Today we visit with our feline friends in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. First up is Marlon, formerly known as “Fluffy.”
Despite living outdoors, he is healthy and well-fed, and clearly has a past that includes life as a pet cat. He loves people and didn’t need much convincing to spend time indoors. Indeed, he is living it up with his indoor time, getting food and scritches and soft blankets to relax on.
He is a big fellow but has a tiny voice that sounds more like “merp” than “meow”. I don’t yet have any video of his vocals, but you can see him thoroughly enjoying himself in this Instagram video with the music of John Schott playing in the background.
You can hear more of John Schott and his Actual Trio in this CatSynth TV video. In the meantime, let’s check in with Sophia, formerly known as “Hissy.”
As one can see in this photo, she is a beautiful cat, with Siamese-like markings and a graceful bearing. We think she might have once been a pet as well, but she is still extremely skittish around people. I mostly just get a glimpse of her from a distance and she runs off at any attempts to get closer. But she usually remains hidden nearby when Marlon is around. The two of them seem to have a special bond, despite their divergent attitudes towards humans.
We hope all our human and feline friends have a lovely weekend.
It’s been almost a month since our last check-in with Sam Sam on these pages, and that is too long. And she is expressing her desire that we give her the attention she deserves.
If you have seen any of Sam Sam’s videos on Instagram or YouTube, you know she is quite the talker. Usually, it’s her tiny raspy mew, though her voice occasionally blooms into full-blown arias.
This is a good time to remind folks that you can follow her antics regularly on our Instagram @catsynth. Please do follow us if you feel so inclined.
The main rug is definitely one of her favorite spots and shows evidence of her frequent scratch’n’rolls. Honestly, we don’t mind as we delight in her antics. But it does require vacuuming, which is on deck for today. I know she is not going to enjoy that, but it is necessary.
Fortunately, she has other spots to enjoy around HQ, including this comfy chair in the loft.
Honestly, I wanted to sit there to read 😸
We hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
It’s a good time to check in with Sam Sam. Life is good for her at CatSynth HQ, as she relaxes, gets brushed and cuddled, runs around, plays, explores…it’s good to be the cat!
Here we see Sam Sam on the upstairs balcony.
Behind her to the left is a painting/collage by Kasper Rodenborn. We acquired it at his solo show at Far Out Gallery here in San Francisco last year. You can read our review of the show and also watch our video (it was one of our earliest on the CatSynth TV channel).
Of course, Sam Sam never misses an opportunity to demonstrate her trademark “scratch’n’roll” move.
It’s irresistible and definitely gets my attention whenever I’m sitting nearby. She does love getting attention. For example, her she is yesterday in the studio while I was busy working on our latest synth-demo video.
We hope you are all having an enjoyable and relaxing weekend.
We introduce two new kitty pals today: Fluffy and Hissy. They are outdoor kitties who live in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, California.
This is Fluffy. He is a big fellow, and quite friendly. As far as we know, he lives outdoors full time, but he is very comfortable around humans, especially when they provide food.
By contrast, Hissy is much more skittish around people, and it is quite difficult to photograph her.
Usually, Hissy backs away, but if one does get close, she lives up to her name.
Both Fluffy and Hissy seem to be healthy and well fed in comparison to some of the street cats I have encountered in the neighborhood, so they probably have a network of food and safety options, beyond our “satellite office” in the neighborhood.
We hope to get some better photographs of them soon.
It’s been a stressful few weeks for us at CatSynth. Not bad per se, just stressful. During times like this, I often lie down to reduce psychic entropy and practice disintegration of thought. And Sam Sam is often lying down next to me.
Like most cats, Sam Sam is quite good at napping. One might even say she is an “expert sleeper”, but that might cause confusion with one of the modular-synth manufacturers we sometimes feature. She does have her own unique way of curling up, though, pull her tail close to her head and sometimes even grabbing it with her paw. It’s adorable, and it never fails to make me smile.
She enjoys the soft blankets, either the burgundy or gray. But she almost always chooses the same corner of the bed. This is not surprising, as all of us at CatSynth are creatures of habit.
We hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. For us, it will be a bit stressful once again, but with very focused study and practice on both the technological and musical fronts. But I will do my best to keep Sam Sam’s example in mind as I work through it. We can learn much from our cats!
It looks like we have a new neighbor at CatSynth!
