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!!
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!
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.
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?”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.
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.
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.