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Cats And Organs


MusingMuso
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I once had a very loveable tom-cat, who would sit with me at the organ as I practised; gently swaying as the organ-bench rocked a little, and sometimes soundly asleep.

 

Other times, he would show great interest in my finger technique (or lack of it) and watch intrigued as my feet moved around. When I got louder, he would flatten his ears, but he stayed with it to the final cadence every time.

 

When he started to try individual notes with a single-claw, I started to worry!

 

However, these delightful memories apart, I came across something absolutely wonderful, which I have never heard of before.

 

It concerns a cat which got inside an organ and did terrible damage, and this was reported in the "Musical Opinion" at the time, as follows:-

 

==============

 

Seeing that the amusing story of the cat in my organ has found its way into

your interesting paper, I think that you perhaps will like to have a few

more facts. I enclose a copy of the ... bill I have received from the

organ builders (Messrs. Jardine & Co. of Manchester). ... I enticed the cat

out of the organ by means of some meat tied to the end of a piece of

string. ...

 

Yours &c.

Herbert Barlow

(Organist, Old Parish Church, Leek, Staffs.)

=========

 

THE CHURCHWARDENS OF LEEK PARISH CHURCH

DR. TO MESSRS. JARDINE & CO., Organ Builders, Manchester.

October 30th, 1885.

 

To man's time and expenses, scratching his head, and considering how to

repair damage caused by cat ...

2 pounds 2 shillings

 

To thoroughly repairing the fearful damage done to organ by a cat having

scratched through three layers of trackers, thereby rendering useless one

row of keys.........

 

15 pounds 15 shillings

 

To our man's time and expenses, scratching head, as above, considering how

to prevent the recurrence of such a fearful cat-astrophe for the future,

with valuable opinion as to the narrow escape of the pedal organ

 

5 pounds 5 shillings

 

Sum

23 pounds 2 shillings

 

DISCOUNT to bill as well as cat story, in consideration of my name being so

kindly advertised

22 pounds 1 shilling

 

TOTAL DUE

1 pound 1 shilling

 

===============

 

MY QUESTION....SHOULD ANIMALS BE ALLOWED IN THE ORGAN-LOFT?

 

MM

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===============

 

MY QUESTION....SHOULD ANIMALS BE ALLOWED IN THE ORGAN-LOFT?

 

MM

 

 

In my experience I have generally found birds to be far more damaging to organs than animals.

 

On one occasion, after one of our tuners had been accused of failing to carry out a tuning properly, I found that a bird had perched on the metal tuning flap of a middle C Clarabella. The cap closed, flattening the pipe and the bird then hopped onto the next note up where the same thing happened and so on up the rank of pipes, putting the lot violently out of tune. When the organist asked how I knew it was a bird I told him it was obviously quite frightened.

 

Birds, after they have been weakened by flying around a church with no food or water often seemed to perch on the tops of open metal pipes, especially Pedal Trombones, and topple off into the pipes, there to perish.

 

Mice can of course cause considerable damage and once when I was asked how to stop mice getting into an organ replied with the obvious "Stop then getting into the church" this answer was regarded as unhelpful and impudent by the Vicar.

 

I have also known a couple of organists who might have been regarded as animals get into the organ loft.

 

FF

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Guest Andrew Butler

In my experience I have generally found birds to be far more damaging to organs than animals.

 

 

Yes - a young woman "friend-of-the-family" once played for a wedding at my church at the time, a few years ago, and dropped a large copy of AMR from the music rest onto the swell keys and broke a tracker! Birds do indeed cause damage!! ;)

 

(She was fit, though! ;)

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Guest Lee Blick
once had a very loveable tom-cat, who would sit with me at the organ as I practised; gently swaying as the organ-bench rocked a little, and sometimes soundly asleep.

 

Other times, he would show great interest in my finger technique (or lack of it) and watch intrigued as my feet moved around. When I got louder, he would flatten his ears, but he stayed with it to the final cadence every time.

 

When he started to try individual notes with a single-claw, I started to worry!

 

Aw, thats sweet. I love cats. I was in a parish once where the church unofficially had a cat. It was jet black with white paws and nose. It used to wonder in and out at will, sit with people in services, sit with me curled up on the organ bench.

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I hate cats.

 

Can they be roasted on spits?

 

:blink:

 

Concur. I think they probably can, but they'd just look at you with disdain whilst they were roasting.

 

That's the thing about cats - they're just so bloody superior. All the time. You can be putting down food for them, and they'll look at you as if *they* made you do it, and why couldn't you do it just that bit quicker and better?

 

I have this theory about things beginning with C being evil:

Cats, Celery, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Carnations, Copeman Hart toasters

 

Unfortunately, this theory is disproved by Coffee, Chamades, etc.

