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Meredith Grau
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"She smiled to excess, but she chewed with real distinction."
"She smiled to excess, but she chewed with real distinction."

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Meredith's posts

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I earned the Daily Dipper badge. Yay me (and LA traffic) for making this happen!

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I earned the Repeat Listener badge

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Finished my audiobook in one session! I'm a closer, baby. https://www.audible.com/t1/CREB

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We did it! $5000 raised to protect and care for these beauties. #TippiHedren  and I thank you! To go above and beyond, donate at the link below:

Feat Cat: Alexander heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon
Cat Fact #14:
Well, we have arrived at the one and only, the love of my life: Alexandrus Fantasticus. We two have been compared to Pyramus and Thisbe, our love separated by a loathsome and cruel fence. Alex swore he would find a way to escape to be by my side, but "No. No," I said. "We are from different worlds. No one would ever understand." Well, ya know... In another life maybe.
As I said, Zeus the lion also has a large part of my heart, but I am a tiger girl. A lone wolf-cat, if you will. What I adore about Alexander is not just his powerful, virile man power, but also his sleek beauty. The way the patterns of his stripes dance with his movements is absolutely fixating. He is almost serpentine: graceful, yet deadly. He also travels light, as all cats do. In the jungle, you would never hear him coming. However, as he is unfortunately enclosed for our observation, he uses much less discretion.
In fact, Alex is by far our most social cat. To be fair, that is probably because he is sizing us all up and deciding which one he would like for dinner (God, let it be me!), but this is definitely a cat you can count on. Rain or shine, he always shows up, lumbering right up the the fence, chuffing, growling, and showing off his masterful fangs. He also does a nice stop and repeat for all the clicking photographers. [You're hearing Right Said Fred now].
The two categories of cats- large and small-- are delineated by size, yes, but actually the major distinction is that the big guys roar; the little guys purr (or snarl). Lions, as you know from the infamous MGM movie intros, have a very powerful ROAR, one that echoes for miles-- and in fact, scare the bejeezus out of local campers who have no idea that Shambala is so close to their tent zone. Tigers on the other hand, have more of an almost nasal sounding Rurrrr. The volume isn't as high. Because these guys are solitary, they probably don't need as wide of a vocal range as their hairier counterparts. They don't want to draw attention to themselves, nor do they wish to holler, "Hey guys, I found a new den. Come hang out." They're more like, "Ah crap. You? Get away. I'm thinking." <-- One more reason I relate more to the striped kind.
Anywhoodle, Alex is up for grabs. Don't let me sway you, but I know where my vote is going. 

DONATE HERE: http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala
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+Ana Tropolis , can you help me spread the word about my cause for Shambala!!! Last day. :)
Last day!!! 21 hours left to Help Me Help #TippiHedren!!! We're $130 away from adopting our second big cat; $430 away from adopting 1 large and 2 small! Let's really push!!!

Feat. Cat: Zeus heart emoticon
Cat Fact #13:

Zeus is the big finale cat at Shambala, because... Well, LOOK! He's amazing! Referred to as the Bob Marley of lions, his mane looks different every time you see him, but it is always fantastic. As is his personality. He knows that he's an intimidating and gorgeous creature, and he often does the cat walk to show himself off-- when it's not too hot that is. I mean, that mane is amazing to look at, but it's like wearing a wool hat in summertime.

On the preserve, Shambala is stringent about spaying all of its female inhabitants. At first, this may seem a bit harsh and sexist, but the women are singled out for a very specific reason: if you neuter a male lion, his mane falls out! Further proof of the power of the mighty phallus in the male ego. (Ha. Hahaha). Anywho, no one would want to rob this tremendous beast of his luscious mane. A head of hair like that doesn't come around every day.

Zeus came to us from private owners who had given their son this option on his birthday several years before: you can have a car or a lion. The kid chose a lion, and it must be said, he got the best of the best. Zeus is truly breathtaking, but he's also a large fella and quite the handful. After certain laws were changed, the Texan family that owned him handed him over to Shambala. 

My second favorite cat on the lot, he certainly draws the most oohs and ahhs, especially on parents day when he drags his bone back to his den box and roars for several consecutive seconds in pride.

Now that we can officially adopt one cat of this size, perchance he'll be our selection? Meow???

To DONATE go here: http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala
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Last day!!! 21 hours left to Help Me Help #TippiHedren!!! We're $130 away from adopting our second big cat; $430 away from adopting 1 large and 2 small! Let's really push!!!

Feat. Cat: Zeus heart emoticon
Cat Fact #13:

Zeus is the big finale cat at Shambala, because... Well, LOOK! He's amazing! Referred to as the Bob Marley of lions, his mane looks different every time you see him, but it is always fantastic. As is his personality. He knows that he's an intimidating and gorgeous creature, and he often does the cat walk to show himself off-- when it's not too hot that is. I mean, that mane is amazing to look at, but it's like wearing a wool hat in summertime.

On the preserve, Shambala is stringent about spaying all of its female inhabitants. At first, this may seem a bit harsh and sexist, but the women are singled out for a very specific reason: if you neuter a male lion, his mane falls out! Further proof of the power of the mighty phallus in the male ego. (Ha. Hahaha). Anywho, no one would want to rob this tremendous beast of his luscious mane. A head of hair like that doesn't come around every day.

