Magic Gone Walkabout...
It started like this, with a letter, and picture, from Janet, Director of the Great Lakes Bengal Rescue group...
"Got the cat, he is an F1 and beautiful. He is pissed off right now. He has a peeing/marking problem, has been through 3 owners and is only 1 1/2, was left in a shelter in Dane Country who said they can't take/adopt him and would have to put him down..."
Looking at the picture, I thought, I just bet you can't adopt him, that is no cat who has ever trusted anyone, not even sure it's a CAT. Then I wrote Janet and told her I'd be down the next day. I'd been fostering Bengals for a while, specializing in the problem kitties, thru odd quirks of fate, and wanted an early generation Bengal who needed help.
He never made a sound the entire four hours back. He knew enough not to cry. No one was going to help him. He was the most alone being I'd ever been near.
We're writing about Magic tonight because last night he got out, which has been a fear of mine since day one. He's not back yet. Yeah, I'm worried. The door blew open and his Scream Porch wasn't latched.
I won't tell the story again, most of you have been following it, but for those that haven't, the short version is: It took a couple years, and a lot of patience, a lot of work and a lot of love, but Magic is now a part of our Spooky House. He's still freaky, timid, most F1's are, but I can give him pets, he's in the house with his two later generation friends, Freaky Venus and Mim, and I've heard him purr. He joins us by the fire, he plays, he knows he is loved.
If you're even newer, and reading about Bengals for the first time, asking What the heck is a Bengal??? Well, try this out to start: The International Bengal Cat Society. Lots of handy information, but if you're impatient: A Bengal is a hybrid cat, bred from the Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic kitty. The first Kittens from such a pairing are considered foundation Bengals, or F1. Go down a couple generation to F4 and you have a beautiful kitty who is considered domestic. (tho not by any means like any kitty you've ever curled up with. LOT of kitty these.)
In homes with people who know what they are doing, or responsible breeders, F1's can live quite nicely, tho they are very close to wild animals and do have very special needs.
But can I just say something very strongly here?
THEY ARE NOT CUTE LITTLE KITTIES WITH SPOTS AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
That's Magic's story. Whomever didn't know what they were doing, and ye gads, when that cute kitten grew up and started ACTING LIKE A LEOPARD, they gave him away. And again. And again.
And one of the whomevers de-clawed him. On all four feet. He has no claws, no defense.
And now he's out there, scared, alone and has no clue what the world is.
I'm responsible for him. When I took him, I knew he wasn't going anywhere. Not easy, but we make it work. I have another early generation, an F2, and his friend, an F4, I took in fostering, who also can't go anywhere, they live upstairs in my Spooky House. Five Bengals is too many Bengals, but now that one is missing, I'm not much thinking things are ok with only the four.
We, as in humans bred these kitties. For good or bad, they're here. I personally believe we should not be breeding from Leopards anymore, the breed is established, and there is no NEED for foundation stock. (not my term for them) They don't make good pets, and when something like this happens, it can very likely go very badly for them. I need to set up a live trap, and hope he comes back.
That said, I love Bengals, and the later generation ones are delightful, hours of entertainment. There are many in foster care that won't set you back hundreds of dollars or drive you more crazy than you already are. Once you've read everything you can find on them, you will either think "THAT is a party I want to be a part of, sign me UP" or "I do not think so, very lovely, but no, thank you"
Kind of like Derby, come to think on it, but I digress.
I could go on about Bengals, and trust me, if you stop by here often, you will find that I do, but mostly now, tonight..
I'm really sad. I want my Leopard back.
Love and Magic,