TUMBLEWEED SMITH >> Mertzon woman says pet bobcat is ‘spoiled rotten’
By Tumbleweed Smith
You can sense the strength in Bobby’s front legs and shoulders. The sound he makes comes from way down deep inside and scares away the faint of heart. Even polecats are afraid of Bobby.
Bobby is the pet bobcat belonging to Ramona Werst of Mertzon. When her husband took her to the place that sells bobcats, she chose Bobby because he was so playful.
“When you get a bobcat as a baby and bottle-feed him, he’ll bond with you,” says Ramona. “He doesn’t know he’s a bobcat. In fact, he would be a disgrace to bobcats. He’s afraid of mice.”
I sat down with Ramona and Bobby and we had a nice visit. Ramona says Bobby is spoiled rotten.
“When I was bottle-feeding him, he used to get me up at two o’clock in the morning for his bottle, then do the same thing at four o’clock and six o’clock. Now we have an automatic feeder that comes open for him at two o’clock and six o’clock. He likes that a lot.”
She got the bobcat five years ago.
“He was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, just a little bitty baby. Now he weighs around 45 pounds.”
The bobcat lives in a fenced in area beneath a second-story deck.
“He’s got a ramp that leads directly into our bedroom. He can come and go anytime he wants to. In his space under the deck he’s got his own jungle gym, an igloo that’s got a blanket in it and all kinds of balls to play with.”
When visitors come, Bobby goes away.
“We’ll show Bobby to our guests, then lock him up in our bedroom and his pen. We do that just in case he doesn’t like a scent. Or he might be hungry.”
Bobby has a domestic house cat for a brother. He thinks the pet dog is his mother. He plays fetch with a tennis ball and tug of war with a sock. When he’s playing tug of war, he sounds ferocious. His growls would make most people head for the door.
Bobby has a special diet.
“Every three weeks my husband David and I have to chop up raw liver, raw hamburger and cat food and mix it all together and freeze it. Bobby’s a little particular. He has to have his food just a little bit frozen.”
At night, Bobby sleeps with Ramona in spite of his loud purring. “He sleeps right on top of me from my shoulders to my stomach.” She says she’s never been afraid.
When he misbehaves, she smacks him on the nose.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home to more than 150 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.920.4130 fax 885.4457 cell 493.4564
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