Lifestyle & Human Interest

Watch: Owner Trains Cat To Play Mini Piano Instead of Meowing for Food


Most of the time when you see a pet performing some cutesy trick, chances are that it’s a dog. They seem more eager to please than their feline counterparts, who are often distant and aloof.

But cats have to eat, too, and food can become a reward for certain behaviors. One particular cat from Philadelphia named Winslow has been entertaining the internet with his mealtime shows.

When Winslow’s owner first got him and brought him home, it took a while to adjust.

“He was originally from the streets of Camden, but I saw his little face, and I was like, this is the one,” owner Kate Nyx told NPR. “I could tell from the second I looked at him that his name would be Winslow. And he’s the first cat I’ve ever had that I could tell liked me back.”

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“He would get into things and topple things over. And he gave, well, my then-boyfriend and I a terrible case of ringworm because he was all messed up from the streets.”

“And we ended up getting engaged because we were just so dedicated to him and each other that we realized that there was no point in pretending we were going to go through this with anyone else. So we call it our engagement ringworm.”

The act that has been catching everyone’s attention originally started out of practicality. As cat owners know, hungry cats meow. A lot. Even when there’s some food in their bowl. Even if they only think they might be hungry.

And if you try to sleep in past a scheduled feeding or forget about it, the cat will continue to remind you until the situation is rectified.

Winslow had been interested in a piano when he was little — so Nyx put the two together, and adorableness ensued.

“He used to run around screaming all the time, and I was like, ‘This is no good,'” Nyx told SWNS, according to Fox News.

“He loved the piano as a kitten and now we use it as a way to split up his food throughout the day to keep him on his diet,” she wrote on Facebook.

He varies his technique, too, to demonstrate how urgent his request is.

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“He likes to go up and down the keyboard depending on how little we’re paying attention,” Nyx explained. “If we’re not paying attention enough, he’ll do a lot of really aggressive playing, sometimes with his forehead.”

“He’s very emotional, you know? Like, he just uses the piano as a way to communicate his creative spirit. He’s like me in that way.”

Nyx, an artist, put together clips of the kitty with lyrics and the video went viral, catapulting Winslow to internet fame.

“It was one of the first times where I was able to realize that I could affect things outside of me positively,” she continued. “When I hear him play piano, it’s just proof that I can bring light into the world, that I can bring joy and make beautiful stuff happen.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking