Purchase this Jumanji Black Leopard pendant to help with his care
It’s Valentine’s Day and my heart is restless with worry. Tomorrow Jumanji, a 20 year old black leopard and Bongo, a nearly 25 year old serval, will have to be sedated for treatment. Since a lot of our cats are over the age of 20, and these species usually don’t live past 10-12 elsewhere, there is always this low level tension tugging at our hearts. We are always watchful for any sign that one of our precious cats is on the decline.
Nature demands survival of the fittest, so cats don’t show their illness, unless they are so sick they just can’t hide it any more. In the wild they would become prey if they didn’t maintain the facade of being the biggest, baddest element in the brush. Even in captivity, they are stoic in their pain and masters of illusion. It usually is something they can’t hide that first gives them away.
Jumanji has had a growth on his face for a while that has concerned us, but sedation is such a dangerous thing for exotic cats, that we have just watched it closely for changes and figured we will get a biopsy of it, or remove it, if he ever had anything else going on that would call for sedation.
Yesterday, (Feb. 13) he left a broken tooth on his feeding platter. My first thought was that he was expecting the tooth fairy, but realized that he must have broken it off while chewing on a bone. He’s always had great teeth, so this was un expected and worrisome enough, considering the exposed root, that we decided to sedate him Monday, Feb. 15.
Purchase this cute serval kitten plushy toy to help provide care to Bongo
No sooner had we made arrangements with the vet, Dr. Justin Boorstein, who is seeing his dentist that same morning, that a radio call came in that Bongo had a swelling on his face, and didn’t want to eat. In more than 20 years of caring for Bongo Serval, I don’t remember anyone ever reporting that he didn’t want to eat.
Jamie Veronica went to take a look at him, and all indications are that he’s got a bad tooth too. “Dr Boorstein; could you make that two patients for dental work, Monday?”
I kid you not, it wasn’t 15 minutes later before there was a radio call saying that Zouletta Serval was doing that weird-serval-neck-arching-thing. We are baffled at this odd phenomenon that only affects servals and seems to be related to a change in the weather. When it’s cold outside one day and then really nice the next day, the arching seems to happen on the nice day. We’ve discussed the condition with experts in serval care across the country and have tried just about everything imaginable, but can’t tell that anything, other than continued warm weather, fixes it.
“Dr Boorstein; could you make that three patients for Monday?”
If you picture those horses that are trained to step high and arch their necks, that is what it looks like. There are variations on it where the cat’s forehead seems to be glued to the ground. Those cases get brought inside immediately. The cats are usually very wobbly in their gait and will fall over. It doesn’t usually affect their appetite though.
We were trying to decide if Zouletta should go into the West Boensch Cat Hospital for a few days, but by the afternoon she was feeling a lot better and thankfully, today, shows no sign of affliction. I’m crossing my fingers that it stays that way for her. Thor Bobcat really doesn’t want neighbors in the hospital and two cats in surgery are about all I can stand.
I don’t know what time Jumanji and Bongo will be coming into surgery, but you can watch it LIVE at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-windsong-memorial-cat-hospital There is a discussion board at the bottom of that page where we can do Q and A with you, but the microphones are great, so you will be able to hear the vets and they often will speak directly to the camera to keep you informed.
As always, your gifts are tax deductible and much appreciated.
Male DOB 1/1/03
Caravel (Caracal / Serval Hybrid)
Meet Jo Jo the Caracal Serval Hybrid
I first met JoJo the Caracal / Serval hybrid at the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in 2005 after a hurricane had taken down the perimeter fencing and dumped piles of deadfall on the cages.
The owner, Dirk Neugebohm, had ended up in the hospital with a heart attack from trying to clean the mess up by himself.
He wrote from what he thought was his deathbed back then to anyone and everyone he could think of asking for help; and asking for help was not something that came easily to this hard working German.
What we found, when Howard and I visited, was a man who was way in over his head. Donations were almost non existent, the cages were old, dilapidated, small and concrete floored. The freezer had been damaged and he had lost his food supply, so we sent food and volunteers to help him clean up and rebuild.
