Hilary and Zanzibar’s Cat Purr Ringtone


Hilary Robinson is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University. She wrote into Locally Toned wondering if her cat Zanzibar could be turned into a kitty-purring ringtone. “I think he’ll relax enough to begin purring so we can pull it off,” she said when we talked about the possibility. I didn’t have a contact mic, which would have made the cat purr a super strong sound, but I was happy to give the challenge of capturing Zanzi’s purr with my Audio Technica shotgun mic a try.

Aside from putting in lots of hours as Dean of the CFA, Hillary serves on boards for the Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Quantum Theater and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. She’s also a supporter of Bike Pittsburgh, she loves taking her bike out on the city trails, and thinks Pittsburgh is a great city for artists–especially the neighborhood of Lawrenceville (where she lives).


Hilary adopted Zanzibar after she heard word one day, around the CFA building, that a kitty cat was found in a men’s room within the building. “We emailed everybody, trying to find his person, and since he had no chip installed with information, I decided to take him home.”

I asked Hilary how she came up for the idea of a kitty-cat purr for a ringtone. “One day he was sitting on my lap, purring away, and that reminded me of the vibrate mode on phones. Zanzi’s also a bit like a phone, since I can talk to him, too.”

Here’s another very gentle sounding tone that Daniel Striped Tiger‘d be sure to put into rotation on his cell phone–Zanzibar’s Purr.


Thanks to Hilary for her contribution to the project and to Zanzi for cooperating that day!

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Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Ringtones

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