OLD CATS ENTERPRISES - We're capable, mature, and our services will make you purr......
Our PurRICES and PreisLieder. What ?
What will Richard's services cost you?
Boarding: $15.-daily. Wow!! Really?

The $15.00* power-half-hour walk and/or visit for pets:
...to take your darling pet just to see a dog about a man, or to kick up his/her heels.
Includes lively-paced walking,  Richard Rogers and/or Strauss family  waltz humming-accompanied prancing, a little schmoozing, much petting, and treating/feeding per your wishes. *    
Below: Motek
                                                         Richard and Motek
The $20.00* half-the-power-but-liberal-one-hour-walk visit for dogs:  Adagio-paced walking, the viewing and smelling, from appropriate distance, of flora-ornamented lawns;and hugs of approval, play, kind words, stroking, treating/feeding per your wishes.*
On the Right: Abu (Bubi)
Our $40.00* three-daily-visits package: Three (just to go) 20-minute visits with your best friend, spread out over the course of the day (i.e. 7 a.m., 2 p.m., and 9 p.m., during which  food (per your direction), much affection, short walks, and play will be happily provided.                                                                                                    
*There is a one dollar per mile surcharge for visits to kitties and dogs more than 6 miles away from us.
For beloved pets
                             (I'd rather stay right here)
and Old(I'd like to just sit for awhile)
Richard will tailor visits accordingly.
                                            A Purrricey(Not) Poem
                                               A Deal for the Cat Divine:
                                        The $5.55* for 5 minutes of Richard's time.
                                      a flight in by day/night/rain/sleet/snow/shine,
                                      to check in on--say hello to, stroke and make purr,
                                   freshen  up kitty litter and fill water/food bowls for-- 
                                           the beloved and fabulous feline in your life.
                           Absolutely Fabulous SPECIAL FOR THE FABULOUS FELINE !
*For clients within one-mile radius of Vassar College. There is a one dollar per mile surcharge for these visits if the kitty is more than one mile away from us, and we cannot pay 5-minute visits beyond a six-mile radius. One-kitty households for these 5-minute visits, please.
*Clients living in close proximity to us enjoy not only lower costs (our shorter travel times lower expenses), but the comfort in knowing we’re nearby and available to them should an occasional short notice need for pet care or other service be unavoidable. So, for pet sitters near Vassar College, call us!
 PurRICES for property care&senior citizen services:
Fees charged for property caretaking/oversight and senior citizen services are similar to those for pet care/sitting services: $15.00* per no-slack one-half hour; and $20.00* per no-dawdle hour.  All rates assume clients will supply any tools, equipment and fuel required. If, however, a breakdown of client equipment should occur, Richard will schlep his to the homes of preferred clients. However, a song may be required.
*There is a one dollar per mile surcharge for assistance rendered clients living more than 6 miles away.
Fees for longer-term pet/house sitting or property oversight will vary greatly according to client needs and may be much more reasonable than you might think. For example, daily checks on properties may be arranged for as little as $5.55*. What's the catch? Why not ask?
'Dogpile' it once in awhile when you search 
the web. They are much more inclusive, and far less intrusive. Try them:
   ... and Coming in  September, 2019*        
Need Driving instruction sooner? Richard can recommend someone.
Whether you are young or older, cluelessly inexperienced, moderately experienced or remarkably experienced when it comes to driving, learning and continuing to do it well and is a never-ending process. Beyond the acquisition of technical skill required to drive a car is the far more important adoption of a healthy attitude toward the driving task: One that fully appreciates why it is so important to know and obey ALL traffic laws; One steadfastly committed to exercising good judgement at all times when behind the wheel of a car, no matter the quality of other attitudes and judgements demonstrated by other users (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians) of the Highway Transportation system we all share; And in this decade of overwhelmingly attractive distractions, to solemnly pledge to focus on nothing--ABSOLUTELY NOTHING-but the task of driving when behind the wheel of a car.
