Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Build A Jungle Gym For Your Leopard Lounge....

The first thing you need to build a Jungle Gym in your Leopard Lounge is a Handy Friend with a Chainsaw. And Tree Skills. High on the list of things that are really cool about being involved in Derby (and it's a long list, but that's another blog) is chances are there will always be someone on your team who has skills you lack and you rarely have to look further than your teammates for help. Meet Arm and Slam'er. (Hereafter referred to as simply "Slam'er. Good name for her. Trust me, when she hits you....Oops digressing again)

And you need a tree. A nice big old dead one.

This has got to be one of, if not THE most Zen Chainsawing pictures ever taken, if I do say so myself. Clearly, it's an art form.

Now, the next step involves some pondering. You can't just take the whole Tree Beast, you need to cut it up into manageable portions. That's Stunt Double on the left. Boss has been to only the one Bout so far, but she is definitely his favorite skater. He still talks about her. (Boss is a fine judge of skating. The women, hereafter referred to as SD, can SKATE. Stopping there or I'll risk this turning into a Derby blog. Again)

Once you have your Tree Beast cut up into manageable, creative, interestingly shaped pieces and loaded onto your handy truck, the real fun starts.

The Bengals were very involved, of course, in the process. That's Madame Mim there, running about, while Slam'er and SD begin to build. I tried to be helpful, but there was a certain, um, feeling, going on that perhaps things would go better if I didn't help so much. No worries, I have other skills and did fine with taking pics, making lunch and bringing beers. SOmeday I'm going to chainsaw something tho...

Venus does a lot of disapproving some days, especially when anything changes, but I think she is liking this. This is her first venture out onto the branches.

Venus is a later generation Bengal, an F4, which means she is four generations away from the Asian Leopard Cat. Even four generations away from Leopard is a LOT of cat. There's a saying with Bengals that once you have one, you don't try and make them adapt to your house. You adapt for them. That's the way it works. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy. Not every Bengal is going to need a Leopard Lounge, many are quite happy as indoor kitties, but these wanted OUT. So I made it possible.

Mim knows what she wants. She's ready for some climbing. This entire project came about because Mim has some serious pee issues and was wrecking my Spooky House. Tried everything, and finally, got her on some Kitty Prozac, and built her a Leopard Lounge. It's working. I don't think tho that Bengals are any more prone to pee issues than any cat. I have five (The Royals, King Lear the Huge and Little Queen Mab live upstairs. They will get a Scream porch soon, and we'll do a feature on them)

Here's SD attempting to tie up a branch with some sisal rope. Venus is helping her. I love the expression on Venus's face "What? Me? Not doing nothing here..."

Bengals like to climb, and have no trouble with leaps up to 8 feet. Cat trees, entertainment centers, refrigerators are all favorite leaps. Once UP on something, they will regale you with entires dialogs about their amazing leaps. Non-stop. And where most cats are pretty much limited to "Mew", Bengals make a variety of sounds which vary from screams to bird-like noises. They TALK.

They like hiding too, and having places to lounge in. Indoor Bengals may and will, trust me, enjoy boxes. They will sit in them proudly. Defend them, and regale in the experience. Everything these kitties do is full on. You do not want them to be bored. They WILL find something to do.

This is Magic, he's an F1, meaning his Daddy was an Asian Leopard and Mum was an early Generation Bengal. You'll have to go back thru the blog to read his entire story, but it makes my heart so happy to see HIM so happy now, and able to be what he is, and also, know love. It took a long time.

I don't have any pictures of him climbing on the Jungle Gym, but just a moment ago, I took a break to show skater Jinx'd Karma and ref Hard Left the Leopard Lounge and they got to see Magic climbing for the first time. Amazing moment. Magic has NO claws. All four gone. One of the biggest problems with the Early Generation Bengals is that people decide to get one (and spend an average of $3000 on one) and DO NOT know what they are doing. No clue. It's the "Cute little kitty with spots" syndrome. When the Cute Kitty turns into a teenager and oh my, starts acting like a Leopard, they are not prepared. He gets a new home. And another. And ends up in a shelter, who won't take him, because, this is not an animal that is adoptable.

