Dakota on drums
I've been longing for the chance to see The Amazing Acro-Cats and The Rock-Cats, live and in the fur, ever since seeing their segment on Animal Planet's Must Love Cats back in 2011.
Unfortunately, the Chicago-based troupe doesn't get out to the East Coast very often, but when I heard they were doing a stint this past weekend at The Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, I knew I had to go!
The traveling cat circus is the brainchild of animal trainer Samantha Martin, who takes her fantastic felines around the country, to show off their skills and teach the benefits of clicker training.
The spectacle consists of one part circus act and one part rock show, where cats jump through hoops, balance on balls, and "The Rock Cats" take the stage while playing their tiny instruments. All of the purrformers belong to Martin, and many of them are rescues with touching stories, as she relays during show.
Tuna says we need moar cowbell!
In addition to cats, Martin's menagerie includes rats, a groundhog, and two very brave chickens. She also brings foster kittens on the road to help get them adopted (she's placed over 100 to date), and they get in on the act, too.
Yes, that's a chicken!
Each performance is a unique event based on the unpredictability of cats, and audience members are encouraged to wear kitty ears to get in the mood (or, "to hear the show twice as well"). After the crowd got warmed up, The Acrocats took the stage, headed by a sleek black feline named Buggles:
Everyone cheered as Pudge jumped through a hoop:
And this kitty was on a roll...literally!
The kitties clearly work on their own schedule, and sometimes it was even funnier when things didn't go exactly according to plan:
There was also a rousing match of Groundhog vs. Cat bowling. I was rooting for Tuna, but in the end they called it a draw when both parties failed to make the spare:
The highlight, and most eagerly anticipated part of the show for me was seeing my favorite band, The Rock Cats!
The trio was accompanied by a chicken on cymbals, and of course, Tuna, who is always there to provide more cowbell!
I had so much fun, and was excited to finally make my Rock Cats dreams come true. If the troupe is ever in your town, I highly recommend checking them out for a unique experience, that's purrfect for the whole family!
Their next tour stop is July 17-20 at The Griffen Theatre in Salem, Massachusetts, followed shortly after by their Canadian debut. Visit circuscats.com to get the full schedule and ticketing information. You can also follow Buggles and Tuna on Twitter, and like them on Facebook here.