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.I was just relaxing in my chair for a few moments before heading out to teach my yoga class when I got a call from the packinghouse in Orange Cove where I had been conducting a TNR project. I was told that a kitten had been spotted lying under a tree. The woman who called me said she was told that the kitten had been in the same spot all day. Of course I went there immediately. As I approached the kitten lying motionless under the tree, I thought it was dead. Then it lifted its tiny head and meowed at me as if calling for help. I scooped up the poor thing at which point it began to cry piteously. I rushed it to my car and headed off to The Cat House on the Kings. The kitten would cry for a moment and then it would pass out. It did this the whole way to Cat House. The kitten had a big scrap on its head, looked like it had been tossed around and the worst injury is a severe cut right at the base of the tail. It had lost so much blood and was so dehydrated that Lynea and Tammy were not sure it would survive the night. Thankfully, she did survive and is doing well under Lynea’s skilled and watchful eye and is now named Dale Evans. Donations to help with her medical bills would be gratefully appreciated. In my last column I talked about the dogs living alone down the street from me. It turns out that there were puppies living there. Before I had a chance to do anything, someone came to the property and moved the mom and puppies. Not far away though, to the adjacent property, but now behind a locked gate. The smaller dog was there all by herself. I continued to feed her daily until the temperatures rose to 108° and then she had to come back to my house. We called her Blondie and she just hung out in the bathroom most of the time. She had NO interest in going outside. As I was sitting down to write my column on Saturday morning, I got a message I had been waiting for, to bring little “Blondie” to a nearby town and meet with Andrea of Buddy’s Bandits Rescue. They offered to help Blondie find the perfect home and I gratefully accepted. She is a sweet gentle dog who is going to be someone’s perfect little lap dog. Happy Tail Wags!
It has been a very busy month for The Cat House on the Kings and its volunteers. The kittens and cats keep coming and some days it seems as though it will never end. I am tired of people who call me and other volunteers wanting us to come and get rid of cats for them. What in the world do they think I/we can do with them? My neighbors across the street came to their (vacation) home last week and called me over to talk.
I knew right away it was about the cat living there. Apparently they had seen it on previous occasions and they were not happy that I was feeding it. “Well,” I said. “You have a cat. The cat needs food and water.”
“What do you mean we have a cat?” they ask me. I told them that the cat was living there, that I had no idea how he got there, that he was providing rodent control for them and that I really didn’t see a problem. I assured them that while they were there, the cat would stay away because of their dog and I would put the food and water on my side of the street. They said they were going to seal off all openings under the house to keep the cat out and I said to please make sure there were no cats trapped under there before doing so. They asked me if I would trap it for them and I said what I always say, “What do you want me to do with the cat?” No one cares as long as you just take it away. I told them I couldn’t do that and reminded them that to trap and harm an animal was a crime. I informed them that there was nowhere for stray cats to go in Fresno County.
“So let me get this straight” said my one neighbor, “This cat has taken on our property as his own?”
“I guess you could put it that way.” I shrugged. As we parted I could tell they were not happy about the situation but there is not much anyone can do. They have been gone a few days now and I have not actually seen the cat. I can only hope they do not bring about any sort of harm to the kitty.
I had barely turned in last month’s column when I received a call from a fellow rescuer. Barbara Miller, whose daughters rescued the now famous, Marmalady, called me to say that she had found two kittens in the Reedley Cemetery. They were very thin, covered in faeces and fleas. The temperature was already in the triple digits. She asked me to help her network the two adorable kittens because she could not take on two additional cats. One of her charges just happens to be Marmalady’s brother. She found a home for one and our very own publisher, Lorie Lewis Ham, adopted the other one (whose name is now Willow). Both of these lucky kitties are doing well in the furever homes.
I also returned to the rural packinghouse in Orange Cove to continue my trap-neuter and re-home project. There are quite a few cats there and many of them are kittens of various ages. I recently trapped and fixed two teenage cats at the packinghouse and found they were not so much feral as just stray/homeless. A worker at the plant agreed to take the two cats on the condition that they were fixed first. I like it when they say that, it means they are serious about getting a cat(s) and will be a responsible owner(s). I personally delivered the cats to the family. I have checked on them once a week since the adoption and the family is very happy with their new cats. I was very pleased to learn the family had followed my instructions to keep the cats indoors so that they would figure out that this is their new home. Since they live in a somewhat busy area, I was delighted to hear that they plan to keep the cats as indoor-only cats. A good rescue day!
The packinghouse people have decided that all the cats must go, so they have arranged for them to be taken to one of their ranches in Orosi. They have assured me that the cats will be kept confined for at least two weeks and they will be fed regularly. Sometimes I am hesitant about a given situation when I am not sure the cats will be safe. However, sometimes you are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. I am also NOT happy that the packinghouse does not want me to leave food for the cats still there. I do it anyway, because that is how I roll.
Then I get an email from Lynea. An older lady in rural Reedley has found two kittens in her garage and she wanted us to come and get them. I called my foster who agreed to take in the kittens if I could wait a week. Then I went over to take pictures of the kittens. First of all, the cats are about three months, not exactly kittens. She said she was on a fixed income and could not afford any more animals, but she had a huge landscaped yard, a nice home and did not look like she was hurting for money. I had already agreed to take the kittens, but I have learned a valuable lesson here. Check. Things. Out. First. If I had seen the home beforehand, honestly, I would have offered to spay and neuter and left it for her to deal with finding them homes. As it is now, the foster will keep them until they are fixed and we will try to find them homes. But if no homes are found, they have spots reserved for them at the Orosi ranch as barn cats. If you would like to adopt one of these adorable felines and give them a home of their own, you can email me at jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com.
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