Some days, you think you’ve seen all that the Internet has to offer when it comes to cat videos. Sure, there are gazillions of them bopping around out there in the online ether, but it gets to a point where you’re basically looking at one of three things: Dinky kittens taking their first wobbly steps in life, proud-looking felines being caught in the middle of a mishap, or cats freaking out over cucumbers.
Then you come across something truly weird and realize the online cat world goes far deeper than you assumed.
In this case, it was an animated video for the Meow The Jewels song “Meowpurrdy” that caught my eye. It featured freakishly morphing cats playing out a good versus evil showdown story, set against a musical backdrop consisting of sampled meows and EL-P and Killer Mike’s booming rap voices. Noticing that the short was produced by a U.K.-based guy called Cyriak, I dug into his online vault and discovered a beguiling world populated by similarly off-kilter kitties.
After obliging to my request for a quick interview, Cyriak took time out from his animation duties to talk about getting involved with Meow The Jewels, surviving a zombie kitty apocalypse, and how watching cats puke can inspire artistic visions.
Catster: What were your first thoughts when you heard the Meow The Jewels song “Meowpurrdy”?
Cyriak: My first thought was how weird it was to mix cats and rap music, but it makes sense when you consider the duality of cats: They look cute and fluffy but they are savage wild animals at the same time. Well, some of them are anyway.
How would you describe the concept of the “Meowpurrdy” video?
It’s the epic struggle between good and evil in a universe made entirely of cats. In the end, both sides are perfectly balanced, and I guess they cancel each other out — or are simply a part of a larger natural cycle.
When you started working on “Meowpurrdy,” did you consider any other concepts or ideas for the visuals?
Not really. For some reason this is exactly what sprang to mind as I listened to the song. I’m glad the artists liked the idea and went along with it.
How closely did you attempt to mirror your animations with the lyrics in the song?
To be honest, I can hardly understand the lyrics other than a few words here and there (which I might even be mishearing). But the general tone of the song is quite clear, so I used that to build the visuals into a coherent story.
Are the cats in “Meowpurrdy” based on any real-life cats?
No, they are all fictional characters — and any resemblance to real cats is purely coincidental (and rather unfortunate for them, I should say).
After watching “Meowpurrdy,” I went back and checked out some of your other cat-themed videos. They seem to have a common theme of cats puking up other cats.
Well, my experience of cats involves a fair amount of puking — they always seem to be coughing up horrible things.
Have you had any weird of funny reactions to any of your videos?
The weirdest and funniest reaction to any of my cat videos was from actual cats. In particular, the Meow Mix video had some very strange cat reactions, and it makes me wonder what my cat was actually saying.
Who’s the cat starring in the Kitty City short? And what was the inspiration behind that animation?
That was my other cat. He seemed a bit jealous of the attention my black cat was getting from his own video, so I thought I would make one for him too.
You also produced an animated video about a zombie kitty apocalypse. Do you have any tips to survive such a situation?
My advice would be to let it happen and join in with the fun.
Finally, do you have any cats yourself?
At the moment I am sadly catless. But I am planning on getting a new cat one day.
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