Hannah Simone (of “New Girl” glory) talks to us about hosting the Catdance Film Festival

While Hannah Simone spends much of her time playing the wonderful CeCe on New Girl, there’s another role she takes just as seriously: Cat mom. The actress is famous on Instagram for her two adorable rescues, Jake and Frank, and when you take a look at the furry creatures, it’s easy to see why. Naturally, when she partnered with Fresh Step® with the power of Febreze™ for their Million Meow Mission to host the fourth annual Catdance Film Festival, held in Park City, Utah, over the weekend, she couldn’t help but think of it as a dream job. We got a chance to chat with Hannah about all things feline, as well as her love for animals in general and the importance of this event.

The festival itself features independent cat-themed films all competing for the coveted Golden Litter Scoop and a $25,000 grand prize. Attendees could also experience a cat virtual reality experience to get a first-hand look at what it’s like for kitties to go from shelter to forever home. This wasn’t just a celebration of cats, but the importance of cat rescue and adoption, and how fulfilling it is to give a cat a permanent family. Plus, it’s adorable. “Cats and cat videos, the two best things!” Hannah exclaimed over the phone.

As for her own cats, pictured below, she’s obsessed. Jake is a “crazy wild boy” who is “photogenic and knows it.” He’s also the eyes for little Frank, who is the runt of his litter and never really grew. He’s both blind and asthmatic, but don’t worry, he has no idea.

Hannah adores her two cats, but she’s a lover of all animals, frequently posing with any furry friend that comes her way. In fact, when asked if dogs and cats could ever be friends, she emphatically replied “YES!” There’s no need to choose between being a cat person or dog person. It’s totally possible to be both, as long as you love animals, and especially if you fight for them.

“It breaks my heart that cats are euthanized because they can’t find a home,” Hannah says. And what’s even worse? The problem is totally fixable. “The number one reason cats get returned is for litter box rejection.”

When it comes to the festival, Hannah feels “really lucky” that she got to do this. Over the years, the films have ranged from animated to art house to reality show style. “Whatever genre you like, there’s a cat film for you,” she says. Plus, for those of us who missed the festival, all the films are available online on Fresh Step’s website.

You can also have the virtual reality experience over on YouTube, and if that doesn’t convince you to go adopt a feline friend, I don’t know what will. Although, some of us, for a variety of reasons, can’t have a cat of our own, Hannah urges, that doesn’t mean you can’t help out in the Million Meow Mission, working to improve the lives of cats in shelters all over the country.

We’re so grateful for all of Hannah’s work helping animals find happy homes, and know that Jake and Frank are incredibly lucky to have such an awesome mom. Get involved in the Mission over here!

(Image via Catdance Film Festival)

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