Marathon and more Habitat Releases

Hey everyone! I successfully ran my first marathon this past weekend! I ran the Rock N Roll St Louis Marathon and had a great time! The race organizers and volunteers did a wonderful job putting it together. I definitely see myself running more marathons in the future and I am already planning another race! In total I was able to raise over 200 dollars for the cats as I trained so thank you to those who donated! I definitely had an amazing weekend, but being back at work on Tuesday made me very happy. I missed the cats a lot. I was gone for four days, the longest I have been away from them!

This week we were able to release Angel the cougar into the old cougar habitat. Habitat releases are always such emotional days as we see the cats take their first steps. Angel’s release also turned into an introduction since Bonita wouldn’t lock up. So far the ladies are getting along great, minus a few hisses if one gets too close to the other’s personal bubble. Typical cougar behavior, they are not very social animals, yet not territorial so they can be easily introduced together. We will also introduce Zeus, Cindy, and Star to Angel soon. Angel’s habitat release was so adorable and one of the most entertaining releases ever. Angel came out right away and explored the entire habitat. She also played with every toy, including the hanging ones, which I have never seen a cougar touch before. She also did many laps around her habitat. I see a new running buddy in my future!

Speaking of new running buddies, Sierra may be one now. My tiny tiger ran with me today and it was the most adorable thing ever. Her run is super cute, since she didn’t develop properly due to poor nutrition by her previous owner but she enjoyed running back and forth with me, stalking, and just chuffing away. She is such an adorable tiger!

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Angel’s first steps

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chewing on leaves

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Driving Pipe

Hey everyone! Great news- we have finally started the beginning stages of Bam Bam’s habitat!! The pipe was driven for the perimeter fence and the extensions put up so now we are just waiting on the wire! As soon as the perimeter fence is done we can start the actual habitat. I can’t wait to see that bear in a habitat. He will be getting our first in ground pool so I am really excited for him! Last Tuesday I got to help cut the extension pipe with a huge chop saw. Basically we cut drive pipe first. It is usually 8 feet I believe and we use the tractor to drive it into the ground. One person holds the pipe in place with a tool and the other person pulls the lever up and down as the machine of the tractor slams down on top of the pipe to push it into the ground. After that the pipe is made level and then it is measured and an extension pipe is cut to make the length the 8 feet tall the perimeter fence needs to be. Each extension pipe will be a different length since the pipes are driven in to the ground at different depths. To cut the extension pipe we measured each pipe and then cut along the line. It was a little intimidating with sparks flying everywhere but definitely fun to use the machine. After the extension was cut, we brought them back to the front and Ivy, Emily, and I drove the rest of the pipe up front. I got to hold the pipe in place which was definitely a little intimidating and lots of hard work to keep it in one places as the machine slams it into the ground! I was definitely sore the next day! Hopefully soon we will be making more progress!

And and update on the new rescues, everyone is settling in just find. Shasta, who was in her den all the time during the first week is now out on top all the time. She still hisses every once in awhile but does like to give out chuffsSmile She is often seen sprawled out on her back on the den, a great sign she is comfortable here (though I don’t think she wants to admit it!). Izzy isn’t out quite as often and still gets upset when people get to close to her. Max’s paws are healing well. He had to have surgery to correct a bad declaw job. We got his back toes worked on but his front still needs to be done in a future surgery. He also came to us with a tumor in his left testicle. The tumor was removed and we have not heard if it was cancerous or not but he should be fine. That is healing well also.

Next weekend is my marathon so I will be sure to update how that goes! Make sure you donate if you can, I have raised over 100 dollars so far and more is definitely welcome! And my podcast on Ty was posted- be sure to watch:

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JJ, Reese and Titan cuddlefest

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Happy Herc!

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Fall at the Refuge

Hey everyone! Everything is going great at the refuge. We had to shuffle cats around to make room for three new rescues, Max, Izzy, and Shasta, (all tigers) so the ligers got moved to a habitat so they could get their old enclosures. I had the honor of opening the door for Karma and Brady’s first steps! They are loving the grass! We have had some exciting cat moves this week as well. We moved Miss Emmy to where Lucky was, and moved Bam Bam tiger to where Miss Emmy was and Ringo to where Siam was. Unfortunately we had to put Siam down this week. His health was slowly going downhill and he lost a lot of weight so it was decided to put him down. Now that those moves were made, we now have two lockdowns open to move at least two big cats to a habitat! We also moved Angel to the old cougar habitat where we can begin introductions to Zeus, Star, Cindy, and Bonita. I am so excited for her! We are also planning on introducing Dillian to Sadie to open up a bobcat habitat! Unfortunately we also had to put down Baby recently.


