by Jackie DaleStop Giving Me Cats!
This past month, the cat business has been brisk. At the top of the list of things to do is the installation of security cameras. Two large male cats showed up in my yard about a month ago. I believe them to be male because they have those typical softball-sized heads. I’m not sure they arrived together because they don’t seem to like each other. So far efforts to trap them have proved futile. Then last week I asked my husband if I was losing my mind, but are there TWO MORE new cats in the yard? And just to put a cherry on top of that sundae, one of them appears to be a female in heat. Why people chose to burden me with their unwanted cats baffles me. Now I have to trap all these cats, pay to get them fixed, pick up their crap, feed them, and provide medical care for the length of their lives. What have I done to the people who think it is okay to foist (literally) their problems on me? Would be nice if they threw some money in my yard, too, because I’m not exactly rich. I find comfort in knowing that these lowlife, sub-humans will eventually get their just desserts.
I successfully trapped the last cat of a ten-cat colony. The ladies who sponsored this TNR project really wanted to get this last cat. It was a tortoiseshell so definitely a girl. After several failed attempts, I finally caught the elusive prize. Then the vet calls, they need to reschedule my four appointments. I said that was no problem except for that one of my appointments was a cat already in a trap. The vet graciously fixed the one cat so that it would not have to spend too much time in the trap. The ladies were very generous in paying for my time. This doesn’t happen often so when it does, I’m very grateful. That money, of course, enables me to help other cats.
I was thrilled to recently receive a donation of 1,100 pounds of dry cat food! My husband was horrified to see that I managed to get all 72 bags into my Hyundai Sonata—It has a huge trunk and roomy back seat). Needless to say, my husband said, “Next time make two trips or risk ruining your car.” I have to admit the car was sitting pretty low but all seems okay. I shared the food with rescue friends, and it will also help feed the feral cats in my colonies.I received a call from a friend about a beautiful young cat that desperately needed to be rehomed. I brought her home, named her Belulah, and got her in on the next round of spay appointments. Belulah was spotted by a new rescue friend who had a potential adopter. Belulah’s sweet demeanor got this kitty adopted in a flash, and she is now living the life of a princess, complete with a diamond collar.
And So It Starts…
I got a call from the local animal shelter that there were three newborn kittens there. I took them in and began bottle feeding. The runt didn’t make it, but it was not wholly unexpected as the poor nubbin was quite small compared to its siblings. The remaining two kittens, now three weeks old, are fat and sassy.
Then the shelter called us to say there was a beautiful male cat there, but it appeared to be blind, and did we have any ideas for this kitty? My partner in cat-crime, Janice, reached out to one of the rescues we work with, and they agreed to take the cat if we got it neutered first. The shelter was able to get it in the next day, and I agreed to drive the cat, meeting the rescue people about half way. We also had three cats scheduled to go rescue the next day. Two of the cats had been left behind when their sorry-ass people moved away. A neighbor took it upon himself to find someplace for these cats to go. Kudos!! This is becoming an all too common scenario. Abandoning a family pet is a cowardly and chicken thing to do. We were able to find someone who happened to be going in the rescue’s direction, and she kindly agreed to transport the cats.
A recent visit to the vet’s office resulted in my leaving with three orange, fluffy kittens. They had been dumped or somehow appeared in someone’s yard. They were hissy and had been brought in to be put down. The vet tech asked if I might take them, and I agreed. They are in fact, pretty hissy, but every day I see more improvement. They are about twelve weeks, which is way past the mark of taming, which is around eight weeks. After that, taming the kittens can be challenging and time consuming. I really feel these kittens can be brought around. Fingers crossed!
I got a phone call from a man who had trapped a neighborhood feral, and after calling several agencies, apparently he was referred to me. “What do I do now?” he wanted to know. I went over there and gave my “You Gotta Have a Plan” speech. I explained how he needed to make appointments before trapping, etc. etc. I bumped one of my scheduled cats to get his cat in. She turned out to be in an early stage of pregnancy so trapping the cat when he did was most opportune.
February was a good month for the cats.
In the span of two weeks we transported, if I counted correctly, twenty-three cats to rescue including thirteen cats from the aforementioned shelter. The new animal control officer there is awesome and makes every effort to find placements for the shelter animals.
This number included a friendly boy cat that had appeared at one of my feeding stations. I literally scooped him up on my way to meet the day’s transport!
One of the cats on this last transport was a large orange male cat. He appeared to have some sort of large growth on his belly, but the rescue agreed to take him anyway. Later we learned that the poor fellow had a huge hernia! The cat had surgery and upon recovery will no doubt quickly find a new home. This rescue adopts out a phenomenal number of adult cats!
We wrapped up this fantastic month with the relocation of three feral cats. Two of them were going to be euthanized due to lack of room. Those two will go to my large feral refuge, and the single male cat joined a smaller colony I manage.
Prepping For the Deluge
Now is the time for me to do the deep cleaning and disinfecting because kitten season is just around the corner. I only have one cat in the cat room, Gianna. She will be going to her new family soon. She is currently undergoing TheCatMothers socialization program. The orange triplets are residing in my larger bathroom and already have interested adopters.
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 deeply appreciated. I use my husband’s PayPal account (steamodale@gmail[dot]com) and I have a GoFundMe account under my name. You can also send donations via snail mail to Jackie Dale, P O Box 1859, Reedley, CA 93654. Questions? jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com.