The Weather

Pet Soundz

Pet Soundz is a weekly advice column for pet bands and their owners/managers, written by Reggie Fulsom, former Owner/Manager of the seminal pet punk band Choke Chain. It is syndicated in over five hundred newspapers worldwide. 

Dear Pet Soundz,

A few days ago my cat drank an entire bottle of cranberry-flavored vodka and then wrote a tender ballad about her recent breakup. Earlier in the week I’d stolen my Labradoodle back from my ex-wife and taught him how to play piano. Last night my teenage son “accidentally” glued some drumsticks to our ferret’s paws and we found out the ferret is an incredible drummer. It seems like everything is coming together for us to finally start our own pet band. Any ideas for a name?

Dave – Pensacola, FL

Dear Dave,

One of the most important decisions for any pet band is going to be their name. An easy way to name your band is to simply combine the name of your pet’s mother with the street you currently live on. If you don’t like the name that this formula gives, a good name for a pet band is always Reconstructed Hymen.


Hi Pet Soundz,

There are already a ton of great pet bands in the world and I’m wondering if you have any advice on how to stand out amongst the crowd?

Cari – Wilmington, VT

Hello Cari,

You’re right, with so many great pet bands, new and old, you’re going to need more than great music to stand out. A few years ago this meant dressing your pet in a skimpy top and tight pants, but now it means focusing on your pet’s sympathetic backstory (i.e. growing up in a puppy mill/being a drug mule/their daily struggle with hip dysplasia) while occasionally mixing in a nipple or testicle slip to keep the internet happy.

Wishing you well,

Hi Pet Soundz,

My pet band has our first gig next week. I’m wondering how long it will take for us to make it to the top?

Erica – Bremen, Germany

Hello Erica,

In the beginning, your pet band is going to need to pay its dues. Usually this means gigging at smaller venues like roadside zoos or that brothel your best friend runs out of his mom’s basement. Your pet won’t be paid much for these gigs, but they will give your pet band the necessary exposure you’ll need to play in bigger clubs. If you run short on money during this time, you can always stretch your budget by purchasing cut-rate kibble or selling one of the lesser talented band members for fur or meat.

Best of luck,

Hi Pet Soundz,

Drug abuse among pet bands is so pervasive. Recently I noticed our bassist, a polydactyl cat named Cuckoo, shotgunning heartworm pills. I confronted him about it and he threw a beer stein at my head and yelled at me to mind my own fucking business. Should I be worried?

Roland – Tuscaloosa, AL

Hi Roland,

You’re totally right to worry about Cuckoo. It starts innocently enough—an extra glass of wine or a pill or two extra after a show just to calm down, but then it spirals out of control. Try to get your Cuckoo to seek counseling or stage an intervention. If you don’t act fast, I guarantee you’ll soon find him in the dressing room, shooting heroin between his fifth and sixth toes.


Dear Pet Soundz,

I’ve got a couple of different options for the make-up of my pet band. Which combination of animals do you think works best?

Phil – San Dimas, CA

Hola Phil,

If you read my column regularly, you know I get this question a lot. While most people think some bizarre combination of exotic animals is a wonderful idea for a pet band, they’ve all been done by now (except tigers and tea cup pigs). It’s best to just give the people what they want: an alpaca who vaguely resembles David Bowie fronting a band of taller hairless cats who don’t mind wearing face paint.


John Jodzio's work has been featured in a variety of places including This American Life, McSweeney's, and One Story. He's the author of the short story collections, Knockout, Get In If You Want To Live, and If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home. He lives in Minneapolis.