Happy Feast of St. Patrick Gertrude

Today is March 17th – normally a day on which we celebrate a certain saint by embracing the color green – especially green beer – and celebrating all things Irish. But being half Irish does not make up for the fact that I’ve no green clothing, I hate corned beef and cabbage, and prefer drinking beer in its original state (specifically Corona). But I digress…

As this is also HER day, I am honoring St. Gertrude of Nivelles – the Matron saint of cats (and cat lovers) and gardeners – which is especially fitting as March is also Women’s History Month. (Or as I prefer to call it, HERstory Month.) Being that St. Gertrude was Belgian, I’m sitting here drinking a delicious tea to which I’ve added a generous splash of GIN.


Virgin, and Abbess of the Benedictine monastery of Nivelles; born in 626; died 17 March, 659.

After the death of her father in 639, her mother Itta, following the advice of St. Amandus, Bishop of Maestricht, erected a double monastery, one for men, the other for women, at Nivelles. She appointed her daughter Gertrude as its first abbess…

She was venerated as a saint immediately after her death, and a church was erected in her honour by Agnes, the third Abbess of Nivelles. The towns of Geertruidenberg, Breda, and Bergen-op-Zoom in North Brabant honour her as patron…
[source]

The assignment of Gertrude as patron of cats and the designation of the cat as one of her attributes seems to date from the 1980s…A more superficial association of Gertrude with the cat as a mouse hunter goes further back. Her veneration as protector against rats and mice dates from the early 15th century during the Black Plague and spread from Southwestern Germany to the Netherlands and Catalonia…The first major English-language publication presenting her as patron of cats is a 1981 catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
[source]

Happy St. Gertrude of Nivelles Day!

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Jinx and “Binx” (aka PR12)

It’s not too late!
Send your Valentine a special greeting
from one of the Big Cat Rescue cats.

When I met him, Ramses’ name was “Binx”.

source: Big Cat Rescue

Jinx the Black Leopard came to us amidst a four-year-long legal battle. He was seized by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and temporarily housed at Big Cat Rescue along with Jasmine Tigress, Dutchess Tigress, and Sapphire the White Tigress for the duration of court proceedings. Little did we know, that would take nearly four very long years!

He is known to stalk keepers and guests and as he locks in on his target, he stays focused! He can easily hide within plain sight and has earned himself the nickname “Flat Cat” by many of his keepers. Although he can be quite intense and scary, as he should since he is a leopard; he also has an incredibly silly and playful side too. You can see the level of intelligence he has in every move he makes! Jinx is very smart when it comes to operant conditioning and even tries to train his keepers.

[…]

In October of 2011, the Zanesville Massacre occurred. This was an historical event that changed the lives of many animals, people, and laws in the state of Ohio. Terry Thompson, a private owner of dozens of big cats and other wild animals, opened their cages and set them free amongst the town and ultimately to their deaths. He then followed suit and committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Terry Thompson put authorities in a position they should never have been in. They were forced to shoot and kill 38 big cats and 10 other wild animals. Amongst those lives lost were 18 Tigers, 17 Lions, and 3 Cougars. As a result of this tragic massacre, Ohio took the initiative and passed a state-wide ban on the private possession of big cats in June of 2012.

[…]

Tiger Ridge Exotics, Kenny Hetrick, felt that the law did not apply to him and thought that by hiring a team of attorneys to fight it, he could get the ban overturned. He refused to report how many dangerous wild animals he owned. His facility has had a long history of reported violations leading up to the seizure of his animals. These violations include failure to provide adequate vet care, repeated failure to provide the animals with proper diets, failure to provide animals with clean water, failure to provide animals with clean, dry enclosures, and failure to comply with federal safety requirements…

(In 2015, Jinx was one of 10 big cats rescued from Tiger Ridge Exotics.)


© Big Cat Rescue 2021

Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world dedicated to abused and abandoned big cats. They are home to about 50+ lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species (Many of these species are threatened, endangered or extinct now in the wild.) – most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Since 1992, BCR has worked to end the abuse at its root by ending the private possession and trade in exotic cats through legislation and education.

