Tuesday big cat trifecta

September 17, 2019 • 12:00 pm

I’m falling apart, I tell you. Hernia surgery 2.5 weeks ago, and this morning a tooth extracted preparatory to a dental implant. It was, as my dentist said, “a difficult extraction”, as the roots had to be dug out and I have huge lingual tori, which nearly prevent taking x-rays. Both roots were finally out after nearly an hour, and although I was in no pain, I was psychologically debilitated. Then the screw gets torqued in. . . . Good thing my dentist is the official dentist of the Chicago Blackhawks, and attends every game to deal with players who get their teeth knocked out.

The long and the short of it is that I’m knackered, even though I’m at work and trying to write talks. Can I persuade you ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades, and all those of other pronouns to accept three cat videos instead? These are Big Cat videos, which makes them better. And all were sent by reader Michael.

The first comes from the Colchester Zoo, where two rare Amur leopard cubs (Panthera pardus occidentalis) were born on September 9.  As the zoo site notes:

Dad Crispin arrived at Colchester Zoo on the 28th April 2018 from the Czech Republic and Esra arrived on the 29th May 2018 from Belgium. Crispin and Esra came to Colchester Zoo on a breeding recommendation in the hope that they would successful breed together. Both leopards are young and so they are both first time parents with Crispin being born on the 21st October 2016 and Esra on the 21st May 2016.

As Amur leopards are solitary cats, only pairing during breeding season, the Animal Care Team have been introducing Crispin and Esra to one another when Esra shows signs that she is in season. We’re pleased to report that Crispin and Esra mated on numerous occasions and are delighted that this has resulted in a successful birth of not one but two cubs!

And Wikipedia states that this is one of the rarest cats on earth, with a pitiful 19-26 individuals surviving in the wild in southeastern Russia and northeastern China.


This snow leopard (Pantheria uncia) wakes up from a nap at Paradise Wildlife Park in England and suddenly sees the new monitoring camera in her area. The reaction is priceless!

The video caption:

Our hilarious female snow leopard is a real character. This was the first moment she saw the CCTV camera in her habitat for the first time. Since then, Jessie and boyfriend Panja have really shown off in front of the cameras! Check out their best clips in the Snow Leopard playlist!

MIchael added: “Imagine if it had been a cucumber!”

And, at the Cincinnati Zoo, a cheetah cub (Acinonyx jubatus) and her therapy d*g play. Apparently Kris the kub was the sole survivor of a litter of three born to a first-time mother, and a single cub doesn’t stimulate mom to produce sufficient milk. Ergo Kris is being raised by humans, who will teach her how to be a cheetah (except most wild cheetah activities won’t be available).

It’s a Kris and Remus play date! The 2-month-old cheetah cub and her new puppy companion get several supervised visits a day and will be together 24/7 once they’re totally comfortable with each other. At this stage of their introduction, similar to toddlers, they are participating in more parallel play rather than playing together. As they grow more accustomed to each other, that should change.

Listen to that baby cheetah squeak!

55 thoughts on “Tuesday big cat trifecta

  1. I feel for you. Have gone through much of what you are doing. It has something to do with age. Our teeth were not made to last this long I am afraid.

    Don’t feel too bad, I am on my way to an IRS Audit.

  2. I feel your pain. I’ve been through 2 implant surgeries in the past year and it’s harrowing to say the least. The good news is that your
    teeth will feel great after it’s all over. All the best.

    1. With all the dental procedures I’ve been through in my life, having implants put in wasn’t that bad. The most painful part was writing the checks for the implants and the crowns.

      1. I’m having an implant done in Cuenca, Ecuador in a few months. Even allowing for 2 trips, it’s still at least $2K cheaper than having it done in the US.

  3. It’s the screwing in part of the implant (and the screwing out bit of a root canal procedure) that screws with the mind🙀

  4. 19-26 individuals surviving in the wild in southeastern Russia and northeastern China.

    Hmmm, novel use of “southeastern”. “Far eastern” would be more like it. Russia is so damned big that it gets counterintuitive, and popular map projections don’t help. But a distribution map would probably be less confusing.
    “South eastern” would work in respect of the Far Eastern Federal District

    1. Definitely ‘south eastern’ I think.
      Seen from a great distance, like London or NY, I guess there’s not a lot of difference between the region around Vladivostok and the ‘far eastern’ end towards the Bering Straits. Like, only 1500 miles. By the same token, Kansas City would be the ‘far West’ 🙂

      Vladivostok is also quite far south, same latitude as Spain. The ‘Rossiya’ (aka ‘Trans-Siberian Express’) from Vladivostok to places west and Moscow, first heads 400 miles north-east and a further 600 north-west the next day to get around the ‘bulge’ of China. Russia is huge.

      The ‘Rossiya’ also has a large leopard (presumably Amur) on it:

      (The Russian for ‘Leopard’ appears to be ‘Leopardi’.)


      1. I flew three time zones east from Moscow to visit my (then) fiancée. I got less than half way across the country.

        1. Russian Railways run on Moscow time, everywhere. So the ‘Rossiya’ left Vladivostok at 12.10 (timetable), which gave me time for a relaxed afternoon wandering around the town before catching it at 7p.m….

          As the days passed heading west, so time-of-day slowly came closer in sync with the timetable.


          1. It is one solution to time zones.
            When (if?) humans are on multiple permanently settled habitats throughout the Solar system, the “time zone” thing is going to get even worse.

              1. Yep — that’s much more common and more sensible. But it needs an Umlaut — Schätzchen. (I think all the -chen diminutives get an Umlaut, come to think of it.)

