York College of Pennsylvania Alumnus, The Cat Rapper, Has Cattitude
TikTok and Netflix star, The Cat Rapper, aka Dwayne “Moshow” Molock ’14, has cat fever. He’s taking his message worldwide and encouraging cat adoptions through his rap lyrics.
York College of Pennsylvania alumnus, The Cat Rapper–aka “Moshow”–aka Dwayne Molock ’14, knows all too well how cats become part of the family. He has five cats with his wife, Mary-Casey “MC” Pereida ’10. “They all have crazy personalities, and we’re just one little cat family,” he says.
Seizing the opportunity
Moshow hasn’t always been The Cat Rapper. He grew up in the projects of Baltimore City, a place where he saw death and crime close to home. “I grew up with not a lot,” he says. “I was growing up in a place where they told me that I wouldn’t make it to the age of 16.”
He went to his mom one day and asked her about moving out of the projects to have a better chance at life. “I graduated from high school, I stayed out of trouble and that summer, she kept her promise, and we moved to the county,” he says.
When it came to choosing a college, he wanted to go somewhere other than the colleges his high school classmates were looking at. He checked out York College and instantly fell in love with the campus. “I just loved everything about it,” he says. “I liked the one-on-one activity we got. It wasn’t big lecture halls. It was more one-on-one with the professors, and if you needed that extra push or extra help, you could get it.”
Most importantly, he says, he loved the resources available and his teachers inspired him. “Dr. George Strouse was one of the greatest teachers there,” he says. “He saw something in me before I even saw it. He always knew I was going to do special things.”
Moshow and MC met at the College during an elective theatre class. It was instant chemistry, and they bonded over their similar interests. They began dating and visited her parents on the weekends. MC grew up with cats and had a black cat named Queenie.
As an Information Systems Development major, Moshow would spend much of his time working on projects in coding at MC’s parents’ house. Her cat, Queenie, would watch him. “First month, she would just be very far away. Second month, she got closer. The third month, cats sneak up on you,” he says. “And before I knew it, I was making sure Queenie had a spot to sit on the bed, asking Queenie if she wanted to watch a movie with us.”
“When Queenie sat in my lap, it was just like, poof! Cat fever took over,” he says.
The Cat Rapper on a mission
After college, Moshow and MC were living in Maryland with three of their cats. But they weren’t happy with where they were. They decided to pack up and move across the country to Portland, Oregon. Moshow “hit the ground running,” he says.
It all started with a bath. His cat DJ Ravioli is a Devon Rex—a breed that needs special care. DJ Ravioli “has only the first coat of hair, so he doesn’t have a full coat,” says Moshow. “Oil and stuff build up on his fur as well, which is why he has to get a bath.” After Moshow took a video rapping the ‘Cat Bath Rap’ freestyle and posted it online, the video went viral.
His fame skyrocketed, reaching cat lovers from all over the world. He has starred in Arm & Hammer cat litter TV commercials; appeared in the Netflix show, Cat People, in the very first episode; released four albums; published six books with another one in the works, and has a huge following on TikTok. “I’m just very thankful for all of the massive support,” he says.
From there, he was able to get his name and message out about how to properly care for cats. He uses his raps to educate people about adopting from shelters, spaying or neutering, not declawing, and destigmatizing specific cat breeds such as the superstitions surrounding black cats. He now works with shelters worldwide to help cats find their forever homes.
“My plan for the future is I will try to go as far as I can go,” he says. “I want to do more work with cat adoption. I would love to attend libraries and do readings with kids. I would love to get my message out there more. I want to do more work with my community, and I also just want to continue to spread my message and positivity to as many people who are willing to listen to me.”
Moshow has come a long way since he majored in Information Systems Development at York College. Happily, Strouse was right when he predicted Moshow would do something special in life.