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“The Purring Quest” Video Game…Now!

PurringCats

What is “The Purring Quest”? Read this description from the Valhalla Cats website:

“Have you ever wanted to be a cat?, you will be able, thanks to the aventure platformer The Purring Quest. Take on the role of Kimchi the cat and meet famous cats of the internet in a journey full of humor. Enjoy the detailed hand drawn graphics and the smooth animations made by a veteran traditional animator with experience in major studies like Disney and Warner.

A percentage of the profits will go directly to various animal welfare associations. So in addition to enjoying the game, you are contributing to a good cause.”

And, of course, I am one of the internet cats that Kimchi the cat meets on his quest.

Want more info? Want to purchase the game? Check out this link. Available for PC.

Sophia and Daughter, Fonda, Make a Return Visit…

Sophia & Fonda have an audience with the diva.Two or three years ago, I had the privilege of meeting mother/daughter fans from Harrisburg, PA. Their names are Sophia and Fonda. We had such a wonderful visit. So, they decided they wanted a second audience with the diva. And, of course, I was happy to oblige. Despite my reputation for being a bit nippy at times, and not always in the mood to play the piano, I really do appreciate the desire of others to spend time in my presence. And while the second visit was a tad more low-key than the first (I really didn’t play much), I do believe we all had a pleasant time. I even honored Fonda with a paw.

 

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.

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.

Nora Meets The Maestros…

Yes, that’s true! The maestros Piecaitis and Rosenberg paid me a visit in 2012. It was a first-time meeting for all of us. Piecaitis, composer of CATcerto, came all the way from Lithuania to meet his muse. Rosenberg didn’t have to travel quite so far. He and his wife, Caitlin, drove from Chestertown, Maryland in the United States. Maestro Rosenberg is the artistic director of the National Music Festival, and he has conducted CATcerto (with yours truly on the big screen) four times, including the U.S. premiere in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His wife, Caitlin Patton, is the executive director of the NMF.

Here’s a short video with highlights of the visit.

Happy Birthday, Jenny! May 17, 2012…

Today is May 17th. It’s also Jenny’s third birthday (That’s Jenny above). B & B brought Jenny home along with Ellie almost three years ago, and it got a little crazy around here for a while. Both of them were pretty wild, but they’ve come a long way in the time they’ve been a part of our family. In the beginning, Jenny hid all day long and only came out at night. B & B called her their vampire kitty. Only recently has she begun hanging out during the day, but she’s still quick to hide when the doorbell rings. She’s very soft and affectionate. We don’t really hang out together – I prefer to spend my time by myself – but B & B thinks she’s pretty special. And I trust their judgement. After all, they think I’m pretty special, too.

Jenny On Her BackHere’s a photo of Jenny in a very relaxed moment. (Click thumbnail to view larger.)

Cat Carrier or Condo?

Nora In CarrierWhen is a cat carrier not a cat carrier? No, that’s not a Zen koan. It’s a real question, and the answer comes in the form of a story. You see, it all began when my sibling, Ellie, needed a trip to the vet. As you may know, Ellie was a bit wild when she came to us three years ago, and she’s still not very approachable. She won’t tolerate being picked up like a normal house cat. In fact she will only come to you if you are lying down or sitting on the floor. And then she comes only briefly and only for petting. Any move to pick her up and she’s gone in a flash. So anytime a vet visit is called for, it becomes quite a production for Burnell, our resident cat wrangler.

Ellie of the Cats of Raven's Wing StudioFirst the cat carrier is brought up to the bedroom a few days before the appointment so Ellie can get used to it being in the room. Then the morning of the appointment, the carrier is left upended at the end of the bed with the door open. Next, Burnell sits on the floor near the carrier and begins playing with us using what he and Betsy call a “cat toy,” which is usually something noisy and small tied to a string. We all play along and pretend to be amused. Eventually, if things go as planned, Ellie will decide she doesn’t want to be left out of the game and she’ll come close enough for Burnell to grab her by the scruff of her neck and lift her up, at which time she goes completely limp. It’s really quite remarkable, actually. I hear it goes back to when we were newborns and our mothers carried us that way. Anyway, Burnell will then struggle to get to his feet all the while holding Ellie in this position (he also supports her weight with the other hand up where her front legs meet her body). Now it’s into the carrier. Since it’s upended with the door open, he simply has to lower her into the carrier, release her and then quickly close the door before she can jump out. Of course, that’s if everything goes as planned. Needless to say, it didn’t. Ellie is fast and furious and on the day in question, she was obviously more than a little suspicious. After trying for two hours to coax her close enough to effect a grab and lift maneuver, Burnell gave up and called the vet to reschedule the appointment for another day.

Nora The Piano Cat In Cat CarrierNow back to my original question: When is a cat carrier not a cat carrier? It ‘s when a cat, not unlike myself – actually it was me – decides to take up residence in said carrier and even goes so far as to schedule an appointment with an interior decorator. I’m thinking a nice Sahara Sand for the walls. What do you think?

(Click image to view larger.)

2012 Nora The Piano Cat™ Calendar has arrived!

Nora 2012 CalendarAs 2011 purrs to a close, thoughts turn to 2012. And if you are like most folks, that means getting and giving a new calendar. So, why not a calendar featuring the one and only Nora The Piano Cat? Imagine every month a new photograph of yours truly by that somewhat famous and award winning photographer and mixed media artist, Burnell Yow! And every month also features a wonderful and inspiring excerpt from my yet to be published third book titled “Nora The Piano Cat’s Guide to Living a Purr-Fect Life: Or How to Make Every Day a Catnip Day.”

For twelve full months I share my wit and wisdom on things like self-acceptance and gratitude. Because when it comes right down to it, I’m more than just a pretty face – and I’m betting you are too.

Burnell insists I also mention that the calendar makes a great gift for all the cat lovers in your life. You can order it at the link below.
http://www.cafepress.com/ravenswingshop.585342102 

 

Birthdays Are for Being Grateful…

Nora Being NippyIt’s my eighth birthday today, September 10th, and I’d like to thank the individuals and organizations responsible for me being here. First of all, let me thank my mother, a stray cat on the streets of Camden, NJ. Then there’s the woman who rescued me as a kitten and took me to Furrever Friends, a no-kill animal shelter. Thanks, guys. They maintained a pet adoption center at the Pet Smart (bless them), and that’s where I ended up in a big cage with a tag that said “Bossy.” That’s where I first met Burnell and Betsy, the lovely couple who adopted me and became my personal assistants. Who knows what course my life might have taken had I not ended up with them. I am deeply grateful for all the love and care and inspiration they have given me the last eight years. I’d also like to thank Dr. Wellens and the wonderful, caring vets and staff of Queen Village Animal Hospital where I get my regular checkups. And then there are my many fans who have nurtured my time on this planet with their comments and compliments and expressions of love and appreciation. Thank you all so very much.

There are two fans I’d like to send special thanks to: One is my licensing agent, Laura Becker of Moxie & Company, for her tireless efforts on my behalf. The other is composer/conductor Mindaugas Piecaitis, who saw the potential in my music and brought it to the concert stage through his creation of CATcerto. His marvelous talent and passion for music is an inspiration to so many.

I would be amiss if I failed to mention my fellow adopted siblings: Max, Rennie, Clara, Gabby, Jenny, and Ellie. Though we have not always seen eye to eye, especially if they came too close to my piano (especially Max). I do appreciate the warmth and joy they have added to our home and to the lives of Burnell and Betsy. And a happy personal assistant is a good personal assistant.

Thank you all,
Your Diva,
Nora