Living With And Understanding Servals And Caracals

by Deborah-Ann Milette
(New York)

Noah's Wonder a picture of beauty

Noah's Wonder a picture of beauty

In a previous short story I revealed that I rescued exotic cats (Caracals Can Communicate with Their Ears). Well, I never in my life thought that my adopted father would actually get involved in my passion to rescue a serval and caracal in WI from a horrible individual who thought their pelts and body parts were worth more than the animal's lives.

I worked undercover for the Federal Agency reporting all my findings including who this individual dealt with, something not even my parents knew I did.

I told them I wanted 2 felines in particular that I had befriended and thought I could save their lives. I had 24 hours to plan, raid and actually steal these two cats to save them from certain death. My adopted father is a retired state trooper and he used his pull.

At two in the morning we raided this supposed sanctuary that had two freezers full of dead cats with body parts missing. My adopted mother wanted to be left down the road so she was not involved.

I got the carriers and located the two cats I wanted. The serval that I named Noah's Wonder was easy to capture but the caracal that I named Sarah-Linda gave me a run for my money and one hell of a bite but I also understood her fears.

She was crated and we left the area and I placed a call to the authorities and within an hour the place was raided.

We didn't stay around to see the outcome but when we got to New York we stayed in a hotel, me in one room with the cats and my adopted parents in the other room. I was left with strict instructions from "Mother" NOT TO LET the cats out. RIGHT! I was up all night talking to the cats.

I opened the door to Sarah's crate and she crawled out of her carrier and curled up into my lap and I hugged her and cried my heart out for this poor soul. She was all skin and bones, and once she realized I was not the enemy she gave me kisses. I fell asleep with her in my lap and hugged her closely till the sun came up and Noah woke me.

I put Sarah back into her crate and let Noah out and he was the same way, skin and bones and I cried again and yet I had hopes for saving these two beautiful felines.

You see, Noah was in reality what people would classify as a throw-away serval because he was born the normal color of a serval but as he grew older he developed beautiful blue eyes and his coat became lighter in color which meant only one thing, he was in reality a rare white serval.

They were seen at Cornell University and it was found that Sarah-Linda had developed pancreatitis from lack of food and had to be placed on a medication for the rest of her life. They gave her 6 months, she lived for almost 3 years in peacefulness, and protectiveness of my care.

Noah was unfortunately moved to Ohio because of banning laws and he died of kidney failure, another cause due to starvation.

These animals were treated horribly but they never bit, attacked or did anything to me. Noah and I had a daily game where I would chase him and he would go through my legs, around my legs, over my body to avoid me. In the end he gave up because he had to have his daily hugs and give me a kiss before I would let him go and he was 65 pounds at that time.

Sarah-Linda was my bed-time companion who snuggled into me and I hugged her all night. Treat an animal as you would want to be treated and in the end you get only love in return no matter how badly the situation may have been.

They lived the rest of their lives with food, love, hugs, proper medication and I was the servant, they ruled the home. So for officials who say these animals attack, they have to be out of their skulls, I have never paid for a serval or caracal in my life, all came from abusive or horrible conditions except Tesha the caracal who came from a loving home, and I was never bitten, attacked, nothing! Even my friends will account for that when they stayed at my home over the weekend.

I tell this story now because the individual has been shut down, prosecuted and the rest of the animals were saved. Noah & Sarah were very happy till the day they passed away and even at the very end they remained very gentle animals.

It helps to understand when you live with animals from all sorts of walks of life, just like humans. I wish Legislators would look at their own life first before they become judge, jury and executioner of animals they have no clue about.
Living with and Understanding Servals and Caracals to Serval

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Living With And Understanding Servals And Caracals

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Jul 22, 2011 being owned by a serval.
by: Anonymous

I have a 16 and half yr old serval whom I've been owned by since 1995, she is my life, granted she has her own attitude and has different 'voices' for each of her countless moods/attitudes, etc, And it has taken me, well 16 and half yrs to understand her and know what her chirps, Coo's,hisses, mean, she is a complete joy and is still even after all these yrs the absolute love of my life.

I, too, saved my serval, from a life which she'd never had reached the age she is now, I bought her in 1995 as a kitten from a drug dealer, he got busted, was out on bail/bond(whatever it's called), was in need of money, so $2,500 bucks later, I got my dream come true.

It was hard at first, as she did get sick, went on a hunger strike, I forcefed her w/ a bottle, and eyedroppers--seriously--every half hr until she ate a good meal herself. But my other problem was-I didn't understand her diet, do I just feed her raw meat? Is that enough to provide all of what she needs?

I had alot of learning to do. I researched, and researched, I read, and googled, I observed my cat and each and every one of her habits/activities. It wasn't just about feeding her and getting love and kisses, I had to EARN her trust--yes, even at a kitten, and she needed to learn who I was also.

Also I am very blessed, for 16+ yrs she has only been sick 3 times!!! She is my world, my life, and I am very honored to be owned my serval!

I also feel that these cats, are no danger to society, and do not poise a threat whatsoever to a human, now the neighbors puppy--yeah!! but humans, no way. Unless the cat has been abused by that human! They never forget mistreatment. Never.

I feel that the smaller wild cats, should NOT be illegal to privately own--with of course a permit, but not for everyone! Seriously--maybe like have a prospective owner pass a test of how to care for the felid, a background check, and if they are financially able to care for the cat...These cats will require a lifetime of your love, patience, and time,oh, and a lot of money--from meat, to canned (zupreem)food, to zoological vitamins, facilities, vet visits-if you can find a vet, to the replacement of what these cats--in play or in spray will destroy...you can't just give them to the ASPCA when you don't want them anymore, or when they chew your favorite shoes--well guess what--you should not had left your shoes there!!!

I guess what I am saying is after 16 yrs with my Serval, I have learned a lot. I know her next move just by looking in her eyes,She has been OMG mega hard work, but has been worth it in Gold! When I fall asleep, and I wake up to find her laying on my head purring loudly--it's like winning the lottery.

She is one in a million. But so am I for that matter!!!


Oct 19, 2009 Another interesting post
by: Michael

Thanks for sharing Deborah. This is an interesting article from an insider, someone who has seen it and done it first hand. We like that. You can't beat it for accuracy.

I moved your article to the wild cat page because I think this is more about wild cats generally and very welcome it is too.



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