If you ever scratched behind a cat’s ear and heard it purr, you know how hypnotizing and sweet this faint tractor-like sound is. Now keeping that in mind, try to imagine what a purring cheetah sounds like.

Namibian farmers’ rights are far better protected then Namibia’s cheetahs. Many are killed when a farmer’s physical and/or financial well-being is claimed to be at stake. On the bright side, some farms have learned to embrace and tame these spotted, long-legged kittens, instead of killing them, stuffing and hanging on the wall, and to give them plenty of space to run around. Their teeth and claws are still there, but all they want is to lay on their back for you to scratch their stomach with one hand, while they practically lick off the skin on your other hand with a coarse, sandpaper-like tongue.

I lay next to Max – he purred, and I purred back, forgetting my camera on the ground. His eyes were orange, his sunglasses oh so cool. I could have stayed lying next to him forever.