It’s a good week to be a cat. On Tuesday, they got their first ever cat cafe in North America, Cafe Chat Hereux, which is set to open in Montreal this summer. And on Sunday, they will get their very own marquee Super Bowl counter-programming event: The Kitten Bowl.
That’s right. After years of being relegated to the halftime show of Animal Planet’s beloved bonanza of overloading cuteness, The Puppy Bowl, kittens will finally be the stars of their very own vaguely football-related spectacle for the Hallmark Channel.
This is clearly a natural progression for the world’s most revered cheezburger-cravers. Since the golden days of ancient Egyptian civilization, the Felis silvestris catus has been stealthily and unrelentingly working its way into every facet of our art and culture from wall paintings and sculpture to film, skit comedy and, of course, the internet.
Most recently, cats officially conquered the popular music world. This has been a fairly long-standing campaign on our furry friends’ parts, with its roots dating back to their less than holy alliances with artists like The Cure in the early eighties and Paula Abdul a decade later. Over the past few years, though, the cat infiltration has picked up a lot of steam thanks to relationships and magical dances with Bjork and perfume lines with Katy Perry and even the formation of their very own rock all-cat rock band, The Rock Cats.
To celebrate our feline friends' continuing pop culture victories –- and to appease the creatures who are clearly set to become our future overlords –- we’d like to take a minute to look at our favourite musical cats of all time.
Bjork’s Cat Boyfriend in “Triumph of a Heart”
There’s a moment in the video for “Triumph of a Heart” where Bjork kisses her cat boyfriend and magical special effects start swirling around them. It’s a moment that strikes temporary panic in every cat lover’s heart. “Oh no!” the cat lovers exclaim. “That charming, well-dressed cat had better not turn into a stupid prince!” But the panic is short-lived because this is, after all, a Bjork video. The cat simply grows to man-sized proportions so that he can better dance with his human lover and all is well with the world.
The Cat In Madonna’s "Express Yourself” Video
David Fincher’s "Metropolis"-inspired video for "Express Yourself" features Madonna in lingerie, Madonna in chains, Madonna in less than lingerie and chains, and a number of very well-built half-naked men rolling around in the rain. But all of them are upstaged by the plucky black cat who escapes Madonna's gilded cage and prowls among the working class hunks to find his owner a new boyfriend and maybe help to incite a revolution.
MC Skat Cat
MC Skat Cat was an animated rapping cat who appeared with Paula Abdul in the video for “Opposites Attract.” He attempted to capitalize on that early success with a full-length album called "The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob" in 1991. Sadly, the record was a flop because a pre-Jingle Cats world was not yet ready for such bold musical feline stylings.
The Cat From Meryn Cadell's "Cat Carol"
There is no braver, or more tragic, feline in the history of popular music than the cat at the heart of Canadian writer, singer and performance artist Meryn Cadell's "Cat Carol." If you have any soul at all, this tale of a freezing cat who gives her life to save a mouse on Christmas eve will have you crying more than a few measly diamond tears.
Katy Perry’s self-referentially-named tabby first appeared in her "I KIssed A Girl" video and then made another cameo in the lyric video for "Roar" earlier this year, but she's also been busy behind the scenes as a fragrance muse. Kitty was the inspiration behind Katy's Kitty Purry and Meow perfumes.
The Jingle Cats
The novelty of the Jingle Cats oeuvre – about twenty Christmas melodies recreated with the aid of one thousand different mews and growls – can wear thin really quickly, but the cats themselves were true trailblazers and should be respected as such. Without The Jingle Cats’ groundbreaking contributions to animal music, who knows where Keyboard Cat and The Rock Cats would be today.
The Rock Cats
The Rock Cats are an all-cat band who tour across North America in a Kickstarter-funded party bus for rock star cats. Enough said.
Snacks the Cat
Snacks is far more than a pet to Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino. He is also her muse and her band’s mascot. The Maine Coon can be heard meowing in the background of one of the band’s early demos. He's been featured on their album artwork and even gets a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2010/jul/29/best-coast-inspiration-cats" target="_blank">credit on one record.</a> And he’s the inspiration behind the band’s best merch item: for just $14.99 you, too, can have your very own Snacks. Or a reasonable <a href="http://bestcoast.merchtable.com/accessories/snacks-plush-cat" target="_blank">plush facsimile.</a>
The Cats In Holy Fuck’s “Red Lights” (and all the cats who were forced to watch “Red Lights”)
The only thing better than the video for Holy Fuck’s “Red Lights” – a video in which cats get involved in high speed chases with dogs and play musical instruments in front of fire – is the <a href="http://www.holyfuckmusic.com/contest/" target="_blank">Holy Fuck Cats Watching Cats Contest</a>. Yes, the Canadian electronic band actually held a contest in which they encouraged fans to take pictures of their cats watching the video for “Red Lights.” The real winner was the entirely of the internet.
The Love Cats From “Love Cats”
The video for The Cure’s 1983 hit has a little something for everyone: live cats and kittens for the normal cat lovers; stuffed cats for the weirdos and taxidermy enthusiasts; and people in cat suits for the furries. It was clearly ahead of its time.
Taylor Swift’s Meredith
Taylor Swift's Scottish Fold kitten is probably most famous for her appearance in the "Ours" video, but Meredith’s greatest contribution to pop culture is clearly "Cat Fail," a clip in which she fell off a couch and her mom laughed at her. Swift shared this wonderful video with the world during an appearance on Ellen last year.