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Aw, thats sweet.  I love cats.  I was in a parish once where the church unofficially had a cat.  It was jet black with white paws and nose.  It used to wonder in and out at will, sit with people in services, sit with me curled up on the organ bench.

I like cats as well. I once sent the local church cat to sleep by playing random chord on the organ at the church. There was no service at the time.

 

I drew two stops: Voix Celeste 8' and Saliconal 8' then closed the swell flaps and played random chords for about 2 minutes. The cat was asleep by the time I finished. He was still purring tho and it was a bit louder than the notes I was playing. :blink:

 

Dave

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Concur. I think they probably can, but they'd just look at you with disdain whilst they were roasting.

 

That's the thing about cats - they're just so bloody superior. All the time. You can be putting down food for them, and they'll look at you as if *they* made you do it, and why couldn't you do it just that bit quicker and better?

 

I have this theory about things beginning with C being evil:

Cats, Celery, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Carnations, Copeman Hart toasters

 

Unfortunately, this theory is disproved by Coffee, Chamades, etc.

 

I could not have said it better myself, Adrian.

 

What a pity that 'coffee' and 'chamades' both start with 'c'.

 

Hey - should 'opera' not start with a 'c', too?

 

(Oh come on, opera is just a bunch of fat people who sound as if they are singing underwater....)

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I hate cats.

 

Can they be roasted on spits?

 

:blink:

 

 

======================

 

We all have our pet hates!

 

In America, some of the churches have large fans to keep people cool. Every so often, an unfortunate bat will come into contact with the blades and land in a heap of blood and fur on someone's hymnbook, which can't be much fun unless it's Holy Week.

 

Mice eat bellows, and as Frank points out, birds can do damage also.

 

St.Bavo, Haarlem has resident bats, which fly around the church with impunity in the middle of orgel concerten. They seem to get very excited when the mixtures are drawn; flying at full throttle towards the instrument and only back-pedalling when they're a few feet away from the organ-case.

 

In my younger days, I had an unfortunate experience at one certain well-known place, when I attended Evensong.

 

Approaching the console to watch the final voluntary being played was not a problem. Going inside the console "box" was not a problem, when the organist beckoned me to turn pages. Turning pages was not a problem, until I stepped back and all hell broke loose when I stood on the dog.

 

The dog was furious and made a terrible din, whilst I tried to shake my leg free from the jaws of hell.

 

The organist just kept going while all this was going on, but then, the music was by Howells!

 

MM

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I could not have said it better myself, Adrian.

 

What a pity that 'coffee' and 'chamades' both start with 'c'.

 

Hey - should 'opera' not start with a 'c', too?

 

(Oh come on, opera is just a bunch of fat people who sound as if they are singing underwater....)

 

Yes, Opera really should being with a c. Most opera singers I've come across (not many), can often be described as something beginning with a c...

 

What's the collective noun for opera singers?

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Yes, Opera really should being with a c. Most opera singers I've come across (not many), can often be described as something beginning with a c...

 

What's the collective noun for opera singers?

I like cats. Those that don't are just insecure and angry that a little small furry animal with a superiority complex (which is just an act anyway in most cases) makes them feel inadequate.

 

I've met a few opera singers (not many, either) and have found them all Charming. I take it that's the word Adrian was looking for....

 

C.

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======================

 

We all have our pet hates!

 

In America, some of the churches have large fans to keep people cool. Every so often, an unfortunate bat will come into contact with the blades and land in a heap of blood and fur on someone's hymnbook, which can't be much fun unless it's Holy Week.

 

Mice eat bellows, and as Frank points out, birds can do damage also.

 

St.Bavo, Haarlem has resident bats, which fly around the church with impunity in the middle of orgel concerten. They seem to get very excited when the mixtures are drawn; flying at full throttle towards the instrument and only back-pedalling when they're a few feet away from the organ-case.

 

In my younger days, I had an unfortunate experience at one certain well-known place, when I attended Evensong.

 

Approaching the console to watch the final voluntary being played was not a problem. Going inside the console "box" was not a problem, when the organist beckoned me to turn pages. Turning pages was not a problem, until I stepped back and all hell broke loose when I stood on the dog.

 

The dog was furious and made a terrible din, whilst I tried to shake my leg free from the jaws of hell.

 

The organist just kept going while all this was going on, but then, the music was by Howells!

 

MM

 

Oh my God.

 

I trust that you and the dog parted on better terms....

 

Was this at Linclon, perchance? (Unless of course, you do not mean 'greenhouse' by 'box'....)

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Yes, Opera really should being with a c. Most opera singers I've come across (not many), can often be described as something beginning with a c...

 

What's the collective noun for opera singers?

 

I think that it begins with a 'b', Adrian.

 

Scratch around - I am certain that someone else will be able to supply the remaining letters....

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I like cats. Those that don't are just insecure and angry that a little small furry animal with a superiority complex (which is just an act anyway in most cases) makes them feel inadequate.

