Mewsings Blog - happy tails

January 16, 2009

In the summer of 2006, a boat arrived for delivery in Austin with a surprise inside: a litter of seven kittens -- all tabbies. We took them to the vet, and one of the kittens was fostered by an employee of the vet clinic and quickly adopted. The other six were fostered by Thundering Paws volunteers and lived together for several weeks.

Isabel, a beautiful classic tabby, was the next one adopted, in January 2007. Two years later, we received this update:

"Isabel is amazing and I can not believe that it's already been 2 years. We have since moved from my very small apartment to a nice roomy house. My other cat, Moxie, is her best friend and I have never seen 2 cats get along so well! I have attached a couple of recent pictures of the two because they are inseparable cuddlers and it's too cute not to share! Isabel also has grown quite a bit. Weighing just under 16 pounds she is tall, long, and skinny. She is a weird little cat as well- she plays fetch like a dog!! We're not sure how it started, but it's her favorite thing to do! We love her!!!!"

Moxie and Isabel
Moxie and Isabel

Next to be adopted were Raul (in February 2007), Solange (in March 2007), and Raya (August 2007). We would love to hear how they are doing.

Victor and Solace were the last two "boat kittens" to be adopted, in May 2008. Their new "mom" sent this message in December 2008:

Victor and Solace
Victor and Solace

"I am attaching some recent photos of Victor & Solace. I took them with my camera phone so they are not the best quality.

These two kitties are so close to each other. I can't imagine not having gotten them together!! I'm so glad we got both!

Victor is just the biggest love bug ever. It's so funny because Victor is totally momma's boy and Solace is totally Daddy's girl. Solace loooooves her Daddy... truly a love affair I tell ya!

They are still loving the country life. Mostly they love napping in the loft of the log home we're living in. Both are sacked out as I type.

Victor still continues the "morning and nightly ritual" since we've had him. Every single night when we tuck our son into bed... Victor always immediately drops what he's doing to come in and walks all over him while we tuck him in .. and every single night I have to pick him up and escort him out... and every single night as I help him exit he puts his ears back as if to say, "Hey, I was enjoying that!"

Then every single morning when I wake my son up for school... Victor always beats me to his door... we open the door and Victor walks all over him again until he gets out of bed.

He hasn't missed a night or morning yet.

I know I've said this before but none of us can imagine our family without these two kitties. They are the most loving, affectionate, sweet, caring, funny pair ever. In my lifetime of cats I have said, "There will never be a cat better than this one."... that's one reason why we haven't had a cat in such a long time... but these two totally win the prize.

I'm still just singing my praises that we got both.. and to think we were only going to get Victor! I can't even bear the thought!

Anyway.. just wanted to say thank you again and thank you for who you are in life for all the kitties that are fortunate enough to come your way. You are truly angels in human form."

Solace
Solace

Victor
Victor

Thanks to these families for sharing these pictures and stories with us! We love to hear about our kitties who have found a happy home.

happy tails

December 31, 2007

This past year, I gave myself a remarkable gift: the gift of feline companionship. In late August, I adopted Peter from Thundering Paws -- by far the best decision I've made in a long time.

Peter at home
Peter enjoying a warm spot at home

I was looking for a cat because my previous cat, Homer, died of cancer at 18. I had been "catless" for quite a while and realized that I needed to be "re-catted." I began searching and looked at various rescue agencies in Austin.

I was very impressed with the dedication, passion and compassion shown by everyone at Thundering Paws. Everyone took the time to find out what type of cat I wanted and to see if I would be a suitable cat parent. Melissa and Jane went out of their way to ensure that the adoption was successful. They wanted to make sure that Peter and I both would be happy. And we are.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (highly unusual for me; my blood pressure is usually quite low).

Well, I have worked on managing my stress better, and Peter has helped with that. I am happy to report that my blood pressure is nice and low again. And, I like to think that Peter is part of the reason for that.

He has added such joy to my life. From the very first day, he slept at the end of my bed. He likes to be cuddled frequently, and I am all too happy to oblige.

He is a very sweet, loving cat.

As you can see from his picture, Peter is handsome and healthy.

Thank you, Thundering Paws, for rescuing all of these lovely cats and caring for them. Thank you for bringing Peter to me.

happy tails

November 6, 2007

Rasputin, a long-haired black kitten, was dumped last night, Monday, at the site where we feed feral cats in Dripping Springs.

