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The Cat House On The Kings: Open House, TNR, & Kittens

IN THE April 25 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andAnimal Rescue Adventures,
andJackie Dale
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.

Our Spring Open House Fundraiser is next weekend!! Please plan on coming by to support Lynea and all the kitties that depend on your generosity to fill their bowls with food. We are also inundated with kittens. They need to eat too! The raffle for the amazing Veggie Cats quilt is going a bit slower than usual. The tickets are only $1 and can be purchased at The Cat House office, the Petco adoption center in Fresno, or by phone at 559-638-0300. You can also buy tickets by mail, (7120 S. Kings River Rd. Parlier, CA 93648) but they must be purchased before May 2 and time is running out so choose the method that works best for you. See you there!!

cat hour

Raffle Quilt

Drama in Selma-“As The Stomach Turns”..

April is turning out to be a very difficult month for me. First, I had two traps stolen from my Selma (CA) feeding station. Sometimes I leave the traps if they are reasonably hidden, I have a place to chain them to and I am only going to be gone a short time. I was only gone for one hour and I was about 300 yards away. However, I made the mistake of running the chain through the trap’s handles instead of the body. I didn’t realize the handles could be snapped off without using any tools. Whoever took them dumped out the paper and food inside. In all likelihood, they were taken by one of the many transients that frequent the area and taken to the local recycling center. I reported the theft to the local police but the traps have never been recovered. I was understandably upset, particularly since my personal angel and staunch Cat House supporter, Karen Rae, had purchased these traps for me. Karen was very understanding. I was both surprised and grateful when the following day, two more traps arrived from Amazon. Thank you Karen Rae, from the bottom of my kitty loving heart!

cat house

Selma Cats

Ah!…but the story continues! I went on a local lost and found site on Facebook and posted an ad offering a reward for the return of the traps. Someone asked what I was doing trapping cats in Selma. People responded to say I was probably doing TNR, which I confirmed. Some people did not know what that was and asked questions. The responses were 98% positive. “Oh, I didn’t know people did that” and “That is really awesome of you to do that” to “I am so glad that people like you care about feral cats” etc. Then there were these two people, one man and one woman. They got into the thread saying that what I was doing was wrong, that those might be someone’s cats and maybe they don’t want them fixed, that I had no right to make these decisions for these cats. It started a minor war among those in favor of TNR and the two who felt I was committing a crime against God and nature. The man even said that he hopes my new traps get stolen again and that if he saw my traps he would steal them himself. I felt things were quickly spiraling out of control so I had to delete the post. A little investigation revealed that both of these people were what I call “drama seekers.” They frequently make inflammatory remarks on random posts just to get people riled up.

But wait….there’s more and it isn’t good. My Selma cats have mysteriously disappeared. They would always come running when they heard my car or I would see them sunning themselves on the lawn area. I can’t believe they were trapped; they were an elusive group never going in the traps I set. I had trapped a brother and sister but I was never able to catch the mom, a rare female ginger Manx. She had another litter that produced blind Homer and two torties. I was in the process of trying to trap the two tortie ladies when everyone disappeared. I just can’t figure it out. I continue to leave food and some of it is being eaten but not at the usual pace.

Displaced Ferals

The Cat House recently received a call from a woman with a cat problem. Her elderly parents lived in the Reedley area so I was asked to see what I could do to help. Apparently, the property adjacent to the elderly couple had been sold and the new owners had torn down an old barn thus displacing five or so feral cats, including a pregnant female. I told her I could trap them and get them fixed at The Cat House but that she would have to take them back. “I can’t do that,” she said. I told her that I don’t have anywhere to put them and I explained to her how things work for cats in the Central Valley. We went around and around with me repeatedly explaining how all we could do is fix the cats to keep them from multiplying and the woman repeatedly stating that this was a health and safety issue for her elderly parents and the cats had to go. Finally I politely said that I really did understand and I had complete sympathy for her parent’s plight, but it did not matter how elderly or how infirmed her parents were, the fact remains that I had nowhere to put these feral cats. I finally told her to call Liberty Animal Control for advice on what to do. I really wanted to help but there is only so much I can do.

BK-“Blind? Who is blind?”

cat house

Beth Caffrey's daughter, Carla, listens to BK sing the song of his people

About six months ago, an acquaintance of mine had rescued a blind kitten from the drive-up lane of a local fast food restaurant. I was surprised to recently see BK’s (Blind Kitty) picture on Facebook. The family was moving and she had decided to downsize their pet count. I was concerned because a blind cat needs a special home, you can’t just give them to anyone. I told her I was taking BK in for an eye check and that I would keep him for a while to monitor his eyes. After a few days, I informed her that I would help her rehome BK and until then he could stay with me. After a few weeks, Tammy Barker generously offered to give BK a spot at The Cat House’s Petco adoption center in Fresno. If you think a sweet, loving, well-adjusted cat that doesn’t really know he is blind would be a perfect fit for your family, you can apply online to adopt BK (www.cathouseonthekings.com) or go visit him at Petco.

College Cats

I was surprised to receive a call from a sergeant in the Reedley College Police. He had been given my card and he wanted to know more about the feral cats living at the college and the available options for them. I explained about our TNR programs and what the alternatives were, which are basically to do nothing and let them multiply. I gave my now standard speech about how there are no other options for feral cats. He was very nice and thanked me for my time. He seemed genuinely interested in doing something and said he would speak with Reedley College officials. Of course, the decision lies with the college administration. Now we wait and see which option they choose-TNR or do nothing.

cat house

Triscuit & Cheezit-recent rescues that your donations help feed


I end this column with my “Defies All Logic” award. And the winner is…the woman giving away free kittens who, after I posted a comment offering low cost spay and neuters at The Cat House, told me to mind my own business because if everyone spayed and neutered, we would run out of dogs and cats in 10 years.

Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section and remember that if you buy an ad in KRL you can designate 10% of the ad price to go to the Cat House.

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.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 April H April 25, 2015 at 8:51pm

Jackie dear, I am appalled at the attitude of some of the people you describe in your continuing efforts to TNR and help feral cats in your area – I can’t believe the crass ignorance it exhibits – is it merely because the area is rural vs. a larger town or city area. [I’ll probably get castigated and bad-mouthed for my snobbishness but who cares – I have to say this. Aaargh!] Yours in continuing efforts, bless you for doing it all. April.H in Southern California, a strong CHOTK and Petco and KRL fan.

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2 jackie Dale May 24, 2015 at 10:43am

Hi April,
There is a notable difference in the attitude of rural vs larger urban areas in regard to the treatment of animals. I am continually surprised by people and their comments. It is my opinion that we need outreach into the schools to nip this attitude of “they are just animals” in the bud.
Thanks for your comments and support

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3 elaine Faber April 26, 2015 at 8:07am

God Love you for your efforts on behalf of these of God’s lost children. We feed three ferals at my door (they don’t know they are feral.. they think they are Faber’s,) but too wild to come in and live with my other four house cats. Your efforts will be rewarded. Blessings and keep up the good work.
A recent post from elaine Faber: Writing A Series – Black Cat MysteriesMy Profile

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4 jackie Dale May 24, 2015 at 10:45am

Thank you Elaine for the compliment and for feeding your ferals. It means a lot to me.

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5 Pam April 27, 2015 at 9:24am

Jackie,
You are heroic! You are an angel on earth. Thank you for all you do. I was thinking about the disappearing traps and wondering if it is possible to have cameras set up with some traps. May be impractical in the locations but would be nice to see (and post) and report to police the faces of those stealing the traps. Regarding your trolls, the best thing I’m sure you know this is to monitor the feed and eliminate their comments – block them if you can. Trolls often have many internet identities and they crave attention and that is the thing – starve them of attention or if possible out them – if anyone can track their actual identities thru the internet – reveal who they actually are to the supporters of Cat House. So sorry that these negative things get in the way of all the good going on at The Cat House.

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6 jackie Dale May 24, 2015 at 10:48am

Thank you Pam, Don’t know about the angel part, lol, but I do what I can. Sad that people have to create drama to have some excitement in their lives eh? Don’t worry, I let very little get in the way of our good work. Thanks again.

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7 Mary Jane H
Twitter: @CarvingLady
April 27, 2015 at 9:56am

I applaud you for the work you do for the kitties. You are awesome! And so is TCHOTK. Keep up the good work and don’t ever let the ignorant people out there get you down. Thank you!

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8 jackie Dale May 24, 2015 at 10:48am

Thanks so much for your supportive comments Mary Jane!

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9 Juliet April 27, 2015 at 11:17am

Love your column & all you do! I am a big supporter of TNR & pay to get cats fixed often. Good job!

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10 jackie Dale May 24, 2015 at 10:49am

Thanks Juliet and thank YOU for going the extra mile as well.

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11 Cori April 27, 2015 at 4:39pm

Hello…I could use a bit of advise regarding TNR. I’m trying to help a feral colony at my office complex. I have been feeding some of these cats for almost 10 years but only recently discovered how large the colony was. Last year, when I began withholding food and trying to trap and spay/neuter them, they just all migrated away to a very remote, distant part of the complex where other people feed them who think I’m “cruel” to withhold food. I still try to help as many as I can…now focusing on gathering and spaying/neutering all the kittens I can wrangle before they too start to reproduce. Any other advice? I still put traps out but, most of the adults are pretty trap savvy and given that they can find food elsewhere in the complex, I’m having zero luck.

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12 Cori April 27, 2015 at 4:42pm

PS: I did manage to catch one pregnant Mama last year which you guys graciously helped me with, plus 12 kittens which were all neutered and given homes. Just feeling frustrated that I can’t seem to catch the adults that keep giving birth…

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13 jackie Dale May 24, 2015 at 10:56am

Hi Cori, Please accept my apologies for the delayed reply. I get so busy I sometimes forget to check my comments. I too have a few who are trap resistant. Can you speak to the other people and try to get on the same page? Have you: Put the traps in different spots, cover them, try different foods? Sometimes if they have kittens, you can use them to lure the mom in by placing them in a cage/carrier, put the carrier up against the back of the trap so she can see them. Cover the kittens with a box or something so she can’t see them from the sides. They have drop traps which are really good but cost a bit so I don’t have one. Wish I did. Good luck and let me know how it goes. jackiejoy@hotmail.com

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14 Cori May 28, 2015 at 10:41am

Thanks for your advice and kind words. Yes…I have tried every kind of food imaginable in those traps! lol I’m not sure who is feeding them…the people I spoke to who said I was being cruel have actually moved but, somebody back there must still putting food out…or they’re eating squirrels or something! I have talked to everyone I can find. I have managed to get three of the last litter of 6 kittens…still looking for the other 3. Mama moved them and I cant find them for anything. I can’t use them as bait…tried that once and somebody just ended up stealing my trap…thankfully they did not steal the kittens. I can’t afford to keep replacing traps so, I have to place them nearby so I can keep an eye on them. I’ll just do the best I can…thanks for your response and advice and all that you do!!!

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