Flashback Friday – Soundtrack for Violence

originally published in August of 2020

Sound Track for Violence

A shelter for cats I’m familiar with plays music to calm and entertain the felines and two-legged staff. Researchers have composed music that they say cats appreciate. I knew this years ago. My current cat Xenia could care less about what your mp3 player is pumping out. Our dignified black cat Smidgen, enjoyed folk music played on my guitar, but my old gray cat Clancy had particular tastes in music- Warren Zevon.

Lawyers Guns and Money, Excitable Boy, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, especially Werewolves of London (…draw blood…), and many others were on his favorite playlist. He would spend time with the Grateful Dead, Lynard Skinner, or the Stones, but his perpetual favorite was Zevon. As in many things relating to Clancy, drawing blood was a ritualized aspect of his musical appreciation. Yes, listening to Zevon was a combat sport for him.
You’d slide the cassette into the tape deck and start it up like this. Within a few minutes into the room, Clancy would march. He would either jump onto the bed, desk, or his favorite Windsor chair. He’d take a deep breath and let it out while standing on his hind legs. This prep was his challenge to you to come and get beat up. Your job was to avoid the lightning ripostes of his paws. As the music played, he tired of using just the claws and would attempt a whole-body tackle of your arm with all four legs and a toothy mouth. Your task was to thwart this by lightning strikes of your own. Touching lightly on his body or the back of his head, frustrating his attempts to slash you. Laugh while doing this, and you have made the fatal error of insulting his prowess.

Now he leaps for you, and it becomes a wrestling match, with his objective being to immobilize your arm while he brings his hind legs into position to rabbit-kick you. You will lose the soon-to-be bloody contest if you have been so incautious to engage him wearing only short sleeves.

If you have avoided the clinch, you can step back while he plans the next assault. The song ends, and Clancy calmly licks your blood off his claws – mmmm, O negative, an excellent vintage. If you have erred and won this contest for some reason, Clancy’s honor requires an instant rematch. Get the bouncy balls out quickly, and challenge him to a round of slapshot Cat Hockey* in the kitchen.

You might yet avoid a trip to the emergency room.

*See my post on Cat Hockey for how this game works https://loucarrerascarver.c

8 Replies to “Flashback Friday – Soundtrack for Violence”

  1. My kitty, Andy, is comfortable with Gamelan orchestras and Baroque opera, though Mozart seems on his table, too. He seems less comfortable with contemporary music, though his “likes” probably are mostly a matter of what he heard as a kitten.

    I don’t think any music style amuses animal for long since their brains, according to science, process music differently than ours. I wonder, could Andy’s apparent favorites be suggestive of birdsong to a cat?

      1. Ill have to try so other music forms. I think Miles Davis’ style of Jazz might amuse Andy! It has a kind of organic, spaced quality that might be bird-like to a cat. Hip hop? I don’t think so. Rock and roll? No.

      2. LOL! For the late Miles Davis, I would have gone myself and let my “Kool Kat” stay at home. I have lots of his recordings. I’ll see if Andy gets any thrill from this music.

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