Any viewer who has seen one of the “Whiskers-R-We” sketches on Saturday Night Live knows that comedian Kate McKinnon is a true-blue cat person. That recurring bit, centered around a very eccentric rescue shelter with some questionable policies, exists mainly so that McKinnon can interact with adorable felines as part of her job. This is the life she chose and the life that chose her. In real life, McKinnon is the doting guardian of a cat called Nino, whom she rescued from an alley behind a pizzeria. Her relationship with this fortunate animal, her “cat husband,” is a huge part of her life, so much so that she will gladly discuss Nino pretty much whenever she is given the opportunity. For McKinnon, all conversational roads lead back to Nino. The venue doesn’t really matter. It could be a talk show, like Ellen or Conan or Late Night With Seth Meyers. Or it could just be a press junket for her latest film, like the Ghostbusters reboot, or even a round table of women in Hollywood. Give this woman a microphone, and she’ll eventually start talking about Nino, at length and in detail.
This strange tendency has not escaped the attention of McKinnon’s fans. The curators of a YouTube channel called Kate McKinnon TV have taken the liberty of assembling a charming supercut titled simply “Kate McKinnon Talking About Her Cat.” And that’s precisely what the video delivers. For three minutes, the actress and sketch comic rhapsodizes about her fuzzy, black-and-white companion. And nothing else.
What’s notable here is how McKinnon’s posture, body language, and tone of voice all change drastically when she starts talking about her cat or about cats in general. The character she plays in the “Whiskers” sketches is clearly very close to McKinnon’s own, real personality, maybe more so than any of her other roles. This is a woman who wears the “crazy cat lady” badge with pride. Even Ellen DeGeneres seems overwhelmed by McKinnon’s devotion to Nino. Maybe the greatest, strangest conversation here is between McKinnon and film critic Peter Travers, who talks about his own cat, Mrs. Pants. These two are like devoted converts to a very odd and highly specialized religion.