It’s become increasingly impossible to mention Best Coast, the three-person vehicle for noise-pop Cali-queen Bethany Cosentino, without referencing her pet Snacks. That darn cat is on the cover of her debut full-length Crazy For You, nonchalantly poised amid an oceanic sunset, his homestate’s shape tracing his butt. He’s illustrated on the cover of Cosentino’s boyfriend’s record, Wavves’ King of the Beach, holding a spliff. The kitty’s even on Twitter. But Best Coast, who headlines the Bowery Ballroom tonight, aren’t the only ones this year whose muse has been a domestic creature. Behold, five reasons why 2010 is the year of the indie pet.
Breed: Maine Coon.
Primary caretaker: Best Coast and Wavves, a/k/a Bethany Cosentino and her boyfriend Nathan Williams.
Claim to fame: Cover model for Best Coast’s 2010 full-length Crazy for You. Inspiration for the weed-freak feline illustrated on Wavves’ King of the Beach. Meows on early Best Coast demos, gets credited in liner notes, cameos in Wavves press photos.
Background info: Adopted from one of Cosentino’s neighbors. Has a sister Chloe. Watches Wavves play videogames when Best Coast is on tour. Makes weird faces at electric guitars. Hates traveling.
Anthropomorphic traits: Tweets regularly. Aspires to Garfield-like prominence. Enjoys Spongebob Squarepants.
Surrounding myths: “There’s a rumour that Snacks actually picked the tracklist for the record and that’s why ‘Sun Was High (So Was I)’ didn’t appear on the album,” Cosentino explained to the Guardian this summer. “It’s true, he hates that song. But to be honest, I just wanted the record to consist of our brand new songs, rather than old singles. However, if you want to believe that Snacks picked the tracklist for the album then that’s fine.”
Breed: Norwegian Blue.
Primary caretaker: Klaxons’ bassist/singer Jamie Reynolds.
Claim to fame: Cover model for the Klaxons’ Surfing the Void.
Background info: Named after a 1950 French film. Also answers to Space Cat and Boy. Reynolds acquired him from the London borough of Hackney two Christmases ago. Visited space, decided “it’s a hell of a lot better here.” May or may not attend the NME Awards.
Anthropomorphic traits: Fame turned him into an asshole. “I keep getting phone calls from my mum saying the whole thing’s going to his head and he keeps taking up more space on the bed than he used to,” Reynolds told NME.
Surrounding myths: An interviewer “thought the whole of the record had been written from the perspective of the cat, which I really liked,” guitarist Simon Taylor-Davis informed our pal Tom Breihan at Pitchfork. “But sadly it’s not true.”
Breed: Savannah and Norwegian Forest Cat mix.
Caretaker: Dom’s ex-juvie gingerwave frontman/namesake Dom.
Claim to fame: The mewling muse for “Bochicha,” Sun Bronzed Greek Gods‘ glorious two-minute tambourine-slap wake-up call.
Distinguishing characteristics: Also responds to Bo, Chi, Bocheech, Cheech Peach, Bo Bo. Party animal. An early riser. Doesn’t hurt anyone. Won’t settle for tail. (“Wish i had a kitty bride to share my lavish lifestyle with,” his Facebook page offers, “But none of the kitties i’ve been chillin wit meet my standards, and most of em find it hard to keep up with me. whatever. meow.”)
Anthropomorphic qualities: Maintains that Facebook page. Answers personal questions on Formspring when he’s bored.
Surrounding myths: May or may not be of a breed that’s “generally illegal in most states because they’re so violent,” Dom told SOTC homie Ryan Dombal. “There were some cases back in the 80s with them eating babies or something.” May or may not be missing.
Breed: Schrödinger’s cat.
Caretaker: Kate Levitt of primal-noise collective Teeth Mountain.
Claim to fame: The unsung hero of Teeth Mountain’s February 2010 appearance on the courtroom drama Judge Judy.
Distinguishing characteristics: Once killed a bird that SHAMS (a/k/a Judge Judy defendant Jonathan Coward) later lit on fire at Whartscape. Can sleep through anything, possibly even a television landing on his head.
Anthropomorphic qualities: Shameless enough to become a reality TV star.
Surrounding myths: May or may have not been fed regularly. May or may not have been crushed by a television. May or may not be buried in a shoebox in a Baltimore backyard. May or may not be alive.
Breed: Blog dog.
Caretaker: YIMBY columnist Christopher R. Weingarten a/k/a @1000TimesYes
Claim to fame: Stars of Tumblr-to-book enterprise Hipster Puppies.
Distinguishing characteristics: Wears glasses, hoodies, scarves. Cuddles up to Kurt Vonnegut and Edgar Allan Poe books. Pretends to skateboard. Poses near musical equipment. Often photographed in the proximity of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Anthropomorphic qualities: An entire book’s worth.
Subsequent myths: That Hipster Puppies are really just Pets Who Want To Kill Themselves.