by Harvie Schreiber
Harvie coordinates Facebook and Fundraising for The Cat House on the Kings and lives with a house-full of rescued cats.
It’s been a challenging summer for the staff and volunteers of The Cat House on the Kings, but as always, they have risen to the occasion and accepted every challenge with enthusiasm and compassion. Here are just a few of the recent developments:
The hot weather, coupled with plenty of precipitation this last winter and spring, caused the swift-moving waters of the Kings River to rise with disturbing swiftness. Earlier in the spring we dealt with some of our huge eucalyptus trees crashing down, but by June and July our attention turned to the actual water level. As the river rose, we watched with some trepidation as it approached the benches down by the river’s edge. Fortunately, none of our buildings (or our cats) were threatened by the encroaching water, but it did capture our close attention for a few weeks! Life along the Kings River is beautiful, but not without its excitement.
What could be more “aww-inspiring” and stereotypical than a firefighter rescuing a kitten stuck in a tree? We received a call recently from the Reedley Fire Department. They told us that they’d rescued a stray kitten, and they now needed a home for the cute little guy. Since they assured us they would deliver it with their “most photogenic” fireman, how could we say no to THAT offer? After rescuing this little grey puffball, they hand-delivered it to us at The Cat House on the Kings. Since he came to us with quite a story, we’ve decided to name him Sparky in honor of the Reedley Fire Department. Now we just need to keep our staff from putting some of our OWN kittens in the trees in the hopes of attracting more firemen.
For more than a dozen years, a beautiful Rottweiler named Shye Ann had been the faithful companion of Cat House on the Kings founder and director Lynea Lattanzio. Shye Ann was found abandoned as a puppy 12 years ago as part of a litter. Lynea found homes for her littermates, but kept Shye because she was so very timid (which is how she got her name.) Over the years she became Lynea’s faithful shadow, giving tours and taking walks with her, and romping in the Kings River. Rottweilers are actually Lynea’s favorite breed, and she has a youngster named Shiloh who is having surgery soon. Shye Ann overcame her shyness and never fails to seek out pats from visitors. Over the years, she’s endured arthritis and cancer. On July 5, Shye decided to take a walk along the Kings River alone, and Lynea found her lying peacefully on the grass. We take comfort in the fact that Shye died doing what she loved: taking a walk along the river. We’ll see you at the Rainbow Bridge, Shye.
One recent summer afternoon, we received a frantic phone call from a local citizen who had just witnessed a small kitten being thrown from a moving car in front of the Reedley Cemetery. The tiny six-week-old orange tabby was rushed to us. This adorable little guy lost the use of his back legs from this inexplicable act of animal cruelty. But he’s a purring little fighter with great spirit and spunk, and we have high hopes that his situation will slowly improve. We work very hard to educate the community; it’s so sad when things like this occur. We’ve been blessed with a significant grant from the Petco Foundation to facilitate low-cost spays and neuters for cats in our area (just a $10 copay), and we really wish more people would jump on this amazing offer. Looking for spay and neuter assistance? Call us at (559) 638-0490.
Twice in the past few weeks, we’ve had local Good Samaritans bring us tiny kittens that they’ve found abandoned in grocery bags, as if they were trash to be tossed on the side of the road. We’re working hard on these three-week-old striped kittens and we believe that they will pull through with plenty of love, care, time, and effort.
We’ve taken in more than 700 kittens so far this year. Many of them come to us injured, ill, or with significant problems. Our donations always seem to slow down during the summer as people go on vacations, but summertime is actually one of our biggest seasons of financial need. We can ALWAYS use donations from our Amazon Wishlist, and we can ALWAYS use cash donations, which provide us the greatest flexibility in purchasing what we need and to pay for things like vet care. If you can, we would greatly appreciate any help that you can provide us so that we can rescue and save more kittens and cats from our area.
The Cat House on the Kings is located in California. 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.