Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Friday And You Know What That Means--Recap!

It's Friday and you know what that means!  Time for your weekly round up with just a touch of extra news--all for you!

On Monday, we welcomed a new Intern, Gretta May Antrican, said goodbye to our Intern, Julie Vria, and introduced to you a cute video of Jasper and his blanket!  To read Monday's blog posting, please click HERE!
Tuesday's posting was a medical update on Twiggy, Moses, Aramis, Tacoma, Spike, Mohan, Aasha, and Gideon! You may recall last week we reported on animals' medical challenges incurred over the Thanksgiving Week while the blog was on "vacation." Well,  it was time to share with you their medical outcomes!  Click HERE for your medical update!

Do you have a special Home Away From Home that you can't wait to get back to each week?  Robin Gibson shares her thoughts on what it was like to return to her favorite sanctuary after being away for several months.  We are glad you are back, Robin!  To read Robin's story and our 12-days to Christmas Update, click HERE for Wednesday's blog posting! By the way, have you purchased your 2012 In-Sync Exotics calendar yet?
Yesterday, we were treated with another edition of Janis Danner's Cat-o-tonic History Tales! This time, we explored cat mythos, with a few challenges thrown in to keep us on our cat toes!  Click HERE to read the latest edition of Cat-o-tonic History Tales!

Christmas Bake Sale Update!

We have some exciting news!  As you may have noticed, our first flier included City Vet, one of our Bake Sale's returning sponsors, who has been most generous providing the big event with items to sell and give away (thank you, City Vet!).  Now two more sponsors have been added to the 2012 Christmas Bake Sale!  Let's give two paws of approval to Venable Royalty (a returning sponsor) as they will also match what we raise, dollar for dollar and to Paper Mart, first time sponsor, who has graciously given us a discount on all of our packaging we purchased from them!  To learn more about our sponsors, please click on their links below!

Visit their Facebook page at:

Visit their Facebook page at:

Visit their website at:

This leads us to an important note:  Every dollar the 2012 Christmas Bake Sale raises, results in an automatic matching, dollar for dollar.  So if you cannot make it to the bake sale and would like to make a donation, please mail a check or money order, made out to In-Sync Exotics, to: 

Corby Bryant
 c/o Venable Royalty, Ltd
5910 North Central Expressway
Suite 1470
Dallas, Texas, 75206

Please email Corby Bryant (click HERE for email address) with any questions you may have regarding the upcoming Bake Sale! Don't forget to check out 2012 Christmas Bake Sale's blog and Pintrest pages.  Yep, the event has it own blog and Pintrest pages, so click HERE to learn more about this event and check out the tasty treats up for sale, Monday, December 17th!

Click HERE for a printable flier, ready to be displayed or given out to local businesses, co-workers, friends, and of course, family members!  Thank you for helping us make this the best Christmas Bake Sale ever!

Christmas With The Cats!

Our Christmas lights were strung with care by our hard working staff and volunteers (and they look gorgeous, if we do say so ourselves!)    The cats are frisky, enjoying the cooler air.  The sweet sounds of lions' roars can be heard everywhere.  The cider and hot chocolate is ready to be enjoyed. Alas, all that's missing from this wonderful event is...well, YOU!

Come on out tonight (Friday) or Saturday evening for a night time tour you will never forget.  And if you want to make your time with us extra special why not make a VIP Christmas With The Cats Tour reservation today!  For details and a printable flier, please click HERE!


Great Christmas Gifts Ideas!

Have you seen all the great gifts displayed on our on-line gift shop?  No? Well, here's your chance to check them out!  We have hoodies for people and puppies, sweatshirts, warm stadium blankets, mugs, PJs, cards, ornaments, stockings, and so much more! There's still time to mail your gifts to friends and family.  So don't today!  Click HERE for our on-line gift ship!

We hope you enjoyed this week's blog posting! Be sure to check back next week for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! We hope to see you soon as we are open for tours Friday-Sunday!  For tour information please click HERE.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cat-o-tonic History Tales Looks at Cat Tales!

