Des-PURR-ado is another beautiful example of the exceptional coats that these hybrids have. His coat is very soft and fluffy and beautifully patterned.
Des-PURR-ado is very outgoing towards keepers and seems to be just as much an attention hound as Alex. He lives in a large Cat.a.tat with lots of trees and a huge rock den with his roommate Little Dove. He has been neutered and the two live happily together.
As if on cue he will often come out to the tours and roll over on his back to show the spotted belly as the tour guides explain that on fur farms the spotted belly fur is all that is used and the rest of the cat is often ground up and fed to the other captive cats there.
Read Big Cat Rescuers Tributes to DesPurrAdo:
It’s times like these that make me realize how precious a life is in this world. A life that you could never truly thank enough for changing yours. “Despi” was that life that helped change mine. Along with Auroara, Despurrado was one of the cats that provided me with so much strength and even amusement. Back when being a volunteer, I was beyond eager to start operant conditioning and when I was finally assigned Despi, I was excited and happy, yet I didn’t know what I was getting into. I would go around telling others that the great Despurrado was my cat. The response? A few laughs and some “good luck with him!”. To the feeders he was a grabby, fierce bobcat that would give a newbie volunteer a tough challenge.
I remember the first day going out there in the morning and he was just as described. Paws out, growling and fiesty. Not once did I ever give up. I spent even more mornings with him, getting him used to me and slowly introducing him to simple commands and before I knew it, in just a week or two, he had caught right on. His intelligence blew me away and I was blessed to have him as my operant cat for the next few years. In the mornings, I would walk down the path, say my hello’s to Shadow and continue on and up ahead I would see that familiar bobcat I had grown to love sitting in his lockout waiting for me. It brought a smile to my face and before I could even get over the barricade, Despi would already be doing his commands and expecting his treat. Laughing softly, I would tell him to calm down and proceed with the training. Even on days when I would come in on the afternoons, I would be told that Despi had been seen in his lockout in the morning waiting for me. Of course, this meant I had to go and give him treats because I felt bad.
He was a cat like no other and I am eternally grateful for the chance to have been his friend, his first operant partner, and his student (yes, he trained me, not the other way around). To my Despurrado, my sweet, sweet Despi… forgive me for leaving. Forgive me for not being at your side as you grew older. Not one day has ever gone by where I had not thought of you or Auroara. You both, along with Shadow, had changed my life forever and I wish I could have told you that more. Be at peace, my sweet cat. I’ll forever love you….Shiloh Grant, Former Senior Keeper
He lived a very long, well cared for life at Big Cat Rescue and will be missed by so many keepers who grew to love him. But none will miss him as much as Little Dove will, his lifelong companion.
FROM CAROLE BASKIN, FOUNDER
It seems like it is always raining when we have to euthanize a cat and today was no exception. DesPurrado has been battling renal failure as well as dealing with thyroid issues for a long time, and with a change in meds recently we saw great improvement and had hoped he would be able to have a little longer with us. We always supply supportive care for as long as a cat has the will to live, and we try to watch the cat closely for signs that they are telling us that it is “time.” Just a few days ago, DesPurrado was chasing lizards and showing his usual zeal for life, but when he refused his favorite meal in the whole world – whole prey rat, we knew he was giving up.
On Wednesday, he didn’t even get up to come for his rat, even though rat night is the highlight of his existence. At dinner time, even cats who are great buddies by day will threaten each other viciously over their favorite treats. Little Dove would ordinary grab her rat and run, but this week when she saw that DesPurrado wasn’t feeling well enough to come get his, she sweetly carried her prize over to him and offered it up. He seemed to appreciate the gesture, but did not feel like eating it.
Yesterday, when a bunch of us were in Moses and Bailey’s cage next door; that would have been of the utmost interest to curious cats like DesPurrado, but he just laid in the grass, staring off into space. Where ever he was going, he was already on his way. Jamie and I decided to see if he would eat Thursday night, but he wouldn’t and he refused his meds in favorite treats. We knew he would never get better, but had hoped to give him a quality of life worth living for a little longer. Like his response to Little Dove, he seemed to appreciate the gesture, but he was ready to go.
Not wanting to make his last moments here those of being put into a carrier and carted to the vet, I asked if Dr. Wynn would come to his home today to help him cross over into whatever is waiting next for him. Jennifer helped and we all sat with him in the rain as he drifted away. They noted the huge and gorgeous butterfly that floated about his enclosure, in between the downpours. I wonder who had come to guide him on?
Could it be Hercules or Catera who were living in my bedroom with him and Cleo-cat-tra bobcat back in 1997? Or Windsong coming to gather him back into her “pride” and the realm of the unknown? I don’t know, but I do know that we will miss him and his great love of life.
Video by Senior Keeper Julie Hanan
More Memorials at http://bigcatrescue.org/category/memorials/