Neutered and vaccinated
No known health problems
Travis loved his TacoMama and brother Jackson. He and Jackson showed up one morning in the engine of my car, while TacoMama searched for them. Safely reunited with their mother they did everything together. Most of the time where you would find one, you would find the other.
I think Travis was the protector, because a fox came to visit one day while TacoMama was away. Initially, Travis and Jackson scurried off into the brush for protection, but Travis came out inching toward the fox and looking as though he was going to pounce on the fox. Naturally, I chased off the fox and Travis and Jackson went about their playmate ways. They stuck together through everything, until Jackson started finding in the woods and staying gone all day and sometimes until after dark. Travis rarely wandered far from his domain and whenever Jackson would return, Travis would always run to greet him. Travis was very loving to not only Jackson, but to most of the other members of the colony as well. He was especially loving to Ears and Sampson.
Not meaning to humanize this bio, Travis didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to his brother Jackson and I think that was a little traumatic to him. He was inside the 8×10 building when his brother Jackson passed away suddenly in the attached kennel. There was the hurried activity of trying to save Jackson with CPR before rushing him to the vet that morning; so Travis didn’t see Jackson leave. Travis changed that day.
After things had settled down that day after the sudden loss of Jackson, we let the other cats out for their daily exercise. Travis stayed close to the building that day and that evening, when we returned Travis to the shelter, he sat in the kennel staring into the woods for hours as though waiting for Jackson to return. For months after, Travis chose to be a loner and it appeared he was always waiting and watching for Jackson’s return. He withdrew from TacoMama and his whole personality changed. He was a little less perky, a little less active, a little less interested.
He had lost his snuggle buddy and it seemed he lost interest in a lot of things. Many nights I found him sleeping in the corner of the kennel instead of in his bed in the building. It seemed he had separated himself from the entire colony. This behavior went on for so long that it worried us. I didn’t know what to do for him, but then his life changed again, and so did he, when we had to begin permanently housing another ginger cat we called Ears.
Travis fell in love with Ears, and later, Sampson, who became his new running partner. Gradually, Travis got back to his cuddly, playful self and his love of hunting. I finally felt that he had stopped grieving, and I stopped worrying.
Travis was a great hunter. He would always consume his catch as any good hunter will. Though he didn’t hunt birds often, he loved chasing lizards, tadpoles, moles, butterflies, and snakes of all shapes and sizes. One thing I worried about, though, was the snake hunting. We had spotted and disposed of a cotton mouth on the property after one especially rainy period.
It was difficult to distract Travis from the snakes, because he was very protective of his catches and it was almost impossible to take those away from him. If we were ever able to distract him from a catch it would take two of us; one to distract and remove him from the location, and one to remove the catch. Many times we had to practice this procedure with him to remove him from snakes. Over the next couple of years, every snake we took him away from was non-venomous. However, after another one of those long rainy periods, while no one was on the property to monitor his activities, Travis was bitten on the neck near his chest by a venomous snake.
When I returned to the property that day, I was unaware that he had gotten into trouble. It was only when he didn’t show up for his evening meal that I immediately knew something was wrong. After calling for him several times I took my Beagle, Jake, to the woods to track him. In less than 10 minutes we found Travis, but it was too late.
I was deeply saddened to lose Travis, and very angry. Angry not only because this happened, but because Travis was only 6 years old, and losing him came very soon after 2 other cats, Rosie and Otis, suddenly came up missing.
The day I set Travis’ cremains next to his brother Jackson’s was the day I vowed to build a safe haven for the remainder of the colony to live the final days of their lives out of harm’s way.