Jackie Dale-The CatMother/Cat Trapper: Empty Rooms, Motel Guy, TNR Time

Jan 18, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Reedley News

by Jackie Dale

I’m starting out the year with nearly empty kitten rooms. I had several private adoptions including a beautiful fluffy kitten that had been abandoned by the river. My last two adoptables, the polydactyl brother and sister, went to rescue on New Year’s Eve. Peter and Paulette had been previously rejected due to a teensy spot of ringworm. Time and due diligence paid off and the six-month-olds passed the test this time, free and clear. In addition, the two remaining three-month-old kittens from the motel as well as two of the seven-month-old cats went to rescue as well.


We also have our first kitten of 2020, an adorable fluffy girl called Delilah. She was discovered in the recycle bin at a private home. A search for an owner turned up nothing. She is so cute I don’t expect she will be around too long.

cat rescue

Delilah-First kitten of 2020, has already been adopted!

Motel Guy
The motel guy was a headache. First, he flip-flops back and forth about whether or not he can keep the cats. The manager says yes, the manager says no, the manager says they can keep only the girls, the manager says they all have to go in two weeks, the manager says it’s ok if they are fixed. I tell him that I don’t have time for this. Finally he says the manager says he can keep three. The mom—we already fixed her—and two of the older ones, because apparently motel guy and his adult daughter “are very attached to them.” I tried my hardest to convince them to give up all the cats as the rescue wanted them all. I pointed out how close to the road the motel is, because he lets them go outside. I tried to convince them that it would be in the best interest of the cats to give them safe, permanent homes. They wouldn’t listen. He then has the nerve to ask me about fixing the cats he is keeping, both girls. I told him that if he doesn’t send the cats to rescue, do not expect me to foot the bill for the other cats’ spays. I told him that since he has a job, if he wants to foolishly keep cats in a motel, he can pay the cats’ bills himself. Period. I reminded him that, “I am a freelance community volunteer who relies on donations. I am not a money tree!” However, since motel guy also had no car, I made sure he kept the appointments for his cats by arranging transportation to the vets.

Motel kitten

So the night before the transport, I had one of my foster people go to the motel to pick up the cats that were leaving. The next morning, even as I was driving to pick up the cats, he called the foster person and begged to exchange one of the cats. She complied, but I was annoyed at motel guy because I send pictures of the cats to the rescue and we don’t like last minute changes. We work hard to maintain a rock-solid reputation with our rescues. Fortunately, it worked out and I drove my load of cats to the rescue, where all were accepted. It was a good way to end a long and sometimes very difficult year in cat/kitten rescue.

The Leftovers

Hedy Lamar

Now all I have left is Hedy Lamar, whom I’ve had here for just over a year now. Using a net, I caught her at the A&W when I began my (18 cats) TNR (trap, neuter, release) project there. There seemed to be no mother cat and the tiny kitten was managing to survive on her own. She finally allows me to pet her and even hold her on my lap. I feel she would be too traumatized to be adopted out. After I had her spayed, she wouldn’t come near me for a month! Josie and Jughead are siblings, caught in April of 2019, when I TNRed their mother at a neighbor’s home. I caught all three kittens in one trap which frankly, I found suspicious. One kitten was very friendly and was sent out soon after. Josie is just now allowing me to pet her and Jughead allows petting only when he eats. However, Josie and Jughead are just not adoptable as pets, and since they are already used to the environment here, they will also remain.

Cooler Weather is TNR Time
Despite the many cats at the local strip mall, I only caught one on my last attempt. That makes two females and one male that will not be making kittens. I am after an elusive one, and I am hoping it is at least a male. I will keep trying. This mall is a never-ending source of cats. One of the reasons is the nearby college. Years of students sneaking cats into the dorms and then abandoning them at the end of the year has resulted in a huge amount of cats living in the area, which is bordered by the nearby river. Despite several attempts to institute a TNR program there, college administrators were not on board with the idea.


A local resident called The Cat House on the Kings about a colony of cats living in an alley near a local restaurant. The Cat House offered to foot the bill for the cost of the spay/neuters and I volunteered to do the legwork.

Bella-Went to rescue-adopted!

Arrangements have already been made to begin to TNR the approximately 12-cat colony. Some of the cats, although seemingly timid, may in fact be friendly enough to be sent to rescue. Each cat will be evaluated and assessed to determine whether or not it is adoption potential before being fixed. If the cat is deemed adoptable then I ask the vet to not tip the ear and the cat is moved into foster care.

When I was at the location sizing up the situation, a woman in the apartment complex next door started yelling at me “to take them all away!” I was chagrined to note that this woman obviously did not recognize me as the person who had helped her TNR the cats at her complex, including her own cat! People certainly have lots of nerve and very short/selective/self-serving memories.

Thank You Very Much to those who sent me Christmas donations of cash and cat food. Your generosity will not be forgotten.

If you would like to donate to help fund TNR projects, support the feral refuge, or any aspect of my cat-related work, it would be greatly appreciated. I have a GoFundMe account under my name. Or you can send donations via mail to Jackie Dale, P O Box 1859, Reedley, CA 93654. Questions? jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com.

You can check out more animal rescue articles in KRL’s animal rescue section!

Jackie Dale is a freelance writer who lives in Reedley with her husband of 27 years, Frank, and their 2 children. A former ballerina, Jackie now teaches yoga and fitness classes privately and at local area gyms in addition to her cat related duties.


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