Menu Close

Paw to Paw: The Maestro Meets His Muse

Nora With Mindaugas

To get to the place where the photo above would become a reality, much had to happen. It all began a long time ago, well, it was actually 2009, when a Lithuaian conductor of the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra was sent a link to a very famous video of a cat playing the piano. That conductor was Mindaugas Piecaitis. The cat, in case you haven’t already guessed, was me. Maestro Piecaitis is a brilliant human being, obviously, who saw the potential in the piano stylings of moi. And he set about composing a concerto inspired by those stylings. The result was a beautiful piece of music titled CATcerto. Clever, eh?

The piece was premiered in 2009 by the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra with Maestro Piecaitis at the podium and me, as guest soloist, projected onto a large screen behind the musicians. It was a rousing success and was eventually published by Peter’s Publishing. To date, CATcerto has been performed 20 times by orchestras around the world. It even made it into the Guiness Book as the first concerto ever written for a cat.

Then in late 2012, Maestro and muse (that’s me) met for the very first time when Mindaugas flew to the United States and spent several days with me, my siblings, and my purrsonal assistants, Burnell and Betsy. It was during the very first moments of that meeting that Burnell took the now famous photo of our paws touching on the piano bench.

Maestro Piecaitis was heard to remark, “I feel I must be dreaming.” Truth be told, it was I who was humbled by his presence. A gray tabby rescued from the streets of Camden, New Jersey only to one day touch paws with the Maestro from halfway around the world. Of such things are not dreams made?


You can watch the video that Mindaugas Piecaitis was inspired by HERE.
And click HERE to watch CATcerto.

Orchestras who may wish to perform the piece should contact Peter’s Publishing for the sheet music and the DVD for the projection.

A Visitor From Across The Atlantic…


NoraWithKristenHad a wonderful time this evening entertaining three delightful women (l to r: Simone Andriesen visiting from the Netherlands, Kristin, Gail) who had contacted my purrsonal assistants about an audience with the Diva. Two, as it turns out, live in Philly, and not all that far from me. That would be Kristin and Gail. The third, however, hails from the other side of the Atlantic, more precisely, The Hague, which is the seat of government in the Netherlands (See, I’m not just a pretty face, after all). Her name is Simone Andriesen. We all had such a wonderful time. I played a bit. I posed. They took photos. And I even allowed a bit of petting, which is not something I’m always prone to do.

As I always tell my fans and friends, if you’re ever in Philadelphia – perhaps you even live here – and you’d like to have your fifteen minutes of fame by association with a musical diva, just send an email to, and I’ll have my purrsonal assistants get back to you.

My Piano Gets Tuned…

TuningThePianoAs you know, my sibling Rennie has, in the past, tuned my piano. There’s even a YouTube video of him doing just that. But since Rennie has been busy doing other things lately, I asked Betsy to call in her tuner, Natale. He didn’t crawl inside the piano the way Rennie does, but he did a wonderful job, nonetheless. Here’s a few photos Burnell captured of me while I waited patiently for my instrument. (Click on the image to make it bigger.)

A Very Special Gift from Another Nora…

When CATcerto composer Mindaugas Piecaitis came to the United States last year to meet me for the first time, he brought with him a very special gift from a very special young human girl who just happened to also be named Nora. It was a wonderful drawing of me having a great time at the piano. She also included a few of my siblings. Anyway, I love the drawing, Nora, and the photos of you that Mindaugas shared with us all. Thank you so much.


Carol Visits Me all the way from Sunny Florida…

Carol Hieronymus Meets NoraThree out-of-town visitors in two days! It’s a delight to make the lives of so many humans brighter than they would have been otherwise. What can I say? It’s a gift! And this morning when I heard the doorbell, I just knew it was someone seeking an audience with the diva. Enter Carol Hieronymus from Pompano Beach, Florida. The story is she was visiting friends in the neighborhood and mentioned what a huge fan she was of Nora The Piano Cat. To which her friends replied, “Why, she lives just down the block.” Personally though, I’m sure she came here to seek me out. She just wanted her friends to think she was here to see them. Anyway, I played for her, posed for a few photos and allowed her to pet my head. Humans are so easy to please. Carol soon rushed off to a waiting taxi on her way to the airport, taking with her a wonderful memory of the day she met the diva. (Click image to view larger version.)

Maxx & Annetta Visit…

Maxx & Annetta visiting NoraI dearly love visitors! I mean, what’s not to love? They came to see me! Well, Maxx & Annetta drove here all the way from Darlington, Maryland just to meet the diva. And I was more than happy to grant them an audience. I even played for them. Of course they were so pleased and they took pictures and Maxx even sat with me briefly on the piano bench. Normally, I don’t allow that kind of familiarity, but there was something about him that seemed kind and genuine, especially when he intimated that four other cats had consented to take him in. That says a lot about a human’s character, don’t you think?

The Maestro Meets His Muse…

August  24, 2012 – a day that will live in the annals of feline history forever. It was the day that a human travelled across the ocean to meet his feline muse. The human was a Lithuanian composer/conductor by the name of Mindaugas Piecaitis. As my many fans, friends and admirers know, Maestro Piecaitis is the composer of CATcerto – a concerto inspired by the piano stylings of yours truly, Nora The Piano Cat. This wonderful piece of music was written and conducted by Piecaitis and performed by the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra. I, of course, was the guest soloist and appeared via a pre-recorded video projected onto a large screen behind the orchestra. The concerto went on to be published by Peters Publishing and has been performed, to date, twenty times in five counties since it’s premiere in 2009. The video of the world premiere in Lithuania has been viewed several million times on YouTube. All this and still I had not met the composer face to face. All that changed on August 24, 2012.

Maestro Mindaugas Piecaitis Meets His MuseNora takes his hand...Maestro Piecaitis arrived in the early evening. As he rounded the top of the stairs, I ran to the piano, jumped up on the bench and struck a few notes. He smiled and hurried over. “I feel I am dreaming,” he said. I settled in and allowed his adoration to continue. For a time, he sat on the floor and gazed into my eyes as I gazed into his. I stretched out a paw and touched his hand. It was moment of communion between like minds, between kindred spirits. Piecaitis did, with CATcerto, what I most certainly would have done had I been born with ten fingers. (Click thumbnail to view full image.)

Later, during our three day visit, I played a bit more and he displayed a few playing techniques he had learned from watching my videos. He’s working on mastering the head roll. I felt honored and humbled. When he left, I felt sad but also very happy we had had the time to share some very special moments. And I’m certain we’ll meet again.

Mindaugas displays the Nora technique...