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Yuri Kuklachev (or Kuklachyov) is a famous Russian circus clown, and author of a number of books including My Favorite Cat. He uses cats and dogs in his clowning performances; that his cats at the Moscow Cats Theater do tricks on command is the highlight of his act, and where "cats and dogs live peacefully together."

Dmitri Kuklachev is the son of the famous Moscow clown. He has followed in his father's footsteps and travels with a cats-and-chihuahuas stage and clown act.

The entourage consists of 120 cats and five dogs. Dmitri speaks of how they train so many cats, notorious for being untrainable, to do such perfect performances:

"First of all, it is love," he says. "The cat must know me and love me. Second, it is time. It takes maybe one year and a half to train a cat. The training starts when they are kittens, which live at first in a homelike setting. We work with them twice a day every day. Sometimes the mother cat teaches them tricks that can be used on stage."

Asked about the stunt of an orange cat who wheels a baby carriage filled with chihuahuas, Dmitri said, "That is one of the easier tricks to train. The hardest part is to make the cat not afraid -- of the lights, of the music, of the audience."

Above, Yuri is shown in two photos with one of the performing chihuahuas. The chihuahuas, in as much has they work in a Cat Theater, meow on command. Below, his son Dmitri gets one of the cats to do a handstand. Like most clowns Yuri and Dmitri are a mite creepy, but their animals are cool!

Yuri's Website in English

Moscow Cat Theater YouTube Videos

Dmitri Zverev

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