My Tigers, My Weekend

We went to the mountains this weekend. I was just going to post a few pictures of our time together and call it a day, but then I realized you might wonder why the heck we’re petting tigers and so close to a panther.

Here’s the scoop: Some of my relatives own a small zoo in the middle of the mountains, right next to our cabin. It’s totally weird and doesn’t make a lot of sense. I still don’t understand how it survives, this tiny zoo in the middle of nowhere.

Anyways, my sister and I grew up playing with baby tigers, baby bears, and bottle feeding a baby leopard whenever we visited. It was pretty incredible.

This is the last year of the zoo’s existence, just in time for Waylon Tiger to pet his very own tiger. It made my heart swell.

Lest you think I’m bragging about my amazing life petting wildlife and skipping around the mountainside, let me paint you a picture of the rest of the weekend when not petting a tiger:

Waylon was a mess. A hot, buggy, sweaty, end-of-August mess. He whined, he cried, he clung, he skipped naps and refused to eat anything besides animal crackers. If anyone touched him who wasn’t Austin or I, he let out a bobcat scream.

Note to self: do not travel with your barely sleep trained one year old if you have to sleep in the same room. We were all sleep deprived. Every time we let out a tiny sneeze or turned over in bed, he was up and wanting out. Lightest sleeper ever.

It wasn’t all bad. I was able to visit with some of my cousins I only ever see at holidays and get my hair cut. I’m excited to return when the leaves are changing and when Waylon can have his own room.

Here are a few pictures, including Waylon in his true form.

We’re ready for fall.




  1. This has to be one of the most unique blog posts Ever, and yet somehow it has a comment of one. That has to have you scratching your head. Should you have been DANCING with the tigers, instead of merely holding them? It’s hard to say. Anyway, what has me reeling is that A Small Zoo in Rural America with Exotic Animals really exists. I thought that dreadful “We Bought a Zoo” movie was LaLa Land, but apparently someone could do that exact thing with this Zoo. Like you and Austin. Wouldn’t that be a surprise ending to the grad school story.

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