A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

the “Why Impulse ‘Pets’ are a Bad Idea” Soap Box – a.k.a. update on Theo!

Little Theo has long passed the intensive hourly care he needed when he arrived, and has shown tremendous improvement from that sad little kitten on the verge of death that found sanctuary and strength in Crosstimbers, but for some reason, when we get these little critical babies in, they always seem to remain more compromised and more fragile than their counterparts who show up on our door step in good health. We have to fight to keep these little ones sound and healthy, and Theo has been no exception.

Though he has a tremendous appetite, Theo is quite small for his age, and slight of build in comparison to the younger kittens that are almost as big as he is. He runs and plays just like all the others, but he needs just a little more intense supervision and monitoring than they.

From the night he arrived at Crosstimbers, the fight for his life has been a constant battle. From the hour to hour care he needed to overcome severe dehydration, emaciation, and pneumonia, to th hypoglycemia scare when he was weaning, to calcium problems expressed in the odd over growth of his baby teeth, and then the severe tooth infection he experienced while learning about the consumption of whole raw foods (im talking his face so swollen that our vet and our keepers feared that the swelling might close off his wind pipe and prevent him from breathing without a strong regime of meds to keep the swelling down), it seems that at each new milestone we reach, Theo has yet another hiccup to overcome. We are there for him every step of the way. Experienced vet techs, animal husbandry specialists, and our staff vet all keep a close watch over this little guy.

As he grows and we continue to track his health trends, we are always concerned that this will be a constant throughout Theo’s life, and without the support of his very own medical team in his wild world, the question becomes whether his health allows him to be a candidate for release. Intensive treatment after treatment only further imprints him on humans.

Who knows? One day, Theo may tell us that he is ready to be wild. He is young yet. We will continue to monitor his health, and he may yet have a chance to be wild again. Then again, he may follow Quincey’s path, and tell us that he will never be ready to face the wild world like he was always meant to. The saddest part in Theo’s story is that this all could have been prevented with a little fore-thought from those who found him.

Bobcats are extremely sensitive creatures, and can be very hard to raise. Especially random babies found abandoned by their mothers. The amount of lasting damage done to Theo’s little body by his stay in the hands of his discoverers is unknown. All we can do is use our experience with this animal to support and guide him through this journey we call life.

For now, Theo remains happy, health, and playful. He enjoys life, and is lucky to have found himself under the watchful eyes of WCCR.


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