Zouletta Serval isn’t eating well.
Sassy Caracal is being started on antibiotics to deal with a UTI. Sassy Caracal is 22 years old so it is crucial that we watch her very closely and report even the slightest change to the vets right away. It breaks out hearts that as the cats get this old no matter what we do healthy issues are going to hit them. Sassy has had a few health scares in the last couple of years but she has been a real trooper and fought her way through to survive. She is such an amazing soul.
Charaka has been reported as vomiting both bones and boneless chicken. We are removing chicken from his diet entirely for a trial period. Keepers please look very closely all around his enclosure daily and report any vomit and what kind of food it appears to be. Thank you for helping us monitor him.
Gale was surprised and quite humbled by finding out so many of you asked where she was. She asked me to pass on a note to all of you. FROM GALE: Thanks to all those viewers who were concerned because they didn’t see me on Monday during the procedures. I was out on a glacier in Iceland up to my kneecaps in snow with the wind blowing snow around at about 25 knots. It was an experience everyone should have at least once.
Note To Viewers:
Yesterday, we asked for your opinion on these updates and many of you told us what you thought. We sincerely, appreciate YOUR input. Due to YOUR requests we will begin adding the the replay of videos we do live on Facebook, as well as continue to post video clips that viewers of the Explore.org/bigcatrescue webcams send in. Again, we want to PURR-sonally THANK EACH of YOU for giving us your thoughts. Please continue to speak up. If you want to know about a specific cat, let us know in this page’s comments. We will check those comments and Carole will get updates for you on those cats. There were also some other suggestions we will work on those, too.
Facebook Live Videos
VIDEO ONE: Mac & Sicles – Mac Cougar is incontinent and his den has to be thoroughly cleaned and all fresh bedding put in. Long time keeper Matt, who is Mac‘s favorite keeper, does this faithfully. However, this weekend he sent his super hero wife, Jen in to do the task. You will also see some cats getting popsicles.
Handing out popsicles not only entertains the cats and keeps their minds and bodies busy it all helps keep the cats well hydrated. With this many cats here, you can imagine the amount of time, and freezer space, it takes to make enough popsicles to ensure all the cats get one. The older cats, which most of the cats here are, really benefit from daily popsicles because it does help keep them hydrated. So, it is worth all the extra time and effort this well loved treat takes to prepare.
VIDEO TWO: Charaka Tiger got a NEW TOY! – This video was streamed live on Facebook.com/bigcatrescue on Friday Dec 16, 2016 A generous viewer, Leslie, went to WildlifeToyBox.com and bought a new toy for Charaka. He had one that LOOKED like it that he very quickly destroyed. As it turns out it was made for a leopard size cat not a tiger. There is a huge difference in the thickness of the wall, durability, and the weight. His new toy was made for tigers so it should last a while. As you can see he was quite pleased with his new gift.
THANK YOU, Leslie!! As you can see you made Charaka VERY HAPPY!
WildlifeToyBox.com is the only place we can get toys that are strong enough and safe enough for the cats. However, they are wildly expensive. We are now waiting on an order of toys to arrive so that each new cat will have a new toy. We want to thank EVERYONE who pitched in to get the new cats all a toy! We can’t wait for the rest of the toys to arrive.
VIDEO THREE: Lazy lion roars softly on his side before going to sleep.
VIDEO FOUR: Catching Zouletta Serval
The keepers have tried everything for four days to get her to eat but can only get her to take a few bites so the vets have come to see what is wrong. Keepers and interns go you to catch her and bring her to the Windsong Memorial Hospital. In this video you can see that our enclosures have a double door entrance for safety.
VIDEO FIVE: Zouletta Serval’s Vet Visit Part 1
Zouletta Serval was on the charts for not eating well and vomiting foam for the past four days. We feared she had another acorn stuck in her digestive track, but didn’t find any such thing. What we did find were kidney values that were off the charts bad. She had normal kidney function in August. Dr. Justin is treating it as if it were an infection, and prescribed antibiotics, anti nausea drugs and a regimen of sub q fluids over the next few days to see if it turns around. She’s 18 years old, which is the average age that our servals live to be, so this could be the end for her, but we wanted to give her every possible chance at recovery first. Arizona Serval lived to be about 25 yrs old.
Zouletta weighs 18.2 pounds.
VIDEO SIX: Zouletta Serval’s Vet Visit Part 2
Videos From Viewers
These are video clips recorded by viewers of the awesome great quality live streaming webcams provided by explore.org/bigcatrescue
VIEWER VIDEO ONE: TJ Enjoying Life Lakeside
I REALLY LOVE this video compilation from Susann Mesna. There are clips of TJ playing in the lake, lounging in the lake, running the fence line to follow keepers, getting snacks, napping, etc. Susann, this is a great compilation. I can only imagine the kind of time this took to put together. THANK YOU!!!
