Wild Humans and Animals

Cat Dancers is the name of a documentary now playing on HBO. It’s also the name of a show biz act consisting of Ron and Joy Holiday and their younger partner, Chuck Lizza. The three of them trained and worked with wild tigers in their act, which pre-dated Seigfried and Roy.

It is a mesmerizing documentary that challenges all sorts of assumptions. The director creates a bittersweet, surreal atmosphere as Ron recalls the excitement of his years on stage with his beloved wife and their exotic pets. When they meet Chuck, a lost young man who ran away to join the circus, he becomes their favorite pet, in a sense. Chuck becomes their lover, forming a romantic triangle that lasted harmoniously for 14 years.

In some respects, Cat Dancers recalls Grizzly Man in its portrait of well-meaning humans who refuse to believe in the boundary between them and the wild animals they love so deeply.

It’s a tragic story that lingers with you like a strange and vivid dream. I’m glad I saw it; It felt like a trip to Mars… a hallmark of a great documentary.

Still under the spell of Cat Dancers, I heard from my friend Romeo that he’d been on a wild pig hunt while visiting his family in Texas. I think it’s okay to kill a wild pig, but I’m not sure if the pig thinks so. Probably not, I’m guessing. Romeo’s email message brought forth a bunch of ads for Wild Boar Hunting. I clicked on one, a big mistake if you’re not turned on by images of fat guys grinning next to huge dead boars.

Then, I was intrigued by an ad for “ethical trophy hunting” in Namibia and Mozambique. Here, you can plan your “safari” where you are guaranteed to get the “trophies” (i.e. dead animals) you want, but by “fair chase only!”

Here is some bastard with his Ethical Trophy!

If Romeo wants a dead pig, by god he deserves it. He just got through a stint in the US Military Forces, protecting us from terrorists. That guy in the photo above, though, is not worth fighting for. Fuck that punk. It’s almost, but not quite, enough to put me off wearing fur.

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14 Responses to Wild Humans and Animals

  1. Romeo says:

    Hooray! I’m famous!

    The rationale behind the boar hunt is that the boars are considered pests and allegedly one female boar and her offspring can account for the creation of 1000 boars per year. They’re known for tearing up crops and despoiling land, but the ranch I was on only grows deer and cows and thorny thicket (which should not be run through in the dead of night while blood-maddened dogs are baying and, while entangled in cacti and barbed wire, you begin to think maybe you should have brought a flashlight along).

    I don’t know how much of what was discussed that night was true, but the wealthy ranch owner’s son got to spend an evening with good ol’ boys bullshitting and commiserating over the evils of women and then participate in or at least almost witness a bloody stabbing. I’m not certain that the dots there are as easy to connect as it seems, but I’ll leave that to your regular commentators.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Romeo says:

    Also, lovely though it is for you to say, I remain doubtful in regards to my efficacy in deterring terrorists overseas since so many of them were operating in the domestic arena. Thanks for the sentiment, and if anything I did contributed to your safety then whatever sacrifices were made were well worth it.

  3. Honeypants says:

    Thanks for letting us know about Cat Dancers. I’m more intrigued by the weird love triangle than anything else. I will definitely look for it on HBO, or perhaps I can watch it OnDemand? However, that asshole with the leopard (or jaguar or cheetah or whatever it is) needs to be bloodily draped over some giant cat’s shoulders. How sickening!

    But go Romeo and your wild boar. They aren’t pretty or majestic or cute or anything. I bet they’re real tasty though 😉

  4. Sal says:

    Ethical trophy hunting, eh? Right up there with “jumbo shrimp” in the oxymoron category.

  5. Peter says:

    Let’s see, $3,500 to shoot a leopard in Namibia, but only $80 for a baboon?

  6. Sister Wolf says:

    Romeo -You will always be my Troop. xoxoxoxoxo

    Honeypants -Yes, the triangle aspect is so unusual. You will love that part of it. Beware the tragedy part, though.

    Sal -Exactly.

    Peter – You get what you pay for.

  7. Mmmmmmm…wild boar is delicious!

  8. Den Den says:

    Goddammit . . . I blame William Holden for giving them that first cub. If wild animals were left in the wild maybe Ron wouldn’t have lost his three loves. I’d rather watch Circe Du Soleil than the Ringling Brothers any day of the year. Wouldn’t you? I don’t condone shooting wild boars either (since I can’t do at work or at parties). And ethical hunting would only be ethical if the animal had the same advantage as the human (high powered shot gun perhaps), otherwise it’s just more hide’n’seek-and then shoot. Enough with killing . . . it’s a dead end pastime anyway . . . I say write bad poetry (or good poetry badly written), color with crayons, and try not to think of all the obese people in the US that are malnourished.
    SoapBox Vegan

  9. Bex says:

    Isn’t that jerk aware that there are only like 10 leopards left in the world? Or maybe 100. Either way, I wish the leopard had gotten him instead.

  10. cindy says:

    Cat Dancers was a beautiful documentary. Ron Holiday really loved his family. I hope that he gets to live out his dream that he mentioned at the end of the film. He deserves it.

  11. Sister Wolf says:

    iheartfashion -It certainly looks tasty!

    Den Den – I got crayons for Christmas! And I know how to use em.

    Bex -Yes, that would have been more than fair.

    Cindy – I hope so, too.

  12. Sonja says:


    I thought you might enjoy this…

  13. Den Den says:

    Sonja . . . ya just had to ruin my day pointing me to that picture; however, methinks the bear does look a bit more lively than Sarah, hell the crab does too!

  14. cker says:

    Just can’t bring myself to do the fur thing. My husband offered to buy me a fur this year. I never thought I’d turn down the offer but in light of how we are destroying our world faster than we can hope to repair the damage… Let the furry critters live. Wild boar falls under the category of a meal. If you eat what you kill then I have to think it is somewhat ok. Don’t waste the meat. I like what Den Den said about making the hunt fair… Perhaps hunt with only a knife (makes up for our relatively small teeth next to the huge teeth of our animal friends) and your wits. Early man did. Now that is a fair hunt. Best of luck with that!

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