We have been noticing a new feline presence around CatSynth HQ, through sounds and bits of motion. But this is the first time we saw him/her on the patio ledge. It’s a little tuxedo cat, like Sam Sam.
This cat presumably lives in one of the apartments just beyond our patio. We often see him sitting on the ledge behind this glass-brick window.
As one might imagine, Sam Sam is rather curious about this new cat outside her windows.
She is a bit anxious and agitated by the cat’s presence, and often jumps up on this sideboard and even the window ledge above! Her is always fully fluffed during these encounters. I suspect she is feeling both intrigued and territorial at the same time. (We have already started clearing off the most fragile items and tchotchkes from the glass table).
We hope you have a great weekend. And we’d love to hear about adventures your cats have with their feline neighbors 😺
Those who follow our Instagram are regularly treated to photos and videos of Sam Sam and her adventures around CatSynth HQ. For those who don’t, we can assure you that she is doing well and is being spoiled rotten.
Sam Sam has made this blanket one of her favorite spots for napping and relaxing. It is quite warm and soft. In this video, we see her kneading it and purring up a storm.
It’s good to be the cat!
Here we see her posing with our Korg Volca FM sytnhesizer.
This photo was taken while preparing for our recent video on the Volca FM, which you can check out on YouTube. One of the nice things about these small battery-powered synths like the Korg Volcas and the Roland Boutiques is that we play them on the bed. And if I’m there playing a synth, reading, or napping, Sam Sam is likely to follow.
We hope you have a fun weekend, however you define it. And if you are Instagram, please do follow us 😻.
Sam Sam has her usual spots, but sometimes she sits down in unexpected places. For example, yesterday she entered “kitty loaf” mode in front of an overflow shelf just outside the studio that continued several old E-MU modules.
The E-MU Orbit, Carnival and Classic Keys are all variants of the first generation Proteus. The Orbit, in particular, was iconic in its time, but all rather obsolete now. I do still use my Proteus 2000 module (a Vintage Pro with Mo’Phatt and Beat Garden expansion ROMS) quite often – you never know when you might need a few lines of Mellotron flute or strings or a classic highly-filter-swept drum loop. There are other ways to get these musical elements, but the P2K remains quick and accessible. The Morpheus also still has a place of honor in the studio.
Both of these later-generation E-MU instruments had more to offer, especially the z-plane filters that the Morpheus took to the extreme. These days, I do find myself experimenting with the Morpheus Eurorack module from Rossum Electro-Music more than the old E-MU box, which is just the z-plane filter with CV-controlled parameters. Even after using it extensively in recent shows, I still have a lot to learn and practice with it.
When we’re not up in the studio, Sam Sam enjoys spending time on the living room rug and perfecting her patented “scratch-and-roll” move.
I have too many photos of her in this pose now, it’s just hard to resist. Of course, what she wants is not a photo, but pets and then brushing. I am more than happy to oblige.
I have been spending a lot of time at the main software-development and video workstation of late. As we have seen before, Sam Sam loves to drop by and say hi.
She seems to really like the open shelves as much as I do.
As one can see, cat decor abounds in the studio. But we also have some other items on display in these shelves.
On the left (of course) is a Bernie Sanders action figure, made by Brooklyn-based FCTRY, as well as a signed card from the 1990s when we still just Vermont’s representative. And to the right of Bernie is our Lego recording studio.
The studio is from a series of Lego kits specifically aimed at young women, and I loved the idea of having a “studio in the studio.” It’s great the engineer is a woman, but we thought it needed one more addition.
Yes, that’s a little Lego black cat! A tribute to Luna, whom we still miss dearly. 💜
Apparently, even Lego cats shed. But our life-size studio tends to be entropy-prone as well, especially before and after live shows. It definitely needs another clean-up…but first we have a lot of creative projects ahead this weekend. We hope you all have a happy and productive weekend as well.
After several days of cold, wet, dreary weather, we finally have sunshine again. Not that we can really complain compared to our friends on the east coast after the recent storm. Sam Sam enjoys looking out the windows, though she hasn’t shown the same interest in venturing outside as Luna did.
I like the contrast of angular lines against Sam Sam’s natural shape in this one. One can see more of this geometric contrast in this pose on the stairs.
It’s a treat to capture such an image. But we also enjoy the everyday antics, such as Sam Sam’s patented “Scratch and roll.” It’s her way of currying favor.
It’s always a good day with Sam Sam. We hope you have a wonderful day, too.