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Cats And Organs


MusingMuso
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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'....)

 

 

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

 

 

No, it wasn't Lincoln!

 

I'm happy to report that I've outlived the dog, but the holes where the teeth sank in are still visible!!

 

Coming to think of it, this may be the source of my deep dislike of Howells.

 

Perhaps it is a reaction to severe emotional scarring and physical pain....I think the psychiatrists call it "transfer".

 

I obviously need a therapist!

 

:blink:

 

MM

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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.

 

 

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

 

 

Cats boring, eh?

 

Can you catch a mouse, manipulate another human-being to your advantage and wash yourself without running-water?

 

Interestingly, the motor reactions of cats are far quicker than those of human-beings, and when a cat strikes, we cannot think quickly enough to take evasive action.

 

I bet I'm the only person on this board to have walked down the street with a pet Cheetah on a lead.............in America of course.

 

Which reminds me of yet another funny story........

 

Isobelle Stewart-Gardner was the wife of an immensely wealthy cotton-manufactuuring magnate in Boston, and something of a high-society lady who bucked the conventional trends of respectable Boston in the early decades of the 20th century.

 

An avid art-collector, the museum in Boston which bears her name, is one of the most astonishing collections of European art anywhere in the world.

 

Isobelle was different.......wearing flamboyant clothes when everyone of her "class" wore black. She also had a pet cheetah, which she used to delight in handing to the floor-managers of the big, up-market department stores, who would then hang on to the animal fearfully.

 

She also had a carriage drawn by an elephant, which used to trundle slowly through the streets; presumably with the cheetah as well.

 

Something of a benefactor, she was often invited to charitable "events", and on one occasion, she was asked to attend a garden-party after High Mass, at a well known high-epsicopalian church, affectionately known locally as "Smokey Mary's".

 

She got out the elephant and carriage, and off she went with a trumpety-trump, but the unfortunate elephant had to climb a hill, and got slower and slower as it did so; her arrival for High Mass somewhat late.

 

She got out of the carriage and went into church, to find the hymn and procession in full swing, with incense smoke slowly filling the church. Knowing that her place would be at the front of church, she blundered past the clergy and choristers. Then overtaking the acolyte (sp?) swinging the incense, she turned to him and said, "Honey, that's a divine dress your're wearing, but I think your handbag is on fire."

 

:blink:

 

MM

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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.

Okapis: Both species have very long (apx. 30 cm or 12 inch), flexible, blue tongues that they use to strip leaves and buds from trees. The tongue of an okapi is long enough for the animal to wash its eyelids and clean its ears: it is one of the few mammals that can lick its own ears. Male okapis have short, skin-covered horns. They have large ears which help them detect their predator, the leopard
There you go - cats are better, feeding on Okapis... hmmm wonder whether Okapis make good eating...

 

I'm quite worried about Okapis. I remember school noys trying to pick their nose with their tongues - the idea of having a pet okapi that starts cleaning out his ear hole or start licking his eyes (what else, I wonder) with his tongue while on a lead I find quite alarming. What would the neighbours say? Can you train them?

 

Okapis are unusual in their ability to sleep for only 5 minutes in a 24 hour period and remain at peak alertness.

 

Hmmm, considering I need about 9 1/2 hours sleep each day to even consider getiing anywhere near peak alertness, not sure whether we wuold make good bedfellows? What does it get upto during the night in peak alertness with that tongue? My girlfriend might get ideas... How often do they need feeding? Do they need to be taken for walkies to relieve themselves?

 

I'm sorry to say rabbits in my experience are rather one track minded and the one in my signature is no different... I see that James Parsons has stolen the picture for some Oundle concert in Fotheringhay.

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Guest Lee Blick

This has to be the most interesting and thought-provoking discussion on this forum for a while...

 

 

 

meeeeooooooowwwwwwww! :blink:

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I’ll side with the cat lovers. If anyone would like to take a look at my website you’ll find that the link from this forum’s members’ page goes to some pictures of organs, but go up a level and you find the cats gallery - including a cat on an organ bench.

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This has to be the most interesting and thought-provoking discussion on this forum for a while...

meeeeooooooowwwwwwww!  :D

 

 

To me, as an organ lover (well mostly!), it the most amusing and informative Site that I know.

 

I love it - it proves not all organists are miserable stuffy old gits! Look at the number of hits it gets!

 

FF :D

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I’ll side with the cat lovers.  If anyone would like to take a look at my website you’ll find that the link from this forum’s members’ page goes to some pictures of organs, but go up a level and you find the cats gallery - including a cat on an organ bench.

No sign of the cat on the ordgan bench. WHich cat is it out of the 6 on the cats gallery?

