Tornado 9th Anniversary

Tiger, former feral

Today is the 9th anniversary of the monster EF-4 tornado that tore up our town on April 27, 2011. The cat in the picture is my late Mom’s Tiger. He ran out of her smashed house after the storm. We never could find him, though we placed familiar odors as well as food on the porch, put up posters, searched the shelter, searched the streets, and posted him on Animals Lost and Found in Alabama Tornadoes. My lengthy write-up about the tornado is here. Some of the feral cats who showed up during the rebuilding years are showcased in Cats Wander Plains After Tornado. There’s a page listed above of tornado stuff, several anniversary articles probably under the tornado tag, and last year’s even has a video of the beast (not made by us, we had to take shelter in an interior bathroom.)

The PTSD doesn’t stop, in fact I think it gets worse as the years go on. And, we’ve had so much potentially severe weather to contend with lately. In the last few weeks there were three alerts separated only by a few days. Another may come Wednesday. They are draining because we have to make special arrangements each time. That’s part of why I haven’t shown up commenting as much as I’d like to lately on other blogs and websites. All that said, for various reasons I don’t want to say much more about the storm at this time. For one thing, I’m busy putting together some posts about even more feral cats that are now thriving at my late Mom’s house.

So for now I’d just like to express my gratitude for those who follow, like, and/or interact with my website, and also to those who have ordered my book. I just want everyone to know that I appreciate it, and I so enjoy all your blogs and websites as well. And I’m sorry that due to being chronically ill, I can’t get around the web to comment and interact as much as I’d like, even when there are no conditions favorable for severe weather predicted.

In addition, I’d like to give special shout-outs to two bloggers I either follow or have seen around, who are not feeling too well; this also goes out to anyone who struggles with illness.

The first is SherriEllen of Bella Dharma and LadyMew

We hope you are feeling better soon and send purrs! This badge was made by Pipo, Dalton, and Benji’s Petcretary at Meezers Mews and Terrioristical Woofs:

Another shout out goes to Terry at Brian’s Home, we hope he is soon feeling better too.

Stay tuned for feral cats and the kittens they brought us . . .


About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Feral Cats, Tornadoes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Tornado 9th Anniversary

  1. BillboardVagabond says:

    Hi, sorry for your loss though coming from an extreme climate like India, weather or the natural elements is something that you can’t hold against which is completely out of one’s control.
    Hope you get well soon and wish I “bump” into you again.
    Thanks and much appreciated for sharing

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks for your sympathy and well wishes, Billboard Vagabond! It’s true that weather is out of our control. Those of us who live in areas known for frequent severe weather, however, can stay prepared and take the necessary precautions.

  2. I’m so sorry. I’ve lost cats in the past as well. I felt traumatized. Glad you all are safe after a tornado!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your kind sympathy, Shell-Shell, I know it hurts to lose kitties and I am sorry about the cats you lost. We were indeed fortunate to have made it to the safest room in time and to have survived.

  3. Such a terrible time. I’m so sorry you had to go through this and that you couldn’t find Tiger.

  4. Such a handsome boy. I hope someone found him and took care of him. Living in California, people often ask if we’re worried about earthquakes. I say no, most are minor compared to the devastation of tornadoes (or hurricanes). Hopefully you won’t have any bad storms.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Indulged furries, for all your good wishes! We hope someone took in Tiger too, or at least kept him fed as a stray or feral. Lots of people were feeding the cats and rehoming the displaced ones. We are hoping there are no serious earthquakes for you out West, too. We have a potential for severe weather again tomorrow and are hoping for no more bad storms too!

  5. Pam Lazos says:

    I’m sorry, Leah, about the PTSD and the chronic illness. Have you tried the Perelandra flower essences? The woman who runs it Machaelle Small Wright, I think her name is, has quite a story. It sounds like you have energetic blocks that need some help moving on so check out her website. Sending light and love your way.

    • Catwoods says:

      Pam thanks for your kind sympathy! I’ll look into the Perelandra flower essences. This is a really rare and rather complex disease though, with fatigue that is tied to impaired physiological processes, too involved to explain here. Sending love and light to you also and best wishes always!