So, if you've never operated a motor vehicle, and would like to begin the process of learning to do so, Richard will help you, as he will help the more experienced driver to become a better driver.
In addition to technical instruction, all of Richard's students will be offered introductions to the wonderful textbooks on driving available to those interested in becoming truly great drivers. Purchase of textbooks will be not be expected.
Clients interested in the affordable and effective behind-the-wheel driver education model* for teens (group of 3 or 4) accepted by both the New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles may wish to inquire about Richard's group lessons for teens.
One-on-one 90-minute clinics: $90.00 ; two participants: $45.00 per person;  three participants (a group!): $30.00 per person.                 
*Group driving lessons are not only affordable, but also offer
students, young and old alike, the opportunity to
share with peers the challenges--and the fun, too--
of learning to drive, or perfecting the ability to drive.
During an average 90-minute driving lesson in which three
students take part, each drives for 30 minutes,
and observes for 60 minutes. The environment is not
competitive in any way, and every class is carefully
tailored to maximize self-esteem of the
indidual while taking the group forward. 
Ask for more info./SIGN UP EARLY, so Richard gets some idea where client interests lie, and can begin scheduling/planning lessons.
*Need driver instruction a little sooner? Contact Richard. He'll refer you to a capable instructor.
PLEASE NOTE  Once again, there have been too few entries to the Vocal Competition and Grand Fete' this year, so we're going to try again on October 6th, 2018. We need greater volume to secure the caterer we hope to have on board, and to afford the venue we think ideal.
We hope those of you who have been entering since 2013 to no avail will consider doing so next year, as we encourage singers young and old to join us for the 205th birthdays of Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi.
                                                                Cancelled for 2018!
 The Happy 205 Birthday
  Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner 
             Vocal Competition and Grand Fete'
                          for seasoned* singers...         
  ...and those younger singers they mentor cancelled for 2018. Stay tuned!
*Minimum 50 years of age on October 6, 2018. (Photo I.D. will be requested at the Semi-Finals round/Party venue in Poughkeepsie). The exceptions to this are joyfully made, and are as follows, where the entry is a duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, or chorus: In a duo or trio, one singer may be younger than 50 if a vocal student/protege' of the senior partnering singer(s); If a quartet or quintet, two may be younger than 50 if  vocal students of the senior partnering/mentoring singer(s); quintets may feature three junior singers; and where the entry is a chorus, its master and one-half of its members must be at least 50 years of age. Semi-Finals will be limited to a maximum of 45 entries (not singers).
Professional singers, former professionals and amateurs alike are heartily welcomed to join us for a day filled with great music! Haven't sung in 10, 20 or more years? Who cares. C'mon, you
have 12  months to dust off and polish the chords.  Top a little shaky? We don't care. DO IT FOR VERDI AND WAGNER !!! Let's have fun. Even Richard hopes to sing sometime during the weekend of festivities, though not as a competitor. Jonquil and I purr when he sings. He says that's not a good sign. He says the proper production and placement of his voice would be hurting our little ears.
Preliminary Round: The Preliminary Round may be entered free of charge! 45 entries will be invited to perform at the Semi-Finals/Birthday Party on October 6, 2018, though we welcome all Wagner/Verdi admirers to join in the festivities. Great singing, great food, the beauty of the Hudson River Valley in Autumn ( You haven't lived until you experienced the Walkway over the Hudson),  master classes and so much more awaits you...    
To register online for the Preliminary round, please answer the the questions below in a word document or in the body of the email, as you prefer, attach an MP3 (see below), and email to:
Or, if you would rather (and we certainly hope you would rather), you may mail an audio cassette tape or CD, along with a note providing the answers, through the United States Postal Service, to OCE, Inc. c/o Richard Sonnenschein, PO Box 3121, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. Please include S.A.S.E, if you would like the materials returned to you.
Above: Konrad Knoll Statue of Wolfram von Eschenbach.Wehlenberg, Germany
Photo: WikiMediaCommons contributor, Jarlhelm 
