Friday, August 3, 2012

Our Weekly Review of Events

Well, everyone, it's been another tough week for all of us at In-Sync Exotics. We are very blessed to have supporters like you, standing strong with us during our tough times.

We started the week was some very, very sad news. Our beloved Okemo crossed the Rainbow Bridge on July 27, 2012.  To read more about our amazing Okemo, please click HERE.  We miss you very much Okemo...

On Tuesday, Vicky Keahey, our President and CEO wrote a wonderful letter to our In-Sync Exotics friends, addressing our recent losses--Keenan, Jasi, and Okemo.  Since Jasi's passing last week was so unexpected, we were unable to share with you our thoughts of this wonderful boy until this posting.  Vicky wanted everyone to know how much Jasi was loved and adored. To read Vicky's letter and to learn more about Jasi, please click HERE.

Wednesday's posting was about our fantastic photo shoot!  Our cats were more than ready to pose and act a little goofy for our visiting photographers!  If you missed this fun-filled summer event, fear not as we are holding our Fall Photo Shoot in October.  To see sample photos taken at the Summer Photo Shoot, please click HERE.

Yesterday, we shared with you an exciting move for tiger Tyjar and an update on how Jasmine is doing.  To learn more about both these two special (related) tigers, please click HERE!

In light of our recent losses and soaring Texas temperatures (over the 100 degree mark), we haven't made as much progress as we'd like on the Cheetah habitat.  We have primed the cheetah habitat "frame" and will probably paint all weekend so we can begin adding the enclosure "walls." Stay tuned for more updates on our cheetah habitat construction progress!

In honor of Okemo, we have placed his mug, mouse pad, and BBQ apron in our Close to Our Hearts' on-line gift shop.  To visit our Close to the Hearts gift shop, please click HERE.  To see if any of our items are on sale, please visit and type in the search box "In-Sync Exotics."  Often if you look at one of our gift items and then leave the page to explore the web, you may find discount coupons from (up to 30% off), pop up on your web pages relating to that very same gift item you were eyeing. Love those discounts!  Just follow the instructions and you will receive the advertised discount.  Plus you can also call toll free 1-877-809-1659 to ask if they would be willing to give you the discount on your desired gift over the phone instead of making the purchase on-line.  While the Memorial gifts cannot replace the love we feel for our precious cats, the proceeds from the sales continues to benefit the animals of In-Sync Exotics.  Thank you for patronage of our on-line gift shop!

We hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend!  Remember, we are open for tour Thursday - Friday.  For tour information, please click HERE.  We hope you will join us again next week for more exciting news from In-Sync Exotics!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tiger Tyjar's Big Move!

One of the saddest sounds to hear is that of a tiger crying out for her deceased buddy.  Poor Jasmine really was attached to Okemo.  From the day he first arrived at Aladdin’s Castle, to the day he left us, Jasmine’s eyes were glued to Okemo, always watching his every move.  Often, when Okemo slept in his den, Jasmine would position herself in such a manner that allowed her to watch him.  She really, really loved our sweet Okemo.

Jasmine is having a hard time understanding why Okemo no longer lives next to her.  It was very difficult for us to hear her cry out to him for hours on end that first and second night without Okemo, knowing that there was nothing we could do to ease her pain.  Our first instinct was to lavish lots of love and attention on our girl, but sadly, our overtures were for not.  Jasmine was inconsolable.  After much discussion, we decided to relocate one of our single male tigers adjacent to Jasmine’s quarters in the hopes that she would not feel so alone anymore.

Moving Tyjar next to Jasmine seemed like the logical choice because, after all, he is family!  You may recall, Tyjar is Jasmine’s son, who sadly was separated from Jasmine shortly after birth.  To learn more about Tyjar, click HERE!

The move also benefited Tyjar simply because he has never felt “loved” by one of The Brats—Sultan—who just happened to live nearby.  By the way, have you ever wondered why we call three of our tigers "The Brats?"  Well, if you check back with us next week, we'll have that answer for you!  For some reason, Sultan took an instant dislike to Tyjar from day one, going out of his way to antagonize and challenge him at every opportunity.  Unfortunately, this discord impacted the Brat Girls, Iona and Kaiya, who often bore the brunt of Sultan’s frustrations. 

So on Sunday, we quietly moved Tyjar to his new enclosure in the hopes that he would love his new home; that Jasmine would enjoy his company; and the brats would finally return to their normal harmonious state.  On Tyjar’s big move day, our boy entered the transporter and his new quarters without any problems—he was such a trooper!

