BUFFY - Male Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Died 1994, Age Unknown

We don't know where Buffy came from. He just wandered in from the Wild and found us shortly after Pusser's death. We don't know how old he was but clearly he had been raised well and somehow lost his people. It was his great fear for a long time, that he would lose us.

Unlike Pusser, who had a strong, serious personality, Buffy always radiated joy and sweetness. He was uniformly caring of all animals and people, even the skunks and raccoons he would invite into the house to share his meals.

Like Pusser, he was never caged, and slept with us each night, stretched out between us, his legs around one or the other of our necks.

Buffy was at his best hosting a large party. He painstakingly taught us that Joy, Play, and Pleasure, were essential nutrients for the self. We found good balance through Buffy.

PUSSER - Male Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Born 1971, Died 1991

One day we bought a motor home and went searching for the "perfect" Bobcat. We found him at a zoo in North Dakota, born of wild parents, three months old, hand fed and well traveled. It took most of a day to convince the zoo that his only future was with us. He hopped aboard and never looked back.

Pusser clearly saw himself as an Ambassador from the Wild and was never caged. He taught us the concepts of Gaea, the web of life which binds us all together. He instilled in us stewardship, a notion that human kind seems to have lost along the long road to our present. He gave us "cat law" which we live by.

Above all, Pusser made us believe in the absolute - no compromises - value of Truth, Love, and Dignity. He lived by these principles till the moment he died.


SATCHEL - Male Cougar (Puma concolor)
Age Unknown

Satchel broke our hearts when he suddenly passed away one night. Satchel was a big cougar, over 220 pounds. He was also big in so many of the ways it counts.

Plagued with diabetes, the crippling results of a bad de-clawing, and serious abuse during his life, he nonetheless cared for people and their affections. Though he could only walk painfully, he held his head high at all times and tried to be his best, never forgetting he once loved children with a passion.

He never allowed himself to be intimidated and got even with most of his abusers. In short, Satchel had more than ordinary grace and dignity. He was a cat's cat.

None of us who were close to Satchel have been able to put away the vivid memories we shared of him during his life. The pain of our losses are made tolerable by our belief that his spirit runs free now, though his body never could.

LEROY BROWN - Male Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Died 5/4/2007, Age Unknown

Leroy loved to sing. He would make up his own long sentences of bobcat banter and occasionally imitated noises he heard in his surroundings. His concerts made a night in the catatat an unforgettable experience.

It feels right to link his memory with strange music. The tenor of his unique life was a melody too exotic to be soothing, yet too beautiful to be ignored. He was forever dignified, completely curious, a shade mysterious--in short, he was a bobcat.

Leroy and his mate Passion were saved from a fur farm. He escaped one expected fate, then escaped another, slipping away on his own terms in his sleep.

PASSION - Female Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Age Unknown

Passion was not a cuddle cat. Thinking about petting her was a capital offense...trying it was even worse.

Exotic cats have strong ideas of "us" and "them." If you were an "us", like Barbara, Passion could be sweet and snuggly. Very few people were an "us" for Passion since she was banished from the house for "merely redecorating" it. This act of humiliation violated her code of fair play, and Passion felt betrayed. She let you know it, too.

Passion's story highlights the importance of understanding exotic animals before becoming involved with them. Even an experienced owner may "sin", and someone unwilling to accept the consequences with unconditional love--as the Williamsons have--should not take the plunge.

Passion's need for love was filled by Niki, and occasionally Barbara. She was quite happy in her anti-social sort of way. Hopefully she's even happier now.

PEGGY SUE - Female Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx)
Born 4/13/96. Weight: 60 lbs (28 kg)

It takes a very special kind of cat to be a companion cuddle cat. Peggy Sue the Eurasian Lynx, is just such a cat. Raised with love and compassion from the day she was born, she's grown up to be respectful and considerate of humans and other animals, including her sorely-missed playmate, Streaker the serval.

