Morrissey Put a Cat on His Head for PETA; Five Other Iconic Cat Man Musicians | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Morrissey Put a Cat on His Head for PETA; Five Other Iconic Cat Man Musicians

Cat ladies, gentlemen, and Anglophiles, prepare to die.

PETA unveiled a new advertising campaign yesterday in its Heroes series that, for once, skips controversy. The ad centers on a few elements we can all get behind: The importance of spaying and neutering your pet, an adorable pudgy gray tabby, and, most importantly, Morrissey. More specifically, it features a pudgy gray tabby sitting on Morrissey's head, while the famously moody vegetarian looks, well, famously moody. In keeping with Moz's massive Spanish-speaking fan base, there's even a version en español.

It's clearly no surprise for even the most cursory of his fans. Meat is Murder, after all, is the title of one of his old band the Smiths' best albums, and has, this year, required his band members to wear PETA's "SeaWorld Sucks" T-shirts onstage.

But the choice of a cat rather than a dog for this campaign is intentional -- Morrissey is an avowed cat man. "I'm mystified by cats," he told New Times sister paper the LA Weekly in 2007. "I see a cat and I'm in a trance and the union begins."

Read more about Morrissey's PETA campaign, and about his 30-year-strong vegetarianism in this new interview on the PETA 2 web site. You can also go here to enter a PETA-sponsored contest to win a copy of the new, almost-$500 Smiths box set. But if you really want to get down an internet rabbit hole, check out these other musical icons who are also devoted cat men.

David Bowie
We were basically just looking for an excuse to include this gem. Here's David Bowie with an Abyssinian, a breed whose members are revered, much like Bowie themselves, for their slinky grace and sleek blonde pelt. This is us just reaching now, but there was also that Giorgio Moroder-boosted 1982 song "Cat People." It isn't literally about cats, but it was written for a flick starring Nastassia Kinsky, who plays a woman who turns into a panther when she's sexually aroused. Listen to the song for all the panther sound effects. Meow.

John Lennon
The famous Beatle also owned a few dogs, but he always favored felines, and his cat-owning history is well documented. As a boy, he first owned a cat he named Elvis, and later rescued a stray cat from a show. He and his first wife, Cynthia, eventually accumulated a total of 10 cats. Later, he and Yoko Ono adopted a black and white pair, naming them salt and pepper. Throughout the rest of his life, he owned another four, including an especially doted-upon Russian blue.

Freddie Mercury
The Queen frontman and solo artist was as mad about cats as Lennon, if not more so. In his life, he owned an assortment of cats, many adopted from shelters. He dedicated his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, to his cat family, which then numbered a whopping nine. In fact, take another listen to the Queen album Innuendo, which features the song "Delilah," written for his cat of the same name. Sample lyrics: "You make me so very happy/When you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me/And then you make me slightly mad/When you pee all over my Chippendale suite."

Ian Anderson
Anderson, the creative force behind the great Jethro Tull, is such a cat man that he devotes an entire section of the official Tull site to his writings about the creatures. More specifically, Anderson is a devotee of the Bengal, the exotic-looking wild-domestic hybrid originally bred from the Asian Leopard Cat. For lovers of all breeds, though, Anderson helpfully even penned his own guide for new kitten owners.

Okay, so we really just wanted to resurrect this infamous photo from 2010 of Danzig shopping for cat litter. This was so not a big deal -- devoting yourself to the proper care of a furry friend is a lot more badass than any lyrics about blood or the occult or whatever. Unfortunately, Danzig refused to comment on the photo after the internet shitstorm, leaving us all in the lurch regarding the specific number and types of cats he might own.

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo

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