Roy you are still very much needed in this world by man and animal, gather our love around you and use it's power to help you heal.
Siegfried I know how terrified and difficult it is to see someone you love in critical condition, let the love and admiration of people like me help you find strength and comfort.
On January 9th, 2000 my husband and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada to celebrate Christmas, my 40th birthday Dec. 29th, New Year's, his 48th birthday Jan. 7th and our 15th wedding anniversary Jan. 19th. The main reason for the trip was to to see Siegfried and Roy and their White Tigers. We had tickets to the show but because of the horrible flu that was going around Siegfried and Roy had to cancel the show. I was in tears but understood because that flu was terrible. What made it even more heartbreaking was that I had been told by several sources that Siegfried and Roy would be retiring at the end of 2000 so I believed I would never be able to see them. I send an email to them from their Sarmoti Message Center and received an answer back very quickly. I was so relieved to hear that the retirement rumour was just that, A RUMOUR, and that Siegfried and Roy will be appearing at the Mirage through 2002.
We were able to visit their SECRET GARDEN and see their beautiful cats and the dolphin pool. No words or photographs can do justice to the beauty and majesty of the animals we saw. This is a place you must go and visit to truly appreciate the magnificience of these cats and what Siegfried and Roy are doing to save them from extinction. The world owes these men a debt of gratitude beyond measure for giving us these wonderful creatures and for being willing to share them with us.
It is very seldom that we see celebrities that are truly trying to make the world a better place for everyone. There are some that will host benefits or do concerts for one thing or another but when they do it is only to get their name in the media, usually in conjunction with a new movie they are starring in that is coming out or a big concert or they aren't as popular as they once were and need a career boost.
For Siegfried and Roy what they are doing is not just an occasional thing, it is a part of their lives and I guess you can say is their life, not something to do once in a while. They are not afraid to take money from their own pockets to build a good home, feed and take care of their cats and it takes a great deal of work and total dedication to maintain their sanctuary the way they do. It is obvious from the way they have built the Secret Garden that this is an act of love, pure and simple and not something to be put aside or forgotten when the crowds go home or they are not performing their magic show. When you watch the videos or see the pictures of them with the cats if you look into the faces of Siegfried and Roy you can see the love in their eyes, it shines so bright and clear. They could easily have been selfish and kept the cats to them themselves or just occasionally put on a show with them but they have chosen to share them with the world. Yes, it costs to get into the Secret Garden or to see the show (especially if you are Canadian with the cost of exchange) but when you know that the money helps to keep these beautiful animals from extinction it is such a small price to pay.
Siegfried and Roy give a gift to all of us in more ways than one, through their efforts to save the big cats and through their magic. As I said I was unable to see the show but if only half the time, dedication and love is put into their show as they put into their animals than it must be magnificient. I don't know if we will be able to go back to Vegas but if we do I will definitely order tickets again and pray that nothing happens that prevents us from seeing that show as well!
The hardest part for me, besides missing the show, was being so close to the cats (as I am very much a lover of cats, my husband swears I am part cat) and not being able to touch them. I would have loved to see if they liked getting their chins scratched, having their cheekbones rubbed from their nose to their ears, a good belly rub or if, like my little cats (a white 16 lb. male named Squirt and a 14lb. black male called Magic, and a new addition Little Miss who also have their own webpage) they have a special area just inside the base of their ears that is always itchy and they love it when I gentle rub the ridges to make the itch go away.
There is no more wonderful feeling than being able to show an animal you love them and for them to return to that love, especially with a cat as they are very choosy about who they will trust and love, so when they do love you back and show their love through their purrs or needing to cuddle or touch you there are no words to describe the feeling.
To Siegfried and Roy I give you my love and gratitude for who you are and what you are doing and my prayers that you succeed in your goal.
I have written some poems in dedication to these men and their cats and have put up some photographs I took while in the Secret Garden. If you click on each photo it will open a separate window with a larger photograph so that you can fully see these amazing creatures. What you don't realize when looking at photographs is just how BIG these animals are and luckily the Garden is set up so that no cat is more than 12 feet away at most, and if they are walking along the fence they are just a little beyond arms reach. You are given something similar to a cell phone that tells you about each enclosure and the animal(s) within. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I was so enthralled just looking at them and wanting to get pictures that I never really listened to the stories, just not co-ordinated enough to handle a camera and the phone at the same time. The photos were the most important to me because I could hold them in my hands and look at them over and over, where the words and stories would be forgotten as I moved on to the next enclosure. I wish I had taken more.
I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I have enjoyed making this dedication page. Although these are my photographs that I took while visiting the Secret Garden I have asked for and received the permission of Siegfried and Roy to post these photographs for your pleasure so please DO NOT COPY OR SAVE THE PHOTOGRAPHS TO YOUR MACHINE as they really belong to Siegfried and Roy. As for the poems I am the author and creator and while they aren't professional by any means they have come from my heart so please if you want a copy of any of the poems ask me by emailing to the address below and letting me know what you are going to do with the poem.
On-Line Casino featured a beautiful story about Siegfried and Roy so I've archieved it for anyoen interested, read the story at Las Vegas - Legends - Siegfried and Roy at OnlineCasino.com and Legends - Siegfried and Roy part 2
Once you are finished here and if you are interested you can click on the link at the bottom of this page to visit, The Cats of the Secret Garden page to look at other pages in my site. You can learn about me (Who is believer), my son Josef (Red 12's page)and some pages that are very special to me, Lest We Forget - A Tribute to My Daddy and all Veterans, and In Memory of My Daddy. If not that's okay, but I will ask that you If you decide you'd like to send me an email I can be reached at email@example.com
Now here's what the letter said and the poem that will be published. The full version of the poem (I had to restrict to 20 lines for the contest) is on the page The Cats of the Secret Garden.
Eyes of gold
Coats of white
beauty beyond measure
these are the cats of
Siegfried and Roy
so full of life
yet so close to extinction
But love has saved them
the love of two illusionists
who gave them a home
a safe place to live
so that they could survive and multiply
A gift to the world
A gift beyond measure.
They are a priceless treasure
these men and their beasts
for what they bring to us
magic and reality
the gift of the White Tigers
Copyright ©2000 Maria Sutherland
This is what they said about the poem.
After carefully reading and discussing your poem, our Selection Committee has certified your poem as a semi-finalist in our North American Open Poetry Contest. Your poem will automatically be entered into the final competition held in May 2000.
In celebration of the unique talent that you have displayed, we also wish to
publish your poem in what promises to be one of the most highly sought
after collections of poetry we have ever published -
Maria, you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. Of the
thousands of poems we read each year, only a fraction can be published. We
are pleased that "The Cats of Siegfried and Roy" will approproiately achieve
the recognition that a national publication can give.
***Sad Note to this*** I found out afterwards that any poem that gets put on their site gets published in one of their books no matter the quality of the poem, it's tope, or how good or badly written it is they do this just to try to sell the books as well as get the authors to have their poem put on a special paper, mugs etc. I truly wanted my poem to be chosen because it is good but be that as it may at least it will get into the book and just maybe someone will buy that book and see the poem about Siegfried and Roy and become interested.