The Eurasian Lynx, also sometimes known as the Siberian lynx, is the largest of the lynx subspecies and occupies a range that spans much of Northern Europe, Russia, and central Asia. In the wild, the Eurasian lynx feeds on deer and wild hares, but Peggy Sue has developed a more civilized palette: a bit of coffee in the morning, cantaloupe, tuna, and ZuPreem with an algae supplement throughout the day.

Peggy Sue lives with her companion humans inside the house and is an excellent ambassador cat. Her story is a particular example of how humans and cats can not only coexist, but become true companions for the benefit of both species.

She is one of the two cats that still live at Tiger Touch.

KICKY - Female Cougar (Puma concolor)
Born 8/31/92, Died 7/28/09

Cougar. Puma. Panther. Mountain Lion. No matter what you called her, Kicky was definitely one cool cat. When she was not showing off her beautiful blonde coat, Kicky could often be found lounging around her den box or sunning herself on her high shelf.

Kicky and her sister Missy were among the founders of Tiger Touch back in 1996. When they arrived, they were in a poor emotional state, the result of years of neglect or worse. In the years since, they found love, respect, and companionship in their new home.

In the wild, mountain lions can be found throughout much of the United States and Canada and can be recognized by their relatively long tail and single-colored coat.

Throughout much of their range, mountain lions are regarded as a nuisance and many are killed by ranchers and hunters alike. Some subspecies, such as the Florida panther, are threatened by continued encroachment of humans on their habitat.

MISSY - Female Cougar (Puma concolor)
Born 8/31/92, Died 4/5/05

She was dusty brown, the color of Earth, but when you looked in her warm eyes she became a star spangled jaguar, a swift cheetah, a mighty lioness. All this and so much more...she was breathtaking. Her beauty came from within.

Her purr was rich and resonant like a hot cup of cocoa on a winter afternoon, and it was always close to the surface. Some cats ask for love, Missy demanded it. She would make us feel like the most important beings on Earth, and sometimes as we ran our fingers through her soft fur and listened to her deep rumble of affection, we would wish the moment could last forever, but moments never do.

TEDDY - Male Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis)
Born 1999, Died 2012. Weight: 45 lbs (20 kg)

Teddy, like his companion Sunshine, was a bit shy. His den box was not just a place to get in out of the weather, it was a haven from nosy photographers. "What, are you still here?"

Too bad - as you can see he had a rather handsome face with dramatically marked cheek ruffs, large piercing eyes and tufted ears. He also had huge paws which, far from being a hindrance, made it possible for him to run quickly over the surface of deep snow in his native habitat.

We made sure he was comfortable, safe, and had a nice hiding place. He understood and was grateful in his own way.

Canadian Lynx are much smaller than their Eurasian cousins. At 60 pounds, Peggy Sue far outclassed him. Perhaps that's why he and his companion had chosen to stay in an enclosure by themselves!

SUNSHINE - Female Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis)
Born 2002. Weight: 35 lbs (14 kg)

Sunshine is an ironic name for her--like all lynx she is mainly active at night--but she does radiate sunshine for her small circle of friends. Naturally shy, she will be hiding from you unlesss you are very patient. It isn't that Sunshine is unfriendly--it's a survival strategy that has worked for ages.

Lions, who can hunt large prey cooperatively in groups tend to hang out together. Lynx usually eat snowshoe hares, a big meal for a lone lynx and a reasonable feast for a mother and her kittens. When two adults try to share an carcass that small, things start to get out of hand quickly. Besides, more than one lynx trying to sneak up on the same hare are not that effective. Anyone that has seen a moping lynx will know how deep their emotional needs really are. Just don't be upset if you don't "make the cut" with Sunshine. She always chooses quality over quantity in her social life.

She is one of the two exotic cats that still live at Tiger Touch.

