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    Posted December 8, 2011 by
    Key West, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Dominique, The Catman of Key West


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JoyfulGypsy has been visiting Key West since the '80s, and she always makes sure to check out these amazing performing cats in Mallory Square.
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    His full name is Dominique Le Fort, but the world knows him simply as "Dominique, the Catman." Dominique is among the best of those weirdly wonderful street performers who enchant crowds of locals and tourists swarming onto Mallory Square pier most late afternoons for the setting of the sun celebration - a spectacular event in Key West, Florida.


    Sometimes outfitted in theatrical lion tamer garb, the shaggy-haired Dominique is more than half the show himself by mixing mime, dance postures, and French-accented commands to his enthralled audience and feline acrobats!


    The "lions," of course, are his tiny domestic house cats, with names like Oscar, Cossette, Chopin and George. Together, Dominique and his amazing cats offer a unique show that is as sensational as it is silly. Sometimes the cats charge out of their cages, then leap up on to Dominque's tall circus stands, or on to Dominique himself. Sometimes they execute jumps, skips, and turns, or leap through flaming hoops, eliciting great ooohs and aaahs from the packed circle of onlookers. Sometimes the cats do absolutely nothing at all. In which case, Dominique, a well-seasoned ham with a flair for theatrics, performs figurative headstands while waiting for the cats to do their stuff.


    Dominique and his cats have been performing for Key West sunsets since 1981. They obviously love what they do and it certainly shows. This ridiculously talented and charismatic performer is admired by everyone who sees him, from children to senior citizens, and he has acquired a huge following of adoring fans.


    No trip to Key West would be complete without experiencing Dominique, the Catman of Key West's show! So, if you're ever in Key West, make your way to Mallory Square for Dominique's show and an amazing sunset you will always remember!


    Photos by Lulis Leal
    December 4, 2011

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