Jackie Dale—TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Slowest Month of the Year

Feb 25, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Pets, Reedley News

by Jackie Dale

January started out with a trickle of cats. A couple of cats here and there from the local shelter and one lady who paid me $100 to take in a friendly stray. Then came a call from the rescue, they were low on adult cats. I only had one cat, an FIV+ cat, who had been waiting for an opening in that particular unit. However, not one to waste an opportunity, I quickly rounded up some friendly, fixed adult cats to make the trip.


That same day, an adult cat needing a temporary place to stay arrived. I was told it was going to be two weeks. She was supposed to arrange for him to be fixed, and then he was to go to a rescue. A month later I had not heard from this person. When I contacted her, she apologized and said she would come get him that weekend. Two more weeks passed and the cat, now named Georgio, was still here. Well, I’d had enough. I had the sweet guy fixed, vaccinated, and sent him off to my rescue. It’s been over six weeks and still haven’t heard from her.


Tripoli, the kitten with the severely broken leg, had her operation. She is healing nicely. It will be a long, slow process, but she is a trooper. Enough donations were raised to pay for the $900 surgery. I want to thank everyone who so generously donated for Trip’s surgery!

I enjoyed the slow month of January while the vet was on vacation. Not much happened until the end of the month when the rescue called again for cats. I sent a sweet adult girl (one from the local shelter), two of my kittens, and two cats from a foster. I was sad to see my kittens go. Puffin was a black and white cutie with a lot of spirit. But Rocket, he was a special kitten. He was the best friend of our small dog, Lucy. We actually think that Rocket thought he was a dog. And he was called Rocket for a reason. He was as fast as the wind! Although a bit small for his age, his personality was HUGE! Rocket’s tail had been broken in multiple places while a tiny kitten but no permanent damage was done. His tail now lays cutely curled against his side. It only adds to his immeasurable charm!

Rocket-Adopted the next day!

One of the cats from the shelter, Santana, had a couple of issues. An unnoticed bite became abscessed and required a trip to the vet. After it healed, I took him to be fixed only to find out that he is cryptorchid. That means he has an undescended testicle. But when the vet opened him up, she couldn’t find the missing man part. So a vasectomy was performed to ensure the cat’s sterility. That also meant an additional $150. That is the third cryptorchid this year already. Hopefully no more!

Santana after being told he needs extra surgery

Then I ran across a post on Facebook, a man was giving away some cats and two kittens, for free. “Why?” I asked. “I’m moving” he said. The man lived not too far away so I messaged him and arranged to pick up the two kittens. They were healthy, friendly, and really cute. I didn’t have room for the adult cats so I asked the girls who brought the cats out for viewing, “How long before you move?” They seemed confused by the question which immediately raised a red flag. He was probably only saying he was moving in order to get rid of the cats. A friend in the area is also helping the man place the adult cats or at least get them fixed. We are not sure what the problem is with this person. This particular man always seems to have cats he is giving away. With any luck, he really is moving so we can be rid of him once and for all.

Martina before

On February 3, I received a call from a woman who got my number from the Selma shelter. She had been feeding a (female) neighborhood stray who, of course, became pregnant. She was now worried about the kittens being born in the cold. The woman rented a room in a private home, and the landlord did not wish to have an additional cat, much less a pregnant one. I arrived to pick up the cat and was shocked to see the cat was very near full-term. I mean, the cat was HUGE! The mother herself was petite and not more than eight months old. Six days later, Martina delivered seven, yes, seven kittens. Unfortunately, one was born dead and two more passed in the next couple days. The four surviving kittens are doing well. The mother is as sweet as can be. Once the kittens are weaned, she will be fixed and sent to rescue.

Martina’s kittens

In mid-February, another six cats went to rescue, including Santana and the brother/sister duo, Alvin and Theodora. The very next day, a sweet little guy arrived. He was born in a feral colony but for whatever reason, retained a level of domesticity. That is very unusual with cats born in feral colonies, but it does occasionally happen. This lucky kitten will have a bright future ahead of him.

Alvin and Theodora

The vet has returned from vacation, and we are back in business. TNR’s are already occurring despite the unusually frigid temperatures. As temperatures get warmer and with the beginning of daylight savings time on March 13, the TNR’s will really swing into high gear. Most trappers agree that trapping in the dark can be extremely dangerous. We like it when daylight savings time kicks in because we like to see what we’re doing. We like to see what is going on around us.

Best news ever! The Rottweiler I rescued back in November has finally been accepted at my rescue. We tried practically every rescue in the state. When he was accepted at my rescue, I was ecstatic! It was a long wait but totally worth it. Nadine was just too much dog for me. But the shelters were all full and I was not going to risk her being euthanized. Although not the dog for me, she will be a wonderful dog for just the right person. She had potential, but she needs time and training I just can’t provide. Ironically, we are looking for a dog to join our family. However, we are looking for a medium size dog with a calmer demeanor. We want a dog who can be in the house with us and not bother the cats. We would kind of like a Corgi mix, but we are keeping an open mind to just the right dog.

I can’t operate without them. If you would like to make a donation, I have a PayPal account steamodale@gmail[dot]com. You can also send donations via good old snail 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! Join our Pets Facebook group to help keep up with our pet articles.

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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