Monday, September 8, 2014

Composers and cats

Because of our new cat I am wondering what musicians in history had cats. It is hard to think of any specifically. Richard Wagner had a big Newfoundland dog, at least for a while, named Robber. He had Robber at the time he wrote "The Flying Dutchman." Mozart had a dog and a bird.

Howard says we do not hear about musicians having cats because probably they all did. Cats used to be part of the landscape because they roamed free and you needed them for the mice that were and are around. Everyone had them! That is what we figure anyway.

Now I am looking for more details.

Ah! Alexander Borodin had a lot of cats. And one of them, Ryborov, could go ice fishing. He could fish through holes in the ice.

I bet our cat could do that if we were Russian!

Borodin is on a list of famous cat lovers including Pope Benedict XVI and Edward Lear, two of the greatest gentlemen who ever lived. Edward Lear had a tabby cat and, speaking of music, it was named Foss. I interviewed Lukas Foss once! I wish I could have mentioned that.

You might guess that Maurice Ravel loved cats and you would be right. He had Siamese cats, so says this list. That is Ravel up above with a cat! Here is another picture.

John and Cynthia Lennon had up to 10 cats. No word on how many cats he owned with Yoko.

Pope St. Gregory the Great had only one possession, so says the list, and it was a cat. He would pet the cat while meditating. 

And perhaps while creating his famous Gregorian chant.

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