Pop-up concert was a great idea

The Philadelphia Orchestra was scheduled to open Carnegie Hall’s season last night (Oct. 2), but the gala was cancelled at the last minute due to a stagehand strike (sounds like Philly), so Yannick and the gang decided to give a free pop-up, shirtsleeves concert at Verizon Hall.

Tweets went out, and the house was packed (finally, a good reason for Twitter’s existence). On the heels of a packed Independence Mall for a free opera broadcast last week, this bodes very well for the classical music scene in our city. If the powers that be can occasionally give the people what they want – great music without all the diamonds and furs – they’ll show up in droves and become supporters. Finally, the keepers of the culture in Philly are doing something right.

Sorry the same can’t be said about the Inquirer – there was nothing about this story in its morning-after paper. I learned about it from a website based in Europe! Anyway, bravo to everyone involved in this great event.

Jim Harris



Humane solution for feral felines

Oct. 16 is National Feral Cat Day. Established by the national advocacy group Alley Cat Allies. Its goal is to raise awareness about feral (unsocialized) cats and to promote trap-neuter-return-manage (TNRM) for these unowned cats that are subjected to life outdoors. TNRM is a non-lethal, cost effective, humane solution to controlling and decreasing the feral cat population over time.

As an animal advocate who has rescued many stray and abused animals, I cannot emphasize the importance of sterilization for all pets. Feral cats (dogs can become feral too) are the result of owner abandonment and failure by owners to sterilize their pets. The difference between a feral and stray is that a feral fears people. Feral cats get a lot bad press, but they control rodents and are quiet and good neighbors. Ferals can be resocialized over time, but shelters will immediately kill a feral due to its low adoption possibilities.

If you see a feral or stray in the neighborhood, please don’t look the other way in the hope that someone else will do something. The animal is probably hungry, cold and suffering. It is up to each of us to show kindness to every animal, not only those that live in our homes.

It is very easy to ignore an animal in need rather than get involved, but today there are more low-cost spay/neuter clinics in this area than ever before. The Philadelphia Community Cats Council is a group of hard-working volunteers trying to reduce the number of strays in this city (www.phillycats.org).

I have many cat rescues desperate for homes and affection, as does every other rescuer that I know. Shelters are overflowing with intakes. If you can’t adopt, would you consider a temporary foster arrangement? Whatever you can do, please do something to help the feral/stray animals before winter arrives. Spread the word about the importance of sterilization, and please consider opening your heart and home to a homeless animal.

Brenda Malinics