1. Your name(s), address, telephone number and entry category ( i.e. soloist, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, chorus). If entry is a duo, etc., please list the names of all who will perform, and next to each name please put an "S' for seasoned and a "U" for unseasoned. If you won't know for sure for awhile, that's fine. Let us know when you can. Individual performers may collaborate with entrants in other categories (i.e. you are entered in the soloist category, but have friends wanting you to be part of their trio entry, and yet another friend desiring you join him/her in a duet entry.   JUST GREAT!  However, performers may participate only once in any given category.
2. Voice Type(s)
3. Entrant's three preferred performance selections, listing first the one which you would most like to be asked to perform; and the time of day, given semi-finals will run from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, October 6, 2018, you would prefer to sing? 
4. Are you and/or others joining you in an ensemble category, amateur(s) or professional(s) ?
5. Accompanists will be provided for performances. Please tell us if you plan on bringing your own accompanist, so we don't make unnecessary arrangements for one in your case.
6. Let us know, If you would want rehearsal time with an accompanist. We'll refer you to available pianists in our area.
7. Should you be among the three entries to win the competition, what would you most like your prize to be? Go ahead. You never know.
8. A video will be produced that will include the documenting of singers as they prepare for the Verdi/Wagner 205th Birthday celebration and "Saengerkrieg." If asked, might you be interested in participating?
Your preliminary and semi-final round offerings will be judged by seasoned singers and operatic coaches/pianists who have performed or coached Verdi and Wagner roles in opera houses here in the United States and/or abroad.
The cost to participate in Semi-Finals competition will be $100.00 per singer (to be paid upon arrival at  Semi-Finals/Party sign-in on October 6, 2018). This will include an all-day pass to the Semi-Final performances/Party, admission to the Final Concert/Party, voting privileges for both events, and free access to the fabulous all-you-can-eat victuals that will be available to singers all day.                                                                                              
                                                                                       Eschenbach statue. Abenberg.Germany
                                                                                                 PhotoSource:Wikimedia Commons
What we will need from you:                                                              
(for the Preliminary Round entry)
Two vocal selections are requested.   
We don’t want links. Thank you very much. And we don’t need pictures. We want the voices of seasoned singers and, in cases where the seasoned entrant has in mind to have them join in a duo, trio, etc., the younger voices they mentor. You haven't sung in 15 years? So what? Start vocalizing. You have  about twelve months to prepare for the Semi-final.
1. Accompanied or acapella, and in Italian or German, please sing for Giuseppe Verdi and/or Richard Wagner a brief salute to his/their birthday(s) that borrows a Verdi or Wagner musical phrase; or if you’d rather offer a unique operatic rendition of the simple Mildred J. Hill tune that became the iconic Happy Birthday song, that’s just fine. And a good morning to you, too!
And...in hopes we will encourage ensemble entries:
2. For the soloist category, an aria; for duos, a duet; AND FOR the trio, quartet, quintet, sextet and chorus categories, all or part of a the musical selection, as you wish. But, please ! It must be enough to give judges a strong sense of the quality of performance you would be likely to share with us on the big day of October 6, 2018. This provision chiefly in fairness to singers who may wish to enter one or more ensemble categories, and who need more time to prepare entire selections well for semi-finals. This also will serve to reduce demands on the valuable time of our judges charged with the task of qualifying the many preliminary entries. Go ensembles!!! Isn’t that reasonable?  You must be purring now...
VerdiWagner2013 by Rengaw&Idrev Erodai (available on greeting cards, mugs and T-shirts)
Wagner and Verdi only, of course! Please be sure to list for us, when registering for the preliminary, three Wagner and/or Verdi  pieces from which judges may choose the one they would like you to perform in Semi-finals, should you be among the 45 entries asked to join us for semi-finals. The first one on your  the list should be the one you would most like to sing.  The earlier you register, the more likely it is you will be asked to present your preferred selection at a time of day you would most prefer

