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.
Give An Older Cat A Second ChanceI was thrilled when my friend Melissa called to tell me that her adoption application at The Cat House had been approved. Melissa and her son, Jonathan, were anxious to find a purrfect kitty and arrived for their appointment promptly, carrier in hand. I was even happier when I found out they were in the market for an older kitty. Their decision was made easier when a lovely lady decided that Melissa and Jonathan were to be her new family. Jonathan promptly named her Fluffy Jr. Mom was not sure of the rationale behind the naming but figured it made no real difference to the cat. Fluffy Jr. is now firmly ensconced in her new home and is doing fine. They are very happy with their decision to adopt an older cat. “She fits right in perfectly,” said Melissa. I love a happy ending!
Milton Has A HomeThis has been a busy month for rescues. The Cat House received a call from the woman who manages the feral colony by the river. She had picked up three kittens that had been left there. I went over and picked them up. They had been described as very small but they were in fact, old enough to eat solid food. That meant my services as a foster willing to bottle-feed would not be needed. I left the kittens at The Cat House and texted my husband I had taken the kittens to The Cat House and left them there. He texted me back right away and said; “But not Milton, right?” You may remember the orphaned black and white kitten we were fostering. Well, my husband fell in love with the rambunctious little guy and refuses to let him go. Milton is no longer up for adoption and will join our crew of 12, making it a nice, neat “baker’s dozen.” Fortunately we have the room, but we are seriously full up for the time being.
Saving KittiesA kitten trapped in a storm drain in nearby Selma for nearly two weeks was rescued after someone finally called The Cat House on the Kings for advice. The Selma maintenance department was advised to lower a trap baited with tuna into the drain. Viola!, one tortoiseshell rescued and turned over to Cat House board member, Lin Faurie. In Hanford, another kitty was plucked from a sewer drain and turned over to the owner, who said the cat had been missing for several days. In Reedley, a woman’s cat somehow climbed to the top of a power pole where she remained perched for three days. The fire department and animal control were unable to help because of the live power lines. Eventually PG&E was called and they came out with a truck with a lift. The man in the bucket, “gently forced” the cat back down the pole. Kitty was reunited with distraught owner. Then a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of a kitten she found in the drive-up lane of the local McDonald’s. It had a severe eye infection and may lose some of its vision. Since where there is one kitten, there are generally more. So the following day, my teenage daughter and I went out to the McDonald’s and rummaged through the bushes. Sure enough, we found three more kittens. The kittens were clearly of different ages and an adult cat was also seen running away. Someone probably spotted the feral mom’s kittens and decided it would be a good place to throw out their own unwanted kittens. A trap will be set to catch the feral mother so that she can be fixed.
Dumped Like Garbage
One of The Cat House office staff, Crystal Barocio, found a dog and eight puppies that had been dumped on the side of the road. Five of the puppies were already dead and two more passed after arriving at the Cat House. Little Stella now has just one lone survivor and she dotes on her little one. When her puppy is weaned, Stella will be looking for her furever home. She is really cute, a Basset Hound mix of some kind, possibly Australian Shepard. . Kitten Quarters supervisor, Karla, found two cats in a cage abandoned behind The Cat House garbage bin. It was fortunate that they were discovered as the temps that day went well into the triple digits.
This is just a sampling of the many stories of abandonment and rescue that The Cat House on the Kings has dealt with on a daily basis. Lynea’s phone rings all day long. Cat House staffers and volunteers have learned not to reveal where they live in order to avoid people leaving animals right on their doorsteps. Most of us spend a good amount of time convincing people to spay and neuter their animals. A woman I met recently asked about my female Anatolian Shepard, saying she wanted to breed her male dog. I managed to convince her that this would be an unwise decision. First of all, I told her, “All of my dogs are fixed” so there will be no puppies from my dogs. I then went into the litany of reasons why breeding her dog would be a really bad idea. For once, lol, I was not told to “mind my own business.” She said she would not breed her dog, but would still adopt him a companion dog. That is a good day in the world of animal rescue.
Provide For the Homeless
The situation is becoming more and more dire as people are finally realizing that there are not enough homes for animals and nowhere to take the unwanted fruits of their irresponsible behavior. I injured my shoulder climbing over a tall fence to feed a cat that someone dumped at a property near my home. I only knew he was there because I went over to investigate howling and sounds of cat fighting. The black and white cat will now need to be trapped and fixed. The neighbors are only there occasionally and I have yet to call them and tell them they now have a cat. Then, as I am driving to my house one day, I see two dogs standing on the corner. As I approach, they run away. There is nothing on this street, particularly now that a recent fire burned down almost the whole block, including an old mobile home and some barns. I follow the dogs to an area that appears to be an abandoned garden.
They hover at a safe distance, wary and unsure of my intentions. There is one large dog, a Pit Bull mix, and two small, one of which has the obvious signs of having had puppies. I can only hope the puppies are not out there somewhere. I put out food and water and left, not sure of how to proceed. I am not comfortable approaching the larger dog or searching for any puppies, because I do not know if it will attack. It runs away when it sees me coming closer but I can’t take the chance. I will continue to provide food and water until I can come up with some kind of a plan.
Some of my friends and family think I am a bit crazy and question why I spend my time, energy and money on animal rescue, TNR and feeding strays. The easiest answer is that I love animals and I feel a deep need to help those innocents who are completely unable to help themselves. Most importantly, as a civilized society, as decent human beings, it is our duty to make this world a better place for people and animals alike.
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Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.