James Franco: ‘I Was Raised as a Cat Person’

James Franco

Neilson Barnard/Getty

updated 06/16/2011 AT 4:00 PM ET

originally published 06/17/2011 AT 7:45 AM ET

James Franco: Actor, director, grad student, author – cat guy?

Franco is such a cat guy, in fact, that the multi-hyphenate shows up to black tie events with cat hair on his clothes.

“You can see some of their hair,” he told reporters at the amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York on Tuesday.

And who are they? They’re Franco’s two cats, Sammy and Zelda, whose names have a literary bent.

“All my recent cats have been named after characters from books or the literary world,” Franco said. “Sammy’s named after Sammy Glick from [Budd Schulberg’s] What Makes Sammy Run, and Zelda is named after Zelda Fitzgerald.”

His younger brother, Dave, is also just as much a cat guy as Franco, and Dave’s cats have equally literary names – for good reason.

“The two cats that my brother stole from me are Harry after Harry Angstrom from [John Updike’s] Rabbit novels and Arturo is named after Arturo Bandini from the John Fante novels.”

The cats’ names aren’t very surprising choices for the P.h.D. candidate, and neither is the fact that he has cats at all.

“I was raised as a cat person,” Franco said. “I had cats when I was a kid and that’s what I’m used to. I don’t really know how to take care of a dog, but I think I’m pretty good with cats.”

[RELATED_TEXT “Can’t get enough pet news? See more on PEOPLE Pets

• Kelly Osbourne’s Dog Noodles Dies

• Mason the ‘Tornado Dog’ Finds His Way Home on Two Legs” “” ]