Male Cougar

9/16/93 – 2/5/12

Hal came to Big Cat Rescue on September 20, 1993 from an auction where people dump animals that are unwanted. Hal has always been quite mischievous. Keepers have to very careful when cleaning his feeding block and water bowl as one of his favorite things to do is grab the water hose. If he is able to snatch it he will quickly chomp into it sending streams of water shooting out in every direction. Unlike most cougars, Hal actually likes the water and loves to chase water from the hose. He is very purrr-sonable and greets everyone who approaches his enclosure. Hal is also in love with his neighbor Tobi, whenever he sees her across the way he will chirp and meuww at her in a high pitch that seems odd coming from such a big boy. Tobi seems uninterested in his flirtatious vocalizations.

DOD 2/5/2012

Today Dr Wynn came in during her vacation and helped Hallelujah the cougar cross over into that etherial world that he was so famous for bridging.  Whenever a cat died here, Hal always knew it first and would let us all know through his mournful wailing.  I say “mournful” because it sounded that way to my ears, but doubt that the cats see passing on as such a mournful experience.  Cats seem to bridge the gap between the seen and the unseen without all of the culturally imposed blinders that we humans have.  You will continue to hear Hallelujah in the purr of your own cats and know that he is always nearby.

Tributes to Hallelujah Cougar

Unknown Feb 16, 2012
I really loved Hal, he was my favorite cougar. I hadn’t had the chance to read this article till just recently, it was very touching. I love Hal and hope he is at peace in the afterlife, he was always a wonderful guy to pass by on the tour. Glad he’s not in pain. I will miss him like I do Freckles.

Unknown Feb 9, 2012
Halley Cat was one of the most beautiful, special cats we will ever know. He really took my heart the first time I cleaned his cage–playing with his ball, talking, and purring. I enjoyed his company so much. I will miss him very much.

Regina Rinaldi Feb 7, 2012
What do I say? I could say so many things right now. Hal and I had a special bond. I was “his mommy”. I brought him tilapia fillets, tuna steaks, and always a bloodsicle. I knew the way to his heart lol. I have so many funny stories…the way he played with that blue ball, the way he would attack a stick, the way he always stuck his ear out of the enclosure tempting you to pet him, and that infectious purr. I ask, who could not love such a boy??? I’ve lost my ONE TRUE LOVE and I will never forget him.

I knew last week when he left his bloodsicle untouched, that he had lost his passion for life and that it was time for my boy to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

My heart is broken in a million pieces, and several of those pieces went with him. Run free Hally-boy, GOD has a hose for you to chew on. I can picture it in my mind you, running at top speed, no pain, whacking a blue ball around the tall grass in heaven.

Hal (Photo of) went with me 3 times for a heart cath, and into the Operating room when i had my open heart surgery, so he got me through alot.



Lynda Licht Feb 6, 2012
“Hallelujah” is a joyful word of praise to God, usually in song. I can think of no greater evidence of the wonder of our creator than your beauty and spirit, Hal. Your purring was the rhythm of our work and your chirps its happy melody. What a pleasure and honor it was to care for you. Miss you much handsome.

Unknown Feb 6, 2012
So few knew Hal when he was younger, fiestier, and much more dangerous. Luckily for all, he mellowed with age. He never failed to con me every day with that cocked head, those entreating eyes, that moan/groan lying straight to my face “really, really, I promise, no one fed me, no one gave me a treat.” I fell for it every time. I learned how to debone a chicken quarter with only a stick as an implement. Why? Because Hal had a hard time chewing bones that night. I learned how to bargain with a lynx who gladly traded his chicken necks for Hal’s chicken quarter. Why? Because Hal only wanted chicken necks that night. I learned that, whenever you’re handing out bloodcicles, no matter what part of the sanctuary, you must always bring one extra for Hal. Why? It was his toll for passing. I learned that a ferocious cougar could turn into a sweet, gentle pussycat when I watched Hal allow a peacock to completely stick its head into his feeding block, without any fear, as he shared his food. I learned a lot from Hal, most of all, how to love a cougar very, very much. I know he’s having fun now with all the other cougar boys and girls we’ve loved and lost. No matter how far away I am, no matter how far away they are, they’ve wrapped themselves around my heart and will never let go. I guess that’s the definition of heartache, after all.

Unknown Feb 6, 2012
Hal, you were one of our purrrrfect cats, always purring even when we came in to say good-bye you laid there purring at us like you were telling us it’s ok, you’re going to a better place where there’s no more pain and be with the others that have crossed over, we will miss your beautiful face and disposition. You will be missed but will always be in our hearts you beautiful boy.

Pam Rodriguez Feb 6, 2012
Once again, one our our wonderful animals has died. It is always a great loss, but Hal had the best care and attention from everyone at BCR. Thank you.

Afton Tasler Feb 6, 2012
Although I have only been volunteering there for 10 weeks, I see how easy it is to become attached to these amazing cats!! Since I have started I knew that the health of Hal was deteriorating, but I find myself shedding a few tears for him. He was lucky to spend his life at the Big Cat Rescue with such incredible people, if he was not able to be in the wild. My heart goes out to Hal and everyone who mourns for his loss.

Marie Schoubert Feb 5, 2012
For the first time Hal wasn’t announcing this departure… because it was his departure! We are all going to miss our Hal. But I know that a lot of cougars up there are now playing with him… he can have all the water hoses he wants without being in danger or getting us in trouble anymore… keep an eye, an ear, a heart, a purrrrr for us Hal. We will never forget you or stop loving you. R.I.P. Hal

Unknown Feb 5, 2012
Hal you captured the heart of this partner as well. Thank you for letting me get to know you the last year and a half of your life. You would even come out and talk to me. I do remember though the one tour that you stalked me the entire time. It must have been my blue sweatshirt under my tee! Thank you to everyone who loved him and took such great care of him. I will always remember your sweet purr….

Unknown Feb 5, 2012
Hal was my bonus cat when I went out to read to my cats. Hal always came out when I was reading and laid down, tilted his head as if he know what I was saying. Thank you Hal for letting me get to know you and for being my bonus cat. I will miss you always especially when I go see my cats.

Carole Baskin Feb 5, 2012
Hal was the first “big” cat to live on Easy Street. Back in 1993 cougars were not considered to be Class I cats, so people often had them as pets and they were the poster children for disposable wild pets. Easy to buy, at about $100.00 for a cute, blue eyed, spotted cub, they were not a protected species and thus were easy to transfer across state lines and easy to discard by just turning them loose when they got too big to be fun. Before Glory, Glory and Hallelujah came here the biggest of our cats were lynx. Thanks to our educational tours and the letters from our supporters we changed the law in FL in 2007 making it illegal to trade in cougars as pets and cougars were added to the list of “big” cats who could not be traded across state lines as pets in 2003.

More Memorials at https://bigcatrescue.org/category/memorials/

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