Bam Bam bear’s habitat should be started soon! Em was talking about cutting pipe for the new perimeter fence so after that is completed its habitat construction time!

Sorry for a brief update, but that’s all the news around the refuge for now! My marathon is in two weeks and I am so excited for it! I am going to try and update this weekly again so hopefully y’all will see more updates soon!

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opening the door for the ligers

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Little Sierra!

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Katy and Tubby


RIP Baby 9/19/12


RIP Siam 10/1/12

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Dental Work for the Cats

Hey everyone! Things have been pretty crazy at the refuge lately! The newbies have arrived and are getting the swing of things during training. We also had the wonderful Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation here to donate dental work to our cats. It turns out they had a great time and plan on coming back twice a year to help the kitties!

This past week we had the oldies newbies parties. It was so surreal. I seriously can’t believe this first internship is over in three days! Where did the time go? It has seriously flown by! After we all had dinner, Em started talking, the official TCWR poem was read, and then our certificates and gifts were handed out. The TCWR poem is titled “Lucky” and it means even more now that we have lost Lucky :( Since I last updated we had to put down Lucky and Buckley.  I started crying as so soon as we read the lucky poem and throughout all the intern speeches as well. Even though I am not leaving yet, these last 6 months have been so special to me. We each got a certificate of completion which included a picture of our favorite cat. Mine of course had my Noah on it, which made me cry more. Our gift was a photo collage of all the cats we released into a habitat, the lucky poem, and a group picture. I love it! After we had speeches and everything, we started playing music and danced the night awaySmile It was so much fun!

This weekend was pretty crazy with a bunch of the cats going under for their dental work. The PEIVDF is a non profit that goes around to sanctuaries and under privileged zoos and donates their time to do free dental work on exotic animals. They were kind enough to be here this weekend and six cats ended up being helped and will hopefully be pain free once they heal. Ty the tiger, Alex the cougar, and Magic the leopard were done on Saturday, and Zeus the tiger, Haley the tiger, and KC the cougar were done on Sunday. Ty is recovering in the white trailer since he normally lives with Crysta, but he is definitely healing fast. He took to stalking the new interns most of the day. Every time I saw him, he got super happy and chuffed away at meSmile Love that tiger! He is now my favorite male animal we have currently. Alex is also doing well and was already meowing to us to let her outside! Hopefully everyone is doing well today too. I am so grateful for this dental team for coming out and helping the cats.

I guess that is it for now! Things should hopefully be settling down this week. Wednesday is my last day with my old group and Thursday begins a new schedule and new routine with my new group! Don’t forget to donate to my marathon fund for the kitties!!

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Tally being silly

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beautiful Loretta


Wally loves her box!


RIP Lucky 


RIP Buckley

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I Run So They Can Run

Hey everyone! I am writing this post to talk about my upcoming marathon. I have decided to run my first marathon on October 21st, 2012, in St Louis, MO, and I will be doing it in honor of the cats I take care of at Turpentine Creek. I will be raising money for our habitat fund as I train for this marathon. For those of you that don’t know of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, we are a nonprofit organization located in Eureka Springs, AR, dedicated to rescuing big cats. We currently have over 100 tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, and bears, as well as a few other animals. They have a wide variety of stories and some of have been abused, abandoned, and neglected. They all come here and have a good home for life. When they initially come here, they are placed in small enclosures in what we call our compound before they get a habitat. Since we are a nonprofit we have to wait for money to be donated before we can build the habitats. We currently have 33 natural grass enclosures for our cats that range from a quarter to a half an acre in size. Only about 30 percent of our cats remain in the small enclosures on the compound, and I would love to see them get out of there as fast as possible, so I will be raising money for their habitats. I will be running so they can run. All the cats that come here deserve a huge space to play in and be able to be a tiger again or a lion or whatever species they are. Some of our cats were previously owned by private owners who did not think about the consequences of owning a big cat, some were owned by breeding facilities, and some of our bobcats were even taken directly from the wild. Please consider helping this worthy cause. Any little bit of money helps these beautiful creatures out, even it it’s only a dollar. I would greatly appreciate your support, as do the kitties If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at, and I would be happy to answer them. Also check out for more information on the refuge.

