How Is Kat Not a Lesbian in This New Cat Cafe Show?

I hadn’t intended to watch the new Fox sitcom Call Me Kat and it’s not because Mayim Bialik will always be Blossom Russo to me and I looked just like her when the show was on the air in the ’90s and so everyone in middle school called me Blossom and constantly asked me where my little hats were. Mostly that’s not why. Probably. Call Me Kat is an adaptation of the UK’s Miranda, and for every The Office, there’s three dozen beloved British sitcoms that get adapted for American TV and just don’t work. Also no matter how good Phoebe Waller-Bridge is at it, fourth wall-breaking on television still freaks me out. But PR people kept emailing to tell me Call Me Kat is gay and also there’s so many cats, so I decided to give it a go.

Mayim Bialik holds a cat in Call Me Kat.

Well.

Call Me Kat is gay, but not in the way Call Me Kat thinks it’s gay. Gay Leslie Jordan is gay, and he’s a hoot in the way he always is. And gay Cheyenne Jackson is Kat’s love interest. Okay, but Kat herself is gayer than all that times a dozen. She’s a single 39-year-old woman who owns a cat cafe and several of her own cats, only ever wears Docs or sneakers with her “15-piece capsule wardrobe” that includes a green pantsuit that is her prize possession, knows every word to every show tune and Katy Perry song, has a photo of the Louisville women’s basketball team in her closet, and says things like “That’s cuter than a Calico in a sweater vest.”

Yeah all those are stereotypes, but stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason (says the lesbian wearing a plaid shirt and Chuck Taylors sitting in the home she and her wife share with the four cats they rescued).

Mayim Bialik sits with a cat on the counter of the cafe she owns in Call Me Kat.

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The show wants you to think Kat’s just not great at dating, but I posit: Kat doesn’t want to date men! Her mom’s the one constantly harassing her to go out with them, and she says all her relationships just fizzle out, and the longest one she’s ever had is three months. You’re thinking Liz Lemon, but Kat is the opposite of a misanthropist. And she really likes herself! Her mom says she’s too old to be so eccentric, but Kat disagrees. In fact, the character she reminds me of most is Ellen from her ’90s sitcom! But with more pratfalls.

The reviews for Call Me Kat haven’t been great, which makes sense, because there are a lot of weird moving pieces, including a laugh track, and the fourth wall-breaking really is a lot. Plus, for a show about cats, there are not very many cats; and hardly any cat hijinks. The only thing less believable than Kat being straight is how well behaved all the cafe cats are around coffee mugs and pastries. There is, however, one dog in a bowtie who sits atop a piano (also gay).

I can’t believe I spent my entire youth telling people to stop calling me Blossom and now I’m having to try to convince everyone Mayim Bialik is just like me!

Anyway, I am bringing this here to you today to hear your opinion. Is Kat a lesbian or what?

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1081 articles for us.

12 Comments

    • Yeah, from that, to talking about how she wouldn’t let her sons see Frozen because she insisted that it was “anti-man”, to slut-shaming victims of sexual assault, she’s become a complete mess over the years.

  1. Gah! I totally thought Kat was gay too but I didn’t put together that she’s Ellen 2021. Yes! I really enjoyed the show but I haven’t seen Miranda. Definitely needs more queerness and cats though. Or is that redundant?

  2. This looks cheesy in a bad way but I would prefer it if she had a meet cute with the waiter she crashed into in the preview. Like she has the cat cafe and discovers she’s in love with the waiter she crashed into and suddenly discovers she’s queer!

  3. This explains my feelings exactly. We’ve watched the first two episodes and I laughed a few times, been weirded out about the excessive 4th wall-ing, and admired a lot about her attire, but was just perplexed by why she’s got a love interest already?

    The set up the show is that she’s happily single and runs a successful cat cafe, which is why I tuned in. As someone who aspires to own a cat cafe,

    I would have loved to have seen some episodes focused on the cats or struggles/successes she’s had running the cafe, for sure! They definitely could have taken some pointers from Ellen’s bookstore storylines.

    Adding a love interest for her off the bat just ruins it and doesn’t let the show grow organically.

  4. As far as Mayim personally, she’s clarified her earlier positions. I’m not going to argue on her behalf since I don’t know her personally, but worth a read if you want to hear it directly from her.

    As far as the show goes, I’ve only seen last week’s episode. (Why on earth did FOX air the first one on a holiday weekend after football? Yeah, no.) I know a few people have criticized the fourth wall thing, but it doesn’t really bother me.

    I do think it would be interesting if Kat were a lesbian, but so far, it doesn’t look like it’s headed in that direction. It’s coming off more like an escapist 80s/90s sitcom, which, with all that’s going on right now, I’m ok with.

  5. It did not occur to me for a second that she might be gay because she is so much like me, my sister, and my cousin, who are not. Like, never have been. We have gay friends of all kinds as well as straight, and we have always loved show tunes, Barbara, cosmetic counters, Miami Beach in the 60’s and 70’s,Cher and all the cliche’ things from before we knew gay people did. The thing is there are lots of straight women who have not had a lot of interest FROM men, and we are not gay, but have just had to do single life with friends and family, not partners. Some are widows like me. Some did not first marry until their mid 40’s because of law careers or whatever, like my Sis. Some just are not that attractive to men because we don’t fit the mold. I did when I was younger, but now I am old and fat and not blonde, and i don’t want botox. I can be a klutz and not act “girlie” and not wear make up everywhere! I like being single and having cats, and I like most men :) To be fair…

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