Whoever dumped him there knows we come there every day. He is four to five weeks old and was left in a box that a blender came in, along with a tiny empty nursing bottle.  With a cold front with rain threatening on the horizon, he was awaiting the night, when coyotes and other predators could easily kill a tiny kitten like him.

Fortunately for "Razz," D'Andra, our volunteer who feeds the feral kitties on Monday evenings, hadn't come yet.  When she got there, he, not being the least bit feral, ran up to her, meowing his sad tale. She scooped him up and called me, and I asked her to bring him to the sanctuary, which she did.

I put him in a cage in the laundry room, one closed door away from the bathroom where there is a family of four who were all -- unbeknownst to me -- coming down with a cold (they'll be put on Amoxycillin this evening).  When I discovered their condition this morning, I started calling volunteers to see who could raise this baby away from a possible source of infection.  Melinda, a vet tech, said she could.  I told her I would bring him to her this morning.

In the meantime, I fed him an entire Fancy Feast-sized can of kitten food.  He gobbled that up, ate some Science Diet kitten kibbles, drank a lot of water, and crashed like a ton of bricks.  Poor, hungry, thirsty, tired, frazzled kitten! When I picked him up to check his sex (he's definitely a boy), he purred like a motorboat, smiled, and snuggled into my chest.

This morning, I had a meeting at 9:15 and an appointment at 11 in South Austin.  Melinda lives in North Austin, so I planned on driving from Dripping Springs to South Austin, which is closer, going to my two prior commitments, and then taking Razz to Melinda.  It was warm Monday and I was afraid that it might be too warm for him to be in the car (in a cage with food, water, bed, litter box), so last night I asked Michele, with whom I could rendezvous before my meeting,  if she could drive him to Melinda's while I went to my appointment.  She said she could.  However, Michele was in a traffic jam on the way to the planned kitten transfer.  When she called to tell me this, I told her not to worry, that it wasn't hot or cold and he could stay in the car while I went to my appointment.

My appointment was for Jin Shin Jitysu, a wonderful acupressure technique, by a woman named Lisa.  I have been seeing Lisa for years for Jin Shin Jitysu.  Until last year, she had two dogs and two cats.  Her cats, 22 year old brother and sister, died within a few months of each other, leaving her without feline companionship.  Since she knows what I do, I just told her to let me know when she was ready for a kitty.

When I drove up to Lisa's, she was in her yard, or I would never have called her over to the car.  But she was, and I did, and she oo'ed and ah'ed, asked if he had a home and, when I said no, she surprised the heck out of me by saying, "I'll take him."  Since I see Lisa every week, I can watch him grow, get documentation of his tests, vaccinations and neuter surgery.

When I left after my appointment, Lisa was wearing him in her t-shirt, he was purring like crazy and reaching his tiny front paw up to touch her face.  I wish I had had a camera. 

We had him approximately 18 hours, which is a darn good turn around time!

happy tails

October 28, 2007

The story of Fabio, our FIV positive kitty, was chronicled on our website before.

We wanted to find him a home where he could be out of the cage, so we took him to many adoption events. Several times we ALMOST got him adopted. But we would still have to keep him caged, and take him out when we could. It was sad.

Turns out, he was waiting for Melinda.

Melinda and Fabio

A friend of mine, Melinda had just finished veterinary technician school and had the time now to devote to a cat of her own. I asked her if she would foster Fabio because it would give him time out of the cage and a person of his own to love on him. As you can see from the picture, they fell madly in love. Melinda gets up two hours before she has to get ready to be at work, because she has to cuddle Fabio. This is fine with him.

And it's a very good thing that a veterinary technician adopted Fabio. He has other health problems besides FIV. Without going into indelicate details, Melinda noticed a few other issues he has and alerted us. When examined by the vet, Fabio was discovered to have old injuries, probably from being hit by a car, including healed pelvic fractures that give him intestinal problems. Without Melinda's knowledge, we might not have discovered these things, and gotten him on medication to help him.

He is the best cat in the world, according to Melinda. Melinda is the best mommy in the world, according to Fabio.

He still greets me when I visit, because he knows me well, having lived at Thundering Paws for many months.  But I know to whom he has given his dear sweet kitty heart. It is one of the best adoptions we have ever had.

happy tails

September 21, 2007

Since the last update on China the (formerly) feral cat in February, this kitty has completely moved in to my house. She has made incredible progress in the eight months she has lived here. The physical change has been drastic -- she has gone from somewhere between 3 and 4 pounds when she arrived to about 11 pounds at present.

