A kitten steals the show

13th June 2010 | Concerts, Daily Life, Musings | 2 comments

I played a piano recital the other evening at the home of some friends. It was a lovely evening, and behind the piano, the French doors were wide open to the garden.

About ten minutes from the end of my recital, as I was sailing full steam ahead with the final piece, a black kitten wandered in from the garden. In full view of the entire audience it advanced delicately on to the oriental rug which lay in front of the piano, glanced up to make sure everyone was watching, and proceeded to describe graceful circles around the carpet, occasionally stretching its back and pointing its little feet like a ballerina. It then tiptoed over to the listeners and started to thread its way playfully in and out of the chair legs.

Of course the audience was mesmerised by the kitten. I could feel that everyone was desperately trying to keep their attention on the music, but not really succeeding. Even I was having trouble banishing the kitten’s charming antics from my peripheral vision. I had to decide whether to continue playing, but I had worked up so much momentum that I couldn’t simply stop, and in any case a little voice in my head told me that this kind of thing is just the reason that house concerts are useful practise for coping with unexpected distractions. So I ploughed on. When the applause broke out, the startled kitten shot out from between the chairs and vanished into the garden. Once again I had learned the truth of WC Fields’ advice, ‘Never work with children or animals.’


  1. Gareth

    Are you familiar with Roald Dahl’s short story “Edward the Conqueror”? This post brought it to mind. It’s about a stray cat who appears to respond to piano music. The ending, as so often with Dahl, is perhaps disagreeably macabre, but it’s well worth seeking out.

  2. Maya

    Oh dee, I thought this story was going to be about how it is always much, much more fun to do things when there is a kitten involved! WC Fields’ advice is clearly wrong.


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