Stray cat joins orchestra, nuzzles up to conductor

Stray cat joins orchestra, nuzzles up to conductor

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

March 20, 2022

A favourite pre-Covid video from Istanbul:


  • Petros Linardos says:


  • E says:

    Only in Istanbul…a very optimistic cat…tail carried high,
    like a banner…. Can’t help loving
    the outcome of this, a concert
    enjoyed by both species of listener. Thanks for brightening
    my Sunday.

  • Fred Funk says:

    Smart cat. Stayed away from the violas.

  • Perhaps the Orchestra was performing music by CAT-chaturian…………

  • fflambeau says:

    Cats have a way of doing their own thing.

    • David K. Nelson says:

      In the late 1940s the legislature of Illinois in its collective wisdom passed a bill to protect migratory birds which required cats to be restrained at all times and not permitted to run free, and allowed the trapping of any stray cat. Then Governor (and soon to be Presidential candidate) Adlai Stevenson vetoed the bill and his veto message has become a classic of its kind, a veto that is also great literature:

      “I cannot agree that it should be the declared public policy of Illinois that a cat visiting a neighbor’s yard or crossing the highways is a public nuisance. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. Many live with their owners in apartments or other restricted premises, and I doubt if we want to make their every brief foray an opportunity for a small game hunt by zealous citizens—with traps or otherwise. I am afraid this Bill could only create discord, recrimination and enmity. Also consider the owner’s dilemma: To escort a cat abroad on a leash is against the nature of the cat, and to permit it to venture forth for exercise unattended into a night of new dangers is against the nature of the owner. Moreover, cats perform useful service, particularly in rural areas, in combating rodents—work they necessarily perform alone and without regard for property lines.

      We are all interested in protecting certain varieties of birds. That cats destroy some birds, I well know, but I believe this legislation would further but little the worthy cause to which its proponents give such unselfish effort. The problem of cat versus bird is as old as time. If we attempt to resolve it by legislation who knows but what we may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dog versus cat, bird versus bird, or even bird versus worm. In my opinion, the State of Illinois and its local governing bodies already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency.”

      It is appropriate to quote Stevenson at a time like this. It was he who, as our ambassador to the UN, demanded that the USSR explain itself as to the matter of its missiles in Cuba. The Soviet ambassador evaded the question. Stevenson: “I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over.”

  • says:

    that was one of the more enjoyable moments of my time as artistic director of the crr concert hall!


    Thank you for this welcome respite from the current horror.

  • Joseph Hoshen says:

    The concert shown in the video clip reminds me of a concert my friend and I attended at the old Tel-Aviv Museum on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv, Israel in the early sixties. The performers at the concert were the Tel Aviv String Quartet. Before the intermission, the quartet performed one of Bartok’s string quartets (I cannot remember which one). In one of the middle movements, the quartet turned into a quintet; a quintet for string quartet and cat. All of a sudden, a loud solo meow joined the quartet, seemingly, coming from above. The audience started giggling. As we were unable to stop laughing, we left the concert hall. The speculation was that the cat was the resident mouser of the museum. To the present day, we are still in a debate whether the cat was expressing its approval or disapproval of the performance. Or maybe, the cat was just trying to add color to the music.

  • Trombone section is the funniest section says:

    -Igor Strawhisker

    Anybody else?

  • MER says:

    Twinkle Toes has a most musical and graceful gait, the inspiration for his name, coming from the smoothly swift movement of his paws spinning a flawlessly modulated legato quality…