  5. Welcome to old age. As my sister-in-law is fond of saying, “Getting old is not for sissies” (or is that sexist?).

  6. I’ve had three sets of implants now, and each has involved a minimum three month wait between extraction and fitting of screw implant, so as to allow growth of bone. Then another couple of months to allow implants to settle in. I must ask my (brother in law) dentist for an explanation!

  7. I recently had an extraction of number 8, which is a top front tooth. No pain. Easy. It will take 6 months for the bone to regrow. The space where bone was lost was replaced by a putty with synthetic bone, donor bone, and mineral additives to help with regeneration. Interestingly, titanium is used for the base screw because titanium actually bonds well with bone to make a stronger attachment. Modern dentistry has got to be one of the best things about living in the modern era.

    1. I was told that the extra bone filler could be either sterilized human or cow bone. I haven’t mooed, so I’m assuming human? (Which sort of creeps me out.)

      1. I asked my dentist if it was the bone of a cadaver and I can’t remember the answer because I was narcissistically focused on my joke that the question was a set up for. Now I can’t remember the joke either. Clearly being a smart ass has no long term value but I often entertained this dentist.

        1. Keeping your dentist entertained is a good way to prevent them from falling asleep and removing to wrong body part. 😎

      2. There are different formulas available.
        About 65% of adult bone mass is hydroxyapatite which is a crystalline calcium phosphate. Bone also contains small amounts of magnesium, sodium, and bicarbonate. These can be used as scaffolding but apparently, regrowth works better if some natural bone is included in the mix.

    2. Even though the Mad Cow scare now seems to be behind us, I’d worry whether the bone, cow or human, might be infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob prions, but one must take a chance.

      I wrote “scare” because I don’t know the prevalence of the Mad Cow variant of CJ disease these days nor the prevalence of CJ disease in general and its transmissible relatives.

      1. Yeoungsug Kim, Angel Emmanuel Rodriguez & Hessam Nowzari wrote a paper in 2016 HERE :

        “There is evidence there may be tens of thousands of infectious carriers in the western countries alone. This raises concern about the potential for perpetuation of infection via medical procedures.

        Conclusion: The limited ability to screen prions within the animal genome, along with a long latency period to manifestation of the disease (1 to over 50 years) in infected patients, provides a framework for discussing possible long-term risks of the xenografts that are used so extensively in dentistry. We suggest abolishing the use of bovine bone”

        looking around, this seems to be very much a minority view. Although it seems prions are difficult to screen for!

        It’s seems obvious to me that ones own bone is the healthy option for infection control & to reduce rejection, but I suppose that at least doubles customer cost & there’s the added inconvenience & discomfort. Perhaps soon they’ll be able to ‘culture’ over a few days a tiny piece of ones own bone extracted rapidly by needle or some such. [all my speculation]

          1. The video doesn’t show bone grafts from the patient’s own jaw. Wrong video link? I know dental bone grafts from the patient occur, but usually the donor site is the hip or sometimes the chin.

            I don’t know about chin, but harvesting from the hip is very expensive & there’s risk involved [compared to importing the bone from a cadaver or moo cow]: theatre [OR], staff, general anaesthetic, pain control & a hospital stay. I think you are off your feet for a couple of weeks too & pain can interfere with walking for weeks also.

            It puzzles me why so much fuss for a few grammes of bone, but it’s an organ in its own right so what do I know?

            The hip stuff above surprised me, an old well established procedure still seems to be still fraught with difficulties.

            ANECDOTE ALERT:

            A physio told me years ago to avoid bone doctors as they are a bunch of unrefined bodger car mechanics with no people skills. The two times I’ve had bone surgery I had bruises all over the place – they throw you about like a side of mutton & use you as an elbow rest when close working, but this was the ’70s, maybe different today.

            I’ve also noted bodged hip replacements among friends – nerve damage [drop foot], rejection & chronic pain [walking impossible]. I think docs in the UK underplay the seriousness of some procedures.

            1. I may have misread the chin harvest.
              I’ve watched video’s of several surgeries including knee replacement. The procedure is very mechanical and depends on many clamps and tools that look like they could be used by an auto mechanic as well as a surgeon. And yes the manipulations seem a bit haphazard. I have mildly arthritic knees but I think if I ever have such surgery, it will be when I’m truly desperate. 😎

  8. I had a dental implant a few years ago but I waited a long time for the big hole in my gum where the tooth used to be to heal first. I like the implant procedure more than root canals but the only gripe I have now with the implant is good gets stuck under it which is annoying.

  9. Wishing you the best with your hernia repair and implant. Despite the cost and pain, we are so fortunate to have implants as an option. Back in the late 40s- both my parents had their teeth pulled for getting dentures.
    They had two sessions of half their teeth being pulled at one time (don’t know if the dentist or my parents opted for this.) The false teeth were never comfortable and often resided in their container for cleaning. As they aged and the gemlike receded, the teeth fit less and less well. In their memory, I often urge people to choose implants if they can.

    On a side note, my Dad’s sister also had false teeth which more often than not were kept in her shirt pocket. She also had a pet monkey who one time stole her teeth from her pocket and took off through the trees on her property wearing them. Wish I’d had a photo of that.

    1. My Mum had all her teeth pulled for her 18th birthday present – gleaming white false teeth were considered an upgrade.

      Early ’50s Republic of Ireland, Co. Mayo.
      Unbalanced nutrition & many mugs of tea per day with lots of sugar was normal, no sugar in tea was oddball [sugar was also a cheap form of energy & sugar was good for you!]

        1. A common Irish practise – the Hollywood movies played a part, the kids looked forward to the day of their dental makeover – gleaming Hollywood gnashers played well down at the Saturday night dances.

    2. This will surely cheer anyone with dental replacements, though a warning; it’s pretty raw humor and probably offensive, these days (what isn’t?)

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