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Cat House on the Kings: Kitten Season, Ferals & TNR

IN THE March 22 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andJackie Dale,
andPets
SECTIONS

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.

Open House is May 3!

Our Spring Open House Fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday May 3. We are seeking donation of goods, services, gift cards, etc. for the silent auction. We really count on these fundraisers to help pay for the expenses here at the Cat House. Please consider donating something. Raffle tickets for another spectacular quilt are on sale now. You can view the quilt and details on how to buy tickets by going to the Facebook page or our website (www.cathouseonthekings.com)

When Things Come Together

Thanks to an unusually warm winter, the kitten season has an early start. The recent rescue of a mama cat and her four kittens came at a very fortuitous time. The Cat House had recently taken in two kittens that had inadvertently become separated from their mother. Serina Simmons at the Kitten Quarters was bottle-feeding the tiny newborns. With the arrival of the nursing mother cat, an opportunity presented itself. Serina placed the kittens in with the mother kitty and they immediately began to nurse. Mother cat has accepted them and she will take over the duties of feeding and cleaning her two new babies as well as her own four. It is always a satisfying feeling when things “come together.”

Mama cat adopts 2 orphans

Feeding Ferals

My Selma feeding station is one of my most challenging stations. The truckers who patronize the nearby stores park their trucks in the large adjacent empty lot. They get their supplies and as they load the items into their trucks, they discard the excess packaging right onto the ground. To this mess they also add the garbage they have collected in their trucks since their last stop. Some even leave behind items that indicate, well, lets just say some of these drivers evidently don’t want to waste time stopping for a bathroom break. Homeless people sleeping in the bushes have only added to the problem. I try to keep clean an area for my cats to feed. I plan to go with gloves, big garbage bags, and a rake and shovel to really clean up the immediate area.

The brother and sister cat, who have been fixed, now recognize my car and will actually run out to meet me. Mom stays further back and I have to catch her soon before she becomes pregnant again. Now I see that there is a new arrival. Someone dumped an adult tabby cat there. He/she seems wary but not completely feral. People are leaving food but I don’t know if it is kind people trying to help or cat dumper trying to assuage feelings of guilt. Either way the cats have a continuous source of food.

Selma ferals come to greet with newcomer in the background

The black cat that I only see occasionally also needs to be trapped and fixed. I believe he is the sibling of my Yoshi. When I rescued Yoshi, I had no idea that there were two of them. I never saw them together and after I took home Yoshi, it was several months before I saw the other black cat. I was shocked and felt terrible that he was left alone, but somehow he survived.

New Trap-Neuter-Release Project

I have a yoga client who asked me to help her TNR some cats and relocate them to her hay barn. The cats are living near the office building of a packinghouse located out in country. The food safety inspector wasn’t happy about the cats being there. My client, who also raises thoroughbred horses, has a large barn and stable about half mile from the packinghouse location.

On our first attempt, I showed them how, where and when to set the trap. I instructed them to cover the trap so they wouldn’t freak out. The next day they had in fact captured not one, but two cats. However he did not cover them as instructed and as he approached the trap, the cats flipped out and managed to squeeze through what seemed to be an impossibly small opening. Cats have no collarbone so they can squeeze through any opening that they can fit their head through. So I brought another trap and we caught a lovely, longhaired, grey and white tabby. Grey was neutered and moved to the barn. As of this writing, Grey is doing fine. We were thinking he might make the trek through the orchard back to his original spot, but so far so good.

Grey

When I was delivering Grey to his new home, the horse trainer pointed out a gorgeous white, longhaired cat. Said cat proceeded over to us and wove herself between our ankles as we spoke. She said the cat had been dumped there about two weeks prior and she called her simply, White. White was so sweet and lovable it was hard to believe why anyone would want to be rid of such a gorgeous cat. Bear in mind this location is a mile from the main road, so she didn’t just wander there by mistake.

Blanca is moving to Florida

I took her picture and sent it to the Cat House along with a request for a spay appointment. It turns out White is a Turkish Angora. People usually pay good money for cats like that. Tammy Barker said that she was willing to take White to the Cat House Petco Adoption Center pending her spay and health tests. Once she arrived at Petco the staff named her, Blanca. Blanca received several applications for adoption–no big surprise there, she is so beautiful. A woman is flying in from Florida to adopt Blanca! I was so surprised and so happy for Blanca. It is a long way from a being throw-a-way cat to living the good life in sunny Florida, and you know that anyone who would fly across the country to adopt a cat is going to give her a very good home.

Injured Cat Needed Help

Dice, the cat with the broken leg, in his outdoor house

I received a call late one night from a friend in Fresno. They had recently taken in a stray cat and they had arrived home to find it lying in the street with a broken leg. They had taken the cat to Pet ER but they wanted $700 just to x-ray the cat for injuries. Then there would be the fees for treatment. My friend just did not have this kind of money. “We really want to keep the cat,” she told me, “But we can’t afford those kinds of fees.” Her only other option was not one she was willing to consider. My friend could not take off work on such short notice and she did not have regular vet. I made arrangements to meet my friend the following day on her way to work and I picked up the cat, named Dice. By then I had called Lynea and she approved my taking the cat to the vet. The Cat House on the Kings has a grant called “We Are Family Too” to help families with exorbitant pet medical bills. This family has demonstrated a firm commitment to keeping this kitty and has also given a check of $200 to cover a portion of the expenses. We are always happy when a family goes the extra mile to help and keep a kitty instead of just wanting the Cat House to take it off their hands.

Shelter Challenge

The Cat House on the Kings has won one of the Shelter Challenge weekly prizes of $1,000 for garnering the most votes for the week of February 10. In the main contest, we are lagging seriously behind. This challenge runs until March 30 so there is still time to help us win the grand prize. Vote every single day and ask your friends and family to do so as well. We sure could use that money to help further the work of the Cat House on the Kings. You can vote at www.shelterchallenge.com.

Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.

Jackie Dale is a freelance writer who lives in Reedley with her husband of 21 years, Frank, and their 2 children. Jackie currently writes for Traffic Magazine and for The Cat House on the Kings Feline Rescue. A former ballerina, Jackie now teaches yoga and fitness classes privately and at local area gyms.

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