Minnesota Lynx C/PF Janel McCarville lives on a farm with so many cats.
In this WNBA CATWATCH EXCLUSIVE interview, I sent questions to a helpful person from the Lynx front office and they asked Janel those questions and recorded her answers and sent me an mp4 and I transcribed them and posted them here.
I saw you gently stroking a two week old kitten’s paw on Instagram. That’s not a question, just letting you know how jealous I am!
How many cats do you currently have on the farm? I kept scrolling through your Instagram and finding more and more. 6? 7? 8? Can you tell me their names?
We originally started out with one, and that cat’s name was Stoli. And Stoli had babies – [one of] the cats you saw me stroking it’s lil paw.
And I do remember the names, for the most part, if was fun stuff – one was Pumpkin, one was Cookie. I forget them now, it’s been a while… They all have names though.
What’s the most cats you’ve owned at one time?
Are they all barn cats, or do you let them inside ever?
Stoli was an inside cat, but she wanted to get outside one day – and came back two weeks later with babies in her belly. And those are barn cats.
When you return from a long trip away, are you greeted by a casual indifference from your cats like most people?
They have other people there that love them and show them affection, so they’re not too angry with me. But I’m gone for such long times that they probably don’t even know who I am anymore.
Coach Cheryl Reeve is on record as hating cats. You think there’s hope for her to change her mind?
No, usually if Coach has made up her mind about something it stays that way.
Finally, the IRL lynx – cutest paws in the animal kingdom?
I’d have to say yeah. They’re big, fluffy – you don’t really see the Death Talons until they need to be seen. Yeah, they’re cute until they don’t need to be cute no more.
And then you know what a Lynx does.
Janel is currently (probably) the WNBA leader in cats, with eight owned at one time.
NBA CATWATCH EXCLUSIVE: KAT’s cat revealed.
You might have seen / flooded my mentions with this video of Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns spending time with this lil guy:
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 9, 2016
It’s not the first time KAT has been seen holding a cat, judging by this still image from a Jumbotron video I spent a week tweet-bugging different members of the Minnesota Timberwolves PR staff about releasing, which they did:
But the recent globetrotting KAT/cat video, published to raise support for Towns’s NBA All-Star campaign, does refer to “KAT and his cat,” prompting readers to question whether that is KAT’s cat.
That is not KAT’s cat.
That cat is named Hunter, and belongs to a staff member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a team source (feels so good to type that phrase!) who also disclosed previously unknown (to me at least) information about Towns’s cat ownership status – “Karl does not currently have a cat, but he did growing up…”
Karl-Athony Towns had a cat growing up!
This explains KAT’s comfort holding Hunter (and the still-unnamed Jumbotron kitten) – notice those giant, yet supportive hands, and the way he holds still-unnamed Jumobotron kitten to his cheek with a sense of familiarity and intimacy.
Karl-Anthony Towns is a cat person. He knows his way around cats.
Points of Further Investigation:
- What was the name of KAT’s childhood cat?
Was it cute?Yes it was because all cats are cute.
- Will KAT get a cat of his very own some day?
NBA Catwatch spoke with former NBA center Marc Jackson about the time he adopted teammate Samuel Dalembert’s cats.
NBA Catwatch: In a 2009 Ric Bucher profile of Samuel Dalembert, he writes about Dalembert’s “10 unhousebroken cats–now relocated to ex-teammate Marc Jackson’s horse farm…” but when we emailed, you claimed it wasn’t actually 10 cats.
Marc Jackson: It was four cats, because I had a 24-stall barn for my horses, and I had a mouse problem. So I needed a cat, and Sam says “Hey I got a bunch of cats” and I said I’d take them. So the next day he put them in a box, and brought them to practice. His hands were all scratched up.
NBA Catwatch: Wait were they all in one box?
Marc Jackson: It was a big huge box, a TV could fit in it. A huge box.
NBA Catwatch: And he brought this to the practice facility?
Marc Jackson: Yeah, he brought them to practice.
NBA Catwatch: Did you open the box there?
Marc Jackson: Oh heck no! I waited until I got back to the farm and opened it up. I kept them in a room with food for two or three days, until they knew where the food was.
You know, it might have been six, because as soon as I opened the door and let them into the barn, two of them ran away and I never seen them again.
And when Sam said they were wild, they were wild. The other four that stayed around, they were mean. You’d walk up to them and they’d hiss at you. They ended up hiding in different places and having babies, and in total I had 18 to 20 kittens in the barn.
NBA Catwatch: Did you say all of them were pregnant?
NBA Catwatch: And were those ones nicer to you?
Marc Jackson: Yeah, those were two of the kittens that ended up staying – and I have them on my horse farm in Tampa, Florida now.
NBA Catwatch: And do those two cats have names?
Marc Jackson: Ummm. Not really.
NBA Catwatch: Was Samuel Dalembert sad to give up his cats?
Marc Jackson: I don’t know what he was, I just know he helped me out, because I didn’t have a mouse problem no more!
NBA Catwatch: You’re a horse lover, can you tell me what role horses play in your life?
Marc Jackson: Currently I have three horses. It’s a hobby of mine, I ride a horse every day. A lot of players go out nightclubbing, or hanging out, me I just take care of my horses. It’s very relaxing and comfortable for me.
NBA Catwatch: I know you must get this question a lot, but do you have to ride an extra large horse?
Marc Jackson: I have a Quarter Horse, a 16 hand Quarter Horse.
NBA Catwatch: Do you think having animals around would be helpful to NBA players?
Marc Jackson: To each his own. Everybody has to have a hobby that brings him down from the competitive nature of basketball. I think it’s a blessing of nature, that God gives you animals and it’s good to have them in your life. That’s just my opinion on it.
NBA Catwatch: Did you ever hear any players talk about cats during your time in the NBA?
Marc Jackson: That’s a really good question, and I just don’t know.
NBA Catwatch: Thank you so much for your time Mr. Jackson, I really appreciate you talking with me.
Marc Jackson: Thank you very much. Have a wonderful, blessed day!