Monday, June 18, 2007

The Cat and the Chorus Pedal

I know this is more than a week out of date, but here goes anyway...

A plot point in the last episode of "The Sopranos" revolved around a rather spooky cat, who gives Paulie dyspepsia by staring at a photo of the departed Christopher -- even after it's been moved to another place. "The abstract shapes, or something," Tony says unconvincingly.

Tell you, cats do bizarre stuff.

Our Paco, long departed now, had a truly weird affection for a piece of guitar equipment I owned. I didn't have a dedicated room for music in our old Takoma Park place, back in the Eighties, and I used to park my Strat in the dining room. My little Fender Eighty-Eight amp was there, and I had a Boss Stereo Chorus stompbox on the floor.

I'd come home to find the cat curled up around the chorus pedal. Sleeping right on top of it, huddled around it like it was a teddy bear. It couldn't possibly have been a comfortable thing -- it was a metal box, an inch-and-a-half high and maybe five inches by three. Twiddly-dials sticking out of the top surface.

This wasn't even close to a unique, one-time-only thing. The cat loved the goddamned chorus pedal. Every day I'd come home, and there'd be Paco, curled up around this thing, purring gently and probably dreaming about catching and devouring Andy Summers.

It ran on a nine-volt battery; it wasn't as it it was warm or anything. I can't imagine it was emitting any kind of pleasurable vibration -- it felt like a cold little steel box to me.

I'll never be able to explain it.


Annapolitan said...

Only cats know the allure of weird sleeping surfaces. My Lucy loves my laser printer. Check Flickr and you'll see thousands of dozing cats draped over all sorts of strange things.

I admire their ability to give themselves up to sleep in such weird positions and places. Humans? We need the right mattress, the right ambient surroundings. Cats? Any (semi)horizontal surface will do.

Anonymous said...

Cats have a crude yet effective (and often obnoxious) system for detecting the center of the prevailing vibe, and an insistent way of being there.

Beatnik: "Cool cat"

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Yeah, you need to set th' rate lower, around 11 o'clock, and th' feedback in the middle. They usually back off then.

It's a proven fact:

-cats: chorus

-dogs: flange

-mice and birds: phase

-mongeese: tremolo

-gazelles: envelope filter.

Danelectro makes a Cool Cat chorus pedal. It's creamy.

blue girl said...

mongeese: tremolo


Will Divide said...

A wampus cat, now very rare, no doubt about it.

Kevin Wolf said...

Neddie, did you not do the obvious thing and ask the cat, why? Or were you not on speaking terms?

glue birl said...

Off topic. That's me! But, it's Bobby Lightfoot's fault.

What song is the word tremelo in?

Is it a Cars' song?

cleek said...

yeah, Cars: Moving In Stereo. see Fast Time At Ridgemont High.

my cats only likes the cables... especially my nice blue Whirlwind cloth-wrapped cable.

Neddie said...

Neddie, did you not do the obvious thing and ask the cat, why?

I did nothing but ask the cat why. Do you think I got an answer? No-ho-ho! Just that enigmatic and coolly contemptuous stare.

Not a song, but -- the group that did pass the Decca audition and were chosen instead of the Beatles was Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.

David Harmon said...

This may be simpler than you imagine -- the box probably smelled like you (particularly, your shoes). Most cats pick clothing or such of their owners.

EmployeeoftheMonth said...

The Return of Stinkfoot's Stompbox

Derryl Murphy said...

Tremelo is also the name of an album (although not a song) by Canadian band Blue Rodeo. I don't recall if they did any songs about cats.


Gray Lensman said...

I think it has to do with electrical current. A friend had a tomcat (of four cats she owned) chew through three mouse cables on her Mac in the old serial mouse days. Her iMac uses USB to talk to the mouse and the same cat ignores it completely. Maybe there was a tiny short circuit in the stompbox and the cat sensed it.

For what it's worth...

glue birl said...

For what it's worth...

Hey, is that a song? I think that's a song.

cleek said...

there's something happening here. what it is ain't exactly clear.

with the cat and the chorus, i mean.