Lifelong Cat Lover Nicolas Cage Says Merlin the Cat is ‘Best Friend’ and ‘Like a Son’

Nicolas Cage has a surreal experience playing multiple versions of himself, including a “neurotic version” in the action-comedy ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.’

“I think that would’ve been fascinating to see someone else play me, which was my first suggestion but they didn’t want to go for that,” joked Cage in a GQ interview. “They said they had to have the real me, whatever that means.”

So, who is the real Nick Cage? When asked by the Hollywood Reporter, he indicates he’s a family man who enjoys spending quiet time with his cat.

“I have a lot of quiet moments at home with just my cat, reading. Do we want to show any of that? No, because it’s not fun,” he said.

Aside from being known for his unbearably massive talent, the actor is famous for an untold number of hilariously strange memes ever-present on the internet. Often, many of these memes feature the actor’s face on a cat or feature cats thought to look like the actor.

Nicolas Cage at Home with His Cat

In a Variety interview, Cage briefly mentioned his cat again. Director Tom Gormican’s vision for the actor was based on the idea that “neurotic Nick Cage is the best Nick Cage.”

“So [Tom] would push me more into those realms of mania and anxiety, which is fun,” said Cage. “It was fun, but I would say that’s not really me when I’m at home with my cat. But, that’s not as much fun.”
“I stand by my claim that neurotic Cage is the best Cage,” replied Gormican.

Video by Variety:

Nicolas Cage’s Best Friend is Merlin the Cat

Recently, the iconic actor answered fan questions while doing press for the new film, including, “Who’s your best friend?”

His answer: His cat Merlin, a gorgeous black Maine Coon who Cage adopted in 2017.

“He’s an unusual cat, he’s very affectionate, he loves contact,” Cage said.

Merlin, image: Facebook

Going further, the actor revealed that Merlin would sometimes “hug” him in bed. When that happens, he said he sometimes mistakes the cat for his wife, actress Riko Shibata. Notably, the two are expecting their first human child together.

Screenshot Twitter/Lionsgate

“And, it’s just kind of an amazing, loving, affectionate energy that’s coming off that cat,” he continued. “He’s a real, a real sweetheart. So, that’s my best friend.”

Nicolas Cage’s Tips For Cat Relationships

Asked for tips to cultivate a “great relationship” with a cat, Cage told the Hollywood Reporter:

“I think the key is to respect them. And to let them come to you. The hand is very important. When you pet them, that connection is the great reward,” Cage explained.

Screenshot Twitter/Lionsgate

Going further, the actor explains that Merlin is like his son.

“When they start purring, you know they genuinely appreciate you being there. Lately, Merlin and I have had some issues because I got a little Pomeranian, and he’s not happy about that,” he said. “But Merlin is an unusual cat. It’s not the same as the other relationships I’ve had with cats throughout the years. There’s a real, almost human level of affection emanating from him which is almost like a son. It’s pretty intense.”

Cage is a Lifelong Cat Lover

Cage is a lifelong cat lover who once rescued a kitten named Razzmatazz as a child, who he also considered his best friend. Also, he’s famous for his love of exotic pets, such as his crows Huginn and Hoogan, which he considers “goth” like himself.

Huginn is known to say hi and goodbye to Cage and is also known to insult and laugh at him and eat cat food. Named after the Norse God Odin’s ravens, the birds live in a 16-foot geodesic dome.

“He has taken to calling me names,” the actor said. “It’s comical; at least it is to me. When I leave the room, he’ll say,’ ‘Bye” and then go, ”Ass.”

As for all of his pets, he prefers to consider them animal family members, as do we.

“Pet is such a trite word” he scoffed in a Vanity Fair interview before the movie Pig came out, preferring the descriptor: “animal family member.”

Interestingly, Cage’s brother, Christopher Coppola, is also known for his love of cats. (see below)

Cage Relied on His Cat During Quarantine

During an interview, the actor known for enjoying working at all times answered how he was experiencing quarantine due to the pandemic. To help him through, he relied on his animal family.

“It’s interesting that you bring that up, because I relied heavily on my cat and my family. I think this quarantine experience, and the fear of the pandemic itself, only augments the closeness we feel with our animal brothers and sisters. It’s interesting timing that this movie is coming out as we slowly begin to emerge from that experience. I was already close with my animals, but it only made us closer because I really needed their support during that time.” he said.

🍄 Nicolas Cage and a Cat Named Lewis 🍄

Although Cage is extremely close to Merlin, he once had an out-of-this-world bonding moment with a cat named Lewis, or so he joked.

In 2010, the actor appeared with David Letterman to joke about his cat Lewis and a bad of psychedelic magic mushrooms he once kept in the fridge. Somehow, Lewis got into the refrigerator and stole the shrooms.

“He ate them voraciously,” Cage explained to Letterman. “It was like catnip to him. So I thought what the heck, I’d better do it with him.”

Screenshot Twitter/Lionsgate

As the story goes, Nicolas Cage and Lewis bonded on a whole other level that day.

“I remember lying in my bed for hours,” he went on, “and Lewis was on the desk across from the bed for hours, staring at each other . . . not moving. But he would stare at me,” Nicolas concluded sagely, “and I had no doubt that he was my brother. But having said that I don’t do any of that stuff anymore.”

Then, he elaborated on how Lewis began talking to him after he gave him a treat of sardines.

“But seriously, after the mushrooms, who cares about sardines?” quipped Letterman.

Featured image: Nicolas Cage by Nicolas Genin via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 2.0) with cat via Facebook

h/t: coleandmarmalade

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