A Cat Fight for James Carville and Mary Matalin Is Really About Felines

The Carville-Matalins have quite the menagerie.

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These days, it's cats and football that partisan political power couple James Carville and Mary Matalin fight over.

Matalin, the Republican political consultant, and Carville, the Democratic one, now live in New Orleans, but made a trip to Washington Saturday to speak before a brunch-time audience at the National Press Club.

There, they talked about their new book "Love & War," a sequel to the 1995 tome "All's Fair."

The new book looks at their 20-year across-the-aisle marriage that has produced two daughters. The union has also produced a home filled with cats, dogs, rats and birds, much to the chagrin of Carville.

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James Carville and wife Mary Matalin speak to the press about Tim Russert outside NBC's bureau June 15, 2008, in Washington, D.C.
James Carville and wife Mary Matalin have differing opinions on more than just politics.

"I just have to say this, the presence – this is my motto – the presence of many cats does not prove crazy cat lady-ism," Matalin said. "Call me weird, I do not like animals in food prep areas," Carville countered.

The War on Cats mainly plays out in the couple's kitchen.

"I do take James' point that cat hairs in the butter is not pleasant," Matalin conceded. To not look like a total animal hater, Carville told the crowd about how he raised a pig in his youth and rode a horse before a bicycle. But then Matalin went on and told the "kitty pyromania" story.

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"One day I came down and my favorite cat, I have about 12 of them, so this cat's name is Black Cat," Matalin began, explaining that it's "hard to name cats creatively" when you have a dozen of them as pets. "Half of his face was charred off," Matalin said. "I said, 'what's happened?' and he was getting near the butter and somehow the stove accidentally turned on and burnt half his face off," she concluded, to great laughter from the crowd. "So I'm going to agree with you that we should put a lid on the butter," she told her husband.

Besides pets and politics, the couple had a brief spat Saturday over New Orleans Saints football. "That's what we fight about," Matalin acknowledged. "He keeps saying we're an 8 point underdog, I say we're going to win." On this one, Carville proved right. The Seattle Seahawks bested the Saints by 8 points, winning the NFL playoff game 23-15.

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