During Classical KUSC’s successful spring pledge drive that ended on May 11, listeners called in pledges to honor their mothers for Mother’s Day, congratulate new graduates and celebrate the vital role the station plays in their lives. In surprising numbers, they also lit up the switchboard with comments about how much classical music means to their furry and feathered friends.
A woman from the San Fernando Valley declared, “My cat, Felix, drags me into the room to listen to KUSC. He loves it, as do I.”
Another caller noted, “I leave the music on for my dog when I leave the house so she will feel comforted.”
Not to be outdone, a listener from Irvine said, “I leave the radio on for the cats when we are away, though it’s difficult to tell their favorites.”
This preference for classical music transcends breed. Listeners claimed that French bulldogs, poodles, a bearded collie and dogs of various breeds named Carter, Shayna, Latte and Buddy love the music. Cats named Mr. Darcy, Mitzi, Zorro, Milton, Kalisto, Riley and Mozart, of course, were deemed regular listeners.
One Los Angeles man announced that his parrot loves KUSC.
Announcer Alan Chapman asked for listeners who owned reptiles to call in if any snakes, turtles or lizards are fans, but he has yet to receive an affirmative answer. Cat and dog fans, however, are regular contributors to pledge drives, station veteran Chapman said.
During the drive, he recounted the story of a listener who drives a delivery truck and takes his dog along for company. When the man stops for a delivery, it is KUSC’s classical music that keeps his dog from jumping out of the truck.
Researchers have documented calming behavior of classical music on zoo elephants and shelter dogs, though some researchers contend that canines and felines prefer music written in their nonhuman frequency ranges.
But don’t tell that to KUSC callers who insist that their pets listen carefully to the music. Especially not to the woman who pledged for her cat, Mozart, and asked that his name be read on the air.