 

I've met a few opera singers (not many, either) and have found them all Charming. I take it that's the word Adrian was looking for....

 

C.

 

Yes, that must have been the word I was looking for...

 

As for those of us that dislike cats being insecure and angry... Well, I really feel like having a good shout and hitting something, but I'm not sure if I'd be any good at it...

 

2 problems with cats. 1. they're pointless as pets, 2. they make me sneeze.

 

Point 1 - I was brought up with both cats and dogs (which says something about the cruelty of my parents, being allergic to BOTH!). Whenever I got home of an evening, the dog would come flying towards me, please to see me, wagging his tail, etc. The cat would just look at me for a moment, with that evil stare which says "What the **** are you doing here?". Pointless.

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Yes, that must have been the word I was looking for...

 

As for those of us that dislike cats being insecure and angry... Well, I really feel like having a good shout and hitting something, but I'm not sure if I'd be any good at it...

 

2 problems with cats. 1. they're pointless as pets, 2. they make me sneeze.

 

Point 1 - I was brought up with both cats and dogs (which says something about the cruelty of my parents, being allergic to BOTH!). Whenever I got home of an evening, the dog would come flying towards me, please to see me, wagging his tail, etc. The cat would just look at me for a moment, with that evil stare which says "What the **** are you doing here?". Pointless.

 

Absolutely, Adrian.

 

There is no doubt in my mind, cats are about as useful as a chocolate chastity belt to a medieval knight.

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Dogs are just so much like hard work. You need to feed them, exercise them, let them out for a crap. They're completely dependant on you. To a lazy git like me, this is too much like hard work. The last thing I want to do on a cold, dark, wet and windy November evening is walk a f*****g dog.

 

So cats are a much better bet for me and I can at least think about what might be going on in that small furry head.

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Just to give you an ida why I find cats more interesting than dogs:

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOGS AND CATS

 

EXCERPTS FROM A DOG'S DIARY --

 

Day number 180

 

8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

 

10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

 

4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

Day number 181

 

8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

 

10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

 

4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

Day number 182

 

8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

 

10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:30 pm - ooooooo. bath. bummer.

 

4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXCERPTS FROM A CAT'S DIARY

 

DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.

Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

 

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed.

 

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan.

 

 

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

 

 

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event.

However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer". More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

 

 

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...

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... The last thing I want to do on a cold, dark, wet and windy November evening is walk a f*****g dog.

 

 

Whilst I can sympathise with this viewpoint, I feel bound to point-out that your signature looks more like a f*****g rabbit.

 

(Well, it is smiling....)

 

:blink:

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Just to give you an ida why I find cats more interesting than dogs:

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOGS AND CATS

 

EXCERPTS FROM A DOG'S DIARY --

 

Day number 180

 

8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

 

10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

 

4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

Day number 181

 

8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

 

10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

 

4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

Day number 182

 

8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

 

10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

 

11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

 

1:30 pm - ooooooo. bath. bummer.

 

4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

 

5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

EXCERPTS FROM A CAT'S DIARY

 

DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat,  while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild  satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.

Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

 

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded,  must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again  induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed.

 

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in an attempt to make them aware of what I am  capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little  cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan.

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This  time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My  only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event.

However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer". More importantly I  overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my  advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems  more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and  speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room  his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...

 

Are you sure that all the above actually goes through the mind of your cat? I have also seen some dopey cats, who probably would not know a mouse if it arrived in a small cart, was wearing little spangly costume and was holding a sign which read "I am a mouse"....

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In my experience I have generally found birds to be far more damaging to organs than animals.

 

On one occasion, after one of our tuners had been accused of failing to carry out a tuning properly, I found that a bird had perched on the metal tuning flap of a middle C Clarabella. The cap closed, flattening the pipe and the bird then hopped onto the next note up where the same thing happened and so on up the rank of pipes, putting the lot violently out of tune. When the organist asked how I knew it was a bird I told him it was obviously quite frightened.

Blimey, just how soft was the metal? You can post two Robins (or one sparrow) first class for 32p. Would even a 100g Blackbird have much impact? Then again, if it's actually landing on the pipe I suppose you have the momentum to take into account as well. I imagine a 425g pigeon might foul things up in more ways than one.

 

Just a pointless musing! :blink:

 

Back on topic, our elder cat, who is tiny, frail, poor-sighted and afraid of mice worries my playing not a jot when I'm at the toaster. Our younger one, who is twice the other's size and four times as heavy is more of a menace when it decides to rub my legs. It's not so much the rubbing as the fact that the mog is heavy enough to sound the pedals as he walks across them.

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Nah!

 

Cats are boring.

 

If you want an interesting pet, you could not do better than a nice okapi ...

 

... or even a boa constrictor. The latter also has the advantages of reducing household bills, if it lives in the front hall of your house.

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