Cheetah Keeper’s Notes: Cruise, Omdillo, Klein and Merlot
- by CCF Staff December 8, 2009
It’s easy to see why Cruise is so well loved with his never-ending range of vocalizations. I love listening to Cruise and Omdillo converse through the fence line, they sound like big house cats… until they realize a human is listening then it is back to growling and slapping the fence!
Since the other four boys have been running for their food, Cruise has also started his own tradition of ‘trotting’ for his. He doesn’t quite chase the car the entire length of the pen, but for an old man, he sure does move fairly well. One of his favourite things to do is run half way down the fence line before making a quick detour over to a tree that he marks while watching the car continue along the other side of the pen. He has his timing down almost perfectly! By the time the car has come to its stop, Cruise has already beat us to the gate and continues to mew for his food! Although, there are times when his favourite spot to mark is a pole right by the entrance gate, and if you are not careful, ‘The Cruise Man’ could also mark you.
Klein is Merlot’s coalition mate, has been getting most of the attention lately due to his skin issues. But I think it is important to note how supportive Merlot has been to Klein during this whole ordeal. For the first time in over a year, I heard Merlot purring while he was licking Klein’s face! It has always surprised me that although Klein is a good 5kg heavier than Merlot, Merlot is the dominant male, then to hear Merlot of all cats to purr… I was speechless!
Also, during this whole treatment course Klein has been receiving extra treats (with medication hidden ‘cleverley’ inside) and instead of pushing Klein aside to steal the treats for himself, Merlot has stayed in the back, sitting patiently, waiting for his meal. Even at the end of the day when he has been fed, and Klein needs his afternoon dose of meds, Merlot still accompanies Klein to the fence, sits in the back, and walks away with him once the meds have been administered. Due to this continual support for his coalition mate, the keepers have been taking extra treats to give to Merlot as well, as a way of thanking Merlot for being such a good friend to Klein.
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