The tiger back then was Sinbad, who lived in what is commonly used for housing parrots. An oval corn crib cage with a metal roof. Sinbad died recently after a snake bite, leaving Krishna, pictured, as the only remaining tiger.
We had a donor and a sanctuary (Safe Haven in NV) that were willing to take Krishna, but we were told that the Florida Wildlife Commission had found someone less than 6 miles away to take him.
Dirk managed to keep his sanctuary afloat, if just barely, for the next 8 years, but a couple days ago one of his volunteers, Vickie Saez, who we had been helping for the past couple of years with infrastructure and social networking, contacted us to say that Dirk was dying of brain cancer in the hospital and that she had convinced him to let the animals go to other homes. She said the Florida Wildlife Commission had arranged for most of the homes, but that Dirk was very happy that we could take JoJo. Our sweet Caracal, Rose, had died July 31st and her cage was empty.
We were told that all of the other cats had new homes waiting, except for Nola the cougar, but she was very ill. We offered to pay a vet to do blood work on her to make sure that she was not contagious. We were concerned because she had a history of some very contagious diseases, which had left her severely debilitated. What concerned us was that her caretaker said she looked bloated.
A vet had arrived to help with the transfer of two leopards to a place in Jupiter. He sedated Nola to see what was wrong.
We are told that he palpitated three melon sized tumors in her abdomen and that with every touch of her belly she exuded foamy blood from her nose and anus. He was sure that there was no hope for her and humanely euthanized her.
This photo was Nola back in 2011. While we were sad that we would not be able to give Nola a new home here at Big Cat Rescue we are glad that she is not suffering any more.
JoJo at Big Cat Rescue
JoJo has arrived at Big Cat Rescue and settled in nicely. It is quite possibly his first time to walk on the soft earth.
His cage has been a small (maybe 60 square feet) of concrete and chain link for at least 8 years and probably longer. He is thought to be about 10 years old. Sometimes breeders hybridize exotic cats because there are no laws on the books that regulate them, but in Florida, the inspectors say, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck; it’s a duck.”
JoJo now has 1,200 square feet of earth, bushes, trees and grass.
He really likes the grass. Are you hearing the Beetles lyric, “JoJo left his home in Homestead-Miami looking for some Florida grass?”
I had spent a couple years traveling various zoos and learning how to make web sites and website goodies, just looking for a way to make a difference for animals; tumbling around trying to find my ‘place in the sun’, my purpose in life. then in July 2004 I found Big Cat Rescue’s web site and offered to make games for them. Carole sent me some photos and the fun began. That progressed into being blessed with getting actually visit Big Cat Rescue for eight heavenly days taking photos in September 2004. If a turning point in life can be pinpointed, that trip was exactly that for me. My life changed forever right then and there.
After visiting Big Cat Rescue it was quite clear to me that this place was it unlike any other animal facility. I had finally finally found the animal place I wanted to devote my life to thus no longer needed to travel around looking for my place in life. More trips to take photos of the cats at Big Cat Rescue followed in 2005 & 2006. During those visits I became completely hooked for life. For me, building web site goodies for Big Cat Rescue is like breathing itself. If I couldn’t be a part of Big Cat Rescue and part of working toward the goals of their mission, I think my breath would actually stop. I LOVE Big Cat Rescue with my whole heart and my whole being and firmly believe in their mission and goals.
Now, I take great delight in spending my days using those photos to create goodies for their newest website ChatBigCats.com. I really enjoy doing tabling events and doing little classroom presentations on saving endangered species by saving their wild habitats. Big Cat Rescue participates in many habitat preservation projects and getting to share those with kids whose minds and hearts are open and full of wonder for wild animals is a truly joyous thing. Currently, there are three passions that rage like wild fires in my heart and working with Big cat Rescue allows me to help make a difference in these three areas. #1 Raising awareness for the need for new laws to keep big cats out of backyards and roadside ‘wannabe’ zoos #2 Raising awareness for saving wild habitats and last but not certainly not least #3 Educating the public on the real truth about white tigers.
