Craig’s List: 5 Reasons Why Cats Make Excellent Studio Peripherals
Maybe the song "Nashville Cats" was about...cats
by Craig Anderton
1) They help with computer maintenance, because they understand it better than you. Cats know that dust kills computers, and it breaks their little feline hearts when you don’t do sufficient dust control. Besides, if your computer-based gig goes down in flames, bye-bye tuna Meow Mix. So they shed, which means you’ll get out the vacuum and clean up their fur—thus tricking you into reducing dust levels in the studio. Clever kitty!
2) They’re masters of 12-tone composition. Buy one of those laser pointers, like executives use for PowerPoints when they want to look like they actually know something. Then, place your keyboard controller on the floor. Aim the laser pointer at the keyboard, move the pointer around erratically, and bingo! Arnold Shoenberg on methedrine.
3) Cats help you discover new and exciting keyboard shortcuts. Fluffy jumps up on your computer keyboard, and makes a vocal disappear...or quantizes everything to the didgeridoo part, which she then erases. How did she do that?!? Keyboard shortcuts, of course. Observe and learn.
4) They extend the life of devices that produce heat. Cats lie down on things that are warm. Are they cold? No! They’re doing you a big favor by providing a secondary heat sink as they absorb component life-shortening heat into their bodies. But don’t push it—I don’t recommend applying thermal compound paste between your cat and, say, a power amp. It’s hard to remove from the power amp.
5) Black plague? No worries! I don’t mean the death metal band that keeps wanting to book time, but the Real Deal that decimated Europe in the Middle Ages. The people who killed cats for being presumed agents of satan got overrun with rats, whichfunctioned as a mobile Motel 6 for Oriental rat fleas carrying the plague. Oopsies! Unintended consequences. Meanwhile, the farmers who blew off satan and kept their cats didn’t die, thus avoiding…uh…cataclysmic results. Meow!
Craig Anderton is Editorial Director of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.