 

Dave

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No sign of the cat on the organ bench. WHich cat is it out of the 6 on the cats gallery?

 

Dave,

 

It is the second photo of Phoebe but, having looked again, its not all that clear that she's sitting on an organ bench because the instrument in question is a Hohner pianet, attached to an organ pedal-board (which I use for practice).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings,

 

There is a "parish cat" at Grace & St. Peter's Hamden named Oliver who pretty much has free run of the building; although I don't believe he can get to the organ. He seems to tolerate the organ being played however. It's nice to look down during a tuning and see him clean his claws on the center aisle carpet! :huh:

 

- Nathan

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Greetings,

 

    There is a "parish cat" at Grace & St. Peter's Hamden named Oliver who pretty much has free run of the building; although I don't believe he can get to the organ.  He seems to tolerate the organ being played however.  It's nice to look down during a tuning and see him clean his claws on the center aisle carpet!  :huh:

 

      - Nathan

 

 

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

 

 

This is terrible!

 

No church mice?

 

:huh:

 

MM

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

This is terrible!

 

No church mice?

A few weeks ago our local organists' association visited St George's, Modbury, in Devon (a fine IIP Forster & Andrews) and were greeted with tea and biccies at the back of the church. I was one of the last to arrive and, on joining the throng, was warned not to step on the mice. I looked down and there around our feet were two baby mice nibbling our fallen crumbs.
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Greetings,

 

I am not sure whether or not there is a mouse problem at Grace and St. Peter's, however, I am sure that Oliver has a formidable set of double-plus paws with accompanying razors. I somehow doubt a Church mouse would stand much of a chance other than the fact that he is about as gentle (and well fed) as they come.

 

Best,

 

Nathan

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Greetings,

 

    I am not sure whether or not there is a mouse problem at Grace and St. Peter's, however, I am sure that Oliver has a formidable set of double-plus paws with accompanying razors.  I somehow doubt a Church mouse would stand much of a chance other than the fact that he is about as gentle (and well fed) as they come.

 

      Best,

 

            Nathan

 

Try the site listed below - any of these should put the fear of God into your mice....

 

http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/

 

:D

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Greetings,

 

    I am not sure whether or not there is a mouse problem at Grace and St. Peter's, however, I am sure that Oliver has a formidable set of double-plus paws with accompanying razors.  I somehow doubt a Church mouse would stand much of a chance other than the fact that he is about as gentle (and well fed) as they come.

 

      Best,

 

            Nathan

 

 

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

 

 

My partner had a cat called "Bam Bam" which was scared of rodents.

 

It would climb on to the top of high cupboards with a thick tail if the pet hamster made an entry!

 

The stupid animal.

 

MM

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  • 1 month later...

Fellow cat loving organists/organbuilders might be interested to know of two moggies immortalised in a London pipe organ.

 

The late Stephen Ridgley-Whithouse's cats influenced the names of two Solo organ stops at St. Peter's Eaton Square namely the Tibia Sylvestris and the Viola Felix - you guessed it - Felix and Sylvester!! The organ (built by Ken Jones in 1992/93 and now undergoing a staged process of re-engineering and refinishing by Trevor Crowe) is well worth seeing and playing, and not just for these two stops.

 

David

 

PS - the Tibia is actually a Spitz Flute, and a nice one at that!

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Fellow cat loving organists/organbuilders might be interested to know of two moggies immortalised in a London pipe organ.

 

The late Stephen Ridgley-Whithouse's cats influenced the names of two Solo organ stops at St. Peter's Eaton Square namely the Tibia Sylvestris and the Viola Felix - you guessed it - Felix and Sylvester!!  The organ (built by Ken Jones in 1992/93 and now undergoing a staged process of re-engineering and refinishing by Trevor Crowe) is well worth seeing and playing, and not just for these two stops.

 

David

 

PS - the Tibia is actually a Spitz Flute, and a nice one at that!

Anybody know more about this "staged process of re-engineering and refinishing" - seems surprising after 13/14 years?

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Anybody know more about this "staged process of re-engineering and refinishing" - seems surprising after 13/14 years?

 

Indeed - it is also not the only large instrument built by Kenneth Jones which has undergone major work. When I visited Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, last year (and was fortunate in being able to play the organ), I found that it had recently been rebuilt by Flentrop in conjunction with the Wells-Kennedy Partnership. The work undertaken included the re-arranging of some of the compound ranks, the replacement of certain ranks with new pipe-work (and in some cases, different stops), the revoicing of some ranks and the addition of a Contra Trombone (extended) to the Pedal Organ. In addition, Flentrop also carried-out the re-adjustment of the mechanical action and a thorough clean and overhaul of the entire instrument.

