I sat (and I mean sat) in the freezing cold wind with a cheetah for three hours the other day. During that time, we spent at least a half hour each devoted to staring at the following – springbok, donkeys, cars, and random people WAYYYYYY in the distance. None of these creatures/items were within striking distance of the cat, nor did she make a move to get any closer to them. But apparently that doesn’t matter. It was like the cat had DSTV and was just switching channels between kitty NASCAR, the Discovery Channel, Farmer’s Weekly, and E! She didn’t move in three hours. Just turned her head slightly in four directions to take in her four different shows. I was less than amused, and kept myself entertained by drawing pictures in the hard dirt. Then I practiced throwing stones. No, not at the cat.
When she did eventually move her feline butt, she walked up to me, nuzzled me under the chin and waited for me to give her some belly and behind-the-ear rubs before finally sauntering back to her enclosure. That was my afternoon. I sat throwing rocks, sketching masterpieces in dirt that by tomorrow will have blown away, and occasionally watching her TV shows with her.
The cheetah isn’t much of a conversationalist, to say the least. And their interest level seems pretty much contained to moving objects of any kind, particularly if tied to a colourful string. Watching them follow me blindly as they swat at a plastic bottle filled with rocks and tied to a string sort of diminishes their exotic allure a bit. All in all, not very much different from your common house cat. Just a bit bigger and spottier, honestly.
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