|'Sometimes, the energy is so powerful, I worry
about overstimulating my aura,' Marvin, a bearded hippie,
warns as he leaps alongside an elongated ginger tabby.
'At those levels, an unstable etheric oscillation could
collapse into an astral vortex and suck my spiritual reserves
into a state of negative sub-matter.'
Marvin is just one of a line-up of cat owners to inhabit Dancing
With Cats, a glossily packaged book full of photographs of
people gavorting with their moggies. The small print
declares that the book is a 'registered international
experiment in inter-species morphic resonance and is designed
to test the hypothesis of formative causation' while the
sombre foreword, by Swami Shakya Bahrain (a spiritual healer),
explains how 'this most exciting of activities produces
intense feelings of empowerment and validation'.
Marvin is accompanied by the likes of Fred, a young man
whose nearly naked body is painted with black and white
stripes. A black velvet tail hangs from the back of his
thong. 'I relate to Fluff and the whole spectrum of
feline physicality on a profound level,' says Fred.
Then there's Jane the belly dancer, twirling a green veil
around a demented-looking grey moggy. 'When my husband
saw Sooty waggling her hips to the music, he had to admit
pussy was really dancing,' she says.
The author of Dancing With Cats is one 'Burton
Silver', who lives in New Zealand but travels extensively to
lecture on feline energy field dynamics', according to the
Silver, 'a regular contributor to Cat Art Today and
a founding member of the Australasian League of Feline Art
Critics', has his own website, too, which includes a page on
feline art and offers sterling advice for cat owners thinking
of taking dancing lessons: 'You can't take your cat to a
dancing lesson, so you must use stuffed (toy) cats. You
can expect to spend about £15 for a reasonable stuffed cat,
but £30 will buy a top-of-the-line, life-size bendable model
that is perfect for most movements.'
Silver, sometime journalist and safari guide, is 53 and has
grown-up children. He says he has always been a cat
person, but has only one cat now - an 18-year-old called
Minchy who is 'too old to dance'.
'I've found myself talking to a lot of cat people, and they
make for very eager audiences,' he says. 'They tell me
some amazing things, and I just try to go in there with an
open mind. The people involved are perfectly sane and
rational.' These people describe cat dancing as a
transcendental, transformative experience. 'My cat's
energy flows through me and pulsates within me,' says leather-trousered
Max. 'It helps me engage my real power [and] reveals the
treasures of my unconscious.'
Ivan, in his tight black trunks, goes further: 'In the
final stages of an almost perfectly harmonized multicat dance,
the combined force of the feline vibration surges through me
with such power, I'm able to step briefly from horizontal to
Just be careful not to overstimulate your aura, Ivan.