EXCLUSIVE: Marc Jackson talks about adopting Samuel Dalembert’s box of pregnant cats.

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?

Marc Jackson: Every last one was pregnant. Here’s the interesting part – The four of them had kittens, and over the course of months, the kittens started growing, and then leaving. So after a period of a year and a half, I ended up with two cats.

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!