EUGENE, Ore. - There is love in the air at the Matthew Knight Arena.
Love for our four-legged friends - and love between our fellow two-legged friends.
On Thursday, the cats, dogs and elephants were happily out and about on the arena floor with their trainers, all of whom happen to be married couples.
The morning started out with a clown exclaiming, “House cats really can do a lot more than just sit there and look at you and say ‘don’t touch me.’”
Maya and Andre Panthelog, both have been with the circus for 12 years, brought out three of their 12 cats to perform and back up the clown’s statement.
Though there was need for a little more coaxing than maybe had been anticipated, the cats pulled through for their trainers.
Not to be outdone by feisty felines, Hans and Maria Close came out next to perform with their three dogs, a poodle named Gunner, a white terrier named Toby and a brown and white terrier named Cito.
While it took the cat trainers a bit more patience and treats, the dog trainers only “challenge” seemed to be focusing the dogs’ energy and excitement.
Last, but certainly not least, came three massive, prehistoric-like creatures. Cathy and Brett Cardin came through the red curtains with enormous elephants Carol, Duchess and Patty.
The elephants’ main trick was eating - and doing quite a lot of it.
They were led straight to their own table piled high of whole apples, unpeeled bananas, carrots and loafs of bread.
“These ladies are about middle age, but they could live to be about 50 or 70,” said Cathy Cardin. "And although we do not breed this herd, Ringling has an elephant conservation program in Florida where there are 22 baby elephants.”
You can see the love for yourself this weekend. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Boom A Ring circus is performing at the Matthew Knight Arena this Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Go to www.ringling.com for more information.