Monday, August 11, 2014

It's The Eye on the Tigers; It's the Thrill of the Sight

As you might guess from the dearth of new posts, things have been pretty boring around here lately. At least for me. Most of the folks I know have plenty of interesting things going on in their lives, but I don't. It's all routine. Maybe I'm the one who's boring.

I've had a routine visit to the cardiologist, who sent me to the lab for routine blood tests. I'm going to see my new primary physician for the first time tomorrow, but the purpose of the visit is to get a long-term prescription refilled. They've allotted only 15 minutes for the visit, so I don't expect it to amount to much.

The weather has been typical for this time of year: hot, hot, beastly hot, thunderstorms. I suppose I should be grateful for boring weather in the midst of hurricane season.

I've spent my days reading one book, then another and another and another until I struggle to remember the ones I finished two weeks ago. The last few have been fine; they just haven't charged my emotions the way a really good book does.

Just when I thought I was mired in such lassitude that I'd never crawl out of it, an article in our local online newspaper this morning caught my attention. A Malayan tiger at the Baton Rouge Zoo gave birth to two cubs near the end of July. The cubs aren't old enough to go out into the zoo's beautiful "Realm of the Tiger" exhibit, but there's a live stream "Tiger Cam" on the zoo's website. All morning long I've watched the mama tiger tend her babies in their den. She cuddles and licks them and doesn't object when they crawl on top of her or snuggle underneath to nurse. They nurse often.

Just now I watched her stand up to retrieve a cub that had strayed to the far end of the den. She picked it up in her mouth and carried it to an innermost corner, where she laid it down and licked it gently for a few seconds before exiting the den, leaving the cubs on their own. In less than a minute she came back, stuck her head in the door to check on the twins, then left again. In another minute she came back to stay. She stepped carefully around the sleeping cub to pick up the rowdy one; it's climbing on her again now. She's a good mama, that one.

The last time Kim and I went to the zoo was in April of 2013, and I posted a few photos the following day. This morning I searched through all the photos from that trip to see if I'd happened to take a picture of the mama tiger. Yep! I've matched the right side of the live-stream tiger stripe for stripe with this one:

Photo at Baton Rouge Zoo - April 22, 2013

A beautiful animal, she appears to be a little heavier now. Childbirth will do that to you.

Watching the tigers on the live feed may be slow entertainment, but their interactions are too life-affirming to be boring. I expect I'll clock lots of hours viewing this big-cat family in the coming weeks. Click on the image below to join me there if you can.
Screenshot of nursing cubs - Tiger Cam - August 11, 2014

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