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The other day my boss had the Division over for a picnic/party.

Not this kind of cat

Burgers, dogs, beer (or, in our case, rum): the normal summertime shindig. He lives in a rural area in East Central Florida where there are lots of farms, groves and horses. We had a good time meeting people’s spouses and kids in a relaxed setting.

A woman in our group happens to live very close to my boss. Her family has been involved for the past several years with a cat rescue program. Now, we’re not talking tabby cats here, we’re talking big cats. Very big cats. At one point late in the afternoon a bunch of us drove down the street to her house and strolled into her neighbor’s back yard where these cats are kept. I was glad I had my good camera.

These folks have a huge cage in their backyard, just beyond the pool (this is Florida after all). Behind three layers of chain link fencing are two 400 pound tigers. They are, to say the least, impressive. Particularly after a couple of adult beverages. Before we were allowed into the inner enclosure we were warned to not stick our fingers through the chain link fence. As if THAT was going to be an issue. The reason was not in fear that they’d be used as a snack, but that these tigers are pretty much like any other cat in many ways. Cats like to rub against things. Four hundred pounds of cat rubbing against fingers stuck through fence equals broken fingers.

No fingers were harmed in the making of these photos.

Mims, FL, 6/4/11

Mims, FL, 6/4/11

Mims, FL, 6/4/11

Mims, FL, 6/4/11

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