Jackie Dale—TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Strays/Raining Kittens/TNR

May 27, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Reedley News

by Jackie Dale

The month started with helping the residents of a small apartment complex with their resident “strays”. With one resident’s help we were able to corral the daddy of the group and get him into a carrier. I then took him home and transferred him into a trap. I also grabbed a young kitten who looked very ill. I fed and cleaned up the kitten and gave him a warm bed. However, the next morning he was gone. My consolation lies in the fact that he felt safe, fed, warm, and loved in his final hours … not die outside, cold, hungry and alone.

Kittens gone to rescue

We had a little flurry of transports in the same week. Roberta got to leave along with two other adult cats from a man trying to “thin his herd” before he has to move and two from my rescue friend in the next town. I was unable to go that day so my friend drove them this time.

The very same day my new rescue contact called to say they could take some kittens. Happy dance to say the least! However, it had to happen quickly. No problem! Three hour drive? No problem! I bid farewell to The Andrew Sisters, Mama Martina, and her three kittens and Tripoli. I call Tripoli my $1,000 kitten. She is the one with the viscously broken leg. My generous donors covered the bulk of the cost for her surgery. She was so friendly and sweet, I had to save her. Once at the rescue, she was adopted almost immediately! That comes as no surprise to me. She was one of those super loving kittens that people just fall in love with on contact.

Jack goes to rescue

Two days later my other rescue said they could take a few adults. My two besties and I like to use any excuse for a road trip so I called them up and said “Let’s roll”! Coalene and Gracie, both from a local shelter, along with a cat rescued by a friend, all went to a wonderful new start in life. My friends and I had a wonderful day. A win-win all around. Thirteen cats to rescue in one week is a pretty good feeling. Particularly since fewer cats always means less work for me! Yay!

Raining Cats and Dogs
But then came a deluge of kittens. First came three kittens from a lady who claims she found them in her yard. The three healthy, active kittens proved to be a handful. They are friendly but kind of frantic. They always seem to be hungry! Whenever I open the cage door, they fly out at me like tiny cannon balls. They climb up the sides of the cage and hang from the top like monkeys. I call this group, “the crazies”.

I was brought a small black kitten from the previously mentioned apartment complex. It only had one good eye and was very puny. Fortunately, the eye requires no intervention at this point.

Kittens left at dog shelter

The dog shelter I help contacted me about kittens. Bear in mind I am still bottle-feeding the previous five kittens I took from them. But how can I say “no” when I know it means they won’t receive the care they require? Six kittens brought in by a construction worker who said the mom, whom they had been feeding, had been killed. Also brought in the same day, two older kittens. The person said the mom had been run over near her home. A volunteer actually went and looked and sure enough, dead cat as described, in the street. Because those two kittens were older, our rescue took pity on me and took the two friendly kittens without first being fixed. My partner in cat crime, Janice, drove the pair over to the rescue. By now I’m bottle feeding eleven kittens and finding it hard to leave the house for very long.

For about ten days, I spend a lot of time at home feeding kittens. My husband is a big help, going for needed supplies and one day, scouring every Walmart in three-town area for kitten formula. During kitten season, formula can be very hard to find.

Judgemental kitten

When I picked up the kittens from the shelter, I was quite disturbed by the number of dogs there. The shelter is beyond capacity, but the dogs keep coming. Unfortunately, there is a large segment of the population of this town who are simply irresponsible when it comes to pets. Dogs running at large is a huge problem. It runs neck and neck with failure to spay and neuter. So I reached out to a dog rescue friend. She was able to get about fifteen dogs into rescue. That was just a phenomenal outcome for these dogs! Sadly, there are still many dogs there who need rescue, but to the dogs who were lucky enough to leave for that rescue, it is a second chance.

My dog rescue friend asked me to take a kitten from her so after all she had done, how could I not say yes? Lake was a happy, friendly boy who was fixed and just went to rescue yesterday.

Kitten in pipe

The shelter called about a kitten that had just been rescued by the local fire department. The kitten had gotten its head stuck inside of pipe and when the Vaseline didn’t work, the fire department had to use a saw to cut him out. This, of course, frightened the kitten terribly and he bit the fireman. Piper served his ten-day quarantine at my house. Once he reaches weight, he will be fixed and either adopted out or sent to rescue.

I was getting five cats ready to go get fixed when the head of our local TNR group called me with a feral cat issue. A local non-profit had a cat problem and had trapped a cat. They didn’t know what to do now. Of course, the first thing they got was a, let’s call it a “tutorial”, on why you don’t trap cats until you have a plan in place. That being said, I met the man, got the cat and squeezed it into my car.

Also in the car were two cats that I agreed to house for a young lady who said her home was damaged by fire. She had to move with her boyfriend, to his mom’s house. Mom said “No cats!” I told her that I don’t board cats, much less for free. She has sixty days to find new arrangements for her cats or they will belong to me. I know how this will likely play out. The promised money never arrived and she rarely checks on them. She will likely not be able to find new digs within the sixty days but is too young and dumb to realize/admit it. I could send one of the cats to rescue right now, but I will honor the sixty day limit.

I finished up this month by taking on a TNR project with an estimated 25-30 cats. The elderly lady waited a little too long to ask for help so the cat total includes several kittens from at least two litters. There are no doubt more out there, but the backyard is full of waist-high weeds. Foxtails actually. Millions and millions of foxtails. The lady said a man from her church is coming to clear out the weeds. Her back patio is a mess as well. Along with about a dozen or so plastic bins of stuff, there is trash, soiled beyond repair cat trees and lots and lots of feces. The yard is so full of weeds the cats/kittens have been pooping on the patio. It has clearly been walked on and will need to be power-washed off. I will attempt to help this woman clear some of this mess since her family members have not done so.

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.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.