Dances With Wolves

Dances w/ Wolves the Canada Lynx


7/16/91 – 6/17/11

Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 1/23/93

Dances With Wolves had been bottle raised and sold to someone who expected her to bond with him. His cats do commercials and ads and she was not inclined to do either. Living on Easy Street now, she can do what comes natural to her. Dances With Wolves lives next to Shatia and is much more inclined to pose for photographers as long as they don’t come too near.


For years, Dances with Wolves lived in an enclosure next to another lynx named Shatia.  Though it was hoped they would enjoy each other’s company, Dances With Wolves decided she liked Shatia living next door to her, not with her.  She made that very clear.

Many affectionately called her “Dances” or “Woofie” and were delighted whenever they got to see her or spend time with her.  She was special to so many of our keepers.  As she aged, she became elusive.  At nearly 20 years, she had become one of the oldest Canada Lynx we knew of, but her medical issues began taking a huge toll on her.  Sadly, we said goodbye and let her slip peacefully away.

We gave her a life that was twice as long and hundreds of times as full as any captive lynx is likely to have ever known.  She made such a huge, lasting impression on all who volunteered and cared for her, all who met her during a visit to the sanctuary, all who read about her and watched her many videos.  As with all we’ve loved and lost, we’ll truly miss her and remember her always.

Tributes to Dances with Wolves the Canada Lynx

Say No to Fur
Say No to Fur

Unknown Jun 29, 2011
Is it awful to say that I’m happy you’re finally free? Finally free of the heat that was so unnatural for you, finally free of the attention it seemed you never really wanted, finally free of the pain your body inflicted on you….finally free. I’m happy for you now sweetheart. We spent so much time looking into each other’s eyes. I understood what you were asking. I’m glad you are free, as you wanted all along.

Lauren Grant Jun 21, 2011
Woofie girl, I will miss seeing you in the morning, waiting for your meds. I treasured every moment when you came out to say hi. I will miss your beautiful ewok face!

Carole Baskin Jun 21, 2011
It seems appropriate to me that the top image on this page by Julie looks like she is sitting on the “iron throne” from Game of Thrones. She did her time as a captive. Now it’s time for her to be reigning somewhere.

Unknown Jun 20, 2011
Dances,oh dear girl, I am glad I got to see you on Thursday and you were your beautiful stubborn self and refused your meds. I adored your independent spirit and your strength and strong will. I do hope you know how much we love you and that you are running free now chasing Snowshoe hares as you were meant to do! Be at peace beautiful one.

Pam Rodriguez Jun 19, 2011
Woofie, always brought tears to my eyes. She was the epitome of beauty, and will be sadly missed by all. I saw a few days before my trip to Charlotte, and am grateful for that moment. Thank you once again to those at BCR who took care of her, and made the last days of her life comfortable.

Nanci Spires Jun 19, 2011
Such a beautiful girl! I will miss you!

Unknown Jun 18, 2011
Dear sweet Woofie. I remember when I first started and they told me about you and your dreadlocks. I couldn’t believe it when I saw you for the first time. And then after your haircut seeing those beautiful soulful eyes. Here in earth you never got to see, touch, or feel the serenity of a fresh-fallen snow. Even though you didn’t like Barbara’s ice I would like to think that right now you are romping about in a soft white wonderland with snow angels twirling all about you. I am glad you had Barbara and your other keepers while you were here with us.

Unknown Jun 18, 2011
DANCES, I called you my “Moppet Lion”. What big eyes-ones I could never read. Guess Shatia told you “enough already!-time to have fun.” This time you listened. Thank you “for teaching us how to keep you healthy. You would have said goodbye a long time ago. Could you let Barbara + Marie + Julie know you’re watching them? We’ll never forget you. You were so loved.xxxooo”

Regina Turgeon Jun 18, 2011
Although I was at the hospital when she came in, I wasn’t able to see her and say goodbye if I knew that she had to be put down, I was able to see her at BCR a couple of weeks ago when I was backing up a tour. I may not have known her for as long as most of the keepers here, but it’s still a great loss for anyone who volunteers and visits here. I hope to learn more and would love to have that opportunity to have that same connection to one of the cats there like most of these keepers do.

Regina Rinaldi Jun 18, 2011
What can I say? Woofy is gone and it breaks my heart. A huge thank you to Barbara for making Dances “her” cat and always doing something to try and improve Woofy’s life here at BCR. Although I am crying my eyes out and mourning once again, Woofy is in a better place. My heart goes out to Barbara and Jamie for having to make such a difficult decision yesterday, and thank you for letting me say good-bye to her personally…it meant the world to me.

Barbara Frank Jun 18, 2011
I started volunteering at BCR almost 8 years ago. Dances With Wolves (Woofy) was my operant cat. I could never call her Dances so I nicknamed her Woofy! I was told she was extremely shy and elusive. I worked with her for quite some time, until one day I called to her “Woofy, where’s my girl?” To my surprise and delight, out she came and walked over to me. Woofy was not a social cat, she did not purr or rub against the enclosure as so many of our cats do. She was her own “purr-son” and remained so until the end. Her independent nature intrigued me and I was so impressed by her aloofness. I remember one time when I bought a couple of bags of crushed ice (to simulate the snow that I thought she would love) and put it in her enclosure. She would NOT touch that ice for anything. I finally put a treat on the ice to hopefully encourage her to walk on it. To my surprise and laughter, Woofy actually hooked one paw on the enclosure and straddled the ice to get to her treat. She got her treat without ever touching the ice! I truly loved that funny looking girl with the dreadlocks and will miss her terribly.

Unknown Jun 18, 2011
There isn’t much I can say that will do this cat justice, as is the case with many of the cats we come to know and love. It is just hard to explain how I feel about her–Dances was a special, special beautiful girl. There is nobody else like her in the world. I hope that she is now free from pain and knew how much we loved her.

More Memorials at

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