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OT: Cats and Pianos
#2518348 03/07/16 01:33 AM
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Not really off topic, but kind of off topic.

Whenever I reach a certain point in the Baroque piece I'm working on, my cat Ezra jumps on the stool and slowly stretches and slinks over my hands as I'm playing the piano and then loops under them and flops into a ball in my lap.

This has happened so many times in the last few days that I've finally decided I need to get this on video. He'll probably get stage fright and won't do it on camera, but no kidding: the same section in this piece, he does this same thing. Not every time, but enough to be more than a coincidence.

I'm having some hiccups with this section, and I struggle with staying focused, so anticipating Ezzie's slinking stretchover has me looking around for him and losing track of my playing.

Do your cats enhance your playing or hinder it in anyway? Are they drawn to you or your piano when you're practicing?

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Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518349 03/07/16 01:51 AM
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Only one of my cats likes piano music and quite selectively. She also prefers recordings to my playing. She does like my singing though.

I am not one of those people who can work with my cats bothering me, so when I am in the practice mode, off they go!

BTW. Another thing we have in common it seems grin

Last edited by outo; 03/07/16 01:53 AM.
Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518353 03/07/16 02:30 AM
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We had a Siamese cat for many years who would herself play the piano: She would jump up on the piano bench and carefully depress a key or a few keys, and then look around the room to see if anybody noticed. Those of us in the room would applaud her playing, and she would let out a peal of joyful meowing and go on to groom herself with a delighted air about her. She did this many, many times over her lifetime of fifteen years. We kept the bench close to the keyboard just for her.


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
outo #2518355 03/07/16 03:00 AM
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I'm not sure how to "off they go" six cats. :o))

This is Kuma, a piano distractor of a different kind. I shared this photo in another forum, but he's better off here.

Cats are pretty much everywhere in my house.

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Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518359 03/07/16 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MooseNotes
I'm not sure how to "off they go" six cats. :o))

This is Kuma, a piano distractor of a different kind. I shared this photo in another forum, but he's better off here.

Cats are pretty much everywhere in my house.

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All my six cats are pretty well trained to my habits smile

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518447 03/07/16 11:51 AM
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One of my favourite piano cats was when Einaudi was doing a live stream of his, then newly released, album In a Time Lapse, and lo a cat appeared in the background, walked behind Einaudi and out of shot again. It's still on YT.

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518462 03/07/16 12:16 PM
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My cat loves music... but only when it is reasonably polished. I have two vintage stools: one for md and one for the cat. When the piece is getting fairly polished, he will jump on his stool, close his eyes and move his lips. Anything less than decent is not worth his time and interest. True story.

I know 'it is getting there' because of my cat's attitude and then report to my teacher 'It has now met my cat's standards'. She doesn't believe he is so discerning.

FWIW: He will only applaud music played on my acoustic and shuns anything on the digital.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518468 03/07/16 12:47 PM
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Several days ago I had my book of Bach inventions open at the piano, playing through #4 in D minor. Cat jumps up on my lap, plops his upper body comfortably on the keyboard, occupying several keys in the vicinity of middle C.

I thought, This must be the moment where a Bach invention turns into a Bach prevention.

(I'm to blame; I used to encourage him to pose for piano-playing shots!)

I love the photo of the black kitty! I have two; fortunately they aren't piano players, because their cute little ebony faces didn't photograph well, and only the tabby got pushed into a virtuoso/modeling career track.

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
dogperson #2518482 03/07/16 01:26 PM
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Only one of my three cats seems to like the piano. He is also my black kitty. Sometimes he will jump up and sit on the bench next to me when I am playing. The cats are not allowed on the piano unless it is all covered except for the keyboard. When I have a piece memorized and I am playing and the rest of the piano is covered, then my cat will lie on top of the piano. He seems especially partial to Chopin. He will look like he is sleeping but when I stop, he opens his eyes and looks at me until I start playing again.


