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.
Writers often worry about whether or not they will have enough material to write about. In the realm of animal rescue, that problem has yet to crop up. I think that unless something drastic is done, I will never be short of things to write about. I firmly believe that mandatory spay and neuter is the only answer to a problem that has spiraled wildly out of control. I really want to get a stack of our low-cost spay and neuter flyers and walk door-to-door handing them out here in Reedley. I am certain that most people in town are unaware that it is against the law in this town to allow an unaltered cat outdoors. I am also certain that enforcement of this law is next to impossible. Obviously the police have better things to do. The Cat House is currently fielding over 100 calls a week about unwanted kittens. I think if you desire to be a good, responsible neighbor and citizen, you will spend $15 to get your cat fixed.
Puppy RescueI was standing in the vet’s office with one of my cats when an elderly lady came in and proceeded to tell the receptionist about three white puppies that had been abandoned in an orchard by her home. I am not really sure what she thought the vet’s office could do. Then I made the “mistake” of appearing interested. With an inward sigh, I went with the woman to pick up the puppies. The “puppies” turned out to be two very small white dogs and one teensy puppy. I held my breath and drove them out to The Cat House on the Kings. Contrary to popular belief, The Cat House does not take every single animal its volunteers rescue. It must meet certain criteria, otherwise it is up to the volunteer to foster and find homes for their rescues.
I was fortunate that these dogs met the criteria. “You are lucky,” said Lynea, “they are small, white and cute.” In other words, they are highly adoptable. Another reason that factored in was the need for immediate medical attention. The dogs were literally covered head to toe with ticks. Left untreated the dogs would have eventually succumbed to the effects of severe anemia. I went home and picked up my daughter to come and help get the dogs cleaned up. She was shocked to see the dog’s ears so covered in ticks you could not see the actual ear tissue. She pulled ticks off the dogs until new employee Zachary Creamer took over. He spent several hours picking hundreds and hundreds of ticks off the dogs. Without intervention from The Cat House, these dogs chance for survival were slim to none. Your donations enable us to continue treating these dire cases. Contact The Cat House on the Kings if you are interested in adopting one of these cuties.
A couple of weeks ago I am at my Selma feeding station. I am both sad and frustrated to see that the elusive mom cat has a litter of three kittens. She had steadfastly refused to enter my traps. Things were okay for about a year until someone dropped off an unfixed male. I now have more trapping to do and this station is a one hour round trip from my home. I also have to board these cats while they wait for surgery and then as they recover. So, I am there feeding, watering and spraying for ants. I look over and what do I see, but a tiny orange kitten with his back to me. (Did you like my rhyme?) It is a bobtail too, a miniature replica of its mother. I knew that this was an opportunity that would not present itself again. The kitten was perched on a thick maze of the intertwining Banks Rose bushes. I lunged into the thicket and grabbed the kitten by the scruff of the neck. I quickly backed out of the bushes and stood up. At that point the kitten sunk its razor sharp teeth deep into my index finger. I race over to my car, holding on tight and yelling “ow, ow ow!” and to my horror, realize I forgot to put my cat carrier back into my car. I managed to get my car door open, dislodge his teeth from my finger and deposited the kitten in my back seat.I quickly drove to The Cat House where Armando helped me extricate the kitten from under the driver’s seat. I took the kitten over to the Kitten Quarters for Karla to evaluate. I was shocked to learn that the kitten was blind. Now I realize why I was able to sneak up on it. Karla showed me how the kitten had no eye at all on one side and a tiny underdeveloped eye on the other. Being an otherwise healthy kitten I took him home to foster while I searched for a home for him. I called him Stevie because it was a Wonder that he survived in those bushes as long as he did. I began to search for the right home by posting Stevie’s picture on various Facebook sites.
Cat House board member, Tammy Barker contacted me when she saw his photo on Facebook. Tammy has a big, giant soft spot for orange tabby cats with special needs. While circumstances prevented Tammy from taking Stevie in herself, she found him a wonderful foster family who has another blind kitten. I have since seen his picture posted on The Cat House Facebook page and he looks very happy!
I was telling an acquaintance about Stevie when she told me that she felt that all disabled animals should be euthanized. “When my dog broke his leg,” she said, “the vet said he had to amputate so we had him put down.” I asked her why she felt that way. She said it just was not “right” and it was not fair to the animal. I told her I was certain that an animal would prefer to live with three legs than die with four. Since my son is severely disabled, I asked her if she felt the same way about people. She said, “No, animals and people are different.” I replied that we are all living creatures and that we all deserve the opportunity to live, whether or not we “perfect.” I found the whole conversation very upsetting.
UpdatesThe wounded orange kitten from Orange Cove packinghouse was named Dale (after me) Evans and is doing nicely as she waits for her furever home. I have since trapped her brother, Roy Rogers. I have been fostering him as we wait for him to get big enough to neuter. I am desperately seeking a home for this cute guy. He is headed out to the ranch in Orosi where he will be a barn cat along with the others. I would love to see him in a nice home before this has to happen.
The two buff tabby cats that I took in went to my foster parent, Jan Schpansky. She did such a marvelous job socializing them that the boss of the Orosi ranch took them in as house cats. Score! I love it when things come together like that.
The cat dumped across the street has decided to live with us. We named him Zorro since he has a mask and he just comes over to eat and then leaves. He will come very close and roll around in front of me but won’t allow us to touch him. He just wanders around meowing but he seems happy to have a home base and we are happy to provide for him.
Remember, The Cat House can’t continue without your support and contributions. We receive no public or taxpayer monies. We depend solely on your donations and fundraisers. There is no such thing as a donation too small. We can always use extra hands if you would rather donate your time.
Speaking of donations, we are asking for donations for our fall fundraiser silent auction that will be held November 1 virtually anything that can be auctioned off for money. Ask your friends, family and co-workers if they have or make or can solicit something for our auction. You will have our utmost gratitude and a tax deduction. Our auction is always a big moneymaker and you can help us keep it that way. Oh, and don’t forget to use your SHARES card when you shop because every little bit helps. Also, if you advertise in Kings River Life, 10% of the ad fee will go to The Cat House.
Editor’s Note: Roy Rogers found a forever home this week! But there are many other cats at the Cat House that need homes-so consider adopting.
Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.