VIEWER VIDEO TWO: Happy Jasmine swimming and playing in the pond
Recorder from Explore.org/BigCatRescue December 19 by Ruxandra, THANK YOU for capturing this cute footage and going to the effort of sharing it with us.
Video of Christmas Past
Big Cats Sing Jingle Bells This video makes you want to get up and start dancing and singing. This in one my my favorite Christmas videos of the cats.It was made by Chris from Cole & Marmalade back in 2011. Watch more videos like this at http://BigCatTV.com
Why Don’t You Give the Cats a Friend?
Here is another question we get asked quite a bit. I’m sure you have seen this question on social media, too.
YOU CAN HELP us answer people’s questions by First THANKING them for caring enough to ask the question. Their asking the question does not mean they are being negative but really meant they care enough about the cat’s well being to even ask a question.
You can explain it from the link below or you can invite them to visit the link for an explanation of why many of the cats live alone.
Answering questions from newcomers not only makes them feel welcome on our social media pages but also encourages them to keep asking questions and learning more so in turn they, too, can help teach others, too.
Learn more about why most of the cats live alone at: https://bigcatrescue.org/solitary/ The link is easy to remember because it is simply our website plus the word “solitary” which is hopefully easy to remember.
Jaime & Keepers Turn in New Photos
We have been posting the Christmas Enrichment photos on Facebook, however, Facebook does not put our posts in everyone’s feeds so be sure to check our Facebook page from time to time to see what photos you might have missed. http://facebook.com/bigcatrescue/ We post about eight times a day so if you are not getting our posts in your Facebook feeds let us know.
Here is a new photo of Joseph.
Holiday Photo For Sharing
Thank You, Silver, for making these and letting us share them. Silver took these shapshots on the Explore.org/bigcatrescue live streaming cams and added some fun holiday cheer to them. If you have not been there yet, pounce on over to explore.org/bigcatrescue to see what you have been missing. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out the very active chat area. Your will meet some PAWSOME big cat friends there.
Christmas Turkeys For Tigers
You can provide a turkey for your favorite tiger or lion or a cornish game hen for your favorite smaller cat. Go to BigCatRescue.org/turkey to find out more. At the bottom of the donation form, right above the submit button you will see a blank with the word “General” in it. You can erase that word and add the name of the cat you are giving a turkey to.
Shopping on Smile.Amazon.com Can Help Save Cats
A wonderful way to support the cats at no cost to you is to go to your Amazon.com account and sign up for Amazon Smile to have .5% of your purchases donated to Big Cat Rescue.
It is easy to set up. Once you do, instead of going to Amazon.com to shop, in the future you go to Smile.Amazon.com. Everything at Smile is exactly the same as you are used to at Amazon, same products, same prices, same Amazon. If you have a Prime account, it will still be there in Smile. The ONLY difference is that .5% of your purchases are donated by Amazon to Big Cat Rescue – ZERO cost to you, but it sure adds up for the cats.
To sign up for Smile just go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/59-3330495 and login securely with your usual Amazon ID and password.
Learn more about this at: https://bigcatrescue.org/help-free/
Big Cat Kids – Christmas Worksheet
A little Christmas activity for the wee ones. Click the small picture below to get the full 8 x 10 worksheet to save and print. Help your wee ones spot the pattern. Have them cut apart the five pix at the bottom of the sheet and place (tape or glue) the right one to complete the pattern in each row. Please let us know if you want more things like this or not.
I became Hercules the Snow Leopard
I’ve come to really look forward to Sundays now, as I take advantage of the time I used to spend at church in praying and meditation. Yesterday’s meditation took me to the peak of the Himalayan mountains where I became one with Hercules Snow Leopard.
At first I was cold, but then I became the blood that seeped through his veins. I could feel me, coursing through him, becoming “me” in the form of a snow leopard. As his blood, I could feel myself reaching every cell in him, first from the inside out and then in whole. Once we had completely merged, I could again feel the world around me.
I felt the snow crunch beneath my huge, fluffy, snowshoe-like paws. I could feel the wind on my nose and blinked against the sharp gusts. I felt warm all over though because my coat was perfectly designed for days like this, and it was a beautiful day too. I could see for miles and miles and miles. The bright blue sky had only wisps of clouds that looked like the feathers of a great swan.
I noticed Cloe and Zoe Snow Leopards walking with me. They were silently, breathtakingly, stunning. All I could do was stare. I could hear the hum of the Universe and it diverted my attention to gazing back out over the distant, snow covered mountains. I could see past them to the stars, the galaxies and the beautiful colors beyond.
From that space images of relatives past came to me.
