The Amazing Acro-cats' first show in Beaumont is Feb. 12

Tuna and the Rock Cats

The Amazing Acro-cats are going to “bounce into Beaumont” on Feb. 12, according to their Facebook event, shortly after they “claw their way into Houston” Feb. 2-5.

The traveling show is a Chicago-based and nationally acclaimed group of performing rescue cats that tour the country in their Cat Bus. Samantha Martin, their trainer, has been working with her cat troupe at pet expos since 2006 and then took the show on the road in 2009, according to tour manager Polly Smith.

“They’re real rescue cats; they do acrobatic feats,” Smith said. “They ride on barrels, jump through hoops — there’s one that walks a tightrope.”

“The finale is the cat band, Tuna and the Rock Cats, that’s actually real cats that play instruments.”

“It’s a show for cat lovers of all ages,” said Samantha Martin, trainer and “chief executive human.”

The Acro-cats have performed on the West Coast in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, as well as the East Coast, with shows in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.

“After Beaumont, we’re going to be going into Florida, we’re going to be doing Tampa and St. Pete,” Smith said.The show tours about two-thirds of the year and does production work in film and TV commercials when at home in Chicago.

“Tuna’s been in music videos and some movies,” Smith said.

Smith and Martin live in the Cat Bus on tour “with the cats and the humans,” Smith said.

“The best part about it is that I get to travel the country with my favorite animals, be with them 24-7, and help other cats out there that are less fortunate and hopefully build a bond between humans and cats through the show,” Martin said.

“Part of our proceeds always go to fostering, adoption and rescue because we also like to work with organizations across the nation and foster cats and help them find forever homes,” Smith said.

Martin frequently shares cat rescue stories throughout the performance, in addition to teaching the audience about clicker training, according to Smith, making the show fun and educational.

Smith shared a cute story with The Examiner about a cat rescued in Houston two years ago.

“Somebody brought him in and he was a bottle baby, meaning he wasn’t quite ready to be off the mom yet. We bottle fed him, we named him Houston, and then we met a lady along the way and she adopted him,” she said.

“He obviously needed help, and then we got to help him out, and then we found him a forever home. We often joke around that he had a Houston accent. He’s like, ‘I’m from Texas, y’all.’”

As with most of their foster felines, they still keep in touch with Houston’s mom.

“He ended up actually being adopted out to a lady who lives in an RV and travels across the world,” Smith said. “So he gets to go all over the place. He’s still in good shape, he’s well taken care of and he’s got an older brother now.”

“Most of our fosters we keep in contact with, we make friends all across the nation that way too. It’s really great.”

The Acro-cats have rescued 192 cats and kittens total during their tours, and hope to help foster more cats during their travels through Texas.

Two of the show’s newest stars are also from the Houston area, adopted from the Friends of League City Animal Shelter.

“Our star cat Tuna recently crossed over the rainbow bridge, and before that she had expressed that she wanted to retire,” Smith said. So we were looking for her protégés, and in doing so, we picked up cats from Houston, and they’re both doing really, really well. Their names are Ahi and Albacore. There’s a tuna joke in there.”

The Acro-cats have been featured on the Late Show with Steven Colbert, and one of their cats holds a Guinness Book world record for the longest jump, earned a couple of years ago.

“Nobody’s beat it yet, so she’s still in,” Smith said.

The cat band has also been on Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Other celebrities like Steve Harvey and Pee Wee Herman have endorsed the Acro-cats.

“I get really excited when I think that Pee Wee Herman loves us. I just think that’s the coolest thing,” she said.

The Amazing Acro-cats’ first show in Beaumont will be at the Jefferson Theater this Saturday with shows at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“We’re calling it Beau-meow-nt,” Smith said. “We’re really looking forward to coming out and showing you all what we’ve got, and the cats have been practicing.”

The show’s run time is about an hour, followed by a meet and greet afterward with the band. Tickets and more information are available at www.circuscats.com.

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