Cats: Big & Little

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.

And now, kitteh belleh time with the cubs:
(Yes, that is the same photograph I closed my post with a few days ago, but one can never get enough kitteh belleh.)

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About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
This entry was posted in Catty Shack Ranch, community, conservation, endangered species, Florida wildlife, photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Cats: Big & Little

  1. Cassie says:

    I love the ones where they’re rolling around. It makes them seem like they’re just big cats like a bigger version on my house cat haha.

    • Dena says:

      Those guys were actually sleeping! Soundly, I might add. I was only feet from the sleeping cub and he was out like a light, dead to the world. I couldn’t get enough of the big tiger’s belly – so “normal cat”-like!

  2. Chris says:

    That is too damn cool, raw chicken and big ass kitties!

    The panther reminded us of the “rescue panther” commercial running these days.

  3. Dena says:

    They are big kitties! I often forgot how big those creatures are until I’m standing next to one!

  4. Laura Lee says:

    I love that they are laying on a tiger blanket. It just makes me giggle! Do they see it? wonder why it’s so still? I dunno.

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