Yes, Tom was a cat, but he thought he was a big dog. Whenever he heard us start the Gator to go to the pasture, he would jump on the hood or ride shotgun. He knew no fear. We had seen him face down a bobcat and then a coyote that dared to trespass on ‘his’ property. He turned up one day after we had moved back to the country to care for my Dad in his last days. Someone had obviously invested some money in Tom, he was declawed on the front and had been neutered, but he didn’t act like it. When a tiny yowling boy kitten showed up, Tom became his guardian. Yowler stuck to Tom like glue sleeping against him on even the hottest of days, and Tom tolerated it. They played and rolled in the driveway dirt every afternoon, with Tom putting his ‘ninja kitty’ moves on Yowler, then chasing each other across the yard. In September, we left the boys sleeping on the front porch for a couple of hours.

When we got back, we found Tom mortally wounded in the back yard. Yowler emerged from the garage/shop a few hours later very nervous and shaken. From the evidence, it appears that a group of dogs came through the property and approached the cats. Tom got between them and Yowler giving him time to get to safety, but putting himself in danger. We have since discovered that Yowler is very hard of hearing and that Tom was probably his ‘hearing’ cat. The dogs came back through the next day at the same time and have since been seen by several neighbors. Four big dogs running together here in the country can cause a problem. Yowler has since moved into the house most of the day, only going outside when someone is with him. Tom was an independent cat, but very loving. I got my annual dose of poison oak from carrying him around every year! We had to shut him on the screened porch when we walked in the morning, or he would have followed us every step of the way. We choose not to have dogs because we like watching the wildlife and sometimes dogs can get in trouble (like porcupines & skunks!). Tom was more like a dog than most dogs, and we miss him terribly every single day. There will never be another one like him.

Tom from Texas