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.
Injured Cat Needs Rescue
In late February I was perusing the Cat House on the Kings Facebook page when I stumbled across a posting from a man named Martin Papaleo in Fresno regarding an injured stray cat in Reedley. It seems that the cat in question, along with a few others, live in the area near the friend’s shop. I contacted Martin for the name of his friend and location of the injured cat. Martin’s friend turned out to be Billy Olinger of TKO Enterprises. Their original plan was to call the Cat House and ask for help for the cat.
After describing the cat’s injury as a possible broken leg with bone showing, I decided that immediate action was needed. Since I was the closest available help, I proceeded to the location and met with Billy. He thanked me for coming so quickly and we searched for the cat to no avail. Billy explained that the cat along with the others would generally show up in the evening to feed. A kind, local woman was providing dishes of food and water daily. I decided that the best course of action would be to return later in the day with a net and a trap.
I left to do some errands only to receive a call from Billy a short time later. He had found the cat and sequestered him in his back room. I returned to the shop at which time Billy informed me that what he thought was a piece of bone was in fact, an errant tuft of hair.
As I prepared to leave with the cat, Billy handed me a check for $100, a donation to the Cat House towards the cats’ treatment. How awesome is that? After transporting the cat to the Cat House, Venessa Gamboa took charge of him. He did not have a broken leg but he did have a very severe abscess that went clear to the bone. Left untreated the cat would surely have died. Lynea and Venessa whisked him away to be treated while I went outside to talk with some Boy Scouts.The Boy Scouts were from Troop 130 out of Northwest Fresno. Eagle Scout Henry Munson is a student at University High School and he is a die-hard cat lover. Eagle Scouts are required to perform some type of community service known as an Eagle Project. He wanted to do something useful and different for his favorite animal, the cat. After meeting with Lynea for some project ideas, Henry decided to design and install platforms in the trees for the cats at the Cat House. They had barely finished the job before the cats started to partake of their new perches. It really warmed my heart to see these young men with their healthy regard and respect for animals. By now Reedley cat had his wound treated, he was tested for diseases, vaccinated and was ready to go. I delivered the cat back to Billy who was waiting at his shop. He transported the cat to Fresno to Martin who had agreed to foster and nurse the cat back to health.
I contacted Martin for an update on Reedley cat. He is kind of low to the ground so they are tentatively calling him, Shorty. Shorty has been neutered and his wound is healing nicely. Shorty is very friendly, likes kids and gets along with other animals. Won’t you consider giving this handsome guy a loving home?
Three years ago Billy Ollinger rescued another one of the strays that live near his shop. She was wandering around blind due to a severe eye infection. Billy had her treated and spayed. Eventually her sight returned. Named ‘Lucky”, she lives in the shop and is the quintessential queen of the kingdom. When I first saw Lucky, she was sitting in the front window of Billy’s store. Upon entering I noticed that in order to secure her spot in the window, Lucky had managed to knock over a full size mannequin which was now lying face down on the floor. Lucky has the run of the store complete with two large cat’s trees for her lounging and amusement.
Rural Abandonment is a Big Problem
When you live in a rural area you will see your fair share of abandoned animals. I can’t even imagine what kind of a person it takes to drive your family pet out to the country and leave it there to fend for its self. These scenarios rarely turn out well. When you work in an animal rescue, it seems like there are stray/abandoned animals everywhere you look.
My daughter and I were returning home one evening when we noticed a small brown object scurry across the road. It looked like a puppy. We stopped in the road, as there was no shoulder on which to pull over. Using a teensy keychain flashlight with a beam the width of a pencil, we located what turned out to be a small brown dog. Bear in mind we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The empty canal was on one side of the road and thick brush and berry thickets on the other.
With the terrified animal cowering in the bushes, I carefully climbed over a barbed wire fence and coaxed the little thing to come to me. We took her home and she seemed grateful to be rescued. About a week later I took her to the Cat House to be spayed. At one year of age or less, the poor girl was pregnant and not for the first time. Since she is a smaller version of our dog Paco, we have been calling her Pacquette. Pacquette show some signs of abuse such as cowering down when I reach out to pet her.
I have discovered that there is a huge over abundance of small brown dogs in this valley. No one wants a small, non-descript brown dog. Pacquette is the sweetest little dog but there is nothing particularly special about her appearance or demeanor that would make someone say; “I must have that dog!” She is super quiet and just follows me around or sits on my lap. With five dogs and nine cats of my own I have a full house now, but I will continue to foster Pacquette until I can find her the good and loving home of her own that she deserves.
A Quick Update on Happenings at the Cat House
*The Cat House was abuzz with excitement last week as Nat Geo Wild’s show “Taboo” was out filming at the Cat House. I have never seen the show but I am told they explore the strange and unusual. We are so excited to soon be back on NatGeoWild!
*February 28 was National Spay and Neuter Day. The Cat House on the Kings received a certificate from the Fresno City Council in honor of our work to promote the benefits of spaying and neutering. We in turn presented them with 10 spay/neuter certificates to pass out to needy constituents.
*A gigantic Thank You to Sara Hamilton of Fresno for donating not one, but two sets of desperately needed washers and dryers. Your generosity is overwhelming!
*Be sure to mark your calendars for our Spring Open House on May 4.
No Way Stray Coming to Reedley
Be sure to bring your pet to the Reedley Community Center on March 30 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.. Westside Rescue will be there with low-cost vaccinations for dogs and cats as well as micro chipping and make-your-own ID tags. The Cat House on the Kings will have an informational booth so come by and say “Hi” to yours truly. You do not have to be a Reedley resident so tell all your friends too!
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Check back the third Saturday of every month for the latest Cat House On The Kings column, and you can find past columns and more pet articles in our Pet Perspective section.