Philip Kennicott, a onetime music critic who’s now The Washington Post’s art and architecture critic, loves playing J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” on his piano. He also loves his dog, a border collie-Newfoundland mixed breed named Nathan; but Nathan howls pitiably and flees the room whenever he hears the “Goldbergs.” Kennicott consults the experts, and has to settle for speculative answers:
Among the generations of cats who’ve allowed me to share their homes, only one responded in any way to music: He was attracted to the buzzy noises of certain instruments – harpsichords, bassoons, bagpipes. Whenever he heard them, he would jump up on a loudspeaker to savor the vibrations and get a virtual tummy rub.