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 Monday 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 better
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
me and the birthday girl Loretta
Loretta destroying the box I gave her
birthday girl Luna and her box
batting the box around