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Jackie Dale: The Catmother/Cat Trapper: Cat Tails & Transports

IN THE March 27 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andAnimal Rescue Adventures,
andJackie Dale,
andReedley News
SECTIONS

by Jackie Dale

Security Update and The Case of The Three Julios
Last month I began installing cameras so that I will be able to see the miscreants whose twisted sense of what is the right thing to do leads them to drop off cats on my property. All sides of the property will be covered, so hopefully no one will be tempted to dump their cats on me any longer.

One of the Julios

One of the cats that was dumped here, Julio, is a large fellow, black with white feet and white on his face. I set a trap and voilà! I finally caught him. Or so I thought. As I was carrying the trap to the car, who comes strolling around the corner, but Julio! I was flabbergasted! There are two of you?! So identical, I couldn’t tell them apart. So I took Julio #2 to get neutered. This cat is mean as mean can get and he had been chasing and harassing my cats. I named him “Psycho.” The vet told me that was the perfect name for him. I mean, I was so concerned he might escape and maim me that I bungee corded his trap shut, just to be sure. There was no way he was coming back to my place, so I was able to find him a spot as a barn cat. Oh, but the story does not end there. As I was coming home, I pulled into my driveway and on the roof of the garage was Julio…I kid you not…Julio #3. Yes, there were three large black and white cats. So identical that, as long as I didn’t see them together, I thought it was only the one cat. Unfortunately, the obvious brothers didn’t even like each other so there have been cat fights. Julio #3 will be trapped, hopefully soon, and will be relocated to the barn with his brother.

Cats from the dog rescue

Cats at the Dog Rescue
A friend who runs a dog rescue in Fresno was not at all happy to find that three adolescent cats had been dumped at her property. Obviously, the cats needed a place to go and they, quite fortuitously, were all very friendly. My rescue friend paid for the cats to be fixed and both my rescues were very interested in the trio. One of the cats, along with two cats from another rescue friend, went to one of my rescues. The other two went to my other rescue. Everyone wanted them so I had to divide the love, lol.

Went to rescue!

I must take the opportunity to segue into the story of two rambunctious boys. I picked them up at the vet’s myself after their neuter day and housed them in my spare bathroom. On day two, I walked in the room to see the contents of the linen closet all over the floor. It looked like the closet had exploded. And there was a peculiar buzzing noise. It turns out that one of the cats had stepped on and activated an electric toothbrush which then caused an apparently frantic stampede. Oh, but it gets better. The next night, about 10 o’clock, I heard the water running and the hot water heater turned on. I assumed my kid was in there so I waited to start a load of laundry. However, after about an hour, I decided to knock on the door. No answer, so I went in. I was SHOCKED to see that somehow, the cats had walked across the water handles and managed to turn on the water. There was a towel in the bottom of the tub which was blocking the drain. I was absolutely horrified to see the water about two inches from going over the edge. In addition, since the water was hot, the steam now had the walls dripping condensation. That was a close one!

Cat Tails and Transports

Bottle babies

The past month started with me taking in five bottle babies that had been brought to a local shelter. So much work and so little sleep for me. On March 7 we transported, not just the two cats from the dog rescue, but the five bottle babies as well! I was thrilled. The amount of work is staggering but the rescue had an experienced bottle feeder so I was happy to see them go.

Two days later, a very feral six-month-old orange kitten was trapped at the mobile home park I’ve been dealing with lately. I picked up the kitten and was able to get it fixed the next day, and later released it at one of my colonies. I also delivered a speech to the mobile home people that while I am happy and willing to help as much as I can, I am not your go-to person to relocate an endless parade of feral cats. They must come up with another solution. One such solution is to not have everyone be so freaking anal about a cat here and there. They seem to be demanding a completely cat-free park and seeing as how they are located right by the river, well, that is just never going to happen.

Becky and Bobo

On March 10, another transport. They took Becky and Bobo who were now about six weeks old, two teen cats from a friend, and three adults and two kittens from the local shelter.

Kitten season is here

The next day I got a call from a young woman who said a local stray had kittens in the bushes. We searched for an hour and never located them. The search will continue. The busy week continued. I got a call from the shelter we work with and she had a friendly young mom and kittens. Her original kittens were old enough to remove and were sent to a foster home at one of our rescues. They were replaced by six newborns found at a RV park. The mom will of course be trapped and fixed. I agreed to bring the family to my home. That same day I was asked to take a very small single kitten that someone had found. I simply added it to the group. The very next day I was contacted and asked to take two kittens that had literally just been born. The mother had been chased off by dogs. The kittens arrived ice cold and one had the placenta still attached. After warming them up, the mother accepted them and I supplemented with the bottle, but unfortunately they only survived for four days.

Saved from the needle, de-hissed and ready for new homes!

Our rescue called looking for some more cats, so we sent the remaining two fluffy orange kittens. They came a long way from the two hissy kittens on death row. They were accompanied by a pregnant Siamese that had been dumped at a friend’s feral colony, a beautiful Turkish Van that needed to be rehomed, four adults and one kitten from the shelter…and a ginormous cat named Mookie.

Turkish Van

Mookie had been adopted from the SPCA about five years ago. However, nine months ago, his owner died. The man’s relatives brought Mookie home with them, but their child was allergic to cats so Mookie, previously an indoor only cat, was now an outside cat. He did not fare well. He was terrorized by neighborhood dogs and sought refuge in the junk pile of a neighbor’s backyard. Well, despite the fact that the neighbor’s yard was a virtual pigsty of crap, he vehemently objected to the presence of the cat. Desperately the woman searched for a place for Mookie to go. Someone (actually, a couple of people) gave her my name. After some discussion and thinking about it, I agreed to take Mookie. I told her that Mookie was probably so traumatized that he would need several months of TheCatMothers (re)socialization program. That meant work, so I asked for a $200 donation. She was more than happy to pay the fee and I picked Mookie up. Mookie is supposed to be a girl, but the woman wasn’t really sure and there was no paperwork. I only questioned it at all because of the size of the cat. Generally cats that huge are male. But the cat is fixed so I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Mookie was indeed quite traumatized, lots of hissing and shrinking away from my touch. But I could tell that Mookie still was a normal cat, just really frightened and confused. It only took a few days before Mookie started letting me pet her and she purred. Her intake date was March 4th. I felt that Mookie had made such remarkable progress that we decided to give her a try and sent her on the transport. They LOVED Mookie! Now Mookie will have a new home and a new lease on life.

Mookie

This month has been most productive in getting cats and kittens to rescues and into loving homes. I also would like to thank everyone who donates food, supplies, and cash to support my work. I couldn’t do it without you. I saw one woman in the supermarket who apologized for giving my name to someone who needed help and handed me $50!

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.

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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