Slim Shady

Slim ShadySlim Shady is a mystery fellow. He seems healthy at this time, albeit overweight.

He’s very suspicious of meds and even more suspicious of vets. However, one thing all of us have learned is that when a cat moves in like this, there is likely to be a reason he needs this home. Yup, it’s written on our forehead, “come here for help,” even when we don’t know why yet.

The backyard outside of the catio is entirely cat-fenced. He’s got a great place to relax without stress.

You can read more about his history under the picture of the catio and yard.

catio and cat-fenced yard

Two and Slim Shady arrive at Austin Kitty Village in April 2018, along with three other cats who are now in kitty heaven (Lola Pebbles, Oppenheimer and Oliver Black). These five cats had lived happily behind a business in East Austin for years. The staff, including me, had gotten them all fixed through tnr. They were fed daily and even had cat houses with straw bedding. Over the years at that location, we put over twenty cats through tnr.

Very sadly, when new leadership came to the business, we were told that the cats were no longer welcome, and we had five days to remove them or they would be removed by other means (implying death). This was terrifying as we staff had cared for these cats for years at that point. Some of them allowed petting, and all of them trusted us to feed them and provide shelter and care.  We were determined not to let them down.

We trapped all five cats over the course of two days and set them up in temporary crates on the back deck at Austin Kitty Village. They lived in those crates for six weeks while we devised a plan for a catio to accommodate that many cats. The deck and roof were built and installed by a local craftsman, and the catio was assembled by a wonderful group of friends and supporters once it arrived in kits from California. Saving these cats was a costly venture. But it was worth every dollar, every hour of labor.

The cats lived in the catio for ten months. We wanted to give them plenty of time to imprint in their new location. Relocating adult feral cats is a very risky thing. So often, cats try to find their original home, only to be hit by cars, starve to death, or be attacked by other animals, including other cats who are guarding their own territories. While the cats acclimated to the property, we cat-proofed the wood fence, attached metal flashing to the trees, and reinforced the gates.

On February 14, 2019, we opened the door to the catio, walked over to the deck, and watched to see what would happen.  One by one, the cats walked outside and realized they could move around the entire backyard freely.  It took some time for them to feel safe and fully explore, but once they did, they took full advantage of the space.  We make sure always to feed them inside the catio so that we can keep them safely inside if we need to work in the backyard or if bad weather strikes.

Over the last four years, the cats have enjoyed a safe, protected life. We are able to sedate them with oral meds in their food when it’s time for vet visits. This has proven critical for Two, who had a urinary blockage that required surgery. He is now on a prescription diet for life to prevent that from happening again. When it has been time to let any of these kitties go, we have had a mobile vet come out to the house and visit the cats in their home territory, which is much less stressful for them.