Jack the Domestic Cat

In the place where Jumanji’s cage is today, Jamie lived in a single wide mobile home when she was 15.  When a friend as school named Mike was abandoned by his mom, we let him move into a tiny travel trailer next door to her mobile home.  Back then, I lived in the Gift Shop. My funniest recollection of Mike was on his first morning here he expected Jamie to whip up breakfast for him.  She introduced him to the toaster and that kid probably lived on nothing but toast the whole time he lived here.

Jack the Cat
Jack the Cat

Mike found Jack and Mike, a couple of tiny kittens, tied up in a bag in a dumpster.  He kept the one he named after himself and left Jack at the sanctuary.

In 1995 the tour waiting area was a multi species collection of cats that included Glory, Glory the cougar, Fluffy the serval, Raindance and Little Feather the bobcats, a domestic cat named Breezy who had raised Little Feather and several other caracals, servals and bobcats.  Glory would delight in carrying the smaller cats around in her mouth and would drool all over them.  She was amazingly gentle, but you never wanted to touch any cat that she had just set down as they would be a slobbery mess.

Even though she was the biggest cat in the yard, Little Feather was the undisputed top cat and she ran the yard with an iron paw.  She was probably granted such premiere status willingly because she was able to get the flea collars off herself and anyone else that would sit patiently as she worked it off them.  Those were the days of flea powder, sven dust, diatomacious earth and flea eating nematodes before the advent of Advantage or Revolution.

Hallelujah was the same age as Glory, Glory but was always too rough for the other cats and for people, but he wanted desperately to be near his friends so we built an L shaped yard that wrapped around the back yard area full of cats.  The fences were chain link then, so he could see them and race back and forth with them from his long tunnel that ran along the west wall.

Jack was always a mischievous one and loved to taunt the caged cats by showing off how free he was outside of their confines.  He drew tremendous pleasure in enticing the cats to chase him to the end of their cages so that they would crash into the walls as he sped out of range.  He would do this to Hal all the time and Hal would fall for it every time.  Hal would be so focused on the chase that he would invariably plow into the end of this run as Jack kept running on the outside.

One day we were making cage modifications and had extended a fence at the end of Hallelujah’s cage out into the open space.  Jack had revved up for his run, but hadn’t noticed that his runway would end at the same point as Hal’s.  Jack rammed into the fence at full throttle while looking back at Hal to egg him on.  Ever since then Jack has had a bit of a kink in his neck and that is why his head is always cocked at a slight angle.  I am sure Hal still snickers at him every time he passes by.

2010 Note: Jack has moved indoors.

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