That's Magic's story. And that's where we come in, at Great Lakes Bengal Rescue. We save them.

We are now entering the Way To Many Bengal Picture territory, but as I have not yet heard anyone complain, we will go on....

And on....(I suppose this would be a good moment to insert the story of how I got STUNG in the "lower back region" by an Evil WASP, while hauling branches to the truck and ran screaming, tearing my clothes off as I ran, not at MY house where I have been battling Evil WASPS all week, but at Boss's, but I think we'll let that one go. All I can say is that they have some sort of WASP Instant Message thing going on, and they ARE out to get me.)

And on. Here's the three of them lounging. It was HOT today. Whole lot of sweat going on, and I can't thank Slam'er and SD enough for coming and building my Leopards a Jungle Gym. I've never seen Venus, Mim and Magic so happy, and I'm not sure they can know how wonderful a gift this was, for me and the Bengals. I couldn't have done it without them. Really, really couldn't have. THANK YOU! (Insert Derby Love Moment here)

Gentle Readers, I give you: The Leopard Lounge!

Love and Leopards,


At 21:06 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do some amazing good work.

At 21:07 Blogger Kate T said...

Amazing. When you say you adapt your home for them, you ADAPT your home for them. Congratulations on work well envisioned and completed. It's good to see everyone - cats and humans - so happy and satisfied.

At 21:09 Blogger Yasmine Galenorn said...

Love to see them happy and what a wonderful retreat for them. You do great things for your babies.


At 21:12 Blogger Dragonsally said...

That tree has made the Leopard Lounge perfect. Wish I could build one like that for Tysie.
Will they be going out in winter?

At 21:36 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

Almost enough bengal pics in that one. I'm glad everyone is enjoying the bengal resort. I enjoy pics of HAPPY bengals.

At 21:43 Anonymous MsIrishGypsy said...

I am in awe. I'd better not let my Bengals see this or they'll want one too.

At 21:45 Anonymous werefrog said...

yay yay yay for beautiful outcomes and happy endings and friends with skills and saws!!

At 21:57 Blogger bengalgirl said...

It is FABULOUS but then I expected that! Lucky, lucky, bengals. And LUCKY, LUCKY, GLBR to have you as a supporter together with your wonderful fiends!!!

At 23:10 Blogger Beez said...

That is some kind of awesome. They look so happy!

Sorry your NICE"lower back" got stung. Hive mind, y'know.

At 00:02 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Awesomess all over the place :-)

At 00:11 Blogger spacedlaw said...

What a magnificent place! So many happy kitties pictures! (we can never get enough, by the way).

Oh and wasp do have IM. They're on Twitter too. And they're out to get you. I won't ask how it come that your butt was stung But now I am left with the impression that you might have worn jail pants (mind you what with losing weight, it can happen).

At 00:27 Blogger vampi said...


that looks like a fun space.

At 00:58 Blogger vampi said...

nice ass :)

At 03:23 Blogger Marjorie said...

There is no such thing as "too many Bengal pictures"

I love that you just happen to have handy friends with chainsaws, and love even more that you're willing to make such a wonderful lounge and gym for your leopards;)

The wasps are
Probably jealous, both of your fine ass and that they don't get custom- built accommodation from you. I guess at least at Boss's place you don't have to explain to any neighbours why you're suddenly naked in the garden ..

At 06:32 Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so damn amazing. So much love going on -- from Awesome Derby Friends to Leopard Happiness! It is really, really wonderful.

Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing this; it is the perfect way to start my Saturday. :-) ~Ali

At 08:23 Blogger dabbler said...

This made me cry, they look so happy and at home.

Also, nice CHAIN SAW.

At 08:23 Blogger dabbler said...

Bother. Tick

At 09:58 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

Your lounge and your Bengals are incredible awesome.

