THE INDEPENDENT – A cat has reportedly learned to play the piano to tell its owners when it is hungry or needs its litter tray changed.
Winslow, a seven-year-old tabby cat from Philadelphia, United States (US), was taught to use the instrument to counteract bad behaviour – which included making loud noises.
Owner Kate Nyx explained, “He used to run around screaming all the time and I was like, ‘this is no good’.”
So 29-year-old Nyx decided to take a different approach. “The piano is another way to communicate so he’s not screaming bloody murder.”
“He was a rambunctious kitten and he’s transformed into a chaotic gentlemen.”
Winslow was adopted when he was eight weeks old, after being found, abandoned, in a back garden. The cat was trying to fight a dog when he was found.
“He was scarred up, covered in dirt, we had to teach him how to eat dry food and he had a serious case of ringworm,” she said.
Nyx, who is a musician, bought the tiny piano on eBay when she was at school and it has been in the house since Winslow has lived there.
He has shown interest in the instrument since he was a kitten. “He would play the notes and look underneath trying to find where they were coming from,” said Nyx.
The owner said she decided to embrace his natural curiosity and channel it in a useful way for both the pet and her.
“It became some kind of hunting reward because he can’t do much in the apartment,” she said. “He tends to only play it when we’re in the kitchen and he knows he can possible get a snack.
“He uses the piano to express himself in general, for attention, to get his litter scooped,” said Nyx. “It’s his alarm system in general.”
“He learned that I encourage moving his paws up and down the keyboard, so he does that when he really wants something.”
Winston also gave the couple ringworm when they first brought him home, which led to their engagement.
“I was like ‘do you think you’ll do this with anyone else?’ And he was like ‘nope’ and so that’s how we got engaged,” said Nyx.
“We call that our engagement ringworm.”