Aphrodite and her siblings Athena and Hercules were born at Catty Shack Ranch on September 10, 2002. Their parents, Zeus and Topaz, were great crowd favorites and have since passed away. The litter proudly bears the names of Greek gods and goddesses. Aphrodite was the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation. A lesser accepted version of mythology credits the god Zeus as her father. The more prevalent version has her arising from the sea on a scallop shell.
Our Aphrodite is about the same size as her sister Athena, diminutive compared with their brother Hercules and many of our other male tigers. Aphrodite lives with Hercules and the two rest together in their den box, wrestle with one another and splash together in the pool.
When we give them enrichment activities to investigate and play with, there are always two items presented, one for each tiger. Like all pets and children, Aphrodite and Hercules always have to check out and steal the other’s prize as they know their sibling’s is better, tastier, more interesting and more fun to play with. In typical tiger fashion, all enrichment boxes, tubes, phone books or pumpkins end up as shredded bits in their pool.
Aphrodite plays an important role in Hercules’ life now. Hercules’ vision is compromised with glaucoma and a detached retina. He can see shadows and shapes. He sees well enough to jump up on their platforms and den box and to climb into and out of the pool. But sometimes he gets confused. Aphrodite senses that he may need her help. She cares for him by nudging him to go in the right direction, acting as an extra pair of eyes. Often a pet does the same for its companion in need. Service animals are trained to perform such tasks and more for their humans.
At Catty Shack Ranch, Aphrodite enjoys a healthy diet of raw meat with vitamins and supplements appropriate to her species, age and current health conditions. All our animals receive regular veterinary care and are very much loved.
Born: September 10, 2002
Classification: Panthera tigris altaica (Siberian tiger)