Blog author: 
Anne Zabolio

This evening I took Fox to the vet for her last trip. She had a long struggle with stomatitis with many ups and downs. She went very easily with me telling her how much I loved her and what a good kitty she has always been.


I found her and her family when I was looking for this house. I looked at a house in North Austin and in the back yard were a mom cat and her kittens. This was Memorial Day, 2000, and they were a month old, so I decided their birthday was April 30, 2000. I hated the house but I asked one of the neighbors if he knew who owned the cat, and he said she was just a stray. What sad words! I couldn't get them out of my mind so I went back and got them all the next day. The mom had to be trapped but once she was trapped, the kittens were easy. Fox was the only girl.

When I took their mom to be spayed, it was discovered that she had feline leukemia. On very good advice, I separated her from the kittens. She was fortunate in that she got a placement at SARA Sanctuary, in their feline leukemia room. When I visited SARA two years ago, she was there, looking quite healthy, and no more friendly than when I trapped her.

The screen house that is now housing Misty and Malcolm, the two newest kittens to arrive at Thundering Paws, was built by some friends of mine to house these kittens. They lived in that house in my back yard at the house in Austin. When they were five months old, I took them all to ATA to be spayed and neutered, and tested. All were negative. I had ATA run the tests -- all of them -- again. I called it the Brookfield Miracle. The house from which I picked them up was on Brookfield Street.

Timothy was adopted to a wonderful couple on the next street over, and he still lives there. Gordon was adopted by the daughter of one of our volunteers. He was renamed Freddie and is doing just fine. Both those boys are well loved.

So was Fox.

I loved her dearly, as did our volunteers. She used to run up to people, hop up and bump into their knees, earning her the nickname, "The Jump and Bump." I named her Fox because when she was a baby, she had a little fox shaped face with amber eyes. I had been privileged to be the friend of a gorgeous red fox at the Austin Nature Center whose name was Amber.  Fox reminded me of Amber in some way.

To do this work, I have had to develop a different approach to life and death. It is a fact that these dear beings don't live as long as we do. If I rescued elephants, blue whales, or even chimpanzees (considering I started Thundering Paws in my 50s), many of my charges might outlive me. I don't take death lightly. I always cry. It's the ultimate passage. But I don't think it is the worst thing anymore. I think that not being loved is the worst thing. And the animals here are loved, even the feral ones who run in fear from their human caretakers.

Fox had a good life at Thundering Paws, was loved dearly, and will be missed by everyone. Thank you all for what you have done for Fox, and for all the animals here, and elsewhere.



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