by Jackie Dale
I get lots of phone calls, emails, and texts about cats. So many in fact that when I received a call from an unknown phone number, I fully expected it to be about cats. When the call turned out not to be about cats, I started laughing which then forced me to explain to my caller. I’m pretty sure she was wondering if I was just a bit nuts. However, I do receive many calls. Calls for help and/or advice are common, and I do my best to help. I received a call from a woman who had stopped at a Chevron station in a nearby town and was concerned about a small colony of cats there. I immediately knew the spot. I had done quite a bit of TNR there a few years back. I told her I would check it out, and I did. The bushes the cats used to live in were gone, however the feeding station was still there. It was built by a man who used to feed them, and it includes two cubbies the cats can hide inside. I filled the food tray and have checked on it once since. I’m not sure if there is a regular feeder anymore since the man moved away, but I was told that people often leave food for the cats. I called the woman who was from Walnut Creek and associated with a cat organization there. I let her know that I had in fact checked out her concern, and I will continue to follow up. I will look for someone in that area to provide regular feedings of dry food as that particular town is a twenty-five minute drive from my house. If additional TNR is needed, that will also be arranged.
Then on Facebook I see a plea for a sick cat. The woman who posted said the cat was so sick it was unable to move. I immediately messaged her and asked her to find the cat and bring it in, I would send one of my foster people to pick it up. Despite the claim that the cat was immobile, she said she couldn’t find it. By now it was about 9 p.m. and the apartment complex was not one that I would send anyone to at night to be wandering around in the dark. The next day my foster went out and found the cat. The cat turned out to be a kitten about 12-14 weeks old. It was severely hypothermic, it had lain out all night in temperatures that dropped into the 30s. The boy kitten was also very thin and had a severe URI (upper respiratory infection). I was livid. I couldn’t believe that the caller didn’t rescue the kitten when she first noticed it. She could have just put it in a box and kept it safe while she looked for help. So we rushed the kitten to the vet. I took him to my home and feed him with a syringe, administered meds, and kept him warm and toasty. Despite another trip to the vet for fluids and my best efforts, the little kitten did not survive.
That same day, as my foster was leaving the apartment complex, an adult male cat followed her out to her car. She said he just kept meowing at her as to say, “Hey Lady, please take me with you, too!” She said he was very persistent and very thin and of course, unfixed. So after calling me, we decided to rescue him, too. This particular complex is absolutely overrun with stray cats. In addition there seems to be an oddly large number of children living there who seem to enjoy torturing animals. There have been numerous first-hand reports of children kicking cats and throwing kittens into dumpsters. Animal control has been notified and made aware of the situation. We have decided since many of the cats are semi-feral, we will have to do some TNR there.
The Pain-in-my-Butt guy from Selma contacted me yet again. He was moving and needed to place his nine semi-feral cats. As per his usual modus operandi, he waited till the last possible moment to do anything. There was nothing I could do in such a short time. He was poised to take them to the SPCA. We told him that a grim future awaited them there, but he had convinced himself that they would all be adopted. I sent one of my people over there to assess the situation since I refuse to even talk to this loser. He somehow managed to find this person’s soft spot. She took in all his cats, putting them in her outside cat area. She arranged to get them all fixed. We weren’t sure what to do with the cats. We eventually returned them all back to where we got them, and they will be fed on a regular basis.The Foster Freeze TNR project has begun. Phase 1 and Phase 2 have been completed with a total of four cats each time. Out of the eight cats trapped and fixed thus far, seven of them were females and three of them were in heat. In a matter of weeks, there could have potentially been 30+ kittens in that alley. Whew! Only about three cats to go and another colony is stabilized. Three cats in the colony were deemed friendly and moved into foster. In fact two of them are with me. Olivia and Bleu are fixed and waiting for those forever homes.
We had two transports to rescue this month. The first trip consisted of two young adult cats from a friend of a friend, one black adult that was in foster, an adult Tortie from a fellow rescuer and a young tabby fellow who had been dumped at a junior high school.
The next trip had an adult female stray, the fellow from the apartment complex who insisted on being rescued and a shy young girl, all had been in separate foster homes. I also sent Olivia, but she was rejected due to a bare spot on her jaw line. Turned out to be a scab, not ringworm and she has been promised a spot on the next transport if not adopted first. She is super friendly. She will find a home very soon.I was contacted by a mailman in Fresno about an injured or crippled cat. I called a friend in Fresno who went out and located the cat. The cat did not want to be caught and had to be trapped. The post man sent a $100 donation to pay for the cat’s care. I had the boy cat fixed, tested for disease, and given his vaccinations. I also asked for an evaluation of the cat’s bad leg. The lower part of the leg, the front paw, was curled inward, and the cat had a hobbled walk. The leg is probably a birth defect or deformity and does not appear to need any medical intervention. So the cat is now in a kennel in my cat room. The cat is very feral and not responding at all to overtures of friendship. A decision will have to be made about where to place the cat, if perhaps returning him to his former area may be the best thing. He is clearly not happy now.
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!