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Tattle Tails with Catey Shaw

Tattle Tails Catey Shaw

By Laura Drucker

Catey Shaw may be new to the music scene, but the L.A.-based singer and producer is embracing the challenge and enjoying the ride. Her 2016 album, The Ransom EP, scored big with pop lovers for its infectious sound and take-no-prisoners attitude. Now, Shaw is hard at work finding inspiration for her next album, spending her days with some very special fans: her cats, Taco and Fern. We caught up with Shaw to learn more about the important role her kitties play in her life.

Singer Catey Shaw sitting on couch with her two cats

TAILS: Let’s talk about your cats! What are they like?
Shaw: They’re brother and sister. They were adopted as kittens from a TNR [trap-neuter- return] program in Bushwick. They’re a little over a year old, and they’re super cute—they play all day. Taco is almost like a dog, he’s very sociable and lets people hold him upside down and rub his belly. And then Fern is more of a cat’s-cat. They’re best friends.

Why did you decide to adopt two cats at once?
I hadn’t considered getting two, but I went to the store that took in the kittens, and I started visiting with them. I was talking with one of the women [who worked there] and she was saying how it’s much better for them to be together, and that I probably wasn’t going to get one if I didn’t take both.

There’s the kicker.
Yeah, exactly. They were just adorable, and you could tell they were friends. So I adopted both.

What was it like when you brought them home?
At the time I was living with my ex-girlfriend, and our roommate had a big puppy and I had a pet lovebird. So there were a lot of animals in the house. The cats were scared of the dog, and my bird was terrified of them, so there was a whole food chain.

Do you still have your lovebird?
She passed away in December. I moved away from Brooklyn and she died that same day.

My mom had lovebirds when I was little. I learned about how smart they are and really wanted one, so for my birthday my senior year of high school she got me [my lovebird] Ketchup. When I used to perform in the subway she would sit on my shoulder as I played my ukulele and the trains moved by—she loved it.

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Fern (left) and Taco

What made you decide to get cats?
When I moved to Brooklyn I had a roommate who had this wonderful cat named Froggy. I had never met a cat like her before. I just fell in love. When my roommate moved away I was devastated. There was this void when Froggy moved out, and I got the idea to get a cat. I never looked back.

You adopted Taco and Fern with your ex-girlfriend. What was it like during your break-up?
It was pretty awful. My ex offered to keep them while I figured out my move, but I had this idea that if I left them in New York I might not ever get them back. So I said, No I’m taking them, I don’t care how inconvenient it is.

Did they have a hard time with the move?
I went home to Virginia first and it was tough. They had to stay with my mom, and Taco got out. He went off in the neighborhood and had a great time I guess because he came back covered in mud. It was terrifying—I was just so sure that someone was going to pick him up. But he did come back. They’re never staying with my mom again!

Do they typically travel with you?
I’ll usually have someone stay at the apartment with them. They did recently make a trip to New York with me though because I had nobody to stay with them. We stayed in a pet- friendly hotel and they made friends with the maid and had a great time.

What are they getting for the holidays?
Probably new mice toys. And I’m making my first Christmas dinner and want to make some homemade cat food, maybe some tuna or something. Fern is rolling over and showing her belly to me right now—I think she likes the tuna idea!

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Check out Catey’s Christmas single “Cuddle Up,” available this holiday season.

Images: Justin Aversano

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