Cats In A Jammer

A Russian circus performer and his son are suing their ex-managers, whom they claim stole their concept – a cat circus – and created a copycat in New York City.

Yuri Kuklachev and his son, Dmitri, accuse father-and-son Mark and Yanis Gelfman of applying for a trademark for methods they stole to create the Moscow Cats Theater in Brooklyn.

The federal suit claims the Gelfmans took a defector from the Yuri camp who then used Kuklachev’s unprecedented technique to train cats, according to the New York Daily News.

"Cats [were] commonly thought to be untrainable prior to the development by Yuri Kuklachev in the 1970s of a unique, humane feline training method," the complaint reportedly says.

Kuklachev attorney Alexey Bakman told the Daily News his client is a circus legend.

"Yuri still sets [an] example for his cats by personally performing all the acrobatic tricks he expects of his felines," Bakman said. "[They] include horizontal handstands and jumping and balancing on poles of tremendous height, just under the theatre’s ceiling."

The suit claims the Gelfmans used the Kuklachevs’ images on posters and playbills and dressed up a clown to look like Yuri, the paper said.

A spokesman for the Gelfmans said the lawsuit should be tossed. He said the Moscow Cats Theatre was created by the Gelfmans.