Lupetto Bourdain: Confidential

By Cole

(Note from Karen: Season 7 of No Reservations is in its 4th week of limbo tonight; Travel Channel again gives 9 p.m. to Off Limits. My new bits of Bourdainia can wait until tomorrow because Cole just scooped me big-time with his first celebrity interview. I’m not kidding. He really did this. Keep reading…)

I was chosen to tackle this important assignment (a Mother’s Day surprise for Karen) after much debate. We finally agreed that my rugged good looks and black-cat charm were most likely to open a door here, and we were right. I was granted permission to do this written interview with Lupetto Bourdain.

Lupetto is cagey in dealing with the media, which you’d expect from a celebrity’s cat. Some of his responses are almost De Niro-esque. But he’s so cool, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony sometimes tries to channel Lupetto’s ‘tude. After all, it’s the sincerest form of flattery, and their relationship seems to be based on mutual respect.

Cole: I researched your name “Lupetto” online and found that it means “wolf cub” or “turtleneck (as in sweater).” Does either description fit your personality?

Lupetto: Ottavia told me I looked like a little wolf when she adopted me.

C: Do you mind telling us your age?

L: 10 years old.

C: Ottavia tweeted recently that your nickname is “Nini.” Where did that come from? Have you got any nicknames for them?

L: One day they just started calling me that. Personally, I prefer Lupetto. I do not feel free to disclose any nicknames I may or may not have for them. I rely on them for food.

Lupetto Bourdain, a.k.a. "Nini" (Photo - Ottavia Bourdain/Twitter)

C: You’ve known Ottavia since you were a kitten, when it was just the two of you. Did you have any issues sharing her? Was Bourdain nice to you?

L: I was struck immediately by Mr Bourdain’s kindness and sensitivity towards me. We forged an immediate bond, and I found myself quickly relocated to his home.

C: How do you and Ariane get along? Is she nice, or a tail-puller? Does she let you play with her toys?

L: Ariane gives me the respect and attention I deserve. Sometimes I let her play with my toys.

C: Do you have a favorite human?

L: The sushi delivery guy has many fine qualities.

C: Since you live with a famous food guy, you must see a lot of weird people-food. Do they ever share with you?

L: I can’t believe the shit those two eat. I wouldn’t touch that stuff with your mouth.

C: Do you ever jump on the counters or the table? Do they freak out?

L: I do as I please, you got a problem with that?

C: Have they ever offered you people-food that made you think they were nuts?

L: They know better.

C: I trust you eat regular cat food. Do you prefer dry or canned? What are your brands?

L: Canned: Solid Gold, Soulistic and Fancy Feast (only the grilled variety).

C: Are you into treats?

L: Bits of Parmigiano.

C: Bourdain has said he tries to avoid eating pets, but you’d know the truth. Has he ever come home with dog or cat on his breath?

L: He made a personal commitment to me not to.

C: I hear a lot of vermin lives in the big city. Have you ever caught a rodent? If so, what did you do with it?

L: What kind of crack house do you think I live in?

C: Claws or declawed? If claws, what’s your favorite thing to scratch?

L: Fully clawed, and I use them frequently. I’m very fond of the new couch…

C: You live in a bilingual household. Are there any Italian words you understand?

L: I speak a hell of a lot more Italian than Mr. Bourdain, for sure.

C: Does Bourdain himself ever feed you or scoop your litterbox?

L: He happily feeds me. He’s less happy about the litter box.

C: Do you ever help him with his writing? If so, how?

L: I wrote all of his books. Without me he’s nothing.

C: Any favorite toys?

L: A laser pointer.

C: Favorite places to sleep?

L: Their bed.

C: When you go to the vet, are you a pussycat or a tiger?

L: I hate doctors.

C: Do you have any habits the humans wish you would break?

L: Jumping into the tub when Ottavia showers.

C: Do you like to be picked up or sit in laps, or are you the independent type?

L: I’m a Rolling Stone, baby.


12 Responses to Lupetto Bourdain: Confidential

  1. zappa says:

    What a scoop,Cole! I felt that Medium Raw had the tone of a smart,sensitive feline stretched out on the keyboard as the Human wrote it! Will we ever see him on camera? What about a NR/NYC episode shot from Lupetto level?


