Since I revealed my slightly embarrassing habit of singing my own "reworked" versions of pop classics to my cats, I've had quite a few emails from people admitting they do the same thing. Writes Under The Paw reader Susan of her mogs, Patchie and Cookie: "We have several tunes ours endure regularly, such as 'What's that coming over the hill, is it a Patchie, is it a Patchie?', 'I'm bring Patchie back, them other moggies don't know how to act' and 'At the Cookie, Cookiecabana'." Similarly, a work colleague of Dee's regularly sings his Spaniel, Poppy, his own version of a well-known Commodores hit ("Once, twice, three times a Spaniel").
I'm not sure what all this proves, but I know it makes me feel significantly less ridiculous for penning alternative versions of Foreigner's Hot Blooded ("Hot tabby/Check him and see/He's got a fever of a hundred and three..."*), Andrew Gold's Thank You For Being A Friend ("Thank you for being a ginge...") and Billy Joel's Vienna ("Slow down, you ginger cat/You're so ambitious for a... ginger cat"). Still, I can't help thinking it's time I expanded my repertoire of originals beyond 2002's "oversimplistic and childish" (demo reviews page, The New Moggy Express) Shipley-inspired Little Black Cat ("Little black cat, little black cat, little black cat, you know where it's at"). This is a song that, in addition to possessing a reedy melody to which age has not been kind, also is no longer lyrically relevant, now Shipley could not in any sense be described as "little".
* I hasten to point out the "hotness" in this case refers purely to the really surprisingly warm temperature of Ralph's fur during the summer months. Ralph, while not without his rock star tendencies, wishes to disassociate himself with the lascivious content of Foreigner's original version, which speculates about a potential post-show encounter with a female fan sans boyfriend ("Can we make a secret rendezvous/Oh before we do, you'll have to get away from you know who...") and is clearly written so the band concerned can use it as a tool to seduce potential groupies ("Do you do more than dance?"). "That is not to say," continues Ralph, lapsing into the slightly irritating quasi-American 'dude' accent that he uses from time to time while talking about his favourite bands, "that Foreigner aren't, like, way underrated."