Charles Mingus (1922-1979)... and cats

Thank you to my friend Mike for this.

When jazz legend Charles Mingus died in 1979, he left behind quite a legacy (all that follows is from the official website):

-a uniquely important place in twentieth century music
-inspirational work as bass player, pianist, bandleader and composer.
-nearly 70 albums as a bandleader
-a discography chock-full of treasures
-one toilet training manual for house cats.

Quote: "Don't be surprised if you hear the toilet flush in the middle of the night. A cat can learn how to do it, spurred on by his instinct to cover up."

The method progrssively cuts down on the use of newspaper, so may be indeed be a parable for our times....


  1. That has to be the bizarrest story I've read online all week!

  2. I'm wondering too. Sue Mingus's Tonight at Noon has only one reference to a cat that I have found so far.

    On page 121 there is a story of the Minguses arriving at a locked-up house with two German Shepherd dogs called Muttley and Brunhilda (!), of Brunhilda killing a siamese cat, and Mingus insisting that the dead cat be (a) placed in the middle of a road ; when this idea was rejected (b) trying to revive it under cold water and (c) placing it in the salad compartment of the fridge.

    Back to the music ASAP I think....

  3. Chris Parker writes:

    I think that Ben Stiller/Robert De Niro film, "Meet the Parents"

    also features a cat that disposes of its crap in this way; perhaps Sue Mingus should be
    after the film-makers for royalties, as she is (so commendably) all the time with rogue record companies exploiting the more musical
    manifestations of CM's work...

  4. When I told Mingus that I had named my dog after him, he asked, "What kind of dog?"

    "A dobermann," I replied.

    He nodded and said that was okay. Then he told me that someone had named a Greenwich Village beauty parlor after him, and that was not okay.