We Built This Kitty

My husband has a new favorite song. I’ve discussed his taste in music on this blog before as *refers to notes* “late night art college radio youtube mashup supercut lyric-less catchy nonsense of a repetitive hook OR disco OR any song over eight minutes” when he was blasting Mazie’s “dumb dumb” over and over on the living room stereo. And now it’s a different mindlessness song with a catchy beat. Just this morning I put it on over coffee as it started to bubble up in my brain into a blog post. He sat up straight and his eyes got wide as his head started to bob. It’s a hard song to ignore. It’s “Pussycat Meow” by Deee-Lite.

If you live with a cat now or ever, you are familiar with the old as time tradition of Singing To The Cat. Every melody, commercial jingle, thought, chore, and song is a cat song. This song is full of meows and pspspsps’s or smoochie noises or nicknames or anything that pops into your head. Even before I owned a cat (you may remember, he was Cat Of The Year) I would sing to my mother’s cat, Mister, or Suz’s cat, Junot, even as I cleaned his shit off the floor.

One day I woke up singing “we built this kitty/we built this kitty on rock and rolllllll.” The melody stuck so hard out of nowhere. It was, and is, perfection.

So I did what any sane person would do and made a playlist and called it We Built This Kitty.

I love a thematic playlist. It’s what keeps me going. (It me.) I have a covers playlist that is *checks notes* nine and a half hour long (lol). I rarely listen to it, but add to it constantly. There are many more like this. My husband has contributed to We Built This Kitty more than I have and because I rarely stumble upon a kitty song, I’m now shocked to see it’s over an hour long and pleased to see “I Will Follow Him” on there. Love it. If you have any kitty-themed songs, please drop them in the comments. @ me.

“Pussycat Meow” pops. It literally meows, as all cat songs should. And it fits my husband’s criteria of a perfect song: a repetitive dance beat full of nonsense because, like he reminds me, meaning is meaningless. If you need a song to sing to your cat or the cat your babysitting, it’s “Pussycat Meow” and the chorus is “kiss me/you fool/kiss me!/you fool/purrrrrr.” It’s a boop on a wet nose and a swish-swishing tail. And if you aren’t dancing to “Pussycat Meow” you have no soul.

Deee-Lite was a house and dance group best known for “Groove Is In The Heart.” I had it on cassette and for some idiot reason got rid of my tapes. (RIP my see-through orange Nickelodeon tape of the Ren & Stimpy Christmas special soundtrack. *SCREAMS* oh my god, you guys, it’s on YouTube. My childhood!!!! Although I was not allowed to watch Ren & Stimpy as a kid because it was deemed not appropriate and too gross. I knew the content because of this tape but I recently watched it for, really, the first time ever by way of a friend’s Paramount+ login, and I cannot believe how disgusting it is, how creative it is, how thick the satire is, and then I’m disappointed to remember the creator, John Kricfalusi, has been accused of of grooming and being a sexual predator. All men! What a fucking bummer ya’ll are.) I thought I had it on vinyl but just discovered that the disc is their 1990 record, Power Of Love. Not sure where it came from but I cherish it.

I was more pleased to learn in the research for this post that Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite is a political activist, among many other things, and hosted galleries and fundraisers for Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential election. We literally love to see it. World Clique (1990) is a perfect record, if such a thing can exist. (Thoughts?) As an adult revisiting it years later (years ago from this writing), I instantly recognized Q-Tip’s voice in the bridge rap of “Groove Is In The Heart” which I can now easily declare the first hip-hop I heard as a kid (preceding Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) that my eldest sister had on CD, of course).

And I bet “Groove Is In The Heart” (the official video has 73 million views) provided an introduction to hip-hop to many more suburban white girls upon its release and since. But now that I’m a full ass adult I can say I’ve graduated to “Pussycat Meow.” Because we built this kitty, we built this kitty on rock AND roll.