Nearly everyone—usually involuntarily, and usually in the middle of the night—has been serenaded by a symphony of meows. But never quite like this.
Even before the days of memes and viral videos, cats have been the subject of human fascination, serving as whiskered muses for all kinds of art. People in the 1800s were particularly cat-crazed—believing that felines were responsible for everything from shifts in weather to curing epilepsy.
So it’s probably no wonder that in that time period, an entire opera was written about two chatty cats, composed entirely of “meows.”
The real kicker, however, is that the music is actually good. Especially when sung by two choir boys.
The absolutely silly opera, called “Duetto Buffo Di Due Gatti,” or “Funny Duet For Cats,” is clearly about … well … a cat fight. A friendly cat squabble, if you will, as indicated by all the different variations of “meow” in the piece.
If you thought the Meow Mix commercial was an earworm, wait till you get a load of this.
As the boys sing mew and yowl (with impressive skill, mind you) audience members can barely contain their laughter before erupting into applause at the end of the performance. Perhaps some cat ears would have added to the production value, but other than that—10/10. No notes.
People in the YouTube comments were quick to admit that no matter how bonkers the song is, it’s hard not to be captivated by the boys’ mesmerizing voices. “The only time ‘you sound like a cat when you sing’ is a compliment,” one person wrote.
Others jokingly praised the performers for not splitting their sides mid-meow. “The way they both sing through the entire song with completely straight faces cracks me up every single time,” one person quipped.
Perhaps the best comment, however, was written by a cat parent:
“When my cat dies, I’m gonna play this at her funeral.”
Acclaimed Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini often gets credited for “Duetto Buffo Di Due Gatti.” However, many historians agree that Rossini only heavily influenced the feline-inspired piece. Regardless, it’s a classic kitty-centric musical number adored by opera singers far and wide.
Check out these professional singers not only nail the musical portion, but fully commit to their cat characters. It’s meowvelous.
You’re welcome for the bizarre bit of musical history, and a song that’s sure to be stuck in your head for the rest of your life.