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.
Never a dull moment at the Cat House indeed! Take this past Saturday morning for instance. I arrived to take some pictures of long-distance volunteers for the newsletter. I was greeted at the gate by a large, orange, fluffy cat wearing a collar with a bell. He proceeded to follow me and every time I stopped to pet another cat, he would bite me in the calf. After taking all my photos, I was photographing some of the adult kitties when one of them jumped onto my back. Being the consummate journalist, I snapped a picture even as his claws were sinking into my back. Then we began a weird dance of sorts with said cat, who did not want to get down. I basically spun in a circle while bent over and cursing as I attempted to dislodge “Velcro” cat. Significant scratches sustained. All in a days work!
Motorcycles & Death By Cat?
National Geographic came out to the Cat House recently to film an episode of a new show called Let It Ride. The show is about the grandson of the infamous motorcycle builder Arlen Ness. They go around finding old bikes and making showpieces out of them. They staged a scenario with Lynea (for anyone who doesn’t know she is the person behind the Cat House) as one of the star players. When the biker/actor arrived, he kind of freaked out when he saw all the cats. Well, actually, he completely freaked out. In fact, he flat out refused to come in until we lured most of the cats away from the area where they were filming. Turns out he is deathly allergic to cats. Which left us wondering why in the world they chose the Cat House on the Kings to film their episode. Not that we weren’t thrilled with the opportunity to plug the Cat House! The show is scheduled to air sometime in August so check your listings and when we know the date for sure, we will definitely let you know!
Rescues and Ferals
Rescues have continued to be brisk. Tammy Barker is currently fostering one tiny kitten that was found in the middle of the road, likely a victim of a heinous, disgusting, subhuman trend of tossing kittens out of moving vehicles. Another of her fosters was found with its foot twisted up in a fence. No telling how long the poor baby had been trapped. The leg is incredibly swollen and hopefully it can be saved.
I received a late night Facebook message about kittens stuck in the wall at a local Wal-Mart. My daughter and I went to the store and determined that there were indeed some kittens inside the wall of the garden department. I thoroughly checked out the access points and found that there was a significant amount of space between the two walls. There was really no way to retrieve them without knocking down a cement block wall. I spoke to the manager who said the mother, who we saw nearby, had full access to the garden department. He was okay with her being there. We had no choice but to assume that if she got the kittens in there, she would be able to get them out.
Feeding my feral cats has proven to be a challenge this summer. In Selma, my feeding station was taken over by a homeless person who, one day, was falling down drunk at 10 o’clock in the morning. I moved the bowls farther down and was relieved to see two of the kitties waiting at the new location on the next feeding day. My attempts to provide food and water for the Reedley strays are constantly being thwarted by someone who keeps removing the bowls. I laugh in their face – haha! – if they think that will keep me from providing sustenance to these poor creatures. In triple digit heat, they must at least have a source of water. The cats range in age from a tiny kitten to adults.
I started my TNR (trap, neuter, return) project, catching my first cat in about 15 seconds. The emaciated tomcat also had an abscessed injury so I had to keep him for four days and administer daily injections. We called him “Statue” because he spent the four days frozen in place. When it was time for the shot and to clean his cage my daughter and I had to tip the cage whereas he would just roll onto the floor and lie there unmoving. He was released back where I got him.
One day I noticed that someone had placed a new cat trap inside the locked area. I ceased my TNR efforts at this point, although I am still attempting to catch the tiniest kitten. I have no idea what will happen to any of the cats they trap but we just can’t afford to waste our time and limited resources TNRing these cats without knowing their ultimate fate.
Fostering: Success or Failure?
My family has been a foster failure. We fostered Kilroy and Natalie a year ago and we kept them. They are the most wonderful, lovable kitties. This is one of those rare occasions when I don’t mind being a “failure.” I finally had to return my four Siamese foster boys to the Cat House. It was time for them to be neutered and put up for adoption. It was very hard because we were getting attached and they are so fun and lovable. We already have nine cats and six dogs though, so we are a bit full up at the moment. That was about two weeks ago and it hurts even more to go to the kitten room and see them. The boys have not yet been adopted and they run to us when we go visit. Maybe a beautiful flame point Siamese would be a perfect cat for you? They are very social and even used to dogs! Check them (#’s 9304, 9305 & 9307) and others out on our website adoption page.
It was only a couple of days after returning the foster boys that I received a call from a woman in Squaw Valley. Her neighbor, a schizophrenic man, had kittens living under his porch and his dog was trying to kill them. He was quite distraught as to what to do. The dog was keeping the mom away. The kittens were captured and looked very skinny but in otherwise surprisingly good health. I managed to also trap and spay the mother cat, who was not feral, and took her back and released her near where the other neighbors had been feeding her. Of course, they were singing that same old tired song, “The cat is not ours, we just feed it.” Well, at least now she will not be having any more babies. My family is are now fostering the four kittens as the Cat House is completely full. They already have appointments to be fixed and have had their first shots. Two of them have a potential home, fingers crossed. That leaves two, they are very friendly and super cute!
How can you help?
With so many kittens we are desperate for donations of food and supplies. Visit our website and check out our wish list. We are always grateful for cash donations, too! And while you are there, peruse our gallery of adoptable kitties. The love you will get from an adopted kitty will enrich your life immeasurably! If you can’t adopt, perhaps you might consider sponsoring one of our awesome kitties instead.
Mark your calendars: our next Open House is scheduled for November 2.
Please consider advertising with Kings River Life and you can designate 10% of the ad fee to be donated to the Cat House on the Kings.
Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.