On February 19th 2006, some time before noon, I received a call from warden Oggel from the Department of Fish and Game. He told me that he had just picked up a bobcat from highway 150,
that had been shot with an arrow, straight through the head. I was surprised that he wanted to bring the animal in for care with such an injury and not have it euthanized. (Despite our efforts, previous cases of
arrow shooting have all proven to be fatal.) Warden Oggel told me that he thought that the animal had a chance of survival and that it had been seen for approximately a week , wandering with this arrow through its
head. I assumed that the arrow had gone through some fur and skin, but missed the skull , given the description of the cats normal behavior and feistiness. Imagine my surprise when I looked inside the pet
carrier to see the arrow entering the cat right between the eyes and exiting the lower right side of the cats neck, just as it had been described. This had to truly be a miracle. There is no way that I would have
believed an animal with such an injury could have normal neuralgic function and could have survived a week without being able to eat or drink. When I approached her, she gave me the token growl and hiss and
then a swat with her paw. I thought to my self, wow...you are a survivor.
I contacted Dr. Peregrine Wolf who has been most gracious with her time, and we discussed our next move. Normal protocol for injured animals needing surgery is to stabilize
before going under anesthesia so the first thing to do was to to see if she could eat or drink. Because the arrow was so long when she put her head down to drink, it would hit the ground before her mouth reached the
bowl. To get around this
we raised a small bowl up on a brick so that it sat closer to her mouth. She was indeed very thirsty. Not knowing if the arrow had traveled through her jaw, I was amazed to see her gulp down several chicks with no apparent problem. I wondered how this poor thing was going to sleep through the night with a limited choice of positions and what must have been the worst head ache in history,
I met Dr. Wolf at her surgery center at 9.30 am. I was greeted by her assistant
Pat Ott, who had canceled a prior engagement to come and help with the surgery. The first job was to get her under so Dr. Wolf mixed a sedation cocktail in a syringe. After tilting the carrier to expose a good spot and one little poke, our Bobcat was out out..