The Cats Meow (no apostrophe) is on Bourbon Street. I thought there was no way we were going to get me in there, but it happened. I guess showing up before 8 and in New Orleans’ off-season helps. So does the fact that there was a Saints game on. That’s why our first karaoke choice, Kajun Club, wasn’t having its usual early show. Still, the place was packed with tourists and wedding parties and smelled of vomit and bleach.
Three people ran the show. A young woman in ripped jean shorts and metal cat ears managed the list, writing the names of singers and those on deck on a glow-in-the-dark board. An older man in a Superman T-shirt and bandanna entertained the crowd, getting people to dance on stage to videos between singers (he would sometimes sing to the videos as well). Then there was a mystery person, in a booth up above, choosing the tracks and keeping the music going.
We made it 10 minutes before the happy hour ended, which advertised “3 for 1” drinks, which we assumed meant we would get three drinks for the price of one. Ha. It meant you would get three (watered down) shots in your drink. Such is Bourbon Street.
There is a very limited song list, but in a way that’s not why you come here. You come here because of the location, whether intentionally or not. You come here for a crowd. You come here because they live stream your performance. You come here because it’s karaoke on Bourbon Street on a Saturday night.
After the Cats Meow, we explored the area, took a lot of pictures, and ordered drinks at a walk-up window. We paused to see if a clown and drunk guy were going to come to blows, and I bought a souvenir. Music poured out from the bars – jazz, blues, rock , mariachi. Then, it was time for bar #2, or the first one we tried, depending on how you want to look at it.
Kajun’s was off the main drag, but the area was still packed thanks to assortment of bars and an art show; we park on the median. A poster of Orlando’s victims is displayed in the front window. The KJ here also has cat ears, though hers are fuzzy green. The game that drove us away a few hours ago was ending as we got there (the home team lost), so the group of old men sitting at a table in front of the big screen got up, bringing their bags of chips and salsa with them. Within minutes, the place fills up with singers. I signed up for my song using a kiosk by the KJ booth, managing to be second on the list.
As I’m singing, the bar fills and many stand in line at the kiosk. We hang around to hear a few more songs, but our night has been full enough. We leave for our long drive back over the Causeway – but not before a quick stop to grab some Cajun egg rolls for the ride back.
The next day, I got this cool print in the Garden District, because my friend Larissa has some by this artist, too (Hi Larissa!).