Saturday, April 8, 2006
Good morning fellow cat bloggers and cats!
You've had questions about Rufus and it's about time he and I try to answer them!
First off, here he is out back w/ our snowdrops and eranthus two days before we got another 15" of snow - springtime in the Rockies!!!
Rufus was born at a fur farm and a family in Nevada adopted him and took him before his eyes opened and bottle fed him. They had him until he was 8 months old but they couldn't get a permit for him so at that point he went back to the fur farm. That family had a pet store and they'd put him in with the puppies every day and consequently he loves dogs! In fact sometimes we call him a cat-a-dog because he gets confused and isn't sure if he's a cat or a dog!
They declawed him (you couldn't really have him as a pet if he wasn't) but then they had to send him back to the fur farm because they couldn't get a permit. My husband knew these people and we agreed to adopt Rufus. We live in an area where we can get a permit - more on that later.
So at 8 months, Rufus came to live with us. At that point, we also had a yellow lab and a Bengal cat and an alley cat. Rufus loved the lab and after about two weeks he and the Bengal became playmates. The alley cat and he were always a little wary of each other.
I wish Rufus could have lived in the wild because he's high strung and shouldn't be cooped up. However, without his claws that wouldn't work and he couldn't be placed in a zoo because zoo animals have their claws.
So he's lived with us and he'll turn 14 in May. He's been a lively pet but a good one. All our previous pets have died and we now have an 18 month old lab he adores and an Australian shepherd he puts up with!
He eats a canned food, Zupream, that's fed to zoo animals - it contains nutrients for the wild cat. He's not dangerous but we won't let little kids get too close to him - they're too fidgety and they can't hold still and that makes him nervous. He purrs like a chainsaw.
He uses a doggie door to go out back and has almost an acre to roam on. In the house, he's on invisible fence and is only allowed in the living room and the kitchen.
All in all, he's been a fun pet and he's gotten along well with our animals. I wouldn't recommend keeping wild animals as pets though - they're meant to be in the wild.
Oh yeah - the permit - he's held on a scientific use permit - we found a vet willing to take care of him - he gets regular rabies shots and all the cat shots - his blood is drawn and sent to universities that test it to see how efficacious the rabies shots are - they've also drawn up a DNA panel on him and tested other stuff as well.
Hope this answers some of your questions - have a good weekend!