DOB 5/1/88 – 1/14/08
Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 11/1/92
Nakita came with her mate Czar to live on Easy Street in 1992. She was sold to us as a Eurasian Lynx, but even now that we know better, we love her, rare or not. She has lived here with Czar for 11 years until his death. As Czar aged, his eyesight failed and he grew deaf. Nakita helped him immensely, in his old age, by grooming him and walking shoulder to shoulder with him to the lockout at feeding time. She has always been very protective of Czar and would not allow people to get anywhere near him.
Now Nakita lives by herself in a large and spacious Cat-a-tat. Nakita is by far the oldest bobcat living at Big Cat Rescue, but she would never let that on. Although she looks elderly with her thinning muscles and cloudy gaze, she is very active and will still give an unsuspecting squirrel or dove the scare of its lifetime.
Nakita passed away from kidney failure.
Most of our bobcats were rescues from fur farms. The deal Our Co-Founder made with the three fur farms we discovered in the U.S. was that he would pay top dollar for every cat and kitten they had as long as the fur farmer would agree to never buy and breed cats again for slaughter. It came at a time that the public outcry was against the fur industry. Many of these animals were purchased at auctions where the uncaring owners were dumping the cats with no concern about their welfare. There is much controversy over whether we did the right thing by paying the ransom for these cats. We still accept many unwanted cats each year, but do not pay for them and typically require that their owner surrender their license, in an attempt to keep people from just trading in their cats each year for a newer, cuter model. We have to turn away more than 100 cats each year due to a lack of space and funds and the lack of regulation of the exotic pet trade. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE
TRIBUTES FOR NAKITA
Nakita, wherever you are, I hope you are reunited with Czar and are frolicking around on the “other side”, your health regained and your spunk rewarded. You will never be forgotten by those that loved and cared for you, not only for your devotion to Czar when he was ill but for your spirit to make the most of life. Your resilience when the one you loved was taken away is an inspiration to all who knew you.
May your new “life on the other side” be filled with the perpetual sound of rolling wheels signaling the arrival of today’s gourmet treats and may you enjoy a renewed loving relationship with Czar……Diana, Volunteer Partner
When I first started volunteering at Big Cat Rescue, Nakita Bobcat was in an enclosure with Czar. After Czar passed away, I thought of Czar every time I saw Nakita. I am sure that Nakita and Czar have once again found each other. Nakita lived a very long life at Big Cat Rescue and I am happy that the last few years we were able to use Nakita in our training and enrichment program. Even though Nakita’s eyesight was failing, Nakita sure could grab treats off the operant conditioning stick faster than you could blink……..Jennifer, Director and Volunteer Coordinator
From what little time I knew her, she always amazed me. When I had the chance to clean her enclosure, she always laid there peacefully and watched me. It was hard to see her slowly drift away, but she was a strong fighter. I remember her guarding her rabbit one morning, such pride she had looming over it, as if saying “I may be old, but I’d like to try and see you take this from me!” She will be greatly missed and I’m more than grateful to have known her. Rest in Peace Nakita…..Shiloh, Volunteer Keeper Trainee
Nakita was a sweet bobcat. I always looked forward to seeing her when I was cleaning her section of the sanctuary. I began at BCR only when she was very old, so I often worried about her, as she seldom ate enough. A few weeks before her death, she got two rabbits as a treat, and I saw that she had enjoyed playing with and munching on them. I was glad to see she still had that energy and bobcat feistiness, despite her age. I will miss her friendly little face……Willow, Volunteer Keeper Trainee
Nikki Bob was actually a favorite of mine. She was one of the first cats I ever fed and she didn’t hesitate to let me know how much of a “bobcat” she really was. I remember trying to aim a chicken neck through cage wire while little bobcat paws were trying to get the neck I was trying to throw. One day, when I was approaching her with whole prey, I just stopped in front of her and said ” OK Nikki, let’s just see if we can do this peacefully…you’re going to get the rat anyway…you don’t have to try and take my hand with you”. Her response was typical bobcat…all I got was a hiss, but she wasn’t as aggressive as she usually was. So, I’d like to think that, on some level, I got through to her. After that day, Nakita and I had an understanding which went something like this: I hand deliver the food, and she would only make a half-hearted attempt at getting me, too. She will be sorely missed by me…..Regina, Senior Volunteer Keeper
The thing that I remember most about Nakita is how she always put up with that grumpy old man Czar, her mate. I always gave her credit for that. She totally stuck by him when he was blind, deaf and couldn’t even groom well anymore. I guess love is blind. He died so long ago, but she persisted. Even though I think they were roughly the same age, she always had the look of a much younger cat. I hope they are together again now..…Anissa, Senior Volunteer Keeper
I remember when I first became a volunteer, I used to love watching Nakita watch the ducks, assuming each one was a delectable morsel for her if they would only come close enough. I also loved watching her take care of Czar. Their relationship was very special. As the years passed after Czar passed away, you could still always count on Nakita being in her lockout at dinner time, though she really did not care for the mush and much preferred her necks or other treats. On mush night, she would just look at you like you had forgotten her food and if she just concentrated hard enough, you would remember to put her necks in also. We will miss you, Nakita…..Susan, Senior Volunteer Keeper
As a new volunteer, I got to know Nakita when I took on the lovely task of painting our public restroom, which just happened to be located near her cat-a-tat. She would always be sitting on top of her den eyeing me very seriously as I entered “her terrain,” like a very scary little bobcat. Once I started feeding, I saw how quickly she lived up to that look. She reminded me of a tough little street fighter and I developed a great respect for this little one’s might. She lived a very long life and certainly deserved all the respect we showed her, even as the end was near. I hope she and Czar have reunited. Now it’s his turn to show her the way, as she so often did for him…..Julie, Senior Volunteer Keeper
What a feisty little spirit! She always made me think of a little old lady that would go after a purse-snatcher and WIN! Never intimidated by the “Huffy Puffy” boys next door. Also, Nakita loved her enrichment. I am sad at her passing, but she is now chasing peacocks and when she catches one, she can keep it this time!…..Lisa, Volunteer Keeper
When I first started as a volunteer in 2003, I remember Nakita being a very feisty little girl. When I started to feed, she loved to eat and was always waiting in her lockout to bat at the mush as it was put in. When she would get whole prey, she loved to toss it up in the air and play with it. As time passed and she got older and didn’t move around as much, I always made sure to stop and chat with her each time I was there. Just to let her know that I cared about her and loved her……..Gale, Volunteer Keeper
What I remember about this quiet cat is how she would always lay in the sunshine in the middle of her enclosure under the palm fronds. Her head would slowly follow you around as you walked the perimeter. Sometimes she didn’t even wake up from napping. It seems unreal that her neighbors were Zeus and Apollo, but I suppose that fits…..Sean, BCR Intern (Sept. 2006 to Dec. 2006)
Nakita was already a very elderly bobcat by the time I started volunteering at Big Cat Rescue. More than any other bobcat, it was common to find when I cleaned that she’d left a lot of mush on her feeding block. I always wondered as I wrote it up in the observation book if that meant it was the beginning of the end for her. With the other bobcats, I was annoyed when they’d growl at me or charge me when I tried to remove their poop from their enclosure. With Nakita, I was always happy that she felt well enough to challenge me. I was sad to learn that Nakita had passed, but she had the best life a bobcat can have in captivity. Of that, I am certain….Patricia, Volunteer Keeper
More Memorials at http://bigcatrescue.org/category/memorials/