The Wonder of Cats: Wild Felid Advocacy Center of Washington

Jocelyn Murray July 31, 2017 No Comments

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Cats are amazing creatures: Intelligent, beautiful, strong and graceful. They have been celebrated in poetry and fiction, depicted in paintings and sculptures, and immortalized in myths and legends. The ancient Egyptians even had a cat goddess called Bastet who was the patron of Lower Egypt. The beauty and power of cats have inspired a sense of awe since ancient times.

The Wild Felid Advocacy Center of Washington is a wonderful place to meet some of our planet’s fascinating wild cats. It is dedicated to conservation through education, animal welfare, and by providing a sanctuary for captive born or wild born wild cats in need. My family and I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful sanctuary recently, and it was certainly a highlight of our stay in Washington State. The sanctuary is currently home to 59 cats, including bobcats, lynx, cougars, servals, tigers, hybrid cats, and more.

Meet Buddy. Buddy is a fifteen-year-old male bobcat. Doesn’t he look cuddly? Bobcats are named for their short, bobbed tails. They mainly hunt rabbits and hares, as well as birds, mice and squirrels. They can pounce up to ten feet when hunting.

BUDDY
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

 

This is Digger. He’s another male bobcat who is larger than Buddy, and ten years old.

DIGGER
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

This lovely lady is a female serval called Meeka. Servals have the tallest ears among all cats. They also have the longest legs in proportion to their bodies.

MEEKA
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

Kiki is a thirteen-year-old male Eurasian Lynx. Note the characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of his ears. Did you know that the Eurasian lynx is capable of taking down deer? In the wild, deer and other hoofed animals are their preferred prey.

KIKI
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

Meet Suri and Tabbi. Both are gorgeous four-year-old female tigers, each weighing over 300 pounds. Tigers eat about eight to ten pounds of food daily. Talk about eating you out of house and home! That’s not cheap, but they are certainly worth it. Look how they are cuddling here.

Tigers love playing in the water, as you can see by this photo of Suri.

SURI
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

 

This is Harley. Harley is a two-year-old male cougar, and he’s just as cute and playful as can be. Cougars are capable of taking down something ten times their size. They are also very acrobatic. Cougars are the largest purring cats. While they are born with lots of spots, their coats acquire a uniform tawny color as they mature.

HARLEY
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

 

Crackal is the resident caracal. He is three years old. Like the lynx, caracals also have tufted ears, and are sometimes confused with lynx because of this. The two can be differentiated by their coats: the lynx is spotted while the caracal is not. Caracals are sometimes called the “desert lynx” although they are not related. They move fast, are great hunters, and their ears rotate independently of each other. Another fascinating fact: caracals can jump thirteen feet straight up into the air from a sitting position! Wow.

Turbo is a gorgeous six-year old male leopard. Leopards are native to Africa and are known as the most intelligent of the big cats, capable of strategizing and planning when hunting or avoiding capture. They are also very strong, and carry their prey up into trees so that it will not be taken away from them.

TURBO
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

Meet Snickers, an eleven-year-old female Gordon’s Wildcat. Gordon’s wildcats look so much like domestic cats in size and build, but they’re not. These are Arabian wildcats: powerful and quite ferocious compared to your average housecat. No, they don’t make good pets, but are wild, and must be treated with the same respect and dignity as all wild cats. They prey mostly on rodents, reptiles, small birds and occasional insects as well.

SNICKERS
photo by Wild Felid Advocacy Center

 

All the cats at this sanctuary are precious, and it was a real privilege to meet some of them. The Wild Felid Advocacy Center’s passion is evident in all the work and time they dedicate to these gorgeous creatures. Because they do not receive any federal or state funding, they depend on donations to keep up their work and carry out their mission. Monetary donations are also tax deductible. For more information visit wildfelids.org

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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