No-Flush It Friday: Cats. They’re Metal as AF.
This Friday we’re discussing something that can never be flushed: cats. And why are they so gosh darned popular among metalheads? (The answer might shock you!) The header image is my BandCamp profile avatar, which features a cat who has sadly left this earthly plane about a month ago, but one who was so life-affecting that I cannot bear to change it. Marcel taught me a lot in the six months he was in my foster care yet his legacy shall live on forever in the digital ether.
So I’ve lost two amazing cats in the year 2020 (as if we needed more reasons for this year to be flushed down the filthiest toilet ov hell…) and the memory of each still weighs heavily on my soul when I peruse old photos of either of them on my phone or look up at photos tacked onto my cubicle wall. The first was Biscuit back in February, who was incredibly tough to get over as he was with me for the final seven of his eight years of life. The solution to my suffering? Fostering somebody else in his place, in which we meet Marcel (pictured above). Marcel was diagnosed with an enlarged heart within two weeks of fostering, which meant he was “running on borrowed time”. It was six or seven months later that he would breathe his final breath in one of the more harrowing weekends of my life… but my oh my how wonderful those months were. And finally, in Marcel’s passing I have recently adopted a wonderful guy named Caesar, who is still adjusting to his new home and will surely find it a welcoming environment sooner rather than later.
But that brings me to a question: why do metalheads enjoy the presence of cats so much? After a few weeks of pondering this very idea, I have come up with three primary reasons:
1) Cats know what they want in life. Just as we know we want some double-bass pedal action and downtuned guitars, cats know which foods and activities they enjoy and what environment in which to lounge and and/or sleep. Marcel wanted chicken and to be left alone, both of which he received plenty and made him as content* as a cat could be. And just as you had better not play any fucking Shinedown on the radio, a cat won’t let you come grab it and hold it and do whatever you choose to it. The cat has needs and you’d better provide them, or you’re going to
have a bad time.
2) Cats will take their time warming up to you, it’s not an instant friendship. Just as you might bump into somebody continually at local metal shows, wearing a band t-shirt of a genre the same as your own t-shirt, but who will only nod their head to you at first but take months of attending the same shows before asking you what your name is; so will cats acclimate to their caretaker at their own pace. There have been so many times in life (pre-pandemic) when I would approach a rando out in public wearing a cool metal t-shirt, only to be shunned and treated like I was breaking some sort of established code by sparking up a normal conversation with somebody whom I’d never met before. If you’re a cat person, you are well aware that you cannot run up to a cat and start giving him or her love, you have to coax said cat to come to you (if he or she feels like it). But when that affection is earned over time, it pays off in dividends. Which brings me to the next bullet point:
3) Once a relationship is established, cats will provide some of the most rewarding experiences you could ever want in life. Listen, there’s a reason that the humans who take care of multiple cats are labeled “crazy cat person” and it’s because the people who use that term do not fucking understand the mind of a cat person: the relationship is completely alien to them! And to them I say the following: good riddance, as you wouldn’t appreciate the relationship we have anyway (just like with the metalheads with whom you converse at live shows or on a music blog). Those people don’t have the patience or the time and effort to put into forging such a rewarding relationship. When you call a cat’s name, and he/she trots up and rubs against your legs, it’s just pure bliss. When a cat positions its chin right next to your hand expecting to be scratched, you know you’ve earned its trust. It’s not difficult to earn trust with a dog (at least most of them) as they understand that humans are their masters. With cats we are absolutely not their masters, in fact it could be described as the opposite. From a hierarchical standpoint, they’re above us, if not equal. When I have to tell one of my cats (past or present) that it did something wrong it looks at me like, who in the fuck do you think you are? We have an established relationship and you’re violating it.
* Marcel was photographed here living his best life, which was hanging outside while I grilled food for the neighbors:
RIP buddy. You really set the bar for cat awesomeness. Your memory shall live forever on a music blog named after an inside joke by a MetalSucks commenter named RiotAct666.
Are you a metalhead who values the enriching relationship with some adorable felines? Or am I just another crazy cat person? Share your thoughts in this No-Flush Friday with some Good, Bad, and Ugly. And if you post photos of your own miniature tigers, they will be greeted with multiple updoots. But before you do, don’t forget to check out some of the greatest hits of this week.
GoatForest gave us a cock-eyed (pun courtesy of IGoM) look at the new Anaal Nathrakh:
Karhu gave us more roundups than a Monsanto plant this month:
BSG made us all weakeners with pop-punk from The Superweaks:
What is this…reviews for ants???