by Jackie Dale
Shortly after last month’s column, I had my foot surgery. I tried to empty out my kittens rooms beforehand, but alas, that didn’t happen. So I had to hobble around starting the day after surgery, and it wasn’t easy. I am not going to sugar coat it. It was really hard caring for thirteen kittens, and the new mom and her three babies while literally hopping around on one foot. I used crutches for the first week, but it was cumbersome. I would prepare the food bowls for each room and then carry them in on a large tray. The kittens would be transferred into a “feeding” cage while I cleaned their primary quarters. By the time the kittens finished eating, their cage was clean and bowls were filled with kitten chow and fresh water. Then I would transfer them back and onto the next group.
Then, about two weeks into August, I was offered an opportunity to ship out almost all my kittens! Eleven healthy kittens went to rescue, and I was ecstatic. This is the first break I‘d had in months. I still had three, but all too tiny to go out yet, and the mom and babies, but with eleven gone, it was literally like being on vacation.
However, that very same day, I received a message from a friend in the next town over. While in Fresno, her son found a tiny kitten in the gutter of a busy street. He said that he saw the street sweeper go by, it missed the kitten with the brushes but doused the tiny little girl with water. I accepted the kitten with the hope that my nursing mom cat would take her. I took one of her kittens and rubbed it all over the newcomer. I place her in with the rest and mom began to clean, and then nursing commenced shortly thereafter.
I got a message from Lynea at The Cat House on the Kings asking me to go pick up some cats in Reedley. I thought “okay, no big deal.” Lynea said it was two mom cats and some kittens, so I arrived with three large carriers. It was an apartment complex, and I had to park outside the gates and walk/hobble in with the carriers. I was surprised when one of the two elderly ladies met me outside her door with one of the kittens. I said we should go inside to get the rest. She didn’t really want to let me in, claiming “the place was a mess.” Well, that was one gigantic understatement. First of all, it was hard to even get inside because so much stuff was blocking the entryway. The stench hit me in the face like a brick wall. The odor of poop was pervasive. It took every ounce of my acting ability to pretend that nothing was wrong. Despite all, I knew that the ladies had their hearts in the right place in trying to help these apartment complex cats. You could tell by looking around that the cats were not the only problem. They simply made the problem about a 100 times worse. The bedroom doors were closed but looking around, I didn’t see any litter boxes. There was cat poop everywhere. I loaded up the one mom and her four smaller kittens. The other batch of kittens were a bit older. We finally rounded those kittens up, but the mom was not at all friendly; so Lynea said we would just fix her for them. The complex manager told them they were allowed to keep two of the cats. Then the ladies said that there were actually five of the smaller kittens, not just four. So, this is when it really got icky. I pulled out my phone and turned on the flashlight to try and spot the kitten. Along the baseboards was at least an inch thick layer of poop that stretched along the wall in the dining area. At that point I said they could find it and call me when did so. They never called so I assume they elected to keep that one also. I hope they get some help cleaning that apartment up. Altogether, nine cats were removed and they now will have the opportunity to find nice families one day!A Hoarding Situation
Another transport opportunity arose and I was happy because I did have a waiting list of kittens in foster. I had to say “No” to many people due to my surgery, but I told them that if they fostered them, I would do my best to send them to rescue. In addition, the rescue was willing to take my friendly mom and her four little fur babies. Both of my foster moms did seriously excellent jobs. The kittens were clean, healthy, and well-socialized. Everything the rescue hopes for in kittens.
So, as I’m trying to finish up this column, in comes a tiny, fluffy black little girl kitten. She was found in the middle of a busy city street. I thought she might make a nice playmate for Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim is about eight weeks old and only weighs 1 lb, 1 oz. His littermate died suddenly weeks earlier and he has been by himself since. And I just got a text asking me to take in two young boys dumped at a feral colony. People who do that are deluded if they think non-feral cats will survive long in a feral colony. Cruel, stupid, and deluded. No other way to say it. Oh and another scum-sucking low-life dropped off a white, female cat by/or near my house. It wanted to come to me but was too scared so I trapped her. I can already hold her so she will be spayed and either adopted out or sent to rescue.
If you would care 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.