Mewsings Blog - happy tails

June 23, 2014

A few weeks ago, Claire was in distress with a seeming urinary infection at 10:30 at night. I saw she was in pain and so I put her in a carrier to take her to Emergency Vet. Although it was a carrier that we had been using for weeks, one of the ties broke and it came apart on the way to the car and Claire escaped!

While I thought I saw Claire run into a clump of bushes, three of us searching for Claire, a mostly black cat, in the dark with flashlights produced no results. After about an hour, we resolved to go to bed and try again in the light of day. 

The next day, searching, calls, food left in a traps, and various other ploys having failed, someone reminded us of Kim Freeman, of While I knew Kim, I had never seen her in action. I called her and she came right over.

She brought Henry, a tuxedo cat whom she has trained. He had on a vest with a GPS tag on it so Kim could recover him in case he got lost in the process of finding another cat. Kim took him out of the car on a leash, let him get the smells of the lot and the lay of the land, and then let him off the leash, telling him to go to work.

I swear I speak fluent "cat." I watched Henry. He went to the bushes where I had last seen Claire and sniffed. He "said," "She was here but she's gone now." He turned around and headed toward one of the sheds. When he got closer, he stiffened up, began twitching the very end of his tail and, I promise, pointed with his nose like a dog! He crept closer to the shed, stuck his head under it, and looked a few seconds. He then straightened up, turned around, "said," "Yep. She's under there," and headed off to inspect something more interesting. Kim followed her cat.

I thought, "Oh sure.  It's probably just a toad." I knelt down and looked under the shed. Lo and behold! THERE WAS CLAIRE!

We surrounded the shed as more people came to help. We offered her food and she came to the edge. I have no patience whatsoever, so I grabbed at her. Dumb move. Didn't work. She retreated. We tried various tricks. Then I remembered that there is no cat on the planet who can resist Popeye's Fried Chicken. I drove to Dripping Springs, got a piece of Popeye's, returned, offered it to her and, wisely, got out of the way. When she came out seeking that wonderful smell, there were three people with patience there to nab her. She is safe at home, thanks to Henry and, of course, Kim.

More good news is that when Kim and another volunteer picked her up, she peed all over them, so we knew she was nowhere near blocked. (Incidentally, males' bladders can block, resulting, ultimately in an excruciatingly painful death if untreated. Females are very uncomfortable and in pain, but don't usually block.) She has been treated for her infection and is back to being her old self again, our wonderful "Claire Bear."

Claire is available for adoption. She is about 4 or 5 years old, a tiny, compact kitty, who loves people, is okay with dogs and with non-threatening cats.

We would recommend Henry and Kim to anyone who has lost a cat outside. They are wonderful!

happy tails

May 11, 2014

Bubba has an amazingly beautiful labrador retriever head and beautiful blonde color. He looks like he could pose for the cover of an LL Bean catalog until he stands up and shows his corgi legs. He is serious, calm and gentle.

One beautiful morning, I picked him up from Oak Hill Veterinary Clinic. He and I began the long journey to Houston. It was his new family's first rescue dog. They had always bought their dogs from breeders. They had a million questions about him and the process. I loved their level of involvement and interest as well as their two current dogs, an English Bulldog and a labradoodle. Half way to Houston, I stopped for a sandwich for me and treats for Bubba. Oh, and to transfer Bubba to the clean crate I had brought because he hadn't waited for a bathroom stop. It was a great trip. Bubba settled happily into his new home. When I left, he was relaxing by the pool with his new family.


I decided to deliver Talia and Clyde on the same day. Well, not actually decided, it just worked out that way. Clyde is a pretty blonde pup with different colored eyes. He's so expressive. I picked him up at 9:00 am an Oak Hill and started toward his new home. Not so fast. He couldn't wait for a bathroom break either. So, to my house to bathe him and get a clean crate. I delivered him to his new home and his new family immediately wanted to see him running in their beautiful green yard and playing with their other dog. He was so happy.


Back to Oak Hill to pick up the lovely Blue Merle, Talia. Talia is petite, gentle and playful. Her new family couldn't wait to meet her. My car had other ideas. My tire shredded, and I had to drive two miles an hour to a tire store and buy new ones. Through it all, Talia remained calm and uncomplaining. She was probably relieved when she finally got to her new home and met the family's two children and two dogs. I left her snuggled on the couch with her new friends.


And little Dalia was last. Some said she was the smartest. She was certainly a carbon copy of her beautiful mother who was one of the smartest dogs I ever met. Again, a family with other dogs and kids to play with. I know she will be happy there.


