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 past month for me has mostly been spent working on the quarterly newsletter. It is a labor of love, so I hope you will take the time to read it. If you don’t yet subscribe, please go to www.cathouseonthekings.com and sign up to receive it. It is located at the bottom right hand side of the page. Read the latest news and keep up with what’s happening at The Cat House.
But of course the rescue calls keep coming and I have to take care of those, too. So if the newsletter is sometimes late, that might be why. Ideally, we like to have it out on the first day of each quarter, but when kitty duty calls…I just can’t say no.
These last few weeks have been brisk, to say the least. I was toiling away at the newsletter when I received a frantic call from a volunteer at the 2nd Chance Dog Rescue in Selma. Someone had brought in a kitten stuck to a sticky rattrap. Probably one of the vilest ways to catch pests, the sticky trap will trap whatever gets on it. The trapped animal dies a very slow painful death, usually of starvation. Not even rats deserve to die like that. The kitten was lying on its side, just covered in glue. Due its condition—very thin and severely dehydrated—it had likely been trapped for quite some time, perhaps for days. I immediately called Lynea, who said to rush the kitten there ASAP.
Lynea and her staff spent days trying various methods to remove the glue, including peanut butter and coconut oil. Nothing worked to completely remove the glue, and we finally had to let the remaining residue wear off on its own. Lynea said the kitten smelled like candy, so an online poll on Facebook came up with the name Almond Joy, Joy for short. Which is cool because my middle name is Joy!
A couple of days later I received a call from the caretaker of the feral refuge. Her brother, who I work for and who is a neighbor of Lynea’s, had been dining at a local restaurant. A thin injured cat was coming onto the patio dining area looking for food. The waitresses were spraying him with a water bottle and offering patrons cups of water to throw on him to shoo him away. I was not happy with this restaurant because I had already trapped and relocated seven cats for them. They had promised to donate to the open house and had failed to do so. So to now hear this…well I was mad!
I immediately went to the restaurant only to have them lie to my face. They in fact denied even knowing anything about a cat. I was unable to locate the animal, so I set a trap. I caught the friendly boy and he was treated and neutered. He had a horrible case of “stud tail” where the tail becomes caked with dirt and the oil secreted from the glands at the base of his tail. His tail had to be shaved. If no home is found for “Julius” he will be relocated to the feral sanctuary. My boss and his wife sent Lynea a nice donation for Julius’ care.
A few days passed, and I got another urgent message from an acquaintance. She had found a cat lying in the middle of a busy Fresno street, alive but unable to move and with a maggot-infested wound. No idea how it ended up in the middle of a busy downtown street. She didn’t know what to do and she did not have the funds to take it to the vet. We met halfway and when I lifted the towel to look at the wound, my friend threw up. A strong stomach is essential when you work in rescue. I thanked her for her efforts because she said people were just driving around the wounded animal and no one would stop. Reminds me of a line in a song that goes, “They turn their heads and pretend they just don’t see.” Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.”
I rushed the very dehydrated kitty to the vet, where he was treated for an infected burst abscess. He is still in the Cat House ICU, and continues to improve. A few donations have been made for Ventura’s (the name of the street where he was found) care, but not yet enough to cover his bill. Any donation would be greatly appreciated!I had just returned from dropping off Ventura at the Cat House, when a call came in from Catalina, the lady with 35 cats. She had found that one of her cats was injured, so I got back in my car and drove to pick it up. It was determined that the cat had been shot with a BB gun. Chewy, the cat did not survive. Catalina called again a couple of days later. She had another injured cat. I wasn’t able to go, so I asked one of my foster people to go pick it up for me. Unfortunately, the cat died before she got there. This is the third, possibly the fourth time this has happened. Someone in the neighborhood is shooting Catalina’s cats. The police have been alerted, and Catalina is being counseled on how to keep her cats within her property.
The very next day I was still trying to work on the newsletter when I got a call from a lady in Kingsburg. She is the manager at the SaveMart there, and I had helped them trap and fix three feral cats that live in the shopping center. She told me that someone had left a kitten in an ice chest in front of the store. She said it was very cute and very friendly. I asked her to bring me the kitten, which she did. I emailed a photo to Lynea and of course, Lynea said to bring it in. A kitten that cute will not be around very long for sure. A bonus was that he was also healthy. He would not use up any precious resources.I once even had to rescue two giant dogs someone had abandoned near my home. The boy and girl Mastiff mixes are the sweetest gentle giants. They are very attached to each other and stayed together like they were Siamese twins. I suspect their owner was not able to handle their giant appetites and, holy cow, their giant poops. A neighbor helped me transport them to my kennel in his truck. As I was arranging for rescue, the neighbor decided that he would adopt the extremely bonded pair. What a miracle and a blessing!
During these active summer months the cats are on the move, so we get a high volume of calls for injured cats. We do our best to help; we can’t help everyone but we really try. The more donations we get, the more cats we are able to help. I know we are always asking for money, but that is how we are able to do what we do. We save cats, and we must raise the money to feed and care for them.
We are so appreciative our regular donors and sponsors. YOU ARE THE LIFEBLOOD of The Cat House on the Kings. Without you, we would cease to exist and that just isn’t an option. THANK YOU!
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.