More With Ian Petrella

The actor from A Christmas Story talks about life with his cat, Spike.

By Christopher Ameruoso | Posted: October, 5, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Actor Ian Petrella and his cat, Spike
Ian Petrella and Spike
You might remember Ian Petrella as the lovable little brother, Randy, from the blockbuster phenomenon A Christmas Story, but acting is just one of many talents he holds. He currently owns two animation companies, one of which he operates with his cousin. He also has a talent and passion for puppetry. During the holiday season, he tours and makes appearances with the rest of the cast of A Christmas Story, bringing back fond memories to fans old and new. He lives in Los Angeles with his cat, Spike.

Tell us about Spike.
I rescued Spike years ago from the streets. He is very much a cat that likes to be alone and do his own thing on his terms. You never really know what Spike is thinking or what his next move will be.

Are you and Spike alike?
I think I have a lot of Spike’s personality, and I think I’ve learned a lot from him, and he learns from me. I look at him and think, “This guy is doing whatever he wants to!”

What do you like about cats?
I believe that cats have a very mystical side to them. They are very curious in their own ways.

What have you learned from Spike?
I have learned many things from Spike, including that if you don’t sweat the small stuff and go about your life things will be cool. Cool like a cat.

Do you believe there is a defining quality about an animal that makes it “yours”?
One time when I was asleep, I felt a tugging on the blanket, and here came this little black puff ball over the bed. He crawled on me and lay down and, I thought, “Aww, how cute.” And then he peed on me! He climbed up on me to go to the bathroom! And that’s how I knew he was my cat.

What is it like being part of A Christmas Story?
It’s kind of a weird feeling because we get three months out of the year that we can really be hot shots. Once January rolls around, nobody cares anymore! We are like the icon of the holidays. I just love that the movie is surviving.”
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