I Always Wanted a Bobcat
I have always been intrigued when I have seen a person who has domesticated a wild animal. There are those who have done this with lions and other kind of animals. My thought, when I would see a person playing with a lion they obviously trust, has always been; " Yeah, but what if the "wild" in that animal suddenly took control?" "Where would that leave you?" I really don't want to think about it. Experts have often told people that it is dangerous to try to domesticate a wild creature and most often that is so. God made them a certain way with certain characteristics of both body and instincts. Those may be over ridden for a little while, but the danger is there that suddenly they might be totally different with a terrible attitude toward you. Ain't good!!
I say all of this to tell you about the time a friend of mine who also was a member of the church of which I was the Pastor, Metter Baptist Church. This fellow was a favorite dove hunter companion of mine and we knew each other right well. His wife was in the hospital in Augusta, GA with a new born baby and we were on our way back home to Metter after visiting for a couple of hours with her. I was driving my car on the trip to Augusta and on the way back to Metter we passed through the little town of Millen, GA. Just south of Millen one passes over the river bridge not long before the highway to Millen is on the right while the main highway continues through Statesboro, GA.
Right after we crossed the river bridge, we saw a mother Bobcat crossing the road with four little kittens. They were so cute but that cuteness disguised a terrible attitude. We whisked by the little pack of Bobcats and within fifty yards of them my buddy said, "Stop, Stop....I've always wanted a Bobcat kitten to raise." " Let me go get one of those." I said: "Man, you had better leave those Bobcats alone." "That mother will be waiting on you and she will eat your lunch." Anyway, I backed up and he approached a kitten trying to hide in the grass. I never saw a cuter kitten. Perfect. My buddy assessed the situation and decided to grab the kitten with one hand behind the head and the other on the hind hips. All this while I was looking for the mother Bobcat. Didn't want to meet her!! When he had positioned himself properly, my friend seized the kitten in the way he had planned. Innocent looking little thing! But, the moment he grabbed the kitten it proceeded to make hash out of his arms from his elbows to his fingertips. I have never seen anyone move as fast as he did in putting that Bobcat kitten in the trunk of my car. Another mistake! His arms were scratched and bleeding but the kitten was no worse off. I was not aware of the fact that you are not suppose to capture wild life for the purpose of making a pet out of them. Not suppose to be done but thankfully no one ever called my friend's hand on it. When we got to Metter, he decided he wanted to put the little fellow in a cage and raise him. But first, we had to get him out of my trunk. So, we slowly raised the trunk lid and to our surprise.....no Bobcat kitten! He could not be found until we discovered that he had crawled into the fender well of my car. So, he was way back up in the interior of the fender of my Ford automobile. Of course he wasn't coming out any time soon. But we decided that we would all (several people had gathered by this time looking at the show going on) stand to the side out of sight and see if he would come out. Thankfully, he did. In the meantime, my friend had gotten him a pair of thick working gloves which covered him almost to his elbows. He grabbed the kitten as before. Gloves didn't help much but he made it to the cage and deposited him in it. That kitten had bitten him through those thick work gloves. This should have been a good sign to him to take that cat back to where he found it and forget his little venture. But, I don't think that thought ever crossed his mind. I just knew he wasn't going back into my trunk! Other arrangements would have to be made!
Not long after this little adventure, I was called to Abilene Baptist in Martinez, GA where I served as Pastor for thirty-one years. I saw my friend on a Dove hunt several months later and asked him about his "pet Bobcat." His eyebrows climbed two inches on his forehead and a very serious look came on his face. He told me that that cute little Bobcat kitten had grown up and become very vicious. He said that it was in a cage out in his back yard and that he was afraid to go out his back porch door because of the fit that cat would pitch every time he saw him exit the house. He said it would scream the most blood curdling scream one ever heard and that it would howl loudly in the most haunting way. He dreaded feeding it! Getting that close to the cage was dangerous and nerve wracking. So, he decided to turn it loose but didn't know how to do it. He didn't want to touch the cage and unlock the door because when he came close to the cage, the Bobcat would go viciously wild and seemed near to tearing the cage apart. Here is what he decided to do. He tied a long cord to the cage door. Braved the situation enough to unlock the door and then stood inside his screen porch to pull on the cord and open the door. That Bobcat bounded out of the cage and disappeared into the woods never to be seen again.
I couldn't help recalling his words on that
William F. Harrell