Bride's attendant a real pussycat

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003

PARKER CITY, Ind. (AP) -- Eileen Oren's maid of honor was peaceful as a pussycat, but Bob Taylor's best man was one wild cat.

The newlyweds chose tigers as their top cats when they tied the knot Saturday at ME's Zoo, home to 213 animals. The bride owns the zoo about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

During the ceremony before 100 friends and relatives, Bobbi the tiger became agitated and nearly overturned his cage while serving as best man.

But the maid of honor, a female tiger named Massai, remained tranquil. Omar, a camel tapped to be the ring-bearer, also performed his duties peacefully.

''Eileen has a real passion for animals, so this style of wedding is exactly her,'' said Maria Cooper, a seasonal employee at the zoo.

Oren and Taylor met about nine years ago when Taylor, then a Ball State University architectural professor, brought students to the zoo to design and build different projects.

The pair soon recognized their shared love for animals.

''All of our animals are like our children,'' Oren said. ''Bob would come out and help me feed all of the animals on the bottle. We went from friends to lovers.''

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