Many people worked together to help these dogs. I am grateful to all of them. I wish you all could see these dogs in their new homes, see how they have blossomed and become happy and secure and loved.

Jackie, adoption coordinator

happy tails

May 9, 2014

Sweet tabby Grace went to her new home yesterday. She now lives with a couple who work from home and will shower her with attention. Their contemporary home has walls of glass where Grace can enjoy watching the wildlife.

When she arrived at her new home, Grace had a ball exploring the main part of the house, with her tail straight up in the air - not a shy bone in her body! Congratulations to Grace and her new family!



happy tails

May 7, 2014

Sweet Ozzy found his forever home recently. His family includes a kitty friend, two cat-friendly dogs, and he is getting tons of love and attention. Here he is, enjoying a super cardboard scratcher!

happy tails

December 11, 2011

Readers who have been following the story of Lila, the injured kitty rescued by Thundering Paws in October, will be delighted to hear the happy news of her adoption. Lila was adopted by Melinda, a long-time friend of Thundering Paws. You may recall that Melinda adopted Fabio from Thundering Paws several years ago; he was also a special needs kitty. And Melinda has a three-legged cat already, so she is all set up with everything that Lila needs.

We are all so happy for Lila!


happy tails

March 8, 2011

Skylar, a tiny orange tabby kitten, came to us last summer from a feral colony, along with his brother and three sisters. All five were newborns when they were rescued from under an abandoned house. Luckily, their mom was easy to trap and they all came to Thundering Paws together.

Fabion, the mom, was attentive to her kittens and raised them well in a large cage. Once the kittens were old enough to get along without her, Fabion (now spayed) went back to her home territory. The kittens were completely tame from all the love they got from the many Thundering Paws volunteers who helped with their care, and so they were available for adoption.

The cute calico girls found homes first, then Skylar's brother Garfield was adopted, leaving Skylar as the "last of the litter." He had several weeks to wait for his forever home, but it was worth it. Last month, on Valentine's Day, Skylar went to his forever home. He got a new name, Copper, and he got a big brother Winston to play with and snuggle with. Kathie, who adopted Copper, tells us that he's a great kitty and a joy to have. We can see from the photos she sent us that he is truly living happily ever after.

We are so glad that Kathie met Copper at our adoption event at Petsmart and added him to her family! And we're grateful for Petsmart's adoption program that gives us space to take our animals to meet the public. And of course, we could not do this without all the dedication and hard work from our volunteers who transport dogs, cats and kittens, cages and equipment, and spend countless hours helping match up sanctuary animals with potential adopters. Their greatest reward is knowing that rescued animals like Copper move on to happy lives in loving homes.

happy tails

March 16, 2009

Dexter napping
Dexter napping

Dreyfus, now called Dexter, came from a feral colony managed by Thundering Paws. He let us know that he thought he might want to be a tame kitty, so he was brought to the Sanctuary. We guessed he was less than 2 years old.

At first he was skittish, but over several weeks became more and more tame, and approached volunteers to rub against their legs and to be petted. He had an inquisitive personality, and was sometimes playful as a kitten when not lounging with a satisfied look on his face. He was one of our most charismatic residents, but still easily startled by people.

Thankfully, he was adopted by a patient woman. He spent many days under her couch, accepting food and affection, but not venturing out. She named him Dexter.

Dexter under the couch
Dexter under the couch

Today he's out and about all the time, and greets everyone who comes to the apartment, and they all love him. He really enjoys looking out the window to see what's going on outside, and he's still a huge flirt and mooch for pets and belly rubs.

Dexter in the closet
Dexter exploring the closet

happy tails

February 24, 2009

Charlotte has used up several of her lives. She lived with a woman and her little boy until they had to move into a motel that wouldn't take cats. She had just had five kittens and the woman, over the little boy's protests, took her and the kittens to a high kill shelter. Sometimes that is the best a person can do. I appreciate that she did not leave her on the streets. The shelter contacted Thundering Paws and we took them out. All the kittens got adopted, and Charlotte was spayed. She grew into a large, healthy, black cat with a lot of energy. She had successfully gotten pregnant and had kittens without developing feline leukemia or FIV. That's one life. Then she was rescued from a kill shelter. That's two lives.

Sometimes I think about what a cat would be like if he or she were a member of our species. Charlotte would have been an athlete: on the softball team, the swimming team, running track, playing volleyball. Most of our cats sleep away the day. Not Charlotte, she was always on the move.


