Monday, August 15, 2011

Out of Africa, big cats and small cats...

Hello my blog friends...  I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!
Isn't this the cutest picture?  I got it from Tumbler.

I have been so busy with events and kitties of late that I haven't put a post together in a while.
I've had a wedding every weekend and will continue for several more weeks.  Very blessed in these tough times!  It is nice to know that we are able to put kibble in the food bowl!
I was pulling some pictures of our cats for another thing I am working on and thinking about events and I remembered a fun birthday party my husband and I put on.  I thought you might like it and it ties in with the kitties...
We created an Out of Africa themed birthday party at the local zoo for a client's 60th birthday (that is her favorite movie and one of mine too).  I don't have too many pictures of it as the professional photographer unfortunately messed up so there are only some detail shots I took.
In the large clearing in the middle of the zoo we basically set up a camp a la safari style.
At the entrance to the party we had an old jeep filled with large scale boxes of Animal Crackers.
We staged several "tents" around a camp fire and one long feasting table that a sumptuous buffet was laid out upon.  We had African drummers playing as people entered which transitioned to beautiful softer African music.  All around us were the various animals with the large cats particularly close making a cacophony of sounds.  Each tent had a theme to them in keeping with the movie and safaris in general.
This was part of the map and research tent...

This was the kitchen tent...  we pulled out all our camping gear to kit it out such as our Coleman stove, tin plates and canteens...
This was "Karen's tent"(the main character in the movie) complete with cot, vintage steamer trunk and vintage clothes.  I actually had some Limoges china too (you have to have seen the movie to understand).
We had a tea tent with an actual Victrola  continuously playing one of Mozart's concertos from the movie.

It was such a special party and as my hubby and I loved the movie too it was a pleasure to put together.

Watching the big cats at the zoo (or MUCH more to my preference seeing them in their natural habitat in Africa) makes me realize how similar the smaller domesticated cats are to their wild ancestors.  There are times when I really see the large cat in them.
This is Flat Top, he wandered into our lives starving after being dropped off in the wild.  We are pretty sure he was a pet as he is the sweetest tamest cat you can imagine.  He just wants to be in your lap and loved all the time.  His purr resembles that of a Lion in its' volume!  Can't you see a lion with his mane in Flat Top?
Here is Nipper giving Cleo a bath just as in the top picture of the mom and her cub.
Here is Tiger...  that really is his name and he purrs like one also... very loud and deep!  He was another abandoned love.

This is Tom and McGonagall (yes she is named after Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter movies, don't you think she looks like her anamagus?).  They were completely feral when we started taking care of them.  Now they love to be petted almost as much as they love each other...

This is Yazz, he too was completely feral.  Now my hubby has him trained and doing tricks.  Here he is touching his nose to a stick on command...

Here is the latest addition to our family...  4 completely wild kittens...

They were part of a larger problem area of feral cats in a neighboring community.  Many of them had feline leukemia and couldn't be saved but these sweeties are healthy.  They are totally wild but we are working with them and bit by bit they will join the herd and no doubt become lap cats too.  I have to say that it is adorable to hear them hiss and spit in their tiny way.  I am glad they are not of the big variety or I would be missing a finger by now.  One of them bit me and I was changing the water and food...
Here we are getting them used to being petted, we start with a long stick which they immediately bite...
but then they start to enjoy the petting...  little by little.
We are now at the next stage where they are able to run loose in the room.  If we are slow and careful we can approach them and get a few pets in before they run off.  The cage is left open and that is where we try to feed them.  We try to have all the cats eat in kennels or cages or traps so we can get them out in an emergency.  It also helps to get them easily when we need to go to the vet.  I highly recommend people feed their pets in kennels or secure carriers of some kind so that if you have to you can get them out quickly.  It is the only way we were able to evacuate 40+ kitties in a fire we had 2 years ago. 
 That is another VERY LONG blog post for the future...
Here are two of our sweeties in their kennels eating...
That is Nipper on the top and Muchkin on the bottom.  Munchkin was also a wild kitten when we took her in...

She was a lot smaller when we found her so she was quickly tamed... well sort of...

She definitely has a bit of a big cat in her!
For the full story of what my hubby and I do in regards to the cats visit our kitty charity web page called The Lucky Few.  
Good night all my friends in blog land, give your pets my love (as well as to you!)


  1. This blog post brought a big smile to my face. First off...what a party! I love the diaphanous look to the tents. That must have been super-fun to put together.

    Second...I just love, love, love all of your kitties! It was such a treat to see pictures of them. The very last picture made me laugh. I like the blurred, still-shot of Munchkin in mid-strike! LOL!

    Bless your heart, do a wonderful work with saving these cat's lives. Within the city of Dallas, especially the crappy part, there are so many feral cats that it's sickening. Even in my apartment complex, which is in a nice area, I have found a number of abandoned cats a being one of the homes! LOL!

    It's just sad how people dump their animals. It borders on an epidemic these days.

    Thanks for this lovely post! Hugs to you and the "Cat Clan." :)

  2. CATS...CATS...CATS....I just love love love em.x
    Pixie x

  3. You and your husband are amazing. All the kitties look so healthy and happy.

    Does it surprise you that I LOVE Out of Africa? I remember seeing it in the theater and I wore a long black Victorian coat similar to one Meryl's character wore in the movie (in the Denmark scene) and my beloved Flora Danica perfume. I need to rewatch this movie.

  4. Hi Tricia,
    I am so happy to have found your blog. Lovely kitty's. I recently took in 2 that someone dropped off here and they quickly became 4 as the female was pregnant. We are thrilled to have 2 babies here. They are growing so quickly and beginning to move around. They will be making their World Debut soon on my blog.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  5. Beautiful post and so wonderful of you to help out the kitties! I stopped by to let you know I'm doing another Practical Magic blog party this Fall and wanted to invite you to play. Your post last year is still one of my favorites :)


  6. I love the birthday party you did! It sounds incredible! We have a beautiful zoo here in Melbourne, but also a wildlife zoo, which is incredible, and during summer they have African music and food...reminds me I must visit again - haven't done that since the girls were little! Tricia, I take my (Mad) hat off to you and your hubby and the work you guys do with those certainly takes a special person...I just cannot believe how anyone could abandon a pet? Hope you are well my friend - enjoy your weekend - the sun is going to shine here finally I think x

  7. It was so good to hear from you! Thanks for checking in. :) What a lovely party! Theme parties are just so much fun. Thanks for all the hard work you do for these sweet kitties. They cannot speak for themselves - so it is truly exceptional to find someone who can and will speak for them and care for them, too Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  8. What a wonderful theme party! Thanks for sharing and kudos to you and your husband for taking care of the kitties!

  9. love all the kitties!! such a beautiful blog!

  10. Hi Tricia, and so lovely to hear from you. i will definatly be putting your name in for the 'dickie bird draw'.
    Yes, mr pixie and I will be indulging in some more woodland wonderfulness and escapism,so hopefully i shall have some pictures to share when we return...
    Love Pixie

    p.s the kitty cat pictures are just adorable. xx