Friday, December 2, 2011

Week in Review!

What an exciting week we had at In-Sync Exotics!  Here's a quick recap of what our week was like! 

On Monday, we reported some wonderful news that Jasmine is no longer living alone in Aladdin's Castle!  Okemo moved in the quarters next to Jasmine and now both senior tigers are getting to know each other.  It's great to see these two older cats getting along together so well this week, spending quality nose-to-nose time together through their vet chute and chuffing up a storm! Jasmine's cries have finally deceased thanks to Okemo!

Our Tuesday posting covered the terrific turnout of the 3rd Annual Tiger Trot with lots of great pictures and a wonderful video highlighting our special event.  Jodi Payson gave us some great behind-the-scene information about the Tiger Trot event that raised $8,490.00 for the animals!  Thank you everyone for your participation and/or volunteerism in this special memorable run/walk!  Our Facebook page has additional pictures of the Tiger Trot that you just have to see!

Did you catch our Wednesday posting of In-Sync Exotics' Turkey Toss?  Our local Wal-Mart donated 42 turkeys which the cats absolutely loved!  Needless to say, we had no turkey leftovers the next day.  Each large cat received his or her own bird, and the smaller cats received half a turkey or just a drumstick, depending on the size of the animal.

Even our guests enjoyed tasty treats--thanks to Fawn Payson, who brought the cookies and most of the decorations, and to Darla Ellington for her efforts in acquiring six donated cake pans of rainbow colored icing from our local Albertsons, folks were able to decorate their own cookies and eat them while watching the cats chomp on their birds.  Thank you Albertsons for your generous and tasty contribution to our event this year!

On Thursday, we reported on Chloe's trip to the vet.  You may recall Chloe is one of the former Poetry cougars that was rescued from Poetry, Texas back in July of this year.

Chloe went to the vet Wednesday for possible surgery because earlier in the week our lead keeper, Mak, noticed her right ear was swollen due to a hematoma.  How did her trip to the vet go?  Well, you'll just have to read the posting to learn how this story ended!

Special Updates:

On Monday we'll give you instructions on how you can pre-order your very own 2012 In-Sync Exotics calendar!!  You may want to order more than one to give as gifts seeing how they are absolutely gorgeous!

If you haven't visited the In-Sync Exotics on-line Gift Shop, well you don't know what you are missing!  Not only do we have gift cards, ornaments, mugs, and Christmas stockings (which are all fabulous by the way!!), but we also have kitchen/project aprons, stadium blankets, remembrance necklaces of Raja & Jasmine, pillows, cuddly teddy bears, "Kashama" pajamas, and special on-line tee shirts.  New products are added almost every day, so check back often for specials and new gift ideas for your family, friends, and of course, for yourself!  Proceeds from the Gift Shop goes towards the care and feeding of our exotic wild ones; thank you very much from the animals of In-Sync Exotics!

As a reminder, there will be fabulous tasty treats up for grabs December 12th, thanks to "Big Sis and Lil Sis!"

We are very fortunate this year because "Big Sis and Lil Sis" selected In-Sync Exotics as their fundraiser of choice for their Christmas Bake Sale!  Last year, "Big Sis and Lil Sis" raised more than $3,200 for their charity of choice. 

This year, the ladies would like to raise $4,000 for In-Sync Exotics! Read all about this upcoming event here and be prepare to be dazzled by their tasty holiday treats!

So until next week, we hope you have a wonderful weekend and we hope to see you at our special Christmas Lights with the Cats tours!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chloe's Trip to the Vet!

About a week and a half ago, Mak, our lead keeper, noticed Chloe’s right ear was swollen.  So we notified our vet, Dr. Kerin and he came out to examine Chloe's ear.  During the exam, Dr. Kerin heard wheezing-like breathing sounds coming from Chloe, so he prescribed antibiotics to fight the infection in her chest.

As for her ear, Dr. Kerin determined the swelling was caused by a hematoma.  A hematoma is a collection of blood outside a blood vessel.  This occurs when the blood vessel wall, artery, vein or capillary is damaged and blood leaks into tissues where it does not belong.  A hematoma may be tiny or large, causing significant swelling.

