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Cat Sneaks Onstage During Symphony Performance, Struts By Without A Care

Images show a calico cat sharing the orchestra podium with the conductor during a performance in Istanbul.

When a calico cat walked onto the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall stage, all eyes followed the little feline. Several orchestra members reached down to offer a friendly pet. The little cat made herself right at home, sharing the Istanbul orchestra conductor’s podium. That was in 2020 during a performance of the CCR Symphony Orchestra. That wasn’t the first time; it will probably not be the last.

Image shows a cellist reaching down to pat a stray cat during an orchestra performance in Istanbul.
Image from YouTube.

More recently, a tiny tuxedo tabby joined the orchestra on May 31, 2024, at the Lutfi Kirdar Convention Center’s Auditorium. This little guy had appropriate attire for the 52nd Istanbul Music Festival. The youngster wandered onto the stage and calmly walked in front of the orchestra as they played. He stopped and took a quick glance toward the audience before wandering off again.

Cats are special in Istanbul, Turkey. In Islamic culture, cats hold a high status as “ritually clean animals.” A law passed in 2021 protects animals and will “deter people from engaging in brutality against animals.” People convicted of crimes against animals can be jailed for six months to four years. Prison terms cannot be changed to fines, and there is no bail for these offenses.

Pelin Sayilgan, from the Turkish Animal Rights Federation, Haytap, told reporters that crimes against animals will go on criminal records. Initially, the group requested banning zoos, pet stores, fur farms, and circus animals, but that portion did not go into the final law.

If you visit Turkey, you will see stray cats and dogs wandering the streets. Please honor them with a pet. Many residents leave food and water out for them. If you are at the orchestra in Istanbul, a cat may steal the show during the performance! Please share.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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