At 10:48 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I had coffee in the Leopard Lounge this morning, they LOVE the Jungle Gym, and all of them are climbing on it. Mim barely comes IN anymore, she's so happy.

I'm so happy I built it, it's so much more than I even thought...

Yes. My poor Nice Ass. STUNG. Totally. It's kind of funny. Sort of.

At 11:17 Blogger Jane said...

They look so happy. This is an amazing lounge :-)

Never too many Bengal pictures. Or cat pictures of any kind, actually.

DH had a sting that got infected - Maybe someone should keep an eye on your ass and make sure it heals well.

Bengals in the snow - that will be a fun day :-)

At 11:23 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

You now have a nice ass story to tell, though. Most of us will never have that. We have to lie, unfortunately.

At 13:38 Blogger DataGoddess said...

Glad that you were able to make it so Magic could climb, with his poor clawless feet! I hope the girls don't tease him about that ;-)

Any chance the Royals might get a turn in there, just to try it out?

And I'm sorry your NICE ASS was stung. I agree, you need someone to keep an eye on it. Maybe your stalker wife could do that as she's checking out the rest of you from the bushes??

At 14:17 Blogger Cecily said...

I am not sure there is a possibility of "too many bengal pics". Seriously.

It looks amazing. And I want to play!

At 14:33 Blogger Pi R Squared said...

The lounge looks great!

Love all the pics of leopards (and women w/ chainsaws!)

Sorry bout your butt, but glad the kitties are happy with their new outdoor access.

At 18:26 Blogger Becca said...

I am SO coming over when I go back to Mayo in a couple months. This is awesome. It will make a splendid haunted house come fall... ;)

At 21:25 Anonymous AmyK said...

Fantastic :) I loved the pictures.

At 23:56 Blogger Cecily said...


At 08:39 Blogger Ms T said...

I just love that look on Venus' face. I know that look well...

And ouch! Hope your ass is recovering well. Wasps are evil.

At 09:06 Blogger Phiala said...

Everyone looks so happy!

I have blueberry-sourdough-whole wheat-duck egg scones for Sunday brunch; feeling rather pleased myself.

At 09:54 Blogger Marjorie said...

Sounds delicious! I have freshly made apple & bramble jelly. I haven't eaten any yet, but it smells great, and seems to be setting nicely!

At 15:03 Blogger vampi said...

i totally read that as duck scones, and i was trying to figure that one out. would they be crispy like crackers?

badum tish

At 21:32 Blogger Cecily said...

OK so I am going to sound like a spambot for a second...

I have recently come to find Adele, and am totally in love with this woman's voice. If you haven't heard her yet, which yes I realize I am late to the party,but I might not be the only one...Go listen to Adele, Set Fire To The Rain and Rolling In The Deep...I'll wait...

*sings along*

OMG wasn't that AWESOME?!?!?

At 22:23 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Adele blows me away too Ceci - I adore her to bits, both her and her music.

At 22:34 Blogger Cecily said...

I can always count on you Sally, to be right there with me. :-)

Have you seen her appearance on Graham Norton? She is sucha a dork! OMG I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!!

At 22:48 Blogger Dragonsally said...

EXACTLY - yes, that interview really made me fall in love with her. She's just so, well, adorable doesn't do it credit.

and Graham Norton - there's another celeb crush of mine.

At 22:59 Blogger Cecily said...

YES!!! She is so cute and goofy!

And I do love Graham, but I do not have a crush on him, as I was able to stop falling in love with gay men once I left high school...but before then...dear gods did I always seem to fall in love with gay men. I'm still not convinced that my ex-husband isn't a gay man desperately trying to prove that he isn't. LMAO!

Back to Graham...I have this secret fantasy of becoming an American correspondent for him, and doing those awful undercover camera things here in the US for him. :-)

At 09:55 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Adele rocks. Hands down.

I am not rocking today. Sleeeeeepy!!!! Trying to get my head around work. Want bed!!!

At 11:39 Anonymous Anonymous said...

