Jo Brand’s purr-fect job
Jo Brand helps adventurous felines in trouble in a brand new series
If you’ve ever found yourself running around after a stubborn cat, or climbing a tree to rescue a kitten, you might just relate to the RSPCA officers in the new Channel 5 series Jo Brand’s Cats & Kittens.
Comedian and Bake Off: An Extra Slice host Jo is following the team around the country as they save kittens in precarious situations and check them over back at the vets.
It’s a dream job for lifelong cat owner Jo. Here she tells us about pets stuck up the chimney and why kitties make purr-fect companions… What made you sign up for a series about cats, Jo?
It just sounded really great! I love presenting because it gives you access to all sorts of different worlds and I’ve always had cats. I grew up in the country, and I had cats during my childhood, and ever since. I’ve got two at the moment, Louis and Dotty, who get on quite well. We used to have more, but Dotty bullied his mother, who then decided to move next door! My neighbours were very happy to have her, so it worked out well in the end. You’re scrubbing for surgery at the vets – was that tough to film? It was actually OK. There was one kitten, Saba, who went out onto a balcony, got a bit too adventurous, and fell four stories. Her front leg had to be amputated and I watched the operation. I thought I would
find it traumatic and that I might go face down on the floor as soon as a bit of blood squirted in my direction, but actually I was fine.
Will the series be distressing for us animal lovers?
We’ve tried to make sure all the stories have happy endings. It’s like 24 Hours in A&E – they don’t tend to feature people who die at the end, and it’s the same with us really.
Have you been tempted to take any stray kittens home with you? I know Paul O’ Grady does that, he’s great. It’s early days but I haven’t taken one yet. I’m always slightly drawn towards the ones that other people don’t want, the outcasts, and the cats that look a bit rough, the underdogs of the feline world. I’m trying to be sensible and practical though.
How would you defend cats in the dogs vs cats debate?
My feeling is that cats have different personalities in the way that dogs do. It’s true that cats can be aloof but Louis, who’s 21 now, has always been really friendly. Whereas we had another cat, ironically named Sunny, who was just really aggressive. Cats are also very clever – a friend of mine put a note on her cat’s collar saying ‘If you’re feeding this cat could you ring me?’ Nine people phoned her!
I think it’s the sign of a civilised society that the fire brigade will come out to save a kitten.
Daredevil… Saba after her operation