They say don't work with children or animals, but clearly 'they' are ignoring the 405's obsession with all things cat-related. I mean, come on!

Our feline photo feature series continues with a visit to Clapton, where James Wignall from Cheatahs introduces us to his house cat, a black and white fella with the look of sagely wisdom in his eyes. Words by Doron Davidson-Vidavski, photos by Niralee Modha.

Check out the entire 'Musicians and their Pets' Mega Series by clicking here.

Disclaimer: The images found in this article have been licensed to The 405, but remain the property of the respective photographer. Use of these images without prior arrangement is forbidden. For more information, please email the respective photographer or tim@thefourohfive.com.

CHEATAHS' Sunne EP is out on February 23rd via Wichita Recordings.




What is your cat's name and how did that name come about?

He's called Cassell and he was adopted by Bess and Lewis who I live with. They basically inherited him on the day that they moved into the flat about a year or so ago. He used to belong to friends of theirs, who just couldn't keep him anymore. I think he was always called Cassell. And, yeah, now he's our house cat.

How old is Cassell?

He's about 8, so he's getting on a bit.

How would you describe your relationship with Cassell?

I come from a cat-loving family. My parents had cats since before I was even born so I quite like a house with a cat. It's nice to have cats around, as simple as that sounds. Cassell, like most cats, minds his own business most of the time but then he can get very affectionate when he wants something from me, which is very honest, isn't it? You know where you are with a cat.






Does he habitually infiltrate your bedroom?

Yes, he does. He goes straight under the bed and it'll take about half an hour to get him out so I just let him do what he wants, really.

What's Cassell's favourite toy?

He's got this mouse that's got catnip in it, which sends him a bit crazy. It's like cat-crack, in a way. If you ever want him to pay attention to you for five minutes, you just have to wave that around and he's all over it.






Do you get the sense that he enjoys Cheatahs' music?

I think he's probably heard it a lot when we were recording the EP and I was listening back to mixes. Put it this way, he's never bolted out of the room in disgust, so that's something! At best, I would say he's ambivalent about our music. I wouldn't like to speak for him on that point.

And out of the four tracks on your new EP, which do you think would be his favourite?

Probably 'Sunne'. Given that it's kind of perfect beach music, in a way. He's not really allowed out of the house through the front door because of the road so we only let him out at the back. He jumps over the fence and goes to the bench at our neighbours' garden. He's pretty much there for 90% of the time, especially if it's sunny - he just bathes in the sun. So, yeah, I think 'Sunne' would be his first choice.

Has Cassell ever shown any musical talent?

I don't know about talent - well, I mean, who knows, maybe he's got plans for the future. But Lewis who I live with is also a musician so there's a lot of music going on in the house, so Cassell has been conditioned to it. But as far as ambitions go, he's getting on a bit. He'd probably have done that as a kitten, to be honest. If he hasn't done it so far, he's probably not going to.

Is he quite vocal?

Actually, no. He's big on the purring when he wants something from you but he doesn't do a lot of meowing.

So if he was in a band he probably wouldn't be the vocalist.

I think if he was in a band he'd probably be a bass-player. That's more his style.







Does he have any special skills?

You mean, apart from guilting you into giving him food? Oh, actually, he's pretty good at fighting. Before he came to live with us, his previous owners never let him out of the house. But as soon as we let him out here, he pretty much got into a fight within five minutes. He kicked the shit out of this other cat and everyone was quite surprised because we'd assumed he'd get an absolute beating. So, yeah, his special skill is fighting, which is probably in keeping with the trait of a bass-player: quiet but you don't want to mess with him.

When you return home from touring do you feel that he's happy to see you?

It's more like 'who are you, again?' and then after a day everything is back to normal. But there's no affection or anything like that. He's simply nonplussed. I don't take it personally.