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Low-Impact with Nora The Piano Cat™

Low-Impact Exercise with NoraWe’ve all heard the hype about low-pact this or that. Low-impact running. Low-impact aerobics. I really don’t know what the big deal is. I’ve been practicing low-impact exercise for years. It’s really quite simple: if the cat toy comes within reach of where I happen to be napping, I’ll swat it. If not, I go back to napping. Low-impact!

Now I’m not advocating this method for everyone, and there are times that I actually work up a sweat (well, sort of). And for those who think me a bit robust at 12 lbs., I’d love to quote a fan who recently came to my defense when she wrote, “Nora’s not fat. She’s fluffy.” How true. How true.

2011 Nora Purr-etry Calendar Now Available…

Nora 2011 CalendarMy newest calendar for 2011 features the seventeen winning poems from the 2010 Nora Purr-etry Contest. It also has all-new images of me. And check this out: the poems were written by my fans from around the world – as far away as South Africa and Australia. The photographs are by my personal assistant and chief photo guy, Burnell.

The calendar is available from my online store at: http://www.cafepress.com/ravenswingshop.493221550

Note: Authors of the seventeen winning entries each receive a 2011 Nora Purr-etry Calendar as part of their prize package.

A Crowning Achievement…

Scarlett Presents CrownTo Nora (Photo credit: Betsy Alexander)Well, well, well. Today one of Betsy’s students, an absolutely brilliant girl named Scarlett, gave me a gift I can truly appreciate. She presented me with my very own, handcrafted royal crown – complete with musical notes. It’s about time someone recognized me for who I really am in spite of my humble beginnings on the streets of Camden, New Jersey. At last I will be seen as the fine aristo-cat I was always meant to be.

Move over Elizabeth. Step aside, Fergie. It’s time to prove once and for all the old adage “When it reigns, it purrs!”

HRH Duchess of Feline Music, Nora The Piano Cat

A Very Special Visit from Alley Cat…

Al "Alley Cat" ChernoffI had a very special visitor this last Saturday: Al “Alley Cat” Chernoff from Rescue Ink stopped by on his Harley. Rescue Ink is “an army of tattooed, motorcycle-riding street guys who have zero tolerance for animal abuse and neglect.” Perhaps you saw them recently on Dr. Phil?

Nora With Al "Alley Cat" Chernoff from Rescue Ink.Al Chernoff On His HarleyClick thumbnails to view larger images. They’re based in New York City, but Al, also known as “the cat guy” (he shares his home and heart with 7 rescued cats) lives right here in my hometown of Philadelphia. We had a great visit. I can’t say enough about these guys and their heroic efforts on the behalf of neglected and abused animals.

As you know, I was rescued as a kitten from the streets of Camden, and was lucky enough to be adopted into a wonderful home – with a grand piano! Not all of my furry friends have been so fortunate. But thanks to the efforts of groups like Rescue Ink, many of them have been given a second chance. And like I always say, “Not all cats can play the piano, but we all need a loving home.”

Check out Rescue Ink’s website at http://rescueink.org and tell them Nora sent you.

Me on Cougar Town…

The Cougar Town episode that has one of the characters watching my video on their computer will air on Wednesday, September 29th on ABC – 9:30/8:30 Central. I’ll only be onscreen for a few seconds, so don’t blink. And no trips to the litterbox, either. 🙂

The Standoff…

Max And Nora Faceoff.Let’s face it. I’m no Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama. There are just some cats I simply don’t like and I don’t hide that fact. And number one on my list is the red tabby pictured above. His name is Max. Unfortunately, we share a home and the love and affection of the same two human beings. The sharing, however, stops there. I growl when he strolls into the room, and I hiss if he’s gets too close for comfort – which he seems to like to do all too often. When I was a kitten, it was he and Gabby who made my life miserable at times.

B&B think he has some secret admiration for me, as he often sleeps beneath my piano bench – when I’m not there of course. And here’s the kicker: Every now and then we end up in the position pictured above – a few feet apart staring at each other or off into space, feigning disinterest. This standoff can go on for an hour or more at a time, until either he or I mosey off to a quiet corner, leaving the other to ponder his or her next move.

There have been a few times that I’ve felt safe and at peace around him, namely when he’s fast asleep. But those moments seldom last for long. I let my guard down and my eyes droop in kitty slumber and BAM!! Out of nowhere, this huge red tabby hurls himself at me like the biggest hairball you’ve ever seen.

Having said that, Max adored Miro and watched out for him right up until he died. And he seems to really like the newest members of our family, Jenny and Ellie. And B&B do seem to really love him. Who knows? Perhaps he’s just a frustrated piano playing wannabe who can’t tolerate my success.

Very First Ever Purr-etry Contest


Dear friends and fans,

I know I have inspired many of you to pursue your musical dreams, but there are so many ways to be sublimely creative. What about poetry? All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper (or your handy laptop computer) to begin your creative journey! So I am hoping you will consider entering my Nora The Piano Cat Poetry Contest. The rules are really quite simple:

1) Write a poem about me or inspired by me. It can be long or short, rhyming or not. It can even be a haiku.

2) Email the poem to me at norapoetry@verizon.net no later than midnight, October 1, 2010. You can enter as often as you like.

3)> Be sure to include your age, name, and a contact email. If you are under eighteen years old, please include the name of your parent or legal guardian, and their contact email (with their permission of course). Email addresses are only used to contact the winners in each age group. You will NOT be placed on any mailing lists and your contact information will not be shared with anyone else, ever, for any reason.

My personal assistants, Betsy and Burnell, and I will read every single glorious poem and choose our absolute top three favorites in the following age categories:

1) Up to 8 years old. (Kids)

2) 9 to 12 years old. (Tweens)

3) 13 to 18 years old. (Teens)

4) 19 and up. (Everyone else)

All twelve winners will receive very special Nora Prizes. We will also give a special prize to the person submitting the best Nora or Nora-inspired haiku.

In addition to the prizes awarded to the winners in each category, the winning poems will also be included in my “Inspired by Nora” 2012 calendar. Winners will each receive a copy.

Submission of a poem signifies your acceptance of the above rules, and allows either me or my personal assistants, Betsy and Burnell, to print, reprint and otherwise distribute the poem for promotional purposes, including the creation of the 2012 “Inspired by Nora” calendar.

Don’t delay. Send your Nora-inspired poems to norapoetry@verizon.net by midnight, October 1, 2010. Winners will be notified by October 31, 2010.

Download the “Purr-etry Contest” flyer in PDF format by clicking HERE. Share it with your friends. Viewing or printing PDFs requires Adobe Reader, which is a free download from Adobe.com

Thank You, Furrever Friends…

As much as I owe to Betsy & Burnell for adopting me, I also owe a debt of gratitude to Furrever Friends for rescuing me from the streets of Camden, NJ and placing me for adoption so that B&B could find me. If you are looking to adopt, please consider them. And if you feel like making a donation, please do so in my name…. They have many wonderful friends who desperately need a loving home.

Does Your Cat Watch My Videos?

This is a very short (16 seconds) cell-phone video posted by a fan to YouTube of her kitten watching one of my videos on the computer. There have been so many of these posted, some of them even showing the cat pawing the screen as I play. Do you share your life with a cat who has taken notice of my videos? Let me know.

The poster writes: “I started watching this video and my kitten jumps up on my lap, sits like a person like lounging on my legs and watches the entire video of Nora playing the piano. I thought it was so funny I took a quick video of it on my phone.”