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.
If you have ever gone to your pantry or cupboard looking for something and been disappointed to find that you’ve run out, you will understand what it feels like for The Cat House on the Kings (CHOTK) staff to see our supply of kitten kibble, kitten canned food, cat supplements and other cat supplies dwindling. Bare spots on our storage shelves make us anxious, and we sometimes worry about not having sufficient supplies on hand to use for the hundreds of cats and kittens in our care. CHOTK has an Amazon Wishlist, and we keep it updated with the food and supplies that our staff needs to care for the cats and kittens in our care. We would be very appreciative and thankful if you’d be willing to do some shopping and restocking for us online from our Amazon Wishlist: www.cathouseonthekings.com/wishlist.
“We have a cat problem, can you please help us?” is a question that the hardworking staff of CHOTK receives several times a day, every day. One such call recently was about a sweet adult cat (aptly named Courage) who was a friendly stray found by some caring people. Courage was brought to a veterinarian and then to CHOTK suffering from a horrifically swollen face caused by a yeast-like fungus called cryptococcus. The fungus is found worldwide growing in bird droppings and in decaying vegetation. When a cat inhales the fungal spores, the spores attack and inflame the lungs, nasal passages, stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Untreated, this can be fatal. The treatment for cryptococcosis can last up to a year and involves expensive antifungal medication and ongoing monitoring. We just couldn’t say no to Courage (who is a young adult with, hopefully, many years ahead of him) and he is now in the care of CHOTK, where he is getting the expensive but much-needed treatment he deserves. As always, we are hoping that by sharing his story with others, we will be able to raise the funds necessary for his treatment, as well as the treatment for the many other injured and ill cats that we have rescued: www.cathouseonthekings.com/donate.
Tara Boyd is one of CHOTK’s veterinary technicians, and she’s worked for us off and on for about six years. When she first laid eyes on a tiny grey kitten with an injured hind leg, she knew that the kitten’s name should be Spirit. Spirit had been found under a truck and every time she attempted to move she would hiss and scream. Once she was in our care, she was examined by a veterinarian who diagnosed her with possible neurological issues, as well as a break in her ball joint and femur. As Spirit was too young and too fragile for surgery, Tara quickly volunteered to foster her since she needed specialty care due to her injuries. Tara has been working with Spirit for about a month and happily reports that she is seeing significant improvement: Spirit is now walking and playing! “She just doesn’t let anything stop her,” Tara explained. “I am most amazed by her ability to be calm and crazy at the same time.” Spirit continues to receive at least 30 minutes of physical therapy daily from Tara, and we’re optimistic for her hopes of recovery. “You’ve just got to admire her spirit!”
“There’s always room for more” is CHOTK founder/director Lynea Lattanzio’s personal mantra when it comes to rescuing a cat in need. CHOTK has recently rescued a third Savannah (a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval, which is a medium-sized, large-eared wild African cat) named Anakin. Anakin’s journey to CHOTK started in Slovakia where he was bred. He then traveled to the United States via Budapest and Frankfurt before landing in San Francisco. Anakin’s prior owner already had two very tame Savannah cats, but wanted an F1 male cat that had a Serval parent, and he paid $7,500 plus airfare for Anakin.
Unfortunately, he learned that Anakin was too much for his household to properly handle and he turned to Lynea for help, knowing that CHOTK is currently home to two other Savannahs: Lindy and Baloo. Anakin has not been properly socialized and Lynea is working on both that and ensuring that he is getting a proper diet for his breed. Once Anakin’s condition and attitude improve and he’s calmed down, our plan is to house him in the large Savannah enclosure located at CHOTK where he will have plenty of space to play, roam and socialize with the other Savannahs in our care. “This should be a reminder to people to please research breeds like this and to think twice about bringing wild or partially-wild animals into their homes and expecting them to act like ordinary house cats,” said CHOTK Assistant Shelter Director Tammy Barker.If you’ve ever considered fostering a cat or kittens for CHOTK, we’re always updating our pool of local (Fresno County) people who are willing to open their homes and hearts to caring temporarily for some our kittens in need. All you need is a room where they can be isolated from other cats, a willingness to transport kittens to and from our sanctuary or adoption center on occasion, and be home enough to care for, medicate (if needed) and socialize kittens. If this is something you’re interested in, you can fill out an online foster application. We’ve got experienced fosters like Marge Cribbin (she’s fostered more than 100 kittens for us) who have offered to help mentor and assist you!
In other news, CHOTK has entered the Animal Rescue Site’s Shelter Challenge and would very much appreciate your daily vote through August 21, 2020 in the hopes that we can win the grand prize of $5,000 in cash and $2,000 worth of supplies: www.cathouseonthekings.com/shelterchallenge. CHOTK has recently received another small grant from the PayPal Giving Fund in the amount of $1,014.23. The PayPal Giving Fund received this money from generous donors who chose to give to CHOTK through PayPal, and also eBay, GoFundMe, Airbnb and other online platforms. Finally, we are still selling raffle tickets for our September 15th “Watercolor Cats” Quilt Raffle. To enter, send a check/money order (which must include your phone number) 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).
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.