Jackie Dale—TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Professional Cat Chauffeur, The Great Escape, It’s A Smelly Cat

Mar 25, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Pets

by Jackie Dale

February was a month for spending quite a bit of time on the road. Driving Nadine, the Rottweiler, to the rescue required that I ask a friend to drive us there in her roomier SUV. Nadine was very well-behaved in the car, but we think she was nervous because her last ride in a vehicle didn’t go so well. She did not want to get out. However, once out and reassured she wasn’t about to be abandoned again, her personality bounced right back.

Went to rescue

Four days later the cat side of the rescue called for cats. I was able to send yet another FIV+ cat, two sisters who for various reasons, had been with me almost a year. I also sent a friendly older kitten and a very timid five-month old ginger. I try not to send timid cats, but this little lady was not progressing at all in socialization skills. My hope is that maybe a new environment will make a difference.

Abandoned kitten to rescue

I received a call from a young woman in Clovis who was caring for some cats that had been…big surprise…left behind when their “owner” moved away. She said that this person even stated to her that it was his full intent to leave the cats behind. Naturally it was again, no big surprise to learn that none were fixed. The three boys and one girl were very friendly, so I agreed to take them in. The woman brought the first two cats over, one boy and the girl. Their cages were ready, and I put them inside and went about my business. The following morning I discovered an unfamiliar cat in my living room. The female had escaped her cage. Not thinking a full-grown cat could squeeze though the very tiny space, I hadn’t latched the bottom of the cage door. I moved the cat to a larger cage in another room and was forced to move her stinky brother to an outside cage. Unfortunately, being unfixed meant that his urine was fully charged with smelly, male hormones. My entire house smelled like urine so he had to be housed outside. I have a nice outdoor set-up on my patio and on cold nights, cats are supplied with a heater.

Once neutered, the awful smell of their urine will dissipate in about 30 days. I know some folks “don’t see the point” in fixing their male cats, but that urine smell is, at least, one, very compelling reason to neuter your male cat. The other reason, and I shouldn’t have to point it out so much, is that your cat won’t be impregnating the cats of all the other irresponsible pet owners in the neighborhood.


So, the next morning I went in to check on the cats and was stunned to see that the cage was empty. I just stood there for a moment trying to figure out how the cat got out because the door was closed and both latches were secured. Then, to my horror, I realized the larger cage has a side door, and the bottom latch was undone. The cat had squeezed out again. Oh, it gets better. At first I thought the cat was somewhere in the room. A bit of mess near the window prompted me to look over there. The cat had apparently pushed a heavy cat house off a shelf in front of the window. The cat house, it looks like a big fuzzy footstool, hit the window. We had not realized the putty that holds the window in was rotten and the window fell out of the frame. The cat then took the opportunity to make the great escape. She is currently hiding somewhere on our property, but we will locate her! The other two boys, all siblings, arrived a few days later. Went to rescue

Then from a nearby town came another adult male. He had been wandering as a stray with kind neighbors feeding him. But, there was one neighbor who didn’t like the cat coming to his porch and threatened to shoot him. “Fred” was one sweet fellow!

I’ve been rescued!

All four of the boys, plus the older kitten were whisked off to the vets for neutering. I’ve started doing my own vaccinations to save money.

They barely got back from the vets office when the rescue called asking for some friendly adults. They said they would take all four of my guys. Now named Gideon, Gianni, and Gerard, the three brothers and Fred took a ride.

I enjoyed the brief respite from all those boys and had the time to thoroughly clean all the cages.

Went to rescue

My partner-in-cat-crime, Janice, and I are thrilled to have a new outlet for cats in the future. They are located out of state, so it may not be a frequent utilization but every rescue we can get to take cats is a win for us. The rescue took two older kittens and four adults from us. We made a three-hour drive to meet them halfway.

I put a lot of miles on my car in the past month, but it is so worth it. I’m going to enjoy this bit of a lull because it is not going to last. That is a certainty.

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.


  1. You can’t legislate against the astonishing stupidity of some people. They should NOt be allowed anywhere near a cat or dog or ANY pet. Your work is amazing and I know small rescues here in NZ can realte to your frustration.

    • Thank you for your supportive kind words!??????

  2. Jackie. I really enjoy your column. You always have pictures of the beautiful cats and dogs. Your hard work is greatly appreciated.


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