Credit: Colin Douglas Gray/MTV
Here at MTV, we know Michael Showalter as one of the guys behind legendary '90s sketch show "The State." He's also starred in the classic comedy flick "Wet Hot American Summer." Now he's got a new book in stores, "Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too: A Guidebook For Men And Their Cats," which seeks to reduce the stigma on dudes owning kitties. To determine whether Cat Code can coexist with Guy Code, we asked Showalter to explain why he thinks guys can benefit from feline companionship.
Cats aren't known as the manly animal.
No, dogs are the "manly animal." You never hear anyone say that cats are man's best friend. We associate cats with ladies -- with cat ladies. In our society, cats get kind of a bad rap, especially for guys.
How many cats do you own?
I have four cats that live indoors with me in L.A., and I have another four cats -- outdoor cats -- in my backyard in Brooklyn. ... Once you start, it's hard to stop. Cats actually unleash [a parasite] that brainwashes people, so if you're exposed to a cat for too long, they actually have some power over you, where you feel like you're owned by them, which would definitely be true in my case.
What advice can you give to guys whose girlfriend has a cat, and they're moving in?
In many ways, I compare a cat to a girlfriend. If you're just like a Neanderthal dude who doesn't know how to cook -- and dries himself off with a sock after taking a shower -- by learning how to take care of a cat, you're getting in touch with your feminine side. And the more you can be in touch with that sensitive, feminine side, then you can be a better boyfriend and really learn how to understand the fairer sex, because women are a mystery and so are cats.
In many respects, learning how to love a cat is like learning how to love a woman. And if you can learn how to love a woman, or a cat, then you can learn how to love yourself. And if you can learn how to love yourself, then you can be more loving toward other people. And if you can learn how to be more loving toward other people, other people will be more loving toward you.
This is getting deep.
This is a book about life, it's a book about love -- it's really not a book about cats at all; it's a self-help book about men and women.
If you and your lady want to have a special evening, do you kick the cats out of the bedroom?
Oh boy, I am embarrassed to say that, on more than one occasion, the cats have been on the bed when the special evening is occurring. Just hanging out. It's a little bit of a distraction. If you [kick them out], they want to be let in -- they'll start scratching at the door. And that is a distraction. Let them hang out. That's the path of least resistance.
What do you think is going through their minds while it happens?
Not sure...not sure. They do seem to know something's going on -- but we have fornicated in the presence of our cats on numerous occasions.
Credit: Colin Douglas Gray/MTV
Have you heard of "twogging," where people twerk next to a dog? How would your cats react if you were to twerk next to them?
If it were earlier in the day or at night, there's a chance they would be interested. ... If it was any time between about 9 a.m. and 10 o'clock at night, there's an 80% chance they'd be asleep and not even notice. Philosophically, they have no issue with it. They're not pro- or con-twerking. They don't know what that is.
Have you ever smoked catnip?
You don't get high -- you just want to throw up. Anyway, what do you hope this book will accomplish?
By becoming better cat caretakers, we can become better people. And if I can make people into better people, then maybe the world will be a better place. And if I don't accomplish that, then I'll feel like I didn't succeed.
Any other Guy Code advice, cat-related or non-cat-related?
Always pay for the date, even if you can't afford it. That's what's up.