A family with a young son came over and fell in love with Charlotte, and adopted her. Unfortunately, they didn't realize what trouble Charlotte was getting into before it was almost too late. She stopped eating. I believe that the son, while not mean, was too young for her and too loud. She pined away and, before they knew it, Charlotte was very ill.

If a cat quits eating, she can, depending on her bulk, quite rapidly develop a condition called hepatic lipidosis, also knows as fatty liver disease. When the liver is not working on food, it produces fat cells, an abundance of which cause nausea in the cat. The main symptom of hepatic lipidosis: cat refuses to eat. The cure: eating. This means that we have to force feed the cat until she wants to eat on her own. I have used Charlotte as an example, so I used female pronouns, but males can develop this condition also. Without treatment it is always fatal. Usually treatment is successful if begun early enough.

The woman who adopted Charlotte called me and told me that she stopped eating. I said, "Bring her back," which they did. I took one look at her and rushed her to the vet. They put a feeding tube into her and force fed her for a week. It cost over a thousand dollars but was successful and it was well worth it! Charlotte returned to her healthy self. Three lives down.Because I didn't know if she would be happy anywhere else, I told Charlotte that she could stay at Thundering Paws the rest of her life if she wanted to, and that I wouldn't adopt her out again until I was absolutely sure she wanted to go.

Charlotte stayed at Thundering Paws for two more years after her escape from hepatic lipidosis, galloping all over, racing other kitties around, in constant motion. Thundering Paws is not small, but it is also divided up so some cats can stay in a quiet room and others can go out of the screened porch. She did the best she could, but I knew she needed more space.

Tom and Kristen e-mailed us that they wanted to adopt Camille. They had seen her on a website other than ours and didn't realize that she could not be separated from her mother, Felicidad. They only wanted one cat. But they came over to Thundering Paws anyway, just to see who was here. They went to every room and talked to the adoptable kitties. There were a few that they considered but no one stood out. Finally -- duh -- I figured out that they were most interested in black or mostly black cats. On a whim, I said, "Come meet Charlotte." It was love for all three of them.

I told them her story and they agreed to work with us to be sure she was eating. The best part, besides that they loved her so much, was that they have a 2600 sq. ft., two story house and she gets the run of the entire place! When we delivered her to her new home, I remarked that this house would make a fine "gym" for this particular kitty.

She's home, she's eating, she's happy, she's loved. Her new name is "Nabi," which means "butterfly" in Korean, a perfect fit for her!

Nabi at home

happy tails

February 18, 2009

Jackie, a black-and-white cat, was homeless for at least 5 years. She lived outside, with a group of cats not socialized to humans. At Thundering Paws, we often assist in caring for feral cats, helping with trapping, spaying and neutering.

Jackie acted like she wanted to be friendly, coming near to us and "talking," but was just a little too afraid to be petted. Being afraid is not always a bad thing -- it kept Jackie out of trouble all those years!

Enter Tomás and D'andra, two Thundering Paws volunteers who found us online (at Over time, they befriended Jackie, and wanted to adopt her. And it worked! We took Jackie to the vet, to have her re-tested for feline leukemia and FIV (both negative), and she went home.

Jackie and Tomas
Jackie and Tomás

D'andra sent this note a few days later: "Jackie is doing great. At first she was a little skeptical about us. She lived in the sink for 2 1/2 days. When we went into the bathroom, she would hiss at us. I felt like a mom with a sullen teenage daughter. Now she follows me where ever I go. We love her!!"

Jackie on bed
Jackie, very comfortable in her new home

happy tails

January 21, 2009

Milenko came to Thundering Paws from Town Lake Animal Center, as detailed in our September 2008 newsletter. She was a delight to us during her stay at Thundering Paws. Milenko was adopted in November 2008, and we received this update in January 2009:

"I adopted Milenko a couple of months ago, and have since re-named her Jade because of her pretty green eyes. She is doing wonderfully and has gone from being shy and hiding under the bed to following me around the apartment! She is very playful and I can tell she is a people lover. I hope the other kitties are doing well. Thanks for everything."

A short period of adjustment is fairly typical for a newly adopted cat. Generally all it takes is a little bit of time and patience while the cat becomes accustomed to their new home. Keep that in mind if you plan to adopt. And please contact us if you would like to add a kitty to your family! We would love to introduce you to our adoptable pets. We are glad that Jade is happy in her new home!

Jade (Milenko) napping at Thundering Paws

happy tails