June 4, 2019

So Little - But Oh So Mighty

This week, we had to say good-bye to our tiny - but mighty - little black Bengal cat, Tahiti. After a lifetime of chronic health issues and a mass growing in her throat, she lost her courageous fight.

Weighing in at only 6 lbs. and having lost all of her teeth from dental disease, it would've been easy to underestimate her.

Tahiti may have been small and sleek, but her larger than life meow is what really brought out her strong spirit.

She loved chatting back in forth with her sister Willow, especially when they could see birds perched along the tree line.

Arriving with a dozen other Bengal Cats from a closed breeding cattery, she and her family found peace here at the Sanctuary.

She was the last survivor of her original family. But, she definitely found kinship with her bungalow mates Tiger and Max.

She also loved scents and often would rub on volunteers' and caretakers' shirts or hats they left on the ground for her to play with.

She loved the grass and basking in the sun. But also liked to spend evenings curled up in a cat condo or blanket.

Holidays are always special times with special treats for our littlest ones, too. Tahiti thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated any enrichment we made for her.

To her former breeder, she may not have been worth a lot of value. She was melanistic, giving her a black coat. But to us, she was worth her weight in gold - our tiny leopard and just as special and spirited as Shadow or Shazam.

Everyone grew so close to Miss Tahiti because, due to her chronic health issues the past 14 years, she needed ongoing vet exams, daily medication.

With her congestion and lack of teeth, it could take a lot of patience to wait for her to finish an entire meal, while protecting it from her habitat mates.

But to her caregivers, this was no burden. It was a privilege and very special time with our special girl.

Tahiti, you get to join your family once again. As we shed our tears, I know they are happy to see you. We will see you one day again, too. Until then, stray strong - stay mighty. You are free now. We love you so much.

As I'm writing this, we're preparing for our Ash Release ceremony. When our residents pass, we all come together and honor them by releasing their ashes beyond the fence, celebrating their freedom.

We share memories of them with each other. Though they're no longer physically with us, they're eternally with us in our hearts.

This is the part about rescue few think about. But knowing they're finally free, moving onto their new wild life beyond any cages or fences or walls is what comforts us.

Thank you for loving and remembering them, too.

With over 110 wild cats now calling The Wildcat Sanctuary home, something we have to think about every single day is raising money to be able to rescue and care for them. When it can cost as much as $10,000 each year just to care for one big cat, you can see why fundraising is a vital part of the work we do. Your contribution to The Wildcat Sanctuary goes straight to work helping save lives of wild cats in need -- both at the Sanctuary and through outreach and rescue programs all across the country. Please consider donating at http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/


Skip Wyland on Jun 6, 2019




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