  2. adele says:


    Excellent job! Lupetto seems very “New York” right down to the fact that he always wears black. I’m glad that he and Ariane get along,and I must say, I’m surprised that he hasn’t developed a taste for any of the canned meat of which Ottavia is so fond.

    But the real scoop is that Lupetto is Bourdain’s ghost writer. I trust that he’s getting his fair share of the royalties.

  3. catsworking says:

    Zappa, I think Bourdain needs to do a special on cat food, period. It’s LONG overdue.

    I must check into the foods Lupetto mentioned, Solid Gold and Soulistic. We’ve never heard of them, but they must be good. If anyone would know, it’s Lupetto Bourdain.

    Lupetto mentioned he likes parmigiano cheese. Yul is big on meunster, especially when it’s melted and gooey and covered with olive oil. Adele and I prefer cheddar. How about you? Are you into cheese? I figure a lot of cats must be because Fancy Feast just came out with that new cheesy flavor (which 9-Lives had YEARS ago, Yul tells me).

    Funny coincidence on the Grilled Fancy Feast this morning. We lucked into a can. Karen buys dozens of cans at once and doesn’t read every label completely, so a can of Grilled got mixed in with our usual Classic, which meant — GRAVY FOR EVERYBODY! We love that stuff, but the meat, not so much. Karen ends up throwing that away and warning us, “Joke’s on you when you’re hungry again in an hour.”

  4. zappa says:

    Cole,Ive never been much for cheese! Back in my kitten days,I was more adventurous and enjoyed the occasional lick of cream cheese.The Human would allow me to sample what ever I showed an interest in,but now Im pretty much just into catfood.I do have a bit of a sweet tooth,I like vanilla wafers and I loooove cake! And the odd potato chip…or a bite of roast chicken….maybe just a smidge of scrambled egg…


  5. catsworking says:

    Zappa, we like to lick the salt off chips. Yul and I love bacon. Yul will eat ham on occasion, and he’s into sour cream. Yesterday, Adele lapped up Yul’s special homemade chicken stock with olive oil like it was the nectar of the gods.

    When I first started hanging out with the family at mealtime here, I was willing to taste everything on Karen’s plate once, but now I pretty much stick to bacon and cat food.

  6. MorganLF says:

    What a “scoop” (pun intended)! Now the haters can once and for all, quell any nonsense that your access to the Bourdains’ is imagined. I believe your “unimpeachable” source has revealed itself. The style of prose and syntax from Signore Lupetto is strangely familiar ….. I don’t doubt his claims to authorship one bit!

  7. catsworking says:

    Morgan, Lupetto mentioned that he’s not much of a typist because he has “people” to do that sort of menial stuff for him, so our e-mail interview was moderated by his transcriptionist. I agree that you can definitely hear his “meow” in Bourdain’s books, particularly Medium Raw.

  8. MorganLF says:


    Writers have their voice , sorta like DNA it’s just impossible to deny.

    We at of the crew appreciate all of Lupetto’s input and rhythm. It makes his master eminently readable and entertaining.

  9. Loz says:

    Have the Bourdains’ got a new cat since Lupetto died?

  10. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Loz! We haven’t been keeping up with Twitter the way we should, and have no idea if another cat has been lucky enough to snag Lupetto’s former home. Maybe one of our readers has seen something and will let us know.

  11. ds says:

    how the hell did I end up reading this, and why did I enjoy it so much. Pray for me

  12. catsworking says:

    Welcome, ds! We, too, are wondering what twisted Google search led you to that long-ago interview. We just reread it and got quite a few bittersweet chuckles out of it. Unfortunately, both the interviewer and interviewee are with us no more.

    Lupetto died suddenly a few years ago. We don’t recall all the details now, but it may have been from some sort of seizure. He had a long and prosperous life, but his passing was still quite a shock to all of us and we still think of him. As you can see, he was the glue that kept the Bourdains solid for many years (not that they aren’t solid now, but you know how a cat grounds a family). 😉

    We don’t know if another cat has taken his place. We’ve seen no mention of it, but could have missed a tweet or something.

    Lupetto’s questioner, Cole, died on October 26, 2015, after a long battle with kidney failure. His slot in the Cats Working family was soon filled by a kitten named Roc, who so far has displayed a Trump-like propensity for blogging mostly about himself. We hope he will soon mature into tackling more substantive content.

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