by Jackie DaleJune ended with me still having nineteen kittens and one mother cat. The amount of work required to maintain all these cats and still have a nice smelling house is staggering. Up at 6 a.m. to feed and scoop, which takes about two hours. I generally hit the sack around midnight. Why so late? Because in addition to taking care of the kittens, I have a ton of other things to do each day. I have several “side hustles” to pick up some extra cash, a home and yard to maintain, and ongoing TNR projects. You know, a life, lol! But I take my rescue efforts very seriously. I am aware that some people may think I’m “crazy” to do so much work “for nothing.” I have come to realize that there are a few people in the world who, in their wildest dreams, would absolutely never dream of doing any kind of charitable work unless there was something in it for them. These are also generally the same people who always want the sun, the moon, and the stars, but wants you to deliver them, and of course, for free. I’d be stinking rich if I had a $1 for every time I heard the phrase, “It’s not my cat, why should I pay?” My response is always the same: “That’s what everybody says.” Microchipping Works!
A friend called one day asking if I had room for a friendly adult cat. My friend spotted the cat in the middle of the night, crossing a busy Fresno street to a gas station. She didn’t want to just leave the cat there so she called me. I didn’t have any room. But I was concerned about the prospect of a friendly cat fending for itself so I was able to quickly find a foster. Fast forward two weeks and Clinton is taken in to be neutered. Lo, and behold, Clinton was already neutered. Honestly, I didn’t check. Generally cats found wandering the streets and hanging out at gas stations are not fixed. So the vet scanned the cat, and the cat was chipped! The ecstatic owner rushed right over to claim her cat. I am going to invest in a scanner so this doesn’t happen again. Update: As I’m writing this column, I get a text from my friend that this cat is once again at the downtown Fresno Shell station. She will try to retrieve the cat, and I will call the vet first thing in the morning to get the owners info. Just a couple of days later, I had just left my house and was driving to the gym to teach a yoga class. I glance in my rear view mirror, and see a flash of black crossing the road. I looked at the clock, wondering if I can help and still be on time for the class. I stop the car on the road because there is literally nowhere to pull over. I walk behind my car and see a cute little face looking at me. I called dog and (she) came right to me. Since I was still close to home, I took her back home to my kennel and went on to my class. The next day I already had a foster lined up for the dog, but I figured a nice dog like this has to belong to someone. So I ran him by my vet for a chip scan. Another hit! The dog was not only chipped but was a client of my vet. They phoned the owner, and it turned out the dog lived about a mile from my house. I offered to deliver the dog back home and the owner was beyond happy. She said the little dog never left their yard but had been frightened by nearby 4th of July fireworks. She also said that they had only recently had the dog chipped. Chipping really works. While the dog should also always have on a collar and ID tag, maybe even a GPS tracker, for quick and easy return, collars do come off so chipping is always a smart choice.
So. Many. Kittens!!
Then, just when you think all hope is lost, that these kittens will never leave, an angel descends from the heavens. And she is driving an RV. From two states away she drives to California to pick up twenty-four kittens and one mom cat. She spent the night, and I barbequed one of my famous tri-tips. The night for me was spent preparing for the next day’s trip. The next morning, my new friend left bright and early with her load of cats. We hope to have another such excursion in the very near future.
I have been doing some TNR work in the downtown Reedley area. I’ve done quite a bit in the past but, like many small towns, the feral/stray situation is a constant problem. So the first project was for a gentleman who was caring for a small colony. I was aware of this colony and had already trapped and fixed one of the group. There were three more males to trap plus a friendly mom and her friendly, three-week old kittens. Lynea at The Cat House on the Kings asked me to help if possible and that The Cat House would sponsor the fixing of the cats. I trapped and fixed two males. I used donation money to give each cat a rabies shot, an FVRCP vaccination, a de-worm pill, and a flea treatment. The man had been caring for the mother cat and her four kittens in his room. But the landlord found out and made him put the family outside when the temperatures were triple digit. The man put up a shelter for them in a safe spot. I contacted Lynea who agreed to take in mom and babies.
Rescued stray kitten[/caption]The next project was on the next block over. The man had several strays he was caring for and allowed to live in his metal shop. He, however, was not thrilled with the kittens, so he needed to get his little bunch fixed. Since the man is able to handle the cats on his own, all he needed was my expertise. He felt he would have no issues getting the cats into carriers. He just wasn’t sure what to do. This man was also willing to foot the bill so that is always awesome! I basically told him what to do and how to do it. I got him two appointments pretty quickly, and I strongly emphasized that these appointments are hard to get and must not be wasted. I was nervous because he said he was going out of town and “had a lot to do,” but he made the appointments and got two females fixed.So, by the time you read this column I will have had my foot surgery, nothing serious, routine stuff. For that reason, I have been trying not to take in any more kittens. I was hoping to send most out to rescue before surgery day, but unfortunately, this is the time of the year when all the rescues are full and adoptions are low. People are going on trips/vacations, etc. That means I still have thirteen kittens and one, “I didn’t know she was pregnant”, adult in house. There are a few more kittens, thankfully, they are in foster homes.
I do not at this time have a GoFundMe.If you would still like to donate 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.