KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A bobcat turned wimp is being sent to Texas for survival training.

The 35-pound male cat has been in captivity at the Swope Park nature center since September, when it blithely entered a home. Naturalist Kevin Hogan said the cat, which obviously had been around humans, was as tame as a domestic cat and would not survive if placed back in the wild.

Hogan said the feeble feline was being sent today to ''real bobcat experts,'' Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. in Boerne, Texas.

The 8-to-9-month-old cat will be removed from human contact and placed among other cats on a 75,000-acre refuge in northwest of San Antonio.

''It's not difficult as long as they're fairly young, less than a year,'' said Kathleen Dowling, assistant director of the refuge.

''The instincts click when they get around other bobcats,'' she said. ''All the memories come rushing back.''

To summon up its feral instincts, the cat will be fed small rabbits, rodents, chickens and other birds it would catch in the wild.

''We want them to learn to identify these animals as food and not just as toys,'' she said. ''When he is showing typical wild bobcat behavior he will be released.''

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Thanks to his pet German shepherds, Merrill Cole awoke and escaped from a house fire. And by day's end, he found he had eight more canine best friends.

''I was asleep and could feel something hitting me. When I woke up everything was in a blaze and the dog was there waiting for me,'' Cole said in recalling the electrical fire that began at 3 a.m. Thursday in his living room, and the subsequent efforts of his dogs, Jason and Pup.

''Praise the Lord, I'm lucky to be living. They say a dog is man's best friend. Well, these dogs are definitely my best friends,'' he said.

Little did Cole know the day's excitement had only begun with the fire.

Cole and his daughter, Bonnie Kelly, went to the house to see what could be salvaged, returning with only an antique framed photo of the family. Then they found Pup with eight newborn puppies.

''I think all the commotion got to her,'' Cole said.