Mikel Delgado holding a cat. Photo provided by Mikel Delgado
Mikel Delgado holding a cat. Photo provided by Mikel Delgado

Mikel Maria Delgado is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis where her research explores the behavior of cats in multi-cat households, and the health and development of orphaned neonatal kittens. Mikel has worked professionally with cats for almost twenty years, starting in the Cat Behavior Program of the San Francisco SPCA, and now through her cat behavior consulting partnership, Feline Minds. Mikel is co-author with Jackson Galaxy of the 2017 book “Total Cat Mojo,” and has published her research in several academic journals, including the Journal of Comparative Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, and Applied Animal Behaviour Science. She blogs about animal behavior science at catsandsquirrels.com.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Right now just one 16 year old cat

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Beaker coffee mugs and a large framed print detailing cat genetics

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Sweet

7 Do you speak any other languages?

Not well

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Run an animal sanctuary

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

I would study rabies

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Normally I would answer Italy

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

To sleep well

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Watch: BARRY!
Read: Haruki Marakami
Listen: Cold Beat

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Go for a hike, hang out with my cat & bf, read and eat pie.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Cats, friends, chocolate.

15 What beverage gives you life?

English breakfast tea

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Watership Down

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

I had no idea. Which is probably why I ended up dropping out of college the first time around.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Making cats’ lives better!

19 What got you excited in science?

Working in an animal shelter – that definitely sparked an interest in developing a better understanding of animal behavior.

20 What excites you about science now?

Science communication and community.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

The L Word and Candy Crush.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Rocking the bass guitar.

23 What is your favorite game?

Rummikub or Settlers.

24 What is the last book you read?

I’m currently almost finished reading “Ducks, Newburyport”

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

You can sit at home and be in pain, or you can do things you want to do and be in pain.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Improv comedy

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Keep trying

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Running and then a dunk in my hot tub.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Better Call Saul

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Kitten blood samples or…a piece of squirrel liver.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Cats

32 What is your favorite book?

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Peanut butter cups

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

I know it’s dumb but Thanksgiving because we spend it with friends and eat a lot of vegetarian food.

35 What is your favorite plant?

Catnip

36 What is your favorite science fact?

99.9 % of tricolored cats are female.

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

Baking cookies

39 What is your favorite sound?

Punk rock

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I think I’m pretty funny.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

“Awesome”

42 What is your proudest moment?

Finishing my PhD

43 What kind of tree would you be?

A redwood

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

Riding my bike everywhere I can

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I dropped out of college – from start to finish my BA took 21 years and seven years later I finished my PhD.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Priya Shukla @priyology