We are not exactly sure why the ear hematoma developed, but the treatment was obvious—the blood needed to be removed so the ear could heal.  Since the ear gets its blood supply directly from the overlying skin, a hematoma could decrease the blood flow, and thereby cause part of Chloe’s ear to shrivel.  So surgery was scheduled for November 30th. 

Before Chloe could see the vet, her hematoma burst on Friday (day after Thanksgiving). Even though the swelling decreased, our vet recommended she still come in on Wednesday for surgery, just in case additional fluid required extraction. 

Can you see her floppy looking ear?
So, yesterday we were off to see the vet.  Excellent news!  The vet told us all the fluid drained from Chloe's ear on its own.  He thinks the hemotoma may have been caused by some sort of trauma to the ear since it was not infected.

Chloe’s wheezing has improved since taking her medicine and she will continue on her antibiotic regimen for several more days.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to report very soon that Chloe is breathing normally once again.

So bless Chloe’s heart; she now has one lazy looking eye (which our vet believes may be non-functinal) and one floppy-looking cougar ear.

Our vet told us today that “not only does she [Chloe] have a crazy right eye, but she now has a crazy right ear.”  That’s our Chloe girl—she’s the “right” wild cat for In-Sync Exotics!

Photo taken before her ear hematoma


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkeys Abound!

Last Saturday, In-Sync Exotics held a Turkey Toss for its cats, and the public was welcomed to observe the feasting.  Our local Wal-Mart store donated 42 turkeys for this special event!  Thank you very much Wal-Mart for the turkeys--they were a huge hit with the cats!

We were almost afraid the event might not go on as scheduled since a cold front was predicted in the early afternoon.  The wind was horribly cold and leaves were blowing in every direction!  Even though the temperature dropped about 15 degrees by 1:00pm, we decided no matter what, the cats would receive their turkeys!  

Before we could distribute the tasty birds, our fantastic volunteers cleaned and removed the plastic/metal ties holding the birds' legs together so our animals would not eat these inappropriate items and all the gibblet bags were set aside so we could give them out to the cats later as a special treat.

Once the momentous task of preparing the birds was completed, we carried out four pallets of turkey from the commissary and joined our guests who braved the weather to watch the cats receive their turkeys!  Each large cat received his or her own bird, and the smaller cats received half a turkey or just a drumstick, depending on the size of the animal.

Our guests were amazed by the big cats' powerful jaws as they were able to crunch down on the entire bird.  In this video, Jasmine demonstrates how she eats a turkey:

The wild ones loved their turkeys and they made it clear they had no intentions of sharing!


As you can imagine, folks weren't really interested in the cookie decorating contest or arts and crafts due to the changing weather.  They were more interested in decorating their own cookies and munching on them while watching the cats dined on turkeys.

Huge thanks to Fawn Payson who brought the cookies and most of the decorations and to Darla Ellington for her efforts in acquiring six donated cake pans of rainbow colored icing from our local Albertsons!  Thank you Albertsons for your generous and tasty contribution to our event this year!  Even though we didn't hold the cookie decorating contest, everyone thoroughly enjoyed decorating and eating their own tasty treats--the cookie decorating station was a hit!

Another hit was our new hoodies and hats! As you can imagine, both came in handy as the weather changed.  Thanks to our wonderful visitors, we were able to raise $1,843 (donations and merchandise sold) on Saturday!  Thank you everyone for making our Turkey Toss such a success!

Now on to the Emma tiger coloring contest...drum roll, please!

We have a first, second and third place winner!  So without further ado, here are the winning coloring pictures and the names of the artists!

3rd Place Winner is Keira Schmitt (5 years old)!

2nd Place Winner is Ashley Schmitt (10 years old)!!

And our 1st Place Winner is  Maxwell Voegeli (8 years old)!!!

Congratulations Maxwell, Ashley, and Keira for submitting the winning entries!  We'd also like to thank all the children who entered in the coloring contest--it was truly a tough decision for Vicky to select just three winners! 

