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sleepless sleeper

Unique Fantasy Come True - What's Yours?

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We have all experienced a day that is wonderful (I hope). That first kiss, birth of a child, etc. But what is something that you have experienced that is truly unique? Somehthing that was like a fantasy come true?

For me, I was able to play with a jaguar one day. Literally and not literally. We had a large piece of glass between us, but I LOVE big cats and if that was the best that I could do to be next to one, then so be it. I'm not a big fan of zoos, but I took my then 8 y.o. son to the Houston zoo. It was getting late and the sky was overcast. On our way out, we walked by the jaguar exhibit, which was very long and a bit narrow compared to the length. I think it was still a decent size considering the animal had to be in captivity. The exhibit did not have bars and was not separated from people with a fence. The entire portion that was exposed was surrounded by what appeared to be thick glass, but was probably some type of polycarbonate. There was no one else around and the jaguar looked so bored. I read that it was a female, and from her looks I'd say that she was just hitting adulthood. On a whim I knocked on the glass and ran the length of the cage, and she chased me. I ran back the other way, she chased me, and when I got to the end I jumped at the glass and put my hands on the glass as high as I could. She did the same thing and spread her paws the same width as my hands. I bent my knees just a bit and stood there face to face with her. Then I took off again. We did this for probably ten minutes. My son was so disinterested. (we went to houston to be w/ my mother getting tests at MD Anderson hospital - Keith wanted to get back to hotel w/ her)

I was getting winded, so I stopped. There was a foot or two, can't remember, of ground between sidewalk and jaguar exhibit. I sat to catch my breath and the cat came and laid next to me and rolled over to show her belly. If only I could have safely scratched it! Big cats truly have always been my favorite animal. I placed my hand on the glass, and she placed her paw on my hand again. I broke a twig that used to play with her as though she were a kitten playing with me. You know what? She tried to play with it. The zoo was closing and Keith really wanted to get back to my mother, so I left the jaguar. We played for probably twenty minutes. It's hard going to a zoo. It's hard leaving a zoo. It's hard leaving a jaguar behind that has pouty eyes asking were her playful dessert is going.

It was the closest thing to a (clean) unique fantasy fulfilled that I've had. Here are some pics that I took while playing. There were no mud marks on the glass when we got there. You'll see mud smears all over the glass in the pics. It's all from her trying to get me or touch paw to hand. It was hard to capture the fun, but man, isn't she incredible?:

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