Skateboarding cat and feline co-stars to feature at carnival
AN ANIMAL trainer who has more than a million followers on Facebook and has stunned audiences worldwide with the skills of his skateboarding cat is set to showcase his trio of talented felines at the Carrara Cat Carnival.
Tweed Heads resident Robert Dollwett has been a professional animal instructor for more than 30 years and used to train police dogs, animal actors and the pets of Hollywood celebrities in the US before he made the move to Australia.
After training dogs for so long, Mr Dollwett was looking for something "a little bit different" when he decided to start making cat tutorial videos.
He initially started a Youtube channel to educate cat owners and encourage people to adopt rescue pets before he decided to train his cat Didga (short for didgeridoo) to perform tricks.
Didga makes up a third of his talented Catmantoo trio, which also includes Boomer (short for Boomerang) and new addition Bindi.
Each cat has a "unique set of tricks", and Didga is known for her ability to skateboard off ramps and perform tricks like jumping over dogs.
Didga currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most tricks performed by a cat in one minute (24).
"People say it's the funniest thing they've ever seen, people are astonished and it's a very social thing," Mr Dollwett said.
"If you were a busker and got that much attention you'd have a record contract. I never would have guessed it would get to the degree it has now with more than a million likes on Facebook and almost 400,000 followers on Instagram."
Mr Dollwett said his other performer, Boomer, was known for pushing the skateboard around, while Bindi climbs all over Mr Dollwett during the show and "walks the plank" from his shoulders to his hands.
A video of Bindi jumping onto a moving escalator handrail and moonwalking last month went viral, racking up 400,000 views on Mr Dollwett's Instagram page alone.
The video was shared online to other popular social media pages including UNILAD.
Mr Dollwett said he received enough money from his social media accounts to "pay the bills" and felt it was his duty to educate people about cats through his shows.
"It's a duty and it's my job to do my best to showcase the cats and hopefully plant a seed and maybe change a mind or two about cats," he said.
"I feel if I can just help or encourage one person it is all worth it."
Mr Dollwett and Catmantoo will perform at the Carrara Cat Carnival on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 from 11.30am to 12.30pm.