Memphis Grizzlies' Star Zach Randolph Is Terrified of Cats

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2013

At 6'9", 260 pounds, Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph is an intimidating presence. He dominates the paint to the tune of 12 rebounds per game and does not look like a guy who can be rattled easily.

That was until Sam Alipour of ESPN The Magazine interviewed him, and NBA fans were exposed to a whole new side of the man known as "Z-Bo."

Randolph is set to appear on an episode of the hit Animal Planet series Pit Bulls and Parolees that airs on January 12, as he is apparently quite the dog lover. For those unaware of the show, it follows the work of Tia Torres, a woman who runs a pit bull rescue out of Agua Dulce, Calif.

This episode is set in Memphis, and Randolph works with Torres to save a pit bull trapped in a drainpipe.

However, Alipour's interview with Randolph on the matter unveiled another fun fact about the Grizzlies' star rebounder. In spite of his great size and dominating presence, Randolph can scare pretty easily under certain circumstances.

Randolph loves dogs as much as the next man, but cats apparently make him go white with fear:

You can’t be both a dog lover and a cat lover. I’ve got a crazy phobia about cats. For some reason, I’m always thinking they’re going to scratch me. If a cat walks up, I’m going, “Oh no, this dude about to scratch me -- I know it!” Cats scare the hell out of me. I love animals, but I’m no cat lover. Guys usually aren’t.

Granted, I totally get that there are dog people and cat people. It's a matter of personal preference, and some highly prefer one over the other.

But Randolph is flat-out afraid of cats? I'm not saying his fear is unfounded, as some cats are definitely evil, but come on! He's so much bigger than the standard house feline, so where could this fear be coming from?

Either way, now that it's on the record, it's clear what Randolph's teammates need to do on April Fools' Day. They must find as many stuffed cats as they can, specifically the kind one would give to a child as a present, and fill the man's locker with them. That's a viral video just waiting to happen.

All jokes aside, good on Randolph for appearing on the show. Animal rescue is a great cause in which to get involved, and it's refreshing to see ridiculously rich professional athletes doing more than the minimum to see that something is done.