Five Servals Kept in Basement for Twelve Years

by Michael
(London, UK)

I didn’t want to write about this but it kept coming back into my mind. It sounds awful and it is. Big Cat Rescue reported on it and are seeking funds to provide a decent home for these poor cats where they can walk on grass and see the sky! Big Cat Rescue were polite about the person who did this. I don’t feel so inclined.

This person, Chris, loves her servals – shame she treated them as if she hated them. Anyone who could put a wildcat that is used to traveling long distances and energetic through that kind of mental torture for twelve years must surely hate the cats?! The basement measured 12′ x 25′. Oh, I forgot to mention all five cats were declawed too. Not sure if she had it done or if it was done before she bought them but it doesn’t make much difference. If you buy a declawed cat you support declawing. If you rescue a declawed cat you support cats provided you keep the cat well for the life of the cat. Declawing is immoral.

But no she loved them. I just don’t understand it. Or perhaps I do. She bought them from a pet store when they were darling little kittens. Oh she simply couldn’t resist satisfying her selfish desire to own them. It was a case of compulsive purchasing just in the same way you compulsively purchase a new TV.

Chris clearly had no idea about caring for servals. Adult servals are large and a little intimidating to the average person. I should know as I have been in cage with two.

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They can hiss aggressively and rightly so. And they spray urine so fast that you can’t get out of the way. This is all normal. I love servals too but I would never consider “owning” one never mind five unless I knew all about “how to”. And how to includes lots of space and a good budget.

Chris wouldn’t be able to compulsively purchase five little servals now as it is banned in the area where she lives (NY – wildcat hybrids above fifth generation are also banned in NY state).

Well, Chris obviously found that caring for servals in her home was too much – surprise. The place must has ponged with cat urine and we all know how hard that is to remove. A servals understandably don’t like to be banged up as full-time indoor cats so they try and escape. Some do escape. As they are frequently declawed escaped servals end up dead, either shot by some scared individual or killed by an animal that has retained its defenses.

So of to the basement they went for ever. Until she became ill and thankfully did the right thing and went about how to have them rescued. Sorry, Chris, to hear about your illness and predicament but you did wrong and you should have rectified it 12 years ago.

There is far too much irresponsible “cat ownership”. It should be called cat caretaking as that phrase focuses on the job at hand and neutralizes the human’s arrogance.

Comments for
Five Servals Kept in Basement for Twelve Years

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May 02, 2011 No empathy
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

People often lack empathy for animals, even animals in their care, whom they claim to have a bond with. How would you feel to be stuck in a basement 24/7? I can see the situation getting out of hand, with these larger, wilder cats, but after even a couple of weeks, don’t you get help? Don’t you figure out a solution because you feel sorry for the cats? Twelve years? Really?

I feel bad if Monty doesn’t get outside with me at least once a week for a few minutes, at a bare minimum. When he can’t get outside he likes to play in the basement. We have a great basement. I hang out down there sometimes. But to live down there? Even the nicest basement is kind of like a dungeon after awhile. Who could confine any living creature to such torment for twelve years? Even prisoners are let outside once in awhile to see the sun and feel the wind. Even the worst of the worst don’t stay in their cells 24 hours a day, but are let out for an hour. These cats were given a sentence as bad as, if not worse than, what we would hand down to a child murderer. And they are completely innocent (as all animals are) and beautiful, wonderful creatures.

This is what happens when people can’t just enjoy something beautiful without feeling like they have to own it.

May 01, 2011 Servals
by: Anonymous

Servals should not be in cages and they should not be for sale to any idiot with a whim to own such beautiful cats.
I blame the greedy breeders who are never content with the cats we already have.
I hope Chris suffers for more than twelve long years for what she did to those cats.

May 01, 2011 I agree
by: Rose

I agree with both Ruth and Maggie.
Chris deserves all the suffering she gets because she caused those cats untold suffering.
Ignorance is no excuse,that was downright cruelty.
Why do people want to take cats from the wild and breed from them?
Those cats should not have been available to that woman!
Inter breeding wild and tame cats is certainly not for the cats benefit,no it’s for the fame and the money made by doing it.
No matter how well they are treated,wild cats belong in the wild breeding naturally with their own kind!
There are plenty of domestic cats needing homes but of course there is no glory in giving one of them a home.

May 01, 2011 Wild cats should stay in the wild
by: Maggie

Chris is an idiot. If she really ‘loved’ her cats she would not have declawed them (as if the pet shop would have spent the money on declawing them, Chris was the one who declawed them!), she would not have kept them in a basement, and she would have rehomed them as soon as she realised she was incapable of caring for them.

This is the reason why I am against breeding wild cats. Breeding domestic cats is bad enough, but breeding wild cats gives people the impression that wild cats are just giant domestics. And that people can treat them however they like. If people stop breeding wild cats and just leave the wild cats in the wild to live their natural lives, then other wild cats, like these 5 Servals, do not have to suffer.

May 01, 2011 I am not sorry for Chris
by: Ruth

Sorry but I am NOT sorry for Chris and her illness, she put those beautiful cats through 12 years of misery just because she ‘had to have’ them as innocent little kittens. The chances are she DID have them declawed herself as she sounds just the sort of ignorant person who would have that cruel thing done.
It doesn’t bear thinking about either which corrupt vet agreed to do the surgery.
I’m not usually a vindictive person but I do hope that the karma happening to Chris, happens to the cruel vet also.
Those cats lived lives of pain and frustration which was caused deliberately.
There is NO excuse for animal abuse and no punishment enough for the abusers.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. March 3, 2013

    […] uninteresting or barren environment will induce apathy and boredom. I am reminded of the person who kept a group of tame servals in a basement. Shocking, I am […]

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