Our Turkey Toss was featured on the MyFoxDFW, Channel 4!  Did you happen to see us on the evening news?

We'd like to thank everyone (especially our volunteers) who helped make this a successful event; you truly helped us create special memories for our guests and our wild ones! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Scoop on Tiger Toss and Turkey Trot...

Click for the special Tiger Trot Video!
...oh wait!  That's Tiger Trot and Turkey Toss events!  Both events were wildly tigerific events that brought awareness to the public about In-Sync Exotics' mission to care for unwanted exotic wild cats!

Cat Tales interviewed Jodi Payson, In-Sync Exotics' Events' Coordinator, on how well the 3rd Annual Tiger Trot went this year:

Cat Tales:  Well, Jodi, this was your first combined 5-k and 1-mile Tiger Trot event you coordinated this year--so tell us, how did it go?

Jodi:  It was great!  We had a lot of participants this year, many of which never even knew we existed until race day!  They benefited greatly from our information table and learned a lot about exotic wild cats living in captivity.

This was my original goal: to bring in people from our metroplex who had no idea who we were; I am excited about next year's turnout as we plan to make it even bigger and better!

Cat Tales:  Well, based on the positive feedback received, it seems your first Tiger Trot was a fun event for humans and their furry companions! 

Jodi:  Everything went smoothly, from check-in to the finish. We had a great pooch turnout, about 15 dogs! There was one dog that was really sweet. The second I stopped petting him, he barked at me!   The owner said he had never done that before; I guess he was excited about winning a medal too!   We got a lot of questions about bringing our animals to the next Tiger Trot, however, we explained to folks that a real tiger at the Tiger Trot event was NOT a good idea!  The tigers would win all the events, paws down.

Cat Tales:  So how did the set-up of the event go?  Any problems?

Jodi:  I cannot thank the volunteers enough for arriving bright and early to set up the tables and signs!  They did an amazing job--thank you, guys! 

Cat Tales:  Was it ideal running/walking weather?

Jodi:  It was actually kind of cold. The wind was definitely an obstacle, not only for the volunteers who came out to help with the event, but with the participants as well. The sky was a fairly gray color. I think when we started setting up at 6am the temperature was about 50. By the start of the races it may have gone up to maybe 65.

Cat Tales:  Brrr....

Jodi:  With all the excitement, our runners and walkers warmed up in no time at all!

Cat Tales:  I imagine the winners were really warmed up after their "photo finishes."

Jodi:  For the 5K, we had first , second and third overall winners. For the 1-mile we had top male over 18, top male under 18, top female over 18 and top female under 18. A cool story about the top males over and under 18 is they were father and son!

Cat Tales:  That is cool!  So did the event last all day?

Jodi: Both races had to start on time because the police needed to reopen the streets. The 5K started at 9:30am and the 1 mile started at 9:45am. The last participants left at about 11:45am.

Cat Tales:  Not bad!  Did my nose happen to catch a whiff of some goodies in bags? 

Jodi:  Cat Tales, you have quite a super sniffer!  Yes, along with a t-shirt, we gave each participant a goodies bag.  Each bag contained a:  
  • Toothpick: In‐Sync picks the cats no one else wants;
  • Band Aid:  Your gifts goes towards the healing of our cats;
  • Teabag:  A reminder to relax and enjoy our cats;
  • Pencil: To list our blessings;
  • Hershey Kisses:  We are rewarded by kisses & sweet times;
  • Jolly Rancher: Hardy candy for hard times;
  • Gum:  To remind us to stick with it & we can accomplish anything;
  • Dum Dum: For all the dum dums that have harmed our cats;
  • Rose Petal:  In loving memory of those cats that have crossed the rainbow bridge.
We also included the temporary Albertsons' scan card, business cards of our t-shirt company, a list of remaining 2011 events, and a proposed 2012 event schedule. On the same table next to the goodies bags we had Southwest Airlines peanuts and pretzels, brochures for the North Texas Cat rescue, and brochures for My Fit Foods with a buy-1-get-1 free coupon!  

