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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Guess what I did today?
pallas cat - is hates you
So, to begin: wow. The auctions at foresthouseeyes have really taken off. Of note: Kevin and Dayna are offering up the January episode of made_of_fail_pc; Kevin is offering a Straight Guy Review of a Bad Romance Novel ("Bodice rippers... anything with Fabio on the cover... Pregnesia"); and Dayna is giving up a book that Wil Wheaton signed because apparently she couldn't find a knife sharp enough to hack off one of her own limbs and offer that up. Everything else I keep wanting to go in there and fight people for myself, which is counter-productive to my own budgetary aims, so consider yourself lucky.

I'm still trying to figure out what (besides signed books on the auction comm) I can offer. I just really don't know that I can fulfill a promise to write a Movies in Fifteen Minutes. Shit, I was never able to go back and do Order of the Phoenix, and I wanted to do that. I don't want to promise something I can't deliver, and I'd also like for everyone to be able to read it. On the other hand, a terrible thought did occur to me: I never recapped The Host. And recaps are a lot easier to write. The dread spectre of some kind of recap blogathon, whatever people are interested in me torturing myself with, occurred to me. I'm open to suggestions.

Meanwhile: Valerie and I took little Henry to the zoo today. Guess I who saw there?

The zoo was, very entertainingly, tricked out for Halloween ("Boo at the Zoo," if you will), while various Scary Movie Themes played over the PA. 



Valerie, God bless her, suggested that we go straight to the Predator House, rather than put it off and risk Henry getting tired. This is where they keep the Big Cats--and also the Little Cats, and the meerkats, and the red panda, and the otters, and sometimes two different kinds of predator in the same habitat. I'm assuming the zoo knows what it's doing.

But we all know who I was really there to see.

Not pictured: Pallas cat.

When we got to the meerkats, someone was in the empty habitat cleaning it, so we realized that the Pallas cat was just not at home at the moment. So maybe he will come back soon! And he will be nice and waked up and pissed off and moving around, and he will glare at us wonderfully! So we started going through the rest of the predator house, thinking we'd come back and check later--and when we saw that the meerkats were back, we knew: he must be there.


He proceeded to chew on his paws for the entire rest of the time.

Picture of our Pallas cat taken by someone else who is not hated by the universe

Then, I am sorry to say, the tiger SCHOOLED the Pallas cat on animal-visitor relations. When we first came around, he was way far at the back of his habitat, the jungly outdoor portion, with a giant ball, rolling around and stretching. Then, when we came back around to see if the Pallas cat had been brought back yet, the tiger was RIGHT THERE on the ledge, up against the window, looking through the glass at us, pacing back and forth. He was so thin, compared to his big head and paws, that I suspect he might have been an adolescent. Apparently a white tiger had died recently, so he may have been a young replacement.


That last picture is the part where he head-butted the glass like he really, really wanted to be petted. It was wonderfully terrifying because there's this HUGE tiger head and these EYES looking straight AT YOU and you are like THAT IS A WILD ANIMAL WHO WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO EAT ME but it was so beautiful and it was right there and I have never been that close to something like that before.

And meanwhile, the Pallas cat is all like, fuck you, do you know how endangered I am? These paws aren't gonna chew themselves.

All the other animals in the zoo were just like, hey: s'up. I hadn't been in years, so for some reason, I was amazed by how close all the animals were to the visitors, and how open everything was. I could pretty much reach out and get my hand chewed off by almost any animal I wanted. They don't have capybaras anymore, which made me sad. The kangaroos aren't coming back until the spring, and we don't have a polar bear anymore, and we have a lot fewer sea lions. In fact, we only saw one--Valerie was saying that apparently we get young ones, train them, and then send them out to other zoos. We even saw a training session while we were there:

The red panda was up and about, the otters were chilling in a waterfall, I forget who these two little dudes are but I think they were exotic squirrels, the zebras were noshing, a stork came up to say hey, I caught the flamingos mid-frolic, Aslan was taking a nap right up by the fence, umpteen varieties of goats (and some sheep) were all very eager to eat our hands in the petting barn, free roosters were strutting around taunting a coop full of their inexplicably imprisoned brethren. And meanwhile, we circle back to the Pallas cat one more time, and it is...

And I never even knew his name! *sob*


@LiterateKnits: @cleolinda Sometimes if you wait around and/or ask a zookeeper they'll let you go in the back and see the animal.

If that's the case, then I am genuinely considering calling up the zoo and asking if I can have a private audience with the Pallas cat. "I'm telling you, tens of people on the internet want to see this!" Or I could "adopt" him, and I can even get a personal tour if I shell out for the $500 level, which is totally going to happen.

So that was my day. I am tired at a molecular level. It was a good day.

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I am focusing on this part because zoos make me sad: while various Scary Movie Themes played over the PA.

So, how many times did they whip out the Bach Toccata & Fugue?

I heard Psycho, Halloween, and The X-Files; you could only hear it when you were up front near the carousel.

Oooh, *nice* day.

I am tired at a molecular level.

I am *so* stealing that phrase. :) (I've got CFS and fibro, and some days it is indeed exhaustion at the molecular level.)

I've got CFS and fibro, and some days it is indeed exhaustion at the molecular level.

I have both of those, as well, and yes, it is exactly like that. Today is one of those days.


I made mostly noises of outright glee reading this.


I mean, we have Clouded Leopards—why not Pallas cats?

