My Purrsonal Assistant, Betsy Alexander…

Donnie Hammond, Dan Martin, Betsy Alexander.

We all know how important art and music are in making the world a better place for all creatures, great and small. I’ve certainly tried to do my part and, in doing, I’ve collaborated with some amazing humans along the way. One of them is my purrsonal assistant, Betsy Alexander. In addition to providing me with a loving home, a piano, and plenty of encouragement, she is also a marvelous composer with a big heart when it comes to empathy and concern for others.

So it was quite natural for her to be moved by a recent project by a friend of hers, artist Meg Saligman, who has created an interactive installation called “Mary, Undoer of Knots” in honor of the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. And when Betsy is moved, inspiration and action soon follow, this time resulting in the song, Help Us Mary, which is delighting and even moving to tears all who hear it.

A demo recording of the song with words and music by BetsyAlexander, vocals by Donnie Hammond, and produced by Dan Martin can be heard on Betsy’s website at <http://betsyswonderfulthings.com>.

More info about Meg Saligman’s project “Mary, Undoer of Knots.”

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Acro-Cats Come To Philly…

Yep. The Acro-Cats and the Rock Cats band arrived in my home town, Philadelphia, this weekend for a series of performances at the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City, Philadelphia. My human purrsonal assistants, Burnell and Betsy, came home from brunch this morning with the great news. Turns out, Burnell was eating next to the window facing South Street and saw a car pull up across the street with a giant white cat on the top. Not something you see every day, right?

Paulie with the Acro-Cats car.So he naturally ran out to say hello. That’s Paulie above waving her paw and looking fantastic in her cat ears. Anyway, sounds like a fun show to check out. You can get more information on the whole troupe and information on tickets and show times at circuscats.com

The Acro-Cats and the Rock Cats

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Are You A Diva, Too!

The Diva TeeSure, I’m a Diva, and I’m loving’ it. I’d be willing to bet you have an inner Diva just waiting to purr. Just waiting to show the world your purr-pose.

And if you like the Nora Diva tee, you can order yours by clicking here.

 

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Nora Meets Maestro Tim Ribchester

Nora_Meets_The_Maestro.jpg

A special bond exists between conductor and soloist, even when one of them happens to be a human being, as is Maestro Tim Ribchester. Tim is also a pianist and a vocal coach. And while he and I have yet to perform together, he is a fan of yours truly and of CATcerto, the piece written by Mindaugas Piecaitis, and based on my piano stylings. Who knows what the future holds. One day you may, indeed, see our names sharing the same markee. Wouldn’t that be grand?

Check out http://timribchester.com for more about this very talented homosapien.

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Nora’s Trip to the Vet…

Queen Village Animal Hospital

This is Queen Village Animal Hospital on Bainbridge Street n Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve been coming here since I was a kitten. I don’t like coming here, even though the people here are wonderful and kind. I just don’t like traveling. So, this morning when I came downstairs to the piano studio and saw my carrier at the foot of the stars, I immediately ran and hid. However, thanks to my diminutive size, I was soon captured and thrust into my mobile prison for the 20 minute drive to the vet. Seemed like it took hours to me.

Nora Making Herself Small

I pretty much ignored the plush cat bed inside the carrier, preferring instead to make myself as small as possible, hoping to become invisible until it was safe again to come out.

Nora In Cat Carrier

Finally, after thousands of bumps and turns and strange, creepy noises, we arrived at our destination. Betsy carried me in and sat with me in the waiting area until Dr. Yallof came to collect us and we followed her to the examination room.

Nora Gets Weighed

First I got weighed by Dr, Yallof’s assistant, Shayna. It’s the least invasive thing they do, but because I had a weight problem a few years ago (I weighed sixteen pounds then, and I had to have my meals monitored by Burnell and Betsy), everyone seemed to hold their breath until Shayna announced, “twelve and a half pounds.” They all smiled and applauded, and Dr. Yallof said that was good.

