A few weeks ago, the rapper iAmMoshow, whose songs are about cats and the women who love them, was visiting a cat hotel when he met one such woman, who casually mentioned that her two cats are declawed.
"That broke my heart," iAmMoshow said to TODAY. "If you were a cat I'm pretty sure you'd want your claws."
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So iAmMoshow did what any motivated cat-focused rapper would do: He went home, wrote a song, and then made an awesome video about why it's bad to declaw cats and how you definitely shouldn't do it.
"If I saved one cat from being declawed, then I feel like I've done my job," iAmMoshow said.
iAmMoshow, who is 30 years old — and whose given name is Dwayne Molock — began rapping as a self-described nerd teen in his hometown of Baltimore.
Cats did not enter his life, or artistic repertoire, until iAmMoshow left home to attend York College of Pennsylvania. There, he met a woman — she goes by the name EmSee — and her cat, who was known as Queenie.
EmSee "liked Lil Wayne, and I just thought that was awesome," iAmMoshow told the alt weekly Willamette Week, earlier this year. "This little girl, with glasses. You know, very nerdy. And she's like, 'I like Lil Wayne!' And I'm like, 'What? What's going on?' It just connected from there."
He also bonded with Queenie — who was EmSee's family cat for 15 years, and died just a few weeks ago. "I wanted to say R.I.P to you, Queenie, miss and love you," said iAmMoshow.
When iAmMoshow and Queenie first met, the cat gave him a good long stare. "The next thing I know she's in my lap. The cat fever just happened," he said.
That's how meowgical videos like this came about:
The couple now lives in Portland, Oregon — a city they chose because they thought it'd be friendly to their eccentricities — with their four cats: Sushi, Ravioli, MegaMam and Tali.
The cats, three of whom are hairless and wear stylish T-shirts, often steal the show in iAmMoshow's videos, by balancing comfortably atop his head and shoulders while he sings their virtues.
"Yeah I love my cats, man. You'd better love your cats, man," are the lyrics for a typically charming loopy song called "Love Your Cats."
And if female cat lovers have every once in a while felt themselves to be misunderstood, iAmMoshow has a weekly series called “Beautiful Cat Lady Wednesdays” devoted to turning that around.
It's in part a tribute to EmSee, who produces his videos and "is one of my biggest inspirations. She always supports me and my dreams," he said. "Also every cat lady in this world gives me inspiration. I really, really, really love cat ladies. I can't express that enough."
Another thing iAmMoshow can't express enough is just how grateful he is that his work is attracting an audience — that he gets to sing about adoring his cats; being good to felines and not hurting them; and even cleaning out litter boxes.
And it would seem lots of people are delighted to hear these songs.
"There's so many great artists that make music and they just never get the support that they need. The fact that I can say what I feel and create my music and have a few people listen to it, and love it — I'm so grateful for that," iAmMoshow said. "And at the end of the day, it's cats."