Our cat, Hissy Fit, a musical composer, died at the age of 14. He started out as a feral kitten who promptly bit me the first time I picked him up. My doctor said that’s going to leave a mark, and advised keeping the kitten in case I developed rabies. Hissy Fit soon became a member of the family. He had an affinity for jazz which he demonstrated by purring and rubbing himself against the stereo. We encouraged his interest in music by sprinkling catnip on our piano. First we placed catnip on middle C, until he became proficient. Over several months Hissy Fit working through the scale of C major, then clawed his way through sharps and flats. Other than the basics, Hissy Fit was self taught as you would expect from an independent cat. He loved his music so, purring loudly through what developed into his own form of improvisation. Hissy Fit did reach a plateau with his stubby paws, but his purring had no such limitation. One day he simply stopped playing the piano and instead purred his tunes.
I did my best to write his music down note by note. When he especially liked one of his melodies, he would spend weeks purring the accompaniment one instrument at a time. The effort usually resulting in Hissy Fit ignoring even his favorite food, mouse, which took a toll on his health in his later years. Before his last breath I laid him out on the back porch. His tail wagged one last time as he listened to the wild sounds he once knew.
Hissy Fit was an exceptional cat and his loss hit me hard. I've been staring at his pile of musical compositions wondering what would become of them. I wondered how I ever wrote my cats purring to sheet music. I wondered if I imagined it all. I wondered if Hissy Fit ever existed at all. I looked at the bite mark he left me as a kitten and then I knew. Hissy Fit's music must be heard.
Track Name and Descriptions:
1) Hissy Fit: The one and the only. One of his first compositions originally purred note by note. His purrs are replaced by musical instruments.
2) Kitties On A Train: Our cat never traveled the world, but he did manage to take a number of train trips. He was stuck in a cat carrier, but it sounds like his imagination ran wild.
3) Purr For Me: One of his best. Although performed with human instruments, this tune comes closest to the actual purring performed by Hissy Fit.
4) Catnip – Prescription Strength: Here I've incorporated Hissy Fit's meow into his music and the result is absolutely magic. An astonishing representation of Hissy on Catnip.
5) Whisker's Edge: A melody with double the meow factor. Touch the edge of a cat's whiskers and you will get an instant reaction.
6) Hairball – Just Passing Through: An awkward topic, but you cannot have a self cleaning pet without the inevitable … you know what :-)
7) Fur Is All I Need: This title sums up the independent nature of the vast majority of cats. Naturally, fur can take a cat only so far without a healthy set of claws and teeth.
8) Country Pounce: Hissy Fit loved the wide open spaces. Especially when he noticed movement in the grass.
You may be wondering why we named our cat Hissy Fit? When presented with a mirror he would hiss endlessly until he ran out of saliva. We needed to remove all mirrors from the house.