  6. That is so sad, that you couldn’t find your beloved Tiger.

    Sorry that you are so anxiety stricken about storms, but I understand. I have issues with driving past some places where I had bad car accidents, and I have nightmares a lot since we had a home invasion about a year and a half ago…

    May you find some peace and solace in the fact that others care, and I want to reach through the internet and give you a big tight hug. ♥

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Meezer’sMews&TerrioristicalWoofs, for your kind sympathy! It does mean a lot and makes a real difference that others do care. The car accidents and home invasion must have been terrible to go through, too, and I can understand that they had a lasting effect and caused nightmares.

      Many hugs in return! ❤

  7. I am sorry to hear about your mother’s cat that gone missing since 2011. It is traumatic and as a cat owner myself, I feel the pain Leah. It is good to know that feral cats now shelter around your mother’s house and you keen an eye and try helping them as much as you can. I like the picture of your mother’s cat, she was proper sweetie! It appears you experience large scale cataclysm and I support your resilience and perseverance to help save cats and all other species against all the odds. Keep up the hard work! All the Best! Ashraf

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Ashraf, I know you can relate to the loss of Tiger as you are such a kind and caring cat owner. I’m glad also that you like Tiger’s picture, I took that photo with an older camera, he was a former feral who warmed up to us gradually. We are indeed continuing to feed the feral cats around us, there was another cat feeding household nearby but they moved away, so we are trying to keep up. Lots of TNR going on, some by us, and still there are so many cats around. Wishing you much success in your own efforts to save cats and other species. Cheers and Meows, Leah

  8. niasunset says:

    Made me cry again… Take care of yourself dear Leah, I hope and wish Tiger find a nice home… This is a nice post, I hope and wish to lovely people there to get well soon. Thank you, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      I sure do hope someone nice took Tiger in, or at least that he was fed by those feeding strays and ferals around town. There were/are lots of people feeding the cats and re-homing them. I hope that everyone, everywhere, who is battling any kind of illness will recover quickly too! Thank you for your kind comments, Nia, you and your family and friends be careful and stay safe too!

  9. cat9984 says:

    Severe storms are scary. I can’t imagine living through that type of tornado. Take care of yourself

  10. retrodee says:

    We have had similar trauma with wildfires in California. We were evacuated 2x once in 2017 and again in 2019. So scary and stressful. Stay safe!

    • Catwoods says:

      I know those fires were bad, retrodee, and I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Thanks for commenting and you stay safe too!

  11. arlingwoman says:

    I remember that original post and the distress of it. I had just started blogging. And I love your wisteria frame around the blog.

  12. Poor Tiger, I hope some loving family took him in at least. Not looking forward to tornado/hurricane/wildfire season *this* year.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much FACE Foundation, for your kind thoughts. We hope Tiger was either taken in or fed as a stray/feral. Lots of people were rehoming displaced cats and dogs. We found out later that the stray cats were ducking into city drainage systems and possibly traveling between neighorhoods that way, so he might have gone anywhere in the city.

  13. Mee-yow Miss Leah an Franklin you brott teerss to LadyMew’ss eyess…shee blubbered THANX an went to blow her nose….Yore so sweet an thottfull an yore menshun iss much appurrciated!!!
    Wee red ’bout Tiger an are furry sad hee nevurr came back….wee can onlee hope hee found a mew home aftur THE tornado….
    An Miss Leah LadyMew sayss to bee gentell on yoreself beecause Pee Tee Ess Dee iss hard to get rid of….butt to reememburr you are here an safe an doin guud…an have Franklin….
    Wee send ❤ ❤ an ***purrss*** an {{huggiess}} to you bith from mee BellaDharma an LadyMew Sherri-Ellen ❤ ❤

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Sherri-Ellen, and we so hope you are feeling better! We hope Tiger found a new home, or was at least fed as stray/feral. Many in town were/are feeding ferals. We do try to look on the bright side whenever we can, but this anniversary sort of gets to us every year. Thank you so much for coming to try to help cheer us up, we appreciate it! Hugs, purrs, and cheers, and we so hope you are feeling better really soon!

  14. nananoyz says:

    I read your original post—made me cry.

  15. nananoyz says:

    Even having lived in tornado alley most of my life I’ve only had one close call, and that was with an F1 when we lived in Melbourne, FL. I can well imagine that the hint of bad weather might result in anxiety.

