Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Birthday Celebration That's the Cat's Meow!

It's not too often that a birthday celebration turns into a cat's meow.... but this past week, that very thing happened!

 My dear friend who I hike with was celebrating a birthday, as was another friend of ours in the month of April.  They wanted to do something fun to celebrate both having birthdays in April, and came up with an idea for a fun day out for the girls.  This certainly fit the bill!   Our fun day began as we met at a local coffee shop.  After getting our lattes and praying together, we headed to Spokane to visit the Cat Tales Zoo.  I have driven by this place many times, and we have never gone in.  I was really excited to finally have the opportunity to visit this place.

The first feline to greet us as we walked into the zoo was the biggest, and the youngest cat in the zoo!  He was just a cub, only two years old... but his size could have fooled you!

As we watched, he did his pacing routine, but would stop long enough to stare at us.  He was so cute with a piece of his tongue sticking out...

I thought it was neat to see that many of the cats would rest with their tongue sticking out just a bit, just like our own Simba does.. and other cats I've seen....

The tigers were huge!  I didn't realize they were such big guys!

It was really neat to watch them as they  moved around - behind the fencing!  I can't imagine running into one of these guys in the wild!  They are pretty impressive!

A good reminder!

The zoo had several fun places to picnic, and this was one of them.  I'm sure schools, and daycare facilities make full use of this fun area to picnic!

Next we moved on to the cougars...

This fellow was probably about the size of the cat that my husband encountered last fall on our property....

Cute little guy... fun to watch him move around, and generally act like a house cat... except he is a lot bigger!

Then we had fun watching the only black bear in the park.  He was pretty hilarious to watch.  He would pace for a while, and then throw around a ball in his cage, and then go sit in his big pool and cool off.

This tiger was taking a nap in typical cat fashion - on his back with his belly to the sun!

Isn't he just the cutest!

This black panther is apparently one of the oldest cats in the zoo, and she is the most famous too. Apparently she has been on many shows, and has been photographed many times.  The zookeeper told us that some days they will put her on a leash, and allow her to walk around the zoo, she is that tame!

Another seating/play area of the zoo which looked like a ton of fun for the little ones!

This guy was hiding inside the cave, and wouldn't come out for anything...

What a cute face!!!

Then we moved on to visit the bobcats.  These really look just like overgrown house cats!

If I remember right, the zookeeper said that bobcats generally weigh between 25-50 lbs.

I went back to visit the lion cub.  It was hard to believe he was just a cub!

I was able to get some pretty cool close-up pictures of him!

The little tongue peeking out just cracks me up!!

One of the workers came by to talk to him, and he put his paw up on the cage when she was talking to him, so cute!

And then a big yawn from him, and he laid back down and went to sleep.... such is the life of a cat - big or small!

We went back to see what our black bear friend was doing.

He wanted some grass!  Apparently he was tired of treats like apples, and would stand up on the cage like this with his paws, begging for green grass!

His begging pose....

More please!  Pretty demanding fellow!

This was the zookeeper who stayed with us most of the time while we were at the zoo, talking to us about the animals, feeding them little treats while we walked around.  It was wonderful to learn so much from him as he talked about all the different animals.

More!  Oh yes... he never stopped begging after that taste of fresh green grass!

While we were watching the black bears antics, we saw some workers carrying in these big cats!  They looked so real, at first, we thought they were alive... but as we got closer, we realized they were stuffed animals ... but the taxidermists certainly did their work well! They were very life-like!

The white tiger finally came over so we could see him.  At first he played shy, hiding in the corner, and ignoring us.   He was a huge handsome fellow!

I asked the zookeeper if he would get a closeup picture for me, and he graciously obliged!  These are beautiful amazing animals!!!

This was definitely a worthwhile way to spend $10.00!  We had so much fun looking at all the cats and the zookeepers who worked there were so friendly, knowledgeable, and caring about the animals.  It made the visit so much more enjoyable to hear all the cute stories behind each of the animals housed there, and to learn so much about them.  We did learn that the best time to come and see the cats active and moving around is to come around 3:00 in the afternoon when they get fed.

After we left Cat Tales, we headed into town to have lunch together.  The sky was incredibly blue and clear, and the first blooms of spring were everywhere! It was such a glorious day to be outside, and enjoying the beautiful day together!

We found a Mexican restaurant to have lunch at. We chose to sit outside, and enjoy the gorgeous day.

The day was a wonderful blessing all the way around.  We had wonderful fellowship with each other, it was a beautiful day, and we got to enjoy it together!  Truly a blessing from the Lord is being able to share fellowship with other like minded believers, and to enjoy His creation too.  It was definitely a day that was the "Cat's Meow"!

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