Post-Surgery Cat Vocals is a royalty-free collection of strange sounds made by my cat after he had surgery. The library contains 62 mono files at 24/192, totaling 44 seconds.
Two years ago, one of our cats had surgery (don’t worry, he’s totally fine now). When we got him back home after the surgery, I noticed immediately that his voice sounded a lot different than usual; his voice sounded very strained and raspy and weak.
This particular cat’s voice was unusual to begin with. His meows have always had a strong nasal element that is not typical of other cats. Add to this the fact that he talks more frequently than most cats, and he was odd to start with, but he sounded even weirder after the surgery.
Naturally, my first inclination was to immediately grab a mic and start recording him. I wasn’t sure how long the effect would last (and I was hoping it wasn’t permanent), so I recorded as much as I could for the next two or so days. After just a few days he already sounded normal again (and he has ever since), so I wasn’t able to get a ton out of him, but I did get some cool stuff.
Perhaps the biggest challenge was getting him to vocalize at all. Although he is usually an abnormally talkative for a cat, when I would sit down with a mic and talk to him to coax him into vocalizing, he would maybe vocalize a few times and then just start purring from all the attention. Once he really started purring (which didn’t sound unusual, unfortunately, so it wasn’t worth recording), he would stop vocalizing until I left for a bit and came back later. I repeated this several times over two or three days, and still only ended up with 62 sounds worth keeping.
After that, the hard part was in cleanup and editing. These files were EXTREMELY dirty. There was background noise, the sounds were very quiet, and he was moving around (which makes more noise), so I had to move to keep the mic in front of him (which makes more noise), so at the end of it all, it took quite a lot of work to get these as useable as they are. On top of this, these were recorded with a pretty cheap shotgun microphone, as, two years ago, I didn’t own a good shotgun mic. And since the files are dirty enough already, I didn’t want to switch to my better cardioid mics, because I couldn’t afford to have more extraneous noise. The good news is that although the mic was crappy, the recorder was not. This was recorded with a Sound Devices 702 at 24/192, but that only helps so much, of course.
Which brings me to my main point: these sounds are very low quality. There are several sounds included that are dirty enough that if they were anything I could repeat, I would instantly throw them away and re-record them. I did not discard them and instead included them, because although they are terrible quality, they are interesting, and it’s impossible to re-record them. Some of the dirtiness of the sounds is mitigated by how quiet they are. I have set them all to peak at -6 dBFS, but this is just for convenience in working with them, and they should really be more like -20 at the loudest. Some were originally around -40 or less.
Post-Surgery Cat Vocals
62 Mono Files at 24 bit 192kHz, 44 Seconds, 43.6 MB (35.2 MB Download)
Includes PFD, CSV, and XLSX track lists