2021 Catnip Casa News

This year has been a mix of hard times and blessings here at Catnip Casa Cat Refuge. We are proud to continue our work and glad we decided to adapt and go with the flow as soon as the pandemic hit. Our changes and determination kept us afloat and earned us a Platinum rating on GuideStar.

2021 The Good & The Bad

This year was hard because we lost our FeLV boy, Mustache, and shy Mr. Gray is declining. We do not

Mustache an FeLV kitty
We miss you Mustache.

feel ready to bring back onsite volunteers, and the intensity of the workload stretches our resources as many of the seniors hit their late teens and beyond. Still, we are grateful to be able to give them a safe ninth life.

This year was blessed because so many of you stuck by us and reached deep to help in spite of your own struggles. We are grateful for our vets, supporters, vendors, and the beautiful animals we care for daily. In addition, we are very thankful for our virtual volunteer, Claire, whose posts you see on Facebook. We could not keep up with the work and the social media that keeps all of you so much a part of our lives without her.

Fall Shelter Improvement Project

a freestanding catio before expansion
A freestanding catio before expansion.

Our big fall project was expanding our catio condos. We doubled the size of two of them for two very good reasons. We also put in for a grant to increase our options for keeping the shelter areas that are separate from the house nice and warm.

Fall and colder weather reminded us of how old our most senior feral kitties are now. Anna is at least 17. Extra is 15 or 16. It’s time for them to be off the street, even though they haven’t left the yard for years. Starting this winter, they have a special catio enclosed with heavy clear plastic curtains to keep out the wind and rain but allow sunshine and warmth. There is also an outdoor play yard area with real patio furniture and cushions. In the enclosed catio area, they each have an insulated wooden house with a heated pad, heated bowls for food and water, and toys. Best of all, if they need medical care, we can get to them, but they are still outside with all the stimulation they love, along with all the comforts of their favorite chairs and houses.

Surprise x 4

orange and gray community kittens on patio chairThe reason for expanding the second condo is a consequence of the pandemic, lack of TNR clinics, and vet shortages. While we always support TNR, this time we found ourselves in the unlikely position of providing resources for TNR in our neighborhood–as well as in our own backyard! Two kittens, their mom, and possibly their dad, found our condos and feeding stations. Everyone except dad has now had TNR surgery, and he’s on the list. Both kittens are male, one orange and one gray. Mom is a dark torti (short for tortoise shell markings). Dad is an enormous mixed breed, gray tabby tom cat. We are guessing he may be mixed with Bengal or another breed that is larger than average.

Watch our Facebook posts and join the naming contests for this family. By the way, they have very short stubby tails. We refer to them as the Nubbins family. 


As we prepare for the new year, the ongoing shortages of food and supplies continue to increase costs and labor. Many of the foods on our lists keep us from having to purchase more expensive prescription food because we check for allergy ingredients regularly. We do our best to cut costs and plan ahead.

Our goal for the kittens and their mom remains focused on taming and adoption. We don’t have a timeframe. They are all very shy and haven’t quite forgiven us for their trip to the vet. Our goal for the big daddy is TNR. He is welcome to stay here too. If he decides he likes people and can be a housecat, we’ll tackle giving him a new life with a family.

The moratorium on new seniors and special needs kitties still stands for the foreseeable future. The difficulty accessing vet care and rising costs, along with aging animals, means our focus has to be on caring for those already here.

We’ll take part in the annual Amplify Austin event in March. We’ll also have a food drive and some special donation opportunities, especially when we can get matching funds. Remember to help us when you shop for everyday essentials too. It costs nothing. You are also welcome to sponsor one of the cats. There is no minimum dollar requirement to become a sponsor.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and a wonderful new year.