March is Endometriosis Awareness Month!

By: Chelsea

As you probably know from working with us, I have been living with several chronic illnesses that have often kept me doing what work I can from home. Years of doctor visits, tests, trying new medicines—nothing seemed to ‘fix’ my issues, and we honestly weren’t even completely sure what issues we were trying to fix. The diagnoses of fibromyalgia and IBS were in my charts, but neither of those exactly have standard treatments.

Toward the end of last year, a perfect storm of circumstances led us to push for a second opinion about my unrelenting pelvic and intestinal pain. Let me tell you, even when you know that you desperately NEED a second opinion, when you are in the throes of intense pain it can be nearly impossible to do the work it takes to find a new doctor you hope you can trust. But in the few moments when my pain was managed enough to allow me to search, I started down a path that many doctors before had dismissed: endometriosis.

There’s a much longer story to tell, but the short version is that the research pointed to surgical excision as the ‘gold standard’ of endo care, there aren’t a lot of doctors who are trained and experienced enough to perform the extremely delicate procedure, and it often takes patients who are diagnosed with conditions like IBS and chronic pain to reach a diagnosis of endo. Luckily one of these specialists with an incredible track record of surgical excision, Dr. Devin Garza, lives in Austin, and I knew after all my research that he was the doctor I had to see.

Currently, I’m exactly one week post-op, and am recovering at home. While we didn’t set out to get a diagnosis and surgery right before March, we are very happy this all happened when it did so we can share and educate others during Endometriosis Awareness Month. Keep an eye on the blog for more details about our journey to the endo diagnosis, the how and why of excision surgery, and lots of information about endometriosis and what you can do to help raise awareness!

Pfantastic Pflooring (and Concrete Counter Tops!) in Pflugerville

Check out our newest listing in Pflugerville: 1012 Skylark Hill Lane! It’s a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 2,380 square foot house priced at $262,000. This home is has been immaculately kept and beautifully customized. No carpet, w/ wood-look laminate in bedrooms and family areas and wood-look tile in master bath. Stunning kitchen, w/ custom-made concrete counter tops that offer ample space for appliances and food prep. Pristine white cabinetry with soft-close drawers provides storage galore! Floor in the kitchen is custom epoxy that is as durable as it is dazzling! Laundry off kitchen, w/ walk-in style pantry for even more storage. Custom epoxy/metallic floors in entry and hall bath! Here is the link to the listing with professional pictures and all the details. Below is the 3D virtual tour.

Hello, World!

Fosters and Ferals and Feeders, oh my!

20180704_150620.jpg

This adventure was 100% not planned & unexpected. It has been challenging, messy, wonderful, heartbreaking, and a huge labor of love—both for the ones we have been able to rescue and the ferals who still reside at the colony.

Back in April we responded to a Facebook post about a momma cat with newborn kittens at an apartment complex in South Austin. She moved them before we got there, and after two days of hunting we couldn't find her or the kittens. But in our searching we did find what turned out to be a feral colony that was not being TNR'd. So I reached out to a friend who is a trapping pro. In the course of trapping we had several pregnant females, who would have birthed 17 kittens between them without our intervention. Those, along with the 10 we were able to rescue, would have doubled the colony population when they were born. Most likely only a few would have survived into adulthood.

The original finder of the momma and babies, about five weeks later, came upon a vacated apartment in the complex with two kittens who had been abandoned on the porch with a note that 'it was too hard, sorry'. Those kittens are the foster duo The Cusacks, and we believe the two lone survivors of the five that the momma had moved weeks earlier. We have no idea what happened to them those several weeks, and no way to contact whoever had these kittens to find out. They have been with us since that day, for quite a while as the only two fosters, and they are super bonded which is why we're really holding out for an adopter who will understand their need to stay together.

Several weeks after that we had a round of females trapped for TNR that were lactating when they were spayed. So we knew there were kittens somewhere on this overgrown, vacant lot. After a long, hot, and frustrating afternoon of digging through brush and piles of junk we were just about to give up when our trapper friend had the brilliant idea to do one last sweep of the back of the lot that shares a fence with an apartment complex. On the other side of the fence, in a junk heap of discarded lumber and appliances and broken toilets, Derek was able to grab two different sets of 4 kittens. And here we are. We're still feeding at that colony and working to get it under control and managed more efficiently. Every time I'm there I feel so grateful that we found these guys and gals, and that they are alive, and happy, and not struggling through the oftentimes perilous life of a feral.

So, that’s the story of our fosters. Happy, healthy, extremely affectionate kittens, who may unfortunately be looked over because they are a bit older. Slowly but surely we are matching them up with their forever familes. They are still all kitten and all hilarious! We sincerely appreciate the support, shares, tags, posts, and everything friends and family have done to help us get these kittens extra exposure! As we continue to care for the cats who still live at the colony, we are training volunteers to feed and water. It takes a lot of time and resource management, so we've created an Amazon wish list for the items we need to help the feeders. If you are able to donate, the list can be found here! It truly takes a village, and we are lucky to have such a loving one!

