Pictures of cats and blogging are a cliche — but that cliche happens to be true. And it extends down the long tail (ahem, so to speak) to our little niches. Yes, there really is a blog dedicated to pictures of cats and synths. Not weirded out yet? Via Matrixsynth earlier this month (and evidently not an April Fool’s joke), someone has made a tatoo. Very … uh, meta.

Good grief; the cats have already started making tutorials:


Assembling electronic beats, starring Convoy — a slide show

So, my question is, where are the synth and computer music dogs? Dachshunds on Moogs? Labrodoodles on Ableton Live?

And, yes, in case you’re wondering, I’m stalling today so I can get other work done. But if I had a dog, I’d contribute.

Rowlf the Dog, from the Muppets, has to at least start this out. Occasionally, he traded his acoustic grand or upright for a keyboard like the Arp Odyssey, as seen on Flickr. That’s my kind of dog:

Got some canine friend who helps you get through your productions? Let us know.

  • Michael Una

    That cat synth tattoo comes from this YTMND meme:

    http://imonurkeebored.ytmnd.com/ http://catinspace.ytmnd.com/ http://iseedakitty.ytmnd.com/ http://coakmurder.ytmnd.com/

    It has apparently been played out by the YTMND peoples, but that original image is still awesome.

  • anon

    I'd probably think that this is as cool as all the rest of you sheep do, if I wasn't so concerned with the ever-present theme among these photos, of complete neglect for the welfare of the cats.

    They're not fucking toys.

    A top example that I have brought up before is that pic of that kitten with a vocoder mic in it's mouth. Do you think that the cat can discern between a mic cable and a power cable? Do you think it's safe for a cat to chew on a power cable? So if you wouldn't encourage it to chew on a power cable, why would you encourage it to chew on something that is, for all the cat knows, the same thing?

    Because the people who take these pics have their heads so far up their own arses that all they care about is their shot.

    And just to pre-empt the idiots that would attempt to discredit my post by implying it, no, I'm not trolling, I am genuinely concerned for the cats. What I'm trying to do here is not to flame or get flames, it is to foster an environment where people take a few moments to consider someone other than themselves. Yaknow, just for a change…

  • bliss

    The vocoder is not in the cat's mouth. My cats chewed my MIDI cables and speaker cables and power cables and whatever else they fancied all the time and they lived happily ever after. Cat's don't need encouragement. They do what they damn well please.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Hey, I love animals. That means I enjoy animals being safe and alive. Most of my cat-owning friends, though, have more danger to their equipment caused by the cats than the other way around.

    As I was saying, any dog people? No?

    Maybe dog people don't feel the need for animal + equipment shots; I don't know. :)

  • anon

    bliss, you're right, they don't need encouragement at all. I must have fixed my puppy-chewed sprinkler system 10000 times. What they need is discouragement, and the lack of it is what I am ranting about.

    And sure I agree that there is a far greater likelihood that the synth will come out worse off in a tangle with a cat, synths can be repaired, and a cats welfare cannot, therefore the risk is far greater. Even if this were not the case, there's no excuse for putting the cat at unnecessary risk, no matter how small it may be.

    Look most of them are fine…but when the few that aren't, like where the cat has been posed like it's some kind of prop or put in a potentially dangerous position, all for our amusement…and then nobody speaks up about it, or even seems to notice… I feel it is my responsibility to mention it. Cats are cool animals, it's clear that the peeps taking these snaps like their cats, I don't think they mean any harm, it's just ignorance. Now they know, I doubt anything will change, but I've done my bit.

    I reckon there are a few reasons we don't see dog pics – dogs are generally heavier and rougher and droolier, and mostly can't get to the height of the synth gear to get in the shot… they probably wouldn't do much once they got there either, unlike the playful felines :)

  • http://www.rekkerd.org loops

    I think cats are more curious with regards to electronic equipment.

    This dutch blogger (of recent "iPod flash memory mod" fame) has a cat named Bates that literally walked into his apartment and hasn't left since. The cat is interested in all the geeky things he does (just check some of the posts on his site and you'll see the cat in every other image).

  • fly*

    Lol…Anon…do you actually own any cats ???

    Trust me, they dont need any encouragement to crawl into any seemingly dodgy and unsafe place…its in their nature…

    Ever heard the saying "curosity killed the cat" ??? or " a cat has 9 lives" ??? …these all came out way before peeps started taking snaps of their cats dozing on their incredibly dangerous music gear… ;o)

    Why do cats sleep on your gear ??? cos its warm you fool….why do they stand on the keyboard of your laptop while you are working ??? cos they want attention….and why do they chew on vocoder mics ??? cos they can… :o P

    In the big bad world called nature, our little furry cute felines are off hunting and ripping the heads of mice and other small creatures…trust me…im sure they can handle the so called "rough treatment" you are implying ;o)

    My best suggestion….get a cat and you'll understand…but until then…shut up and stop making a fool of yourself…

    And why no dogs on synth pics ??? are you going to let that mad assed boxer or drooling bull mastiv into your studio ??? I think not….even a little dachshund can spell chaos….they are just way too excitable…..cats have a way cooler temperament and goldfish are hardly as much fun ;o)

  • .:TwickSisted:.

