What We Need This Week!

Puppy pads! We use them in our trap/neuter/return program and in carriers sometimes when kitties who are known to get carsick have to go to the vet.

Our Shelter Residents: Four Feral-ish Cats

Feral cats with three legs, one eye, or those who have nowhere to return live at Thundering Paws. These four had nowhere to which to return.


A very nice lady who owned a furniture store in North Austin also trapped/neutered/returned feral cats. She took in two kittens who were past their prime taming window (before 8 weeks) and, while they were tame to her, they could not accept other humans. When the store closed, Lola and Oscar came here as they had no territory to return to.

Born 8/5/08, Lola is black and white and Oscar is all black. They share a room at Thundering Paws with two other feral-ish kitties, Dash and Skweeks. Usually feral cats like other cats, so these four get along well. Lola is unequivocally the Head Cat. She sits wherever she wants and no one challenges her.
The feral cats here have three-year rabies vaccines so they don’t have to go every year. Last year Lola had a vet visit to be examined and update her vaccines. She was found to have teeth problems so she underwent surgery.

For a while after surgery, Lola ate very little. She was in a cage so we could monitor her. We all feared that she wouldn’t recover but this resilient kitty is back to normal now. She has retained her status as Head Cat.

Her brother, Oscar, has cataracts and his sight is diminished. Cataract surgery for animals is quite expensive, and since he can still see fairly well, we haven’t had it done.

Sometimes Oscar allows pets. It’s not that he can’t see the person, he enjoys petting on his terms.

Dash was born to a tame mother at Camp Mabry on 4/5/09. His mom, appropriately named Mabry, lives with long-time Thundering Paws supporter, Mary Kay. Dash had a sister, a Siamese mix named Luna, who was tame and adopted in no time once she arrived here.

It took us about two weeks to trap Dash. During that time, the taming window—before 8 weeks—closed. He has never tamed like his sister did, however, he had no colony to which to return.

Dash has the most intimidating hiss you’ve ever seen! But he’s all hiss and no bite. He allows certain staff members and volunteers to pet him quite a bit. Again, the pets are on his terms and any unauthorized pets cause him to run away.

Dash has Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD.) Usually, it’s only a problem for the staff as he often doesn’t use the litter box. When he seems to be in pain, our amazing staff of cat whisperers, cat wranglers, and vet techs can get him into a carrier and he goes to the vet. We can medicate him in food.

Often Dash scrunches himself into a cat bed with Lola and Oscar, who don’t seem to mind.

A man contacted Thundering Paws for help with four cats. His late sister had left her cats, a dog, and a donkey. He found homes for the dog and donkey immediately but no one would take even one cat. Our sanctuary and our fosters were all full. I told him I would let him know if we had space open up.

A few weeks later, we adopted out three cats and I called him. When I told him we could take three of the cats, he asked if he could call me right back. When he did he said he had to pull over to the side of the road because he was crying with relief. He was driving one of the cats to the then-kill shelter in San Marcos.

All three of those cats were tame and easy to catch and to place in adoptive homes. Skweeks, however, was tame only to his late sister. While he was trying to capture this last kitty, Skweeks busted out a screen and escaped the house.

We set many traps and caught a few possums and raccoons, but no Skweeks. The brother of his late human said surely he had left the area. But we knew better, so we set up a wildlife camera by the food bowl and got a great picture that could only be Skweeks.

Chris, an excellent trapper with Blanco County Cat Coalition, took traps to the property 42 miles from her home and for two consecutive nights and sat in the hot, humid, mosquito-infested yard until midnight. On the second night, she caught him. We all rejoiced.

While Skweeks allows some people to pet him, he will probably never be tame enough to adopt. That’s okay. He has a climate-controlled room with three other feral cats and they all share a space on the catio. He is well-fed and healthy. Though his former property has been bequeathed to The Nature Conservancy, Skweeks gets to live out his life here.
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