Right: Juniper and Jonquil at Piano. by R.S.

Richard says, “Think of the Saturday Semi-Finals round as a rehearsal for a possible Saturday evening Finals Concert performance.” He’s a real sage, that’s for sure…purr…DON’T FORGET TO BRING BALLOONS!!

Participation makes us winners. We're all winners, simply for entering the preliminary and, if invited, coming up to sing during a party celebrating the births of the iconic Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Come to have fun, and to commune with fellow singers/lovers of the phenomenal music created by these men.

Libiamo, libiamo ne'lieti calici... Wolfram von Eschenbach, beginne...
Below: Gustav Eberlein sculpture of Wagner in Berlin; Photo:Manfred Brueckels
Left: Luigi Secchi statue of Verdi, in Busseto. Photo:
COSTUMES? Costumes not required, though your providing some visible hint of the Verdi/Wagner character(s) will add immeasurably to the festivities. A spear or a helmet? Muddy boots, anvils, veils, castanets, daggers, fans?

Semi-finalist musical selections requested by judges and their performance times will be assigned no later than August 15, 2018 (for the Semi-Finals on Oct.6th, 2018, from 10:30-5:30 p.m.). Final concert & Awards Party will be that evening, October 6th, 2018, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. The 12 Entries chosen to advance to the Final Concert will be announced at 6:30 p.m. (perhaps, sooner) following Saturday's Semi-Finals. Finalists may, if they choose, opt to repeat for the Final Concert the musical selection offered by them in Semi-Finals. Now, If that doesn't make you purr...
Please address all questions related to the Wagner/Verdi Birthday Tribute to:   
WagnerVerdiBirthdaySing@gmail.com. Please do not use the OldCatsEnterprises site or its email address to do so. We’ll hiss if you do.
Please look for the answers to your questions in updated copy or the “Questions and Answers” section below the “Hisses, Purrs and IdSpills” section on the "Contact" page of the OldCatsEnterprises site. It's a lot of scrolling, we know, but think of it as scrolling for Verdi and Wagner. We cannot, except in the rarest of cases, respond personally to emails or letters just now. Answers may take time, but will be provided as soon as possible. Please, be patient. Remember, we have 12 months to prepare. Now, let’s all focus on the preliminary round. Isn't this the most exciting thing?
Basket full of Hudson Valley goodness.Photo by RS
Party, Eat, Drink, Sing/hear the genius of Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner.
There will be great food, both hot and cold, and drink (soft) available to all singers throughout the entire day of semi-finals, Saturday, October 6th, 2018. Come in good voice, and with a great appetite! Come and go throughout the day, to eat, drink, and to support your fellow singers, whether you have already sung or are not scheduled to sing until very late in the day. Just don’t tire yourself out before your performance. Talk to people, socialize, network by all means, but don’t talk too much, unless you’ve already sung; and especially not on a phone.  It’s not good. No charge for this advice. 
Singers and Audience, too, may judge! 12 entries advance to Final Concert !
All Saturday Semi-final Round performances will be heard by an appreciative audience as well as judges; and all semi-finalists may attend as well, not only to enjoy, and to support fellow singers, but to cast their VOTES! Audiences will also be asked to cast votes for those entries they believe should advance to the to the evening Final Concert. Their choices, along with yours, and those of the judges, will factor into determining which entries are invited to sing in the Final Concert. Since overuse has rendered them totally meaningless, standing ovations and interminable applause for Semi-Final and Final Concert performances will be discouraged. Let's all stand together applauding Verdi and Wagner at appropriate times. These times will be signalled.
"Libiamo, libiamo ne'lieti calici... ""Wolfram von Eschenbach, beginne..."
There were  many fabulous concerts and celebrations worldwide in 2013 to honor  the 200th Birthdays of Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi.   Let's celebrate their 204th. Participate in it LIVE, with us in Poughkeepsie, on stage or in the audience. You'll have the time of your life. Who knows? You might even meet the singer of your dreams, and fall in love...
The 3 Winners of the Final Concert will be announced at 9 p.m. toward closing of the party. We have some very special prizes in mind (fabulous prizes), but are requesting your input as well. Please be sure to answer the question pertaining to "prizes," when registering.
We can't wait for October 6th, 2018
Richard Wagner. Liebestod
Rebecca Radcliffe and Siegfried Sonnenschein. Last recital. Seattle.1973
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Suzanne thinks the competition should not be limited to Verdi and Wagner. What do you think? 
Un bel di.From Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini.
Suzanne Sonnenschein, soprano; New York City Opera Orchestra; Judith Somogi, baton. 1981
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Guiseppe Verdi. Traviata. Sempre Libera
Suzanne Sonnenschein and Patricia Goehl. 1999
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Design by Idrev and Rengaw Erodai. 2013
Why not have a glass of wine as you pen greetings to loved ones on these special cards avaialable with/without text?
Image is also available on coffee/tea mugs and T-shirts.


We're capable,mature, and our services will make you purr...
 Just think! You'll now be able to say, "I've scrolled up and down the OldCatsEnterprises website."
 Should you need pet sitters in Poughkeepsie, NY (near Vassar College), give Holly and Richard a call!
    *Serving neighborhoods within a six-mile radius of Vassar College
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