Journalists are by nature a grumpy bunch -- even the weird ones.
So are cats.
So when I had the chance to interview Grumpy Cat -- the Internet sensation known for being, to state the obvious, "grumpy" -- it seemed like the perfect chance for two equally cranky foes to go against each other and see just who was more cantankerous.
Apparently, Grumpy Cat is trying to promote a limited edition vinyl version of the soundtrack to "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever," and I was the media crank chosen to get the word out.
More accurately, I was the one writer who didn't click "delete" when I got the press release.
I even agreed to do it because I just wanted to see how a cat with no facial expression other than sulky could pull off an interview.
A friend pointed out that Kanye West does that all the time.
Against my better judgment -- the same judgment that didn't say anything when I did a story about a catfight between the two heaviest women in the world -- I agreed to the interview.
"It has to be email," the publicist explained. "Grumpy Cat doesn't do phoners."
Hmm, I'll bet she doesn't do windows either.
So I sat down and started to think of questions to ask Grumpy Cat.
I drew a blank. A little thingie called "reality" kept getting in the way.
An angel appeared on my right shoulder and said, "Journalism is a noble profession, you're getting sucked into a publicity stunt?"
A devil appeared on the left and said, "Grumpy Cat has great SEO. Think of all the social media shares!"
The angel on my right said, "For shame! Would you sell out your integrity for Internet clicks?"
The devil and I responded, "Hell yeah!"
But I realized later that dignity is something that once lost can't be replaced and the idea of interviewing what was most likely an intern pretending to be Grumpy Cat just didn't set well with me.
So I palmed off the interview on my kids: My son, Owen, 9, and my daughter, Alex, 12.
They are both Grumpy Cat fans, but got a little peevish when I explained that they wouldn't actually be talking to their favorite Internet meme because, I reminded them, "Cats don't talk. Not even those who are Internet celebrities."
Now that their innocence had been shattered, it was time to put them to work. They came up with questions that I sent to the publicist to give to "Grumpy Cat," aka the social media intern.
The questions elicited some interesting responses, mostly from me and along the lines of, "You sure you want to ask that?"
By the time they had finished the questions, they were as grumpy as Grumpy Cat and their old man combined.
But I have to give them credit, they made the deadline, and, true to our SEO headline, we got the exclusive interview with Grumpy Cat, aka the social media intern.
Without further ado:
What's your opinion on catnip?
Is there anything in the world that makes you happy?
"If there was, I would never admit it."
How old are you?
"Three and a half, but it feels like forever."
Describe your feeling of dogs.
What makes you angry?
"I try to just keep it grumpy and leave anger for some other cat."
How did you become grumpy?
"True grumpiness is something you're just born with. You don't find it. It finds you."
What do you think of your brother?
"He's very caring and full of joy. It's awful."
What do you think of happy cat?
"He's doing his thing. And it's terrible."
Are you really typing the answers to these questions?
"No. I'm using Siri."
Do you like tuna or caviar better?
"Some choices shouldn't have to be made."
What do you think of the word snarky?
"Not bad. You've got potential."
How would you feel if you went skydiving, your parachute broke and you were catapulting toward Earth at 12 miles per hour?
What do you think of the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs?
"I'm still waiting for the sequel."
When you were making Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, did it bother you that there were so many puppets?
"You're talking about the actors, right? Yeah, they were the worst."
Did it bother you that you were played a bit sympathetically in the film?
"Constantly. Thanks for bringing it up."