ingredients for a fun weekend

First, invite some pals over for a Friday night sushi rolling dinner.

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Myra’s a vegetarian, so I did mostly veggie fillings (plus a little smoked salmon for the omni’s). Selections included English cucumber, avocado, carrot, omelet, sweet potatoes, and tofu as well. And Steve made Sriracha mayo, which he loves.

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Steve also has a talent for rolling inside out sushi rolls. They used to really intimidate me, but they’re really not very hard. You just need a SHARP knife to cut them! Serrated is good.

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Then, go on a fun outing. We went to CAROLINA TIGER RESCUE YESSSSSSS!

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Carolina Tiger Rescue is a totally rad organization that rescues poor animals from sketchy roadside zoos and tiny backyard pens and the like. Explain this to me: in North Carolina, you cannot own any native species, but you can own any exotic animal you like. In other words, possums no, tigers yes.

Two of the tigers were found as cubs wandering on the side of a highway in Charlotte. The 911 dispatchers got a call and were all, “yeah right”, til people kept calling.

The tigers are BEAUTIFUL, and you get to get quite close to them.

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These two lions are both boys, but they got fixed, and apparently male lions in the wild only have manes to get the ladies.

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The wildcats were amazing. This girl paced back and forth, unbelievably alert, because she knew when she saw people and they stood in front of the tube, she was getting snacks.

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This is another cougar; she does not care for visitors. She made disdainful cat faces.

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And then cat snarls. So we left.

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The ocelots were goooooooooorgeous. Poor things get killed for their beautiful pelts. These ones don’t often end up as pets, though, because they are STINKY!

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This white tiger is one of their stars. Sadness: wild tigers in the wild are INCREDIBLY RARE. Most of the ones you see today have one common ancestor. Mohan was born in the wild in 1951 and then bred and bred and bred and bred and all of the white tigers he produced (mostly from mating with his daughters, ugh) kept getting inbred with each other. So like 17 out of 20 tiger cubs born now have horrible birth defects. All so zoos and weird people can have an exotic looking white tiger? Awful.

But this guy was indeed beautiful, and didn’t have too many health problems. But he’s 16 now! Old man cat!

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He really really really enjoyed the attention and snacks.

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Note the Christmas tree. Lots of the cats had them- the keepers put in new materials and smells to enrich the environment and keep the animals’ minds stimulated.

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It’s such an odd mixture of feelings, looking at a tiger. You think they’re gorgeous. You think how much they remind you of your cats at home. And you think how capable they’d be of killing you very quickly and easily.

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The lions were absolutely beautiful, especially this dude.

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The reason the boy and the girl are able to share a relatively small enclosure is because she’s fixed.

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At one point, a piece of the snack got stuck (the volunteer guides put pieces of raw chicken on sticks and pass them through the fence).

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Not a problem. I can get that.

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The two seemed to get along well in a platonic sort of way.

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We also saw caracals (with the cutest tufted ears) but they managed to escape my camera.

Here’s a serval.

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So seeing these amazing animals and supporting a really great organization cost slightly more than a movie. A great way to spend a Saturday!

We were right near downtown Pittsboro, so we visited their lovely bakery.

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And I ate an exquisite coconut cupcake! Lovely weekend.

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