A first-generation feral, Anna, lives now lives comfortably in the indoor catio area. She’s in love with all types of catnip. Anna was at least a young adult and had a litter of kittens in 2007. Assuming she was a year old (we judged by size and behavior), that makes her 17 now.
We found Annie and her kittens living under a vehicle between two houses. Her kittens were all black. Her male partner (that was also solid black), and we suspect the father of the litter, kept close watch over them and never seemed to be a threat. If you know cats, you know that’s very unusual.
As soon as possible, we rounded them all up and made a clinic appointment for TNR. Luckily, that was the first year of Austin’s TNR program in 2007. Some kittens became tame, and others would not even eat in captivity. The cats that could not adapt were returned to the colony. As happens in colonies, one day Anna’s very senior black partner disappeared. We knew he was up in years from the TNR records.
About a year later, Extra showed up (we know it’s not the same cat due to subtle markings), and they became fast friends. Both lived for years in the colony on our property. Then, they moved to the indoor catio–a much nicer place for very senior kitties.
Anna and Extra are seniors, especially for feral/community cats. We’ve been here sixteen years in 2022, and Anna was found a few months after our arrival in Austin. She was already a mature adult cat when she birthed her litter. That makes her at least 16, more likely 17 or 18.
Those beautiful blue eyes are so enticing, it’s tempting to reach down and pet her. Don’t! There is no hope of taming her. We had that thought too. This lady is hardcore, don’t-touch-me, feral. Before the move to indoor accommodations, she had limited her wanderings to the yard for several years. She lived a good life with patio furniture to lounge on, a friend to play with, heated and cooled shelter, a warm bed, and good food and water, not to mention the squirrels and birds for entertainment, but the weather changes became too extreme to keep her safe and healthy.
Now, she has soft cushions, catnip treats, and daily playtime with da bird.