The Cats
Scientific research   •   Environmental enrichment   •   Wildlife habitat conservation


Aguereberry was adopted together with Zappa in January of 2014. In August of 2016 they moved with us to Cowboy Cat Ranch in Mico, TX. Aguereberry is the oldest cat at Cowboy Cat Ranch; she was born in March of 2007. She was named after Pete Aguereberry. She loves to be cuddled and gets along well with all the other cats.

"After we had decided we wanted to adopt two cats, we went to a shelter on a Saturday afternoon, just to have a look. It was not our intention to find two cats right then and there, but we fell in love with Aguereberry and Zappa. There were approximately 20 cats available for adoption in the shelter. Most cats were allowed to walk around in the main area and we interacted with a few of the more social ones. One of the volunteers drew our attention to a cat tower where a calico cat was perched on the top platform. We petted her for a while and she was very responsive, giving gentle head rubs. We had found Aguereberry! The volunteer told us Aguereberry was a little lazy and usually slept in this exact spot most of the time, but Aguereberry has proven her wrong and has shown us that she can actually be very playful. On the other side of the room was a cage with a tortoiseshell cat. She had been found in the street, turned out to be pregnant, and had been in foster care while she was nursing her kittens. Now that her kittens were all adopted, it was her turn. I remember that as I was petting her, she flopped on her side and completely stretched out. That was how we met Zappa. After we arrived home with them Aguereberry immediately stepped out of her cat carrier and started exploring the house. We had named her after the gold mine era Death Valley explorer Pete Aguereberry, and her name fit her well. Zappa on the other hand was scared and did not want to come out of her cat carrier. We gave her all the time she needed, and after seven hours, she finally dared to set foot in her forever home."   Written by Evelien.


Zappa was born in December of 2011 and was adopted from the shelter together with Aguereberry in January 2014. She was named after Frank Zappa. She loves to be brushed and only eats after she gets a treat first.


The word "vlinder" is Dutch and means butterfly. Vlinder was adopted in January of 2015 together with her brother Olli and sister Namibia. They were born in November of 2014. Vlinder loves to sleep on your lap and plays a lot with her sister.

"A year after adopting Aguereberry and Zappa, we were ready to expand our cat family. We thought two kittens would be easiest to introduce. When we visited a municipal shelter that had two 8-week old female tabbies listed on their website, they turned out to have a little black brother. The litter had been found in an abandoned RV when they were four weeks old and they had been in foster care for another four weeks. The three of them were housed in a tiny cage and we did not question for one second whether we would adopt all three of them. Leaving their brother behind would probably have been his death sentence. After we brought them home they climbed into our laps and onto our chests, and turned on their loudest purr."   Written by Evelien.


Olli is the only male cat at Cowboy Cat Ranch. He was named after Olli-Pekka, a Finnish professor. He will follow us wherever we go, because he always wants to be near us. He loves to be brushed and cuddled. He is very sweet and sometimes a bit goofy.


Namibia was named after the beautiful country in southern Africa. She loves to groom her brother and sister and plays often with Vlinder. She also enjoys laps.


Pumpkin (name given to her by the San Antonio shelter) was born in April of 2009. Before we adopted her, she had been living in the shelter for half a year, most likely because she was an older cat and the shelter veterinarian had diagnosed her with heart disease. She loves being in the catio, especially when it is super hot outside.

"We entered the the shelter and sat down on the floor. Two volunteers were already there, one of them was performing clicker training on a cat. A couple of cats were on the floor, but most of them were on shelves higher up against the wall or on beams under the roof. Sebastiaan placed a sock with silver vine in front of him on the floor. I don't remember if any of the other cats came over to check out the sock and respond to it, but I do remember that suddenly Pumpkin was there and responding intensely to it. We had not seen where she had come from, but one of the volunteers told us that she spent most of her time up on the shelves. Pumpkin gently bit Sebastiaan's hands a couple of times and he let her, and she continued to hang out with us. The volunteers told us that she was one of the longest residents of the shelter, having been there for about six months. She was a senior cat, had been diagnosed with a heart disease (incorrectly, it later appeared), and did not show much affection to visitors. She was thus overlooked by most people. If she had not responded to the silver vine, we probably would not have noticed her either! Her suspected heart disease made us all the more interested in her, because our home is named after Cowboy, an old cat who died from heart failure. We thought she was adorable, and that is how Pumpkin came to live with us."   Written by Evelien.


Harvey was adopted from a shelter in Aransas Pass, TX, where hurricane Harvey made landfall in August of 2017. She was born in February of 2016 and lived in the shelter for most of her life before we adopted her. Harvey is full of love and energy, and enjoys chasing insects.

"A few days after hurricane Harvey made landfall near Aransas Pass, Sebastiaan read a tweet from a local shelter asking for water and supplies. They had trouble taking care of their animals, because there had been no running water for several days and only a few hours of power per day from a generator. We loaded up both of our cars with water and cat litter and drove down to the coast. The damage to the town was extensive. Power lines were down, trees were unrooted, and roofs were blown off. The shelter was largely undamaged, but because of the lack of water and power, it was decided that as many cats as possible should be relocated to the San Antonio Humane Society, who kindly offered their help. Together with the Aransas Pass shelter volunteers, we selected the nine lucky cats that would go on a road trip with us back to San Antonio. While we met the shelter cats, we were quietly looking for a potential friend for Pumpkin. Despite all our efforts, Pumpkin had not been accepted by the rest of our cats and we had given her a separate room where she could be safe. We hoped to find a cat who would be good company for Pumpkin. Harvey (then named Sunshine) stood out to us because she seemed very sweet and got along well with all other cats in the room. She was more than a year old and had lived almost her entire life in the shelter. She had been the last of her litter to remain while all her brothers and sisters had been adopted. We drove Harvey and the eight other cats to the San Antonio Humane Society and after a quick checkup by the shelter's medical staff Harvey came home with us."   Written by Evelien.