February 9 2018

Big Cat Updates

Gabrielle Tiger will be having surgery in the morning.  Be sure to sign up to get a Facebook Instant Messenger Alert at https://m.me/bigcatrescue

Lauren Buckingham’s Coordinator Notes for Monday, 2/5/2018

We had a good day today.  Everyone got their ivermectin with the exception of Joseph.  We managed to get cleaning, feeding and an Educational tour done in the morning and still get most of food prep finished before lunch.

Jo, Vanessa and Michael stayed later in the afternoon to feed the picky eaters, PM snacks, sicles and help out finishing food prep/cleaning up while all the interns were on tours.  We got a new intern today, her name is Jennifer.

Devin Saari’s Coordinator Notes for Wednesday, 2/7/2018

Food prep was finished before lunch since most of the interns are on tours in the afternoon.  Romina and Fred both got enrichment sign offs.  We had two private tours and a school group tour, they all loved it! Purrfection’s cage has been started but will need to be finished.

Sicle cats got their popsicles and were very happy about it.

Lauren Grant’s Coordinator Notes for Thursday, 2/8/2018

We had an interesting morning, but everything managed to continue on and get done.

Three of the outlets in food prep suddenly stopped working, including the one that the internet was plugged into. Thankfully, Victor was able to fix them before leaving property so logging could get done. Victor and Steve also put in a new garbage disposal in food prep! It’s more powerful and much more quiet 🙂

We had lots of people for cleaning, so that was done quickly, even with sign-offs getting done.

Purrfection is not super happy with being in the hospital. Her ceramic bowl had to be moved into the squeeze cage in order for her to eat, but she did eat all of her food today.

All of the snack cats were fed, and we only had a few picky eaters (mostly the regulars).

The front bubble of Nala’s cage was cleaned up today. The back half still needs to be done.

That’s about it.

What Does That Mean?

What is Food Prep? 

Each and every cat on the property has a diet that is designed just for that cat.  We have charts that list the cats by name and what each cat is supposed to be fed that day.  Each cat has a feeding bucket, or bowl, with their name on it.  Looking at the chart, food is put into each cat’s bucket or bowl and someone double checks it to make sure it has been prepared exactly as the chart specifies.

Buckets and bowls are prepared for each cat in the walk-in cooler and must be ready in time for the meat to be thawed before feeding time.

Meat arrives frozen and is stored in a huge walk-in freezer.  Each day proper amounts of everything for the cats’ diets is moved from the walk-in freezer to the big walk-in cooler to safely thaw.  Cats are not fed frozen meat, so their meat is safely thawed in the walk-in cooler.

Each morning after feeding time the buckets and bowls have to be washed, dried, and put back in the cooler to start the process over again for the next morning.

Diets are set by the vets according to each cat’s species, age, weight, activity level, medical needs, & nutritional needs.

They take into account things like:

  • Can the cat have bones or not?
  • Is the cat older with special nutritional needs?
  • Is the cat missing teeth requiring their meat to be cut into small pieces or ground?
  • Is the cat overweight?
  • Is the cat under weight?
  • Does the cat need extra supplements?

What are Sign Offs?

Here at Big Cat Rescue we have extremely detailed procedures for everything from safety, cat observation, feeding, enrichment, cleaning, simply everything.  As an intern or keeper completes each section of computer training they work one on one with a trainer.

Eventually, the intern or volunteer become certified for certain tasks and are ‘signed off’ as having completed that section of the training.

Did YOU Know?  You can take 50 of the intern & keeper training lessons online?  Go to our website ZooCollege.com and look for the three free lessons.  After taking them if you are intrigued you are welcome to sign up for all 50 lessons for only $9.00 per month.  You can cancel at any time.  All the proceeds go directly to the care of the cats.

Do YOU have what it takes to be a big cat keeper?  Take the lessons and find out!

What does it mean by ‘Pickys,’ ‘Sicle Cats’ and ‘Snack Cats’ in the above notes?

Sicle Cats: 21 of our cats are 20 or older.  When cats get this old they begin having age related health issues which sometimes includes kidney issues, just like you domestic cats at home.

Keeping these older cats well hydrated is extremely important.  Sometimes, just providing multiple water bowls in their enclosures is not enough.  Therefore, giving them extra sicles every single day is not only enjoyable for them but helps keep them well hydrated.

Sicles are made from blood that drains off the meat as it thaws, or tuna or sardines rand through the blender and frozen into bowl, cups, or buckets depending on the species.

