National Pet Week Spotlight: Jason Dodson and Mert

photos courtesy of the artist

While every day with a pet is a celebration, the first full week of May is officially National Pet Week, established in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) “to honor the many important roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership.” To commemorate the week, we chatted with local musicians about their relationships with their own pets — today, we profile Jason Dodson of The Maldives and his cat, Mert!

    What are Mert’s nicknames?
    Mert is often referred to as “Mertie,” “Merthead,” “Mertle,” “Monkey,” “Monkeyface,” “Turd,” “Fert,” “CC,” “She She,” “Boo Boo” and the unfortunate “Poo Poo Kee Kee.”

    How long have you and Mert been together?
    My housemate, Kevin “Moondoggies” Murphy brought Mert home about a year and a half ago. At the time our other housemate was Daniel Blue, from Motopony, and since he was home most of the time, she would just follow him around because she wanted to get outside. So I kept getting these texts from Daniel that just said, “She won’t stop Merting! It’s driving me crazy! MERRRRT!” So the new house cat was thus aptly named.

    Does Mert influence your music, or musical choices, in any way?
    I know she has influenced the Moondoggies. Kevin even gave her a “Thanks” in the liner notes of their last album. I’m not sure how much she’s influenced the Maldives. Other than by just being a bad-ass little kitty. I know a song will be a hit if she rolls on her back and stretches as she sleeps. If it sucks, she buries her face in her paws.

    Does Mert respond to any particular music? Any favorite bands? (Besides the Ganges River Band?)
    Mert does love the Ganges River Band’s sweet Texas honky tonk. She is also a cat of extremely refined taste. Lately she has been really into Dr. John’s Gris-Gris, Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue, Scott Walker’s Scott 4, that Bobby Charles re-issue, Tinariwen’s Emmaar, and Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Ladies Man. Oh, and she loves Master Musicians of Bukkake. And Sleep’s Dopesmoker. She also gets pretty stoked when she hears the Game of Thrones theme song.

    The Maldives will be playing the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival, held in Everett on May 16th and 17th. Their most recent album, Muscle For The Wing, came out on Spark & Shine Records in 2012.

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