Their mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care, end abuse of big cats in captivity and prevent extinction of big cats in the wild.

Big Cat Rescue is located in Tampa, FL
Contact Page
Big Cat TV on YouTube

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The Bear and The Ox

Today’s New Moon appears at 23° Aquarius whose Sabian Symbol is A Big Bear Sitting Down and Waving Its Paws.

THE DISCIPLINE OF SELF-CONTROL

The more we learn to control our animal nature the more we can have it available as a resource. We could use our emotions in frantic efforts to gain and hold attention, as so many people do. But it’s better to use it to cultivate an appetite for life, by following the desire nature to the point of crisis, and then in full awareness, resolving the issues arising – of darkness and light.  [source]

Today’s New Moon is part of a stellium:  Three or more heavenly bodies grouped in a single Zodiac sign. This Aquarian stellium is comprised of no less than six heavenly bodies (Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, Sun, and the Moon). Aquarius energy is progressive, original, quirky, and independent – and we have it going on in spades!!! If you have major planets in Aquarius or other Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, or Scorpio) you’re sure to feel this lunation stronger than most.

New Moons open portals which represent new beginnings, but you can’t just show up to the party and expect things to happen. You’ve got to put in the effort and show the Universe your intent. Being that freedom-loving Aquarius governs community and humanitarian efforts, there will be a focus on friendship, group activities and projects, and social pursuits – so if you’ve been thinking about getting involved with any of those types of endeavors today’s New Moon is giving you a green light. Remember:  The more you give out, the more that will come back to you.

♂ Mars is square to this New Moon so watch out for impulsive behavior.


Well, that takes care of The Bear – let’s turn our attention to The Ox.

Tomorrow, February 12th, is Chinese New Year where we will enter the Year of the Ox.

“According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.” [source]

The Ox is highly valued in Chinese culture due to its important role in agriculture. Those born in the Year of the Ox are honest, sincere, hard-working, reliable, and stubborn. (Sounds a bit like Taurus.) They are most compatible with those born under the Rat, Snake, and Rooster; and are least compatible with Goat, Horse, and Dog people.

Colors:  Blue, yellow, and green
Numbers:  1 and 4
Flowers:  Lily of the Valley and Lucky Bamboo
Lucky Months:  April, September, and December
Careers:  Doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and teachers

Celebrate Chinese New Year by serving popped rice, ginger candy, Spring Rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish and chicken, Nian gao (rice cakes), steamed vegetables (leeks, Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, bamboo shoots), Baijiu (Chinese white wine) or other white wine, rice wine (saki), Tsingtao beer, and of course tea (green or oolong). For dessert:  Fruits (such as kumquats, tangerines, oranges, grapes, and pomegranates), turnip cake, Osmanthus Jelly, Jujube Flower Cakes, rice balls, sesame balls, and almond cookies.

Gung hay fat choy!

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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is the day we “officially” honor his words and deeds; although these quotes should serve to inspire and motivate us throughout the year. As befits the Age of Aquarius which was set in motion by The Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020, many of these have an Aquarian feel to them – symbolizing humanitarianism, freedom, idealism, and social change.

No person has the right to rain on your dreams.

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

A lie cannot live.

Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.

If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.

The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.

No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.

The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.

10 Facts about Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. skipped two grades in high school, 9th and 11th, and entered college (Morehouse College) at the age of 15 in 1944. By 19, he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
  2. His honeymoon was spent at a funeral parlor. This was not because someone died, simply because a friend owned the parlor and offered to let him use it for his honeymoon.
  3. His house was bombed during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 385 days.
  4. Despite being only 39 when he passed away, one of his doctors noted that he had “the heart of a 60 year old”.
  5. Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr. There is one such street in almost every major city.
  6. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
  7. King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
  8. The King family won a 1999 civil law suit which found U.S. Government Agencies guilty in his assassination.
  9. King’s mother was also slain by a bullet in 1974.
  10. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the only other Americans to have had their birthdays observed as a national holiday (now combined as Presidents Day).

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