Jackie Dale-TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Too Many Kittens!

May 25, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Pets, Reedley News

by Jackie Dale

This has been a month where I have spent a majority of my time at home taking care of many kittens and also a handful of adults as well. Due to a staffing shortage at the vets, there have been fewer appointments available so I have had to curtail some of my TNR work for the time being. It is just as well since the kittens keep me hopping.

Bottle baby

I get up around 5-6 a.m. and begin the process with feeding the group in my bathroom. If I don’t, I will not be able to use the restroom without being attacked by four murder muffins starving for breakfast. Then, any bottle babies must be fed. I systematically move to each group, feeding everyone. Once everyone is finished eating, its time to go outside. I have pop-up play tents set up under the trees on my lawn. Each group has its own play tent and each group goes only into their designated tent. All groups are kept separate so that if some sort of issue appears (i.e. ringworm), it can be confined to that group. Each tent must have a clean covering on the bottom, water and a litter box. If I put out food, I remove it as soon as they finish eating because of ants. While everyone is outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, I am inside cleaning the kennels and pens so that they will be ready to go when its transfer time again.

Kittens Getting Big

Transfer time helps me to stay in shape. All the back and forth gets to be quite the aerobic workout. The kittens enjoy being handled and it really helps to build their confidence. My dogs and the other cats wander by, giving them the opportunity to become accustomed to being around other animals. They experience the wind, leaves falling, and even the sound of a lawnmower nearby. All these things contribute to producing well-rounded kittens who are friendly and curious and not easily startled.

I am thrilled to announce that after nearly a year in my care, AirRaid has been accepted into the rescue. So named by my husband due to his LOUD plaintive cries, AirRaid had a moderate case of stomatitis. He was on a very long waiting list for the rescue’s dental unit. I took in him regularly for steroid shots but I decided that AirRaid could not wait any longer. I made an appointment for his extraction surgery with my vet. Thanks to generous donations from some wonderful people, the cost of the surgery was covered. After a couple of weeks, I submitted him to the rescue and was so happy when they said “Yes.” He went along with an adult tabby and a 6-month-old Maine Coon. “Morgan” was in terrible shape when he arrived at TheCatMother Inn. In no short order, he became a gorgeous young kitten.

AirRaid Goes To Rescue!

The timing was good because the very next day I agreed to take in a couple of friendly strays. Their only other option was to be returned to their colony in a very dangerous area. Cats were being abused and killed so I had to accept them. One large older guy and a petite, fluffy little girl. They are currently residing in my catio where they have recently been joined by a young ginger boy I call Eddie.


I received a call from a lady I had helped previously about a friendly stray cat at the local college. I agreed to take him, and a subsequent scan found no microchip. At some point he must have belonged to someone because he was wearing a blue collar with a bell and a bow on it. He had a small wound on his chin, but it was beginning to heal. Posting his photo did not bring forth a claim of ownership.

One morning I received a call from a local business. A couple of years ago, someone had left a box of kittens at the back door of the business, rang the bell and then ran away. They called me and I took in the kittens. This time the ladies at the business said that a cat showed up and they were worried that it was sick. “Would I please come by and take a look at the cat?” I’m not sure how long the cat had been there but they had already purchased a bed and had a litter box set up. So I examined the cat and the prognosis was grim. The cat was very old and emaciated. It only had 2 or 3 teeth that I could see. The gums were pale and the mouth smelled rotten. Her breathing was labored and I could hear rales (rattles) in the lungs. The cat would walk for a bit and then have to rest. I told them I had to be honest, I felt that this cat is suffering. I think this cat is near death. One of the ladies started to cry. I took the cat home and made her comfortable in my spare bathroom. She still had some life in her eyes so I thought that maybe I will feed her some high calorie food for a few days and see how things progress. The next morning when I went to check on the cat was lying there, too weak to stand. I could tell the end was coming so I gave her some medication to help ease any pain or anxiety. I buried her in my garden and put a nice plant on her final resting spot.

Jetta After Dental Surgery

No time to dwell though, as the very next day I took in three, 10-day old bottle babies. That’s a real time consuming task! Meanwhile, the cat I took in from the senior complex was still living in my guest bathroom. She was supposedly friendly but she changed after coming to my house. After a few days she managed to get into my bathroom linen closet, and she pretty much resisted all efforts to extricate her from the closet. After about two weeks of her wreaking havoc in my very large closet, I set a trap for her and caught her in about five minutes. The vet was kind enough to squeeze her in for her spay only to discover she was already spayed. I did find out that she also had a case of stomatitis. I immediately called my vet and was so lucky that they had a surgery cancellation. Jetta had her extraction surgery the next day. I used some saved donation money to pay for that surgery too. She stayed in a 3-tier cage for 2 weeks before being released into my yard.

Polydactyl Stray

I rounded out the month by picking up a stray that had been wandering near downtown Reedley. A gorgeous, polydactyl Siamese. Extra toes on ALL feet. A cat this special will be adopted in no time at all. She will be fixed and when her stray hold is over….a new and better life will await Camilla.

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.


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