MY LIFE WITH THE BIG CATS by Alfred Court

MY LIFE WITH THE BIG CATS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A great ringmaster who took over his first lion act as a managerial necessity and discovered his metier at thirty-five introduces us to the ways and means of the trainer and the mighty cats who were his challenge and joy. This is essentially an in-the-ring story, as M. Court illustrates the relationship between trainer and trained at work, commenting on personalities, ""keys"" to the training of each particular animal, working ""wild"" or ""tame"". There is the story of Maouzi's kiss, of Bengali's killings, of what happens when a mixed group is being trained. The best animals are never truly tame, he tells us, and sometimes do not want to know even their loved trainer. There is an hilarious account of the night that the stars of the Zoo-Circus spent out in a Flanders town, a tiger keeping newlyweds from their chamber, a lioness reclining on a modiste's sofa. Court concluded his ring career with work for Ringling, a beauties and beasts routine, and Madison Square Garden. The tone of his book expresses his love for the cats and for their challenge, and it gives a considered view of the constant wariness as well as the engaging qualities of a job which requires the best of judgment. Its authenticity compels.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1955
Publisher: Simon & Schuster