Thank you so much!
You did it! The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club is a finalist for Best Blog Post in the 2013 Petties. We are proud to be a finalist for our blog post Since You’ve Been Gone Our Message to Gracey. This post is very important to me as we work through our grief from losing Gracey.
We have been honored for the past four years, since the Petties began. We were thrilled to win the Pettie for Best Blog Post in 2012 for our Cat Obituary, Farewell Eastern Cougar, I wanted the post to be a voice for the big cats and the trouble they are having surviving in human dominated landscapes. Winning the Pettie helped amplify that voice.
In 2010 we were a finalist for Best Cause Related Blog, in 2011 for Best Cat blog, in 2012 we won for best blog post and in 2013 we are a finalist for best blog post.
Swimming for Cats!
When our facebook page first began, we gave away The Tiniest Tiger books to new friends when they liked the page and it matched a lucky number. Often times the lucky number ended in nine, for nine lives. Our lucky number 49 is Cathy and she works hard advocating for all animals. This month Cathy is swimming a marathon (26.2 miles) to raise money for two organizations – Cat Welfare Association, a no kill cat shelter in Columbus, Ohio, and Lions, Tigers & Bears, a big cat and exotic animal sanctuary in Alpine, Calif.
Cathy’s goal is to raise $2600 – $100 for each mile – with half going to each group. On her blog Big Cats, Little Cats, she is keeping track of the miles she swims, talking about issues facing big and small cats, and featuring adoptable cats from Cat Welfare and the big cat residents of Lions, Tigers and Bears.
Cathy told me that Gracey was an inspiration for her swim.
Gracey is part of the inspiration for a project I am doing in June that I wanted to let you know about. It is a fundraiser called Big Cats Little Cats. For my 50th birthday, I am swimming a marathon throughout the month to raise money for Cat Welfare Association, a cat shelter in Columbus, and Lions Tigers and Bears sanctuary in California, which helped place so many big cats from Ohio that needed homes when their facilities closed.
I too had been to the Ohio facility that closed and met the big cats and the bear that were located to Lions Tigers and Bears Sanctuary in California. Every effort is meaningful and we are touched that our Gracey inspired Cathy, aka Lucky #49 , to swim for the cats!
How An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night Came to Be
Meeting Savannah at the Cincinnati Zoo
When our friend Linda Castenada heard the news that we had lost you, she quickly sent a message telling us she was heartbroken and extended an invitation to come visit her at The Cincinnati Zoo for some cheetah love. Linda runs the Cheetah Encounter and this past year, she has been raising a beautiful cheetah cub named Savannah. This was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture. Your dad and I were really touched and thought this would be a fun and interesting thing for us to do together. Linda and I were in Kenya together while you and your dad were here taking care of everything at home.
We had a great time watching the cheetahs chasing the lure during the show. The cheetahs have a large area where they can run and play outdoors. The Cheetah Encounter is where National Geographic and a Hollywood action movie crew filmed the cheetahs running in a way that had never been done before for an article in the November 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine.
After the show, Linda met your dad and I and we were given a behind the scenes tour. We stayed safely behind the yellow line and the front of the cheetah enclosures and were able to meet Sarah, Chance, and Bravo. I forgot that your dad had never been this close to a big cat before and he was fascinated with just how loud cheetahs can purr. We learned all about the love and care that goes into their daily diet and enrichment programs.
Then Linda introduced us to Savannah. I have to tell you that your dad’s eyes were as big as saucers. He was trying to pretend to be calm and collected but being up close to a big cat, even if it is a young cheetah, can be daunting. They are long, lean and strong. And Savannah stayed alert, keeping a close eye on us. Your dad was trying to be brave, but I could tell when he reached out to pet her, he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to.
How The Tiniest Tiger Began
Over the last three weeks, we have spent some time reflecting on Gracey’s life with us and I couldn’t help but reminisce about the beginning of our The Tiniest Tiger community that started out on our facebook page. In those first days we talked a lot about the differences and similarities between Gracey and her big cat cousins. One of our first photo albums on Facebook was Compare and Contrast. Do you remember this post?
Compare and Contrast
This beautiful tiger lives at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Notice the stains on her pink nose.
Notice my stains on my pink nose?
Circuses End Performing Lions and Tigers in the United Kingdom
Big changes are underway under the Big Top in the United Kingdom. Traveling circuses have started their season but for the first time no circus will be entertaining the crowd with performing big cats. The Great British Circus was the last show to feature tigers doing tricks and they sent their cats to an operator in Ireland just in time before the new animal welfare regulations became active last month.
The Victorian era ushered in circuses with performing elephants, lions and tigers on tour. The last time the circuses toured without exotic animals was around 1768 when the first modern circus entertained the spectators with horses and riders performing daring feats. Wild animals did not debut in the circus until after the British empire expanded in the 19th century. Wild animals were captured and brought back to be put on display at a time when the average person had little chance of seeing a live lion, tiger or elephant let alone watch them performing tricks.
Over the last couple hundred years, our world is a very different place. We have access to learning about and seeing lions, tigers and elephants from many sources, whether that be a zoological park, a sanctuary, learning via the internet or nature programs on television. We also know more about the big cats that share our world and most people are concerned about how they are treated and find physical abuse unacceptable in modern society.
Gracey’s Kitten Photo
Gracey Came Into Our Lives One Cold December Day
Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger came into our lives without warning one cold December day. While looking for a friend’s dog who had gone missing, we decided to check the local pound. We were not expecting to find a tiny kitten shivering on the cold cement floor nor were we prepared for the big bright green eyes that pleaded with us “please take me home, I promise to be good.” Without reservation, I scooped her up and tucked her under my coat.
We are truly honored.
We are truly honored to have won The Petties 2012 Best Blog Post Award. We were thrilled to be finalists and when we learned of the other finalists in our category, all super talented wonderful friends and fellow cat writers, we knew we would be thrilled no matter who won, because Dogtime Media makes a generous donation to a non-profit shelter and we knew that our cousins in need would be getting some much needed help.
Just a couple days after we returned home from the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, we received and email from The Petties, asking us:
What makes the post that you’re nominated for so important?
Having just spent time learning more about the plight of the wild cheetah, as well as leopards and lions, the article that was nominated meant even more to us, and this was the answer that we sent back to The Petties.
Loss and fragmentation of habitat and depletion of prey are leading to rapidly declining populations of wildlife and in particular predators. Ecosystems need predators to remain healthy, yet humans continue to persecute and eliminate them from our world. “Cat Obituary Farewell Eastern Cougar” is about the heartbreak of extinction and a reminder to care for all animals big and small.
If you would like to read our article here is the link: Cat Obituary Farewell Eastern Cougar.