You haven't lived until you've
love licks from a lion!
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.
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