China

As amazing as it may seem, she actually has gained too much weight and her food intake is going to have to decrease. The vet says that the steroid she has to take for the stomatitis condition contributes to her weight gain. Steroids tend to do that, but part of it is that she just likes to eat constantly.

The other big change is that she just gets tamer and tamer. She sleeps in the bed with me and several other kitties routinely now, keeps me company on the couch, and follows me from room to room with her tail up in the air, indicating how happy she is. She loves head bumps more than anything. A year ago, she would have lashed out at me if I had tried that. Now, she expects the head bumping multiple times per day and often initiates it.

In the last update I told you about China's friendship with Athena. Now, she has become friends with several of the other cats, and enjoys frequent grooming sessions with them. Her second best friend seems to be Sadie, a large gray tabby who was once feral herself, but tamed up within months of being found about 7 years ago.

China's medical situation hasn't been a smooth ride.

For the most part, especially in the last month, she has done well. Her biggest crisis was in early August when I found her one morning with an overwhelming infection in her mouth, related to the stomatitis. She was a very sick kitty. However, with strong antibiotics and a temporary increase in the frequency of her medication, she bounced back and has been fine ever since.

Here is a recent photo of China relaxing with Snuggles, one of her friends.

China and Snuggles

happy tails

April 29, 2007

We love to hear about our Thundering Paws cats going on to lead happy lives.

Athena and China
Athena and China, best friends going for a walk together

Athena was a Thundering Paws beauty adopted by Dave. Dave has also become a long-term foster home for China, who was a very sick kitty in need of special attention (see China, China Update, China February Update). Athena and China have become best friends and make a habit of walking around the house side-to-side with tails entwined.

And we have a follow-up from Daniela and Sean on their two Thundering Paws kitties, Tatyana and Anna Star (see A Tale of Two Sisters).

Anna Star and Tatyana
Comfy kitties Anna Star and Tatyana

They get along now just like sweet sisters should, and enjoy walking in the park on leashes and lounging around together. Daniela told us how she trained the kitties to not scratch on the wicker furniture, with just a little bit of patience and a spray bottle of water. She said in just a few days they learned to leave the furniture alone.

happy tails

April 5, 2007

Sean and Daniela came over to adopt a kitty. This in itself is unusual as we don't advertise our whereabouts, but we felt that these people wouldn't dump 40 animals on us, so we gave them the secret address. When I opened the door, Sean said, "Please see that my wife gets a cat!" Since I had already checked their references and there were tons of kitties from which to choose, I thought that would be pretty easy. It was. They chose beautiful Patricia, one of Amber's calico kittens, took her home, named her Tatyana, and fell madly in love with her.

Tatyana
Tatyana

That left only one of Amber's family at Thundering Paws (Amber herself having been adopted): the gorgeous and unusual looking Anna Star. Daniela was perusing the website a week or so later and noticed that only one of that family was still here. She called and said that she and Sean would like to include Anna Star in their family, too. Sean came and took her home -- where absolute war broke out!

AnnaStar
Anna Star

Tatyana was NOT amused! She did not remember her sister or, if she did, remembered her as the one she always had to beg Amber, their mom, to make Anna Star stop looking at her, stop touching her, leave her alone! Tatyana had to share her first family with this horrid creature and now she was having to share her humans with her? NO WAY!

Sean and Daniela did everything I suggested. They did a few things I had not thought of but were good ideas. They spent plenty of time with both girls. Anna Star was petrified of Tatyana and hid behind the humans whenever she was faced with her sister. I asked advice of my other cat rescue friends.

A wonderful volunteer at another shelter suggested that we loan Sean and Daniela a cage to incarcerate first one sister and then the other until they got re-associated with one another. It worked like a charm. At last report, both girls were cuddled up on the bed, cleaning each other and purring. It doesn't get any better than that

happy tails

March 19, 2007

Last September we featured an article on July, a cat who came to Thundering Paws feral, emaciated, and obviously quite ill. She had a wonderful sponsor, Jennifer Pospisil, who paid all her expenses until we could find out what was wrong with her: a glob of plastic in her stomach which interfered with her digestion to the point that she was literally starving to death while eating tons of food. Once it was removed, she gained 11 ounces in three days, and became the gorgeous, healthy -- and still feral -- creature that we all knew she could be. She lives here because we don't want her to do any more dumpster diving and ingesting plastic wrap!

