As a child I loved to go to the circus. The tricks the animals could perform amazed me. Elephants balancing on balls, lions jumping through hoops and horses showing great agility; I was fascinated by these large, agile and acrobatic animals and their ability to perform. But as I grew older and learned of the cruel methods used by some circus trainers to turn these animals into submissive performers, I became less of a fan of the circus and most animal acts in general.
That changed for me last night. Don’t get me wrong – you still won’t catch me in the arena for the Shrine Circus. But the circus act I saw got me thinking about other animal acts that exist, and taught me that not every circus is cruel, not every trained animal is mistreated and unloved, and some of these acts are deserving of our support.
Case in point: “The Amazing Acro-Cats“; a cat circus comprised of rescue cats, most of whom were saved from death row in shelters across America and are owned, trained and very obviously loved by the amazing Samantha Martin. Also in the circus act are a bowling groundhog named Garfield and the cymbal and tambourine playing chicken, Gregory Peck (so clever, and so darned cute!).
The show not only amazes and astounds you with the daring feats of these trained cats (yes, you are reading that right – TRAINED cats. I didn’t know it was possible either!), but Samantha also gives you insight on how to train your own cat. An hour of hilarity filled with oohs, ahhs and a many cheers ends with a concert from The Rock Cats. Yes, folks, these ARE cats playing instruments. There are no strings attached moving their wee paws, and no humans controlling them from behind. And I’ll be honest with you – they can’t really carry a tune. But if keep your expectations realistic and remember that these are cats and not Coldplay, you won’t be disappointed in the least.
The Amazing Acro-Cats was one of the best shows my family and I have seen in a long time. There wasn’t an unhappy face in the crowd, and the laughter and cheers were non-stop. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, put The Amazing Acro-Cats at the Palace Theatre on the top of your list. They will be in London through Sunday, September 1st. Tickets are available online or at the box office.
Young or old, cat lover or not, I guarantee you will be totally smitten with Samantha and her kittens.