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!