Bands with Cats – Tim Chan from China Syndrome with Amadeo, Milo, Cygnet, and Zoe
– by Cheena Jean Normandin
I’m in China Syndrome, for which I sing and play guitar. We just released our third album, The Usual Angst, produced by David Carswell (The New Pornographers, Destroyer, Tegan & Sara, Cool TV). I also get my punk rock on by playing guitar for the band Pill Squad, which just released an EP on Bandcamp.
What are your cats’ given names?
My wife Sarah and I have four beautiful cats: Amadeo (the youngest, almost 2), Milo (age 4), Cygnet (unknown, probably 14) and our senior citizen cat, Zoey, who was born in the last millennium and is 16. We got Amadeo and Milo via Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), Zoey from a Victoria cat rescue organization and Cygnet just arrived at our door one morning, broken, starved and abandoned.
What are their breeds?
All of them are rescued cats so we’re not sure. Likely they’re all mixed breeds: Amadeo is a classic tuxedo cat, while Milo is black (maybe he’s a Chantilly), Cygnet looks like she has Russian Blue characteristics and Zoey is a Rag Doll cat.
Who feeds them?
Our whole life is managing their food bowls. It never ends!
How many lives do your cats have left?
We don’t subscribe to the nine lives thing and hope all our cats live their one life as fully as possible. They are all indoor cats and we’re hoping to set cat age records.
What is your cats’ theme song?
For all of them, it’s “I’m Only Sleeping” by the Beatles: “Keeping an eye on the world going by my window; taking my time…”
Do you have any reason to suspect that your cats are hatching any schemes at the moment?
Yes, we have a feeling Zoey is from outer space as her fur is really loose and oversized and she always gives us the strangest looks. We think aliens from another planet sent her down to spy on us as a human case study. We keep waiting for the alien to take off the cat suit and reveal itself to us.
What is the last strange location you found your cat in?
Despite being indoor cats, they do have occasional, supervised access to our deck. One day Milo somehow got to the roof next door and through a rotten hole where raccoons nest. We were panicked, of course, but we were patient and waited it out as we knew he’d eventually get tired and hungry. He got to poke around while I got a ladder to the neighbour’s roof and waited for the right moment to grab him. Phew! But it was the best day of his life inside that hole!
What genre of music do your cats dig the most?
They’re big fans of the late singer Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie). They also like to keep current with melodically-inclined indie rock like Tame Impala, Caribou , Ty Segall and the New Pornographers.
They can handle a bit of old school punk rock too, but not too much, it can get a bit too harsh on their sensitive ears.
If your cats were staying in to lounge on a Saturday night what would it be listening to?
“Cool for Cats” by Squeeze.
What kind of things do your cats like to sleep on?
Our cats mostly like to sleep on my wife. She sometimes has all of them on her at once.
Catch China Syndrome at their new album release party Saturday, March 7 at the Railway Club.