Pickys:  As cats get old they sometimes no longer want to eat very much at a time or they get very picky about what they want to eat.  When that happens keepers have to try different kinds of meats, cutting meat in different size chunks, or even different keepers offering food.  Those cats are offered food multiple times per day instead of just the normal big meal each morning.

Snack Cats:  Some cats get meds and need snacks with their meds, or need snacks to hide their meds in.  Other cats need to gain some weight so are given extra snacks for that purpose.

Note To Viewers:  If there are other things in keeper notes or updates that need explanations, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of these Big Cat Updates.

PurrFection Ocelot Update

PurrFection Ocelot had stopped eating.  She is 21 years old and will be 22 in May 2018.  Keepers had tried different foods, different ways of offering the food, and even different keepers offing the food.

PurrFection Ocelot is 21 years old, almost 22
Recent photo of PurrFection Ocelot is 21 years old, almost 22.  Photo by Keeper MaryLou Geis

Not eating is not an option for a 21 year old cat. It was decided she needed a complete exam. Turns out she needed a couple bad teeth removed.

Normally, we like to do a root canal instead of removing the teeth but in the case they needed removed. She will be in the recovery hospital for a while.

If you go to her bio page at https://bigcatrescue.org/purr-fection/ and scroll down the page you can find the videos of her vet visit.  On her bio page you will also find the link to her web cam.

Question for Viewers

In the comments below, please tell us which social media platforms you use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

PLEASE NOTE:  At the bottom of Big Cat Updates there is now an option to give the update a star rating.  Help us learn more about what you like in Big Cat Updates by using that feature.

Do You Want to Take a Cat Quiz?

Carole made a new cat quiz?  Let us know if you want more things like this.

Which wildcat am I?

 Answer 3 fun questions to find out which exotic cat is most like you.

Do You Use Facebook Instant Messenger?

Do you want to get notifications in your Facebook Instant Messenger when we start a live video?  Would you like to get a daily photo of one of the cats in your Facebook Instant Messenger?

If you answered yes to those questions join us at  https://m.me/bigcatrescue and we will send you a new photo almost every day and will notify you when we go live on Facebook.

Big Cat TV

Afton has posted a couple new videos at BigCatTV.com that you won’t want to miss.

Tiger Chases Birds – Published on Feb 9, 2018 – Priya the tiger goes out to our 2 1/2 acre vacation rotation enclosure and has a great time teasing our native wildlife. You have got to see this! Click on the photo below to go see the video on YouTube.

Ball + Pumpkin = Tiger FUN!! – Published on Feb 6, 2018 – Watch as Andy the tiger has a splash of a good time with his pumpkin and big red ball! Click on the photo to go see the video on YouTube.

What happened to Noel's hospital web cam?

Her cam has a new link.  Peek in on Noel the wild bobcat any time you want.  Here is her new web cam link in the recovery hospital.  https://video.nest.com/live/JqfJnsJA9h

The plan is still to move her to an outside rehab enclosure when her bones have healed enough. We don’t have a date for that, yet.

Foster Kitten Wish List Item

The “S” Kittens are released to go to the Cabana tomorrow.  They have had negative SNAP tests and fecals, as well as got their first vaccines and flea treatment. These guys are pretty small and have no older kittens in there to “show them the ropes,” so interns will make sure that they know where food, water and litter boxes are, and have plenty of all available for them.

This is going to be scary for them, like the first day of school, so interns will hang out a little bit to show them how fun it is in there. They will put out lots of toys, and play with them for a few minutes.

We will check on the kittens several times during the day, but if all of you could help us keep an eye on them through the amazing Explore.org cam that would be comforting for all of us. Find the Kitten Cabana web cam link on BigCatCams.com.

Keeper Karma sent me a note yesterday about a couple wish list items for the Kitten Cabana. Below is her note.

I’d love to get this for the Kitten Cabana. Some people bought this for some Cabana graduates that now have a permanent home with them, and they love it!

Ball Pit for Foster Kittens
Ball Pit for Foster Kittens

https://smile.amazon.com/Zippered-Toddlers-39-4-inch-19-7-Inch-Included/dp/B01FF1W8T4/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1518115969&sr=8-12&keywords=kids+ball+pit+with+balls+included

Click N Play Phthalate Free BPA Free Crush Proof Plastic Balls
Click N Play Phthalate Free BPA Free Crush Proof Plastic Balls

https://smile.amazon.com/Click-Play-Phthalate-Crush-Plastic/dp/B00PYLU3GG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1518116239&sr=8-3&keywords=kids+ball+pit+with+balls+included

Thank you!

Karma L. Hurworth
Assistant Manager/Master Keeper, Big Cat Rescue

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