Welcome to another edition of Janis Danner's Cat-o-tonic History Tales!  Today, we are going to explore cat mythos--and we'll present you with certain challenges.  Is it real or fake?  True or false?  Is your mind boggled yet?  No?  Well then,  you are ready to dive right into this cat tale...

Cats and especially the domestic cat have a very strong presence in the American psyche. Imagine what anthropologists will think about us when years from now they find The Cat in the Hat and Puss N Boots books! And just how will they explain that thing called a Cat’s Cradle? (The string game probably originated in China and Korea, but variations are played all over the world.)

Future archaeologists will find amazing artifacts like these photos found on the Internet and passed around on Facebook. Can you tell which are fake? Or perhaps they are all real photos?  Hmmmm...
#1 - Real or Fake?

#2 - Real or Fake?

#3 - Real or Fake?

#4 - Real or Fake?

#5 - Real or Fake?

#6 - Real or Fake?

You can find the answer at the bottom of this blog!

There are also some pretty interesting stories being told about our domestic friends. I’m sure we’ve all been told that black cats crossing our paths means bad luck; so much so that the black cat has one of the lowest adoption rates from shelters (and dogs too--guilty by association?). The history of black cats being bad luck can be traced back at least to the Middle Ages in Europe when superstitions about them caused many mass killings that had the unwanted effect of increasing the rat population and spreading the Bubonic plague. Even though there is no evidence that these practices were widespread in the British Isles, the Pilgrims brought to America a suspicion of anything deemed of the devil and were a deeply suspicious group. They viewed the black cat as a companion, or a familiar to witches. Anyone caught with a black cat would be severely punished or even killed. They viewed the black cat as part demon and part sorcery. These suspicions have been passed down from generation to generation and continue to be told. As Halloween becomes a more popular holiday in the US, the black cat gets even more of a bad rap!

In contrast, there are numerous cultural superstitions where a black cat portends good luck. Here are a few examples:
  • In many Asian countries, owning a black cat today is considered lucky.
  • In England, a black cat is good luck – unless you live in Yorkshire and then it is deemed bad luck!
  • In Scotland, a black cat suddenly appearing on your doorstep is a sign of future prosperity.
  • In the 18th and 19th century in Northern Europe, a fisherman’s wife would actively seek out a black cat as it was believed it would ensure her husband’s return home safely after a fishing expedition.
  • In Japan, black cats are a sign of good luck. Many single women seek a black cat as this cat is believed to bring many suitors. 
  • In ancient Egypt, the black cat personified the goddess Bast, and was believed to bring good fortune.
Pirates of the 19th Century believed that a black cat would bring different kinds of luck. If a black cat walks towards someone, that person will have bad luck. If a black cat walks away from someone then that person will have good luck. If a black cat walks onto a ship and then walks off it, the ship was doomed to sink on its next trip. 

In Bangladesh where there are many tigers, the widows of tiger victims though not actually called witches, are considered bad luck and are often socially ostracized and consigned to lives of loneliness and poverty. Some of these women have grouped together to form the Tiger Widow Association to try and develop new ways to make a living and push for fairer treatment.

Besides the black cat stories, we can find even more carefully crafted tales in our American mythos. An episode of Friends describes the Egyptian Hairless Cat, but have you ever seen one?  How about that special breed of Eskimo cats that are descended from a litter introduced into a refrigerated plant in Pittsburgh to kill the varmints there? And in San Francisco no cats of any breed are allowed to walk on the Golden Gate Bridge because their gait will set the bridge swinging and cause it to fall down. If you ever move to scorpion territory, make sure you get a cat as a pet because they are immune to the scorpion sting. (All were fake--urban legends and fake stories)

Here's an easy one: A cat has nine lives. (If you said true, you need to re-read the blog again--from the beginning!)
Big Cats have their share of stories also. On one travel forum, this information was shared: “Tigers only attack when your head is turned away from it, so wear one of those funny face masks on the back of your head all the time, even if there are no tigers. It may fool the odd cougar too.” (True and false)

It is true that tigers usually stalk their prey from behind, and it is not wise to be the last man walking single file with others down a trail. But this is an old article. The Sundarban Tiger Preserve in India actually issued masks, and for a while it seemed that tigers were tracking and stalking but not killing folk wearing masks. Tigers that had never seen this before would be wary and not attack, but more recently the tigers seem able to see through this ruse and can tell the difference between a real face and a mask.  I’m positive that In-Sync Exotic’s tigers could tell the difference, don't you?

