Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org



Good-bye to Nickleby, the Elephant Barn Cat

From Brian Busta, PAWS Performing Animal Welfare Society
May 2024

Nickleby decided to stay in and around the elephant barn. Over the years, Nickleby showed himself to be the coolest cat. He loved being picked up and carried around, and he liked to play rough and let me playfully harass the heck out of him. Nickleby would follow keepers around while cleaning, then jump up into their vehicles and go for a ride.

Cat Nickleby

Over 10 years ago, a grey and white cat showed up at the sanctuary near Bull Mountain where our male elephants live. He was clearly in need of help: scruffy, skittish, and with a large wound on his side.

We brought this tough little cat to Asian elephant Nicholas’ barn and nursed him back to health. And that’s where Nickleby decided to stay – in and around the elephant barn.

Over the years, Nickleby showed himself to be the coolest cat. He loved being picked up and carried around, and he liked to play rough and let me playfully harass the heck out of him. Nickleby would follow keepers around while cleaning, then jump up into their vehicles and go for a ride. Staff learned to double-check their vehicles, or risk finding him asleep in the back seat as they were driving off the property.

Little Nickleby was a hit with everyone. He followed our Seeing the Elephants educational tour groups around the property and made friends with all who met him.

Two months ago, we found a fast-growing tumor on the bottom side of Nickleby’s tongue, with no way to safely remove it. As the tumor grew it became harder and harder for him to eat, and eventually, we made the decision to humanely euthanize him. Nickleby was an amazing, sassy, tough-guy cat who never lost his love for life; his body just could not keep going.

Nickleby, you will be missed by me and all of the staff. We love you, little man.


Posted on All-Creatures.org: May 31, 2024
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