July remembers
July relaxing on the cat run

Jennifer alerted Thundering Paws to July, and we went and trapped her to start this process. But the woman who used to feed her, and who told Jennifer about this pathetic cat, is Gloria Colvin, who came over here to volunteer on a recent Sunday. We pointed out July to Gloria who, after the initial denial -- "That can't be July! That cat looks great!" -- talked to July while she was working outside the screened porch where July often suns herself.

July was completely focused on Gloria, watching her work. Gloria began talking the baby talk that she used when she was the caretaker for July's feral colony. And July, who never talks to us, began meowing in response to Gloria's baby talk. July remembered. We trapped her on the first of July, 2004, hence her name, and July still remembers Gloria. Hardened cat trappers burst into tears when told this sweet story.

happy tails, sponsor

February 20, 2007

Since the last update on China the formerly feral kitty, she has made even further amazing progress. Her weight is up to what it should be for a kitty her size (between 7 and 8 pounds) and she looks so different than she did when she was sick.

Her vet has decreased the dosage of her medication so that I have to give it only once per week now. China still gets upset when I give her the medication, but otherwise she's sweet and cuddly. Every one of my other cats likes China, but China and Athena (also from Thundering Paws) have formed a very special friendship. The day they met, they ran toward each other and started walking up and down the hall, tails entwined.

Tails entwined
Athena and China

In the book (more like a novel) on Best Friends Animal Society, there's a description of two kitties who walked together with their tails entwined. I honestly wondered if this would really happen with two animals, but having seen it myself with China and Athena, I know it happens. In the photo above, they're doing exactly that--walking down the hall with tails entwined. In the photo below, they're lying on the floor playing. And they had just met each other!

Athena and China playing

China has done so well that the director of Thundering Paws (Anne Zabolio) and I agreed that it would be best for China to be fostered long term at my house. I can't imagine China leaving, since she has come such a long way and is so happy living here with her pal Athena!

happy tails

February 13, 2007

Anne,

I wanted to drop you a note and let you know how wonderfully Amber is doing! I've been meaning to send you this picture for ages... Amber found an interesting way to get warm!

Amber
Amber, snuggled up in her forever home

She definitely still thinks she's a kitten - a couple of times a day she takes a whirlwind tour of the house at full speed. She's become very efficient at changing directions on a concrete floor with almost no traction with very little loss of speed. It's so funny to watch her slide into a corner like she's sliding into home base and then take off for another home run!

Amber loves having the very front part of her ears rubbed, it's like turning on her purr button. She also likes having the base of her tail scratched - she'll stick her butt up in the air and then roll over onto her side, purring the whole time. Mikal seems to have accepted Amber as a playmate - they chase each other all over the house. We actually had to keep them separated for a day or two because Mikal had to have surgery to remove some bladder stones and we were afraid that Amber would get him racing all over the house with fresh stitches! She plays a little with the other cats, but for the most part, they're geriatric so they can't really keep up with her.

What's really surprising to me is how social she is! Amber loves everybody - people and cats. She expects visitors to pet her, and must receive her daily dose of affection from all of the human members in the household, too! We've got two 'groups' of cats in the house, Mama Cat and her daughters, who claim Eric and his room as theirs, and Danetta & Roy's cats, who claim the midpart of the house. My roommates say Amber is like Switzerland, she gets along with everybody, and she does! She'll sack out in Eric's room on his bed with Mama Cat and her kids, or on Roy's bed with Mikal, Fearless & Spooky. Amber is the Queen of Switzerland, and she goes and sleeps anywhere she likes :)

She's also started to cuddle! She'll climb on my lap when I'm working at the computer and sit on my leg for a while, and curls up next to me when I've stopped tossing and turning for the night and fallen asleep. I've woken up a couple of times with Amber sleeping on my hip. I think it just took her a little while to accept that it's safe to get attached, and that she wasn't going to be relocated. She's definitely made herself at home here and is very happy, and so am I.

Thanks again!

[Editor's note: Amber was one of our very best mom cats at the shelter. She was the mother of last spring's litter of six calico sweeties. All but one, Anna Star, have been adopted into forever homes. It was especially nice to see Amber find a perfect home, as usually the moms have a harder time finding homes than the kittens do. But our more "experienced" cats also make loving companions.]

happy tails