*pops in* I love Adele. She has such an amazing voice (beyond amazing, really) and those lyrics! They cut straight to the heart.

Also, Graham Norton is hilarious. He makes me laugh almost as much as Eddie Izzard. *grin* ~Ali

At 12:10 Blogger vampi said...

i <3 adele and graham. boy calls him that "british guy with the show" but enjoys watching the show with me. she was hilarious on graham. she's so real. you can tell she's a young girl, making her way in her terms trying to stay sane. that's what i love about grahams show, the conversations go in so many unexpected places, he pokes fun in a loving way and disarms them and they relax. it usually works. also, his suits are so shiny!

*runs off an listens to adele at work.

At 15:28 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

Oh yeah, I love Adele!

In other news, I am having the reading experience of a whole lifetime with "The Brothers Karamazov." Oh yes ... most definitely.

At 09:23 Blogger Cecily said...

Vampi, yes he is very good at disarming people with his overt sexual references and adorable goofiness. And I do love it when he has on someone that he is really comfortable with and they get a banter going, but I also really love it when he has someone on that has never seen his show. Especially if their American and think it's going to be like an American talk show...those interviews crack me up sooo much.

Oh and one of my favs was when he had Brandon Frasier on. Oh My Gods

At 11:01 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous!

At 11:05 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hot. Humid. Rain, but no storms.

I do believe I am grumpy today.

At 11:09 Blogger Cecily said...

*puts on her Pooh Bear thinking cap to try to help you feel better*

think think think

ummm...yeah my go to thing when I
m trying to feel better is boobs, so that's all I can think of! I must remember to put on a bra before my rehearsal tonight.

OH if you didn't notice on the Book of Faces, I am doing a kids play! WITH MY DAUGHTER! I am so very happy that my 13 year likes to hang out with me.

At 11:12 Blogger Cecily said...

And I am completely ashamed of my editing of that last comment...stupid hurrying...

At 11:15 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Awww. Virtual chocolate. Hugs.

At 18:53 Blogger Precision Grace said...

Ahh the leopard lounge of awesomeness just got even more awesome. Tres

It's hot and sticky here and my cats are all elsewhere. #unlike

I always knew working as a PA didn't agree with me and this morning when my boss shouted at me in front of people for doing something I did not in fact do, I was more sure than ever, that PA-ing is not for me. You kill yourself, go out of your way to help somebody and then they have a bad day and damp a whole load of excrement on you. I don't care how stressed and how much they apologise afterward, there is just no excuse. Bah and triple bah. At least, I'm proud of myself for more or less keeping my cool. Ish. Still feel mildly grumpy about it.

At 21:27 Blogger vampi said...

pg, i would say that's a fail on the person yelling like an ass, not the job or the person being yelled at. those idiots are in every profession. i'm sorry that happened to you.

you should start adding time for meditation on compassion into their schedule.

At 13:48 Blogger Jess said...

Yay! That is very cool. I am happy to see your beasts happy. :)

At 11:11 Blogger moo said...

That is absolutely awesome. One of our rats is a rex, and she has slightly curly claws, and struggles to climb with them. I can't imagine how a totally declawed cat copes. :-(

At 12:26 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Went on my roof to hose off the solar panels yesterday and was confronted by a half-dozen wasps. I quickly retreated down the ladder, luckily, unstung. Called a guy out today and he just removed 5 nests from under the panels. It was a regular party up there!

Tomorrow is ben's 7th bday...can't believe it!

At 15:45 Blogger Marjorie said...

Happy (belated) birthday to Ben!

How is everyonr this Friday evening?

At 22:15 Blogger Jess said...

I've got a head cold or something. How is Marjorie?

At 00:17 Blogger Marjorie said...

Oh no! I've been sneezing & wheezing but that's down to hayfever & poor air quality. Not as bad as a real cold.

Spent Friday evening starting a 2nd batch of bramble jelly & watching Doctor Who.

At 20:46 Blogger Dragonsally said...