Well, it’s been four days now since Tyjar moved and he’s doing great in his new home!  When he first moved in, Jasmine approached him, made a few greeting chuffs and then turned her back on him. <sigh>  But good news!  Yesterday evening, Jasmine's spirits picked up as she was seen jumping in and out of her tub, playing hide and seek with Tyjar, and tackling her ball!  It looks like Mother and Son will be just fine living next to each other after all!

At first, Sultan continued to glare across the grounds at Tyjar in the hopes of intimidating our tiger.  Sultan finally decided Tyjar was no longer a threat and returned to his normal “bratty” self, to the delight of Iona and Kaiya.  Ahhh…Tiger Country is harmonious once more!

So the big question is… Did Tyjar ever discover the pool?

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting!  We'd love to hear from you, so feel free to comment and please don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below!  As always, we ask that you share your favorite blog postings with your family and friends! Again, thank you!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fantastic Summer Photos!

Our cats were more than ready for their photo shoot that was held at In-Sync Exotics last Sunday!  Our cats woke up to see several new photographer faces ready to capture their personalities in various stages of sleep, play, or just simply looking adorable!

Lynne Travis once again organized our Summer Photo Shoot and it was such a great event, she has already announced our Fall Photo Shoot, scheduled for Saturday, October 13th.  So, if you missed our Summer Photo Shoot, then you'll definitely want to attend our Fall Shoot!

Here is a short video presentation of our Summer Photo Shoot 2012!

We'd like to thank all the volunteers who acted as chaperons during this event.  Thanks to our volunteers, our animals were very relaxed and enjoyed their time in the "lime light!"  Here are a couple of comments from our animal chaperons!

From our Facebook page:
Janis Ciuba Danner
The photo shoot tour today was fantastic! The cats strutted their stuff for the cameras.....don't they have such attitude? The groups definitely saw some action that even some us volunteers never are privileged to to see, for a long long time. Great groups, great volunteers, even greater organizer and the best cats in the world! Fantastic morning. 
Thank y'all so much. I got some eyefuls as a chaperon, and I heard so many appreciative comments from the tour members. Your photographers out there really need to check this out for the next photo tour. Truly fabulous. I saw some of the shots taken today, and can't wait to see more!
Sunday at 1:22pm
And via E-mail!
Hi Lynne and Vicky, 
Count me in for the next photo shoot; it's already on my calendar. 
While visiting Harley, he seemed to be really fixated on his water tub.  We gave him a pizza box with horse pee, but he was much more interested in licking the side of the tub and trying to bite it.  As much as we wanted him to jump in the tub, he just wanted to try to dump over.  There were a lot anxious moments when we thought he would get in the tub only to lay back done and continue licking the tub. Harley was clearly just a tease today! 
Kazuri really put on a show!  He LOVES his Lynne, obsession and skin so soft!  Many many stinky faces and covering his face with his paws trying to look bashful.
Today was great!

We hope we'll see you at our next exciting event, Bingo Night, which is set for Augusts 18th!  More details to follow regarding this special In-Sync Exotics' event!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting!  We'd love to hear from you, so feel free to comment and please don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below!  As always, we ask that you share your favorite blog postings with your family and friends! Again, thank you!


Monday, July 30, 2012

An Open Letter from Our CEO and President

Greetings In-Sync Exotics Friends:

Recent events have led me to write this posting due to our losses of Keenan, Jasi, and Okemo. 

One of the greatest joys is to wake up each day, get out of bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then go out and meet and greet each In-Sync Exotics’ cats (and Nugget) by name.  To see their beautiful faces each day, knowing that they are truly gifts from God, inspires me to work that much harder to provide them the best home ever.

Whenever we learn of a special animal needing a new home, we don’t look at him and say “hmmm, you are too old, too sick, or too aggressive to live here—I think we’ll just pass on taking you in.”   Instead, if we have room for a new animal, we look deep into the animal’s eyes and tell him that he can live out his life in peace, knowing that when it is time, he will leave this earth knowing he was loved at In-Sync Exotics.

Many of the exotic cats that calls In-Sync Exotics home are considered senior or geriatric, some are in good health and some have a few health issues.  Keenan and Okemo were both considered geriatric cats with serious health issues.  We knew that at some point we were going to have to make a tough, but loving decision, to let them go.  We are able to mentally prepare ourselves for the loss of these two beautiful animals and say our final good-byes before they passed away.

We miss our playful Jasi very much

Jasi’s story is a different because his passing was so unexpected and so sudden that not everyone from In-Sync had a chance to say good-bye to our sweet boy. 

