by Harvie Schreiber
Harvie has been with the Cat House for nine years. She coordinates Facebook and Fundraising for The Cat House on the Kings, fosters kittens, and serves as an Adoption Coordinator and on our Board of Directors.
As temperatures increase in the summer, so does the rescue pace at The Cat House on the Kings. The Cat House has two fundraisers that have just started, and we can really, really use your help. First, we have our “Every Kitten Counts” fundraiser that runs now through the first week of July. We’ve rescued about 800 kittens so far this year, and our goal is to raise the equivalent of $35 per kitten to help us offset the incredible costs of providing vaccinations, flea and deworming medication, spaying/neutering, and other vet care, as well as food and litter costs for 800 kittens! This comes to $28,000 and we can really use these funds now, because donations and giving have been very slow this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. www.cathouseonthekings.com/donate.
Our second fundraiser is a new quilt raffle. This beautiful 60” x 53” cotton throw/lap quilt is called “Watercolor Cats,” and was generously donated by Tim Moore and Carla Montagno. It is filled with vibrant, eye-catching colors! The drawing for this quilt will take place at The Cat House on the Kings on September 15, 2020. Raffle tickets are just $1 each. To enter, send a check/money order payable to The Cat House on the Kings and marked “RAFFLE TICKETS” in the memo section to The Cat House on the Kings, 7120 S. Kings River Rd., Parlier, CA 93648-9720. If you prefer, you may call our California office at (559) 638-0030 to purchase tickets with a credit card ($20 minimum).
Rescuing kittens has always been, and will always be, a group effort. Katherine Ayala and her husband, Anthony, were in the right place at the right time to recently to save a small grey kitten that had become trapped behind a propane cage in front of the Selma Rite Aid. With the help of Rite Aid employees, Katherine’s husband got his tools and unbolted the cage where the kitten had been stuck. As soon as he was rescued, it became clear that the kitten had an injured right front leg and needed care. Katherine named him Smokey and brought him to The Cat House on the Kings knowing that he needed the best care possible and a safe environment to heal. Smokey would never have survived if the Ayalas hadn’t cared enough to take the time and effort to move mountains (or at least a bolted-in propane cage).
Smokey’s X-rays revealed that no bones were broken, and that he had likely suffered some sort of nerve damage to his paw, creating the need for physical therapy and special care. Cat House staff knew that Smokey needed someone with special expertise in this area, so they turned to local wildlife rehabber Carla Montagno (who works with injured humans as well as injured possums). Carla had previously volunteered her therapy efforts for us when she worked with a paralyzed mom cat who’d fallen to the bottom of an empty pool and who was still valiantly caring for her kittens. Carla was able to get that paralyzed mom walking after just three weeks. Using her experience in working with people, possums, foxes and porcupines, Carla is now fostering Smokey and working with him daily on his nerve-damaged front leg. She happily reports some positive signs of improvement in Smokey and that he plays with his injured paw. He even jumps into the empty bathtub and she describes him as “irrepressibly active.” His claws on that paw still don’t work because of the nerve damage, but he is slowly learning to hook things.
The Cat House on the Kings has also sought help from Carla with a cute black and white kitten named Miss Charlie who was apparently born with significant congenital limitations. Miss Charlie arrived at the Cat House with two injured back legs, and X-rays show that she’s wasn’t injured in an accident but was born with a fused ankle, other abnormalities, and partial paralysis. Carla has been working with her diligently and reports that every day Miss Charlie is able to stand a little higher and is now up on her knees from being previously limited to just being flat on the ground. Miss Charlie was unable to pee on her own when she arrived, and she’s now peeing on her own. “I am happy to be able to work with Lynea Lattanzio and I’m happy that staff are open to trying new things in trying to save kittens,” Carla explained. “Most places say it’s not possible to save these cats and kittens, but The Cat House doesn’t give up.”
Cat House on the Kings Kitten Quarters Supervisor Karla Cortez received some phone calls from Judy Fleming, who’d discovered a stray mom and kittens near her Reedley apartment. Judy kept a close eye on the mom and kittens for a few weeks, providing shelter and care and providing us with weekly updates as the kittens grew a bit bigger and stronger. Judy is now having that stray mom cat spayed, and The Cat House on the Kings has found space for the four kittens. “Kudos to Mrs. Fleming,” Karla said. “She didn’t have transportation available, so I picked the kittens up on my lunch hour. She could have just ignored the situation like many do, but she stepped in and did her part and we’re doing ours.”
In other news, The Cat House on the Kings has received another small grant from the PayPal Giving Fund in the amount of $1,544.60. The PayPal Giving Fund received this money from generous donors who chose to give to the Cat House on the Kings through PayPal when using PayPal, eBay, GoFundMe, Airbnb and other online platforms. The Cat House on the Kings has also received a $7,837.26 donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation, resulting from AmazonSmile shopping activity for the first quarter of 2020. When you shop at www.smile.amazon.com/ch/27-0015288, AmazonSmile donates to The Cat House on the Kings. Please bookmark this link and use it when you shop on Amazon. By the way, AmazonSmile has just become available through the Amazon app, so now we can benefit whenever you shop on your phone! Just open the main menu and tap on “AmazonSmile” to turn it on. Speaking of Amazon shopping, The Cat House on the Kings has an Amazon Wishlist and we keep it updated with the food and supplies that our staff needs to care for the hundreds of cats and kitten in our care. If you’d be interested in shopping for us online, here’s a link to our Amazon Wishlist: www.cathouseonthekings.com/wishlist.
Finally, in June we celebrated National Foster-a-Pet Month with the Petco Foundation and Bobs from Sketchers by recognizing one of our very own foster heroes, Margaret Cribbin. Margaret says that the 108 (and counting) foster kittens that she has fostered in just three years for The Cat House on the Kings have been an inspiration for good living and she loves the energy, enthusiasm and antics that fostering kittens has brought into her home. Margaret is also a wonderful fostering ambassador and she’s mentored many a new foster with her wise words of advice and support.
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. Join our Pets Facebook group to keep up with all of our pet articles.
We have also just set up an email mailing list for KRL’s new pets newsletter. It is still a work in progress-click this link to subscribe. It will only go out once every couple of months or so and will keep you up to date on all of our pet articles, including the Cat House column, and hopefully some extra content each month.