Internet star 'Nora the Piano Cat' passes away, leaves musical legacy

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Internet star 'Nora the Piano Cat' passes away, leaves musical legacy
One of Philly's first viral internet stars, 'Nora the Piano Cat,' has passed away after 19 years of musical magic. But her story is far from over.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- In the early days of YouTube, 'Nora the Piano Cat' became one of the first viral internet sensations.

The cat was adopted by a couple of musicians and artists, Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow!, who already had a house full of cats.

"Before Nora was a superstar, she was a stray rescue cat in a cage," said Alexander. "And I felt this compulsion to bring her home."

Nora took the term 'copycat' to a whole new level, surprising everyone with her uncanny ability to sit at the piano and play eloquent notes.

Videos of Nora reached millions nationwide and spurred articles, books, calendars, artwork, poetry, and even a 'CATcerto' performance created by Lithuanian conductor, composer and artist Mindaugas Pieaitis.

The most recent project by Alexander and Yow! is a cartoon series called, 'Nora the Piano Cat.' A demo of the show's proposed opening number was created in partnership with All That's Good Productions in Old City and can now be watched on YouTube.

It seemed to have been created just in time for 19-year-old Nora to see it before passing on.

"Nora finally left the planet. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge," said Betsy Alexander. "And she's not with us physically anymore, but honestly, I feel her presence."

Messages of love and condolences have poured into the Philadelphia couple from across the world.

As for the cartoon, Alexander and Yow! Already have several synopses written and look forward to completing the series in Nora's honor.

"She may be an animated character now, and she will live on," said Alexander. "But she was real."

To learn more about Nora the Piano cat, visit her YouTube channel or website.

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