by Jackie Dale
I keep a log book of sorts in order to keep track of incoming cat and kittens, my TNR projects, etc. This month’s page is uncharacteristically blank. The relentless triple-digit heat and being full to capacity continue to bring things to a standstill. I had to say “No” to a lot of people. “Sorry, there is no room at The CatMother’s Inn.” But truth be told, there is always a bit of room for the tiny little muffins that come my way.
Here a Kitten, There a Kitten
I received a call from the local dog shelter that they had a kitten. They don’t normally accept cats. After being so informed, the person simply put the kitten down and walked out. When the animal control officer turned around again, there was the kitten, just sitting on the desk. People don’t seem to realize that if there is no one to care for kittens, they are usually taken to the vet and euthanized.
A few days later I get a call from a friend who is the ACO in another nearby town. She has a tiny newborn, and she hoped I had room. A sibling had already passed, and this one was all alone. Newborns don’t take up much room, time…yes, but room, no. I took the little guy in and all seemed well at first. Healthy looking and a good eater. But not enough poops. A trip to the vet seemed to go well. Showed me how to “stimulate” him with a Q-tip. That worked, but then the problem recurred. Now I find myself in the unique position of giving a kitten…an enema. We continue to struggle with the issue. It is vital that the kitten poop enough or he runs the risk of developing a condition called “megacolon.” The colon becomes so distended that it can’t return to normal size. The outcome for this condition is usually grim.The very next day I got a call from a woman who works at the local Verizon store. She had found a kitten in the shopping center parking lot, and it seemed to be blind. Well, I surely can never say no to a blind kitten. I picked up the kitten, and in my opinion, one eye was already gone but the other one had a chance. Again, the kitten was filthy and covered with fleas. Kitten turned out to also be a Manx. Manx are highly prized and always in demand. I contacted Lynea at The Cat House on the Kings because I know she has a penchant for Manx cats. Plus she has the resources to address kitty’s eye issues. She was happy to accept the kitten, and I was grateful because I honestly didn’t know where I was going to put the kitten. Unwanted Donation
About a week later, my husband comes in one morning and says the dreaded words, “I think we have some new cats.” That was a massive understatement. Apparently, someone dumped into my yard, two adult cats and two litters of kittens totaling ten. One of the adults has ringworm. We were able to pick up a couple of the smaller kittens, although my husband got bit by one. The rest had to be trapped. Most of them are beginning to calm down. The people that commit these heinous acts will get their due. In the meantime, we are installing four more security cameras and putting up “24-hour Video Surveillance” signs. It would be nice if these people would also throw some money in my yard since fixing and vaccinating all those cats will not be cheap. My husband and I have just retired, and we can’t spend our retirement money this way. If that means cutting back on rescue, then that is how it will be. I would like to focus on TNR, but I can no longer subsidize the costs. I will be relying solely on donations to continue to help cats and kittens. Like the line in Streetcar Named Desire, “I often find myself relying on the kindness of strangers.” Of course, many of my supporters are not strangers, but I’m sure you get the gist of it.
One more kitten trickled into the inn. An adorable little guy who was found all by himself in an alley. He had a big scrape mark on his nose, like he had been dropped and landed on his face. He needed bottle feeding, too, and is doing very well.
Finally Some Good News
My friend Janice, who works tirelessly trying to place my cats, called me with wonderful news. Our usual rescue made room for eight of my cats!! I was beyond happy and grateful because I know they had to really work hard in order to help me out by accommodating my cats. Adoptions have been slow everywhere and combine that with record numbers of (post-pandemic) owner surrenders, it’s been a tough year. The equation is simple and irrefutable, cats must leave (be adopted) or you can’t bring in more cats.
Anyway, I was my usual nervous self as I waited for each cat to be assessed. They assess their health and temperament, always look in the mouths and, of course, the black light screen for ringworm. This time I decided to bring two alternate cats just in case someone got rejected. Well, they accepted all eight candidates AND they also kept the two alternates! I was beyond happy. My workload was cut, and if not for the dumped cats, I’d really be getting that much needed break. I can only leave for a few hours at a time now because, unfortunately, I only have outside accommodations available for the dumped cats. It is very hot here, and the cats must be monitored. My husband put up a big tarp for shade. Every day I put down wet towels on the bottom of the cages with ice packs underneath. I put ice cubes in their water. I also turn on a fan although it probably doesn’t help that much. I will be restructuring the kitten rooms in order to bring the new arrivals inside as soon as possible.
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.