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.
It is finally here! Next weekend is the Cat House on the Kings Spring Open House Fundraiser. Cat lovers from all over the U.S. and even Canada will converge on the 12-acre sanctuary on what promises to be a beautiful day. It will be a time for new friends to meet and for old friends to catch up. We truly hope that everyone will come out to support Lynea and the Cat House’s many residents. There will be lots of cats, kittens, and puppies looking for that “furever” home too.
The highlight of the open house is always the silent auction. There are always so many unique and exciting items up for bid. I can’t wait to see what will be on the auction tables this time. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and the silent auction begins to close about 1 p.m. That gives everyone plenty of time to collect their auction items and pay before the event ends at 2 p.m.
Kitten Season in Full Swing
Due in part to the very mild winter, kitten season has hit the valley like a runaway locomotive. The phone at the Cat House is ringing off the hook; people are abandoning kittens everywhere including the Cat House driveway. One of the employees even found some kittens in the nearby brush. It was fortunate that he spotted the box and decided to look inside. Another Cat House employee found an abandoned kitten in a box near the garbage cans in the alley behind her house. More kittens were found in the middle of a field. They are even falling from the sky.
I sat down to read my emails one morning and I saw a Facebook message from a friend that had been sent late the night before. It said, “My friend just sent me a message that two kittens had fallen out of a tree. Can you help?” I immediately contacted my friend who said that during the night, two more kittens had fallen from the tree. She was waiting for her friend to call and update her on the situation. I asked her why the kittens were in a tree, but she didn’t know. After obtaining the address, I drove to the home in Reedley.
The woman who lived in the home told me that she did not own a cat and had no idea who owned the mother cat. She took me to her side yard and I observed a large bottlebrush tree that was actually in her neighbor’s yard, but had grown over onto her side and was resting on her roof. The branches had formed a dense mat but unfortunately, not dense enough to securely contain the two, maybe three-day-old, squiggly kittens. Apparently the kittens were either born or moved up into the tree shortly after birth. The woman had placed the first two kittens that fell into a box on the hope that the mother would come for them.
Not only did she not come for her kittens, the remaining three kittens also had fallen to the ground during the night. By the time I got there, the sight was very grim. There was only one kitten still alive and he was very cold. I tucked him into my shirt and drove to the Cat House. I picked up a heating pad, some bottles and a can of kitten milk replacement. I took him home and my daughter and I fed the little guy by hand. He was one tough little survivor and he thrived in our care.
Karla in the Kitten Quarters notified me that a rescue in southern California that specialized in newborns had offered to take Tarzan. It was a wonderful opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Caring for a newborn kitten is quite a lot of work. I had to take Tarzan with me everywhere, plugging in his heating pad where I could, using a microwaveable rice bag when I couldn’t. The people in my yoga classes were both amused and very understanding that I couldn’t leave little Tarzan alone. His tiny eyes were just beginning to open when he left us after a week.
I wish the best for tiny Tarzan and I hope he, and all the other orphaned kittens, all find wonderful “furever” homes.
A De-Clawing Controversy
A recent post on a cat related Facebook page that I visit ignited something of a firestorm. A woman on the page had posted a question asking for advice about why her cat was not wanting to get along with her other cat after she had brought him home from de-claw surgery. People, including me, completely ignored her question and zeroed in on the fact that she had just de-clawed her cat. She was very surprised by people’s reaction to the de-clawing issue. My comment on the post dealt with the horrific nature of de-clawing and how people should not get a cat if their claws were going to be that big of an issue.
The original poster sent me a private message, (which I then reposted), to “mind my own business” and stating that she “had every right to protect her home and furnishings from the destruction of a cat’s claws.” My response was not to respond to her private message but to post that “when people post stuff on a public page, you really shouldn’t expect people to remain silent on what is an extremely hot-button issue.” Of all the comments that were posted, 99% were against de-clawing for any reason. The other 1% insisted that they had the right to protect to protect their home and furniture. I repeatedly insisted that maybe they should, “NOT. GET. A. CAT.” The 1% even went so far as to suggest that perhaps I lived “in squalor” and therefore had no reason to care about my home. I responded that I do not live in squalor but have taken appropriate measures to protect my furnishings.
I and the others like me, all suggested the same things. Take the time and patience to train your cat, clip his nails, buy double-stick tape and provide lots of scratching alternatives. As I told this person, if you are so worried about your “$1.200 couch and silk drapes” why do you want to have a cat? I really don’t get it. For the record, I have 12 cats and NO shredded furniture or drapes. I do have a couple of “sprayers” though, so I also have washable coverings on my furniture, some spray-on cat repellent and a really good enzyme spray, just in case.
The 1% then tried to suggest that de-clawing was no less barbaric than spaying or neutering. I knew then that I was dealing with a lost cause because that stance simply defies all logic. I saw no reason to waste my time or energy by entering into a debate so devoid of sensibility. You really can’t fix stupid.
I appreciate and welcome all comments. You might not agree with some of the things I write about and that is your right. But those of you who know me, realize that I am a bulldog when I believe in something. I will not let go and I will not back down from my position. The world, both people and animals, will always suffer when ordinarily good people stand by and do/say nothing. I choose to speak for those who have no voice.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Open House on Saturday, May 3. Please don’t forget to bring a donation!
ADMISSION: Cat food, Cat litter, Paper Towels, Bleach (Cash donations always welcome)
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Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.