty Ditty for us!
First things first: How did you land this amazing job where you cross the nation to watch cat owners in actions? I got very lucky and was seen playing guitar on a friend's audition reel.
We hear you went to the Kitten Caboodle Ranch, which was recently featured on The Colbert Report. What was it like with six hundred cats roaming around you? And be honest—-did it smell? It was pretty amazing to see how hard Craig and his crew had to work to keep the operation going. He had about 50 cats that would follow him around but there were hundreds more in the woods watching your every move. What was interesting was that they all got along with each other. A lot of Caboodle is outside so the smell wasn't that bad but I wont be wearing Caboodle Cologne anytime soon.
What's the most surprising thing you've learned about these inscrutable creatures? Each one is so unique. Also, a lot of the cats choose their owners in a way. Joey in Little Rock walked into a TV station and Matilda in NYC walked right into the Algonquin. It's almost as they knew they would be welcome. What I didn't know was how big the cat world was.
How many cats can you have before being known as a cat lady? And do you have to be a woman to be known as a cat lady? There isn't an official number but I've seen people more obsessed about having one cat than people with 400. TJ and Paul in Kansas were major cat guys and got a lot of emails asking for marriage. I may need to follow up on that story.
Do you think cats should be allowed on leashes in NYC? Yes, there's some Maine Coons that are bigger than a lot of dogs! I would start with Central Park first to look at the birds and play in the snow.
My cats seem to be extremely wary of my new baby—do you know how I can get them to be friends? Dress your baby up in a cat outfit or your cat in a baby outfit. One of those should work. [Ed. note: What about dressing up the baby as a panda cub?]
In Meet the Parents, Robert DeNiro's character proclaims, "A dog is very easy to break, but cats make you work for their affection... They don't sell out the way dogs do." And we think that's pretty true, because our cats only started to hang out with us a year after we got them. Why do you think cats are so discerning? I think they're hunters first and keep a lot of that mentality throughout their life and they are being cautious. I like that about cats, they don't give away all their cards, similar to a cool cat jazz musician but without the heroin.
Do you have any favorite YouTube cat clips?Kitty jumps out of a box is great and so is the talking cats where they're having a full on conversation. I hope they're not talking about me.
You hosted the cat fashion show at the Algonquin Hotel last year. What should cat owners look for in this year's feline fashion trends? I think Snuggies for Kitties is the next movement.
Also, I don't get the title—Must Love Cats—because who doesn't love cats?!? We're actually telling people this isn't a choice, you MUST love cats.
What can we expect in upcoming episodes of the show? Each episode has so many different stories. From a cat that steals towels to a cat that takes photos. From kitty litter labs to cat nip farms, we saw it all. What was also great was the musical aspect of the show. I wrote about 30 songs for season one and even got a chance to jam out with cats in Chicago. I think I've extracted every rhyme for the word kitty.
And do you really love cats? How much? Like love, or LUUUUUURVE?
The more cats I met, the more I lurved them. I grew up with cats but hadn't had one in a while so I just got two rescue Maine Coon kittens [Ed. note: Examples] and although they're a little shy i will make them love me! So far, they're very good at eating and pooping.