the most perfect birthday gift ever, a cheetah named Klein

So, it’s official… I’m in the last year of my twenties – and it’s going to be a great year too! ;-) Just as the clock turned midnight, Heiko (my Husband) came to join me on the sofa to wish me a Happy Birthday – and he had a surprise for me too, a fabulous gift.

It was already past midnight so it was officially my birthday and I was allowed to open it :-)

He handed me a large brown envelope; it was addressed to me but with a friend’s address (so that I couldn’t intercept the mail lol). As I turned the envelope over I saw there was a return address written on the back. But before I had time to blink let alone read it, Heiko had taken the envelope off me to check if it was safe for me to read. I wouldn’t have guessed who the sender was so he gave the envelope back to me.

Inside were letters, photographs, a CD, postcards and… an adoption certificate. A smile spread across my face as I made an attempt to translate the (Dutch) text.

Through the local organisation Stichting SPOTS (Save & Protect Our TreasureS), my wonderful and thoughtful husband has adopted a cheetah in my name, a cheetah named Klein.

For several years we have gifted each other with wildlife adoptions on birthdays and Christmases, but this one is different from the rest. It’s not a yearly adoption with a small fee, it’s not a symbolic adoption either, it’s a REAL adoption. I’m one of 40 adoptive parents for Klein, supporting him his entire life at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) Namibia. The adoption programme, set up by Stichting SPOTS, helps to care for the resident cheetahs at CCF which in turn, frees up more of CCF’s budget for use on their programmes for the protection of the wild cheetah population. Klein is the 3rd cheetah adopted by adoption parents in the Netherlands.

Are you wondering why his name is Klein? I thought it meant “small” but it doesn’t! In fact, he is far from small, he’s the largest of the male cheetahs at CCF. Klein was born in May 2000 and has two siblings; a brother named Calvin (who unfortunately passed away in 2002), and a sister named Chanel. Therefore, the trio: Calvin, Klein and Chanel. That explains his name a little better, hey? :-)

Klein and his siblings arrived at CCF when they were just one year old following the death of their mother – she was shot on a game farm and afterwards her skin was used to capture the three cubs. When CCF rescued them 3 weeks later, the cubs were in a very poor condition. Thankfully, following an intensive treatment for bleeding stomach ulcers, they recovered completely.

And here he is, now 10 years old:

:-) And now of course, I’m longing to travel to Namibia to visit Klein and all his cheetah friends! Especially after watching the small video clips of him that came in my adoption package! Heiko, thank you sooooooooo very much! I love it! The most perfect birthday gift ever! :-)))))

The day gets better too, I’m just back from spending a wonderful afternoon with my dear friend, Vinita. We indulged in a fabulous pedicure at the Dutch Oriental Spa in Scheveningen and oh boy, what an indulgence! It was the first time I’ve ever had a pedicure and with my ticklish feet I was so worried I was going to giggle and squirm…. which of course I did, but only a little, it was really lovely! Definitely recommend it! Afterwards we had a late lunch on the beach – nope, no spare ribs this time. Surprised you didn’t I?! But we did have ice cream. Unfortunately, they were out of After Eight so I doubled up on the white chocolate instead mmmm ;-)

And now.. Heiko is home from work and we’re about to leave for a behind the scenes visit to Blijdorp Zoo. *happy happy* :-)

ps. thank you to everyone that left such lovely birthday wishes on my Facebook page, I didn’t quite manage to reply to everyone yet, but I will :-)

ok, zoo is calling… gotta go!

** this post appeared first on Tigs Creations Photography **


  1. Vinita

    Happy birthday dear Natalie!! I had a fabulous time with you today!! I’m sure you will have a great time at the zoo!! Big hugsxx

  2. Lisa

    Enjoy Natlie, have fun at the zoo.

  3. Suzanne Sale

    i tere so glad you hve had a wonderful day…no point saying enjoy the zoo as we all know you will xx

  4. lizet

    what a cool gift!!! supergaaf :)

  5. Sonya

    WOW, what a fantastic gift! Im a ginormous wildlife animal freak..infact if I wasnt married with two kids I would be off somewhere studying the gorillas or going on wildlife safaris! Im going to check this out for myself. I would LOVE to adopt an animal. I’m a zoo fan aswell. I love travelling to different ones.

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  6. Natalie

    Thank you Sonya! :-) it’s lovely to meet others that care so much about wildlife!! Have you heard of ? It’s a wildlife/zoo project to raise awareness for wildlife conservation… would love to see you there and hear more about your zoo stories! Please let me know if you do decide to adopt an animal :-)


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