I often wonder whether I could handle taking care of another living creature. People all over the world have cats, but to me that seems like an impossible responsibility. I can barely decide where to go for lunch, and now I have to be in charge of another creature’s lunch? Do cats even eat lunch? Why is my toilet overflowing? Who’s that person chasing me? Life is full of conundrums!
So, when my friend Alex asked me to catsit for her, I naturally said yes. This would be a great way to determine whether my terrible life decisions would negatively impact the life of a cat. I recently read that cats exposed to tobacco products are twice as likely to get cancer. I don’t smoke, which is great for me and any cats that may be in the vicinity, but I do listen to some pretty questionable music. Alex said I could play anything and everything I wanted for Kali (named after the Hindu goddess of destruction), and thus determine whether my music might be an issue for my potentially cat-filled future.
When the catsitting night arrived, I settled in with some snacks and a playlist, ready to see for myself what effects my music would have on this feline. Here’s a genre-by-genre recap.
Kali actually did get active when this song came on. She seemed ready to party, even though I wasn’t providing any glow sticks, retina-melting laser shows, or feline friends. Just music. For me, a party where nobody shows up is pretty normal, but Kali may have been expecting something more. Sorry, Kali.
Rating: 3/5 paws
“Ah, trap music,” I said. As soon as Kali heard the words “trap music,” she was up and out of the room. Kali hates trap music! Kali, what’s the problem? You don’t like this dope-ass trap music? Kali, come back! I’m twerking!
Maybe cats don’t like to watch me twerk.
Rating: 1/5 paws
When Kali heard the bouncy vocal harmonies that sounded like hyperactive chipmunks, she zoomed right back into the room I was playing the music in, delighted to immerse herself in the sound. I flashed back to an earlier conversation when Alex had told me, “She likes voices.”
“The voices of nightmarish beings from beyond our dimension, commanding her to kill?” I’d asked.
“No. Human voices.”
Rating: 5/5 paws
Kali stared at the speaker, motionless. Was she annoyed by this song that looks back on the wreckage of a failed relationship with regret and despair? Weird, because it’s kind of my personal anthem.
Rating: 3/5 paws
Behold, the common housecat in her natural habitat.
Now let’s watch as the cat experiences dubstep for the first time. Let... the beat... drop.
Rating: 4/5 paws
What have we learned here? Cats have very strong opinions and nuanced feelings about music. Or maybe cats don’t give a shit and humans project their own feelings onto their cats. Look, this was not a peer-reviewed study. I may or may not be qualified to own a cat. My questionable music choices didn’t cause any problems for Kali, but choosing to smoke can have a big impact. So play whatever music you’re into, but remember, smoking kills pets.
Kali thanks you.
Thanks for checking out my little experiment. If you have a cat, why not try your own experiment? Kali would approve.
Tony Carnevale is a senior writer for Studio@Gawker.