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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Cats in magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicleland
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197 Posts

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Hi. I'm wondering if I could use house cats in magic. I was thinking along the line of a motorcycle vanish but with a cat in the box. If you have any ideas please let me know!
zig zag illusion - $3,000
theater rental - $500
geting advice from othe magicians on the cafe - priceless
Daniel Faith
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Inner circle
Neenah, Wisconsin
1526 Posts

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I don't see why not Lee. They can make pretty loud meows though so it would need to be a quite one. Your doves to rabbit effect could be used with a cat.
I was thinking of adding ferrets.
Daniel Faith
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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I'm no help on using cats in magic. However, for the ferrets, talk to "ricker" on The Magic Café

Good Luck!

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Nick Wait
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Lichfield, UK
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I have seen effects that are similar to those that use lions but down sized to fit a cat. Just have a look at some of the illusion builders and I'm confident you'll find a few things
nick
Rimeister
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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
29 Posts

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One day I hope to use cats in a stage show as well. Something I've been thinking about for a while. It'd be great if you could get the cat to sit on you shoulder after you've produced him.

Best of luck!
puckmagic
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Orlando, Florida
261 Posts

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I use to use a house cat in my show many years ago. I was working cruise ships and got tired of coming home to a cat with an attitude when I disembarked. I decided to have a "Where Do the Ducks Go" built for my cat. Cliff Wiggs of Proline magic built me a very deceptive, custom piece made of chrome and plexi. Anyway, the hard thing was to get the cat into the box.

With patients and a crap load of tarter control treats ( this stuff was like crack to him ) I got him to do the trick. Funny thing about the cat was that he was wild most of the time except for when he was on stage. Something about the lights, stage, and audience seemed to mellow him out. Being the only person he knew I had no problem working with him in the show. I even harness trained him and we would take daily walks on deck. Audience members thought the cat was on sedatives or something because he was so subdued.

To make a long story short it worked, and worked well. There was also a lot of humor in the presentation for I led the audience to think that we were about to introduce a large cat.

I have a friend named Michael Douglas that produces a large white cat at the end of his dove act. The responce is awsome to put it lightly. Cats are just a curiosity to people because thay are usually so independent.

Well good luck and let me know if you need any info on traveling in and out of the US with a feline. We had a few tricks that we used.

Puck
Rimeister
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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Nicely done.
Mr. Muggle
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I tried working with my cats, but they are much too independent. I suppose that all animals are different, but if I was going to really try to do this I'd start with a young kitten. Once the kitten is used to being in the box then more than likely it will not meow continually or jump and run like my cats did when we were practicing.

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
RJE
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Inner circle
1848 Posts

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When I was very new to magic, I thought I would use a juvenile cat in my act. I tried to do a production using what would resemble a homemade Sack X in minature to produce the cat from.

The idea was to turn the bag inside out to show it was empty, then turn it rightside out and produce the cat. Sounded simple and never bothered to rehearse it prior to putting it in the show. (Like I said, I was new)

The first opportunity to do the trick was in a bar show in late 1984. Everything was going fine with the routine until I put my arm into the bag to produce the cat. He (maybe it was a she?) didn't like the trick very much and he/she was also just a little bit nervous??? I brought my arm out with a cat clinging to my forearm, every claw on all four paws buried deep into my flesh and its teeth clamped into my forearm for good luck. All it could do was smile and try to shake him off without looking like I was hurt or I was hurting the demon feline. Needless to say, I have not used a cat in my act since.

For the record, I healed and the cat went on to live the full nine lives. I also learned the value of rehearsing things before putting them into the act.

All the best,

Rob
Chrystal
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Canada/France
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Hi,

Puckmagic, I'm impressed that you were able to work so well with your cat!

I thought I had the perfect scenerio with a cat whom I raised since she was just hours old. I fostered for the Humane Society and once recieved a call that someone dropped newborn kittens off in a bag.They were estimated to be 2 hours old. No mother, no note...chances of survival were minimal as they were the size of gerbils. To make a long story short...I hand fed this tiny kitten every two hours, round the clock until she was weaned at 6 wks. At a few weeks old I kept a mirror box in the room so as she'd get used to it and would often find her curled up in it. Where else would I get the chance to actually train a kitten from birth to be in my shows!!! I was so optomistic!

Now ..you would think that this kitten would be perfect...least that's what I was thinking. The day of the show arrived and I asked if people backstage would load her up 7 mins after I was on stage. (I had practised with her for weeks and she was great). I hear the guys bring the table, mirror box with cat on stage behind me. I hear chuckles from the crowd and see the table shaking like mad...growls and snarls. Oh sheesh!! The two guys that loaded her showed me their war wounds from my nice friendly kitten. :O) Unfortunately her magic career ended on that day...luckily mine didn't. (blushes at the memory of it).

Chrystal
puckmagic
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Orlando, Florida
261 Posts

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Hi Chrystal,

I think that maybe the reason my cat did it was because he didn't know anyone around except me. The trust that the cat had for me plus the treats didn't hurt made it easier. I know for sure though that my cat would not have let anyone else on stage load him but me. The illusion that I used didn't require that the cat be loaded. It was a vanish and only kept the cat in the load space for a minimal amount of time. Food for thought.

