Mark – in memory

Mark the F1 Bengal

In Memory 2015

mark 1At 19, Mark was one of the oldest cats at The Sanctuary, a very unheard of age for an F1 Bengal (a cross between an Asian Leopard Cat and a Bengal Cat).  Saying good-bye was bittersweet.  We were able to celebrate that he lived a long, good life surrounded by humans and cats that loved him.  But it still was sad to see him go.  We hope that all hybrids and wild cats get to live a life like Mark did where their wild sides are appreciated vs. trying to make them a domestic cat.

Mark was born in 1995 and arrived at TWS in 2004 from a private owner.  At that time, he didn’t want to warm up to his human caregivers, but that changed over the years.  He and his friends Bullet and Max 2, would always be at the door of their outdoor bungalow greeting their caregivers in the morning. Eventually, he loved to rub on your pants and enjoyed cheek rubs. Mark enjoyed spending his time laying in the sun on his outdoor hammock, as well as rubbing different scents provided as enrichment.

Besides Mark’s loving nature to other cats, he was also known for his big beautiful eyes. Everyone knew who Mark was.  Everyone commented on his beauty and he knew it.  He also had a curious nature and would be one of the first to explore anything new put in his outdoor habitat or indoor building.Mark_Max

Bullet and Max will miss cuddling with Mark, and we are grateful they still have each other.  We will miss Mark’s morning greetings. Mark, may there be plenty of sunshine, hammocks and cats to cuddle over the Rainbow Bridge.

 

Mark’s Story

A couple in Michigan called The Wildcat Sanctuary needing to place their F1 Bengal. Though they owned Mark for 9 years, they said they were rarely able to pet him. He was kept on a tether in the backyard. The owners wanted to have a family and were concerned that Mark was not the appropriate pet for small children.  We were called and a place was made for Mark here at the Sanctuary.  Mark was born in 1995 and came to The Wildcat Sanctuary in 2004 to stay.

Mark is doing very well at the Sanctuary.  He loves to get chicken from the caretakers when they come to clean the enclosure and will follow them around looking for more chicken.

Mark’s large eyes are very distinctive. Late in 2012, it was observed that Mark wasn’t opening his left eye all the way and it was very runny.  We monitored it very closely and it seemed to resolve itself.  A month later, the same eye was not opening all the way and it appeared there might be a scratch on that eye. Our veterinarian at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo sutured Mark’s third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, closed to help heal the scratch.

Relaxing in the sunOnce the stitches came out, it looked better but the scratch then reappeared.  We took Mark to an eye specialist, Dr. Connie Sillerud of  The Companion Animal Eye Center, and she determined that the ulcer was very deep and would require surgery.  Though drops four times a day might have been an option, since Mark was unable to be handled, it would have caused him undue stress and, most likely, wouldn’t have healed properly.

The surgery involved using microscopic instruments for a pedicle graft in which the healthy cornea next to the ulcer is slid across to aid repair.  The conjunctiva, or the pale pink tissue that covers the white of the eye, is slid across since the cornea is attached to it.  Had we not treated the eye, a bacterial infection might have developed resulting in Mark losing his eye.

We’re happy to report that the surgery went very well and Mark is back to his old self, enjoying life in Hybrid Haven with his bungalow buddies.

Though the cats may be small, their  healthcare expenses can still be monumental.  This is why our sponsorship program is critical for the cats here at the Sanctuary.  Would you consider becoming a sponsor parent for Mark today?  Your help will be greatly appreciated by us – and by Mark!