We knew at the time of Jasi’s arrival that he had a heart condition requiring medication and close observations to make sure he was not in any distress.  Because of the personal attention he received from us all, Jasi accepted us and looked forward to our daily rounds.

So when our lead keeper Mak noticed Jasi was having trouble breathing last Wednesday, we knew our little serval required emergency medical treatment.  Jasi’s heart was racing so fast which caused him to pant quite heavily.  I was able to exam Jasi and he didn’t appear to have an obstruction that would keep him from breathing normally, so I rushed him to our vet. 

Our vet listened to Jasi’ heart for quite a while and then made the announcement, “we have to get him to a cardiologist specialist—right away.” 

Our sweet Jasi
We tried to get Texas A&M to accept our Jasi, but they declined because they cannot keep exotic cats in their intensive care unit—only domestic animals.  So our vet and I made several frantic phone calls trying to find a  veterinarian who specialized in cardiology willing to see Jasi.  Finally we found a cardiologist  willing to see him, so our veterinarian canceled his remaining appointments and rushed us to the veterinarian's office located about an hour or so away from Wylie.

The specialist ran several tests and administered medication that corrected the rhythm of Jasi’s heart, but sadly the medicine only worked for a very short time.   

The tests revealed that Jasi had a hole in his heart and his heart values were not opening and closing properly.  We had him on a medicinal drip that helped slow his heart down a little, but it did not correct his heart rhythm. 

I was completely unprepared to lose Jasi.  I begged the vets to find some type of treatment we could administer to Jasi so he could live a long happy life with us.  Sadly, there was no treatment available.  If we removed Jasi from the medicinal drip and tried to make the long trip home during rush hour traffic, the cardiac specialist predicted Jasi would probably die in the car from a massive heart attack.  The cardiac specialist informed us that most cats do not live as long as Jasi did with his type of heart problems and that there was no treatment to fix his damaged heart.

I couldn’t believe that I was going to lose Jasi that day…that hour.  A thousand questions ran through my mind, the most prevailing question being, “Did I miss any symptoms that I should have caught sooner?  “No,” said the cardiac specialist, “there was no way you could have foreseen this type of heart problem.”  The specialist told us that by the time cat owners realize their cats are in cardiac distress, it is already too late to save the animals.

So on Wednesday, July 25th, little Jasi passed away quietly in my arms at the veterinarian’s office. 

I didn’t want you to think that Jasi wasn’t as important as Keenan and Okemo, seeing how we were able to have memorial services and publish special blog dedications to both our wonderful cats. 

Jasi’s passing was such a shock to me, the staff and the volunteers.  We simply were not mentally prepared to lose our boy.  It is still very hard for me to make my rounds and see little Neffie sitting or playing all by herself.  Neffie is doing okay—she continues to search the enclosure for the Jasi and sometimes she looks a little lost without him.  I think we are all a little lost without our curious little boy.

I would give just about anything to have just one more moment with Keenan, Jasi, and Okemo—one more hug, one more kiss on the nose and one more chance to hear their chuffs or chirps.  I am just so grateful that I was given an opportunity to know these three cats, even though I wish I had lots more time with them all.

God bless you Jasi...we miss you....
Speaking for all of us at In-Sync Exotics, I’d like to thank you all for your words of condolences and comfort.  Your outpouring of love for Keenan, Jasi, and Okemo via e-mail, Facebook, and the blog truly means a lot to all of us as we face another day of mourning.  Yet despite our feelings of loss, all of us at In-Sync Exotics continue to wake up each day, get out of bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then go out and meet and greet each cats (and Nugget) by name.  We love seeing their beautiful faces, knowing that they are truly gifts from God, inspiring us all to work a little bit harder to make sure our animals have the best home ever called In-Sync Exotics.

Vicky Keahey
CEO & President
In-Sync Exotics

I can't believe you're gone, my Jasi, I can’t believe you are gone.
Why did you have to leave me, so suddenly without a sound?

I will miss everything about you, especially your sweet personality,
You were fun, you were playful, you were so amazing to me.

Now I have nothing but pictures and memories to remember you by,
As I sit here and think about how much I really miss you now,
You were such a beautiful boy, always ready to greet me with a smile,
I can't believe how much I miss you, forever and right now.

I love you with all of my heart and will remember our good times together,
I may cry and be sad, but for knowing you, my heart will sing forever.

I know we’ll meet again, at another time and place,
Until that time, I will always feel your presence and see your sweet handsome little face.

I will see you again in Heaven, my friend, for that you can be sure,
I love you with all my heart,
So be wild, be free, my little Jasi friend.

