188 Typisch Bengaal

Bengalen moet je meemaken. Je kunt er van alles en nog wat over lezen. Echter, ‘zien is geloven’, ‘meemaken is pas begrijpen’. Gewoonlijk schrijf ik mijn teksten zelf, maar onderstaande ingezonden email naar Bengal Rescue is wel weer tekenend. Bengal Rescue is een organisatie die zich in Amerika bezighoudt met het herplaatsen van ongewilde bengalen. Lees en oordeel zelf:
Living With Bengals: Leven met bengalen. We zijn een gewoon echtpaar dat, op een dag, een bengaalkitten heeft aangeschaft. We kwamen er al snel achter dat bengalen niet op andere katten lijken. Maar we hebben langzamerhand wat truukjes geleerd en we hebben het overleefd. Jij kan dat ook.A topic I have felt that people really do need to understand before rescuing a Bengal or even purchasing one, if they have not been around them, is they do have delightfully challenging personalities.The first Bengal I had only shortly was an extremely well behaved adult female. So I had the impression that Bengals were about the best behaved cats in the world. After her, I rushed out and rescued 3 kittens probably only 4-5 weeks old, now they are probably about 7 months old (I get the feeling they are teenagers). What a challenge!

When I brought those 3 tiny kittens home (they were so small) I brought them into our bedroom with us and placed a tall barrier in the door, they hopped over it effortlessly. They were small enough to get stuck anywhere under the stove, behind the fridge, drain pipes, heat vents, etc. and they could leap from the floor to the counters from day 1. Within days they were leaping to the top of the fridge and the highest shelves and counters right below the ceiling.

There is a not a door or cupboard they cannot open. They can turn on the bathtub water (luckily it’s cold) unfortunately they don’t turn it off. We don’t get much sleep at night. I’m going to purchase a large plastic dog house I saw with a gated front to it, for them to go into at night, so we can get some rest. I just hope they don’t cry all night (I’m sure we’ll have to get a combination lock to keep the gate closed 😉

What they can’t figure out on their own, they work on in unison. I am beyond amazed at how smart they are. From the time we got them they could unzip their carrying case by two pushing their heads through different openings while the other stuck it’s paw outside and pushed against the zipper lock.

We take them outside supervised only. They have a tendency to climb high up in trees and then not be able to get down. Or they leap from the tree to the roof (we live in the woods with towering pines). Yes, they pitch fits, run and hide from us when it’s time to come in.

To top it off, our cats are rarely ever alone (heck we’re afraid to leave them). At least one of us is home all the time and most of the time two of us are. So it’s not like they’ve been ignored or allowed to run wild. But they are curious and stubborn. They don’t allow our preferences to get in the way of their plans. They protest loud and persistently when they are not happy.

We were not prepared for the level of activity, persistence and cleverness of Bengals. I know many people are intrigued and would love to rescue or own them but I wonder how many are as unprepared as we were.

For us it has meant dispensing with gracious living and decorations to a rather utilitarian, cat proof life. It means staying armed with a mean water gun at all times. It means planning just like you would for children. I am sure they will settle down as they get older.

{Note from the Bengal Rescue Coordinator: “Settle down? A HA HA HA .. HA HA … OH HA HA HA HAAAAAA …”}

I don’t recommend getting 3 young kittens, as they tend to be wild with each other more than bonding with their owners, though they do have their tender moments. However, they are such sociable animals I do think if they are going to spend time alone there should be an additional companion. It is so much fun watching them play together you are missing out with just one alone. When we had one adult Bengal only, she seemed lonely for other cats to play with.

We have turned our apartment into a cat play house, since that is how they treat it anyway. We have a ladder to run up. Indoor outdoor carpet remnants tacked all the way up the walls, water fountains, several multi story carpeted playhouses but the favorite is a catnip toy on an elastic cord from a hook on the ceiling. The next is the super ball. The minute they hear the super ball they all come running. If they misplace it they tell us about it until we help them find it.

One loves dried anchovies from the pet store.

We just love them so much and they are pretty much the only game going at our place for entertainment. Oh and one of them yips and yaps like a small dog instead of meows. They all growl when they don’t want to share (which is often).

How do you prepare folks for the personalities and needs of their new Bengals? Whenever I’m blue I go to the pet shop and buy a bag of toys and treats for the cats. Watching them play with them always puts me in hysterics!

Kari Sable Burns

Bron: http://www.geocities.com/mabengal/email.html

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