Monday, November 13, 2006
All of my cats have at least tolerated my practicing, though the females have consistently liked it less than the males. I know that in humans women have more sensitive high frequency hearing than men (on average), so I wonder if cats have a similar gender difference. None of my cats care for the violin, at least the way I play it. They'll stick around for a bit of Bach in the lower register, but as soon as I hit the E string - whooosh! - they're out of the room. That would be consistent with cats having more sensitive high frequency hearing than humans (on average.) Good thing for them I primarily play the cello. However, I think that given their druthers they would rather I switch to piano. I have a lot more company when I'm practicing my rudimentary keyboard skills or having piano trio rehearsal at my house than I ever do when I'm practicing my cello.
That said, John is a special musician's cat. Generally, when I start practicing he comes running in from wherever he is to be with me while I play. Usually he's calm, but a couple of things set him off. When I was working on Duport #2 in f# min he regularly howled and tried to climb my back. Really. Ripped holes in a couple of T-shirts. Imagine my amazement when he did the same thing while I was improvising on the black keys of the piano. Just goofing off, but in a modal version of the same key. Do you think he has perfect pitch? I used to think my Duport was just really horrible. This photo and clip show him in more typical practice mode.