Jackie Dale TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Time Wasters, Hoarders, Hustle and Bustle

Mar 26, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Pets, Reedley News

by Jackie Dale

Time Wasters
It has been a very busy month. So busy, that when people waste my time, I get upset. Particularly when they are the ones who asked for help. This woman asked someone I know for help finding homes for kittens and a couple adults. I contacted the woman who took her time responding. Then when I asked for photos of her cats, they never arrived. I finally reached her by phone to make an appointment to see her cats. First, she tried to tell me which cats and (one) kitten she wanted me to take. I told her I needed to see the cats in person. We agreed on a Saturday at four o’clock. I also had two other owner-surrender cats to pick up that day so after picking up cat #1 at 3:30, I texted her to remind her she had not given me her address. She texted back that she had been in a near accident. I texted back that I hoped she was okay. Well, apparently she was so okay that she was at a recycling center cashing in her cans. Um, okay, thanks for making the effort to keep our appointment, I thought to myself. It quickly became crystal clear that I was dealing with a flake.

Surrendered siblings

She said she did not want me to come to her house. I asked her “how was I going to see the cats if I can’t come there and you haven’t sent any pictures?” She said she would bring a few at a time and meet me at a nearby shopping center. I told her that was a little bit unusual of a way to evaluate cats, but I agreed. Fifteen minutes past our meet time, I texted her to ask where she was. She texted back that she had to take her father to the doctor because he had a rash. I was aghast that she didn’t bother to let me know, just left me sitting there wasting my time. She didn’t even say she was sorry. Hear that water running? That is the sound of me washing my hands of this person.

Hoarders
Moving on to our next project who was a man with about 18+ cats. My friend, Janice, made arrangements with our rescue’s spay and neuter clinic to fix the cats at the reduced rate of $31 per cat. That included a rabies shot and no additional charge if the cat was pregnant. That turned out to be fortuitous since of the eighteen cats taken in to be fixed, seventeen of them were girls. And several of them were pregnant. Janice noticed the man had some kittens in the house, but he refused to turn them over. We told them that if he did not give them up, we were done helping him. Currently, we are at a standoff. However, there is no denying that this project is significant. The number of kittens that could have been born is staggering to consider.

Then we had the hoarder lady. Janice worked her magic and got a total of fifteen cats into the rescue. We broke it up into two trips to make it more manageable for all concerned. Some of the cats were quite fearful, but we have hope that they will acclimate quickly. The caretaker was overcome with emotion when we arrived to take away the cats. We thought she would be happier to see the cats leaving conditions that could only best be described as deplorable. What we got was a first-hand, up-close look at the mind of hoarder. They truly believe they are doing a good thing saving the cats. Every hoarding situation begins with someone who only had the best of intentions.

Here and There, To and Fro

Owner surrender

And the hustle and bustle continued. I picked up a gorgeous long-haired fellow who was an owner surrender. He wasn’t getting along with the resident cat so the owner opted to rehome. I knew my rescue would snap him up quickly! Then along came a super cute orange kitten that a friend found in her yard.

My rescue called asking if I had any cats and, of course, I did! I drove over eleven cats and kittens. The rescue was thrilled with all the cats.

On the way back from dropping off the cats, I received a call from a shelter that someone had brought in two kittens who appeared to be joined together at the navel. One of the kittens had already passed. Janice picked up the kitten for me, and I picked it up from her on my way back home. I clamped off the umbilical cord and cut off the dead kitten. Unfortunately, the remaining kitten also passed the next day. Then a friend texted me asking if I could take three bottle babies, and I agreed. They also arrived later that evening. It was an extremely long day.

Stray kitten

The very next day my friend found another orange kitten, obviously a sibling to the previous one. Drat the timing! My rescue loves orange kittens; they are very popular. Into the kitten room he goes. A few day later, my caretaker at the feral refuge called to say someone had dumped four friendly tuxedo kittens. The kittens were healthy and obviously cared for very well.

I could not believe my luck when I received a message from a rescue friend from Oregon. She would be passing through the valley in a couple of days and wondered if I had any candidates for rescue. I practically did a dance because taking care of four active “teen” cats would be a lot of work. I delivered to my friend the four tuxedos and the adorable orange boy. The orange kitten was adopted almost immediately upon arrival! I have no doubt the tuxedos will quickly be adopted, too.

Kittens dumped at feral colony

And Onward Marches the Cat Parade
I was asked if I had room for a friendly stray. The lady that found her had no luck trying to find the owner. Her landlord said the cat had to go. The cat arrived and as the lady handed me the carrier, she said, “oh, and by the way, she limps” Okay, I love it when they withhold information. A visit to the vet determined that the cat I named “Peaches” had an untreated broken leg that healed badly. Her limp would be permanent. My rescue accepted her anyway!

I was asked to take in a very pregnant orange mom cat so that she could have her kittens. Four days later she had five healthy muffins in the bottom of my linen closet. Now, I have three sets of moms and kittens. One group has just started solid food. That is always a messy period. They just walk through their food and poop all over and walk in that, too.

Mom and kittens

I scheduled and coordinated eleven cats to get spayed/neutered in one day. That was a lot of work, but I was able to cross a few more names off my list. The eleven included four cats that I took in from a local dog rescue. They had been boarding there for three months when the owner said she would not be coming back for them. I contacted her and pretty much demanded that she foot the bill for the fixing and vaccination of her cats so I could send them to rescue. She quickly complied but still owes money to the dog rescue for the boarding of her cats. The two adults were sent to rescue but the younger kittens, about 4-5 months, will need a bit more socialization before I can send them out.

Judgemental kitten

A Dog Rescued
The dog rescue called again and asked if I would be willing to take in a friendly tortoiseshell mom and her one kitten. I agreed and picked up the cat. I was almost home when I noticed a dog sitting on the side of the road. The dog’s expression said to me “I need help”. So, of course, I stopped. The dog tried to walk away from me but the hind legs were practically useless. The dog was a female, and she appeared to be covered in bite marks. I put her in my car and made her comfortable for the night. I took her to my vet first thing in the morning. He feared her leg was broken, and I left her there for x-rays. It was already late in the day, so the dog would have to remain overnight. Perusing Facebook that evening, I was shocked and surprised to see a lost post with the dogs picture. The vet said the dog was at least ten. I just assumed that the dog had been dumped. It happens all the time where I live and there was no collar or microchip. I immediately called the number and the owner was thrilled to know her dog was okay. I told her that her dog was at the vet being treated. The owner claimed her pet the next day. It turned out the leg was not broken, but in fact the dog had a severely torn ACL. Apparently, the old girl has a history of chasing off coyotes it is surmised that she perhaps this time, she got in over her head.

Until next month…
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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