I often have clients who are somewhat famous, depending on your definition, and some who have very interesting occupations (I will be sharing many of these stories in upcoming posts).

So, I pick up two attractive girls at an upvalley winery late one afternoon and take them to their hotel in Napa. It’s a bit of a journey, so we begin a conversation. I always like to know where people are visiting from, so I asked. They are from Las Vegas, and I can overhear them talking. One of the girls was a tall, slender, statuesque blonde and the other said something about her job that made me ask the question, “What do you do for a living?”.  In retrospect, this probably was not the right question to ask two attractive women from Las Vegas, but something was said that made me cross that line anyway. The other girl said “She takes care of cats.” My first thoughts are “Wow, she’s one of those crazy cat ladies with 100 cats in her house”. Or maybe she works at the SPCA.

Nope. She informs me that she is part of a staff of eight people that take care of Siegfried & Roy’s cats. We’re talking SERIOUS cats. At this point, I’m incredibly intrigued, and impressed, as this is not a job I would ever have the courage to do! I’ve had the immense pleasure of traveling to South Africa, going on many game drives, and seeing these animals in their natural environment. I witnessed a pride of thirteen lions feeding on a giraffe they had recently taken down, and we stayed and watched them feed for over 30 minutes at very close range. This trip was a life-changing experience for me, and I began to share this with her. I told her that I was fortunate to see a leopard in the wild, which is exceedingly difficult as they are typically not very “outgoing” and prefer to stay well hidden from humans. She relayed a story of a leopard she cares for that won’t eat if it knows she’s around, unless she goes in the cage with it! Whattttttt???? She said she’s never been seriously injured, “just some nips and scratches” while playing with them. Whattttttt???? She also told me some of the cats like to have their tummy scratched. Don’t we all?

Although the Siegfried & Roy show ended with Roy’s career ending tiger injury in 2003, the cats are still on display in Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. She mentioned the cats are rotated through the Mirage, but live on a 100-acre ranch of Siegfried & Roy’s just outside of Las Vegas. It was very gratifying for me to hear they have plenty of space to roam and live a comfortable life.

Ever wish you had a lion needing taming?