Are Records with Cats on the Cover Objectively More Awesome?
My girlfriend collects many things: folk records, vintage troll dolls, and records with cats on the cover. I've always accepted and enjoyed her eccentricities for what they are, but I recently decided to confront her on her collection of cat records. When asked, "Why do you collect records with cats on them?" she casually but confidently replied, "Well, most records with cats on them are awesome." We turned off the television, flipped the turntable on and began investigating the validity of this bold claim. Here's what we came up with:
So So Many White White Tigers [Weird Forrest Records, 2008]
The cover of this San Francisco picture disc release will have you saying "Awwww" for about 15 minutes before you even throw it on your turntable. Once you're over that and you make your way to the actual music, you'll hear some female-fronted indie punk, which may remind you of an overly-excited Karen O meets a somewhat-tame Wendy O. Pretty Awesome.
Telekinesis - "Dirty Thing" b/w "Non-Toxic" [Merge, 2010]
Who doesn't love a good picture of a mangy kitty cat shooting lasers from his eyes? I think the image on the cover may even be strong enough to sum up an entire generation of late '00s indie rockers. With that said, the record may sound somewhat predictable, but a straight-forward male-fronted indie rock with swirling guitars and a comforting percussion section can be difficult to dislike.
Pussycat - Mississippi [EMI, 1975]
The kitty cat photo collage on the cover of this mid-'70s Dutch country single could get any cat lover to foam on command. Sadly, the music is plain awful and the group's sound is embarrassingly dated. This is the kind of record that a hundred scummy dealers could move at record convention just based on the tantalizing cover. Be forewarned: This record is not awesome.
Dead Dog S/T [Mauled By Tigers Records, 2008]
"Check out this pussy" is what the cover star of the self-titled LP by Athens, Georgia's Dead Dog screams to me, and so I did. The record, which includes a cover of Daniel Johnston's "Hate Song," is pleasingly melodic and satisfyingly sloppy from start to finish. It's purrrr-fect!
Blink 182 - Cheshire Cat 
In all fairness, my girlfriend did not have this record in her collection, but it deserved a mention. There's a good chance she owned a CD-R of it in her tweenage years, but it's something we've thankfully never discussed. This record does deserve a mention, however, as it illustrates just how NOT AWESOME a cat-related album could be.
The Midwest Beat - Back to Mono [Dusty Medical Records, 2008]
Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Midwest Beat greet potential listeners with a single containing album art which features a drawing of an anthropomorphic cat with a thousand yard stare. The music video for the song doesn't stray far from this concept by also showcasing some furry critters in an all-too-fitting stop animation short. The cats and these concept work perfectly together, adding the "Back to Mono" seven-inch single to the list of awesome records.
Superchunk - No Pocky For Kitty [Matador, 1991]
Although the presence of a cat on the cover of this classic early-'90s indie LP is subtle, this record definitely goes down in history as a, loud pioneering indie rock release. The album is so good, in fact, I believe there are currently multiple copies of it in our home. Like cats, I can't help but to pick one up and take her home every time I come across one.
Verdict: Most records with cats on them ARE awesome. I guess she was right…
Jeff's girlfriend totally put him up to this. Follow him on Twitter - @jeffogiba