Hey Fiends who are in teh FB group...go check out my suggestion.

At 21:52 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hello darlings!!!

Good news: Monday the Bengals get Bird Feeders and next Friday: Jungle Gym Part 2!! We're building onto it!

But tomorrow: Another day at the Brat STand. Oh yes. I'm getting good at this. And darned if it isn't fun. (Derby FUndraiser, I've not lost my MIND)

Sally, what is this suggestion? I want to know!

At 02:21 Blogger Dragonsally said...

You are in the group, oh Leader! Its to write a sort of chain story - by snail mail. Completed story to go on The Night Garden site I thought. I didn't think but some people might rather do a pic, or photo or something.
I was remembering how much fun it was, back in my yoof, to get chain mail letters from people overseas, and then send it on.

At 06:37 Blogger Jess said...

That's a very cool idea, Sally. I'd recommend getting together with Na on it if you think it'd be a good Night Garden thing. She'll be taking the night gardeny helm as of November.

At 17:43 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Ooooh, ok Jess.

Na - I'll email you.

At 17:45 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Do we have any Fiends in the tumultuous parts of England, or with family members or friends there? If so, I hope all are safe and well.

At 17:59 Blogger vampi said...

:( it's so sad to read about. i hope everyone is safe and unharmed. i hope peace is restored quickly, and the looters brought to justice. I hope those businesses that have been destroyed can rise from the ashes.

At 05:30 Blogger Marjorie said...

I'm not anywhere near the trouble spots. ihave family living in Peckham, but from what I have been able to work out from the news the rioting and fires there were a little distance from their home, so hopefully they have not been too badly affected.

At 08:13 Blogger One Sock Short said...

I've been away half of forever. Been skimming the posts themselves from time to time. This summer has been... well... very summer.

Glad to hear you and yours are safe and sound, Marjorie. I hope that's true of the Mr. Jess family as well.

At 12:12 Blogger Cecily said...

I saw this and it made me think of you all.

I see you driving
Round town the girl I love
And I'm like, haiku

At 12:22 Blogger vampi said...


love it.

At 15:00 Blogger Na said...

doh lost a comment. to wit: Lihua, i read Brothers Karamazov when i was around 19 or so. a prof recommended reading it once as a young person (as i was then), once in the middle years, once as an older person.

At 15:05 Blogger Na said...

and Sally-O, yes please do email me! or i'll send you a note later this week. i've been a-brainstorming.

At 16:18 Blogger Jess said...

Socky - Mr. Jess's family are well clear of the danger zone. Was more worried about London-area friends of ours, but by all accounts, they're okay.

Marjorie - Hope the family's okay. :/

At 16:33 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I'm so relieved Marjorie and Mr Jess's families are okay. What about Hellie? Was really sad for the boss of our Quiche, without his childhood haunts being so badly affected.

At 10:24 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Something exciting is coming on Friday...

The Leopard Lounge Jungle Gym is expanding.

And there's a contest coming....Seems Purina is offering $10,000 for the best video of a "Cat Project" you have made for your cats....

I do believe we'll be shooting that vid on Friday as well.

I do believe we win the thing Janet is going to be very, very happy.

At 10:28 Blogger Chantrelle said...

That would be awesome Q! It should win!!

Ben just walked out the door to soccer camp...3 hours to get stuff done...Go!
Oh, wait...tea first.

At 12:14 Blogger Cecily said...

That sounds awesome!

On a different note, if you didn't see on the Book of Faces, Becca is back in the hospital with sepsis. I'm sure she would appreciate some Fiend love.

At 12:17 Blogger vampi said...

how can you not win? the leopard lounge is amazing. i want one and i'm not even a leopard.

i think the leopard tube is my favorite pary. so smart

At 23:29 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Oh look, someone has copied their lecturer's comments on an assignment and made it into spam!

At 23:09 Blogger vampi said...

i was wondering if Ms Me Deadly and others had noticed that Bath and body has some halloween stuffs out yet. specifically this light up coffin skellie hand soap!


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