Zeus came to us from private owners who had given their son this option on his birthday several years before: you can have a car or a lion. The kid chose a lion, and it must be said, he got the best of the best. Zeus is truly breathtaking, but he's also a large fella and quite the handful. After certain laws were changed, the Texan family that owned him handed him over to Shambala. 

My second favorite cat on the lot, he certainly draws the most oohs and ahhs, especially on parents day when he drags his bone back to his den box and roars for several consecutive seconds in pride.

Now that we can officially adopt one cat of this size, perchance he'll be our selection? Meow???

To DONATE go here: http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala
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43 hours 2 go! HELP ME HELP #TIppiHedren ! Thus far, we have the funds to adopt 1 large lion or tiger and 1 small cougar, leopard, bobcat, etc! Let's get a third! 

Feat. Cat Boo 
Cat Fact #12:

We lost Boo last year. He was an incredible specimen with the most hypnotic eyes you could possibly imagine. Despite the fact that he was well into his twenties when he passed away-- which is quite elderly in the wildcat world-- his eyes always possessed incredible focus and presence.
When I met him, he was in pretty rough shape. Advanced in years, arthritis had set in bad, and he-- like Sabrina-- had trouble moving around. He also had quite a belly, hahaha, but that is because his exercise had obviously diminished as well. However, he behaved just like a cub, lolling on his back in the sunshine and showing off to visitors. When he was in the light, you could see the rosette patterns in his fur, those possessed by all leopards. Quick bit of trivia-- Boo was not a panther, because panthers don't exist. He was a black leopard, and quite a beauty.

I've heard that when he was younger, he was quite rambunctious. Another interesting note about leopards is their climbing ability. Unlike lions or tigers, whose claw grips can't support their weight, leopards are know for their ability to climb trees, and with their jaw strength, they're usually dragging their hefty prey with them. This is why leopard enclosures, including Savannah's, have ceilings. These escape artists would be out in the wild in no time if they weren't contained on all sides.

The thing I'll miss most about Boo is his pickle. (That's not a euphemism). This large, indestructible toy was his favorite thing. Boo was very possessive of it. Seeing it now in an empty cage is sad, but it is nice to know that he is free, no longer caged, and hopefully romping in some alternate, uncorrupted wildcat universe.


To help us continue serving cats like Boo, please go to the following link to DONATE:
https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala
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3 Days left!!! We've earned enough to adopt 1 large cat AND 1 small!!! Let's go for a third and really show what we can do. Donate here and spread the word!! 
We are just rolling right along! And thanks to an amazing donation today, I am pleased to announce that we have enough funds to adopt both 1 large and 1 small cat!!! THAT'S INCREDIBLE! Can we go for a third??? We're so close, why not? Spread the word.
Feat. Cat: Shere Khan
Cat Fact #11:
Little known fact: a tiger's stripes are like fingerprints. Each pattern is unique to every tiger, and if you shaved the cat bald, you would see still see the stripes marked in its skin. Of course, then you would have to answer the probing question, "Why did I just shave a tiger?" 
There are other signifiers that allow you to tell one cat from another. For example, the more Siberian a tiger is, the thicker the tufts of fur around its neck and jaw. Bengal tigers, on the other hand, tend to have much less of "mane." Of course, there's no real way to know the breeding of our unfortunate mutts, but little things like this can give us a clue.
However, the most interesting things about each of our cats are their unique personalities. Shere Khan, who through the generosity of his former owner was reunited with his sister Shatari before they both came to Shambala, is one of the easiest cats to get to know. More often than not on Safari days, he's lying right next to the fence of his enclosure, as if waiting to meet new people. He is much more social than his sister, who prefers to stay back by their giant den box, catnapping. Shere Khan on the other hand, likes to stay close to the action.
In addition, he has a great affection for his water pail. He likes to fuel up for the onlookers, parched fellow that he is, and do his preening cat strut. Of course, he sometimes also turns around and sprays slow moving guests. As the crew likes to say, it smells a bit like buttered popcorn... until it doesn't. In other words, you have to be "quick like a cat" around him. I prefer to think that he is sharing a part of himself with our visitors. He is far to sweet to be telling us to get lost.
Anywho, to support this fun fella, or another, please consider donating and/or passing this info along! We're so close. Let's dig in our claws and do this thang.

For more about Shere Khan: http://www.shambala.org/pages_adoption/tiger_sherekhan.htm

Donate: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala
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Help Me, Help #TippiHedren!!! Update:

We are 4 days and less than $200 away from adopting a large cat like the one below. Can you help me raise $50 a day??? Let's do this thang!!!

Feat. cat: Lily 
Cat Fact #9

Interesting factoid about Lionesses: they do all the work. Yup, all the guy's gotta do is roll over and expose himself-- lazy, sex-starved mammal that he is. #Enabling. The females of the species do the hunting, tend to the cubs, and pretty much protect the pack domain. Dude, on the other hand, just lies there and goes, "Yo. Check out my mane," as he shakes his sun-kissed do'. That's right-- metrosexuality began in Africa.