First my father’s image (Vernon Stairs) appeared. Our ice blue eyes locked across the ether and I thought about how he had built Big Cat Rescue into a peaceful haven for these many displaced exotic cats. I thanked him for doing so with such precision, creativity and care, that millions of people around the world are daily awed by the beauty of the place and the wonderful homes we’ve been able to give the cats.
If not for his 20 years of toiling at his craft here, we would not be the example that others strive to achieve. We would not be able to first mesmerize and then educate those who see the cats in these natural looking enclosures. It is the perfect combination of the natural life they should have in the wild, and the sad fact that they are caged, that gets our message across so well.
I then saw MommaJacquie (my mother’s mother Jacqueline Norris) and thought about how her shrewd, yet fair business practices were the example that made it possible for me to take on the challenge of caring for over 200 exotic cats over these past 24 years. If she had not been my example to mimic, of someone who was driven to create a financial empire, I would not have been able to carry the sanctuary for the first 11 years when it cost far more to run than was provided by donations.
I thanked her for showing me that hard work pays off. I thanked her for showing me that taking the high road always leads to better business. I promised her I was still working on being beautiful and elegant like she was. She wanted me to grow up to be a movie star, like the ones she grew up with; Carole Lombard, Lucile Ball, Mae West, Zsa Zsa Gabor. I wonder if she’s happy with my silver screen being Facebook?
Then I saw my maternal grandfather, BigDaddy (Floyd Norris) and thanked him for showing me how to love even the most unlovable. I acknowledged his great patience and quiet demeanor that conveyed nothing but absolute love.
Next I saw, in great contrast, my paternal grandfather, (Harold Stairs) who always seemed to hate my mother and I because of her religion. He didn’t seem to bear the same ill temper toward my brother, but maybe he held out hopes that Chuck would grow up to be like him. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but there were still lessons taught by my German grandfather that were equally important.
Sometimes people teach best by their bad example. His example of being intolerant of those he considered inferior taught me to be tolerant. His example of being a bully to his wife, taught me to be respectful to my spouse, in contrast. He had a great love for animals, in his own strange way that has also helped me in the work I do now. He was a farmer who raised bees, rabbits and cows. My favorite memories of him was to watch him milk the cows and shoot the milk across the barn to the waiting mouths of his dozens of barn cats. They would leap up and catch the stream, never missing a drop.
Despite being poor, I’d watch him cut open a twenty pound bag of Purina cat chow and pour it out into garbage can lids, turned upside down, to feed his many strays. I remember the last of those cats, an old deaf, white cat named Monk, who seemed to be his soulmate.
He raised rabbits for sale to the butcher and that’s where he and I had the most stress in our relationship, as I’d try to save them from being loaded into the van to go to market. He loved those rabbits. He devised clever penning and denning for them, to give them comfort, and would handle them all like they were his precious pets…and then send them to market. I didn’t understand how he could do that, and still don’t, but it helped me to understand that there are a lot of people like that.
They claim to love animals, but they eat them. They claim to love animals so much that they want to farm them; yet they are raising them to be killed. They claim to love their pets, but send them to the pound when they move, or get a job, or a mate or a baby.
It’s probably the genesis of my own peculiarity; which is a deep rooted feeling that there are cats and then there is cat food. None of that makes sense, but I thanked him for awakening in me the understanding that we are all flawed and that we are all here to help each other be better souls.
His wife, my paternal grandmother, (Sarah Stairs) was just plain crazy for most of my life, but she was French and had a great love of music. She was an opera singer who gave up her career to marry and become a mother of four. Perhaps she could hear that universal song that resonates throughout space and time. It was clear she could hear voices that no one else could. From the time I was about 11 – 15 we lived with her and then next door to her and my role was to keep her from wandering off.
My father put her to work in his furniture business so he could keep an eye on her. She gave away more money that he made, because she couldn’t make change and was easily fooled by unscrupulous customers, but it kept her busy, and happy and my father was okay with that. Despite the harsh treatment that she received from my grandfather’s words, and the way the public used her for their own gain, she was a happy soul and a great inspiration to be happy, no matter what your lot in life. I thanked her for that.
Of course, this whole time tears are streaming down my face, and I’m heaving great sobs of gratitude for those who were instrumental in shaping who I am, but more importantly for their part in creating what Big Cat Rescue is. It was healing to reconnect with them during this time of mediation. It gave me renewed strength to deal with the challenges ahead. It made me even more appreciative of the opportunity we have to make the world a more kind, loving and healthy place to live.
There are countless people still living who have been, and still are, critical to the success of Big Cat Rescue’s mission to end the trade in exotic cats as pets, props and parts. Maybe future meditations will allow us to meet on that windswept mountain top, and feel the connection over space and time, that reminds us we are all ONE.
- Carole Baskin
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