33 First Dates

Hitchhikers!  I’m so sorry for my lack of progress on the dating (and blogging) front.  It’s been a challenging first [and now second] quarter this year… lots of happenings… well… um… happening.  My favorite bloggers have all disappeared at one time or another, and  all came back later with the exciting news that they finished writing a book.

Well, guess what?!

I didn’t!  In fact, I don’t even have exciting news of any kind.  I do, however, have a write-up of a first date that happened in December.  Or was it January?  What I have is a write-up of a first date that happened this winter.

This date was awesome!  You know that’s true because I wouldn’t be able to write about it several months after the fact if it wasn’t.  My date was someone I’ve known for a number of years.  We ran in the same social circles for a while when I first moved here.  He’s incredibly smart about all things science-y and engineering-y… which could definitely come in handy for one of my next projects because I am not.

He picked me up and we drove to the Big Cat Rescue, which, as the name implies, is a sanctuary for big cats.  Not big as in fat house cats who would tear your head off if they could, but big as in could totally tear your head off, and would if given the opportunity.

Does not qualify. Image credit here.
Qualifies. In spades. Image credit here.

We took a tour of the facility, which is quietly located in the middle of suburban Tampa.  Seriously.  If you aren’t looking for it, you probably won’t see it.  You might spot a sign or two if you are paying attention, but somehow they’ve managed to camouflage 67 acres in the middle of suburbia.  It’s pretty impressive.  We saw lions, and tigers, and… bobcats, oh my!  Nope, we did not see bears.  Because bears are not cats.  And as the name of the refuge implies, it’s just for cats.  Bears are not welcome in these parts.  There were also servals, and ocelots, and lynx, and cougars, and probably more, but it was a long time ago and I can’t really remember everything we saw.

I learned that if you neuter a male lion (that’s a little redundant), he loses his mane.  But Cameron (a neutered lion at BCR)’s lady lion companion – which is actually a white tiger named Zabu – doesn’t seem to be bothered by his lack of locks; that wasn’t the mane attraction (see what I did there?) for her.  She likes him for his personality.

Many of the cats come from private owners who think owning an exotic pet is a good idea until they own an exotic pet.

PSA:  Cougars make better girlfriends than pets

Others are retired or rescued performers.

Fun fact:  Tigers eat 10-25 pounds of meat a day.

Funner fact:  Based on that fun fact, I would not feed a tiger for very long.

Funnest fact:  It costs a buttload of money to feed and care for all these large animals.  BCR does a great job with them, and is mostly staffed by volunteers.  If you are so inclined to donate, they are a highly-rated animal rescue charitable organization.  They are also not in any way involved in this blog post.  Except for the part they played in hosting this date.

Looking for lunch in all the wrong places
Looking for lunch in all the wrong places

Most of the cats have their own private cages where they can see one another, but not interact.  That’s just because most cats hate each other and start fighting if they are together.  They aren’t really known for team spirit and happy families.

Exhibit A.
Exhibit A.
My dogs look just like this during their afternoon naps.
My dogs look just like this during their afternoon naps.


Look!  Spotted one!
Look! Spotted one! (See what I did there?)

After our tour, we went to dinner.  It was yummy and I was really hungry.  Conversation didn’t lag, but that might be a direct result of the fact that I have no filter and never stop talking.

We drove to the movie theatre following dinner, where we saw Big Hero 6, because this was a mega-date and packed full of activities.  What is it with Disney and its obsession with killing characters’ families [and sometimes friends]?

When the date ended, he deposited me back at my home and helped me walk my dogs, a gesture that I very much appreciated.

And that makes 17 (which is only a couple of digits below the age of my next first date).



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3 Responses to 33 First Dates

  1. Ben says:

    Killing parents removes the child’s support network and allows the storyteller to put them into challenging situations without being able to default to childhood innocence. It creates a traumatic catalyst that allows the hero to become exceptional, without eliminating the ability of child audiences to project themselves into the character. In essence, it allows the character to be an adult (and address complex problems) without losing their child identity. Often surviving parental figures are portrayed as weak or easily tricked to show that the child HAS to take control, which speaks to the audience.

    This is also why all stepmothers/fathers are evil, their introduction seeks to disempower the protagonist by (gasp) forcing them to be children again with all of the requisite limitations.

  2. Walter says:

    “Fun fact: Tigers eat 10-25 pounds of meat a day.

    Funner fact: Based on that fun fact, I would not feed a tiger for very long.”

    No joke. Have you seen how much meat is now? 25 pounds of beef would wreck my weekly/monthly food budget. For each day? I’d have to get a second and possibly a third job just to support one tiger. More than one? Forget about it.

    What? You were talking about your own body? If tigers don’t eat bones and bone are about 15 percent of one’s body weight…

    Multiplies by .85. Splits the difference. Divides by 17.5. Carries the one.

    Wait. It’s a trap. I’ve learned there are two things you never guess about a human female. Age and weight. Nice try Stubbs. Unlike a big cat, I’m not biting.

  3. GrisGris says:

    #33! I had lost count! Good to see that you’ve hitched your way back into the blogosphere. With cats!

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