Edited at 2010-10-23 01:03 am (UTC)

I was going to see if we had them in DC so I could visit them and then I saw this sad news :(

Also, our tigers are much farther away, so I am pretty jealous of Cleolinda's zoo trip.

Awww, it's nice to see that you were able to see your beloved Pallas Cat once again. They are absolutely adorable, it could just kill you with its cuteness, really.

And keep that moment of the Tiger looking at you with you for the rest of your life! That happened to me at a local zoo in my hometown just before I left to study somewhere else. Not once but twice the cat looked at my mother and I. Truly extraordinary, and such a precious experience. Unfortunately, the other big cats were hangin' about and snoozing with nothing else to do. I think the Snow Leopards gave me the stink eye.

Oh man, the Pallas Cat is just the height of the "And not a single fuck was given" cat attitude, and it is splendid. Glad you enjoy your zoo times.

I had a similar experience with a lioness who enjoyed pawing at the glass when people came by. Terrifying but amazing. :)

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Thus the Pallas Cat proves that he's just like other kitties. When you want to pet him, he tells you to F off. When you don't want to be near him, that's when he'll be cute and bouncy and want to play.

Also: I have petted a Bengal tiger. The Ringling Bros. circus train had stopped in Austin. There was a problem with the track, and so the animals' cages were allowed to be opened to the air (there were still bars, of course, but someone could have definitely gotten an arm bitten off). The Bengal was loving having people scratch his back in between his shoulder blades. Quite an amazing experience, and basically, it was like petting a large house cat that you knew might turn around and EAT YOUR HEAD. Also, this was in, like, 1985, so public safety was not so important.

Edited at 2010-10-23 01:06 am (UTC)

Oh, but you're so lucky, to be that close to a creature such as the Bengal. I can only hope for myself that I can have an experience such as that.

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I'm actually surprised that anyone at all was interested in my Mini Weasley sweaters. I didn't think anyone would care for them, lol.

I'm trying to find things I own that people might like. I think I may have some swag from the Dark Knight viral marketing campaign somewhere (tons of my shit got lost last time I moved) which might be of interest to some people. I also have like two Ant-Twilight wristbands that say, "I am not dazzled" which might be of interest to no one at all, and I'm trying to look through my signed books to find anything that doesn't have my name on it.

I desperately wanted to buy so many things there too (top two were the victorian style hats and foresthouse's clay things- I would ask for itty bitty versions of Voldemort's horcruxes) but I have no moneys, so there you are. :\

Still, yay for the internets helping out!

What I have learned is that people love tiny things. Truthfully, I love tiny pockets and belt loops and buttons on doll clothes. It's the same impulse you have when you see a baby and it has PERFECT TINY FINGERNAILS. HOW ARE THEY SO SMALL AND YET SO ACTUAL. I don't know. I just know it to be true.

And I do recommend foresthouse's clay miniatures--the fruit and the lembas in the pictures currently reside in Bella's kitchen.

Those are Prevost's Squirrels! I love their markings so much.

Pity about the Pallas cat, but you got some very nice shots of the other animals.

I just feel the need to share a zoo story. I hadn't been to our zoo here in SC since I was a little kid, so a few years ago, I went and was so disappointed at how few animals there were and noticed that there was A LOT fewer sea lions at my zoo as well. And then in the petting zoo part, a goat ate my zoo map right out of my hand while I wasn't looking.
I will be investigating on your behalf to see if ours has a pallas cat.

I haven't been to the zoo in so, so long! This is making me want to visit my dear old Miami Metro Zoo again, which isn't as as awesome as yours, what with your Pallas cat with a diva complex and all. But still. At least we have frolicking flamingos, too. :)

For the auction-are there any SLoD props you could spare? Some of Bella's pies, an extra dagger, a pony? I would bid on that.

Aw! Hee. The problem is that a lot of things were made for me by readers, and I don't want to give their stuff away.

However, foresthouse herself is offering to make clay miniatures, and she made fruit, lembas, and a pencil for Secret Life. So maybe we can just have her make some stuff?

Kitties! Grumpy and/or giant kitties! Oh what I would give for some wild kitty cuddles. Of course I'd have to take the mauling that went along, but you know it might actually be worth it if I got to pet a delightful little ball of hair and bitchface!

Red pandas are only *kinda* predatory--the stuff they'll hunt is pretty small (invertebrates, small fish and maybe mice), and that squirrel would likely be much larger than a red panda would want to tangle with.

(I'm a volunteer keeper's aide at my local zoo, and I work with the unit that has the red pandas. I help prepare food for them, so their diet is of direct interest to me.)

I am HUGELY amused by the attitude of the Pallas cat. So fantastically diva-esque. The keeper I work with was friends with a feline keeper when she worked at another zoo, and she told me that the feline keeper found the Pallas cat to be much scarier and difficult to work with than any of the big cats--they're basically 12 pounds of nothing but bad attitude.

I love accounts of zoo visits. It sounds like you had an awesome day. Thank you for sharing. :)

they're basically 12 pounds of nothing but bad attitude

This is what I hear! Basically, they will totally take your head off. It's like a housecat with a raccoon tail and BEAR PAWS.


Scroll down to the bottom for THE BEST STINKFACE EVER.

I have to say that I have been personally dying to hear your reaction to The Host, so I'm completely for that idea. :D

Cleolinda, I'd pay good money--or at least decent money--for an autographed printout of one of the Twilight recaps. I may be weird, though.