This past Thursday, the Urban Land Conservancy had the honor to speak with one of our most talked about tenants. Jaxon Wild joined the cityWILD staff just before Thanksgiving of 2015 (the last name is purely coincidental). Since his arrival, he has taken on the role of part time therapist, full time exterminator, night time security guard and is now training to be an outdoor education leader. The rest of the team is just having a little trouble getting him leash trained. Oh yes, because Jaxon Wild is a cat.
Interviews don’t always go over smoothly when your subject continues to either run away from you, or roll over for belly rubs every ten seconds, so I met with cityWILD’s Executive Director for more insight into Jaxon’s day to day routine. Jes Ward has been with cityWILD for three years now, and can hardly remember live pre-Jaxon. In his six month tenure, Jaxon has managed to completely eradicate Tramway’s mouse population, winning him popularity points all around.
Meet Jaxon Wild, the newest staff member at cityWILD. Jaxon typically refuses interviews, but agreed that if he was fed treats every five minutes, he would consent.
“Oh it was nothing,” Jaxon coolly replied. “All in a days work.” And then he sauntered away, leaving my further questions in the dust.
When he’s not out hunting, Jaxon has a major role to play at cityWILD. As a nonprofit focused on engaging students in outdoor education outside of the classroom, the cityWILD center is packed with students from about 3:00 to 6:00 each afternoon. And it is here where Jaxon’s main focus is the kids. Ward explained that he has learned the personalities of each and every child, and knows exactly when and how to interact with them.
“Let’s just say my job isn’t easy,” Jaxon explained. “I mean, mousing? Piece of cake. But knowing when Sam wants to cuddle or when Katie wants to play hide and seek? Not so easy. It’s hard because I just get so much attention.”
Jaxon explained that mornings are his favorite, as he has time to patrol the grounds before any humans come in. Once they do, it’s work time for them and play time for him.
When he’s not busy cuddling, Jaxon’s hobbies include eating, sleeping and playing the occasional game of cat and mouse. He usually wins.
“I’d have to say that Jes definitely has the best keyboard to lay on,” Jaxon said. “And it’s always fun because she tries to act annoyed, but she’s massaging my belly with the keys the whole time so I know shes really having fun too.”
Ward explained that despite his already full schedule, Jaxon is about to take on an even bigger role: outdoor travel companion. Since cityWILD leads frequent outdoor excursion type trips for its students, and the students are obsessed with Jaxon, the team thought it was time to include him. However outdoor Jaxon means he must wear a leash, something he’s not to crazy about just yet.
“It’s not the highlight of my day, that’s for sure,” Jaxon said. “I mean the leash I can get used to, but I simply cannot be seen by other felines. They’ll think I’m a dog! And that would be downright embarrassing.”
When it comes to mousing, stealthy is Jaxon’s middle name.
Needless to say, Jaxon has become quite the fan favorite at cityWILD. He is the first one to greet everyone at the door, and has become a constant point of happiness for the cityWILD’s students. Keep an eye out for him on city sidewalks and local parks, you might just see him on a leash. (Although he won’t admit it was him).