Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Power Outage III: Lemons to Ocelots

The great blackout of 2012 continues to be a topic of great discussion in these parts.  Fortunately, after a refreshing stay at a refugee center in Baltimore we recognized that power wasn't coming on again anytime soon and decided to make the best of it.

I have a brother in Philadelphia who I don't see very often, and he has a pair of delicious daughters who the GoofClan simply can't see enough!  Since we were pretty certain power wouldn't return anytime soon, we made a little impromptu trip.  We had some great quality time with my brother and his family.  As always, my elder niece stole the show, and GoofGirl really enjoyed playing older sister.

My niece has been dubbing people as different fruits.  She determined that I am a strawberry.  My brother marveled, she had never called anyone a strawberry before.

Also, I picked up a pair of foam swords so my brother and I could whack each other with them.  Our wives rolled their eyes - but our daughters loved it.

Day of the Ocelot
I also fulfilled a promise.

GoofGirl wanted to see an ocelot, and I promised her something special.  The Brandywine Zoo, a nice little zoo not far from my brother had an ocelot and so we went.

I was a bit concerned, as GoofGirl had told me at great length, ocelots are nocturnal so I was concerned that the ocelot might be sleeping.  GoofGirl would be disappointed, and she would share her disappointment with us in excruciating detail.

But we were extra-lucky.  The ocelot was wide awake and patrolling its enclosure.  What's more, one of its keepers was out front answering questions.  I asked her if she had ever been bitten by an animal.  She told us how in her first job at a zoo, she was doing outreach and a kid bit her, but never an animal.  This ocelot is not tame, whenever it can it grabs birds that come into its cage.  It has also been taught (not trained, cats are not trained) to go to certain parts of its enclosure for certain activities, like feeding time and medical checks.

I kept the nice young woman talking at great, great length while GoofGirl scouted out the security arrangements.  Unfortunately, there did not appear to be any way to smuggle the ocelot out.

I only promised we would see this gorgeous cat, not that we would take it home.

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