Status:Male Bobcat (Lynx Rufus Superiorensis) - Captive Raised, Neutered or Spayed, Declawed, Current on vaccinations, Plays well with others, Deceased
Age:2 year(s), 4 month(s)
Shaka came to us on 06/17/11 and was brought to us by a private individual who was kept as a pet.
Shaka The Full Story
by Jeremiah K.
It all started off as a joke while Julie and I were browsing the internet together one night. "Maybe we'll just get a pet Bobcat or Lynx." I said while searching the internet for the formal cat name for one of the odd ball kittens our female Calico cat had given us earlier that week (Cinnamon Siamese). A small moment of silence followed as we both began seriously considering the option. We browsed through the internet and gathered up some information on if it would even be an viable option, I mean they are typically wild animals. Much to our surprise the answer was a glorious "maybe".
You might be wondering why such a gray answer to a black and white question. On some internet sites it was considered an act of cruelty to take a wild animal from the wild, or simply impossible. In my mind, had it never been done we wouldn't have "domesticated" pets or farm animals now so I don't subscribe to their notions. On others, their cat had been their best companion through thick and thin and bound to them for life. Some said it was very possible but came with some strings attached such as daily house destruction, never having any friends over, and packing away all valueable items for 20-30 years. So a glorious maybe is what we went to bed with that night which sparked more interest by morning.
So began more research "bobcat aggressiveness", "bobcat attacks", "bobcats as pets", "bobcats and house cats and dogs", "killed by bobcat", internet searches gall-or. If we were going to consider this option we were going to find out everything that we could on the subject. We found a few bobcat attacks, all were a result of rabies and one was even beat to death by a cane after attacking an 80 year old man. Zero, absolutely no fatalities, or non-rabid attacks could be found and I searched for weeks the various search engines and local library.
The next tid-bit of research laws. What are the laws in Texas and how do they play out here in Dalhart Tx. We found a wild animal law for Texas that said it could be done with a permit, a yearly fee, extra insurance, and some minimum enclosure laws. So we talk to the local sheriff, local animal control office and game warden. Much to our surprise, no laws prohibiting having a bobcat. In fact, we were told that we didn't even need to get the permit or insurance, they just needed to inspect the enclosure and he needed to be acquired from an actual breeder not captured in the wild! Excellent, things are looking better and better.
After a total of 4 months of research and careful consideration of the facts presented regarding the permanent attachment the animals have with their owners, the havoc they can wreak in a house hold setting, the possibility of never having any friends over again, what we were told by our local law enforcement, and after having found a vet that would care for him, we finally made the decision and put a down payment on the next litter from an online breeder. We asked them specificly for the "Montana Blue" bobcat they called it and we were ready to go.
2 months after that we picked our little snot nosed bundle of joy up from the airport and he was almost perfect. Not exactly the light blue shade I was expecting, but his big bright blue and very round eyes were exactly what the doctor ordered and so his life with us began with several bottle feedings over a 5 hour drive back home. The clumsy little kitten wasn't exactly welcomed by our much larger male cats at first, but after a while they began to tolerate him and the female cat and dog absolutely loved him.
It didn't take too long before he began wreaking havoc throughout the house, as we expected. He was far more energetic and much stronger then any kitten and throughout the next 2 years he stayed kitten like, only without the small size. Any horizontal surface in the house was his play ground, bouncing from one to the next with carefree fun.
Throughout his life we worked very carefully to adapt him to as much stuff as we possibly could from sharing his food with the other animals to prevent food aggression, to having lots of people over as frequently as we could to adjust him to dealing with random humans from day to day so we wouldn't have to become hermits, and it paid off well. Anybody that came by interested him and he wanted to play with them as one of the family. Excellent.
He also loved his walks just like the dog. If he heard his leash being handled he would tear through the house as fast as he could from a dead sleep to take his romp about the neighborhood. He knew that it was us that would be walking him, but more the other way around. He set the pace of the walk and would often have to take breaks because he wore himself out trying to pull us to walk faster. If it was break time, believe me, it was break time. He knew the route and was in full control of the pace and knew it for that is how Shaka was from day 1. Rule #1: I am in control. Rule #2: If at any point you feel you are in control, refer to Rule #1. This is how he lived his life with us until the fateful day that the dog jail broke him by tunneling under his enclosure in the back yard the day of "trail of sales".
Watching everything from a distance, he had a free romp through the neighborhood which ultimately ended with him frightening an old woman down the street when she saw him. After about an hour and a half of playing hard to get, I finally get him kenneled up and back into the house, but by then the damage had been done. While most of the passers by admired him from a distance, the old woman he scared was appalled that he was somebody's pet and started making phone calls.
It took a whopping 4 months to happen, but the City of Dalhart found an ordinance dated in 2002 which was never put in the law books for the sheriff, animal control, police department, or game warden to even know about. We were served. Get rid of him immediately or pay $250 per day he is in the city limits. We were awe struck. Here we had been served with paper to get rid of him from the very same people that not only said it was ok, but had also said that the state law didn't apply.
We called over the animal control officer to gather as much information as possible for a possible legal response against the city for this attack against our family. Shaka immediately wanted to play with him, laying his teeth on his arm and staring at him to throw balls or give chase. While I talked with him Julie threw balls to keep him entertained. Right before the conversation was over, he ran across the room in a dead sprint, leaped across the couch and head slapped the animal control officer and darted into the bedroom. Little did he know what was about to happen to the life he loved and what role this man played in it. I honestly couldn't help but laugh as thoughts of NCIS went through my mind. This would be the last day we would ever see Shaka happy again.
An attempt to get the banishment of our cat lifted account of the misinformation given by the city officials ended with us as a laughing stock and followed by front page news the next day.
Shaka died October 21, 2011 between midnight and 2:30am having never recovered from his separation from his family. Good luck on your next adventures my friend.
I've put in the gallery every photograph ever taken of him from the time he came to live with us until he had to go in the photo gallery. Feel free to browse around them.
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