Bands with Cats – Vancouver Cantata Singers’ Missy Clarkson with Gabe and Humbug
– by Cheena Jean Normandin
Your name: Missy Clarkson
Your bands and role:
Mezzo Soprano (bisectional!) in the Vancouver Cantata Singers. I joined in 2008 and have been addicted to my choir family ever since.
There are 30 of us, plus our fabulous artistic director Paula Kremer! She is so amazing that we even forgive her for being a dog person.
What are your cat’s names? Gabe and Humbug
What’s Gabe and Humbug’s origin story?
Gabe was a rescue who had been adopted and returned twice. Third time was a charm! She came to me 13 years ago with the name “Angel” but she clearly needed archangel status – hence the lady Gabriel. She is very needy, super awkward, always hungry, and she loves to tap-dance.
As for Humbug, a coworker found a scruffy, waif-y, homeless kitten in his apartment lobby on Christmas Eve day 2004, and he was asking around the ol’ office to see if anyone wanted to take her home. Being a crazy cat lady in training OF COURSE I took her, and that night she came to my parents’ place for Xmas dinner, ran around like a wild calico blur and terrified my grandparents. Now she is a lap cat/scarf/monster who sings along with classical arias.
Where are they from? What are their breeds?
Both rescues, calico and grey tabby.
Who feeds your cats?
Me and the wife split the duty and the food gratitudes.
What do you think would be Gabe and Humbug’s theme songs?
Humbug’s would be Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, since she ain’t gonna take any crap and she’ll be who she is!
Gabe’s would be the “Mahna Mahna” song from the Muppets, since she is so darn derpy and clumsy. I have never seen a cat so adorably uncoordinated.
What tone do your cats like to sing in?
Gabe is an alto, while Humbug is definitely a coloratura soprano.
What is the last impressive thing your cats have murdered?
Gabriel is a mighty hunter of fallen maple leaves and will leave a full trail of them from the window to the front door. Humbug repeatedly destroys all the weather stripping because she likes to use it as a doorbell.
What does your cats listen to when they are sitting around and feeling moody and misunderstood?
Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel”, or perhaps some Mendelssohn.
What is the last incredibly adorable thing you witnessed your kitties do?
They pretend to ignore each other, but sometimes we come home to find them in a snuggly embrace! They then pretend it never happened.
If you woke up in a weird Freaky Friday situation with your cats what do you think their first move would be?
They would buy a tanning bed for sure!
More info on the glorious Cantata Singers can be found here:
As well, they will perform Peter Hannan’s Happiness Index at their May 3rd concert at The Orpheum.
Previously, on Bands with Cats: