Enriched Viewing At the Zoo…

I love the Calgary Zoo but have not been in town much recently so a lot of the upgrades they have done over the summer I am only just seeing now in the late fall.  One of the upgrades was a viewing window improvement into the lion habitat.  This goes from the ground level to about ten feet in height and extends over a long section of the walkway. 

It appears that the lions like the improvement.  They are down at the window people watching.


The keepers have placed lovely straw beds down at the glass at the favorite viewing spots.  While I was there this time there was a tussle between the two males about who got this prime viewing location.  The victor of the friendly push and shove was this guy.  Right now he is watching the antics of a young visitor that he either recognizes as a cub… or as a snack.


One of the lionesses had been down viewing people with the other male (see in corner of photo) and then came up to lie beside this guy and watch.

It is oh so obvious they are enjoying the new view.


And that they are very relaxed in their enclosure.

Her pretty pink tongue was later used for some grooming.


Clever, Agile and Friendly.

We have had a change in next door neighbours – and a few days ago the neighbours started letting out their kitty.  Very friendly.  Kitty and I (no name yet) had a few petting encounters on the driveway the beginnings of a beautiful relationship.

I few days later I was getting ready to head out of the house and was checking the doors and windows when I heard a meow that sounded like it was from the patio.. I went to investigate.


Yes, there, up the tree calling to me was next door neighbour kitty.  I went to investigate closer and discovered that at the end of the branch – thoroughly convinced that I should help – was the athletic champion (who made a wise decision that she couldn’t quite make the leap)…


On her way back to the trunk and down to the ground (I went outside and called her down with treats) I could see her looking up at the branches that were higher…

She’s going to figure out how to get onto the patio.  I’m going to have to do some pruning!

Clever, agile and friendly.

Making Friends Abroad

Those of you that have been following me know that a few months ago I was in Bermuda and posted a few photos of the feral cats here.

I’m back again and now bribing the locals.  With kitty treats.

There are three feral “resident” kitties at the place I am staying.  They all have their “areas” of the property with a bit of overlap running into one another.  The order of supremacy is quite easy to see.

There is the alpha kitty with an air of entitlement.  He, a sleekly well fed grey tabby, occupies the prime area near the outdoor bar/pool/restaurant.  He is welcoming of pets when HE wants and walks away shortly after being petted.

The second in line is a sweetheart of loving personality and very eager to be petted when he isn’t completely sacked out sound asleep.  He, a svelte grey tabby, haunts the mid-area where the trail from the main entrance (and main dinning room) splits to go down the hill to the rooms along the waterfront.

And finally, a kitty I did not meet the last time I was here, a skittish and scrawny little black kitty that currently lurks under the bushes near the main building.

I am, of course, in love with them all…

All three have either an tattoo or a clipped ear indicating they have been part of the Bermuda program:  http://www.bfab.bm/

This is the friendly (and oh so very polite and patient when you have a bag of crinkly treats in your pocket) middle grey tabby.  AepCatGreyTabbyBERgtb20170710


Kitties & Boxes of All Sizes

Though I am away from my kitties… I wasn’t missing them TOO badly when I had the opportunity to visit Panther Ridge Conservation Center.

This is seven month old Mateo; he’s having fun tearing a box to ribbons!  He is so sturdy and still looks a bit like he has baby fuzz fur.  Cute as a button.


When he grows up they are hoping he gets along well with their gorgeous lady jaguar Isabella as part of the species survival plan.

Panther Ridge supports and is part of a number of big cat survival programs.  The wonderful woman behind it all (the center’s director Judy Berens) did LOTS of street/feral kitty rescue years ago and then switched to bigger kitties.

All the cats so obviously LOVE Judy and welcome her with chirps/meows/purrs each according to their abilities.  The visit (about two hours) was relaxed and friendly as well as being informative.

If you EVER can make it there it is well worth taking the tour (has to be pre-booked).  Taking the tour helps support the undertaking.




Guest Kitty from Palm Springs

I’ve been lucky enough to have business (and pleasure) take me into the Palm Springs area a few times.  If I have the chance/time one of my favorite things to do there is to visit “The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens”.  It is an oasis of nature just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

On a recent trip I watched a pair of Bobcats play “stalk an catch” with one another.  They were full of bounce and energy.


This one is sitting pretending he doesn’t know his buddy is creeping up behind him…

The chase will be on soon.

First Photos EVER Rescued Cougar Kittens

My grandfather, who did hunt cougars for the $20.00 bounty being offered in 1934, backtracked to the den of a mother cougar and found four little kittens with their eyes still closed.  He put the kittens in his pack and brought them back home to Owen Bay (British Columbia).

A few weeks later the first baby photos where taken.  Ms. Godkin a neighbour and housekeeper for the Schnarr family took one of the kittens out of the house where the light was better for the photo.


Mrs. Godkin was in charge of the general care and feeding of the baby cougars – all of which was a brand new experiment.  Nipples were in short supply and one had to be borrowed from her daughter, the only person in the area with a newborn child.

The small cougars were energetic in their attempts to learn how to bottle feed necessitating normal feedings to require them to be swaddled in a towel to keep their feet and claws away from the bottle and the arm of the person doing the feeding.

How I wish I could enhance this photo to see the kitten better… but I am so incredibly glad there is any record!  And actually I do so love the mood captured – Mrs. Godkin looks like I feel when I am allowed to handle or pet some rescued creature.

Malaysian Pal

On this throw-back-Thursday I present a little kitty that I can clearly remember nearly 30 years later.  In 1987 my brother and I were in Malaysia doing some hiking and some scuba diving.  It was glorious.

In looking back through old photos we found this one of a dear friend that happily embraced us during our visit.  Relaxed and happy offering his belly for a rub anytime we were close by.


As you gave him a belly rub he would knead the air with his front paws and stretch out his back ones in ecstasy.


He was minus a tail (and it didn’t look like it was anything except perhaps born that way – no scar, no infection) but he seemed completely able to get about and stay healthy.  Pretty sure that despite his pretence of being totally independent and self sufficient he was really adopted by the nearby restaurant and was, in fact, their kitty.

Miami Green Serengeti Heat

I’m “enjoying” the sleety rain in Iceland right now (it is keeping the moss here quite green) and it has reminded me of the green in the Miami Zoo lion enclosure when I was there late last month.  The enclosure is a large one with lots of places the lions are able to go and lie that are out of sight.  Despite the choices they were laying in full view in the shade of a very green tree with a verdant background.


The lioness here was panting in the heat (which I am missing right now) but seemed most appreciative of the cool green shade.  I’ll never have a problem picking out these photos from the ones I have of lions in Tanzania – nothing was ever this green in the background there.

This gorgeous lady was in fine health with good solid teeth, a sleek coat, and some pretty impressive muscles when she got up and stretched.  I think that one of the reasons for lying in view of the people is the people watching in return – entertainment on both sides.


THAT was not approved…

We were having a love fest (the “hotel feral kitty” and I) when I foolishly stopped and took out my camera.

I recognize that look – my kitties glare at the camera this way too…


I so offended her that she huffed away for a few moments.  But apparently I am an adequate massage and skritching hand… so she did return <G>

Jungle Kitty – Bermuda

Unlike the feral kitties I encountered yesterday today’s kitty could NOT be talked into coming to get a chin scratching.  I think he would have liked to…


When I summited the little hill and came around the corner to the abandoned cottage (in the midst of Tom Moore’s Jungle) I caught him off guard.  He’d been laying on a warm rock in the noon-day sun likely snoozing and day dreaming his kitty dreams.  He leapt up and dashed away snake-belly close to the ground.

I apologized and softly chatted to him and he did stop and listen.  But bridging the distance with more than looks was more than he could do.  We managed squishy eyes at one another for a long time.  But when I took one step towards him – he was gone.