Blind baby bobcat kitten named Rufus at Big Cat Rescue

Rufus the Baby Bobcat Kitten

Est DOB 10/1/11 – 4/26/2012


Rufus the blind bobcat kitten was believed to have been hit by a car on Dec 4th in South Carolina. He weighed just 4.2lbs, had a broken jaw, split canine and was comatose.

After he woke up from the coma he was pretty loopy, the South Carolina rehabber figured the impact had done brain damage. They had to wire the jaw shut, tube feed him and remove the broken canine. He was taken in by Big Cat Rescue on Feb 12th 2012, he’s now eating solids on his own and doing much better despite walking into walls and getting stuck in corners. He was having bad and frequent seizures, but those have almost subsided.

Blind baby bobcat kitten named Rufus at Big Cat Rescue

Blind baby bobcat kitten named Rufus at Big Cat Rescue

Rufus had a seizure around noon today.  It was a typical one for him.  Later on around 2 he had a more severe episode and was taken inside to the cat hospital.  He had a high temperature and was not coherent.

The Last Photo of Rufus the baby bobcat kitten

The Last Photo of Rufus the baby bobcat kitten

He was given an injection of medication to sedate him and to stop the seizure.  He rested for a couple of hours and his temperature was brought down with cool cloths and ice packs.

At 5 he began to wake up and had another severe episode and then suddenly he stopped breathing.

Every attempt was made to resuscitate him, however we were unsuccessful.

He quietly slipped away on his own terms.

He will be missed dearly by everyone who got to know him and of his story.  He was a special little boy who touched many of our hearts.

Jamie took this photo of Rufus just before he died when he was lazing in the sun, listening to the birds.



Thank you to everyone who made it possible to give his such loving care; especially the Skip A Holics and his staff here.

Find out more about our Bobcat Rehab program.

Tributes to Rufus Bobcat

Susan Reed Apr 29, 2012
Rufus, you were particularly special to me and my husband who was blinded in Viet Name (USMC). Mike eagerly awaits my stories about my volunteering and all the happenings at the sanctuary. Although he has never been on a tour, he feels he knows and loves all the cats intimately through me. But Rufus was different — we had a special affinity because of his blindness. Mike was so inspired by him and offered suggestions on how to help him with his disability. He would often tell me that the spirit can overcome any obstacle; and, despite his blindness, Rufus would find a way to cope. When he became Shaniqua’s neighbor during the day, I would describe his antics to Mike, how he gingerly explored the perimeter of his enclosure, his fear of loud noises, and his absolute joy to be outdoors listening to the birds. On Friday, the 20th, I paused in the front section to watch Rufus. He was keenly aware of my presence, intently and calmly listening to me clean Shaniqua’s enclosure. He seemed to sense that I was a kindred spirit. But I had to stop myself from laughing out loud when he lost interest and scampered off to play with a leaf. This last Friday, I stopped by his enclosure to comtemplate the enormous loss I felt. Inside the enclosure was a beautiful yellow swallowtail floating playfully around. After several minutes, it flew gently out of the cage. It came towards me, perched momentarily on the edge of my bucket, then began to circle me closely, brushing my shoulder. The butterfly circled higher and higher and ascended toward the heavens. That was a sign from Rufus — he was teling me that he was light and free, no longer in pain, no longer in darkness. I will forever lovingly remember Rufus when I see a yellow swallowtail. He touched all of our hearts—that beautiful little boy. His was a lesson of bravery, strength, spirit and love.

Afton Tasler Apr 28, 2012
I am very saddened to hear Rufus is no longer with us. He was such a joy to watch, and I feel blessed to have been a part of his short life. I was just out there filling his water bowl on Monday,trying to be so quiet, but of course he heard me and came bouncing on his back feet over to me. He proceeded to bounce right into the water bowl. Too cute and funny!! Let his spirit free and now he can SEE all the wonderful people who cared for him so much before he left us!

Lynda Licht Apr 28, 2012
“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
― Helen Keller
Rufus, you saw right through to our generous souls and opened our hearts to unconditional love. May the memory of your boundless spirit remind us to include more playfulness in our lives.

Meredith Pennino Apr 28, 2012
Rufus, you were a very precious boy, and all who knew you, whether caring for you directly, volunteers who diligently work at the sanctuary and knew of you but may have not ever have met you, and the Skipaholics and BCR supporters who watched your camera feed and updates, loved you very, very much. On Monday, double-checking the cougar section, I went to see you in your outside enclosure. I witnessed your seizure (this activity was also observed by Gale, Jamie and Jen). You were brought back to the cat hospital, but ultimately it was your time to be called home to join the other precious cats who’ve passed before you. I’m thoroughly saddened by having to say goodbye to you, our adorable, sweet baby boy, but I know you had the absolute best care provided. I will especially miss seeing you bounce around your half of the cat hospital, your back paws that seemed way too big for a bobcat your size, and your snaggle tooth (a result of your head injury that all your issues and brought you to us). <3

Unknown Apr 27, 2012
Those are very sad news for all of us that got to meet you, even through the internet. You were a symbol for your specie and got to do your part in bringing more people together towards the conservation of Bobs and wild Cats as a whole.
I will deeply miss seeing your boucing paws around the cage at day time. You will always be truly special! But when is time to run free there is nothig we can do.
Be free!

Unknown Apr 27, 2012
We had so many hopes for this little guy and I looked forward to watching him grow up. What a very sad day. We will miss his adorable face and his bright spirit.

Unknown Apr 27, 2012
I got to see you briefly when the staff had the hospital doors open. I knew you were a very special cat and that everyone that got to see & meet you were going to fall in love with you. I am so glad I had the chance to see you and you will be missed. Run free little one.

Regina Rinaldi Apr 27, 2012
I expect the geriatric cats, but not the young ones. Rufus was a joy to babysit and never failed to make me smile bumping into things and hopping while he ran. Even though he was sight impaired he enjoyed his life, his keepers, his surroundings as much as we enjoyed him. He felt unconditional love as did we. He will be missed by all.

BethAnn Bluder Apr 27, 2012
It was a special day When I got to “babysit” you. You were so funny to watch as you explored the enclosure. you brought a smile to everyone who saw you and you will be missed.

Unknown Apr 27, 2012
Oh Rufus, you wonderful little “wood sprite!” At least that is how you seemed to me a happy little creature of the forest. It was a delight to watch you explore the great outdoors! Your lively antics, escape attempts, and strong spirit will be with me always. I am honored that I was able to help care for you. I am hoping that your short time with us brought you love and joy as I know that is what you brought to us. Play free charming boy!

Carole Baskin Apr 27, 2012
Even though we knew it was touch and go for him every day, he just seemed so happy and content in between episodes that we all find it hard to believe that he is gone. In just four months he touched so many people and brought so many together for the well being and safe keeping of his kind. What a brave little angel.

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