Lord, you have embraced a good friend and loving animal named Jasi.  While we mourn what we have lost, we do celebrate what we had... and in saying goodbye, we renew our pledge to love and care for any creature you entrust to us for its time of life. Thank you, Lord, for the joy this loved one gave us and for making it possible for us to have made this friend's life a good one.



Farewell Sweet Okemo

And God asked Okemo’s spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied his precious soul
But, as a tiger, you must know
I am most able to decide when I must go.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied our whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
Since my human caretakers are very troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly they do.

But don't they understand? asked God
That you'll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
For your spirits are forever and forever more.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied our handsome Okemo
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
For I’m just a breath away from forever and forever more…

Our beloved Okemo crossed the Rainbow Bridge on the evening of Friday, July 27, 2012.  The most difficult decision we had to make was to decide when it was time to release Okemo from his failing body.  Our vet, board of directors, staff, those close to him were all consulted, but ultimately, we relied upon Okemo to tell us when he was ready to go.  As hard as it was to accept, Okemo told us last week that it was time.   He stopped eating, refused to get up, or talk to us.  He appeared tired and ready to go "home."

For our new blog followers, allow us to introduce you to Okemo. 

We first met Okemo when we went to the Wild Animal Orphanage to see what kind of help we could offer them.  At that time, Okemo was living in a large enclosure, all by himself, away from other animals. He looked so lonely, watching us with so much hope in his big beautiful eyes.   When we went up to say “hello” to him, Okemo immediately started chuffing up a storm, rubbing his body up against the enclosure walls.  He was very friendly and so happy to see "people" that it broke our hearts to leave him behind that day.  On our way back to Wylie, Texas, Justin was intent that we return for our Okemo, laying out the case to our board of directors the necessity of accepting this precious tiger.

On August 14, 2011, we were thrilled to bring home our 18-year old tiger, ready to lavish him with lots of TLC.  We noticed Okemo was a little on the thin side and very skittish of the other big cats.  It took a long time for Okemo to get used to having other cats around him, but it didn’t take long before Okemo was chuffing at our staff and volunteers.  He was such a love-bug -- we adored him!

Okemo with his pizza box on August 16, 2011
Our Facebook page

Ricki Hart He is quite the gentlemanly flirt!! After about 12 hours to settle in, he started chuffing like crazy! Comes right up to the fence to say "HI" and starts chuffing and rubbing the fence. We love him!!!
August 24, 2011

Jenny Cauthen Yager Ricki he was is a chuffing machine when I was cleaning his cage last weekend! He was very vocal, making cute little noises.
August 24, 2011 at 9:47am 

Our long time blog readers may recall Okemo used to be a little intimidated with his next door neighbors when he lived in Chuffing Park.  So, on November 27, 2011, Okemo moved from Chuffing Park to Aladdin's Castle.  Jasmine, his new neighbor, took to our boy right away, but Okemo often played it cool with our girl.  To read more about their introduction and to watch a video of Okemo moving into his new home, click HERE.

We first learned that Okemo was very sick about six months ago. In mid-February, Vicky noticed he had a swollen jaw on the right side of his face.  Our vet came out the next day to take a look at Okemo and decided it would be best to sedate him so a closer exam could be made while he was under.  So on February 23, 2012, Okemo was sedated and our vet examined his swollen jaw.  
Our vet cleaned and shaved Okemo’s jaw so he could see the swollen sac found on the right side of his chin.  Since the sac was filled with fluid, our vet lanced the sac allowing the accumulated blood, pus, and bone shavings to drain from his wound. Once the wound stopped draining, our vet thoroughly cleaned the area and took x-rays of Okemo’s jaw. We also drew blood from Okemo and both his blood and culture samples were sent off to be tested for any abnormalities.  When the tests came back, we were devastated by the resulting news—Okemo was diagnosed as having squamous cell carcinoma that spread to his lower jaw bone.  We also learned that Okemo was very sick at the time we brought him home to In-Sync Exotics, but his symptoms did not show up until early this year.  Eventually, the cancer ate away at his lower jaw bone until there simply wasn’t very much bone left.

With the passing of Okemo, Jasmine is now alone again.  First she lost her brother and cage mate, Raja, on October 23, 2011 and now she has lost her buddy, Okemo.  

Okemo was cremated on Saturday with many of his loved ones in attendance of his memorial ceremony.  Even though Okemo was with us for just shy of his twelfth month, we will never forget our handsome tiger...

We hope you enjoy our video of Okemo's "many faces."  We will never forget his wonderful facial expressions--not ever...