I could not find any evidence of truth or fiction for cougars. The next time you ride a bike down a deserted Texas Hill Country trail, you might consider wearing that Halloween mask on the back of your head just in case there's a cougar stalking you!

If you are traveling in Africa, banging pots and pans will keep the lions away. (False!) Actually it might work the first time, but the lions soon figure out that it is humans without guns banging on those pots and pans, with dire outcome for the humans. (Sounds more like a dinner bell than a gun.)
Anyone who has seen Kiro react to his old keepers will know the answer to this one:  Did Christian the lion, reintegrated into the wild, really hug his owners when he was reunited with them? (True) Our Kiro never forgets!

I’m sure you all have heard similar cat stories! If myths, legends and artifacts from long ago can give us some insight into past cultures, what do these contemporary stories say about our culture and our relationship with cats?  Hmmm....this requires deep cat thought...

Most of our readers probably have not had an opportunity to come in close contact with big and/or small exotic cats. So, we welcome you to come visit In-Sync Exotics and spend some time watching both our exotics and their smaller relatives, the domestic cats.   Perhaps you can come up with a new mytho about cats!

As an aside, wouldn't these would make great Halloween costumes?
Now, let's see if you got our challenge correct -- were you able to tell which pictures were faked?  If you guessed the white cat (#2) and the black lion (3) as fakes, then you guessed correctly!  The other photos were real and not photo shopped!

We hope you enjoyed another installment of Janis' Cat-o-tonic History Tales!  Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Home Away From Home!

We love it when people write to us and share their stories about their time spent at In-Sync Exotics.  We received one such letter and after reading it, we knew we had to share it with you! The letter is from Robin Gibson, an In-Sync Exotics volunteer, and she wrote to us about how much she missed In-Sync Exotics while she was away from us for about three months on medical leave.  

So without further ado, here's Robin's story!

After being out for medical reasons for over three months, last month I started back (just to shadow ) to make sure I even remembered how everything was done.  Sure enough, there were lots of things I had forgotten.  You would think after doing something over and over for two years, you could just pick right up where you left off.  Right?  But no.  I forgot little things-- important things--like checking and netting the tub in Mane Street playground, which happened to have a dead mouse in it.  So after letting Amol out on the playground, we had to return him to his quarters, just so I could do what should have done in the first place, and then let him back out again. 

Also, I had forgotten how much WORK it is to clean cages.  After hosing my first cage, I was ready to sit down for a break.  I can’t believe how soft I’ve gotten in just a short amount of time.  I didn’t realize how fast things can change around here, especially procedures.  When you’re here every week, you just don’t notice when a change occurs, but try being gone (just three months) and it’s almost like starting completely over from scratch. 

And then, there are all the new faces (animal and human) to learn. Usually, when we get a new cat or volunteer, I meet him or her within a day or two after arrival. But now, I’m meeting and trying to get to know all the new faces at once, which can feel a little overwhelming. And don’t get me started on how quick the babies grew up in my absence.  Before I left, little Gideon used to fit in the palm of my hand and now he’s larger than my lap! It surprised and saddened me to see all I've missed in such a short amount of time. It’s also made me aware of just how much I LOVE and MISSED my second home!
Needless to say, we are very happy to have Robin back!  A lot has happened in the last several months as one can see by all our past blog postings. While the blog tries to keep up with all the changes, it's not really the same as actually being at In-Sync Exotics (but we try real hard to make it feel like you are there!).  We hope our former volunteers and interns, who are no longer at In-Sync Exotics, enjoy our blog postings so they don't feel like they are too far from their "home away from home."

Christmas Countdown!

One of our Facebook followers asked if we knew of any Cafepress discounts available at this time.  We've been checking two sites for discount coupons (RetailMeNot and FreeShipping) and as of yesterday evening, there were no coupons available.  BUT, coupons are posted without notice, so you will want to check these two sites for discounts that can be applied towards In-Sync Exotics' apparel, Christmas gifts and cards, mugs, stadium blankets, and so forth.  The Christmas ornaments and stockings are really cute this year!

