This is more of my experiment with a couple of tame Cheetahs as a endangered breeding center called Cheetah Experience in South Africa. Cats love softness and Cheetahs are no exception to that rule. Faith here, is a female African Cheetah with a handicap. She was born with sterile meningitis that affected her bone, joint, and nervous system. She is still a Cheetah and loved spending her nights with me inside her enclosure. Faith loved snuggling up close and sharing a sleepover.
She discovered the softest spot in the cement box we slept in was my pillow. I wasn't going to force her off of it and so asked her politely if I could use her as a pillow and she did not mind. Big Cats love sharing the warmth and often lay right next and op top of each other. It is a survival instinct and quite natural. Normally, these Cheetahs lay on me instead of the other way around and knew she would mind. She liked it and fast fell asleep after purring, grooming, trying to love bite me.
She fell asleep and right away started to jerk, twitch, and run in her sleep like she does. The heart of mammals are on the left hand side of the chest and I was could actually hear and feel her heart beating.
I noticed something unusual. Her heart would accelerate as she breathed in rather than breathing out. I also noticed the same phenomenon with the other Cheetah who visits me inside this Cheetah Box.... Eden. I had a theory about why the breathing and heart rate are like this.
Cheetahs need lots of energy to accelerate like they do and maintain high speeds. Everything about them is designed for this. Lightweight bodies, low fat content, thin bones, large heart and lungs, keen hearing and eye sight, and temperature regulation.
I think with an increased heart beat during an intake of air/oxygen helps in feeding their muscles to generate that high release of energy. When the heart slows down on the exhale, it allows the blood stream to release the CO2 or carbon dioxide at a normal pace before the next inhale of air and another rapid heartbeat. Just a theory and could be tested with tamed Cheetahs. Maybe one day I will do that.
Anyway, I got VERY little sleep this night as well with all the purring, grooming, restless sleeping of Faith. She is a stationary sleep walker and jerked and twitched ALL night. Then her friend Eden came in and groomed us both for 20 minutes before she purred for 30 minutes before she fell asleep.
Eden and faith are just super nice Cheetahs and I was privileged to get to know them and spend my nights inside their enclose with them. But don't expect to sleep much.
"Sleeping With The World--- One Animal At A Time" Dolph C. Volker