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Vito Vincent, Cat Actor, Finds Tinseltown Tough For Tabbies

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/26/2012 5:16 pm Updated: 04/27/2012 1:32 pm

Vito Vincent

A cat actor who recently relocated from New York to Los Angeles is finding that the road to fame is kitty-littered with hardship.

Vito Vincent is a loveable orange tabby who is very calm -- even when cameras are running. As such, the animal actor has been able to score high-profile TV appearances on "30 Rock" and "The Colbert Report" as "Christiane Aman-purr," Twirlit.com reported.

But while New York is Mecca for many human actors, Hollywood is where it's at for animal thespians, so, Vito's owner and manager, Michael LeCrichia, decided to high tail it to Tinseltown a year ago in order to follow in the footsteps of other acting greats like Lassie, Uggie the dog and Morris the cat.

"I knew that since he was a working actor in New York, if he wanted to try and make it in movies, we might have a better opportunity to make it into a movie in Los Angeles, in Hollywood. So we ventured out here in May of last year," LeCrichia told Reuters.

But it hasn't been easy, LeCrichia said, because certain casting agencies have monopolized the animal acting gigs for years.

It's a bit of a letdown for Vito, whose biggest gig was as Christiane Aman-purr last year. Show host Stephen Colbert lifted Vito onto his desk and questioned him for two minutes under bright lights in front of a loud, boisterous audience.

The highlight of that appearance, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, was when Colbert pushed the cat to choose between two bowls of food -- one marked "Democratic Uprising," the other "Islamic Power Grab."

Vito never flinched, even when Colbert tossed some food right at him, jiggled a laser pointer and waved around a colorful feathery toy.

Things haven't exactly moved for Vito since the move, but LeCrichia has had some luck building a buzz by taking the cat out on a leash in public, where he usually attracts lookie-loos like Michelle Klein.

"I was surprised," she told Reuters. "Most cats are pretty aloof and so he's a very friendly and chatty little guy here."

It's not easy, but LeCrichia understands that in order for Vito to make it, they can't just pussyfoot around.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled "Christiane" as "Christianne."

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