“I love cats. I love every kind of cat. I just want to hug all them but I can’t. I can’t hug every cat. ”
Those of you who are truly #CrazyCatLadies like me will recognise the quote above from this internet sensation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP4NMoJcFd4 –
This songify clip blew my mind. It was like Debbie knew all my secret cat fears and put them into one hilarious song.
I do love cats. I have a few myself and they bring joy to me on a daily basis, along with mice, wetas (a large native NZ insect) and random lengths of foam piping. It was my birthday recently and the Husband surprised me with a voucher to have an up-close and personal meet-and-greet with Charlie the Cheetah at Wellington Zoo. Holy WOW Batman! What a thrill.
First dilemma of course was what does one wear to meet a Cheetah. Not animal print Twitter replied. wear a dress. SO i wore a brand new (to me) old vintage 1950 cotton sundress. After all if today was to be my last day on earth (death by smoochy cheetah can’t be the worst way to go??) I wanted to look my best. I threw on a faux-animal print belt so that Charlie and I would be subtly yet fabulously co-ordinated (but so that I wouldn’t be taking the OTT #toomuchanimalprint mick ) and off we went.
It was one of those rare sunny and still days in Wellington the kind that makes Cheetahs sleepy and lazy. This meant that Charlie was not interested in meeting me in the slightest. His keeper Linda tried luring him out of his nap posse int he shade with his container of treats (she rattled it just like I rattle my treat container for my fur-kids) Charlie was not in the mood. So Linda had to bring out the big guns. A whole chicken. Just like the ones we hunt down at the supermarket. Charlie saw/smelt/sensed the chicken and sat bolt upright. Looked at Linda holding said chicken, contemplated his napping spot and then slowly ambled towards Linda. Success.
I was in the meet and greet space with a woman called Anna. She had gone for the animal print ensemble so that was lucky. otherwise it would have been all three of us in animal print #awkward!
After the safety briefing we had the chance to pat Charlie, play with his tail and find out all kinds of fascinating things, like his fancy kohl-rimmed eyes aren’t just for looks alone…the black lines around his eyes stop the sun form reflecting off his fur and make tracking prey easier. His whiskers are short because he hunts during the day, his ears are rounded so that they don’t flap around when he runs and his claws are never sheathed so that he is ready to run at anytime and has a good grip. WOW – what a magnificent creature.
Then best thing about meeting Charlie was hearing him purr, just like my domestic gods at home. Ok his purr was a touch louder and more rumbly, but it was a purr all the same and it was divine. I can’t tell you how hard it was to be restrained and not give him a hug from me, for Debbie and for all the cat lovers in the world – but then I would be dead.
It was truly a magical experience. 2014 is going to be all about quality, simplicity and fun, so this visit with Charlie was all of those things rolled into an animal print-purring-fur-ball of magnificence. I was very happy indeed.
Husband and I were so inspired by this new experience and how much fun it was – (right here in Wellington) that we are going to keep our eye out for new (to us) things to do in our fair city, so that we can be #touristsathome – feel free to recommend some ideas in the comments below of something in Wellington that you have done and enjoyed.
I’m sorry, I’m thinking about cats again.