This Thursday’s show at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts just might be the cat’s meow.
Television star Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s hit series “My Cat From Hell,” brings his live stage show to the downtown
Wilkes-Barre theater on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6.
Galaxy said audiences are unsure what to expect when they come to one of his live shows, where he shares his expertise.
“They know it’s me, and past that they don’t know,” the cat behaviorist said recently by phone from a tour stop in Seattle. “But people have been incredibly receptive, and above all … (we have) had a really good time together. I’ve been going out to the lobby and signing things afterward. It’s what I hoped for.”
On his TV show, Galaxy helps cat owners resolve conflicts and preserve their relationships with their felines so they don’t end up giving their cats to shelters. His stage show, “Total Cat Mojo Live,” will incorporate some of that advice by including a question-and-answer session for the audience. And if they want more information beyond that, he said, he has supporting material available on his YouTube page.
“It’s great to be able to sort of grab the topic when I’m up on stage and then lead people to a more in-depth look at these things,” Galaxy said.
With his television show, Galaxy said, he makes three visits and spends 10 to 12 hours a day in someone’s home. That’s isolating, but when he’s on stage, he experiences “a constant energetic give-and-take.” He will share information about cat history, diet, advice and more.
“Just to get out there and just take a deep breath and interact is such a huge relief,” Galaxy said.
Galaxy described his stage show as “inclusive” and “an affirmation that we are a community of people.” He said he likes to joke in the show that dogs have parks and play dates, but cats don’t.
“We never get to get out there and have a communal event,” Galaxy added. “This is the cat party. … From the very outset, it’s a celebration.”
People used to treat cats like second-best, he said, but now “there’s now a good deal more cats in homes in the U.S. than dogs.”
“To have that affirmation that more and more people are seeking to celebrate it is a big deal. … And being able to look out there and see men and to see kids and to see an incredibly wide range in terms of the audience is also really encouraging,” Galaxy said.
Thanks to social media and sites such as YouTube, cats have gained more attention in recent years through viral videos, memes and celebrity felines, such as Grumpy Cat. The world has reached “that wonderful tipping point now where the casual becomes the committed … and I’m more than happy to lead that charge,” Galaxy said.
“My messaging throughout this show also is let’s now take it one step further,” he said. “If you’re going to spend time saying, ‘Oh my gosh, these are such cute cats on the internet’ … (we should) start putting our money where our mouth is. Let’s start advocating for them. Lets’s start advocating for all animals.”
More than anything, Galaxy said, he hopes his audiences take away the knowledge that “having a cat is having a relationship, and it’s not about what you own. It’s about who you love and … it’s time for us to own that instead of owning that animal.”
“I want us to start looking at our relationships,” he said. “And the response to that has been actually more accepting than I would have even imagined.”