    • Catwoods says:

      It really is quite a challenge living in the tornado zone! I look back and wish we had relocated, but we were just too settled and etc. to move. I always took it seriously but not seriously enough until I actually went through one!

  16. chattykerry says:

    I am thinking of you Leah. Life is very difficult right now – our weather has been challenging too. K x

    • Catwoods says:

      Keeping you in my thoughts Kerry, as I know you have to contend with the crazy weather of this general region too! The Gulf is very warm this year according to what I have heard and that is making the storms worse. Warmest wishes, Leah XO

  17. chapter18 says:

    Tiger looks so majestic…

  18. Lavinia Ross says:

    I am so sorry about Tiger. I can only hope someone kind found him and took him in.

    Thank you, Leah, for taking care of those ferals who show up at your late mother’s home.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your kind sympathy, Lavinia. There were people feeding and/or rehoming the strays so I too hope that Tiger found a home, or at least was fed as a stray/feral. Lots of people were feeding the strays. We found at later that the street cats were ducking into the city drainage system and possibly moving between neighborhoods that way. So Tiger could have gone to a different area entirely.

  19. 15andmeowing says:

    I am sorry you had to go through that. How sad that Tiger disappeared. I can understand why you would have PTSD after that. I am praying for Sherri-Ellen and I will pray for you too. XO

    • Catwoods says:

      Ellen, thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it. There was so much noise on the street from people trying to clean up, and so much debris, that I think Tiger, a former feral, stayed out of site with abundant hiding places. We hope either someone else gave him a home, or fed him as a stray or feral; lost of people were feeding and/or rehoming the displaced cats. XO

  20. Hope you do okay throughout these tough times. Stay well, and best wishes for a speedy recovery to all who are down with this unwelcome virus!

  21. My goodness! I went back and reread that story about the tornado you wrote. I can so relate. We had an EF4 touch down right near our home August 3, 2018. Due to “upgrades” to the local cell system there were no warnings via the emergency alert system. Radio and TV is always limited in our rural area. The tornado hit the local campground on a Friday evening of a long weekend when it was full. The only warning the people got was seeing the monster bearing down on them. The tornado miraculously killed only one person but the damage was extensive and unbelievable. One fellow was arguing with an agent about insurance because the agent wanted him to drive the wrecked vehicle in for an inspection. The poor man finally sent the agent a picture. The truck was standing on its tailgate upright blown onto an oak tree and the axles were bent around the tree so that the wheels were touching. The agent got the image and immediately agreed to write the truck off. On our property, the oak trees were destroyed, utterly and completely destroyed like a bulldozer went through. Fortunately our house was not damaged. Having driven through the south in tornado season many times, and seen the damage the rare one we get up here can do, I take these things very seriously. We built a tornado shelter in our basement after we bought the house, just in case. My kids laughed at us at the time. They were sure glad we had that shelter that day. My favourite story out of all that was the golden retriever’s story because it has a happy ending. She was with her two children and Grandpa when the tornado approached and she hid with them in the basement of a nearby house. The tornado ripped the house off its foundation and demolished it. The storm was sucking everything small up into the air. Grandpa had only two arms so he saved the two kids but the golden retriever flew up and vanished. They figure she got carried away and then dumped in the lake when the tornado gave up its rampage. They found her a few hours later, walking home, soaking wet, exhausted and filthy but otherwise unharmed. If she could take what a tale she could tell. The dog gets crazy frightened now whenever there is anything like thunder. I guess dogs get PTSD as well.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks for rereading the tornado narrative, Tumbleweeds Tumbling! Now that you mention it I believe I recall reading about the EF that you experienced on your site. So sorry about the life lost, all those trees, and all the other losses of structures and vehicles, but I’m glad your home was okay. That is indeed an astonishing story about the dog! I do think dogs and cats too, have long memories and I’m sure they could get something similar to PTSD.

  22. floridaborne says:

    It’s easy to understand why that experience would cause PTSD. I would imagine our 4-footed companions fear the same. When a cat or dog is lost, we’re always hoping for a good outcome years after when know the probability is great that we will never find him or her.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Joelle, for your kind words and good wishes. I do think you are right about the animals that experience a serious storm. They did sense it ahead of time as they were running around looking for hiding places about 15 or 20 minutes before it got here, and we couldn’t catch them.

  23. cindy knoke says:

    I am so sorry. He is so gorgeous.

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