Friday Night: Acro-Cats At Super Happy Fun Land
Photos by Allison Wagoner
Acro-Cats Super Happy Fun Land February 25, 2011
When Aftermath initially saw the event invitation for the "Cat Circus" at Super Happy Fun Land on Friday, we didn't know how to react. We thought to ourselves, "This could be an actualization of one of our reoccurring dreams, or it could be a total letdown." We decided to find out anyways.
Worst case scenario: We could still say we'd been to a kitty circus. We're going to preface this piece by assuring you that there are no "meow" puns. After this weekend, we won't ever try to incorporate that sound into general conversation again.
We pulled up at Super Happy Fun Land for the Acro-Cats' performance and noticed a line coming out of the door. It was only 10 p.m. and SHFL was already standing room only. We paid our 12 dollars - we'll revisit this outrage later-got a beer - and sat down in the front below the stage with some ostensibly hip high school kids.
That was the crowd, essentially. Hipsters love kitty-cats; we're still waiting for a sociological experiment to emerge from that relationship.
The opening act included an assortment of circus rodents including rats, gerbils, a hedgehog (or a badger, we're not sure). For the main act, the cats' trainer, Samantha, separated the felines into two groups - outdoors and indoors. She brought them onstage separately to do regular tricks that normal cats do every day - we have one, so we've seen it.
They jumped from stool to stool and through hoops, wove their way through an elevated obstacle course, and climbed up a tall fixture. Most of the cats were having a hard time minding the trainer; maybe they were distracted or maybe it was an off night, but we were not exactly captivated.
Samantha continued to pitch her training books and personalized kitty buttons throughout the show, even mentioning that one of her cats was sad because no one ever bought his merchandise. Aftermath had a hard time believing that after she pointed out that they are all on a diet of steak and fish.
Those cats are eating better than we are, so why would we buy their buttons and risk the chance of being single for the rest of our lives? When Samantha trains her cats to answer the phone, do laundry, and make coffee, we'll consider it.
After the cats decided they were done performing, Samantha set up a small bowling lane using a wooden wedge and plastic bowling pins. She brought out a hen and set her at the top of the wedge, putting the ball in front of her. She pecked the ball, sent it down the slant, and got a strike.
Samantha then brought out the cat-star of the show, Tuna, to see if she could one-up the hen. Tuna got a split and lost to the hen. We do realize how absurd this sounds as we are typing, by the way. We never thought we'd be giving a play-by-play of a bowling game between a cat and a chicken.
Note chicken down front.
The most exciting part of the show was the end performance of the "Rock Cats." There was a cat-tar player, drummer, keyboard player, and the hen got stuck playing the tambourine. Why does the odd one out always get that instrument?
Anyways, the equipment was stationary so that the cats could simply move and play a note. The guitar kitty sat behind the guitar and reached over it, the drummer cat touched the fixed stick and moved it up and down, and the keyboard cat walked back and forth across the keys.
Of course it didn't sound cohesive - they're just cats - but we will add that the hen delivered the best performance out of the group. We probably would've bought her button, she seems more DIY.
Moral of the story: Don't ever pay 12 dollars to get into a cat circus, because cats don't give a shit about performing. Of course cats are going to behave naturally and "perform" when they have stimuli like tall fixtures, stools and fowl opponents.
Just go to a strip club instead.
Personal Bias: Less than impressed.
The Crowd: Not as engaged as we were expecting.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Oh my God, I can't wait to put this picture on my Tumblr."
Random Notebook Dump: We have a possum circus in the works...it'll be like the "Eccentric Circus" from that dinosaur movie We're Back. Look it up; you'll get that reference later.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.