Jackie Dale—TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Slow Motion Summer/Relentless Heat/A Couple of Rescues

Jul 30, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Jackie Dale, Pets

by Jackie Dale

Growing kittens

It has been a long month that seems to be passing in slow motion. Rescues are still full and not accepting cats or kittens due largely in part to the record number of owner surrenders. Lots of people adopted pets during the pandemic, but with life returning to normal, shortsightedness reveals itself. Such shallow thinking that one would adopt a pet without the intention of keeping it for life. Pets should never be a whim. Or a temporary distraction. It is just disgusting to think that there is such a proliferation of persons with exactly this mindset. “It’s so cute,” “my kids want one,” “my favorite TV show character has this dog/cat/bird/whatever,” these are all very wrong reasons to get a pet. After a while, the cuteness wears off. I also see an astounding number of people who get large dogs when they live in an apartment, get a cat or dog when their landlord doesn’t allow pets, or get a pet when they can’t afford to take care of it. They get a dog, put it in the backyard and can’t figure out why it isn’t a perfect dog. Treat your dog like a family member and you will have a good dog. Bored, unhappy dogs are destructive dogs. Thankfully most cats don’t mind long periods of time alone, after all, they do sleep up to eighteen hours a day! They will look forward to your return each day even if they don’t always show it. When I was a kid, I couldn’t figure out if the family cats could hear my dad’s car coming down the street or if they had good internal clocks. Right about five o’clock every day, the cats would go sit in the living room window and wait for my father to get home from work.

Luna got adopted!

We Are Melting Here
The weather here in the Central Valley has been brutal. I have been forced to temporarily suspend trapping at the golf course because it is too dangerous to trap in the heat. The triple digits for days on end have generated a whole new job for me. Each evening, I put the majority of my cats/kittens (twenty-three right now!) in outside catios because it gives them some legroom to stretch and play, plus I believe that the fresh air is good for them. I, then, clean all the cages in preparation for their return the next morning. I also clean and feed the cats that remain in the inside cages. In the morning, as soon as it begins to get warm, I move all the cats/kittens, (twenty-two right now), back into the house. I, then, clean and prep the catios for the coming evening. It seems to be a never-ending cycle of moving cats, cleaning/scooping, and feeding. And, of course, cleaning up spilled water, spilled food, litter, etc.

Bottle baby

A Bit of Excitement
The monotony was broken on a very hot day by a kitten trapped inside the motor of a truck. The residents who called me said the kitten had been crying all night. They had not been able to locate the owner of the truck. I told them to leave a note on the truck in case the owner came. I went to the apartment complex in Reedley and crawled around under the truck. It was so very hot, but at least, the truck was thankfully parked in some shade. I could not see or hear the cat and figured it must have left. Right about then the owner of the truck appeared. He offered to open the hood, and I said “sure” even though I really didn’t think the kitten was still there. He opens the hood and there on top of the engine sits a kitten. We stared at each other for a split second before kitten decides to run. I even surprised myself with how fast my arm shot out and grabbed the kitten as it began to disappear into the huge motor. I grabbed it about midway and a little tug of war began as the kitten struggled to break free, but I hung on to her little hind end, determined not to let go and lose the kitten. I finally won, and the kitten is now calmed down and doing great!

Rescued mama cat

Then, I had taken my car into a local tire shop when one of the office staff approached me and asked if I still worked with cats. I said, “sometimes, depends on what you need.” She had been feeding a cat that subsequently had four kittens. The kittens were now about four months old, probably too old to tame. I suggested we get the mom first. Mom cat turned out to be friendly, so I brought a carrier and had her fixed the next day. I feared that she was already pregnant again, but nope, the vet said she was just fat. Even though I had no outlet for cats yet, I elected to keep her because she was so friendly. I hope she will eventually go to rescue. The kittens will be rounded up and fixed as well.

Not too much “Tortitude”

As I’m finishing up this column, the local dog shelter calls and asks if I can take one bottle baby. I said okay and went to pick it up. It was not a bottle baby after all, the kitten was fully able to eat from a dish. I fed and bathed the male kitten. I also gave a thorough exam for ringworm. Learned my lesson on that one. The one time I didn’t check a newborn and added it to an existing group with a nursing mom, it gave ringworm to everyone.


So without much more news for this month, I return to my never ending cycles of musical cats. Inside, outside, inside, outside, clean, feed, scoop. Repeat. I pray for the rescue to open up for my cats and for the temperatures to drop a little bit. Running fans and portable air conditioners all day and most of the night is turning out to be mucho expensive. And I am so very tired of the relentless work. TheCatMother is no longer a spring chicken. (LOL)

If you would like to make a donation, I have a PayPal account steamodale@gmail[dot]com. You can also send donations via good old snail mail to Jackie Dale, P O Box 1859, Reedley, CA 93654. Questions? jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com.

You can check out more animal rescue articles in KRL’s animal rescue section! Join our Pets Facebook group to help keep up with our pet articles.

Jackie Dale is a freelance writer who lives in Reedley with her husband of 27 years, Frank, and their 2 children. A former ballerina, Jackie now teaches yoga and fitness classes privately and at local area gyms in addition to her cat related duties.


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