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News & Features » August 2014 » Meet David Yow’s Real-Life Cats!

Meet David Yow’s Real-Life Cats!

To celebrate the release of Copycat: And a Litter of Other Cats, we’re pleased to feature a guest post from creator David Yow on his real-life cats Little Buddy, Nico, and Penny.

From left to right: Little Buddy, Penny, & Nico

From left to right: Little Buddy, Penny, & Nico

In March 2005 I was in a new apartment and freshly divorced—clearly I needed a cat. A friend’s mama cat was about to give up her litter and I got first pickins. That’s how Little Buddy came into my life. His boyhood was relatively sad and lonely because I was on the road a bunch, playing music for people who were having difficulty keeping their eyes open. A few of the cat-sitters I arranged proved to be less than reliable, and little Little Buddy spent too much time without getting the attention he needed and deserved. I still feel awful about that. He grew from a fluffy, fuzzy, furry, tiny fella into an enormous, twenty-pound, silvery-gray beast who is strikingly handsome.

Near his third birthday, Little Buddy, my girlfriend Ellen, her cats Nico and Penny, and I all moved in together. Nico and Penny are sisters who were born a few months shy of a year before the giant beast. Nico is a nine-pound solid black shorthair with white whiskers and white socks and mittens. Penny is a ten-pound black-and-white shorthair who is as sweet and simple as can be. If you’re familiar with the Carl Stalling Project you know what’s going on in her cute and goofy skull.

Given their size difference, one might think that Little Buddy would be the Alpha Pet and beat up the girls who’re half his hugeness. Nope. That is not how it panned out. For the first week, Little Buddy hid under a couch while Penny growled at him. Once he overcame his fear, he proved himself to be a complete pacifist Gandhi-lite gentleman type by lying submissively on his back, splay-legged, while being berated by Penny in the middle of a hiss fit . . . time and time again.

Nico and Little Buddy have fallen deeply in love with each other, but neither is willing to openly admit it. They’ll stare at one another from a foot away and then turn their heads, playing “I’m Not Looking At You.” This game can go on for a minute or two before one of them feels it’s time for a good paw smackin’, but what happens is that as an arm is raised for the strike, the other defensively raises an arm too and they end up high-fiving, sometimes a few times in rapid-fire succession. Now, so many years down the line, there is almost no change in Penny’s behavior toward Little Buddy, but he has taken to ambushing her at corners or when she leaves the litter box, and swatting her rump in mid-stride while he chases her from room to room.

I could go on, but I’m not going to. Have a nice day.




DAVID YOW is an artist, actor, and musician who is best known as the singer of the bands the Jesus Lizard—arguably the best and most popular indie rock band of the 1990s—and Scratch Acid. He lives in Los Angeles. He is the creator of Copycat: And a Litter of Other Cats.

Posted: Aug 6, 2014

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