The Cat Enigma – Variation

Just what is it about cats? Nora for example, a cat completely absorbed with the piano. Absorbed with the sound of the piano. If you enjoy classical music, and enjoy cats, this video is for you.

Thanks to the reader for sending in the links to Nora the Piano Cat, and for this question. I’d love to know exactly what it is that is so fascinating – is it the sense of self possession she – and all cats – seem to display? Maybe you’d have some thoughts on it … Well, there has to be something more than the fascination we humans seem to have for performing animals.

I met two new cats today. Both tabbies. One sat in her bed with moon round eyes, yellow and SO expressive. Does she always look like that? I asked. Oh yes, that’s normal, came the reply. Rather like Nora in the video she drew me in. She communicated. But what? The word enigma comes to mind. There is something that is baffling about cats, they defy understanding. They cannot be explained. And since we are talking about Enigma how about Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Here’s how that famous piece came into being.

Elgar’s account of the piece’s genesis was that after a tiring day of teaching in 1898, he was daydreaming at the piano. A melody he played caught the attention of his wife Alice, who liked it and asked him to repeat it for her. So, to entertain her, he began to improvise variations on this melody, each one either a musical portrait of one of their friends, or in the musical style they might have used. Elgar eventually expanded and orchestrated these improvisations into the Enigma Variations. Wikipedia on the Enigma Variations.

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