Did you know that you can personalize our latest Christmas Card creation featuring Sabu and Jynxie?  Click HERE for the link to this adorable Christmas Card (your blog mistress purchased the Sabu and Jynxie postcards and they are really, really adorable!).  This card is the only one with the "personalized" feature.  

12-Days Until Bake Sale!

Are you ready to have your tummy tempted by some fabulous Christmas goodies?  Make note on your calendar to attend a very special one-day baking extravaganza on Monday, December 17th at the Premier Place Building, Dallas, Texas!  Click HERE for a map to the bake sale!

Need more details about this great event that benefits the animals?  Click HERE for our flier!

2013 In-Sync Exotic Calendars!

Buy. One. Today.  Enough said!  (See our "commercial announcement" for details)

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Have You Heard the Latest News?

It's time for medical update on Twiggy, Moses, Aramis, Tacoma, Spike, Mohan, Aasha, and Gideon!  You may recall last week we reported on animals' medical challenges incurred over the Thanksgiving Week while the blog was on "vacation."  Well, it's time to share with you their medical outcomes!

Twiggy is in fine spirits!  To our chagrin, Twiggy is running around the sanctuary, kicking up her heals as she passes by the lions and tigers on the way to the Office for attention. She does not appear to be limping or in any pain, so we are relieved that Twiggy's leg is on the mend.

Otis and Moses' spat came to an end without any lasting consequences.  Our vet came out last week and observed Moses as he walked around his quarters.  He determined that Moses did not have a broken leg and therefore did not require an x-ray.  Now that Moses has been on the mend for over a week, his walk has greatly improved and he is on his way to a full recovery!

Aramis' appetite, thankfully, has returned back to normal and all it took was a change in diet!  It is not uncommon for a cat to associate food with a bad vomiting experience, thereby causing the cat to refuse his meals.  In this case, Aramis was hungry, he just was afraid of his food as it was "guilty by association" with the vomited meals.  So we removed a portion of his regular meat and included ground chunk meat instead.  Once we presented this changed to his dining experience, Aramis resumed eating his meals with gusto.  Over time, we will slowly wean him off the chuck meat so he will return to his regular diet.

Tacoma has been eating pretty good for the last 4-5 days thanks to Vicky's coaching.  Tacoma would only eat after Vicky chased him around outside his quarters with words of encouragement. Vicky is hoping he'll resume his normal eating habit without all the encouragement as it can be rather tiring to do each evening!

Spike is still under close observation for his ruptured discs on his neck and upper spine. We should receive the results of the cultures taken at A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine last month sometime today.  Last night, Vicky observed Spike grooming himself and walking around his enclosure.  He does not appear to be in pain thanks to his pain management therapy.  We will keep you updated on Spike's medical progress as news comes available.

Mohan does not have cancer!!  Mohan does have a fatty cyst on his back.  His cyst is not life threatening and doesn't require removal unless it really bothers him.  Fatty cysts can occur anywhere on the body.  Their size can vary, but usually they are the size of a bean or a pea and are filled with gas, fluid, or a semi-solid substance.  Since his back lump grew a bit, it believed it was important to have it tested, just to make sure it was benign--and thankfully it was!

We have not decided when Aasha will go see the vet, but as soon as a date is set, we will let you know!

Little Gideon is doing just fine--last week we did not see any signs of seizures.  We are still waiting for the results of his blood test, as we  needed to see where his phenobarbital level is at this time.  The results should tell us if we need to adjust his seizure medication. We will keep you apprised of Gideon's medical progress as news comes available.

In the meantime, you may be interested to know that we found all four of Gideon's baby canine teeth and one back tooth!  Our little boy is growing up fast!

We have some great news on Lydia, our 16+ year old bobcat, who lives with Gideon and our other bobcats. You may recall that Lydia came to us with a tragic past.  After being shot in the leg and having the bullet and some bone removed, Lydia never regained full use of her leg.  When we introduced her to York Palace, we did not think she would be able to transverse the upper ramps and bridge.  We were wrong!  Despite limping on three legs, Lydia is able to trot around the playground, jump up on the platforms and climb up the ramps to the connecting bridge where we have seen her enjoying a cool breeze.  We are absolutely thrilled to see Lydia having so much fun in her new home, that we just had to share this good news with our readers!

