As Angela Martin on The Office, Angela Kinsey played the epitome of the stereotypical crazy cat lady — at one point, her character had around 15 cats. She did things like set up nanny cams to watch her kitties at home while she was at work, and she even licked one feline's face.
Each week, she played out the comically hyperbolic relationship between cat owner and cat that has become a cultural qualifier... and people loved her for it.
If anyone understands the hero worship surrounding cats, it's the woman who brought Angela Martin to life. And seeing that Martin was so endearing to viewers goes to show that being a crazy cat lady, well... it's not so crazy after all. Cat lady, schmat lady, eh?
Kinsey is on a mission to debunk the cat lady stereotype. Or, rather, the stigma surrounding it. Because, after chatting with her about her love of felines and her own BFF (best feline friend, natch), Otter, it's clear there's no shame in this cat lady's game.
"I don't feel like the 'cat lady' is a bad thing," she told SheKnows. "I don't mind being the cat lady at all. That means that I love animals, and that's a good thing."
Having said that, though, Kinsey admits that cat lovers are their own special breed of people and, like the cats they adore, can be quite quirky.
"I think that cat people think that cats are superior. To get a cat's affection, you have to work at it — you can't just throw a stick somewhere," she said, laughing. "Cats are picky, so I think cat owners feel special. But then I think dog owners are like, 'But dogs are so laid-back!' It's sort of like, 'Is the dress blue, or is it gold?' It's very interesting to me."
And Kinsey is right; ask any dog person, and they'll certainly espouse the virtues of having a pup as opposed to a cat.
So how come cat owners get labeled and dog owners don't? Kinsey has a theory about that too. "I do find that if you're going to have multiple pets, there are people who tend to have more cats in one home than dogs, maybe just because dogs you have to walk and things like that. You'll meet someone who could have five cats, but people usually don't have five dogs. So I think we get the stereotype of the crazy cat lady."
To be clear, even as a self-professed cat lady, Kinsey admits to doing weird and mildly embarrassing things for both her cat and her dog, pointing out, "I talk to them — I really do."
In fact, she doesn't just talk to them. They essentially talk back. "In my mind, Otter shoots down everything. I'll be like, 'Hey, Otter, do you want to wish everyone a happy Father's Day?' She's like, 'Nah, not interested.' I think I give them internal monologues, which is probably weird," Kinsey said.
Don't worry; her Chihuahua-dachshund mix, Biscuit, gets one too. "I say that her internal monologue is, every morning she wakes up, and she's like, 'All right, guys, people are gonna come here today! They're gonna attack us! I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do, but I'm gonna give 'em everything I got. I'm gonna throw everything I got at 'em! Who's with me?'" Kinsey shared. "I find that I do these kinds of things."
This "weird" habit could become even funnier in the near future should Kinsey decide to adopt another feline friend.
When asked what she would name another cat if she got one tomorrow, she responded, "I'll tell you something I think is kind of fun, [and that] is to name a pet a super-normal name, like Jennifer. So you can walk around going, 'Jennifer! Jennifer, come here! Jennifer!' And people would think, 'Who is she talking to?' And I'd be like, 'That's my cat, Jennifer.'"
As hilarious as that will surely be, the truth is, Kinsey relates to cats on a personal level, confessing that she possesses a few very cat-like traits. "I think I am a little picky," she said. "Well, 'picky' is not the right word. I'm particular. I'm very organized, and I like my house a certain way, so I think I'm a little particular like that."
As for the other thing? Let's just say Kinsey would not object if someone told her she needed to get the 18 hours of sleep per day that a cat averages. "I love to sleep. I love it!" she gushed. "I look forward to it the way people might look forward to a vacation. I think because I work long hours, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to get to bed tonight before 9:30 p.m. — kabooooom!' Like, I get really excited for sleep."
Of course, Kinsey's super-packed schedule keeps her from being able to indulge in much napping, and recently her work schedule even prevented her from visiting hallowed ground for cat lovers: a cat café. ("I was so bummed... I definitely am going to do that, though. It's on my list!")
What she always, always makes time for is taking care of her pets. Even when doing so requires doing things that give her flashbacks to her Office character.
"You know the monologue that she says to Dwight about how to care for Sprinkles? 'There's an ointment that goes in the ears. You've gotta lift the tail and massage the cream on the anus...' That crazy stuff — I would do that for my pets in a second."
In fact, she has done that crazy stuff for her pets.
"I've done the thing where, you know, if you're a pet owner, I had to turn in a poop sample of Otter's. So I had to scoop up her poop, put it in a little Ziploc bag, put it in my purse and then take it to the vet's office," she said through laughter. "You know, I'm driving around with some fecal matter in my purse. But that's what you do."
When all is said and done, it's readily apparent that Kinsey simply loves her pets like family and has a particular soft spot for her 19-year-old friend, Otter, whom Kinsey says is "definitely in the twilight."
"She was almost feral when I got her, and it took a lot for her to get super comfortable with people," Kinsey revealed. "But she was always really comfortable with me, and maybe that is the epitome of what the cat lady is. Otter made me feel special. Otter chose me. Otter loved me, and Otter didn't love a lot of people. Maybe that's what Otter and Angela Martin have in common."
If you can't get enough of Kinsey's cat-loving self (like us), check out the video below to see how she deals with a problem many cat owners face: Stank Face.
And remember: If you happen upon Angela Kinsey wandering around the streets of Los Angeles, frantically calling out for someone named Jennifer, don't be alarmed — she's probably just looking for her cat.
This post was sponsored by Tidy Cats.