Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Special July Cats!

Often times when we accept exotic animals, there are no accompanying medical or dental records.  The previous owner may recall the year the animal was born but not much else.  So that leaves our cats' medical history a mystery to be solved by our vet and animal care keepers. 

Since it is difficult to guess the cats' exact birth dates, we list the missing birth dates on the cats' biography as the same month and day the animals arrived at In-Sync Exotics.  For example, we celebrate the following cats' birthdays (and their arrival) for the month of July!

Aramis and Aurora, litter mates, arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 17, 2011:

Then we have Eve and Layla, sisters, who also arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 17, 2012:

Jazz and Shazam arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 10, 2009:

Our last "birthday" for this month is handsome Spike!  Spike arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 19, 2011, and was the last Poetry big cat to call our sanctuary home:

In Memory of...

This month we remember the passing of Tahoe, the first big cat Vicky rescued on September 12, 1991. Since she never owned a cougar before, she had a lot to learn about cougar diet, enrichment, and enclosures.  Thankfully, she received a lot of help from our vet and the Texas Parks and Wildlife, so Tahoe, and the cats who followed after Tahoe over the years, would have a safe and loving home. Tahoe became a part of the In-Sync Exotics’ family on March 31, 2000.

Tahoe’s story…

Tahoe was abandoned at a vet hospital at the age of 18 months. She was brought into the vet for treatment after a different veterinarian removed her canines, a common practice for some owners of exotic pets. Tahoe actually had all of her front teeth removed, leaving her with only a few teeth in the back.

She was underweight and had trouble eating. Because she was abandoned at the clinic, her fate was to be euthanized. Not wanting to see this beautiful cougar put down for a non-medical reason, Vicky brought her home to teach her how to eat again. For two months she blended up chicken and fed it to her around the clock.

Tahoe graduated to bigger pieces of meat and then the bone, and after four months, she learned she could pick up the whole pieces of chicken with her tongue and toss them to the back of her mouth to chew.  It wasn’t long before Tahoe was eating on her own!

Tahoe shared an enclosure with Ranger, her long-time companion, who sadly passed away April 2006. They spent 12 years lovingly doting on each other, so his absence was hard on her. Tahoe suffered from depression for several months after his death. Thankfully, Sahara was there to play and snuggle up with Tahoe. 

Sadly, Tahoe passed away July 30, 2008 from complications with Lymphoma, but we take comfort in knowing she's been reunited with her beloved Ranger.

Tahoe will always hold a special place in our hearts.

We also remember the passing of Kane, one of the former Poetry cats, on July 30, 2011.

When In-Sync was first called by a family in Poetry TX to help relocate 20 exotic cats in need of new homes, we had no idea just how dire the situation was until we met Kane.

Kane's story...

When we first met Kane in Poetry, we noticed he could not walk properly.  Watching Kane fall over three times, and was then forced to crawl over to the water bowl because he was too weak to walk, was devastating to all of us.  This poor baby arrived heat exhausted, dehydrated and vitamin deficient. We believe that sometime before Kane arrived, he suffered a small seizure or stroke resulting in facial and leg movement changes on the left side of his body.  The vet believes 10 days after he arrived, Kane experienced another stroke or seizure during the night, that may have resulted in him aspirating on undigested food or saliva causing fluid to entered Kane’s lungs resulting to him developing pneumonia.  And if that wasn’t enough for this poor cat to endure, we learned, during his full body exam at the veterinarian’s office that approximately six months prior to his arrival, something terrible happened to Kane resulting in his right leg to be completely shattered.  Unfortunately, Kane did not receive medical attention after this devastating event, so his bones were left to mend themselves.

On July 28, 2011 our vet diagnosed Kane with terminal lung cancer.  The cancer was extremely aggressive and our vet believed he only had a few days left with us.

On July 30, 2011, around 11:00pm, Kane suffered a seizure that lasted about two minutes.  With Kane's favorite animal caretaker and In-Sync Exotics’ director present, Kane slipped away quietly into the night.

Kane me be gone, but he will never be forgotten...

This month we also celebrate the arrival of two special cats to In-Sync Exotics -- Sassy (cougar) and Isaac (bobcat)!  In this case, their birth dates are not the same as their arrival dates!

Sassy's story...

Sassy arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 17, 2004.  Sassy's owners first contacted us in January 2004 about giving Sassy a new home. We did not have room for her at the time, but they were willing to wait until we did. Sassy waited six months to get a home here at In-Sync.

Since she was raised alone, she had some difficulty getting used to being around other cats.  She now enjoys the company of her cage mates although at feeding time, she makes it very clear that she does not share.

Sassy is a very sweet and gentle cat and purrs loudly when we are around.  She loves to climb up the ramps to the platforms to look out into the world, so be sure to look up when you visit our cougars at In-Sync Exotics because chances are she’s watching you from her lofty perch!

Isaac's story...

Isaac arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 2, 2011. One of our volunteers, who also volunteers with a dog rescue, contacted us about a bobcat she had seen during one of her dog rescues.

Isaac was being kept in a 2 X 3 wire dog cage for the past two years when she called us about taking him. In the tiny wire cage, Isaac was sitting on top of at least four inches of dried feces and decaying food parts and bones.

There were two old plastic coffee cans that may have held water for him but both were empty and covered in dust and debris. We first moved him from the old cage to another cage that we could keep inside for a couple of days, so that we could keep an eye on his health.

Needless to say Isaac was not a very friendly cat and would stay towards the back of the cage hissing and growling at us when we tried to care for him. We had hoped that because of this behavior we might be able to send him to a rehabber so that he could be set free.

When the rehabber came to see him she was unsure that he would be able to survive in the wild. We moved him to an outside enclosure to get a better look at his mannerisms. While in his new enclosure we learned that Isaac was not the kind of bobcat that would run from people, but he would actually charge anyone that would get to close to the fence. This action led us to believe that if he was in the wild and a human got to close to him, he would attack. Isaac had learned that not only were humans bad, but also not to be afraid of them.

It took some time, but Isaac now enjoys the company of two other bobcats, Lydia and Chance, and no longer sees us as the “enemy,” but part of his family. 

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting of our special July cats.  We'd love to hear from you, so feel free comment and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. And as always, don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family and friends! Thank you!


1 comment:

  1. I have a hate/love relationship with these stories......I HATE hearing of the awful conditions from which these sweet babies came, but I LOVE they have known/will now know love and respect during their remaining years at In-Sync.