Simon’s Cat Scary Legs
We love Simon’s cat and this one Scary Legs really made me laugh. Many people are afraid of spiders and I have to be honest, I used to be one of them. I could barely stand to be in the same room with a spider but I never wanted to kill them. I liked to relocate them back outside and at times this took a lot of courage to accomplish. In fact, more often than not it involved deep breaths, involuntary shuddering, shivering and repeatedly telling myself to stay calm while I balanced the spider on the end of a broom or yardstick.
We have the summer blues without you.
It is near the end of July and on this Sunday afternoon my heart broke all over again. We were cleaning the house and it was time to wash the Slankets. It seemed like such a menial task but when I picked them up I remembered how much you loved to snuggle on them and the wave of sorrow crashed over me. I hid in the office so your dad wouldn’t see me and I had a good cry. Later when he saw me I told him that my red eyes were due to allergies. He pursed his lips and nodded.
This first summer without you is also the first summer in four years that I am not heading out into the field. I miss the adventure and learning at the Sea of Cortez, in Kenya and in Namibia. And to make matters worse, this is the first summer that the city didn’t open the swimming pool. The best part of summer for me was being able to swim every morning. Fresh air, cool water and a mile of meditation laps to start the day. But this summer, no field work, no swimming and worst of all no Gracey.
Annie and Eddie are both very sweet kittens and they sure have a lot of energy. They make us laugh and force us to keep up with them and that is a good thing. We are so lucky that they rescued us. Earlier today both kittens were in the office with me and they seemed to be fascinated with Bad Kitty. I think he was telling them a story about you.
Maggie is trying to adjust to her new home but I get the feeling like me, she might think this is the worst summer ever.
Our Friend and Neighbor Marie
Our neighbor Marie was a wonderful person, so full of warmth and laughter. She was always happy to see me and I was always happy to see her too. She had the kind of smile that warmed your heart the moment you saw her. You always felt better after chatting with Marie. Years ago when I started up the bakery part of the business, she was the first to buy a loaf of English Muffin bread. I have a photo somewhere, but that was before digital images. Marie was super excited about The Tiniest Tiger.
She held the book close to her and said she would cherish her copy. And I know she meant that too.
Marie loved her cat Maggie. You might remember on occasion, I would go with Marie to get Maggie’s nails trimmed at the veterinarian’s [Read more...]
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.
Sophisticated Tracking Collars Show Surprising Results
Cheetahs might be the fasted land animal but a new study reveals it isn’t speed but extreme agility and maneuverability that’s key to bringing down their prey. A team from the Royal Veterinary College, UK, working with the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, used custom-built tracking collars containing GPS and inertial measurement units to capture the locomotor dynamics of cheetahs hunting in the wild.
In the 1960′s cheetahs were clocked reaching speeds of 64 miles per hour, but research using modern technology shows the cheetah’s speed at 40 mph. These studies were carried out with captive cheetahs and could give little insight into how a cheetah uses their speed in the wild. So researchers collared five wild cheetahs and tracked their movement. These sophisticated collars are capable of of monitoring speed, acceleration, deceleration and location. Data was collected for 367 runs over 17 months.
Cheetahs Rely on Agility and Maneuverability
9 Things I Love About Gracey
I am a cat parent! This month Petfinder launched a campaign to help break down the stereotypes about cats and the people who love them. Even though cats outnumber dogs in the United States, feline family members are often thought of as second-class pets. Many people still believe that cats are aloof, not able to be trained and of all things….unlovable!
I say anyone that thinks this about a cat has never shared their home with a cat. Our Gracey and Mercy are members of our family and we are fortunate to get to share our lives with them. I wanted to take a moment to tell you just 9 things I love about Gracey. Of course, there are many many more, but I thought I would start with these.
One) Gracey’s Happy Face Greeting Me at the Door
Even on the most trying of days, when my key hits the door and I see our little girl running to greet me with her tail straight up with a curl, all the day’s troubles just melt away and I feel warm and happy seeing her sweet face.
Two) Chatting About Her Day
First thing I do when I get inside the house is say hello to Gracey and ask her about her day and she usually has a lot to say. Gracey is a talkative cat and I think she is telling me what happened while Paul and I were out leaving her in charge of the house. I love to hear her tales of the day while we walk together into the kitchen.
Welcome to The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club!
Super Hurrah for Mary! The winner of The Tiniest Tiger Hipster! Don’t wander far, we will be hosting other exciting giveaways soon.
The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club where small paws are uniting to make a big difference!
Master of Zoology Graduation Celebration
It was with mixed emotions that we celebrated our graduation from the Master of Zoology program at Miami University. Even though my mom and I spent many many hours in the office reading, thinking and writing, what we were learning was so super interesting it seems the time just flew by.
Into the Field
We had the opportunity to travel to the Baja peninsula to live in the dessert at Rancho San Gregorio and swim in the Sea of Cortez. We visited elephants in Amboseli National Park in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya, dismantled snares with the African Conservation Center Game Scouts, learned to track lions, walked with baboons and lived with the Maasai in Olkiramatian.
Burning Bushes to Restore Habitat Land and Save Cheetahs.
Most of us know our big cat cousins are struggling to survive in in the wild. You might even know that loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict, loss of prey and poaching are among the biggest reasons the big cats are fighting for their lives. But did you know the loss of habitat is not just due to the increasing human population but due to another invasive species, the thorn-bush.
The acacia thorn bush overgrowth has claimed thousands of acres of savannah in Namibia where the largest number of wild cheetahs still live. Overgrazing, drought, extirpation of elephants are a few of the reasons for the bush encroachment. As the bush thickens and the sharp thorns of the acacia entwine to form a barrier, not only is the cheetah at risk but so are the prey species that thrive on the savannah.