A cat named Napoleon JJF van Alphen-Mann
Fashion editor, stylist, storyteller, and gamine barely describe the amazing Maggie Mann. Combine her energy and enthusiasm with that of her creative director and husband, Ferdinand van Alphen, and you have a real powerhouse of a couple. I wasn't there, though, to talk about their visual impact on the world but to visit and experience the brilliance of their cat, the one and only Napoleon JJF van Alphen-Mann. Kyle Knodell and I went to photograph the family in their adorable New York City apartment. As Mrs. Sizzle often does, I asked Maggie all the usual questions:
HOW DID YOU FIND THIS BEAUTY?
"We adopted Napoleon from 2000 Spays and Neuters Animal Rescue. They were showing kitties at Petco. Ferdinand was spellbound. It was love at first sight, although he swatted my hand away when I tried to give him a scratch as if to say “we have not been introduced!!".
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE HIME TO BECOME ACCLIMATED?
It took quite a bit of time for all of us to become the happy trio we are. He had been shuffled around from place to place and lived on the street. Once he felt that we loved him, that he was safe and not leaving us, things started to change. Funny enough, an impromptu family trip to the Sunset Tower in LA somehow cemented the trust. He loved hotel life and flying with me cross country.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT NAPOLEON?
Napoleon is a truly special little being. He is smarter than most people we know. He fetches, sits on command, and has an extensive kitty to human vocab. He is an excellent dancer and we do ballet together that we learned from George Balanchine and Tanaquil LeClercq . She wrote a book on cats and ballet that we love. His leaps and ball catching skills have been compared to the legendary Dutch soccer goalie Frans de Munck, known as the black cat. Napoleon is both aristocratic and humble, inherently elegant (a little spoiled yet worshipped by all) intellectual yet never condescending - a Renaissance Cat.
HOW DID HE BECOME SO DAMN CHIC?
Chic? Well as they say, you can never go wrong with black and white. Besides, he is always prepared for a formal event in white tie. He is also quite the ladies cat…his Valentine is Yameli Mera, an Art Historian and Museum Curator in Mexico City. She came all the way from Mexico to meet him in person.Napo loves cuddles and kisses from everyone and if you come over he will give you a kiss."
For more on Napoleon follow him on @napoleoon_rules