Nora Teeth Check

Next, Dr. Yallof checked my gums and said my teeth definitely needed cleaned. My sibling, Rennie, had his cleaned a few months ago. I remember him coming home looking pretty spaced out from the anesthesia. Does this mean I can get medical marijuana?

Nora Eye Check

Then the Doctor used something on me that looked like a sonic screwdriver. Any Doctor Who fans out there?

Nora Ultra Sound

And finally I got an ultrasound of my heart. I wanted to make a joke and ask if it was a boy or a girl, but since I have a reputation for being rather overly serious, at least in my approach to music, I just maintained my look of indifference to the whole procedure.

Nora Snug

And that’s when something very special happened: Dr. Yallof scooped me up in her arms and held me for what seemed like forever. I told you the people here are wonderful! So, anyway, I’m in great shape, except I do have to go back next week to get my teeth cleaned. But I think I can handle that if it means more hugs.

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Nora’s Twin? And She Lives In Pennsylvania, Too.

Sometimes I receive emails from fans and friends who tell me the cat they share a home with looks just like me. Well, who wouldn’t want to look like Nora The Piano Cat, right? And occasionally the photos they send really do look like me. Like yesterday, when I received the photo of Sugar, who lives in Pennsylvania with her human companions. Wow! Not only does Sugar have my fur and my body type, she also finds a plush-lined guitar case a great place for hanging out – just like me! How cool is that?

Nora-in-Guitar-CaseWithTwin

 

 

 

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One of my cat trees…

While it is true that piano benches make wonderful lounging areas, when not playing, of course, I do have a few favorite places I like to relax. One of my cat trees is pictured below. Burnell made it for me by attaching staggered shelves to a large piece of furniture, in this case a mirrored wardrobe. Pretty cool, eh? You can climb all the way to the top where there are two cat beds for lounging in style. Mostly Jenny prefers the top. She quite often stays there all day, only coming down to eat. I prefer the third shelf from the bottom – a great view of the bedroom and a quick escape, should one be required.

OnCatTree

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Brazilian Journalist Comes To Call…

I love visitors. I love meeting new people. I love their surprised wide-eyed looks when I play that first note. And of course I love the inevitable applause and the subsequent posing for photos. So you can imagine I had a great time today meeting Brazilian journalist, Roberto Kaz, and his wife, Audrey. Audrey is also a writer, and they are currently living in New York while Roberto attends Columbia University as a graduate student.

RobertoAndAudreyRoberto is writing a book on “unusual, important, or charismatic animals, such as Brazil’s most renowned breeding bull, or its last blue macaw to live in nature.” And he wants to include me in the book, hence his visit. He’s also a fan of CATcerto and has interviewed its composer, Mindaugas Piecaitis.

When Roberto contacted us about coming to Philly to meet me and to interview my purrsonal assistant, Betsy Alexander, she immediately suggested inviting Richard Rosenberg and his wife, Caitlin Patton, of the National Music Festival. Caitlin is the Executive irector of the festival. Richard is its Artistic Director and conductor. Richard has also conducted CATcerto four times, including it’s US premiere. Last year, I was named the official mascot of the NMF.

We all had a great time, even though I got a little bored while Richard and Betsy were answering all Roberto’s questions. But I would never tell them that.

The photo of Audrey, Roberto, and yours truly was taken by Burnell, my other purrsonal assistant.

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A Christmas Card from Valhalla Cats

ValhallaCatsXmasCard

I love getting email and snail mail from friends and fans. The holiday card pictured above was delivered by the mail carrier today from the guys at Valhalla Cats. They are the creators of the soon-to-be-released video game, The Purring Quest. I’m sure you’ve heard or read me chatting/blogging about it the last few months. Well, I am one of the cats that the protagonist in the video meets during his quest. Pay special attention to the cool cat at the piano. Can you guess what song I’m playing? (Click image to view larger.)

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Nora Calendars for 2015

CalendarsFor2015

http://www.cafepress.com/ravenswingshop/7143169

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