Bridgie: One of our long term residents
Bridgette came to us in 2008. Her family surrendered their “pet” to us at four months of age. Once they discovered that wild animals can act aggressive at a drop of a hat, especially with those who are not trained in animal behavior, they made the decision to bring her to a facility that would understand her, and give her appropriate care and interaction.
Although Bridgette is a very sweet cat, like all bobs, she can throw a fit like nobody’s business. She was a funny kitten who had us laughing all the time. She could eat more food than any adult on the property. She would literally gorge herself until she was miserable.
These pictures were taken one night after she had finished dinner. It was a night that I will never forget. It was almost like she ate herself drunk! This was a progression of pictures over about 30 minutes. She was watching me from a chair while I worked on my computer. When I got up, she moved to my chair and made herself at home.
In 2010, Bridgette contracted viral encephalitis; a pathogen transmitted by mosquito bites. This aggressive disease can have lasting effects. In Bridgette’s case, this resulted in some neurological swelling and though the damage to her brain was not severe, she will always have some lasting effects. Most notably, the small circles she walks when she is out of her comfort zone.
We try to protect all of our animals from diseases like encephalitis, West Nile Virus, Lyme disease and other insect borne diseases, but they still slip through on us. Sadly, Animal facilities will not adopt an animal with any outward damage because visitors are constantly notifying staff of the cat’s “health issue’. Although Bridgette does not have a future with a zoo or other wildlife facility, she does have a permanent home with us. Most facilities would be required to euthanize her because she cannot be adopted and cannot be released to the wild. Lucky for Bridgette, she has a great future here at WCCR.
By making her part of our surrogacy program (being a cage-mate to multiple cats), she has a valuable place with us for the rest of her life. Should a suitable home ever come along for her, she would be considered for another location, but it would have to be the right facility with the right handlers as she is a special needs cat.
She is bonded to only a very few of the staff who spend time with her. She takes a while to get to know, and to understand, but once she trusts you, it is an unbreakable bond as anyone who works with her will attest to.
Bridgette is a healthy non-aggressive girl and a wonderful cage-mate for most any new cat. She suffers from Flea allergies, so we have to take extra precautions during flea season. She gets along with almost everyone, which is unusual, so her job here is to help acclimate new cats to their cages, getting them used to living with new cats and making their transition to new zoos who already have another bobcat in their enclosure much more tolerable.
Bridgette is a dual purpose kitty here at WCCR! She is one of a handful of our cats that are a part of our research program. She is one of three “vocalizers” that we have on-site at the moment.
A vocalizer is one of the seven personalities that we have identified who have a tendency to “talk” about everything. Our other vocalizers, all of whom you will meet in the near future, are Zachia and Peter.
Over the last couple of years, WCCR and NBRR have grown to an incredible size. We now have more cats on the property than ever before, and the numbers keep growing! We have great people working with us, but need sponsors to help us with funding so that we may keep pace with the demand, and continue to grow!
If you would like to help care for Bridgette, please visit our website and make a donation today! We cannot do this alone. We are seeking individuals to sponsor each of our cats with a monthly donation! It is imperative for us to move in this direction if we are to continue to provide for special needs cats just like Bridgette, and the many others that currently call our facility home! ANY amount helps! For us to continue to take these wonderful cats in, we MUST find sponsors and support. Are you our next one? Keep watching for updates on even more Crosstimbers Cats!