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Big Cats

Thursday, Lara, Logan and I climbed into the Infinity and hit the road. We intended to drive to an advertised sale south of Eureka Springs where we hoped to pick up some low-cost doors and windows. The advertisement did not give an address for the sale. It just said that it was 7 miles south of Eureka on highway 23. It takes about 20 minutes to drive from Berryville to Eureka. I forgot to look at the odometer once we turned south, so I wasn't sure when we'd passed the 7-mile mark. We ended up driving way past it winding through the Ozark hills. Lara and Logan both got nauseous from all the twists and turns, and when we gave up looking for the sale and turned around, neither of them were up for an immediate repeat performance of that same stretch of highway.

So we made a stop at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Turpentine Creek houses lions, tigers and bears... and bobcats, cougars, lamas, deer, a pig, a macaque, and a badger. All of the big cats there were rescued from abusive owners in the area. And by "the area," I mean from rural Arkansas. Every cat's cage has a detailed bio attached to it which includes a synopsis of where the cat came from and how it got to Turpentine Creek. A few of the cats came from Oklahoma and Texas (both of which border Western Arkansas) but the majority of them did not have to travel very far at all. It astounds me just how many brain-dead yokels think that they've got the know-how and resources to keep lions, tigers, and cougars as pets.

Some of the cats came from self-styled "breeders" of big cats. One tiger was so inbred (for his white fur) that he had a pug nose, a hump, and deformed teeth. Others had belonged to drug dealers who had gotten busted. Most had belonged to clueless bone heads who thought all you need to keep a big cat is some chain-link and a good supply of chicken breasts.

I wonder how many more big cats languish in home-made gulags in my neck of the woods.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2004 03:55 pm (UTC)
We have a place like that out here.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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