20180818_170025-ANIMATION.gif

Through the End of the Year: We'll Sell Your House for a Flat Fee of $5,000!

ATX-SignHouse-Mockup.jpg

Listing Special!

We will sell your house and save you money on commission!

Selling season is about to start wrapping up, but there's still some time if you are thinking about selling your house or condo. If you list with us from now through the end of the year, we'll include all the marketing, professional pictures and 3D tour, and help negotiate on your behalf for a flat fee of $5,000 paid from funds at closing. Here are some numbers to give you an idea of the potential savings:

Typical listing: 6% total commission, paid by seller, and split between the seller's agent and buyer's agent (typically 3%/3%). The current median price for a single family home in the Austin area is $320,000, so with this typical listing agreement, the commission would be  $19,200 ($9,600 to each agent). 

For our special, for a sales price of $320,000, the total commission paid would be $14,600 ($9,600 to the buyer's agent, $5,000 to us) which would represent a savings of $4,600! If you have any questions about this, or if you or someone you know may be interested in listing their property, contact us!

**This offer can not be combined with any other offers; see us for details.

Travisso!

Travisso is an incredible master planned community just minutes from 1431 & 183; only about 30 minutes from downtown Austin; and close to Lake Travis as well! Because it's literally built on the hill country, Travisso offers great views from the entry road and some home sites. The community center offers a resort-style pool, soccer field, tennis courts, a great gym, and a meeting/events space with a full kitchen. In addition to some resales starting to come up for sale (link to all currently active resale listings here), there are four active builders currently building there: Toll Brothers, Taylor Morrison, Drees, and Highland. I had the opportunity to tour three Toll Brothers Model homes, and they were all beautiful! Toll Brothers has homes in Travisso starting from the low $400k's, with both custom building and quick move-in homes currently available.

Check out some pictures, below, and the Travisso website gallery, and let us know if you'd like more information on the community, the builders there, or the recent and current resale availability. 

'Tis the season...for kittens!

20180622_012700.jpg

Another kitten season is upon us! What does that mean, exactly? And what should you do when you run across a litter of these adorable little screaming balls of fluff?

Though we call it a season, cats can get pregnant and give birth year round. However the most frequent time that cats give birth is ‘kitten season’ which runs from early spring all the way through the fall. If a cat is not spayed or neutered, this is the time you may notice them acting strange. Males tend to wander farther from home, looking for any opportunity to mate. Female cats have a very peculiar way of squirming and rolling around while making some unearthly sounding yowls. This is when she is ‘in heat’ and letting anyone within earshot hear about it. Ferals, outdoor/indoor cats, and even indoor only owned cats that are not fixed will exhibit these behaviors and are likely to find a way to breed. That’s why TNR programs (trap, neuter/spay, return) programs are invaluable to our community!

Once a litter is born, that’s when us humans start running across them. A momma cat, even if totally feral and scared of humans, may give birth under your house or deck. You may hear tiny kitten mews in the bushes near your office, or the path you jog on the weekends. So what should you do if you find a litter? If you find a litter that is in a safe location, do not move them! Watch from afar and see if the momma comes back. Nursing makes a mother cat very hungry, and she will have to leave the nest to find food. Most of the time she will return, but there are is a chance she may be injured or killed, leaving the kittens orphaned. It’s best for the kittens to stay with the mom if possible, and there are people who can trap and transport the entire family to keep them together. In Travis and Williamson counties, the litter and mom will need to be transported to the shelter of the county in which they were found. Both organizations work with rescues and fosters that ensure many cat and kitten lives can be saved.

In the instance that the mother cannot be located or caught by an experienced trapper, even the smallest kittens have a wonderful chance of survival here in ATX. APA! has an entire nursery dedicated to what we call ‘bottle babies’. Kittens who are too young to wean and eat on their own are bottle fed by hand in the nursery by volunteers who work shifts round the clock! Once they are old enough, they can be fostered or adopted. Each year the nursery hosts a baby shower, where the public can donate cash or much needed items and tour the nursery. We have attended for several years, and it is always fun and educational.

If you find a litter and need help, please call/text/email us! For the last few years, we have become more involved with the cat rescue community in the Austin area. We trap ferals for TNR, transport cats to shelters or rescues, foster overnight in our home, foster-to-adopt single kittens, and volunteer with a feral colony that we feed every Monday. Our suv is outfitted with essential cat rescue tools (towels, carrier, sardines) and we keep KMR on-hand for kittens who need a mother’s milk replacement. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have, or assist in making sure trapping/rescuing is done safely for kittens and moms. Please don’t hesitate to reach out! More info about the nursery can be found here.