So was your curiosity kindled by all those pieces of music inspired by cats? And perhaps you found some of them hard to scare up? I did. But I found Gabriel Faure's delightful "Kitty-Valse" and wanted to share a sprightly rendition with you here.
You know now that "Kitty-Valse" was a piece within the "Dolly Suite," written from 1893 to 1896. "Dolly" was little Helene Bardac, daughter of singer Emma Bardac, with whom Faure was close in those years. The "Dolly Suite" was not written all at once, but in bits, as presents if you will. All six segments were written as piano duets, and I can't help but wonder if Faure and Emma played them together for her tiny daughter. They are light, tender and short, just the thing for a very young child. Now here's the surprise: "Kitty-Valse" and its fellow in the suite "Miaou" -- are not actually about cats. "Miaou" was originally Helene's attempt to pronounce the name of her brother Raoul (I can see that one, can't you?), while "Kitty-Valse" was for the family dog, named Kitty or Ketty depending on whom you ask. You can get some more info here at this ClasssicalArchives.com page.