You can mail donations in the form of cash or check to:

Katie Anderson

239 Turpentine Creek Lane

Eureka Springs, AR 72632

or you can donate via paypal at this link here:

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“If you build it, they will run”

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Storms and New Rescues

Hey everyone! Hope all is well. Things are going great as usual at the refuge. We now have two members of our family, Betsy the black bear, and Lil Miss Priss, a baby bobcat. Betsy was rescued from a private owner. He passed away and left Betsy with his daughter. She was unable to get the proper license to keep her so she gave Betsy to us. Betsy arrived at the refuge on a Tuesday evening, right as we closed at six. She is now living in quarantine behind Scott and Tanya’s house until she settles in. She is doing fairly well, not eating much but is adjusting to her new surrounding okay.

Lil Miss Priss arrived on a Saturday in the middle of a storm. She about 7 to 8 weeks old and is a tiny little thing. Some man found her and her siblings in the woods and took all of them and gave her to another man. That man thought she would be a great pet for his family. Well she bit his hand through a welding glove and injured it, so he knew right away he had to give her up. Unfortunately that means she will forever spend her life in a cage thanks to someone taking her from her mom. Its very hard to release a carnivore back out into the wild because we can’t teach her how to hunt. No one here likes her name, but it looks like its staying. It does match her personality, she is a feisty little thing!

We had some storms two weeks ago that were my first experience with them during work hours. One of them started a down pour and we had to run around and get the cats locked up quickly and check the compound cats to make sure their den doors were open. It was a lot of running around in monsoon rain and crazy winds, but all the cats locked up safely and were ok. The next storm was a big lightning storm right at feeding, so we had to hurry and feed and couldn’t go back out to scrape since the lightning was so bad! We also had to send the guests to the gift shop as well. A lot of people were upset, but it was for their safety. The entire refuge is metal cages, that is not where you want to be during a lightning storm!

Zeus cougar got released into the old cougar habitat in the past few weeks. We will be introducing him to Star, Cindy, and Bonita one by one so prayers they all get along. It was a very exciting day for him and he is loving the grass. Its always sad when an animal passes away, but it also opens the door for another cat to experience freedom. Kudy’s passing meant Zeus had a space and we will likely put another cougar in there because we also lost Max at the beginning of the internship.

That’s all the major news to update on. All we are praying for is more rain. Its been 100 degrees here everyday and we really need that rain. The new interns are arriving soon as well and I can’t wait to meet them! Marathon training is going well, I am three weeks into training. Stay tuned for ways to help me we that. I am running the marathon in honor of the cats, so I will post soon on how you can donate if you are interested. I guess that is it for now! I leave you with some recent pictures of the catsSmile

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Zeus ready to go outside

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first steps!

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crazy girl Sierra

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Tally, always the stalker

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Crystal peeking through her den hole

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Its getting hot!

Hey everyone! I finally have a day off so I can update y’all. I have lots of stuff to share as it has been a crazy few weeks!

On my day off Friday  I went to Fayetteville with Caitlin and ran errands with her. Afterwards we went and hung around the refuge and gave out some birthday enrichment for Luna! Luna is my favorite cougar so I was excited to give her a LUNA bar box filled with cedar shavings and catnip. Luna always runs with me when I go by her habitat so I wanted to make sure her birthday was special. I also plan on emailing the pictures of her with the box to the LUNA bar company to see if they would want to help us out in any way. Luna loved her box, she batted it around like a soccer ball for awhile and then came over because she wanted attention. She purred real loud as I pet her, clearly a happy girl.

Saturday started off interesting. On my run, a man drove up to the refuge and asked if I worked there and I said yes. Apparently he found a kitten that had been injured badly and needed help. Long story short I ended up taking the kitten to see if we could help. Unfortunately the little guy didn’t make it and had to be put down because his injuries were to severe. I felt good that I was able to help some at least. Also Zena got her next door neighbor’s, Ava, tail so the poor girl is missing a chunk of fur and has a huge gash on the lower part.

