BY KEYBOARD CAT + DIG STAFF
Some of us here at DigBoston consider ourselves to be incredibly lucky to know Charlie Schmidt, an artist of innumerable stripes in his own right as well as the former owner and companion of the dearly departed feline Fatso, better known to the world wide web as Keyboard Cat. So when we saw that the amazing trainer and animal advocate Samantha Martin was coming to Arlington with her own world famous performing house cats, we asked Schmidt if he would channel Fatso and pitch a couple of questions to the Acro-cats. He agreed to do just that, while on their end, Martin and Acro-cats tour manager Polly Smith reported to the Dig that they “had to type for the [Acro-cats] and explain their answers,” since “they do not have opposable thumbs.”
If this all sounds like a joke, you’re only right in that you’re meant to have a laugh. Nevertheless, we really do know Keyboard Cat by proxy, and the interview below is absolutely the closest thing you are going to get to an actual celebrity cat-on-cat interview (that we know of at least, though we always welcome news tips).
Plus there is a very serious side to Martin’s work. In the process of touring with animals and teaching them in wildly creative ways through her career, the kitty performance facilitator has helped find homes for more than 200 homeless cats, all the while contributing a portion of her show takes to affiliated causes. She’s also helped make a gaggle of kitties, including Tuna and the Rock Cats who will encore next week in Arlington, extremely famous by accompanying them to programs like the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which has got to count for something.
Without any further ado, here are several human adults and a number of talented cats, one of which is up in kitty heaven, conducting the best freakin interview that you’ve read between house pets this week.
Have any of you met Keyboard Cat?
None of the cats said they met keyboard cat. They did meet the piano-playing cat from Philadelphia though, but can’t remember her name. We have also met a Dracula cat from Pittsburgh, Catula.
Do you actually understand that your show is helping other cats who don’t have it so good?
Well, JAX knows—she takes care of the new kittens we get when we foster, which is all the time. She is always making sure they are clean, and hangs out with them so they feel like they have friends until their furrever home gets found.
Most of the other cats know what it was like to be homeless because they are all rescues. Some of them don’t act very grateful, cats can be jerks you know, but most of them thank us every day for giving them a place to sleep and eat and have something to do, instead of just wandering around causing trouble. We get lots of cuddles and purrs and licks and jumps!
What do you watch for TV?
Well, they all watch that zombie show, The Walking Dead, because of the tiger in it. I’ve seen some of them watch cartoons like Josie and the Pussycats and also Thundercats. They really like that movie A Fish Called Wanda, and Finding Nemo too.
What is the actual background of these performers?
Samantha Martin started training the family dog at age nine. When she was older she knew she wanted to work with animals for TV and films so she started with rats (and horror movies). She had a rat show until she found a very special orphan cat with amazing abilities, where it quickly turned into a cat show. All of these cats are former orphans and rescue cats from all across the nation.
What kind of show are we going to get in Arlington?
Cats jumping through hoops, ringing bells, riding skateboards, and way too much more to list. You might see a cat in the audience, too. The finale is the only all-cat band in the entire world. They play real instruments and it’s over eight members now (even some non-cat members!). The show last about 1.5 hours, and there is even a meet and greet with the band right after the show.
Where do hard-partying cats like to go after a concert?
You certainly won’t see them at the dog park! Most of them really do just like to go back to their tour bus and rest… with some catnip wine and mousey toys. It is very swank and decked out just for them.