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.
New Shelter Challenge
The Cat House on the Kings came in second place in the Spring Beta shelter challenge earning a $5,000 prize. We truly appreciate all the people who loyally voted for us. The next challenge, New Beginnings has already begun and runs through July 15. Please vote every day because the onslaught of kittens is really running the coffers dry quickly. If you sign up for the daily reminder, you will receive a link directly to our “vote” button and it will literally take ten seconds to vote. We really and truly appreciate your support.
The Spring Open House was spectacular. Purrfect weather and lots of people translates into a pretty good day for The Cat House and its furry charges. Somehow, each silent auction seems to outdo the previous one. How? Because of YOU! Yes, you, our fans, and supporters are responsible for the successes of the open houses. You manage to come up with some of the best auction items I have ever seen. I fell in love with the Mayan Temple cardboard cat house, and I was lucky enough to win it in the auction. My cats are slowly destroying it, but they are having one heck of a good time doing it. There was a lot going on at this open house. I bought one of the Floozy cat cookies. They were SO CUTE! I got a free tattoo and a free massage and purchased some really good tacos. We truly appreciate Vega’s Tacos of Sanger for coming out and feeding the hungry crowd. Everybody loves tacos, and they are a delicious, affordable meal. We hope you come back in the fall!
Desperate Need for Kitten Food
Due to the astronomical number of kittens coming through the doors, we are finding our supply of kitten food dwindling at an alarming rate. If you would consider donating some dry or canned kitten food, you can order directly from our wish list.
When I left off in April, I had just wrangled a feral mom cat and collected her five black kittens dubbed “The Dark Minions.” They spent the next month in a spacious dog kennel in my house. The little family was comfortable, and mom took care of all nursing duties. She was then spayed and taken out to the contained feral area that I and another lady operate. I had found a home in Santa Cruz for a friendly cat that was dumped at the feral area thus opening up a space. Now the Dark Minions are my responsibility.
We have quite enough to do with the forty-five cats currently residing at the feral area without people dumping more on us. We even had a very pregnant Siamese cat dumped there to fend for itself. The Cat House was kind enough to take mom off our hands.Aside from their dubious judgement and serious lack of ethics, people need to realize that abandoning an animal is a serious crime. In fact, all fifty states now have felony animal cruelty provisions some of which include willful abandonment that results in harm or death to the animal.
Moving on, the Cat House also took in two kittens from a dairy goat farm in Laton. Mom had disappeared and dairy owners were fearful for safety of the young ones. I drove to Selma to meet the woman halfway. The siblings stayed at The Cat House until the day of the open house when a Ventura cat rescue chose them for their adoption center.
I responded to a post for someone rehoming a white cat. People like white cats, and I had room for one adult. When I mentioned the cat may go to a rescue, the young woman turned me down citing her “wanting the cat to go to a home, not a business that just wanted to make money from the cat.” I left it at that. I saw little point in arguing about it.
A few days later, I was contacted by another young woman asking for help rehoming a cat. She told me the cat was about five-years-old, and the man who owned the cat, named Maya, had moved away and left her behind. I asked what color was the cat and what do you know, the cat was white. I looked on the person’s Facebook page and sure enough, she was friends with the person who previously posted the cat. I asked her point blank if this was the same cat and she admitted it was. I decided to still accept the cat because I felt sorry for the poor unwanted girl. I was assured she was very friendly and she is, sort of. She likes being petted, but she is obviously very traumatized and does not seem to enjoy being picked up. She acts almost semi-feral. She is currently residing in a bedroom. We almost never see her. Like that ’70s song “ManEater,” she only comes out at night. She eats the food and uses the litter box. I would not be surprised if Maya is here with me for a while.
It Was Like a Flash Flood
It was as if someone had flicked the switch and opened the flood gates. The kittens came pouring in so fast I barely had time to catch my breath. I help out a shelter in Selma with their intake of cats. They are not even supposed to take cats, but sometimes there is no choice. Starting on May 2, they brought me one orange kitten and three flame point Siamese. That same day I received a call from the caretaker at the feral area. During the night someone had tossed a box of kittens and their mother over the fence. Mom ran off and the five kittens came to me: four assorted tabbies and one Siamese; there were six but one passed. Four days later, on May 6, ten more kittens came to me. A volunteer had taken ill, and we needed to take her kittens. May 10, another ten kittens removed from the shelter, they needed more attention than they could get at the shelter. An emergency presented itself when seventeen kittens and their three mothers were found in a boat. At first the man resisted attempts to get the kittens. It would require trapping the mothers, so they could not only feed the kittens but then be fixed. The man finally agreed and said he wanted the mom’s back because they took care of the rodents. It will be done.
So with nineteen kittens at my house alone, I needed to reach out to all my foster people. I even signed up a couple of new people, and the kittens were distributed among the volunteers. I currently still have twelve at my house and about thirty-five in various foster homes. The first kitten to be fixed and vaccinated is leaving this Sunday for a new home in San Jose. Three others went to a Visalia cat rescue for adoption.
My most memorable moment of the month came when I noticed a post on a Kingsburg Facebook page about a found cat. The friendly cat was initially thought to be pregnant, but she just turned out to be kind of chubby. I was thinking that rehoming a friendly, attractive cat wouldn’t be too hard. When I inquired as to the status of the cat, I received a message that the cat was microchipped. The cat in question actually belonged to a good friend of mine. The cat had gone missing over two months ago. In the meantime, my friend had adopted a special needs cat that she had been fostering for me. It was an extremely touching and heartwarming moment when the cat was returned home. Lots of happy tears. My friend’s cat was found about a half mile from her home and how the cat ended up there remains a mystery.
To close this column, I must mention a little firestorm I started on Facebook. On a particular page I saw many posts giving away kittens for free. I posted and I quote, “There is this awesome procedure called spay and neuter. It works. Try it.” Well, with the backlash that ensued, you would think I had posted that I eat kittens. I quickly saw things going south and left the thread. However, friends told me I was maligned, vilified and raked over the proverbial coals. I never looked at the comments and eventually turned off the commenting and finally deleted the entire post. It was bizarre to say the least. I stand firm in my convictions and there is nothing anyone could say that would convince me otherwise. Spay and neuter!
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.