We haven't had any Bengal Blogging in far too long, I am thinking. So tonight, just in time for the Holidays:
This picture, and the one below, are NOT Magic. I may be getting ahead of myself here, you may not know the story, or you may, but let's go back a little. Magic is an F1 Bengal, which means his Daddy was an ALC (Asian Leopard Cat, a wildcat, one of the smaller class of Leopards) This is Sancho Dos, ALC. And we believe: Magic's Daddy.
We aren't sure of his Mother, it seems likely tho that she was also an early generation Bengal.
Here's Magic. Magic came to live with me about 2 years 6 months ago. I had been fostering the tough case Bengals, with the Great Lakes Bengal Rescue group, the ones that needed more, the ones who had issues. I love them. All of them. I had mentioned to Janet, director of GLBR that I might like to try an early generation Bengal, if we found one that needed help.
Bengals are considered Domestic after Four Generations. Venus and Mim are F4. Four away from Leopard. Janet called me and said that there was an F1 in a shelter across the state, and the shelter had called us as they had no idea what to do with it, and could we take it NOW as it was not a cat they would ever be able to adopt.
They were right. The Kitty I picked up could not have been adopted. He trusted no one, he loved no one, and he was very, very afraid. He also had NO claws. None. All four feet, gone. A Domestic Cat, even afraid, will yowl it to the world. Magic never made a sound the entire ride back. He knew there was no one to call and in the wild, silence was the key to survival. He'd been thru several home at this point, and had never had anyone who understood him.
Bengals, all of them, are interesting creatures. If you ever think you might want one, you really, really need to do your homework first. Beautiful, yes, but they are bred from Leopards. I don't mean they will hurt you, anymore than any cat might, but they THINK differently. You will need to have a very clear understanding of this.
I gave Magic his own room, and built him a Screamed Porch where he could hop out and look at us in the kitchen. I fed him from a long spoon. I taught him how to play. I learned he had a voice, and that he could make the most astonishing array of sounds. I added a fountain so he could splash when he wanted. I cried the first time he let me give him a pet, while he was eating. I let him bite me and didn't pull away, let him taste me. I trusted him. He learned.
I changed the door to his room to a Scream door so he could look out into the Romance Room and see me with Venus and Mim. I let them come in and play, while he watched.
And then I let him out into the house. He does all the things Venus and Mim do. He lets me pet him while he eats. He joins in the circle dance when I come home, coming by quickly for pets, never stopping, but coming back for more.
It took a very long time. We understand each other. I'll never be able to pick him up and cuddle him, Bengals in general aren't cuddlers, and him more than most, but I can walk by him, carefully, and he won't run away.
He's kind of a pudding now, he cleans up everyone's plates. He gets pieces of steak when people come over, and sometimes, if there is only one, he will come out, never too close, but he'll be there. It's best to pretend you don't notice there is a Leopard in the House, and go about your business. Never look him in the eyes, and smile with your teeth not showing.
He's started running on the Cat Wheel, when no one is looking. But I can hear him. He'll get FIT too, my Magic.
But more than that, it's his soul that is getting FIT. He's healing, from whatever he went thru, from whatever he is by genetics. He's my friend. He has friends in Venus and Mim, who have accepted him. He joins us by the fire, and most importantly:
He's happy now.
He's living his life, and knows there is good in this world he finds himself in.
And that makes me happy.
I'm glad he's here and wouldn't have him any other way. Seeing how far he has come makes me KNOW, very, very surely, that there's pretty much nothing that can't be fixed.
With enough love, patience and determination.
Love and Magic,