by Jackie Dale
Jackie is a part of Cat House On The Kings in Parlier and does a monthly column on the Cat House here at KRL.
After taking a brief respite during the holidays, it is back to business as usual. I had barely put up the calendar for 2015 before I had a list of cats that needed to be trapped and fixed. At least I was fortunate enough to find a home for the mom and baby that I rescued a couple of months back. I was getting discouraged when on Christmas Eve a friend called and said her friend would take both mom and baby. I was really happy the sweet girls not only got a home, but they got to go together.
You can help The Cat House on the Kings feed all their kitties in a spectacularly easy and enjoyable way! Cat videos are the most popular viewed item on YouTube. The Cat House has partnered up with Friskies cat food to help us earn canned cat food. All you have to do is watch Friskies YouTube video and they will give us one can of cat food for each time the video is watched. If you subscribe to watch future videos, we get TWO cans of food. I don’t think I have to tell you how fast 1,000 cats and kittens can go through food. Please watch, share and encourage your friends to do the same.
I hope everyone enjoyed the winter edition of The Cat House on the Kings newsletter. I work hard on each newsletter to keep our fans and supporters abreast of all the good things happening out at the Cat House. While this column also does that, this column also serves to highlight some of the goings on behind the scenes. The work of the volunteers and rescuers is of great service to the communities in which they live. People always want something done about a cat problem, but very few actually want to do anything. If I had a nickel for every time someone posted a comment that began with a phrase something along the lines of, “I wish I could help but, I’m too busy, I’m too poor, I’m too tired, I can’t have a dog/cat, I already have a dog/cat, I have too many dogs/cats”, I would be drowning in nickels. All I can say is that if wishes were fishes, we could have one heck of a fish fry.
Volunteers get many requests from people who want us to trap cats for them. Many of course, will expect us to take the cats and I frequently must remind people that The Cat House is full and that there is no other place for them to go. Most people accept this and will get the cats fixed and the situation remains but is stable, without any more kittens to worry about.
Sometimes people try to get me to trap for them but do not want to get them fixed. One lady asked if I could trap for her because she had some ferals she was feeding that already had a couple of litters. However she didn’t want to pay for them to be fixed. First of all, I am fairly certain she could afford it. Second of all, since I felt she could afford the nominal alter fees, I was somewhat chagrined when she suggested that I trap them and let her transport them to a friend who wanted some barn cats, without fixing them. Her friend chimes in “Yeah, don’t bother fixing them.” I tell her that this is not how it works at The Cat House. I very politely, but firmly tell her that either she agrees to have them fixed or I will not help her. If they have the ability to pay, I usually also suggest that they consider making a donation to The Cat House in consideration of the time and effort I put in on these projects.I finally managed to catch the mama cat that was living behind the McDonald’s in Reedley. She had been on my list ever since I witnessed her crossing the busy street with a beautiful kitten in tow. Mommy made it safely but kitten did not. I took the poor baby home for a proper burial. Now Mommy has been fixed and is in the home of the woman who has been feeding her. She was so happy to get her. She told me that she had tried for six months to catch Mommy. I set the trap, left my daughter to guard it, went to the market and when I got back, Mommy was in the trap.
I wish it were that easy with my Selma cats. I went out one evening and sat there for three hours watching the cats circle the three traps I set, but never going in. It was like the ones that had already been caught and fixed had warned the others not to go in the trap. I need to get that mom before she has more kittens. Her last two kittens, blind Homer’s siblings, are both Torties so I know they are girls too. I will keep trying. I’m like a bulldog in that I do not give up.
Speaking of bulldogs, an effort was launched a couple of weeks ago to save the life of an abused dog. Someone had posted a picture of an emaciated Pitbull on Craig’s list for free. The ad said the dog had some problems standing up and walking. Of course, everyone was all over Facebook “demanding” that something be done to save the dog. A coordination of efforts of a few people over the course of several days resulted in the acquisition of the dog. At first the dog was free, but when the owner(s) realized people wanted to help save it, suddenly the lowlifes wanted $50 for the dog.
The money was secured, the police notified in case of trouble and one of our informal group drove to Caruthers to get the dog. Upon arrival the woman said to the person,”You are not really going to make me pay for this dog are you?” The person relented and the dog was transported to a ready foster home. We are not really sure what happened to this poor girl, named Hope, but she was in very poor condition. The vet said she had two serious bacterial infections and neurological damage likely due to some kind of head trauma. A GoFundMe account was set up to raise money for her medical bills.
Ultimately it was collectively decided that her prognosis was so poor and the money needed just to figure out exactly what was wrong with her was going to run into the thousands. Hope crossed over the rainbow bridge, but her final days were filled with love and food, a warm bed and caring people looking after her. Excuse me while I get a tissue. sniff sniff Such is the heartbreak that comes with the territory of animal rescue.
I write this column as I wait for a phone call from Fresno. A feral mother cat in distress for over a week prompts someone to post a frantic plea for help on Facebook. I immediately contact the young woman and make arrangements to go to the apartment complex where the cat is located. Upon arrival I notice numerous cats wandering about. Tammy Barker had already sent over two people but they were unable to catch the mother cat. They did catch another female who was immediately sent off to the vet to be fixed. I set two traps on the cramped patio and showed the woman how to reset them if other cats tripped them. I set another out front where two females were lingering about. I just stood a few feet away while the two investigated the trap. Finally one of the ladies went in the trap but managed to step over the trip plate and began to eat the food. I stealthily moved towards the trap and the last few steps I rushed over and hit the door, capturing the cat. It is now 1 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. I wanted to get this girl fixed so I called my own vet who agreed to spay her. I picked her up the next morning and took her to The Cat House who vaccinated her. Then it was back to the apartment complex. There are already plans in the works for a “spay day” for this complex.
The spay and neuter grant money has run out, but The Cat House was able to help thousands of pets get fixed for $15 each and that is a really good thing. If you want to help, you can send a donation specifically earmarked for spay and neuters. We are so appreciative of any and all support we can get. Of course you can still get your cat fixed for a super low fee, $22 for boys and $37 for girls.
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page. We have reached, drum roll please, 500,000 “likes”!!! Please share with all your family and friends too!
Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section and remember that if you buy an ad in KRL you can designate 10% of the ad price to go to the Cat House.