Tuesday, September 13, 2016

50 for 50: 5 -- Exotic Feline Rescue Center with Tammy

Yes, sometimes you just have to have photos.  Wook at the pretty paws, just wook at them.  Awwww.

So, west of Indianapolis is the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.  It's pretty much what is says on the tin.  They rescue big (and mid-sized) cats from all over the country -- frequently, government agencies call them in when they find cats that are being mistreated, and they take them in, take care of them, and give them a forever home here in Indiana.  All of their cats have been born in captivity and couldn't survive in the wild.  Many have been really badly treated -- either by assholes or just idiots who think, "Yeah, if I raise that little tiger from a cub in my living room, he won't try to rip my face off when he weighs 600 pounds."  It's a nice facility.  Each cat has its own little play yard (safely fenced in from the humans, of course), although, when they get along, they are sometimes housed together.  (Once, they got along real well, and they had a lion born here.)  Sometimes the cats housed together aren't even the same species.  They don't judge.

The guy who runs the place lives in a house on the premises.  He sectioned off a little bedroom and bathroom (with its own front door) off the house and rents it out to overnight guests.  Overnight guests take the regular walking tour of the premises, then get to stay over in an area with several more cages, AND get to take a special tour of the private areas in the morning.  We're still pre-sleep right now, so all these photos are from our initial tour (and the cats right near our window).  That beautiful tiger at the top is "our" tiger.  Most of the other cats near the house stay hidden, but he's very much a people person, and comes out for photos (and attention) pretty much constantly.

This one is "our" black leopard.  He's out because he's just been given a snack.

This little darling is a serval.  They're from Africa and they can jump really high.  (See?  I was paying attention on the tour.)  Assholes breed them with housecats and make Savannah cats, which really do not make good pets (because they're still pretty wild), but the assholes do it because people pay big money for the offspring.  (And the servals seem pretty up for it.)

This lion really liked attention.

This needs no explanation -- but it's proof that tigers are just, y'know, big cats.

And this is a sexy cougar.  (Aren't they all?)  With a widdle pink nose.

After we did the tour and got all set up in our room (there's a stuffed animal tiger in here; I'm sleeping with him) we headed out to a diner in the next city over, and had some good diner fare (and brownie batter ice cream -- look into it).  Came back to the room around dusk, where we could just about make out the bobcat and the ocelot in the cages near our door.  (Too dark for decent photos, though.)  I was very excited to see the ocelot.  The owner told us that our best chance to see him would be from our window, as he was super skittish.  But he was pacing back and forth and we got to see his sleek little spotted self live and in person.

Bad news:  I got bit!  Good news:  It was only bugs.

So, as we settle in for the evening (I'm hoping to not use my white noise app; nature is trying to make sufficient sounds outside), I'm hoping the welts on my forehead go down by morning.  We've got way more fun scheduled for tomorrow!

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