Sunday, March 05, 2006

Yasashi MacFeline

The effect music has on some animals is funny.
My male cat, Yasashi, loves the bagpipes.
Really.
I discovered quite by accident that his favorite CD is "Amazing Grace: A Real Highland Fling." I played it on my stereo one day some months ago (because I, too, like the bagpipes) and he became a cat transformed.
He paced back and forth, meowing all the while in the most plaintive way -- and on key, too. It was as if he were recalling a cherished Celtic memory from the distant past.

His favorite songs are slow, mournful dirges in which every note from a solo bagpipe is achingly drawn out, like juice being squeezed from an orange.
He also responds to jigs, but less vociferously. If more than one piper is playing, or if the pipes are accompanied by drums, he loses interest.
Every time I play this CD, it's as if he is hearing it for the first time.
My two other cats, both females, are unmoved because they are tone-deaf and preoccupied with more mundane things. They can't be bothered with something as frivolous as music.

Of course, Yasashi is probably responding to what he thinks is a phantom cat somewhere in the apartment just out of sight, a fellow feline in unearthly distress.
But I like to think it's because he has a wee bit of "Braveheart" in him.

I have a cat
unlike all other types
he's in love with the sound
of the Scottish bagpipes

When the skirling begins
his ears perk up straight
"That's not music," he thinks
"That's a possible mate"





10 comments:

Phats said...

Bagpipes scare me, I think they are kind of creepy ho hum

Michael said...

Then I don't think you'd get along with Yasashi. :)

anu said...

haha :) i loved the poem

Kitty said...

If I'm not mistaken, when female cats are in heat, they yowl and carry on, kind of like bagpipes sound ... especially when there's a boy cat in the vicinity.

Michael said...

Thanks, Anu!

Hi Kitty,
And here I thought it was because he had an eclectic taste in music. :)

g said...

Now you could say that the cat is hearing the sound of bagpipes, and associating it with a cat in heat, or a cat in distress, or a cat calling out for friendship. But then again if you believe in reincarnation, you could say that Yasashi is just fascinated by something he ~remembers~ in some vague way.

LBseahag said...

I loved how you decribed it in the poem....its mystical, just like dear Yasashi....


and how the other two couldn't care less...

my cats are unmoved by music...but the song Shame by Depeche Mode makes their ears perk, it has some type of loud pitch....

Sujatin said...

Here's a big Prrrrrrrr from me (Scottish roll of the Rs - I was born in Edinburgh).

Oh, and congratulations on well deserved award http://zenunbound.com/2006/03/
blogisattva-award-winners-announcement.html#links

qaminante said...

I think it must be a matter of tone, I will suggest to cat-owning friends that they check how theirs react to bagpipe music (I'm sure yours thinks it is other cats, caterwauling!). Otherwise, perhaps Yasashi is related to a Scottish cat breed called Scottish fold. It's one I don't like very much because they have folded-over ears (maybe to keep out the skirling of the pipes in their native land..) although I'm sure they have lovely characters. Anyway, I've never met one.

Michael said...

Hi g, LB, qaminante, sujatin,

Cats reflect their owners, I think. Mine are as quirky as I am, I s'pose.
Thanks, sujatin, and congrats on your Blogmandu award for Best Niche Blog!