I lately went to Austin, Texas, to seek advice from my dad and stepmother who retired and moved there a couple of years in the past. No longer handiest did I am getting to seek advice from circle of relatives and spot the points of interest, however I had some amusing animal adventures, too!

1. Blue Cat Café

The Blue Cat Cafe is the primary cat cafe in Texas. Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

Such a lot of cat cafes are popping up across the United States. I wasn’t acutely aware of the Blue Cat Café in Austin, however, fortunately, an Instagram pal advised me about it, so this used to be considered one of my first stops. I’ve been to a couple of cat cafes, nevertheless it used to be amusing taking my dad to his first one!

Positioned within the center of downtown Austin, Blue Cat Café is the primary cat cafe within the state of Texas. The principle objective is to search out perpetually houses for stray and safe haven cats. For a $five duvet fee, you’ll be able to get as a lot kitty remedy as you wish to have from the lovely, adoptable cats when you experience nice meals and occasional, together with the joys and artful decorations.

Once we arrived, we had been greeted on the entrance table by way of Max. He’s a Russian Blue and is the cafe’s namesake. Whilst he used to be very candy and let me puppy him, he made it moderately transparent that he used to be in fee.

Max (the cafe’s namesake) running the entrance table. Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

First, we wandered round and took within the tom cat surroundings. The cafe has the whole lot a cat may need – fluffy pillows, cat bushes, packing containers, catwalks, cabinets and hidey-holes. The partitions are coated with whimsical cat-themed artwork, and there have been a number of comfortable chairs and sofas for the people – assuming the tom cat citizens are keen to percentage them.

Then we zeroed in at the cats. Maximum had been very pleasant and walked proper as much as us, on the lookout for head scratches or some playtime. It used to be overdue morning, so my dad and I had been the one ones there. Some of the cats had been relishing the quiet time and hiding up at the wall cabinets or snuggled up in packing containers. All of them seemed so glad and relaxed – whether or not they had been sprawled around the furnishings or mountaineering up and down the cat tree.

There are many cat bushes and condos, however the cats love the human furnishings, too! Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

The cafe additionally has a number of products – books, T-shirts, cat toys, tote baggage and different amusing cat-themed pieces. There may be undoubtedly one thing for everybody (together with cats!) on the cafe.

For more info about Blue Cat Café, seek advice from bluecatcafe.com.

2. Austin Pets Alive!

The construction’s jumping cat (there’s a jumping canine at the different facet). Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

I’ve been following Austin Pets Alive! because the group’s starting. When my dad moved to Austin, I insisted that he cross test it out and volunteer. He ended up doing write-u.s.for adoptable cats and kittens in addition to once in a while transporting unwell or neonatal kittens from high-kill shelters to APA!.

APA! is understood for its complete, leading edge methods designed to avoid wasting animals maximum in peril for euthanasia. We had been in a position to get a non-public excursion and find out about one of the crucial methods. At the cat facet, methods come with the FeLV Adoption Heart; the Neonatal Kitten Program; the Ringworm Ward; and the Barn Cat Program.

We had been in a position to take a look at two of those methods firsthand:

The FeLV Adoption Heart supplies a house for cats who’ve been identified with feline leukemia (a virulent disease that affects the immune machine and will considerably shorten the cat’s existence span). Without equal objective of this program is to search out every FeLV cat their very own house. As a result of FeLV is contagious, the cats wish to be saved remoted from the opposite cats within the safe haven. So, APA! created a different position those kitties can name house till their perpetually circle of relatives reveals them. We met a number of of those cats, they usually loved the eye and chin scratches we gave them.

An FeLV cat taking part in the fish tank within the FeLV Adoption Heart. Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

The Barn Cat Program supplies houses for unsocialized or feral cats who aren’t fitted to be indoor pets and haven’t any need to be lap cats. All these are former boulevard cats who’re used to out of doors existence and like little to no human touch. However simply because those cats can’t cross into a regular house atmosphere doesn’t imply they nonetheless don’t deserve a possibility.

APA! puts masses of barn cats every yr, serving to to give a contribution to Austin’s no-kill standing. The cats are sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped and followed out to households who admire those “running cats” for vermin keep watch over and who may give a slightly protected atmosphere like a barn, solid, storage or warehouse.

This program is a win-win for each the cats and adopters. The cats are cared for and thrive of their out of doors houses, whilst the adopters experience having wholesome cats round who can generally tend to any critter issues they may have. We noticed about 5 of those barn cats whilst we had been there. After all, maximum of them had been hiding of their shelters, and those that had been wandering across the enclosure gave us suspicious appears to be like, however I controlled to mention hi and make kissy noises to a few of them.

Whilst on the lookout for kitties within the barn cats enclosure, I spotted this little man peeking thru a cat-shaped window. Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

Visiting APA! used to be a fantastic revel in — I discovered such a lot and were given to seek advice from numerous fortunate animals. For more info in this superb group and its leading edge methods, seek advice from austinpetsalive.org.

3. Austin Zoo

There are numerous peacocks wandering freely in the course of the zoo. This bobcat were given sight of 1 and right away began chattering. Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

My remaining animal journey used to be a travel to the Austin Zoo. The venture of this rescue zoo is to help animals in want thru rescue, rehabilitation and schooling. The animal citizens come with former circus animals, monkeys from laboratory analysis facilities and unique animals that had been saved as pets.

My dad volunteers there and will get to do amusing stuff like minimize up meat and greens for the animals or dampen a bunch of alpacas.

I, in fact, made a beeline for the massive cats – and there are moderately a couple of of them. I “met” two bobcats, 3 tigers, 4 lions and 3 cougars. All of those giant cats have huge habitats that come with sheltered spaces and a number of enrichment – like cardboard packing containers to break, swimming holes and swimming pools, fountains and grassy spaces. And I heard that there are a few cougars who experience taking part in football with pumpkins!

Once I walked by way of the bobcat enclosure, one used to be lounging within the colour, whilst the opposite used to be closely staring and chattering at a peacock walking by way of. It used to be a truly scorching day, so the tigers had been most commonly sound asleep below bushes at the outskirts in their enclosure, however I controlled to get a glimpse of the ones beautiful stripes! The lions weren’t very energetic, both, however I were given to look them sunning themselves and lounging at the giant rocks of their enclosure. One in all them used to be lazily taking part in with a big rubber ball below the colour of a tree. Our remaining forestall used to be the cougar enclosure. The 3 we noticed arrived on the zoo after they had been Three weeks previous, after their mom used to be killed by way of a hunter. They’re older now and completely gorgeous. My dad used to be in fact on the zoo the day they arrived as cubs.

This cougar is considered one of 3 siblings who got here to the zoo on the age of three weeks. Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

Austin Zoo used to be truly a great spot to seek advice from. You’ll be able to inform how a lot the team of workers contributors love each and every unmarried animal of their care. The zoo has a number of instructional seminars and advantages, too. And whilst I used to be unhappy that many of those animals have had a lovely tough existence and aren’t within the wild the place they belong, I used to be comforted by way of the truth that they’re so neatly looked after. For more info, seek advice from austinzoo.org.

I had this sort of nice time in Austin and need I may have stayed longer. It used to be undoubtedly simple to look why Austin has a name for being one of the animal-friendly towns within the nation.

Let us know: Have you ever had your personal Austin animal journey?

Thumbnail: Images courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

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