The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.
Throughout this week we’ve been analyzing the place of cats in popular culture, and why they’re such an ongoing obsession for the Internet, along with various other fairly cerebral cat-related topics. But shit, it’s Friday, so perhaps it’s time to get a little less highbrow and just appreciate some of the cats we’ve known and loved in popular culture. With that in mind, here’s a brief survey of some of the best cats in the world of music — 15 of our favorite music-related feline friends. Let us know in the comments if you’ve any to add.
“The Love Cats”
They move like cagey tigers! So wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully pretty!
Nick Cave’s kitten
A while back, Flavorwire examined the strange literary obsessions of various songwriters — by far the weirdest was the obsession with kittens that seemed to work its way into Cave’s songwriting circa The Boatman’s Call and And No More Shall We Part. They featured in “Where Do We Go But Nowhere,” “God Is in the House” and, most notably, in “As I Sat Sadly By Her Side” — and honestly, you can never hear Nick Cave say “kitten” enough times.
MC Skat Kat
From the golden era of live action/animation crossover (see also: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?), the koolest kat of the 1980s. That flat top!
Tommy the Cat
Why yes, oddball bass overlord Les Claypool did indeed write a song based around the idea of a story narrated by alley-prowlin’ feline bruiser Tommy the Cat. The lyric comes across like a sort of hard-boiled film noir narrative (set to a suitably bonkers bassline, of course), and there’s a curiously compelling poetry to it: “She came slidin’ down the alleyway like butter drippin’ off a hot biscuit. The aroma, the mean scent, was enough to arouse suspicion in even the oldest of Tigers that hung around the hot spot in those days…”
The Holy Fuck cat band
A whole band of cats! Sadly, they don’t have all the weird and wonderful tape machines and other esoteric musical gizmos that Holy Fuck wield with such abandon, but they do drive a mean getaway car.
The mclusky cat band
A suitably awesome and mildly terrifying cat-centric video for Mclusky Do Dallas album opener and serious best-song-under-two-minutes-of-all-time contender “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues.” All together now: “I’m fearful, I’m fearful, I’m fearful of flying/ ANDFLYINGISFEARFULOFMEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”
Whichever cat scratched Ted Nugent
It has a lot to answer for.
Proud owners of a pleasantly palindromic cat-themed moniker and the greatest vaporizer this side of Amsterdam — it looks pretty great to be in Tacocat, to be honest.
Björk’s feline boyfriend
We’re all very glad that the two of them worked it out. The triumph of a heart, indeed. (Also, did anyone else only just realize that 3:56 is where one of the variations on that Business Cat meme that did the rounds a while back came from?)
The Stray Cats
Not actual cats, but the rockabilly rival would never have happened without their feline charms.
True story: I know someone who has a tattoo of this.
Pink Floyd songs aren’t all odes to crushing alienation and political despair, y’know. This Syd Barrett-era ditty is about a Siamese cat called, yes, Lucifer Sam — it’s based on Barrett’s own cat, and originally went by the name “Percy the Rat-Catcher.”
From roughly the same era, Bowie’s “Eight Line Poem” from Hunky Dory contains a lyrical nod to one Clara, who sits and puts her head between her paws. I’m sure I remember reading somewhere that Clara was a cat who belonged to one of Bowie’s old girlfriends, but now can’t find any confirmation of this. (It seems there’s some healthy debate on Bowie forums about it, too.)
Yes, he’s awesome and cute and adorable and has 12,000 Twitter followers, but can we have Pocahaunted back now please?