by Deborah-Ann Milette
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