    Last thing you want is cats in your studio… my girlfriends cats used to pee all over my synths, pc, racks!

    The worst is getting it off your cables… its oily greasy and really honks!

  • -J-

    My fiancee and I have 7 cats. Yes, seven. And two dogs. And I have a lot of gear laying around the "studio" room in our house.

    As for cats chewing on unsafe things…well, most anyone with cats usually cat-proofs their house to the degree possible. But, clever/bored cats will find ways to entertain themselves no matter what, so you simply adjust accordingly.

    As for the cats and my gear, there's a reason they're not allowed in the studio room without me. (One exception: our one cat with a compromised immune system, who never chews on things, is sometimes quarantined in there. She likes it when we do that!) If they did curl up and take a nap on top of one of my synths, though, I'd undoubtedly take a few pictures before relocating them to the couch!

    Anyway, my fiancee and I have several years working/volunteering in the animal welfare field (all of our cats were unwanted in one way or another), and I know we bend over backwards to make sure they're taken care of. Same with the dogs (I'm really a dog person!).

  • -J-

    The dogs-n-gear question: there are two reasons I can see why you don't tend to see dog/audio-equipment pictures.

    1) Dogs, on average, are much bigger than cats! My dog (the one I had before meeting fiancee) weighs about 90 lbs and isn't the most graceful beast ever, so having her near my gear is dangerous to the gear! And, generally speaking, cats can navigate around a cramped studio space far better than most dogs.

    2) Cats are curious, and like to check things out, sniff, explore, etc. Dogs mostly sleep or want to know why you're not paying attention to them and/or feeding them. Generally they could care less about your musical instruments…

    Also, my dogs are usually frightened or upset by the sounds that musical instruments make, but that's a by-animal sort of thing…

    I'll have to see if I can get a shot of my fat mutt rockin' the Casio.

  • Anonomo

    I blame Wendy Carlos for starting all this cats in the synth studio obsession…

  • anon

    fly*, uhhh.. Did you read my post, right before yours, where I said "they don’t need encouragement at all. … What they need is discouragement"?

    I know what cats are like, I've had two, and my neighbours come and visit regularly, and like -J- I worked in animal welfare, as well as having studied traditional chinese medicine for cats, and the effects of cats on native wildlife here in .au where they are introduced pests.

    Their predatory expertise in the wild, while totally awesome, has no relevance to their ability to operate a human's tools in the home. You talk about the big bad world of nature like it's similar and it's not. Cats have evolved mechanisms to protect themselves in the wild, like say, not chewing on a certain poisonous plant because they know the smell, but electronics have only been around for a short time and they have not developed the ability to figure out what's dangerous and what's not, that's why you need to do it for them.

    I know a bit about cats, and you're making a moot point. I wonder who's making a fool of themselves here :P

    Whether they can handle it or not does not negate the duty of care that you undertake when your family includes a cat. Like -J- said, you do what you can, and adjust accordingly. It's not like it's a massive adjustment to pull the cat away from the mic and say "no".

    The problem is that people clearly have the first priority of getting the cute shot and the welfare of the animal is secondary. Sure it will chew on the mic "because it can", and you should actively discourage it for the cat's safety – if for no other reason than "because you can". Is it really that hard?

  • fly*

    Anon, stop being such a funsucker and enjoy the pics… :o )

  • bliss

    We're all aware of the cat in the used bookstore scenario, but I didn't become aware of the cat in the music studio scenario until the Internet happened. My first 4-track studio coincided with two kittens setting up shop in my apartment. I was surprised to see how prevalent it is. Anyway, I did have to discourage the two furballs from jumping on the kitchen table and getting into things that they shouldn't be in, but I never had to warn them about the stove. It seemed as if they somehow just knew that was a bad place for them to be. But, yeah, just enjoy the pics. It's not like kitty has its paw jammed into a power strip.

  • anon

    Yeh, you're right, I'm sorry for sucking all the fun out of animal neglect. Let's just all ignore it and enjoy the pics.

    Look at the pretty kitty, awwwwwwww. Everybody; 1, 2, 3…

    Awwwwwwwww.

  • blueshifter

    Anon… I KNOW you high!

    Happy 420, dude.