In 2013, we received a call from GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries) telling us that there were nearly a dozen animals who had been abandoned in Atchison, Kansas and were living in horrible conditions. When Kansas sheriffs and the Humane Society entered the property, they found that the animals had been living in tiny, filthy cages with no access to food or water. We agreed to take two cougars, Buttons and Charley.

buttons stalking
buttons mouth open

As soon as Charley and Buttons arrived, they began investigating their new, large enclosure. They had never had anything to stand on but mud, so they checked out every inch of grass, the pool, and their sheltered den area.

Initially, Buttons was the more reserved of the two cougars. It took some time and convincing to earn her trust, but earn it we did. Now, she is a purr machine around those she loves most, and adores attention from her human caregivers. She loves playing with balls and jolly eggs on her playground, and has quite the collection. Charley was initially the more food aggressive of the two cougars, but once Buttons settled in, she would push aside anything in her way to get to her food, including Charley.

Buttons was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. This is a common diagnosis for cats as they age. In order to combat the effects of kidney failure, Buttons received fluids 2-3 times a week. The staff provides subcutaneous fluids through the fence, utilizing our vet chute built into the enclosure. During this process two staff members are present. One supervises the fluids and the other distracts Buttons with a bait stick filled with different meats. Buttons was also diagnosed with a heart condition for which she receives daily medication.

Even in her old age, Buttons enjoys climbing up to the highest platform in her enclosure and observing her domain. She spends a majority of the time sleeping in the sunshine on her grassy playground, sweet-talking volunteers out of their treats with her and sweet purrs. Unfortunately, Charley passed away which has left a hole in her life. Though it might not be the same, the volunteers and staff spend as much as we can hoping to show Buttons that she is still loved.

charley and buttons on pipe
Buttons headshot

Species: Cougar (Puma concolor)

Sex: Female
Born: May 6, 2007
Rescued: May 6, 2013

buttons egg
buttons and her eggs
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