National Pet Week Spotlight: Lesli Wood and Pilot

Local Music
Janice Headley
photos courtesy of the artist

While every day with a pet is a celebration, the first full week of May is officially National Pet Week, established in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) "to honor the many important roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership." To commemorate the week, we chatted with local musicians about their relationships with their own pets — today, we profile Redwood Plan frontwoman Lesli Wood and her kitty, Pilot!

    What are Pilot's nicknames?PMT, Mister P, Bunny, Lumpus Galumpagus (clearly his scientific species name)How long have you and Pilot been together?6 years. He was brought to me after being found in a P-patch. I was asked to "harbor a fugitive" until he could be found a home (I had just lost my cat of 17 years and didn't think my heart was ready for another cat). The door to the cat carrier opened and out popped this small, dirty, adorable white kitten with one blue eye and one gold eye. He looked at me, I looked at him, then he ran up to me and I immediately started hugging and kissing him and said "I'm going to name him Pilot!!!". It was love at first sight. We've been inseparable ever since. Does Pilot influence your music, or musical choices, in any way?Pilot influences everything. I generally write lyrics when I'm walking around my apartment holding Pilot. Every time I've recorded or tracked something in my home, Pilot has been either on my lap or somehow having to be held by me while I'm tracking (see the picture). I also write a lot of lyrics in the shower and as Pilot is a water cat, he likes to sit in the shower with me. Now that I think of it, Pilot doesn't really give me a lot of privacy.Does Pilot respond to any particular music? Pilot does not like the sound of the flute. It totally weirds him out. Luckily, it's not a sound he hears often. I would like to say he's a big fan of The Redwood Plan but I think he just follows the sound of my voice. So, really, I could be singing "Wanted Dead or Alive" and that would be his favorite song...From online photos, it looks like Pilot has David Bowie eyes... does he like David Bowie's music? Pilot's full name is actually Pilot Major Tom for just that reason. Thus, his nickname of PMT. I'm pretty sure Pilot thinks that David Bowie has Pilot eyes, not the other way around. Pilot's a pretty influential cat.

The Redwood Plan's most recent album, Green Light Go, is out now on Fish the Cat Records. They're currently on a west coast tour that brings them back to Seattle on May 17th at the Victory Lounge with Steel Cranes, Japanese Game Show and Small Plans.

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