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.The Cat House on the Kings is operating at a frenzied pace because the kitten season is in full swing. The phone rings nonstop, and there is just not enough room for all the kittens we are asked to take. To say we are overrun with kittens is like saying the ocean is a little bit wet. The local stores are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for formula and kitten bottles. You can preach the spay and neuter gospel, but for some people, lots of people actually, the message is just not getting through. What I now tell people is, “If you don’t fix your cat and she has 5-7 kittens, would you be willing to pay me $42 to take them away?” They nearly always say, “Yes.” So I tell them, “Pay the $42 and fix your cat, because if you don’t make the effort to help yourself now, why do you expect me to help you later?” Stop the madness before it starts!
Setting the Record Straight
A friend recently added me to a local lost and found pet group because she had noticed that someone was bashing The Cat House. The woman’s statement, “If you have cats you want to get rid of, don’t call The Cat House on the Kings because they won’t take them.” She then went on to complain about the surrender fee. I tried to very politely explain that The Cat House was not an animal shelter like the SPCA, that we are a rescue and sanctuary. I explained that the surrender fee is to provide a lifetime of care and is generally utilized by those with a terminal illness, leaving the country, etc. She responded that it isn’t right that only rich people could get rid of their cats. Whoosh, right over her head. After laying out all the facts, several times, she finally said she understood, but then added that I could have explained it better in the beginning. Well, short of drawing pictures for her, I really don’t think that is possible.
Open House Was Awesome!The Cat House Open House held on May 7 was a fantastic success! By noon both parking areas were full. The weather was amazing—not too hot and not too cold. The donation pile at the gate was the biggest I’ve ever seen. The auction had the usual array of interesting items, and there were lots of happy bid winners. The boutique had a lot of great items including a “Beware of Cat” doormat that I had my eye on. However, in the tradition of “you snooze, you lose,” someone else bought it first. When my friend at the booth mentioned to the buyer that I had planned to buy the doormat, she said; “Tell her she can come over and wipe her feet on it.” I almost fell over with laughter because that was really funny. Kudos! Enjoy your doormat! I even got my picture taken with the gorgeous Miss Fresno County, Kelsey Schulteis! It was a fun day, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and raising money to help support all the kitties that depend on us. Thanks to all who came, and we hope to see you again this fall. Next time we will try not to run out of hotdogs!
Wedding Bells At The Cat House
On May 17, a French Canadian couple became the first couple to tie the knot at The Cat House on the Kings. With a somewhat nervous Lynea officiating, the lovebirds, Dominic Husson and Louise Veronneau of Montreal, exchanged their vows next to the pristine Kings River surrounded by dozens of cats. The news media quickly pounced on the story and the newlyweds found themselves a bit of media sensation. My favorite opening line was from Fox 5 of San Diego (fox5sandiego.com), “At most weddings, it would probably be considered impolite, or at least very unusual, if the majority of the guests began to lick themselves.” The feline guests were in fact, on their very best behavior for the nuptials, with nary a hairball in sight.
As I mentioned earlier, the kittens are coming from all directions. People are abandoning cats and kittens at an alarming rate. We also get calls for kittens orphaned when the mom was killed, kittens found in a dumpster, and one citizen even witnessed a kitten tossed from a moving car. The Cat House took in that kitten and fortunately the injuries were only minor. One call received was from someone who witnessed a man with two children in the car, drive by the river, and toss out a pillowcase full of kittens. Those kittens were also okay and taken in by The Cat House. For that man, it was a less than stellar moment in parenting. We can only hope he treats his children better than that.One hot afternoon Lynea calls me with an emergency rescue. A young man in Reedley was taking a walk on his break from his job at a nearby pizza parlor and had come upon a large wooden box full of kittens. He called the local police department and was told that they did not handle cats. So he called The Cat House for help. I was summoned and quickly drove to the alley behind a local shopping center. There in the hot sun sat a large wooden crate containing seven kittens. A staple gun had been used to secure a screen to the top of the box. I shudder to think what kind of person would do something so cruel and heinous. They were cleaned up, fed, and evaluated. Soon thereafter, a rescue picked them up, and they were on their way to ‘fur-ever’ homes.
The kitten season is always a financially drain with the need for formula, bottles, kitten food, and medical expenses. Donations are always welcome and encouraged to help pay for these rescues.
I would also like to thank everyone who donated to help pay for Catalina’s cat. His broken leg has healed nicely, and it doesn’t look like amputation will be necessary. When I told Catalina of the donations, she began to cry and said to please thank everyone who was so kind and caring enough to help her out.
Stay tuned for news of an upcoming online fundraiser called “Every Kitten Counts-Every Dollar Counts.” This fundraiser will run from June 20 through July 3. Check our website, www.cathouseonthekings.com or watch for details on our Facebook page.
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.