iTuned In: Goodbye, Phoenix …

Mr. Brooks had to put his cat down this week. For years it was one of those silent, unsociable cats that spent all day hiding in bedsheets, behind the entertainment center or under a couch, so we weren’t exactly best buddies. I never called it by its actual name—partly because it was named Phoenix, which can be confusing to people when you live in Phoenix (“So, this weekend Phoenix got outside and they spent a few hours looking for it”) and partly because Cat/Your Cat worked just as well: “Where do you think you’re going, Cat?” would freeze it in its tracks when I caught it creeping into one of the No Cat Zones in the house. A few years ago when Mr. Brooks started spending every other week out of town, I took over feeding responsibilities, which led to a grudging mutual acceptance—bringing something food twice a day tends to make it like you more.

Now all the leftover cat food is at the neighbors’ house — we’re removing all the accountrements of pet ownership so Mr. Brooks doesn’t have reminders around — and the litterbox is around the corner, out of sight and waiting for the trash man. Every once in a while I still think I hear it yowling for food, though.

So in one last nod to my nemesis, five songs in my iTunes library that refer to cats.

1. “All Cats Are Grey,” The Cure. (Video here.)

2. “Honky Cat,” Elton John. (Video of live show here.)

3. “Psychic Cat,” Kelli Ali. (Sample the track on Pandora here.) When I was on my first trip to Hawaii, I kept seeing the video for “Play With Bootsy” a lot, so I went back and did a little research on the guest artist, who used to be lead singer of Sneaker Pimps. (Remember “6 Underground”?)

4. “The Siamese Cat Song” from “Lady and the Tramp.” (Video here.) One of those Disney songs that got flagged for racial insensitivity years later.

4. “Devil Woman,” Cliff Richard. (Stream track for free here.) “I’ve had nothing but bad luck since the day I saw that cat at my door.” This is one of those songs that completely fell off my radar until I heard it on satellite radio. This was one of the first 45s that I bought; if my math is right, I was 6 years old at the time. Back then “my own money” was reserved for two things: records and Marathon candy bars.

WHAT SAM WORE: 05-15-10

The shirt: University of Montana T-shirt, a gift from Mr. Brooks for the holidays and as a thank-you for picking him up at the airport.
The shorts: Camouflage print cargo shorts by Mossimo, from Target.
The shoes: Slip-on canvas sneakers by Converse.
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