…and have to keep fighting to legally do this.
This is the regal Rashid surveying his domain.
Big Cats eat lots. And have vet bills. And have other BIG costs. One of those costs is the legal battle to continue to provide them a safe, secure, FURRever home. If you want to help, go here right now to donate. And now as today is “Blog the Change for Animals” (#BtC4A ) day I’ll tell you why you might want to.
For me Karl Mitchel is one of my heroes. My kitty training started with me admiring him and Mittens.
When I was young someone at school said “cats are dumb, they aren’t like dogs, they can’t be trained”… and I just *knew* they were OH SO WRONG and I needed to prove so to them. I had an adult male outdoor black cat (Nipper by name) in my life in a small town and although I “sort-of” spoke cat and had been around lots of animals… I knew nothing about “trick training” an animal. My “go to” response to needing information was either to ask someone in the know personally… and if nothing there – visit the public library. So I went to the public library and found a book written by Ray Berwick who trained animals for Hollywood.
Now Mr. Berwick is cool and I religiously followed his ideas (and adapted them to my kitties over the years and to new knowledge as I gained some)… but who INSPIRED me to follow his ideas was Karl and Mittens.
In the book there is a photo of Karl and Mittens (old movie of them here) – to me the photo said “free and happy together” and I envisioned my black kitty and I out riding together on my bicycle. That never happened – but other amazing things have.
Decades after that book, and a few years ago, I stumbled across Karl and Kayla and what they are doing now; I’ve been a fan on Facebook and Instagram since.
The Mitchell’s love and respect their tigers and are not a tourist attraction. They need financial support for day to day maintenance of their cats and unfortunately “day to day maintenance” for them, as for many refuges for animals, includes fighting legal battles to their very existence.
From an article on their website as far as the background goes: “Karl Mitchell is an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After his return from the war, an affinity with animals that he discovered almost by accident, by training his pet cat to ride on his motorcycle, led to a career in Hollywood and on the Las Vegas Strip, and to his qualifying as a State of Nevada Humane Officer; but more importantly, it gave him the antidote to the anxiety and stress associated with PTSD.
Hence, twenty years ago, Mitchell moved to the virtual wilderness of Pahrump, and has been living there and raising tigers ever since… as you can see from the video links on his site, Mitchell gets very up close and personal with the big cats, which he socializes to a degree, but does not train to perform as they would on a stage or in a show… ” The tigers’ days are based around how the tigers feel – a swim in the lagoon, a walk in the desert, a laze around in the shade…
The Mitchells used to help people with PTSD and other ailments by allowing visitations on their property – but unfortunately some people (that know little to NOTHING about animals and the enrichment that interaction offers) felt that was unacceptable (one of the past legal battles). I’m so sorry about that. But that hasn’t stopped Karl and Kayla from continuing to care about the long term well being of the tigers in their care (and the few remaining tigers anywhere).
A link to Karl & Kayla Mitchell’s website home is here.
Today’s Blog is part of …..