Cat Chat: Captivating Cats

Illusionist Criss Angel talks about the mystical qualities of felines.

As an illusionist, performance artist and actor, Criss Angel has helped bring about magic’s latest resurgence in popular culture. Best known for his TV show Criss Angel Mindfreak, he has appeared in countless TV specials, live shows and music albums. He is also human companion to Hammie, his beloved cat — and a recurring guest on his show.

Tell us about your cat.
Hammie is the best cat ever. He is very much like a dog trapped in a cat’s body. By that, I mean that he is very personable and friendly.

How did he come into your life?
A friend of a friend had basically inherited Hammie after both of his parents had tragically passed away from cancer. His apartment complex wouldn’t let him keep pets, so I volunteered to foster the cat until he could find him a good home. I fell in love with Hammie after being with him for a very short time and decided my home was as good as any.

Have you always been a cat person?
I’ve had cats as pets my whole life.

Are cats as mystical and mysterious as they are said to be?
Cats are very interesting animals. Their unique body language and movements can capture an audience all on their own. They really are a captivating species.

What does Hammie do that amuses you?
He’ll do anything to get his belly rubbed. He lifts up his head to your hand so you’ll pet him. And it’s not just me; he’s just incredibly friendly!

Have you or would you ever use Hammie in an illusion in your shows?
What’s interesting is that I never ask Hammie to do anything at all. One day I came out of my bedroom, and there he was, levitating. I was absolutely blown away. Luckily the next time he did it I caught it on camera. Another day, I was taking him to the vet and when I put him in his crate, he dematerialized on me! Luckily, he’s a big believer in showmanship and always does an encore on camera. Hammie is a recurring
guest on this season’s Mindfreak.

What has Hammie brought to your life?
Hammie relaxes me. Being with him allows me to take a breath out of my usually hectic day.

What does Hammie mean to you?
He is my shadow. I love him to death and wouldn’t sell him for all the money in the world.

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