by Jackie DaleThere has not been a lot of changes since last month. This is the typical lull that happens every year. The shelters and rescues are over-inundated with kittens. People are busy with graduations, etc. and adoptions tend to drop off. Once things settle down, hopefully adoptions will pick back up. I am really hoping that happens very soon. My kitten count has risen to twenty-eight kittens, one teen and one adult. Plus there are seven more in foster homes. I feel like I’m stuck on a never-ending loop of feed, clean, and scoop. The job is made even more “fun” by some cats/kittens who are litter/poop flingers, water bowl tippers and/or escape artists. One group of four had mild ringworm and were sequestered in a corner. The smarty cats somehow figured out how to unlatch the cage and escape. I was horrified to come home and find them loose, not once, not twice, but THREE times! The first time I assumed I forgot to secure the latch, the second time I berated myself for again forgetting to secure the cage. Each time they escaped, the entire room had to be disinfected. That was a ton of extra work, so I began to double check the latches. The third time they escaped, I knew for a fact I had double-checked both latches. So I added a carabiner clip to the door to make sure this did not happen again. The ringworm has cleared up, and hopefully this lively group will leave soon.
My rise in kitten count was due in part to the six cats from the eighty-six-year-old lady who was having hip surgery. Along with her generous donation, she also gave me a ton of food, a large expensive carrier as well as a nearly new triple-ledge cage. I immediately got all the cats fixed, and they were quickly accepted by my rescue. Along with the group of six went “Milan,” the now three-legged cat from Reedley. If you recall, her “owner” allowed her to walk around with a broken leg that had an exposed bone.
Speaking of three-legged cats, I saw a Facebook post about a cat with a grotesquely broken leg. It was just dangling from the shoulder. Judging by the dried portion of the limb, the leg had been injured for some time. The cat was dumped along with another cat and a kind lady began to care for them. She didn’t know what to do for the injured young cat so she reached out on Facebook for help. I agreed to pay for the cat to go the vet if she would temporarily foster. She agreed to foster, and we met at the vet’s office. I already knew that the cat would need an amputation. I reflected on the odds of having three cats needing leg amputations as well as the fact that three of the kittens I have taken in this year are each missing a foot. “Lucky” had a successful surgery and is recovering nicely in his foster home. I expect to send him to rescue soon.
I then picked up four healthy kittens from a lady who feed the strays in her neighborhood. The kittens were super cute, but not as socialized as I had hoped. I put two with a foster and kept two with me. All four kittens have really come around and my two will be leaving for rescue shortly along with a brother/sister pair that have been here since April 10. They only have so many vacant spots, so I always feel lucky and grateful when I am given some. Oh, and of course, I trapped the mother of the four kittens and she was fixed too!I chugged along with trapping and answering calls for help. Twice I received calls from nearby Kingsburg. One instance involved an injured cat and the other a cat having seizures, a possible poisoning. Both times I asked a foster person who lives in that town to go pick up these cats. Both of these cats were taken in by The Cat House on the Kings. The cat with the seizures was particularly disturbing as no one in the apartment complex was doing anything to help the cat. They were allowing it to stagger around helpless. I made my dismay at the resident’s lack of empathy pretty clear. A similar incident in the same town involved a small kitten with its eyes crusted shut, wandering around a gas station/mini mart. Someone posted a picture, but I felt that if for whatever reason you were unable to help this tiny creature, the very least you could do would be to put it in a box until rescue could be found. I was ready to stop cooking dinner and go there because no one was doing anything to help the kitten. Finally a woman came all the way from FRESNO to rescue the kitten. A truly shameful situation.
Trapping continues at the golf course on an intermittent basis. I have only trapped two more cats. Both were female, there are just an extraordinary number of female cats at this location. One actually didn’t need to be trapped. The friendly cat walked right up to me so I just picked her up. Turns out she was already fixed so she was obviously dumped there. I have refrained from mentioning the name of the golf course for exactly that reason, out of fear that lowlifes may decide to bring their unwanted cats there. Non-feral cats don’t generally do well in a feral environment.
I also discovered two sets of kittens inside the mechanics shop. I managed to grab three of them but the rest moved and I haven’t been able to find them. The problem is compounded by the fact that the shop closes at 1:30 pm making setting traps difficult as I wouldn’t have access to the traps until the next morning.
On and On and On and On…
Three healthy, loving older kittens were abandoned at my large feral colony. They were just left there inside a carrier. Whatever piece of human trash did this knew exactly what they were doing. The Cat House fortunately was able to take these kittens.
I was recently able to send out two adults to my rescue. One of these adults was a cat that had to be rehomed because the owner was very ill and the person moving in to help care for the family was highly allergic to cats. Always a sad situation.
If I count the four cats leaving soon, this brings my total of cats sent to rescue so far this year to…95!!! I am eternally grateful for the support and donations that enable to keep rescuing kitties. Rescuers take a lot of flak and have to put up with the most unbelievable BS. The levels of ignorance and stupidity are astounding. But I keep grinding away because someone has to do it. I have heard every excuse, “reason,” and story in the book. Sometimes these things are both true and compelling. However, more often than not, people just want to foist their problem off on anyone, they don’t really care who.As I was wrapping up this column I received a call from a lady who lived near the river. Someone had stopped on the bridge spanning the river and deposited three small kittens on the center divider. The woman frantically turned around and quickly as she could, but to her dismay, only one of the kittens had made it across the roadway. And just barely. She scooped it up and called me. I had taken a kitten from her before. He seems to have recovered from his traumatic day and based on his story, I named him Frogger. For those who don’t remember, Frogger was a popular arcade game where the frogs had to make it across a busy roadway.
It has been an expensive month, and I am extremely grateful to all those who donate. If you would like to make a donation, I have a PayPal account steamodale@gmail[dot]com. You can also send donations via good old snail mail to Jackie Dale, P O Box 1859, Reedley, CA 93654. Questions? jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com.