junebug a gray and white catWe don’t have many photos of Junebug as she is a bit camera-shy. Heather, the foster home caregiver at Austin Kitty Village, shared the story of finding Junebug and how she became a part of the kitty village.

Junebug was found 11 years ago while trapping a large feral colony being fed by a kind-hearted elderly woman in East Austin. We trapped in the backyard multiple times with no sign of kittens. And then, one day, when we arrived, there was a tiny kitten sitting on the back stairs. Her eyes were almost completely crusted shut from infection, and she was clearly not feral since she let me pick her up and handle her easily.

We asked the lady for whom we were doing TNR if we could take the kitten to a vet and told her we would pay the bill. We also asked her if the kitten could live inside with her since she was so young and sick. The lady said she didn’t believe in animals in the house, so the kitten would have to live with the feral colony. So we asked her if we could foster the kitten and find her an indoor home. She agreed. We got Junebug to the vet clinic that same day. She got meds for her eyes and antibiotics and was treated for every kind of worm but ringworm. Thank goodness no ringworm!

Junebug sitting on the bedJunebug slept in a crate at the foot of foster mom Heather’s bed for a few nights, but as she started to feel better, she climbed the door and cried to be let out, so she started sleeping in the bed with the dog, Tess, and cat, Luna, and Heather. This is why we want foster homes for seniors and special needs kitties. They deserve to be in a normal home environment whenever possible, even when they need special care.

Junebug’s eyes continued to be an issue since the infection had been so bad and lasted so long. She went to an animal ophthalmologist, who determined that the tear duct in one eye had been damaged, but there wasn’t any way to fix it. She still has a runny eye that has to be cleaned, as does her nose because the runniness can clog up her nostril if it isn’t cleared. Due to this minor medical issue, and the fact that she is quite scared around new people, we decided that she should become a permanent resident of Austin Kitty Village. Junebug was spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped to become a permanent resident.

Eleven years later, Junebug is the senior kitty in the Village. She loves to spend time sleeping in sunny spots, playing with her catnip bananas, and occasionally wrestling with Arthur. When she falls asleep, she loves to put her head in Heather’s hand, an act of total trust and love. We love her too!

Junebug looking into cameraOverall, Junebug is in good health, as long as she receives daily care for her eye and nose, but she also suffers from resorptive lesions.  This is a dental condition where the tooth erodes at the base. These lesions can be painful, causing loss of appetite and behavioral issues. Junebug had a dental procedure in late 2021 and had four teeth removed, some of which had lesions. During her last checkup in 2023, the vet found a new lesion which we have to keep an eye on. Most likely, she will need another dental procedure later this year to remove that tooth and any others with lesions.