Anywhoodle, this formula somehow works. It's most likely another survival tactic, as you need fewer males than females to propagate the feline species. As such, in the world of lions, you gotta protect your manz! This, I believe, is where that whole "cat fight" or "the claws come out" sayings come from. Women do be fighting over men. Why, I don't know. Compared to Lily, her bunk mate Henson is a boring ball of fur. Instinct... What can ya' do?

This fight stance is exactly what Lily takes at Shambala. It's quite adorable. And scary at times... Lily (who is giving you a razzberry in the above photo) is bunkmates sexy soul Henson, and as a supremely gorgeous creature, Lily is serious about her job as a mate. You tend to get a much better impression of her personality than Henson's. She's too protective of him! In fact, before the duo was moved to their current locale, they were staying in an enclosure wherein Lily marked a very specific corner, close to where the guests entered. Essentially, we had to rush the crowd through and keep them as far from this stalking gal as possible. If you got a little too close to her "area," you would see a WHOLE other side of the magnificent beast!

Lily's been known to charge the fence when unsuspecting guests encroach on her territory. This is why our safety rules at Shambala are so strict. When we say, "Stay at least 4 feet back from the fence," we mean it! This both protects guests from the surprise, urine-scented mistings that have been known to occur, hahaha, but also to lessen the cats' feelings of intimidation and thus urge to attack. Certainly, we care about our guests' shattered nerves as well, but mostly we're concerned that the animal will break a tooth on the fence, a claw, etc. Respect nature, that's the lesson.

Under our care, our cats are generally docile creatures until they feel threatened in some way, so events like Lily's aggressive charge are rare. However, they do happen. The lady's just obeying her instinct. And to be honest, despite the shock of an event like this, where your life may very well flash before your eyes, there is something almost divine in the energy Lily assumes in these predatory moments. A stunning animal, she is the perfect combination of den mother, soldier, and goddess. Actually, When my times comes, you have my permission to leave me in her enclosure. I'm serious. Someone write that down and date it. 

Anyway, we're close to being able to adopt a beauty like this. Do you want your money to go to this startling vixen???

To Donate: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala
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HELP ME HELP #TIPPIHEDREN! Less than 5 Days to go; Less than $200 to raise to adopt a large cat for Shambala Preserve. DONATE HERE!!!

Feat Cat(s): Elsie (L), Tabby (Top R), Jazzie and Cassie (Bottom R).

Cat Fact #8:

"When the Bob-Bob-Bobcats go bob-bob-bobbin' along..." Yes, that is what I sing to myself when walking past the Bobcat enclosure each month. ‪#‎ImSpecial‬. This species of cat is one that can be quite deceiving. More diminutive in size, and super adorable looking, you could easily mistake them for an oversized housecat. Sure... They'll fit right in. Until they eat your dog. No lie!!! Cassie was actually the only one of the four literally pulled from the wild. She was found fighting with the dog of a very surprised dog owner! Fortunately, she was catnapped and not killed, so she is safe and secure with us now. (The other three cats were brought to us by conscientious people who found themselves haphazardly caring for these cats and knew that they needed a better place to call home).
In any case, as the aforementioned and countless other pieces of bloody evidence suggest, "You can take the cat out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the cat." And why would you want to? To rob a creature who is destined to be free and roaming boundless territory of its heritage and relegate it to an uncomfortable, restrictive, and utterly foreign environment, because you think it would be "cute?" I mean, I have trouble sitting at my desk all day, and I'm only 1/3 tiger, so imagine how a full-blooded animal would feel in such inorganic confines! (Because I am 1/8th goat, I can at least entertain myself by eating cans).
There is actually a rampant form of cat breeding happening where domestic cats are mated with wild cats. The same problems result. Still highly feral predators, the offspring have hypothetically been genetically diluted in terms of aggression, but please know that the "wild" is still there. Not to mention the fact that the unfortunately souls are now creatures without a home. Not totally wild, and not totally domestic, they aren't fully prepared to exist in either realm. It's another example of human beings showcasing an ignorant disrespect for nature for the mere sake of amusing and entertaining themselves. As Elvis once said, "Don't be cruel."
Small but strong-- their jaws are no lie-- bobcats are just as dangerous as any other larger cat, though our lack of humility rarely registers this fact. In the wild, they hunt and kill like any other majestic cat-beast. As such, because they are deprived of their usual routine when in captivity-- which would be to hunt, feed, then fast for several days before hunting again-- we design a special diet for them at Shambala that gives them the same vitamins and nutrients that they would obtain from the outdoors-- such as the calcium they would ingest from the bones of their prey, (but perhaps I get to vivid). We provide them with generous and appropriately sized portions of a very specific meat 6 times a week and fast them for 1. AND If they have any specific tastes or aversions, we accommodate them to be sure they are getting the proper diet. ‪#‎spoiled‬.
Anywho, if one of these tiny cuddle buddies (but not really) strikes your fancy, they are now available for adoption with the funds we've raised. To choose your favorite, check them out here: http://www.shambala.org/
- DONATE at: http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/shampoo-for-shambala/
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