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How Piano Cat Became An Internet Sensation

1:53 PM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
  • This article is excerpted from USA TODAY Pet Guide magazine. The special publication contains articles on pet care, animal welfare, trends and training. Find it at magazine newsstands across the USA and Canada or at petguide.usatoday.com. (Photo: Cover photo by Cheyenne Ellis)
    
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(USA Today) -- We all know of child prodigies, but a cat maestro? Nora the Piano Cat, who apparently envied the attention that her piano-teaching owner gave to her students, has taken "copy cat" to a whole new level and become a YouTube sensation.

Atop the bench of her Yamaha, Nora tickles the ivories either seated or standing-using her paws and even her face-and she's been known to watch the piano lessons and play along with the students.

An American shorthair, Nora is owned by Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow of Philadelphia, who adopted her as a kitten in 2004. Alexander, the piano instructor, says she and Yow came home one day to hear the piano playing in the next room and found Nora sitting on the bench.

In disbelief, Alexander began filming Nora and posting the videos on YouTube for her niece. The videos went viral and have more than 37 million views. Nora's online success has led to TV appearances with celebrities such as Conan O'Brien, Ellen DeGeneres and Tyra Banks, and she was the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Cat of the Year in 2009.

The "diva" of the household, Nora reigns supreme among the couple's seven household cats, Alexander says. She's protective of her piano, often shooing away and swiping at her fellow felines. And while Nora always loves an audience, "she plays for her own pleasure."


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