TWS Bids a Sad Farewell to a Special Resident
Whether a cat enters our rescue system for a matter of days or whether they become a life-long resident, each one holds a special place in our hearts. One of the challenges we face in providing permanent safe haven for our residents is that one day, each will leave us to cross the Rainbow Bridge to be forever free. One of TWS’ special caracal residents, Pharaoh, recently made that journey, quite unexpectedly. Luckily, the transition for Pharaoh was quick and painless thanks to the exceptional care provided to him by Dr. Baillie and his staff. With the swiftness of his passing, those of us who knew and loved Pharaoh were faced with coping with the grief of loss while also celebrating his life and the knowledge that he is finally free from the captive life he knew on Earth. Tammy, TWS’ Executive Director, wrote this special message in memory of Pharaoh which so eloquently captures how all of us at TWS felt.
I almost wasn’t able to write this. I am just devastated at the loss of dear Pharaoh. I know I should feel comfort in knowing we rescued him, provided him a wonderful sanctuary home and that we found the cancer before he was in a lot of pain. But unfortunately, I feel truly helpless and a terrible void. I know with time it will get better, but Pharaoh was uniquely Pharaoh, and he will never be replaced. I am able to find comfort in the two very special last days I spent with Pharaoh. Pharaoh seemed a little under the weather so I brought him in the house with me. He lay at my feet while I worked on the computer, and rubbed against my legs when I would look down and smile. He slept on his blanket and followed me as I did my chores. Those two days I will cherish forever. On the last day, I brought him to Dr. Baillie’s and they found several cancerous tumors in Pharaoh’s digestive track. We did the only thing we could do and helped Pharaoh pass over the rainbow bridge.
I am told that with each passing resident it will get easier. But the truth is, I hope it doesn’t. For the loss I feel now for Pharaoh mirrors the love I had for him. And if the loss is to get easier next time, the love must be less as well. I will move on and rescue more cats, each as special as Pharaoh and I will mourn the loss of everyone, as I do Pharaoh today.
Pharaoh has been cremated and his ashes will be spread across wildlife land where he will spend his first moment and the rest of forever living outside of fences. We call this the freedom trail and this is how he was meant to live.
I love you Pharaoh and thank you for blessing my life.
In the fall of 2002, TWS began receiving emails regarding a caracal in Oklahoma in need of a home. The caracal, Pharaoh, had been purchased as a pet but when the owner moved to Colorado, his city did not permit exotic cats. After a few weeks, we heard that Pharaoh still did not have a permanent home. TWS did the only thing we could. TWS staff members Tammy Quist, with her faithful sidekick, Kelly Holmberg, drove the 13-hour trip to pick him up during the Christmas holiday. Pharaoh did fabulous on the trip back and was the perfect traveler.
Pharaoh has adjusted very well to his life at the sanctuary. He chirps to all his human friends from across the sanctuary. If that doesn’t get our attention, he’ll keep himself busy by tossing his stuffed animal high into the air and swatting it down.
Pharaoh tends to be very independent and tends to get bored with roommates. He has shared an enclosure with other servals, a caracal and even a bobcat but seems to prefer the company of his stuffed animals most of all.