Sunday started off on a low note. As I was cleaning hoofstock, I heard the dreaded code black radio call from Em, which means an animal passed away. We lost Kudy, one of our cougars. Apparently he had passed away overnight and Em found him laying by the edge of the fence, unresponsive. The strange thing is that I didn’t run by their habitat in the morning like I usually do, something kept telling me to turn around before I got there. His necropsy found that he had cancer and one of the nodes ruptured on his liver, likely causing his death. May he rest in peace<3

Monday was another crazy day at work(that is normally my day off but I switched so people can see their families). We had a tiger, Hercules, that had to have some major surgery as well as a huge chunk beef shipment that was due to arrive at 3. Well the meat didn’t show up until 4:30 so we had to scramble to get the animals fed and get down there to unload it. Half of the group ended up going down to get started, while Jarrett and I fed habitats on one bobcat and Mary and Katie R had the other. Then he we had the pleasure of heading down to the commissary. I don’t know if I talked about previously what chunk beef days are like but its crazy. They are frozen in 50 lbs on pallets that we have to unload, bag in trash bags (have to be in something per USDA standards) and restacked in the freezer. I takes all 10 interns at work that day plus all of staff and usually Kyle from the office (former intern) comes and helps as well. Quite a long and exhausting process but we are getting better and faster at it. Hercules came back from surgery around 4. Staff came in early to knock him out so we can move him into the transfer trailer to be moved to the vet. Hercules has been having troubles with his bowels and has not been able to poop in almost a month due to a blockage. He has had two enemas, as well as fiber and mineral oil everyday so they decided to do exploratory surgery to see what was wrong. We were all very nervous for this because Hercules is older and we weren’t sure how he could handle it and that we just lost Kudy the day before and we were afraid of it happening in twos. After a very long surgery, Hercules came through it and is now quite a bit lighter due to the 2 buckets of poop removed from him. He also had part of his colon removed due to scar tissue buildup. He seems to be recovering well though so we are keeping our fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. He is already feeling better because he has been growling at us again. Herc isn’t the friendliest of tigers so when he came out of surgery, we were surprised to see him chuffing like crazy. Em said Herc is definitely a fighter. Apparently he wasn’t supposed to live very long after his rescue but he has made it to today. His previous owners kept him in a 4 foot by 6 foot by 4 foot box so he is very deformed in his hind legs and is very small for a male tiger which has caused him problems (his pelvis is tiny so its actually hard for his stool to pass anyway)>

Tuesday was yet another crazy day due to three donkeys to butcher, Walmart sorting, and 50 200 lb rendering barrels to load on the trailer so it was two exhausting days in a row but we were able to get it all done.

The rest of the week has been calm, minus more cats and health problems. When it rains it pours! Ava was put on antibiotics for her tail. Crystal is on antibiotics for a puncture wound from Little Tony(jerk tiger), Tiger the bobcat has a UTI and is now on antibiotics, and another tiger, Sierra, is having troubles using the bathroom like Hercules did as well so we are hoping she won’t go through the same surgery. Sierra is also an older tiger and has a deformed hind end as well, hers due to being fed dog food by her previous owners. Sierra is one of my favorite tigers (I call her my Miss Chuffies because she loves to chuff) so I am sad to see her in discomfort. She is eating normally at least and finally pooped on MondaySmile Hopefully these cats heal fast so everyone is happy!

Monday we were able to move Zeus cougar out to the old cougar habitat. He is in the left lockdown by himself until we see some positive interactions with him and the girls and then we will let him out and see if they get along! Let’s hope they do!

Yesterday was Loretta’s 22nd birthday and it was a great day! She loved her birthday enrichment and shredded the box I gave her and gobbled up the milk/beef/chicken ice cakes Mary made for her! So happy she had such a great day! We also moved Hercules back into his lockdown as well so he is getting much betterSmile

Lately its been really hot here so we are trying to stay hydrated and keep cool. We are filling the cats’ water dishes three times daily and also giving baths to those that want it. It’s a great feeling seeing the grateful look in their eyes as you hose them down and you can tell they feel 10 x better. That is my favorite thing to do at the end of the workday, hose tiger row down. Sunscreen, smoothies, and powerade zero have been my best friends the past few days. One thing for sure, whether is 100 degrees out or 10 degrees out, I still have the best job in the world<3<3<3