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Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518579 03/07/16 06:56 PM
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We have three black cats and three orange cats. We had five black cats when we moved here two years ago. Two were seniors and since died, opening up some vacancies, which were soon filled when we trapped and rescued a kitten mama and her two boys in an alley near the train tracks.

Then there are the four dogs. The dogs have shown absolutely no interest in the piano, other than the cozy bench, which is usually occupied by a cat.

If Kuma is on the bench, he has to stay there or things get bad. Really, really bad. So I either delay playing or I move the bench and cat (as one unit) and pull up a chair.

The idea of building a family bench came to me the other day and is sounding more and more like a grand idea. But what a dork I'd be to design and build a six-foot wide bench just to accommodate things with pelts.

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518608 03/07/16 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MooseNotes
But what a dork I'd be to design and build a six-foot wide bench just to accommodate things with pelts.

No, you'd be doing what zillions of humans have done over millennia, ever since cats domesticated humans.

Never forget - cats own their owners. (Whereas dogs are slaves to theirs.....).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518609 03/07/16 08:05 PM
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Mr. Purnell pays absolutely no attention to the piano.



-- J.S.

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Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
JohnSprung #2518655 03/07/16 10:44 PM
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We need to clone that cat. :o))

Today my Queensland Heeler, chocolate lab mix dog climbed onto the back of the piano bench while I was playing and took a nap. Meesha's head was hanging over one end of the bench and her other end was semi-suspended in midair and just barely tucked into place.

So I need to retract that bit about the dogs not taking any interest in the piano. I am doomed, I say.

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518656 03/07/16 10:44 PM
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Our aged calico Josie has always run away immediately whenever a piano or other live instrument is played. Digital pianos and recorded music she ignores.

When I was a child our dog would come lie down on my feet under the piano during thunderstorms. He was large and pedaling was interesting.




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Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518663 03/07/16 11:22 PM
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Here is Pie in her favorite spot while I'm practicing. I work on the right hand while she's on the left side and move her to the other side to work on the left. When I need space for both hands she has to sit on the controls.

The only issue I have with our six, supposedly, feral cats (who all decided over the years that indoors was much nicer than outdoors, even if they have to share the space with humans) is that they run back and forth across our acoustic piano at 3:30 am and wake us up. I can't close the fall board, because then they scratch at it to get to the keys.


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Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
scgrant #2518670 03/07/16 11:49 PM
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scgrant, she's adorable!

You know how professional pianists have page turners for their sheet music? You could have a cat turner as you're playing. If she's on the left and you're moving in her direction, the turner can relocate her to right, and back and forth, and then up to the controls as needed.


Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518679 03/08/16 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MooseNotes
We have three black cats and three orange cats.


Isn't it odd that we have the same amount of cats as well? But mine are all blue smile

I have a silent system in my acoustic piano which means I sometimes play with headphones. I tend to get very absorbed in what I am doing so it can be quite a loud shock when one of them suddenly decides to jump onto the piano through the bass area. They of course have no idea why I freak out because they don't hear anything...

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
outo #2518684 03/08/16 12:58 AM
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But how many Smurfs do you have? They're blue, too.

This may be where the similarities end. :o))

Check my "Organ donor" thread tomorrow. I'll stage it just for you.

Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
scgrant #2518688 03/08/16 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by scgrant
I can't close the fall board, because then they scratch at it to get to the keys.


Interesting -- your cats like the sound of their own playing enough to do that. Some cats are scared away by it.



-- J.S.

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Re: OT: Cats and Pianos
Coyotewoods #2518708 03/08/16 03:41 AM
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I have two American Maine Coon kittens, Gertrude and Daisy. They have been Christened with these names as they are already very large, are black and white and look like moocows. They frequently thunder across my keyboard in the dead of night and I fairly certain that they both want to play a duet together. As for affecting my playing? They affect everything I do in life and to be honest I wouldn't want things any other way.


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Last edited by Tonedeef; 03/08/16 04:12 AM.
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