But of course you want to hear about the vaudeville cats.
The domestic feline--the writer, who adores them, regrets to say--never graduated with high honors in vaudeville although there were a number of successful cat acts. Of course, these cats are not dangerous, but they are unreliable, merely because they are supreme individualists, preferring to do the thing they want at the time they want to do it; which should be understandable...Heck, my cat could do that. Or at least she would if there was a toilet up there to drink out of.
Yet even [Tetchow] could get from his pets, for indeed they were that, but one trick each. His star performer was a tom who ran from the wings, scrambled up a rope hanging from the proscenium arch, got into a basket attached to a parachute and came floating down to the stage.
It may be unnecessary to say that goats are difficult to work with and more unreliable than cats.So no goats in baskets.
Special synchronicity bonus for reader jj! He mentioned this act last week, and what did I find on page 247?
Willie [Hammerstein] combed the museums and side shows for his freaks. In Philadelphia he found the wonderful Sober Sue...A number of the best comics of the period tried [to make her laugh]--Sam Bernard, Willie Collier, Eddie Leonard, Louis Mann. All failed. But the customers kept coming, not to see Sober Sue, but the comedians who (without salary) were contributing thousands of dollars in prestige and box-office take... When the engagement terminated it was discovered that her facial muscles were paralyzed and it was physically impossible for her to laugh.Apparently Sober Sue suffered from the very odd Mobius syndrome, and her real name was Susan Kelly.