Sound Off

Jingle Cats Is The Worst Thing To Happen To Christmas Music

Last year, hip-hop dream team BFFs Run The Jewels released a song-for-song remix of their latest album. This wasn’t a normal remix album, where you get Steve Aoki in the booth to add in some cake-tossing drops. No, Meow The Jewels was a different beast entirely: the unholy marriage of fire lyrics with cat noises.

I’m a big Run The Jewels stan, but I just can’t bring myself to listen to the whole thing. I can enjoy watching a music video of cats getting their Godzilla on as much as the next person, but every time I’ve been exposed to the goofy boom-bap of Meow The Jewels I start going into horrifying Jingle Cats flashbacks and end up curled up in a sweating ball.

What’s that? You don’t know what Jingle Cats is? Allow me to do you a huge solid: For the sake of your sanity, you should STOP reading this immediately. If you have managed to live this long and not be exposed to the sheer horror that is Jingle Cats, you should treasure your blessed ignorance. Nothing awaits you beyond this paragraph but pain and suffering.

I was once like you. An innocent soul who believed that he lived in a good world, a world without Jingle Cats. That changed when I started working retail. I learned many things, spending over a decade of my life working retail. I learned that 90 percent of humanity lacks common sense, compassion, and the ability to properly read signage. I learned that Christmas music played 24-7 for two and a half months straight will strangle the holiday spirit in you, leaving it suspended and kicking like David Carradine on a hotel door. Most of all: I learned that there is no form of Christmas music more accursed or debased than Jingle Cats.

Don’t be fooled by its kitschy name: A more accurate title for the project would be The Wretched Mewling Of The Damned. Jingle Cats is a series of Christmas albums made up entirely of cat sounds. All your favorite Christmas jams performed entirely by creatures who can’t tell the difference between a poisonous snake and a cucumber. Have you ever wanted to hear what “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” would sound like if it was meowed by a chorus of cats? Trust me: You don’t. You really, really don’t.

Did I mention that this is a series of albums? That the original Jingle Cats album (released in 1993) sold enough copies to spawn an entire empire of hairball-hacking holiday music? That the demand for more Jingle Cats material was so great that they decided to branch out and do all-dog-noises AND baby-noises albums too? And that this happened in the early 90’s, long before cats begging for cheeseburgers and being grumpy took over the internet?

An argument could be made that Jingle Cats is Patient Zero of the Kitty Meme Plague. Once the idea of listening to a bunch of felines meow “The Little Drummer Boy” became normalized, it was only a matter of time before we got to “Oh Long Johnson” and cat circuses.

In a saner universe, the original Jingle Cats would have come out and the public would have responded by burying every single CD and cassette of it in the desert, right next to wherever the E.T. video game is buried. Jingle Cats creator Mike Spalla would have been dipped in catnip and tied to a pole in the San Diego Zoo’s lion exhibit.

We let this happen, America: This is the second most egregious thing our population has forced onto the world stage.
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Ashley Naftule