“We love cats because they do everything society tells us we can’t. We also know that deep down, just like us, cats just want to love and be loved, even if they aren’t that good at showing it.” – From the forward of “Metal Cats“
Perhaps not so unlike someone deep into the metal scene?
Photographed by Alexandra (aka Alex) Crockett, “Metal Cats” features men of the heavy metal world with their incredibly adorable felines. Alex, has been active in the metal community since the age of 15, and had long been taking photographs of friend’s bands while also cat sitting for them.
She found the dynamic between the men in the metal scene and their cats to be interesting and unexpected, and decided it would be a good premise for a book.
For the record, Alex is no stranger to cats herself. She grew up with an orange tabby named Pumpkin, followed by Mittens, and finally Suknukoon with whom she is pictured in her photograph.
The book has been doing well among those both in and out of the metal scene. When I asked Alex about this she replied as follows:
“People who are not part of the demographic are really liking it. I think it’s the dichotomous relationship. Guys who look tough, wearing shirts with graphic images, and screaming lyrics you can’t understand juxtaposed with these cute fuzzy, cuddly cats.”
Why, I enquired, did she think the attraction between metal rockers and felines was so strong and prevalent?
“I think it’s an attraction to the feline personality. When I worked at a veterinary insurance company years ago, a lot of the people I worked with were metal folks. I think a metal guy can relate to the attitude of not giving a shit and being independent. Plus they’re also out on the scene a lot touring and partying, so practically, a cat makes sense.
It it hilarious however, some of the names these cats have been given. We’re talking Fluffy and Princess. There’s nothing quite like hearing these guys cooing to their pets with the cutsiest of names!”
It was entertaining to hear Alex recount stories from the photo shoots. Apparently most of the guys were totally stoked about showing off their cats and told them (the cats) they were going to be famous. They were more excited and concerned with their cat’s fame than their own!
It was truly eye-opening to hear from Alex how many metal dudes participate in cat rescue in one manner or another. Greg from Black Flag has an actually rescue in his home for example. Metal Meowlitia holds benefits to raise money for TNR.
This quote from the book’s foreword sums up the kinship between these seemingly disparate groups rather well:
“History shows us they (cats) have been genuinely misunderstood. While slinking about in the middle of the night and stalking prey into the early hours of the morning might have convinced our medieval ancestors that cats were in league with the devil…The alternative lifestyle of cats is not unlike the alternative lifestyle of heavy metal fans and musicians. in 1985, Tipper Gore and her army of overly concerned parents told us that heavy metal was evil and perpetuated by blood thirsty Satanists.”
Both the Metal Rocker and feline have been ostracized in our society for their strong personalities, lack of caring about what others think, and purported association with the devil at one time or another. Perhaps it isn’t so odd they have a kinship after all.
A portion of the proceeds from Metal Cats (which comes in soft cover and retails for a mere $12.95 on Amazon) will go towards a series of benefit shows along the West Coast raising funds for one no-kill shelter in each city visited.