Sheba,

Our First Cat 

 

 

 

You haven't lived until you've felt

love licks from a lion!

Only a couple of licks will

almost take the skin off!

 

  

Like many we got into the "cat" business (May 1995), "cart before the horse." Five month old Sheba and her sister, Tasha, were given to us after their usefulness as photo cubs had expired. With no previous experience, training, or education and two rambunctious cubs in the house, I immediately sought information on how to properly care for, train, and safely handle the cubs. An experienced trainer/handler, Valerre Wurst, was located 30 miles from me. When I arrived with the cubs, she advised an immediate veterinary exam for Sheba's bowed legs. The vet verified two broken legs caused by severe calcium deficiency from improper feeding. Rather than putting her down, I gave Sheba mega-doses of calcium and other vitamins and did not allow her to walk for two weeks. Most of the time I carried her in my arms or across my shoulders, or she was placed in a small carrier where she could not stand up. 

Sheba healed and has for years now been a very loving cat. This awakened us the need of education concerning conservation and animal welfare. 

After obtaining  the federal USDA exhibitor's license, Sheba became part of the DARE program in local and neighboring counties. Sheba's personality and affection won many hearts. She was a model ambassador with excellent behavior and temperament.  
In March 1997 we moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky with the two cats. They adapted well to their new home. Tragically, late in November 1997 Tasha died (see Memorials page.) Sheba continued to enjoy the outings for photo shoots with the Warren Co. DARE officer Captain Joe Jacobs. 

While we attempted to keep the male lions separate, (they were only to be here for a few months at the most) the constant awareness to feeding patterns, opening of gates in the temporary dividing wall within the pen allowed for commingling of the specie. The male lions were removed but not before Sheba was pregnant. One of her cubs Judah "Daren" who is the DARE mascot for Warren County still lives with us. (see DARE page)