Sweet Child

We recently had such a blast recording Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses!

It's an iconic song, and the band has millions of fans all over the world. We knew that we wanted to keep our version as faithful as possible to the original song -- an homage to the band from these four fans.

We've heard some string quartet versions that omit Slash's solo; we wanted not only to keep it, but to attempt to capture the raw musicality of it.

We think Shawn nailed it, but we want to know what you think -- please leave a comment and let us know! 

You can hear the entire full length video, here, or on our Videos page!

 

Happy New Year!

 
Cattus Quartet Happy New Year
 

All of us at Cattus Quartet (including Sal, our little party animal, pictured here) wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2017! We spent some of the last days of 2016 rehearsing for some new videos that will be released very soon in the coming months. Stay tuned! 

Looking ahead to the rest of 2017, we decided to publish some of our goals for Cattus this coming year. We are always striving to improve our business and the services we offer, so we wanted to give you an inside look into the direction we hope to take Cattus Quartet in the new year! 

1. Develop relationships with local animal welfare organizations: Initially, our focus was to support organizations that received the highest ratings on Charity Navigator -- we wanted our money to go to charities that would make use of it in the most efficient possible way. But over the course of talking with clients, audience members, colleagues, and volunteers that we have met through Cattus, we learned about a few organizations that do wonderful and much needed work for animals and pets in need at a local level. But they are simply too small to receive a rating on Charity Navigator. So we will start adding those charities to our list of organizations that we support in the coming months. 

2. Take more dog and cat photos: This one is self-explanatory. We want to catch up to 2017 in 2017. We have an Instagram account now (please follow us @cattusquartet), and we will make a concerted effort to upload more of the pet photos that we already take 5-7 times a day. We will also be posting rehearsal videos so that you can hear that latest Bruno Mars song in string quartet form. You might even see Sal, Kiki, or Duke in the background! [We will think about Snapchat in 2018, since we still do not completely understand Snapchat.]

Merry Christmas from #cattusquartet and #kikthekitty!! 🎄🎁 #guardcat #gewacase #gewa #violin #catstagram

A photo posted by Cattus Quartet (@cattusquartet) on

3. Put ourselves out there: As with dating, we want to put ourselves out there in the hopes that you will see (hear) us! We are on the internet, and you see us in our videos, but we know that to truly to get to know us (and feel comfortable hiring us), you might want to hear us live. We are talking with some cafes/restaurants about performing some live shows, so stay tuned! 

4. Our clients, our friends: Our last goal is the most important to us. We will continue to put you, our clients (and many of you who have turned into friends), first. We love performing for you on your wedding day, at corporate events, museum functions, birthdays, and beyond. We are so grateful for all the referrals we have received from past clients that have enabled us to meet and work with awesome new clients. And we cannot wait to serve you in 2017. 

Happy new year, from Cattus Quartet! 

Field Trip to Crumbs & Whiskers!

Recently, three of our four quartet members spent a glorious 75 minutes with about a dozen shelter cats at Crumbs and Whiskers, the new cat cafe here in Los Angeles.

All the cats at Crumbs and Whiskers come from a local shelter, Karma Rescue, and they are fostered at the cafe until adopted out by their "furrever" human (spend enough time at C&S, and you will pick up some cat-centric words!).

Billy, our cellist, was immediately chosen as a source of heat and snuggles by Hermione:

Hermione was on Billy's lap for approximately 74 of the 75 total minutes spent inside the cafe. Perhaps she sensed a kindred spirit in Billy, who also enjoys naps (and sleep in general).

Cattus is already planning another trip back to Crumbs & Whiskers! It was the purrr-fect way to spend an afternoon -- relaxing with cats, coffee, and friends. 

"Modern, Mellow Tunes" for PetSmart Pets

Earlier this month, PetSmart announced plans to revamp the background music in their stores. They hired Mood Media to create "upbeat playlists" for human shoppers, and "modern, mellow tunes" to help keep pets calm as they stay at PetsHotel locations. Does that mean no more Top 40 Katy Perry? (It's what I hear every time I'm at PetSmart).

We're not sure, as neither PetSmart nor Mood Media would actually specify to news outlets which songs would be included on these playlists. For PetsHotel music, we do have this clue from Mood Media, as divulged to CBS News:

We had to select a solution that combined both organic textures and atmospheric styles -- avoiding selections that feature bizarre instrumentation, dominant vocals and errant high-pitched passages (for obvious reasons).

Sounds nice, but vague. So unless you're a pet enjoying a stay at PetsHotel, there's really no way to know which songs or artists fulfill the parameters of "modern, mellow" tunes with "organic textures." But we musicians at Cattus have a strong suspicion: 

It's Coldplay.

Here's further proof:

 

(Disclaimer: We like Coldplay!)

"I do!" to Pets at Weddings

We've noticed a wedding trend that we absolutely love: pets that help you say, "I do."

Adorned in flower wreaths, stepping in as ring bearer or flower girl or simply as an indispensable guest, pets (particularly dogs) are becoming more common at weddings. (Note the burgeoning industry of "pet wedding attendant/chaperone" services!)

Even though your furry family member may will challenge the notion of a "perfect" wedding day, they will certainly remove some of that pressure. And if you're lucky, provide comic relief in the form of background noise as you say your vows. A couple had just that happen, as recounted in a recent New York Times article about including pets at weddings:

My uncle is trying to start the ceremony, and there’s Rusty whimpering and whining and howling, a mix of all three really. Then he just plopped down and started chewing the fringe of the Oriental rug.

The article points out that including a pet as you walk down the aisle is certainly "a leap of faith," but the emotional payoff is immeasurable. One bride said, "The moment they walked in, I thought, ‘My family is here.’”

Indeed, that sentiment is the reason why couples can't imagine leaving their pets at home on their wedding day, especially given the rise in popularity of non-traditional and/or outdoor wedding venues that make it easier to include pets. Jeff Woodward, a photographer in Vermont, had an impressive estimate when interviewed by The New York Times: “I bet you 50 percent of the weddings I’m going to do this summer are going to have some dog involvement.”

For Los Angeles-based wedding planner Lisa Gorjestani (of Details Event Planning), pets have been a part of her work for the past dozen years. She told CNN that, aside from providing food and water and other basic necessities, she uses peanut butter as a special treat to keep dogs in line on the big day.

If only the answer were as simple as peanut butter for every one of your guests!

Martha Stewart has some quick tips for including pets in your wedding.

Buzzfeed has an amazing gallery of photos showing different couples with rabbits, pigs, and snakes. Yes, snakes!

And please read more about how Cattus Quartet donates to organizations dedicated animal welfare.

Rio Olympians Pose with Puppies for Adoption Drive

Michael Phelps might have won four gold medals in Rio, but these puppies just win, period. They teamed up with a few of your favorite Olympic athletes for a photo shoot to promote NBCUniversal's second annual Clear the Shelters campaign, a nationwide pet adoption drive that took place on July 23rd. The event paired 40 local NBC and Telemundo television stations with about 700 animal shelters for the day-long event. Last year about 20,000 pets were adopted! 

Take a look below at some of our favorite photos! All of the dogs pictured came from Southern California shelters, and they were all adopted following the shoot. Aly Raisman deserves an extra gold medal of her own.....she adopted the dog she was matched with for the photoshoot!