If you’ve ever wondered whether your feline friend has hidden powers that emerge when you’re not watching, you might be onto something. There’s at least one cat out there with musical talents, and she’s not afraid to show it.
Nora the Piano Cat appears on today’s page in the 365 Cats Page-A-Day® calendar. Nora is moved by music—several times a day, this gorgeous cat feels inspired to hop up onto the piano bench of her owner and play a little tune.
Nora even has her own website now, and is kind of a big deal. It wasn’t always this way, however, for this pussy prodigy. Sadly, life once looked rather bleak for Nora. Born to a stray, she spent her days at a pet shelter in New Jersey, wishing and hoping for a good home—and one with a good piano, too. One day, as she played with her shelter mates, Betsy and Burnell waltzed through the door. Betsy, a piano teacher, picked Nora up and she began pawing at her long braid. It was love at first sight.
Luckily, Nora’s new home had two gorgeous grand pianos, plus other musical instruments, art, brightly colored toys and several other cats. Before taking up the piano, Nora became the leader of the cat pack in the house, and made sure everyone knew she was in charge.
Soon enough, Nora began experimenting with the piano. The feeling of the keys beneath her paws—and the resulting melodic sounds—lit a spark in Nora’s heart. How wonderful it was to create music! As Nora says, “practices makes purr-fect,” and soon enough, she was as good as some of Betsy’s younger students. Despite Nora’s bossy demeanor, she does enjoy collaboration when it comes to the piano, and will never say “no” to playing a duet.
Nora’s musical talents were “discovered” by Betsy’s students, who snapped photos and captured videos of her playing with their phones. As it turns out, a piano-playing cat is something of a novelty, and a rarity, too.
Before Nora knew it, she had many admirers—surprisingly, none of them feline. These human fans make drawings and write poems dedicated to Nora, and buy t-shirts with her face on them. Then, Nora did the impossible. She learned to write and authored two books: Nora the Piano Cat’s Guide to Becoming a Good Musician (Or how to get good at anything hard), and her memoir, My Story: A Picture Book. There you have it: the story of how a shelter cat became a YouTube and musical sensation.
If you have a unique (and talented!) cat like Nora, enter your pet into the Page-A-Day® Cat Contest. Or, vote for this week’s cat contestants! (Last week, Chloë, who hails all the way from Uganda, and has a milk mustache, took the metaphoric blue ribbon.)
For more in musical cats, check out the album Songs of the Cat, in which Garrison Keillor and a German opera star create odes to cats.