Friday, October 23, 2009

Nora the Piano-Playing Tabby Wins ASPCA Cat of the Year Award

When Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow of Philadelphia, PA, visited an animal shelter in Cherry Hill, NJ, they never imagined they would adopt a feline prodigy. Nora, a grey Tabby named after the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, appeared to be your average mischievous young kitten. But this seemingly ordinary shelter cat is receiving an extraordinary honor next week, when she will be officially named Cat of the Year at the annual ASPCA Humane Awards in New York City.



Originally deemed “bossy” by shelter staff, Nora wasn’t the most popular feline among her four-legged clan, but Betsy and Burnell saw something special in the demonstrative kitty and welcomed her into their furry family. Nora immediately established herself as the alpha cat of the family’s four other felines, but it wasn’t until she was a year old that her secret gift suddenly emerged. One afternoon, Betsy, who teaches music lessons, was startled to discover Nora delicately tickling the ivories of her Yamaha piano. Playing the piano soon became the cat’s favorite pastime. Her sensitive pawing, which several newspapers have described as "a cross between free jazz and Philip Glass,” became a YouTube sensation, drawing more than 20 million page views. It also inspired a Lithuanian composer to arrange a symphony in her honor.

Though her talents are unrivaled, Nora has been named the ASPCA Cat of the Year as much for her musical abilities as for her pluck and drive to prove that shelter pets—far from being castoffs—often make the best animal companions. Nora is a true testament to the spirit of the Humane Awards, which every year honor exceptional animals as well as inspiring individuals who have dedicated their lives to animal welfare.

12 comments:

Confucius Cat said...

What a fabulous story. I love Nora's video on Youtube. Purrs.

the casbah kitten said...

How wonderful It's great that a cat wiff talent if finally given the recognition she deserves!

Cat with a Garden said...

We too love Nora and it's very fitting that she receives this honour. Such a talent!

SeaThreePeeO said...

What a wonderful story. Well deserved!

Sammy and Andy said...

Isn't Nora totally pawsome.....we have been fans of her's for ages.....we love all her videos....and she definitely deserves this award.

Happy Caturday.....purrrrrrrrsssss

Ginger Jasper said...

Thats wonderful and so deserved.. Hugs GJ x

Huffle Mawson said...

I think I might ask mum for a piano now. What if I have a hidden talent too? Nora is great!

Keiko and Luna T. Katt said...

that's pawsomes =^_^=

our bean wanted us to asks... where do you get the graphics for your top of page piksur? they are so cutes!!!

Chuchu said...

I've seen her videos before! She really is a talented and cute gal huh. =]]

Keiko and Luna T. Katt said...

If she wants to make sum sure! Is there a site where the pieces come from thos? We likes playing wif dems too and those little smilie guy are pawesome =^_^=

Cat of Nine Tales said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing this news. Nora has been one of my all time favorite kitties since I first saw her on YouTube at least 3 years ago...even before I knew that a cat blogosphere existed!
~Lisa Co9T

Amy and The House of Cats said...

That is so cool! She is going to be a great representative for shelter kitties everywhere!