ROCKY - Male Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo)
Born 1/18/92, Died 11/27/10

What Rocky was had its own allure. He had characteristics of both Barbary and Cape Lions, both thought to have been extinct. Specialists were interested in his genetic makeup.

Who Rocky was exceeded the value of his genetic heritage in so many ways. They say the lion is the King of Beasts. Rocky was a king. He lived by a King's code and with regal dignity. He held sway over our hearts, forcing us to love him in his good and bad moods.

Rocky suffered emotional and physical abuse early in his life; he was rescued from someone who kept him confined to a pit where he was got little of the care and attention he needed. For the last 15 years of his life he truly enjoyed life, spending time with Det, the tiger, and Nala the lioness in their outdoor enclosure. He spent his days lounging in his enclosure, going into his den at nights or when the weather was bad. He was often the butt of Nala's practical jokes, but that's what being a lion is all about, and he was all lion.

He is young and strong once more with Satchel and Kicky Cougar, while Det and Nala struggle to cope with the empty spot he left behind.

NALA - Female Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo)
Born 7/6/95, Died 11/19/11. Weight: 400 lbs (182 kg)

Nala was a queen. Her majesty showed in her regal demeanor and self-confidence. She also liked to clown around on her own terms and on her own schedule, and when she played (see picture) her vitality and joie de vivre was breathtaking.

She showed traits of one of the lion subspecies long thought to be extinct, the Barbary lion. Barbary lions were once prevalent throughout the northern forests of Africa, but the last Barbary in the wild was killed in 1922. We once planned for her to have cubs with Rocky. She is with Rocky and Kicky now, young and strong again, tossing her wooden reel as if it were a trifle. And most likely she is ambushing her mate with her well-meaning but slightly wicked sense of humor.

Like Detonator, she started her day with a breakfast of Mazuri, chicken, a algae-based nutritional supplement and big bones to gnaw on, and liked to spend her afternoons napping. This is not a good bye, it is see you later, for we know we will.

NIKI - Female Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
Born 9/93, Died 2/14/12. Weight: 425 lbs (193 kg)

Niki was a Siberian tigress that came to Tiger Touch from Montana. Siberian tigers are the largest of all cats, with males ranging up to 13 feet (4 meters) in length and weighing up to 700 pounds (317 kg). They are also among the most critically endangered. Once prevalent throughout most of northeast Asia, only 150-200 are estimated to remain in the wild; fewer than 500 are managed in zoos and in private sanctuaries such as Tiger Touch.

At Tiger Touch, Niki enjoyed a 14' X 12' bedroom den with day bench and elevated walkway. She had a 45' X 12' tile floor play room that opened on to a 24' X 16' all weather deck.

Her amenities included air conditioning, music, an 8' diameter X 2.5' deep pool, breakfast and snack service, many exciting visitors and sleep over friends, and the almost constant presence and interaction of her office staff a few feet away where she could summon them at the slightest whim.

DETONATOR - Male Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris bengalensis)
Born 2/23/93, Died 5/9/12. Weight: 600 lbs (273 kg)

He was strong, handsome, smart. In short, he was any girl's dream. Maybe that's why Detonator's cousins in the wild are so endangered. Detonator was a Bengal tiger, and he was one of the original cats at Tiger Touch.

Bengal tigers are the most populous of the tiger subspecies, but they are still critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. While there were once hundreds of thousands of Bengals throughout an area which covered much of Asia, today the tiger's future is uncertain at best.

The Bengal tiger is the second largest tiger, averaging about 8 ft from nose to tail, and tipping the scales around 500 pounds (for males). Every tiger has a distinct stripe pattern that helps to camouflage them in the tall jungle grasses. They also have an individual pugmark, or footprint, that researchers can use to identify individuals even when they can't see them.

At Tiger Touch, Det was easy to spot -- his massive frame stretched over 9 feet long, tip to tail. Det spent most of his days lounging in the shade of his box or playing with the companion humans who came to visit.

Always In Our Hearts