World Wear Project

Something new has been added to In-Sync Exotics! We are helping our community "go green!" By partnering with World Wear Project, we can raise money for the animals when you bring to In-Sync Exotics your used items and place them in our new bin!  Since World Wear Project collects many and varied items that can be placed in the bin, it's time to clean out your closets, garage, and attic (if you have one) and bring to us the clothes and shoes you know that you'll never wear again.  Let's face it, the 70s, 80s and 90s are over and the odds that your old clothing will come back in fashion is slim to none, so let's surrender those old clothes for a great cause!

Items they accept:  Clothing, shoes, belts, purses, wallets, hats, caps, backpacks, hard toys, stuffed animals, and pots and pans. 

Items they do not accept:  Furniture of any kind, knives, kitchen appliances, appliances with cords, and items made of glass.

Almost 100% of our donated household items and clothing can be recycled, regardless of its condition.  By recycling your items, you will help In-Sync Exotics (we receive a check based on the amount donated), reduce solid waste, and provide employment to Texans!  Win-win!  So come out this weekend with your donated items, load up our bin, and then visit our cats. Two great causes all at the same site--you can't but help feel good about that, right?

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Hello, Goodbye, and Oh So Cute!

Welcome back to another exciting week at In-Sync Exotics!

Gretta with Lucca!
Today, we'd like to welcome our new Intern, Gretta May Antrican, who traveled all the way from Virginia, just so she could learn about exotic animal care at our sanctuary.  As recent college graduate with a minor in Biology, Gretta wanted to learn more about exotic cats and other types of carnivores, so she volunteered at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas.   

She has also volunteered her time and services with the  Human Society in Blacksburg, Virginia, for about four years.  When she is not volunteering or interning, Gretta works at the Reston Zoo, a 30-acre home to a wide variety of exotic animals (except for carnivores like tigers, lions, bears, wolves, etc).  By volunteering at In-Sync Exotics, Gretta is receiving a well-rounded work experience when it comes to the care and feeding of animals like our exotic cats and little Nugget!

Mohan greeting Gretta!

So when you see Gretta at In-Sync Exotics, please extend her a Texas-size welcome to In-Sync Exotics!  Welcome aboard, Gretta!

Julie with Tobias

We also said farewell to our Intern, Julie Vria, from Garland Texas.  We will miss you, Julie, especially Sabu, who loved to hear you sing to him!  

We interrupt this blog posting with a commercial announcement!

Our beautiful calendars will be available for pickup at our on-site Gift Store on Thursday, December 6th!  Each calendar costs $18 if you pick it up in person from our sanctuary's gift shop.  If you'd like to have a calendar shipped to you by standard mail, then the cost of the item is $18 + $3.00 (mail cost) for a total of $21.00 a piece.  So, for example, if you purchase a calendar for yourself and friend plus have them both mailed, then the total cost would be $21.00 x 2 = $42.00.

The In-Sync Exotics' 2013 calendar makes a terrific are you ready to order your special In-Sync Exotics calendar today?  Yes?  Great!  Here's how you can order:

Click HERE to pay by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express). Credit card payments can be made using our secure PayPal processor, so click on the "Donate" button to start the credit card transaction!

In the "purpose" box, please indicate the number of calendars purchased and where we should ship the calendar(s).  If shipping calendars to more than two destinations, you may have make separate purchases on-line so as to accommodate the text size of the addresses typed in the "purpose" box.

Remember, during the holiday season, mail takes a little longer in reaching its destination, so you'll want to order your calendars before December 16, 2012 so it will arrive before the start of 2013! 

If you want to pay by check, you can mail your calendar payment to:

In-Sync Exotics
PO Box 968
Wylie, Texas 75098

Remember to include the name and shipping address of the calendar(s)' recipient(s)!

And now we return you back to our regularly scheduled blog...


We close today with a really cute video of Jasper!  We hope you'll enjoy it too!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!