In the second run of this series, Pooja Viswanathan interviews Emma and Rusty, the cats who live with Jim Keller and Dom Olinares. I met these wonderful creatures one fine evening, and they were very gracious to answer some pressing questions I had for them. If you would like your pet(s) featured in this series, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pooja Viswanathan: How long have you lived in New York City?
Emma: All my life. Forrr 52 years—that’s nine human years.
Rusty: Forrr 32 years, that’s fourrr human years.
PV: What is your first memory?
E: Hunting and defending my prey from otherrr stray cats on the streets of New York. I took advantage of my big paws and extra thumbs to fight and survive.
R: When I was brought in a shoebox with my siblings to the Humane Society from the freezing cold of winterrr. The tip of my tail had to be removed due to injury, but I was glad to be warm. I have a slightly shorterrr tail now, but it does not affect me at all.
PV: When did you meet your daddies?
E: In 2011, daddy Dom adopted me from the ASPCA, and soon afterrr I trained him to become my slave. Daddy Jim joined us two years laterrr and reformed me, but I still have the last say in everything.
R: When I was a kitten in 2014, my daddies came and picked me up from the Humane Society. I felt like I had always been waiting forrr them. The moment I saw them we werrre bonded. I cannot imagine living without them and my sisterrr.
PV: How do your daddies fit in the Tri-I community?
E: Daddy Jim is a writerrr and editorrr at MSK.
R: Daddy Dom does a lot of really cool experiments as a scientist at Rockefellerrr University.
PV: Where do you live? What is your favorite thing about living here?
E: On the Upperrr East Side. Our new place is very high up and has so many windows. I love it because I can see a lot of flying, feathered prey on the rooftops of adjacent buildings and on the East Riverrr. I chirp and chatterrr when I see them but they neverrr seem to hearrr me. I imagine the many different ways to catch them once I get the chance.
R: I love all the space in our new apartment because I can run around and chase my sisterrr all day and night. All the time is play time!
PV: If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?
E: I heard a lot about Paris from my daddies’ vacation last spring. I have already conquered New York, and I’d love to move on to anotherrr city of equal caliberrr.
R: You mean without my daddies?! Nowherrre!
PV: What are your favorite foods?
E: Classic chicken pâté, and dry cat food forrr treats. I shed a lot of furrr and I groom myself continuously so I preferrr food that helps me control hairballs.
R: Special treats from my daddies with real fish like sardines! Sometimes daddy Jim will sneak me some cream. Yum!
PV: What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?
E: Napping on daddy Jim’s lap and then afterrr a while moving to daddy Dom’s lap.
R: Play all day! I bring my toys to my daddies and we play fetch.
PV: Besides your daddies, who is your favorite human in the Tri-I community?
E: I am loath to say that I like anyone else besides daddies Jim and Dom, but I guess I would say Auntie Natalia, who often looks afterrr us when they are away.
R: Auntie Natalia! She takes care of us when our daddies are traveling (even though I don’t like it when they leave!)
PV: Do you have a funny story to share with us?
E: I’m afraid I can’t find much humorrr in the world today.
R: Well one time I rolled around in the bath tub and came out all glittery because of a bath bomb that had been used the night beforrre. My daddies could not figurrre out wherrre I got the glitterrr at first but then they caught me rolling on the tub again afterrr they had just cleaned me up. I thought it was the funniest thing everrr! I love rolling around in the bath tub when no one is looking, and I come out smelling really nice!
PV: Is there some way we can see more pictures of you on the interwebs?
E: You can find us both on Instagram using #theemmaandrustyshow.
PV: Which movie do you think will win the Oscar this year?
E: Definitely The Favourite because like Queen Anne, I am a queen who depends on others for everything. I can relate to having loyal subjects, and I love that hers relentlessly fight over herrr in the film. That is how it should be.
R: Black Pantherrr! Wakanda foreverrr!