There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
How often do you get to squeal with delight in public? Well, you just got several more opportunities: The National Zoo recently welcomed two litters of baby cheetahs. This past April, Zazi (Swahili for “fertile”; how auspicious) gave birth to five kittens who, now weighing in at 10 pounds each, are sturdy enough for public outings. And they are cute as the dickens, with ears the size of nickels and fluffy fur ruffs around their necks. Though confined to a grassy yard with a few spare trees, the cubs make the most of it, exploring corners, climbing hills, and taking an occasional swipe at each other. The other kittens, born in the fall of 2004 to Tumai (Swahili for “hope”), have lost their baby ruffs and have grown into handsome cats with spotted fur, striped tails, and distinctive marks around their eyes. Though there are no Sony PSPs or crumpled Coke cans in evidence, the kitties look convincingly like bored teenagers. Consider how their summer parallels your own as a kid from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., weather permitting, at the National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 673-4717. (Hetty Lipscomb)