bobcats little white dove

Little White Dove

hear big cats

Female Bobcat

5/19/97 – 4/19/18

Little White Dove Has Crossed Rainbow Bridge

Despite having her leg in a cast, Dr. Wynn took her lunch break to come ease Little White Dove to the other side.  A couple weeks ago, when Little White Dove stopped eating we did diagnostics that found her 20 year old kidneys to be failing, but she had some bad molars that could have stopped her from eating too.  We opted to remove those and see if that was enough to get her going again.

It wasn’t. Painstakingly, her keepers begged her to eat and offered every variety of food from chopped to pureed to encourage her to eat, but she peaked at 6 oz in a day and declined from there.  For a cat who can eat a couple of pounds a day, this was not enough.

Keepers kept reporting how “sad” Running Bear was and every time I went by he seemed to be as close to his long time mate as he could be.  He knew she was leaving and he seemed to want every last moment to count.  I know he’s going to miss her now, but letting her go peacefully today was the kindest thing we could do.

Little White Dove had been born to Little Feather and The Great Pretender on 5/19/97 back before we learned that none of these cats could ever go free or ever serve any sort of conservation purpose.  Running Bear was born June 2, 1997 to Shiloh and Precious and because they were kittens at the same time, Running Bear and Little White Dove grew up together and stayed together all these 20 long years.

This came up today because while Kathryn, Dr. Wynn and I were crying over Little White Dove’s lifeless form, Kathryn asked if she had been bottle raised or momma raised.  Little White Dove was probably the most fierce cat on the property…if you were to believe the little fluff ball, so that’s probably why Kathryn asked.

Little Feather had allowed us to co-raise her kittens.  Little Feather did all the hard work, and we handled them every day.  In our ignorance we thought it was the best of both worlds, but any exotic cat who is actually raised by their own mom, no matter how “tame” or “sweet” their mom is to people, the wild cat moms instills in the cubs that they should never trust people.

This is a big part of why it’s so sad to see wild cats who were used as pay to play or photo props, because we know that they were torn from their moms early and never allowed to go back to her for the love and care that only their own mother can give.


Little White Dove is well known for her beautiful golden eyes.  She chose to bond and live with Running Bear.  Though she was once food aggressive, as so many of the wildcats here are, she now defers to Running Bear at feeding time.  She will even allow him to be fed before her.

During the day, they spend much of their time perched high up in their tree sleeping. Seeing them up there, it is easy for guests to understand the nocturnal nature of bobcats and how easily they can camouflage themselves in trees. Despite development and human encroachment of their habitat, bobcats can sometimes manage to stay hidden from view and manage to survive.


Running Bear & Little White Dove

by J.P. Richardson

On the banks of the river, stood Running Bear, young Indian brave.

On the other side of the river stood a lovely Indian maid.

Little White Dove was her name, such a lovely sight to see.

But their tribes fought with each other, so their love could never be.



Running Bear loved Little White Dove with a love big as the sky.

Running Bear loved Little White Dove with a love that couldn’t die.


He couldn’t swim the raging river, because the river was too wide.

He couldn’t reach his Little White Dove waiting on the other side.

In the moonlight he could see her blowing kisses cross the waves.

Her little heart was beating faster waiting there for her brave.



Running Bear loved Little White Dove with a love big as the sky.

Running Bear loved Little White Dove with a love that couldn’t die.


Running Bear dove in the water, Little White Dove did the same.

As they swam up to each other through the swirling stream they came.

As their hands touched and their lips met, the raging river pulled them down.

Now they’ll always be together in that happy hunting ground.


Running Bear loved Little White Dove with a love big as the sky.

Running Bear loved Little White Dove with a love that couldn’t die.

 See More About Little White Dove:

Hear some great vocalizations by Running Bear and Little White Dove in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on May 1, 2014 –

Most of our bobcats were rescued from fur farms where they were being raised to slaughter for their fur.  Some were being sold at auction where taxidermists would buy them and club them to death in the parking lot, but a few, like Little White Dove, were born here in the early days when we were ignorant of the truth and were being told by the breeders and dealers that these cats should be bred for “conservation.” Once we learned that there are NO captive breeding programs that actually contribute to conservation in the wild we began neutering and spaying our cats in the mid 1990’s.  Knowing what we do about the intelligence and magnificence of these creatures we do not believe that exotic cats should be bred for lives in cages. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE



2016 July

In early April 2018 Keepers noted that Little White Dove wasn’t eating well so on April 6th she was brought in to see the vet. She will be 21 years old next month, which is about twice as long as bobcats usually live, but until now she’s been the picture of health and bobcat ferocity.

As expected, her kidney values were just horrible, but a lot of our cats live quality lives with kidney values that are four times worse than what would kill a domestic cat. We did find 4 bad teeth, so Dr. Justin Boorstein decided to remove those teeth and see if that was the cause of her not wanting to eat.

Little White Dove is one of the most fierce little bobcats I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and being kept confined in the hospital is something we knew she’d hate, but we had to give her sub q fluids and monitor her food and water intake very closely. We tried every kind of food but she’s not eating more than a few ounces a day.

We have to consider that it could actually be her kidneys, and not the bad teeth, that were causing her to turn her nose up at food. Kidney failure makes cats feel nauseous. As one last resort, we moved her back out into her cat-a-tat with her life long mate, Running Bear. He’s tippy-toeing around her, because he’s not sure what’s up, and she’s enjoying being outside again.

She’s still not eating enough though, so the vets are prescribing another change in her meds to see if she starts to feel better. If not, we will have to make the sad decision to euthanize her. That is never a choice we make lightly as we take all factors into consideration, especially her quality of life.

See a PHOTO ALBUM of Little White Dove through the years at

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. I am so very sorry for your loss of Little White Dove. What a beautiful girl! May she watch over you all, and especially her beloved Running Bear, until reunited in due time. She certainly had a long and loved life at Big Cat Rescue, for which I am so grateful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *