Animals Make Us Better


A couple weeks ago, we reached that awful point in a pet’s life when we had to make the decision which they are unable to make themselves. After 18 and a half years of friendship, we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat, Cappio.

She was originally rescued from the Greenhill Humane Society just West of Eugene, Oregon in the late summer of 1992. We figured that everyone else would pick the long hairs, the chubby ones, the much cuter ones. Instead, we’d choose the one that looked like it needed the most help, the one that couldn’t compete with the others.

While trying to pick a name for our new little feline friend, an animated commercial campaign for a new bottled coffee drink was periodically playing on the television. So, Cappio it was. Small and short like her size and round on both ends, we felt it a perfect fit.


She lived mostly in the background of our experiences for the next dozen years. Small, she crested at a mere five pounds. She was a silent friend that was there for both the good and the painful.

In the last few years, Cappio became much more integrated in our lives. She was with us everyday and almost always with us while we worked. More often than not, she would even be an active conference call participant, tucked into her own chair while we’d tussle with the speaker phone. Not everybody self labels as a ‘cat person’, but if you’ve enjoyed or at least found interesting any of our motion, audio, or still work in the last few years, then you are a ‘cat-person’ by proxy as she has been a sizable inspiration for most every project.

In her later years, she required much more care which we were happy to be able to provide her. Cappio was cursed with hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, and arthritis among other ailments, but we were able to treat her in a way where her quality of life was maintained up until the end.


Our home is much too quiet now and we miss her dearly. But, in an effort to keep things positive we’ve looked for ways to do good for other cats that could use a little bit of help. So, to that end we decided to make a 100 pound food donation to the Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, Oregon for use in their food bank program. It helps pet owners that may have hit a rough patch financially continue to care for their pets rather than have to give them up or neglect their needs. You can learn more about it here. Such an easy thing to do that directly helps pets and their owners that may be in trouble, we’re sure we’ll be making more food runs in the future.


We’re better people for having lived with and cared for little Cappio and will never forget her. She was a true family member. Our pain is a testament to how large a part of our life she had become and how much we loved her.

Thank you to everyone who sent their condolences and relayed their own elderly cat stories. They made us both smile and cry.

If you’re in the Portland area and are faced with a similar end of life care situation, let us know as we were fortunate to find a fantastic veterinarian for compassionate in-home euthanasia and we would be happy to pass along their contact information.

Also, if you’re looking for a pet yourself, please consider adopting an animal at a rescue center or the humane society rather than encouraging the monetizing and needless overproduction of animals by breeders. You’ll feel like a hero, because you’ll be a hero. Cappio would thank you.

Donation Made – Oregon Humane Society

Back in September, we committed to donating half the proceeds received from music sales for the month to the Oregon Humane Society as outlined in this previous blog post.

Time flies and the reports are in.  Now, we’re not talking Danzig or Color Me Badd sales, but based on our quick calculations it could stretch a bit. With it they could pick up over 20 cat beds, more than 400 pounds of dog or 200 pounds of cat food, 400 pounds of cat litter, or even 40 new collars to transition one family’s neglected and under appreciated pet into another’s new best friend.

Thanks to everyone that picked up tracks and helped us do a little something for the little somethings.

So, yesterday we stopped in to make the donation and snapped a couple quick pics while we were there. We tried to match some of the photos to their OHS adoption pages, click image for links. It’s nice to see that some have been adopted since our visit yesterday.


Oh man. You know, it’s one of those places that simultaneously reaffirms your faith in the human ability to help the helpless while leaving you sullen, sad, and frustrated as you contemplate why these very places need exist at all. The Oregon Humane Society in Northeast Portland is fantastic. Providing the services you’d expect, but also such a welcoming physical space that is both people and pet friendly.

Even if you’re not in the market to adopt an animal, it’s worth a casual stop in to check out and feel your heart being tugged gently by soft little paws on the other side of the glass.


Dog pile to make you smile. 

The animals all have comfortable space to live during their stay and the staff buzzes about to care for them up front and behind the scenes. But, the one genius thing we noticed was that on the paper information cards that are paired with the animals in their respective areas not only tells the basics, it also says why the specific animal has been left there. So, when you see Scraps, the short haired pooch that’s giving you the sad-eye treatment, you find out that he was given up after only two months in to his previous home because his previous owner “didn’t have the time” to care for him. Now, if that doesn’t get you frustrated and also trigger a natural instinct to want to help ol’ Scraps to a new home, then you’re just emotionally unavailable. The “didn’t have time” excuse seems to be common, as is “unable to exercise”, or “don’t have the space”.


Look at those eyes.  Are you kidding me?

That’s why we’re all thankful places like the Oregon Humane Society exists. And as such, that’s why we were happy to be able to make a donation. With it, the OHS will be able to continue doing the job we’re all happy to have them do.


Just more to love.

Kittens are cute, but adult cats need homes, too. When we stopped in, we caught “Max” here sauntering about the room he was sharing with about six other cats. There’s just something about a really big cat. His tag says he needs a home that can provide him with exercise, but that should probably go without saying when you witness his 19 pounds that moves about his sturdy frame with a one second delay. He hasn’t been there as long as some others and could already be adopted, but maybe a survey of his chunky self will result in the adoption of his peers, canine or feline.


If you’re in the market for an indoor friend, go check out Max and his other cat, dog, rabbit, and bird friends at the OHS. If he or another makes it home with you, send us a note with a picture to let us know.








Impactist Music: Fifty Purr-cent for Pets in September

You know what Portland has a ton of? Hipsters? Beards? Unemployment? Yeah, there are a lot of those, but we’ve got a mess of animals, too. Cats, dogs, you name it. Seems like every other park has been made dog-friendly, while every street facing window has a cat sunning themselves in it. But, sometimes those little friends need a bit of help from us humans to get back on their feet, return to their owners, or find a new family altogether.


Our cat “Cappio” was adopted from the humane society in Eugene back in 1992 and turns the ripe old age of 18 this month, most likely thanks to the initial care and medical attention she received there after she had been abandoned as a kitten.


In light of her elderly achievement, we will donate half the proceeds of all reported online purchases of any and all Impactist music starting today (August 27) through the month of September to the Oregon Humane Society here in Portland. It’s a great place with a fantastic mission that is fun to visit even if you have no intention of adopting an animal. Browse the cats all perched throughout the viewing rooms that are cleverly setup like cozy home interiors where every cat gets its own bed. That pull you feel on your insides as you look through the glass? Why, that’s just the animals proving you’re an empathetic human with a heart and the capacity to relate to the world around you.


Buy any album, track, or variety of tracks at online retailers like iTunes and from August 27, 2010, through the month of September 2010 and we will donate 50% of the reported proceeds directly to the Oregon Humane Society located in Portland, Oregon.

*UPDATE – This also includes our music that is now available to buy/download as DRM-free high bit rate 320k MP3’s directly from our site.

Radiolab T-shirts

WNYC’s Radiolab has teamed up with Chop Shop to print t-shirts from the In Radiolab we Trust limited print set that we were part of last year. 84% of all profits of this design will go to benefit Radiolab.  Comes screen printed on American Apparel Orange or Black. Purchase shirt here. UPDATED: No longer available.

Be sure to also check out the other Radiolab tees including Goat & Cow designed by Jez Burrows.