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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa Claws

A New Jersey woman brought in her pet bobcat for pictures with Santa... but the bobcat apparently did not enjoy the sitting.

Jonathan Bebbington, the in-store Santa, tried to calm the pet, who continued biting and scratching him.  The woman said she'd had the animal shipped-in from Wyoming for $1500 and kept it on a leash in her yard.  She did not leave her name or residence.  Authorities are looking for her.  Bebbington is undergoing rabies injections.

Bebbington noted he has sat with many exotic pets over the years, but even he was concerned when he saw the bobcat.  While not full-grown, bobcats can be deadly -- quickly.  They are incredibly rare in the wild and not much is known about them.  

I gave my eyewitness account of an encounter with one several years past on the old OddBlog and will rewrite it one day for you.  Needless to say, it is the only one I ever saw and no one else I know has ever seen one in the wild.  This is not your typical bob-tailed cat, which is usually from domesticated stock, and rarely larger than your ordinary housecat; bobcats can grow to weigh as much as 50-80 pounds!

Jonathan Bebbington has been the in-store Santa Clause for Petsmart for years.  Customers can bring their pets in for a picture on his lap at $9.95 a pop.  Part of the proceeds go to various animal charities.  The promotion is called "Santa Paws."

Bobcats do not make good pets.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

1 comment:

  1. After learning the in-store Santa might need rabies treatment, the owner stepped forward to provide vaccination papers today.

    Christine Haughey's pet is a cross between a bobcat and a domesticated housecat. I speak for both the domesticated housecat and Santa when I say, "Ow!"