Be real: who among us has not, at some point, entered into the heated cat versus dog debate? As a proud cat mom, I'm definitely guilty. For something that could appear to be a trivial topic, it sure has the ability to ignite fits of passion from those who engage. After all, who doesn't feel the need to defend their favorite fur-ball against the haters?
Fortunately, Jonathan Van Ness of Netflix's Queer Eye stepped in to drop some seriously purr-fect wisdom on the subject. "Puppies and kittens are both incredible," Van Ness tells Bustle. "Stereotypes are often problematic, and it really depends on the human and the animal and what the fit is." YES. Dogs and cats alike bring joy it our lives — and it's time to stop pitting them against each other. After all, regardless of species, pets improve life in a multitude of ways, and have even been proven to lower your blood pressure. So, at the end of the day, what really matters is making a responsible choice based on what works for your lifestyle, in order to give a pet the healthy and happy environment they deserve.
As for Van Ness, he's the proud owner of two adorable adopted cats, Larry and Bug the 2nd, (who he says, "swooped in to fill the Bug-shaped hole" in his heart after Bug the 1st passed away.) As a cat dad, he knows how much cuteness animals bring to the day-to-day: "Like every day I walk in on Bug and Harry Larry in a cat cuddle ying-yang," says Van Ness. Um, definitely. That sounds pretty freakin' squish-worthy.
Van Ness is speaking out about pet adoptions right now to support the California debut of Fresh Step's Cats on Glass Gallery — a pop-up in downtown Los Angeles aimed at finding loving, forever homes for shelter cats. "I want to do everything I can to help our cute feline friends from spcaLA get adopted," says Van Ness. Take it from me. You don't want to miss this pop-up.
The gallery features interactive rooms like a "meowmaste room" where guests can participate in a guided four minute meditation dubbed over the soothing sound of cat purrs. (Did it make me teary-eyed thinking about how much I love my cat? Maybe...) There's also plenty of cat-inspired art instillations, like a glass maze where you can watch cute kitten paws patter overhead. If you're lucky, you may even catch these sweet babies taking a cat nap right against the glass. If you've never seen this before, let me be the first to warn you: it's unbelievably cute and not for the faint of heart. Definitely have your phone handy. Speaking of which, the gallery has its very own selfie-station, complete with cat-shaped glasses, hanging yarn, and kitten-eared headbands. (The best part? Each post using the #CatsOnGlass hashtag triggers a donation to the spcaLA.)
Also gracing the event are plenty of VIP "cat-lebrities" like Nala Cat, who has over three million followers on Instagram. Most importantly, there are more than 100 precious cats up for adoption, that you can meet and play with.
If you're looking to welcome a fur baby of your own to your household — or if you simply need a healthy dose of cat purrs and head bumps — check out the Cats on Glass Gallery. The exhibit won't last forever, so definitely check it out before it closes on January 27. "There are so many incredible baby animals and puppies and kittens that want to join your family," says Van Ness. "They have so much love to give and they just need love in return!" Amen.