I wrote this blog entry originally for Milam Touch of Love, our animal welfare organization, but hey, who doesn’t love a story about beautiful kitties (other than Lee)?

This week I’m in Bandera County, Texas, which is west of San Antonio in the Hill Country. I’m staying in a cozy log cabin in a pleasant, older “resort” that’s perfect for hermits. It’s mostly scenery and quiet.

View from the picnic pavilion where all the cats are.

However, there are cats. Lots of cats. They’re feral, but obviously very well fed. I thought my husband was going to explode when he saw all the cats (as much as he loves dogs, Lee is not fond of cats and has a convenient “cat allergy” to prevent us from having any). 

Excuse us. You’re interrupting our meal.

This morning, I put my MTOL Board hat on (it’s really an ear warmer) and set out to investigate. As I walked around the complex, I noted a number of plastic bowls full of cat food. I also noticed three lovely shelters built out of boxes covered with blankets and with a tarp over them. Hmm. Someone is taking care of those kitties!

Can you count the kitties?

I wandered over to the picnic pavilion, where I found a LOT of very happy cats smacking away at bowls of milk, drinking fresh water, and eating cat food. They were not happy to see me, however.

So, I decided to find out more about the situation and headed into the office for the complex. There is a really sweet woman who works there (it’s a small resort) who I’ve already talked to a couple of times. 

So, we chatted about the cats, how pretty they are (really, gorgeous, including Siamese mixes with bright blue eyes), how much effort they go through to care for them, etc. I then told her about MTOL, and how we have a TNR (trap, neuter and release) program. Her eyes lit up and she excitedly told me she just got some information on that.

Some of the tortoiseshell ones blend in with the scenery.

She asked me a lot of questions about how TNR works, how our organization in Milam County is organized, etc. Of course there’s nothing like MTOL here; it’s even less populated than where we are. She was amazed to hear how dedicated the TNR people all over Texas are, and I assured her that there were lots of people nearby who would help. She already had a list of phone numbers to call.

This woman who works helping customers at a small resort said she was willing to pay to have the cats all spayed and neutered, so they’d have a happier life and quit making more kittens. I was touched at how much she loves her feral buddies and happy to hear that she is willing to do the right thing, once she gets some help.

Last night’s sunset

What a great Christmas gift it was to me that I could share our work with others and encourage the manager of a feral colony to participate in TNR! I foresee some happy cats near Bandera in the new year.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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