Jackie Dale-TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Ebb and Flow, (Mostly Flow)

Apr 27, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Pets

by Jackie Dale

The cats and kittens have continued to flow both in and out this month. Most of these felines had happy endings that consisted of them going to rescue. Seventeen lucky kitties went to rescue this month!!
One young cat had a not-so-happy ending. I picked up a severely malnourished female cat at a packing house near my home. A lady who worked there witnessed the poor thing nearly get taken out by a forklift so she contacted me. I picked her up immediately. However, despite my best efforts, the poor thing passed away three days later. Her starved little body just couldn’t recover.

Too sweet for the street

A friend helping out at a local animal shelter called me to see if I had room for a friendly boy cat who was recovering from a broken leg. The cat had been taken to the vet for euthanasia but he was so friendly that the vet refused to perform the euthanasia. Instead, he fixed the cat’s leg and released it to the shelter. The ACO kept the cat at her home until I agreed to take it in. This small-town animal control only accepts injured cats and the SOP (standard operating procedure) is to euthanize all cats. Bad news for cats in this town! The good news for this cat is that a rescue was eager to get such a friendly cat. Even with his temporary disability, “Nemo” gets around very well and his prognosis for a full recovery is excellent!

Crying for food

I received a call from a gentleman for whom I had been doing TNR (trap/neuter/release) at his business over the years. I took care of the base colony and then he would call whenever newcomers showed up. This time it was a young female, maybe six months old, who had given birth to five kittens. The young cat had not the slightest clue what to do with the kittens. She was observed carrying one of the newborns by the hind end and dropping it in front of one of the adult cats. She refused to nurse them. When I arrived, they had the supposedly “normally docile” cat sequestered in the office. She was having none of me trying to grab her. She proceeded to fly around the office in a panic. Apparently, the cat also had a little diarrhea issue because each time she took off running, she would leave behind a stinky little prize. By the time I managed to corral the cat into a corner by the copy machine, the office smelled really awful.

Rescued from the street

I maneuvered a carrier into the corner and she finally went inside. I began to bottle-feed the kittens but they were already in bad shape. Four passed within the next 48 hours. The fifth kitten seemed strong and he lasted for a week before suddenly passing. Without a least an initial nursing from mom and that so important colostrum, newborn kittens are very difficult to keep alive. The mom was fixed and released back to the business.

But hold on, here come two more kittens from a lady who says the mom abandoned them. They were pretty small so I added them to the group of five that a mother cat was already nursing. I kept an eye on them and it all went fabulously. All seven kittens are doing great.

A friend needed some temporary help getting her cat and I agreed to help. The cat seemed unwilling to walk. I had the cat x-rayed and the verdict was that the cat was FULL of poop. I felt that the cat was pregnant, but curiously, there were no fetal bones visible on the x-ray. The very next day it was off to the clinic where we found out that the cat was indeed pregnant. The day after surgery, was it a Caesarean? What happened to the kittens? the cat still had not pooped so I got to do every cat rescuer’s nightmare come true…I gave a cat an enema. Sure the cat struggled some but it was not nearly as bad as I feared it might be. It took another 24 hours before we got results but the cat seemed to be returning to normal. Another 24 hours and several more poops and the cat was walking normally again. My friend thinks I’m a miracle worker. LOL!

White kittens are popular

I get a call from a friend who works for a big animal control organization. She asked me to take in a single kitten. So the scuttlebutt is that despite having empty cages, this organization isn’t taking any cats. So I said yes and “Morgan” arrived. Morgan is about four months old but already showing signs of being an “alpha” cat. He is a bully to the smaller kittens and must be supervised.

This same friend asked me to take in a litter of five bottle babies. The kittens had been left in a box at the entrance of an animal control in a town an hour away. They were going to euthanize them if no foster was found. They brought me the healthy kittens and so far, all are eating well.

Too Young to be a Mom

The next day I get a call from a lady I had previously helped with stray cats. She said a stray mom and her kittens were camping in her yard. She asked me to take them and I said I was full and could she take care of them till the kittens were weaned? She did not want to do that and I said I would try to find someone to foster. A couple of days later she called to say the mom was dead. I have no way of knowing for sure if they are telling me the truth or not. So I took in the kittens, bringing my total of bottle babies to 10.

Ginger kitten

Next day after that, the vet’s office called me to see if I had room for two ginger babies. Same story, no foster meant dire consequences so I again said yes. I then drove straight to the senior apartment complex to pick up a cat who had been injured in a fight. The post on Facebook regarding the cat had lots of well-wishers and pleas for “someone to do something!” There was also the usual advice on what the as-yet-unseen “someone” should do to help the cat. Some of this advice is fairly ridiculous. So anyway, I stepped up and took in the cat. A visit to the vet revealed that the cat had already been fixed. However, the cat has a bad case of stomatitis, a painful gum disease. The only cure is the removal of the affected teeth. I told the residents about the diagnosis and to my surprise, the residents there who like the cats raised the $500 for the needed dental surgery. The cat, named Jetta, can’t be returned to the complex so hopefully, she will be able to go to rescue sometime in the future. Right now she is scared and confused and needs some time to decompress.

Ginger kitten

As I was finishing this column, I got a call from the Reedley ACO. Someone had brought a kitten into the lobby of the police station and when they asked him to wait while they contacted the ACO, the man said he could not wait and he just sort of slid the kitten across the floor and ran out. I immediately went to pick up the kitten, bringing my total bottle babies to a baker’s dozen, 13! The amount of formula they drink is staggering. Soon they will be on meat milk (formula and can kitten food mixed into a mush), which they like to swim in, so I see kitten baths in my near future.

Kitten from police station

DONATIONS ARE ALWAYS GREATLY APPRECIATED!! I can’t operate without them. If you would like to make a donation, I have a PayPal account jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com You can also support the post office and send donations/supplies via good old snail mail to Jackie Dale P O Box 1859, Reedley, CA 93654.

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.

1 Comment

  1. I am sorry about the kittens. That poor cat mom had no idea bless her. You are picking up the pieces from stupid people and the ‘Oh So Helpful’ stupid comments on places like Facebook. They won’t get off their bums and so it even if they are local.


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