Having been extremely successful for many years with golden tigers and other big cats, the Cat Dancers realized that rare white tigers were what the crowds really wanted to see. The decision to add a white tiger to their show was, by Ron's admission, made through his urging. The end results of that decision were devastating. I doubt that any caustic or condemning remarks made by others who have viewed or reviewed this film can possibly make this man feel any worse about what happened.
Ron Holiday is a survivor, but he by his own admission has not healed from the tragedies described in Cat Dancers. He states he never will. I believe him. He is a showman, donning a variety of wigs during the documentary, as he steps out to face one audience or another. But he also shows us his true self. He is a risk-taker, revealing truths about the unconventional life he shared with Joy and Chuck, truths that some may find uncomfortable. He is a lone storyteller, chronicling a shared life that certainly had many magical moments that were all too fleeting.
My main complaint with this film is that no expanded explanation was given regarding the euthanasia of the last tigers. Ron stated that he had made a pact with Joy and Chuck that if anything happened to them, the animals would not end up in "a compound." For those unfamiliar with exotic animal rescues, they are compounds. They have to be. They require extensive and expensive confinement and security measures, and even the very best of them cannot give the intensive, one-on-one daily attention the Holiday tigers had known their whole lives. Keeping an animal alive in a miserable situation is not humane, and it is certain that tigers which had been raised in a decidedly pet-like environment would be miserable in a new place without the person who had cared for them all their lives. I feel that the decision to euthanize his cats was a quality of life issue, and perhaps an acknowledgment that Ron, at 70, simply could not provide the quality of life to which the animals had been so long accustomed. Tigers are not house cats, no matter how they have been raised, so finding a facility that would take them isn't an easy task anyway.
I recorded this documentary with the intention of deleting it once I had watched it. Having seen it, I have decided to keep it. And I will hope, for Ron's sake, that he is able to follow through with the plans he describes for his 80th birthday.