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Indeed - it is also not the only large instrument built by Kenneth Jones which has undergone major work. When I visited Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, last year (and was fortunate in being able to play the organ), I found that it had recently been rebuilt by Flentrop, along with the Wells-Kennedy Partnership. The work undertaken included the re-arranging of some of the compound ranks, the replacement of certain ranks with new pipe-work (and in some cases, different stops), the revoicing of some ranks and the addition of a Contra Trombone (extended) to the Pedal Organ. In addition, Flentrop also carried-out the re-adjustment of the mechanical action and a thorough clean and overhaul of the entire instrument.

 

This is most odd. The KJ at Gt St Mary's, Cambridge I thought was gorgeous and very cleverly designed. There is a small KJ in Sarum College which is exquisitely voiced though perhaps not so cleverly designed. I always thought he was among the best small-ish firms.

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This is most odd.  The KJ at Gt St Mary's, Cambridge I thought was gorgeous and very cleverly designed.  There is a small KJ in Sarum College which is exquisitely voiced though perhaps not so cleverly designed.  I always thought he was among the best small-ish firms.

 

Wantage PC also seemed ok last time I played it and I quite like Tewkesbury too.

 

AJJ

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  • 3 weeks later...

With regard to the work at Eaton Square, I can offer some information on this (as I have been involved in the process) - as originally built the organ proved mechanically unreliable and though tonally impressive, was lacking in terms of overall finish. The reasons why this was the case are many and not all for open discussion, but this must have been a somewhat pressurised time for this relatively small firm, producing three four manual organs in quick succession alongside a range of slightly smaller (but at times quite high profile) jobs in Cambridge etc.

 

The mechanical re-engineering has eliminated all the electrical assistance on the manual divisions (a particular source of unreliability and poor repetition), and the entire coupler chassis has been replaced to allow a re-engineering of the couplers, key-tensioning and step-down elements of the action, and to eliminate the sensation of 'sponge' in the action. Further action problems had also been encountered in the incredibly dry atmosphere of the church. The outcome of the recent work is a much more reliable and positive action, with a real pluck point and none of the horrible indefinite sponginess associated with modern tracker-actions that are geared down too much (found with alarming frequency elsewhere). It is heavy-ish as one might expect on an organ this size, but really good to play. The wind-system is being revised (partially complete) as the original design was particularly unstable, even with the Jones trademark draw-stop controlled concussion dampers - new conventional bellows have been added to this end.

 

The remaining work includes revision of the Pedal division to incorporate more stops on purely mechanical action, and to further improve the wind-system. Beyond the mechanical elements, the plan (I believe) is to do the tonal finishing that the organ needs, refining some of the less sociable elements of the sound etc. The work is being undertaken by the Irish organ builder Trevor Crowe - formerly Jones's tonal director. Trevor (engineering and music degrees amongst other achievements) resigned his position at Jones around the time the organ was being installed (for various reasons). He was responsible for the tonal finishing at Emmanuel Cambridge amongst others, and is a particularly fine voicer – interested parties should try the work he has completed on his own account, particularly the large 50-ish stop three manual mechanical action organ in St. Bartholomew’s in Dublin, which stands head to head with the work of many a bigger name (and might I dare to say, stands higher than some).

 

As for why this organ needed this work so soon – many factors, not least that a new organ has no prototype and when new and daring ideas are attempted sometimes they don’t work – solving such problems can be costly and may eat into time that would otherwise be spent elsewhere on the job. The Eaton Square organ is one of the most original and brilliant concepts executed in modern ‘British’ (actually British Isles or, to be truly loyal, Irish) organ building – it is a testimony to the people at St. Peter’s that they recognise the rough diamond they possess and are willing to invest in finishing it properly – it promises to be one of the finest organs in the country when it is complete.

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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.

 

Don't forget that dogs have owners but cats have staff

--

Bruce Fletcher

Stronsay, Orkney

<www.stronsay.co.uk/claremont>

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Don't forget that dogs have owners but cats have staff

--

Bruce Fletcher

Stronsay, Orkney

<www.stronsay.co.uk/claremont>

 

 

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

 

Are you sugesting that when I walked the pet cheetah in America, it really wanted to go shopping and have me open doors for it?

 

I'd have loved that!

 

We could have cleared whole department-stores in about ten seconds!!

 

 

MM

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Guest Roffensis

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

 

No they stink and make a mess. There was a pussy that used to sit up in the loft of St. Georges Hall, it's buried in the basement now, but apparently it used to purr etc etc etc when the organ played (sic), aw bless!!

 

Precious kitty liked a ditty.

 

R

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