Anyway, thanks for the entertaining story.

Puck
John Tudor
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Columbia, SC
209 Posts

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A few years ago I saw a Russian Clown do an act, which featured nine trained housecats on the stage at one time! (He also had eleven trained dogs) It was incredible...they were climbing poles and ropes on command, doing tightrope walks and upside down tightrope walks with their claws, all kinds of stuff that you would never beleived a cat would do.

The audience was then knocked over by his announcement that all the animals had been abandoned by their owners, and he had taken them in.

Sooo (while I've not personally had any luck with cats) it is definately possible!

(If anyones really interested I'll look up his name.)

John T
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates
Chrystal
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Canada/France
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Hi Again,

Thanks for your comments Puck and you're probably right I should have loaded the little kitten myself as she trusted me. Ironcially, I have worked with two other kittens in the past - but only when they were tiny and it worked fine. One had the habit of jumping onto my arms and running up to my neck and hiding under my hair. I used him once in a stage show and the crowd was suprised that he did this - almost magicially disapeared! Alas..both kittens grew into large cats and could no longer fit in a mirror box. I'm still amazed and enjoyed hearing about your experience with your cat.

John,
Having cared for numerous animals over the years I'm really amazed at the abilities of the fellow you mentioned. What an unbelievable show that would be to view. What was his name? Thanks for bringing this story to my attention...I see there is still hope for me yet! Been working on my dog act for the past 16 months now..only in training..I feel they are still not ready for stage yet.

Chrystal
John Tudor
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Columbia, SC
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Okay, finally getting back to the Café!
Chrystal,
The Russian clown with the act with house cats is named Gregory Popovich, Comedy Pet Theater. The last I heard he was in Branson. A truly incredible act, not only because of what they did, but because they were common house cats. I saw him at a Performing Arts Exchange booking conference, and remember the wall of travel cages behind the scenes. You could tell he really loved his animals.
John Tudor
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2005-05-14 19:02, RJE wrote:
When I was very new to magic, I thought I would use a juvenile cat in my act. I tried to do a production using what would resemble a homemade Sack X in minature to produce the cat from.

The idea was to turn the bag inside out to show it was empty, then turn it rightside out and produce the cat. Sounded simple and never bothered to rehearse it prior to putting it in the show. (Like I said, I was new)

The first opportunity to do the trick was in a bar show in late 1984. Everything was going fine with the routine until I put my arm into the bag to produce the cat. He (maybe it was a she?) didn't like the trick very much and he/she was also just a little bit nervous??? I brought my arm out with a cat clinging to my forearm, every claw on all four paws buried deep into my flesh and its teeth clamped into my forearm for good luck. All it could do was smile and try to shake him off without looking like I was hurt or I was hurting the demon feline. Needless to say, I have not used a cat in my act since.

For the record, I healed and the cat went on to live the full nine lives. I also learned the value of rehearsing things before putting them into the act.

All the best,

Rob


I'm having this image from the James Bond film; "You Only Live Twice," where Donald Plesence as Blofeld is trying to escape the carnage from Bond's ninjas. Watch the cat on his arm freaking out at the explosions and flashes trying to escape while Plesence makes it look casual that this cat is clawing his arm while he tries to obliterate James Bond. Classic character actor!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Chrystal
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Canada/France
1552 Posts

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Hi John,

Thanks for that bit of info. I think I have heard his name before and would love one day to see his act. It was nice to hear that he appears to genuinely love his animals. I like this guy already!!

Thanks for that story, Mandrake. :O)
Mya Angel
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Special Assistant
California
1397 Posts

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Steve and I have three cat's but only one has the personality to be used in a show. It depends on which breed you get. Decide what it is you want your cat to do, then do some research on cat's, they all have very different personalities. Some are talkers (as the Simease are) and some are very quite. There is even a breed that likes to swim. Smile It just depends on what you are looking for.

Mya Smile
There is nothing that remains so constant as change. Don't end up like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set. Smile



He who slings mud will surely lose ground.
magicleland
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197 Posts

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I just bought a 5 week old Kitten!
zig zag illusion - $3,000
theater rental - $500
geting advice from othe magicians on the cafe - priceless
Magic.J.Manuel
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Special user
I have danced upon
663 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-05-14 19:02, RJE wrote:
... and its teeth clamped into my forearm for good luck.

For the record, I healed and the cat went on to live the full nine lives.
...

Rob


It's good that you healed. I learned on the Emergency Vet Show on the Animal Channel, that a cat bite is very infectious and loaded with bacteria.

So, ANY cat bite should be followed by a trip to the hospital emergency room so they can open the bite area and clean it thoroughly and deeply. OUCH! Smile
Nothing would get done at all, if man waited so long that no one could find fault with it.
Chrystal
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Canada/France
1552 Posts

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Hi Magicleland,

I just wanted to check and make sure it wasn't a typo, when you mentioned the kitten you just purchased was five weeks old. Five weeks is a tad young for a kitten to be on its own and would need to be bottle fed as they are not yet weaned at that age. Forgive me, for being nosy as I just want what's best for the kitten and yourself.

Chrystal :O)
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