My first day volunteering with the Catty Shack Ranch started with the simplest of tasks: cleaning coolers. By noon, I was knee-deep in raw chicken. All of the meat was donated and included pork, ground beef patties, and beef hearts that all needed to be separated and put into coolers for the night feeding. It was a pretty disgusting job but it had to be done. There must have been at least a dozen 33-pound boxes of frozen raw chicken to sort out and I had only enough time to get through eight of them. Luckily, volunteers come to help throughout the day so there were others around to pick up where I left off.
While the work was enough to turn me off from eating chicken for a very, very, very long time, I do have to admit that being there was really fun, especially because not everyone gets to see what happens at the sanctuary behind-the-scenes. About halfway through my adventures in raw chicken/salmonella contamination (leaky gloves – keep your fingers crossed for me), the cubs were brought out to get some fresh air. I didn’t get to see them, but anyone remotely nearby could have heard them just fine! The little ones are still working on perfecting their vicious growls and roars but because they are only babies, the tiger cubs come off sounding like very sickly cats mewing on high volume. It’s nowhere near vicious sounding, but loud and screechy and oh, I hope they learn how to growl soon because my ears might just begin to bleed. Yeah, like that, but way cuter.
I am not able to take photos of the property or any of the animals while I’m volunteering. I can, however, share with you these shots I took while I was on the property as a visitor last weekend during their Open House. It was an opportunity for the public to drop by and meet the cubs and to also walk around the Catty Shack Ranch and catch a glimpse of the other big cats during daylight hours. Enjoy!
First, kitteh belleh time with the big cats:
The other day, during visiting hours, all of the babies were roughing around and playing during their first public appearance. Only one was too tuckered out after such a strenuous day of being awfully cute and napped in the corner, or tried to anyway. The other cubs pounced on him from behind and constantly nipped at his legs. Of course, this elicited those squawky growls and screechy grunts, but the babies are learning to hold their own.