October 28, 2009 07:00 PM

Bai Ling misses her cat. The actress is on the set of her upcoming movie Circle of Pain in Austin, Texas, and on a recent day off, she went to visit the zoo, where she saw cheetahs, the ancestors of her pet feline Quiji.

Yes, Quiji (pronounced chee-jee) is part cheetah. Ling says that the cat, whose father was a cheetah and whose mother was a domestic cat, came as a gift from an ex-boyfriend. The rare mix, now about a year old, was purchased from a breeder for approximately $30,000.

“In my previous life, I was a cheetah or leopard or some sort of really wild and dangerous animal in nature,” Ling tells PEOPLEPets.com. “But the thing is, Quiji is really the most affectionate, even compared to human beings.”

Ling grew up in China, where she had many animals, including a dog, a squirrel and a sheep. She says that growing up she wanted to be one of two things: a zookeeper or a spy. Life led her down a different path, but her love of animals remained, and when she saw a photo of a cheetah-cat in an airplane magazine, she said, “If I were to have that, I would be in heaven.”

Quiji, so named after the Chinese word for magic, is a very picky eater. She rejects food, opting only to eat freshly cooked chicken.

“My friends wonder what I’m doing. I have to go to the supermarket and buy chicken,” Ling says. “I have to cook. She eats three or four chicken legs a day – can you believe it?”

Being apart is especially hard for Ling, and one night before she had to leave for a trip, she decided to let Quiji sleep in bed with her.

“I sleep naked … She was kissing me, and suddenly, she woke up. She saw my nipple, and oh my God, she went for it!” Bai says, laughing. “If I wasn’t fast, my nipple is gone. She thought it was a toy or something.”

Ling used to take Quiji out to parties and movie premieres, but after a few “freakouts,” Quiji now stays at home in her Los Angeles apartment, only going out for occasional walks by the beach. Construction workers who have come by the apartment have been “terrified” of Quiji, but the actress insists that Quiji is not a “wild danger,” but simply “the most beautiful, affectionate creature I’ve ever encountered in my life.”

What do you think of Bai Ling’s unique pet? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

See more unusual animals on PEOPLEPets.com:
Coyote Not-So-Ugly: Shreve Stockton’s New Book Details Life with Charlie the Coyote
Peculiar Pets: Spiny Hedgehogs Make Unique Companions

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