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Musicians Tell Us All About Their Pets

Though their contributions rarely receive credit, pets have played their part across pop history. Think about it: Paul McCartney and his sheepdog Martha, Kate Bush and her hounds, Miley and her doomed husky Floyd, Taylor Swift and her cats, the list goes on. An animal’s presence can offer comfort, laughter, inspiration, or annoyance, and earning a pet’s affection can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Naturally, those emotions can’t help but bleed into an artist’s work.

But owning a pet is also a great responsibility, and for musicians who spend much of their time on the road, bringing a furry friend into the family can lead to difficulties. What do you do with the little critter while on tour? Can it come along? If so, how? Will it be forced to stay in the car or bus? Will the music be too loud? Are your bandmates or crew allergic? If your pal has to stay home, who will feed and watch it? And what if your pet hides under the bed every time you try to demo a new song for them?

Behind many great musicians exists a great pet, but since the animals can’t speak for themselves, we asked their humans to tell us a bit about their favorite furry friends.

Waka Flocka Flame and Angel

Who is your pet’s favorite musician?

Me. Everytime I play my music she runs around the house trying to bite people.

Which of your songs was inspired by your pet?  

“Big Dawg”—she’s so small but she makes big dawg decisions.

What is one of your favorite memories of your pet?  

When she ate my edibles by accident. It was funny—but scary too.

Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline and Joe

How has your pet inspired your music?

Joe was in the room with me a lot when I recorded my first songs—that’s him breathing in the background—so I considered him a band member. He used to sing along to certain chords, especially weird dissonant ones! I wrote him some love songs and later, when he died, I wrote some sad songs about it.

When is a time when you thought your pet could read your mind?  

I was really sick with a fever once and I remember waking up thinking my mom was putting a cold towel on my head, but it was just Joe licking my head. He probably mostly thought about food though, if I’m being honest. And more deeply, I think he wondered a lot about where people were going, because he was pretty scared of being left alone.

What is a favorite memory of your pet?  

Just how he was ready to hang with me every day when I came home from school.

Girl Talk, Wally, and Chloe

Do your pets like listening to your music?  

Both of them are indifferent toward my music, but my cat Chloe loves being in the mix while I’m working. She’ll lay with her stomach pressed up against the back of the laptop for hours, fading in and out of sleep. And when she’s not sleeping, she’s masterful at unplugging hard drives and knocking over beverages.

Who is your cat’s favorite band?  

Chloe is uninterested in anything outside of Collective Soul.

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