AdvoCat 2006 03


We’re fond of the phrase, “March comes in like a lion”, for obvious reasons. However, what we love more is keeping you, our faithful supporters, updated on Big Cat Rescue. We have a spectrum of news to peak your interest but also ways for you to make a real difference. Enjoy this month’s AdvoCat.

Carole Baskin, Founder



Nini’s Circle of Life

tiger with BrianEvery cat at Big Cat Rescue touches us with its story. Nini was a special retired Ringling tiger, not more valued than the others, but somehow different in the way she seemed to desire and allow a deeper bond of love with humans. She was a star performer for Ringling for years before she came to us. She lived a long life and enjoyed her final years soaking up the sun at Big Cat Rescue. She passed this January and we are all still feeling the loss. The best tribute to someone is to tell the story of their life, so we want to take some time to remember her in the link below.

We also invite you to participate in another kind of tribute. As you consider her life, you may wish to help us honor her and protect a wild tiger as her namesake. You see, life often springs from death and in this case, nothing could be more true. One of Nini’s most beloved senior keepers Brian came up with a very honoring tribute and opportunity that we’d like to make known to you. In researching ways to help the ‘Way Kambas” park he learned of a U.K. charity that was helping that preserve to raise funds and one of the ways was naming a tiger for $440.00. Brian commented, “I thought what a great way to honor NINI in naming a wild tiger after her.” Therefore, we are establishing a fund, as a Big Cat Rescue project, to name a wild tiger after Nini. We will be given updates and a info pack as well. You can visit the site at: We will accept your donations towards helping a wild tiger retain her safe birthright in this world and in turn, Nini will live on in this most special way. Any funds over and above what is needed to name the tiger, will go directly to Big Cat Rescue as to help with our tiger care.

Click here for the entire story and to donate…


Stand Up For Big Cat Rescue


Our current rezoning effort, which is critical to fully achieving our mission, is unfortunately not being supported by the County staff. We go before the County Commission for a final decision the morning of April 11. Showing that we have strong community support by having people attend could be a critical factor. If you live in our area and might be able to attend, please click here for details.


Dynamic Duo to Benefit Big Cats

Beth&ColleenWe are pleased to announce the end to our quest for Big Cat Rescue’s newest Education Director. It is with great excitement and gratefulness that we bring you this news that we have not just one, but two talented professionals that have risen to the challenge. It’s truly the cat’s meow to have found Beth L. Kamhi, D.C. and Coleen Kremer as two individuals with notable backgrounds that have come together to complement each other in the most refreshing way for us. Their combined talents form a very strong partnership to benefit Big Cat Rescue. Please read on to get the scoop on their backgrounds and why they are the perfect fit. We’d also like to take this time to thank Kathryn Quaas, our former Education Director for several years of her efforts, talents and time. We are very happy with what she has done for and with us and that she will continue to be in our lives as a volunteer.

Read more…


Project Lotto

When Animal Coalition of Tampa needed help with their monthly feral fixing program, Big Cat Rescue donated the use of a trailer and driver to haul the necessary equipment to and from the donated clinic space.  More than 100 feral cats would be neutered and spayed at these clinics, but each month ACT had to hustle to find a vet who would donate space and much of the prep and recovery work had to be done in tents no matter what the weather.

clinicNow ACT has a clinic and Big Cat Rescue will be donating the use of our van and Vern (our master of cat-a-tat building) will drive the animals to and from the impoverished areas where so many of these un-altered animals are roaming and reproducing.  So it was no surprise that when talking about Lotto, a Siamese-mix feral cat, the usually reserved Talman, who owns Talman Tank & Equipment Co., choked up.His love turned into a mission after a feral cat he came to love and care for, Lotto, was killed by a roaming dog, thus the name Lotto

Talman is providing seed money for a new spay and neuter clinic run by the Animal Coalition of Tampa that will provide low-cost sterilization to the animals of low- and moderate-income families and to often cash-strapped rescue groups in Hillsborough and surrounding counties. We commend ACT and supporters such as Talman for this notable breakthrough effort in our community. Best of luck!

(For more information about ACT, go to Or call (813) 818-9381.)

Cultivating Young Minds

One of our faithful supporters, Pat O’Shea just “planted” her way into the public library system so to speak. She is to be commended for her efforts in getting the library system to agree to carry our Big Cat Picture movie their branches. She has enlisted the interest of her group, The Master Gardeners by inviting each member to donate a $20.00 Big Cat Rescue dvd to a library as their fee for their tour.  That covers the cost of the 10 we already sent out to libraries and adds 20 branches to the list if all 30 participate. We can literally say that the Master Gardeners are “cultivating” the fertile soil of young minds as they explore the library and discover a love for the big cats.

Evolution of Thought

Carole BaskinToday, after 13 years of living with 150 big cats and all of the associated trials that go with keeping a million dollar a year sanctuary afloat, keeping guests and volunteers safe and dealing with the issues that create a need for sanctuaries, I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of the bigger picture. It was an evolution of thought and many of the people I have known along the way feel that I have forgotten that I was one of them; a pet owner. I haven’t forgotten that I once thought keeping a bobcat as a pet was a wonderful way to re connect with nature. I have not forgotten that I once thought that breeding the small, rare cats would be the only way to save them from extinction. I have not forgotten what I once believed, but I have learned from being wrong.

Read full commentary and see slideshow…

Feline Fun Fact – The Great Cover Up

If we could view the world through the eyes of a cat,what would we see? How would our view of the world change? Would we find our visual lives diminished or enriched? Would we glimpsehitherto unknown secrets and discover clues to deeper mysteries, bringing us closer to understanding the inner workings of the feline mind? We may not be able to look through their eyes, but by looking closely at them we can try to reach a better understanding of how they perceive the world and how that perception shapes reality.

Click to viewAs you draw near to your cat’s eyes in an attempt to take a closer look, don’t be surprised if the doors of perception slam shut. The eyelids act as barriers between the outside world and the delicate structures of the eye.

In addition to protecting your cat’s sight, the eyelids visually express emotion.

“Fully open lids can mean they’re alert or interested,” says Rolan Tripp, DVM, founder of AnimalBehavior.Net and consultant to Petmate. “If they’re fully open with eye contact, that’s called staring.” A cat with this expression may be sending a message: I’m watching you, Bub.

“Partially open or half-closed is a sign of trust and love,” Tripp says. Slow blinks say, I can let my guard down around you. Keep scratching behind my ears.

“Completely closed lids may express appeasement,” Tripp says. Do with me what you will. “Or, he could be taking a nap.”

Cats instinctively recognize the significance of another cat’s eyelid movements and respond accordingly. Humans have to make an effort to see them as a cat would.

Cats have a whitish or pink membrane, sometimes called the third eyelid, at the inner corner of each eye. This nictating membrane normally stays concealed but may intermittently appear when a cat is drowsy and content. It should not remain partially closed, protrude or appear swollen or red, however. If it does, see a veterinarian.

When all three lids are open wide, light enters the eye as easily as sunshine enters a house with shutters open and curtain pulled back.

We’d like to thank Keith Bush, free-lance writer for this contribution.


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