It’s cool to be a cat lady these days. Indeed, Taylor Swift’s Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey are bonafide superstars, as is Lea Michele’s feline, Sheila, who is currently betrothed to Chris Colfer’s furry friend. Add New Girl star Hannah Simone's two cuddly cats. She constantly posts snaps of her own two furballs, Frank and Jake, on her Instagram @therealhannahsimone.
In fact, she’s so passionate about cats that she flew to Park City, Utah to host the fourth annual Catdance Film Festival, a one-night-only event during Sundance that celebrates the best in viral cat videos. (You know you’ve watched them. If you haven’t try Simone’s favorite, Surprise Kitty, below, which has over 73 million views.)
“I couldn’t say yes fast enough to hosting this,” she told us at the event, held at Cisero’s on Main Street. “It’s just the perfect synergy of all these things I really care about and enjoy, like watching cat videos and encouraging people to adopt and not shop, which is super important. That’s how I’ve gotten all my cats.” Sponsored by new Fresh Step with the power of Febreze, the winner of the Best Original Short Cat Film at Catdance earns the “prestigious” Golden Litter Scoop award and $25,000. Last night, Mike Thompson’s The Perfect Patsy took home the prize. (Watch the winning film below.)
So, with all these famous cat lovers, we wondered is being a cat lady no longer taboo? “It’s aspirational for me,” Simone revealed. “I’ve lived as a cat lady, I’m happy to be a cat lady. I’ll continue to be a cat lady. Just bring them all to my house and I’ll keep them all, no problem.”
But there is one place she’s prevented from embracing her full cat lady status, and that’s on the set of New Girl. Fans of the show know that the Official Feline Fan is Winston Bishop (Lamorne Morris), who is the doting father of the lovable Ferguson. “When I heard that there was going to be a cat on the show, I thought for sure it was going to be for my character, Cece,” Simone said. “But when they gave it to Lamorne, I was so freaking jealous. I’m never there when they shoot the cat scenes. They keep me away. I’m sure they think I’m going to steal the cat.”