Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#6 Cat Acts

Eloise Berchtold.


Patricia said...

In 1978 after Eloise was killed by one of her elephants in Canada, Kay Rosaire bought the cage act (just the cats, no oudad or bears). Kay still had her lion act, and had tried to call Roy at the barn at Hawthorn. I answered the phone instead; we talked, and I ended up with the act on Cirque Gatini in 1979. There were three tigers, three leopards, a jaguar, a cougar and two male lions. One of the male lions, Herbie, had apparently bitten Junior Ruffin, whom Kay had initially hired to take the act. Junior left, the act was already booked, hence her effort to contact Roy (but got me instead). Herbie was fired. The other lion, Leo, stayed in the act, but was a very nervous boy. He ended up sitting out most of the season. Lots more to the story, but suffice it to say Eloise was undoubtedly a fine trainer, because my knowledge of cats was limited then, yet the act worked well. More to the story, of course, as there always is.