Working with Big Cat Rescue is the highlight, the joy, and the purpose of my life. Not to go without mention, working with Big Cat Rescue is the greatest privilege I could ever have imagined receiving in my life. To sum it up, I live and breath Big Cat Rescue and our mission and count it a privilege to do so. I can’t give money, so I give what I can, which it my time and devotion.
Spay and Play Flier that you can share in your animal shelter, rescue booth or veterinary clinic. Download Front and Back.
In an ongoing effort to promote responsibility and to stop suffering, Big Cat Rescue is pleased to present our international Spay and Play program. Bring us an original receipt, from your vet, showing that you spayed or neutered a pet, or a receipt from an animal shelter showing that you adopted a spayed or neutered pet, within the past year, and get a FREE PASS for our day tour. That is a $36.00 value! If you are the kind of person who cares enough to protect your pet, or feral cats, from over population and all the horrors that go with it, then you are the kind of people that we want to meet. See Day Tours for times and tell the Ticket agent you have a Free Pass to redeem. So fix a pet and bring us proof (the receipt, not the cat) and we will give you a tour that you will be talking about for years.
Think you want to have just one litter first? Think again:
From just allowing one litter of four, you are responsible for a minimum of 52 more cats in just 14 months! There is no safe place for all these cats to go. Tens of thousands are killed every year. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Spay or Neuter your pet, and then come “Play” with some of our big cats.
If you are a Veterinarian, a shelter employee or a pet rescue organization you can print out the posters below that lets your clients know that their receipt for spaying or neutering OR adopting a pet that was spayed or neutered gets them in to see our big cats for free. The receipt should be dated within the last year. That is all they have to bring.
The No More Homeless Pets coalition is a movement that is sweeping the nation. In almost every place in the country you can find rescue groups working together now to end euthanasia of healthy dogs and cats in shelters by promoting low cost and free spaying and neutering projects. Visit No More Homeless Pets of Hillsborough County to see if you qualify for free or low cost altering of your pet. If you are not a resident of Hillsborough County, FL then try asking your local Animal Control if they have a low income voucher program or if they can recommend a low cost clinic.
Low Cost Spay & Neuter for Those Qualified
The No More Homeless Pets coalition is a movement that is sweeping the nation. In almost every place in the country you can find rescue groups working together now to end the killing of healthy dogs and cats in shelters by promoting low cost and free spaying and neutering projects.
Visit Hillsborough County Animal Services to see if you qualify for low cost altering of your pet. If you are not a resident of Hillsborough County, FL then try asking your local Animal Control if they have a low income voucher program or if they can recommend a low cost clinic.
Find out your Animal Shelter’s policies and ask if they are involved with No More Homeless Pets in an attempt to end the killing of healthy dogs and cats.
“Come quick, come quick,” their mother said,
“The time is getting near.”
She feels that when the kittens come,
The children should be here.
She told them that a big orange Tom
Took “Kitty” as his wife.
“It’s wonderful, a gift from God,
The miracle of life.”
At half a year young “Kitty”
Feels too painful and too scared
To appreciate six miracles,
Blind-eyed and yellow haired.
But she knows these lives depend on her
And nature tells her how.
And as she cleans them, children ask,
“Mom, can we go now?”
But now and then for six more weeks
The children visit her to play
With six new magic toys
Made of life and fur.
The six weeks pass, the newness gone,
And new homes yet unfound,
Mom bundles up six miracles
And takes them to the pound.
Where lovingly, with gentle hands,
And no tears left to cry,
The shelter workers kiss them once,
and take them off to die.
And “Momma Kitty” now she’s called
Mourns her loss and then,
She’s put outside, and of course,
She’s pregnant once again.
Dad tells “Kitty,” “STOP THIS NOW,
Or you wont live here long!
But deep inside of Momma Cat,
This time something’s wrong.
Too young, too small, too often bred,
Now nature’s gone awry,
Momma Kitty feels it too,
And she crawls off to die.
She too is freed from this cruel world,
And from her time of strife.
How harsh the truth, how high the price,
This “Miracle of Life?”