Cat Tales:  Anyone you'd like to give a special shout-out to?

Jodi:  We would like to thank all of our volunteers for helping with the event, participating in the event, and soliciting donations. We'd also like to thank My Fit Foods for bringing out treats for every one, LFgraphco for creating amazing t-shirts, North Texas Cat Rescue for their sponsorship, and our entertaining singer, Faron Gilbert, he was awesome!! And thank you to all participants and supporters of In-Sync Exotics!  We wouldn't be here without you!

Cat Tales:  All of us at In-Sync Exotics would like to extend two paws with claws up and a mighty tiger growl to everyone who participated and made this event such a success!  Thanks to you, we were able to raise $8,490.00!  We'd also like to extend tiger growls of approval to the individuals that obtained individual sponsorship donations for the cats and to our wonderful photographers, Susan Adams and Kelli Malone! Outstanding job everyone!

Please forgive us for not covering the Turkey Toss in this posting as we went a little long with this tigerific posting on the 3rd Annual Tiger Trot!  Please check back tomorrow for the Turkey Toss event posting, which will include the winners of the Emma tiger coloring contest!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Happy Monday Story!

Everyone at In-Sync Exotics hopes you and yours had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!  As you can imagine, we were pretty busy this weekend with tours and the Turkey Toss event that was held last Saturday.  We will cover the Tiger Trot and the Turkey Toss in tomorrow's post, as we couldn't wait to share with you some happy news regarding two of our older tigers, Jasmine and Okemo.

You may recall 17-year old Okemo was rehomed from the now defunct Wild Animal Orphanage earlier this year.  Okemo was never really comfortable around his tiger neighbors in Chuffing Country as he was inhibited by their loud commotions and bolsterous attitudes.  So the decision was made to relocate Okemo to different quarters so he could finally find some peace and quiet.

On October 23, 2011, Jasmine's brother and playmate passed away leaving Jasmine alone and feeling quite lost.  Every day, 19-year old Jasmine cried out for her brother as her lonliness weighed heavy on her heart.

So, on Sunday, Okemo, with the help of a lot of bribes (shank bone, turkey parts, and finally a whole turkey) enter the vet chute, where some blood was finally drawn for routine medical tests.  Okemo is really shy of the vet chute and roll cage, so it took a lot of patience before the blood sample could finally be obtained from this older tiger.  We should have the results of his blood work soon.

Once Okemo was secured in the roll cage, we placed a large blanket over it so he would not be spooked by all the other cats as he was slowly wheeled down to Aladdin's Castle.  Okemo was transported through his "new" playground to the newly installed vet chute, where his roll cage was lined up perfectly with the chute so he could safely enter his new home--right next to Jasmine!

Jasmine has been chuffing up a storm since Okemo's arrival.  It is obvious she welcomes Okemo's company as she chuffs and extends her forehead towards Okemo in friendship.  Okemo also seems content to have an older female tiger next to him, alternating between chuffs and hisses.  Okemo  also extended his forehead towards Jasmine in friendship.  It's great to see these two tigers getting along together so well on their first day, spending quality nose-to-nose time together through their vet chute during the early evening hours!

Jasmine only cried once today since Okemo's arrival to Aladdin's Castle.  She cried when Okemo, after exploring his new home, went into his warm den to relax.  Since Jasmine could not see him, she started crying out to him.  It was such a touching sound to hear--Jasmine crying out to Okemo for company.

This evening Jasmine and Okemo shared several more chuffs before retiring to separate dens.  We haven't heard Jasmine cry out again, so we cannot help but believe we made the right decision in paring these two senior tigers side-by-side together in separate quarters so they can enjoy each others' company during their twilight years together; Jasmine will no longer be alone and Okemo finally found peace and comfort in his new quarters. 

Don't you just love a happy Monday story?

Postscript:  Did you happen to notice the fabulous new In-Sync Exotic hoodie in the video?  They are in and ready to be yours!  Oh, and so are the hats!  They are both great looking and available for purchase from our on-site gift shop!