Man Crush Meownday: Spotlight on Chris Poole, Cat Dad to Cole and Marmalade!
Welcome to KitNipBox’s Man Crush Meownday series! Here, we will spotlight cat dads who contribute to the cat community in pawsome ways! This week, we have the honor of interviewing Chris Poole, cat dad to the ameowzing and adventurous kitty duo, Cole & Marmalade.
Psst(!)… If you haven’t heard of Cole & Marmalade, then you’re missing out! Their adorable videos document the fun silliness of cats’ personalities, as well as how to succeed at being the best cat parent ever. Check out on their YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram pages!
Chris Poole is a true role model for cat people everywhere. Whether he’s producing fun-loving videos about Cole & Marmalade or volunteering to help BIG cats around the world, Chris is the ultimate cat hero. We hope you enjoy what he has to say about being a hardcore cat lover and champion as much as we did!
1) What inspired you to start capturing and uploading videos of your cats?
At the time, I was working at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa as their videographer, so I was used to filming BIG cats and producing videos. When a friend told me black cats were the least likely to be adopted and most likely to be euthanized (because people still consider them to be bad luck and therefore choose cats with colored/patterned coats, instead), I was shocked. I grew up with a black cat and they have always been my favorite. So, I decided to upload videos of Cole to my YouTube channel to show people how pawsome they are and make that my new hobby 🙂 .
2) Did you ever expect the type of fame you’d eventually earn from Cole & Marmalade’s videos?
Nope, not at all! I remember, after making a few videos and getting positive reactions, saying to my wife how funny it would be if Cole became famous (this was before Marmalade came into our lives). Now, we literally have millions of online followers! It’s crazy, but I love that we help make a positive difference in the world with our videos.
3) Being a cat parent is pretty routine, once you get the hang of it(!), but it can be daunting for newbies. What were some tips you wish you knew when you first got baby Cole?
I think the main thing would’ve been to start brushing his teeth at an earlier age, so today it would be less of a struggle! Dental hygiene in cats is something that’s often overlooked. Instead of being proactive about it, many cat owners don’t bother with it and get professional cleanings, instead. As you probably already know, sedating a cat should always be a last resort, since cats can react badly to the sedation drugs. So, cleaning cats’ teeth from an early age and making professional cleanings not so frequent is something I’d highly recommend! We even made a video about it:
4) Welcoming Marmalade into Cole’s life was a process, but a successful one, nonetheless! What do you think is the biggest difference between having a one-cat VS a two-cat household?
I think it’s so much healthier! Though us humans can play with our cats and give them lots of attention, it’s nothing like having another cat to run around and interact with 24/7.
5) Would you ever consider adopting a third cat?
YES! All the time! I think we will eventually, it’s just got to be at the right time… Cole can get very jealous, so we need to make sure that if we were to adopt another cat that we have the time and space to commit.
6) We love your cat cleaning hacks video! What’s your favorite hack for cleaning up after cats?
I think the rubber glove trick to remove fur from furniture and cat trees is the best. I get kind of addicted to doing that and it’s amazing how much fur you can pick up off of stuff around the house!
7) You just came back from working with BIG cats in Africa! Can you tell us what brought you there in the first place?
As I mentioned earlier, I used to work at a big cat sanctuary in Florida. Believe it or not, people can own big cats, like lions and tigers, as pets in many parts of the U. S. A., since laws around the issue vary from state to state. Even in states that do ban the private ownership of big cats, there are usually loopholes for people to work around. Additionally, there’s not enough money or manpower to properly enforce the rules and regulations against banning this type of ownership… So, basically, it’s a massive problem.
There’s believed to be more than 10,000 privately-owned big cats in the U. S. A. (there are only around 3,000 tigers left in the wild), which is not only a huge animal welfare issue but also a public safety issue. These animals are meant to roam hundreds of square miles in the wild, yet someone with a big ego may condemn their “pet” tiger to a garage or a tiny backyard cage. Animals living in this type of situation are often fed a poor diet and have no access to vet care or enrichment.
Also, obviously, these big cats are wild animals. This means that they attack people, escape, kill…. And then they are killed… Just Google the Zanesville Ohio incident in 2011 for one example of why private big cat ownership is such a bad idea. As an advocate for big cats, I not only want to use our presence online to educate people about these issues but also encourage followers to do what they can to give these animals a voice and help get laws changed, as that’s the best way to help stop this suffering.
Injustices to big cats aren’t unique to the U. S. A. and extend beyond the issue of “pet” tigers and lions. For instance, circuses around the world are truly horrible places for wild animals. When I heard about Emoya, a sanctuary in South Africa that worked with A. D. I. to rescue 33 circus lions from Peru, I was amazed! I had been wanting to go back to Africa since my first visit in 2004, so I decided to volunteer for a few weeks at Emoya and another sanctuary, Panthera. While there, I helped improve their online presences to raise awareness and funds for their sanctuaries
8) From encouraging adoptions to saving big cats, you’ve advocated for many meaningful causes around feline wellness. What inspired you to become a voice for these issues in the first place?
It’s all about MAKING A DIFFERENCE… I’m really my happiest when I know what I’m doing every day is helping save lives. Animals don’t have a voice, so it’s up to us humans to give them one.
9) Does being a famous cat dad ever get tiring?
The only downside to it is all the emails and messages I have to respond to. In most of these cases, however, I’m helping people with advice, so it’s ultimately rewarding, and I think that’s pawsome!
10) What’s your favorite cat pun?
PAWSOME 🙂 .
11) If Cole & Marmalade could understand English for 30 seconds, what would you tell them?
We love them would be the first thing, but then I’d do my best to ask questions we don’t have answers to… Like why do they run around the house like they’re possessed at 3 A. M. and what’s so good about boxes?!