RIP Kudy<3

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me and the birthday girl Loretta

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Loretta destroying the box I gave her

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birthday girl Luna and her box

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batting the box around

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No Internet and no computer

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates lately. We actually had no internet for awhile (long story) and then my computer decided to not turn on for two weeks so I haven’t been able to update much. We aren’t allowed to upload anything with our current internet so it it looks like I have to wait til I have free wi-fi before I can make updates so it may be awhile between updates. Things have been going well though. I am still enjoying my job as always. Lately there has been some big hoopla over a possible cougar rescue. Numerous stories have been tossed around, but it looks like this cougar may be in a somewhat safe home, but we did offer to take it. I hope we do because I would love a new member of the family!!

I also registered for my first marathon last week and I will be running it in honor of my kitties so stay tuned on ways you can help me raise money for habitats for them!! I will be running the St Louis Rock n Roll Marathon on October 21st! I cannot wait!!

Mom, Dad, and Kelsey came and visited a few weeks ago. We had a great, but quick weekend! Friday they arrived and after work we went to Rockin Pig Saloon for dinner. They have amazing sweet potato fries!! On Saturday, they met me at the refuge and I showed them around and introduced them to all the cats. They also got to meet my boss Emily. Afterwards, we got lunch at the gingerbread tearoom. That was delicious as well. I had a spinach salad and strawberry soup! We shopped in Eureka for awhile and then went to Fayetteville for dinner and a Target run. I wish Target was a lot closer! Then Sunday I had to work so they came and watched my keeper talk on enrichment. I gave Zeus cougar an egg, Willy a cardboard tube with hay, newspaper, and cinnamon, Ava the same plus Calvin Klein obsession, Thor a meat popsicle made from chicken broth and meat pieces,  and Bobby a cardboard tube with catnip inside. All the cats enjoyed their enrichment, especially Thor! They all came back and watched me feed tiger row and I think they all enjoyed it. After work, we had dinner at the German restaurant, it was so good! Eureka really has good food! I was sad to see them go, but it was a great weekend! And Mom and Dad “adopted” Crystal while they were here and Kelsey and her bf are planning on adopting Crysta. I am so excited to have a tiger sister and niece now lol! I am also very proud of Kelsey for giving up part of her paycheck to help my kitties outSmile  And I happy Mom and Dad let me pick Crystal since she is Noah’s bffSmile

For those of you interested in the adoptions, you pay 150 for the year to adopt a lion or tiger (less for smaller cats) and you get a family membership for the year, a photo of the animal and a certificate of adoption. Our goal is to get 20 adoptions and 1 sponsorship per animal, so that gives you an idea of how much it costs to care for one animal for the year! Its expensive! (Sponsorships for lions and tigers are 2500 for the year). More information is available on our website if you are interested.

I guess that’s it for now! More updates to come soon!!

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my “sister” Crystal

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my “niece” Crysta

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The ligers think they are fish!

Hey everyone! Sorry I have not updated much, not much new has happened around here. The days are all pretty much the same, clean, give tours, chop meat, feed meat, and scrape meat. I celebrated my birthday about two weeks ago and it was a great day amongst the tigersSmile After work I was thrown a party which was a lot of fun. The next day we all got dinner at CiCis and then went to the movies. My group saw The Lucky One, it was good!

The ligers got their first pool today and they were so cute! They both took turns in it and they pretty much think they are fish now. They both dunked themselves all the way under and drug their barrel and ball in and played and splashed and got lots of guests wet. We are going to need a splash zone sign now lol! All the cats have pools now and are really enjoying them since its getting hotter and hotter. They all get in to cool off and play. Their favorite activity is to stalk people in their pools so all you can see is their eyes peeking over the side. And when you get close the jump out and take off running! Work is definitely entertaining! I hope to get some pictures with them in their pools on my day off Monday so stay tuned! I am also going to try and do a paw painting with Talley-Ho (my new favorite she has so much personality!) and Katy tiger!

I guess that is it for now!

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I accidently hit publish too soon so here are a few more:

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Jesse and Keesha checking out their enrichment

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Keesha stinky face!

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some of my intern group with our boss Emily

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me and the roomie

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me and Erin

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