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Game Cats

Kanini and Quincy

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The first time guy gugliotta met Laurie Marker she was teasing Kanini, her pet cheetah, with a rag attached by string to the end of a pole. Gugliotta, who wrote our cover story ("Rare Breed," p. 38), thought immediately of Felis catus. "Cheetahs jump up and down and try to cup the rag with their paws just like a house cat," he says. "When they're looking for attention, they'll run back and forth and rub against your pants legs to get you to pet them. They purr, and they purr really loud. Of course, they're 75, 80, 90 pounds and you always have to keep in mind that they are wild animals." The more time Gugliotta spent with Marker, the more he came to appreciate her know-how. "She knows everything about cheetahs," he says. "But also she understands the economics of Namibia. She understood that to be successful she was going to have to convince the farmers"—who tended to kill cheetahs to protect their livestock—"that living with wildlife is a good thing. It's quite a revolutionary thought: learn to live with wildlife, and the wildlife will do you a good turn. She's making it work."

Lyndon Stambler had been trying to get some face time with Quincy Jones for almost three years. Jones was game, Stambler says, but "he's a really driven person, and he finds it hard to slow down because his whole life he's been moving from place to place, project to project and band to band." When the two finally sat down to talk, Stambler found some contradictions in Jones' personality. "He is very interested in technology and the latest developments. Yet, he's a guy who never learned to drive a car. And that relates to a traumatic automobile accident he was in when he was 14. I think he feels things deeply—that things that happen in his life affect him profoundly." Stambler's profile of Jones, "The Arranger," begins on page 48.

About Carey Winfrey
Carey Winfrey

Carey Winfrey was Smithsonian magazine's editor in chief for ten years, from 2001 to 2011.

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