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.
So, I have returned from my two month summer hiatus. I generally only take the one month, with Harvie graciously filling in for me. However, this year brought many circumstances that were unyielding and very demanding. Well, of course, the onslaught of kittens was non-stop. Then in mid-July, I blew out my knee while simultaneously pulling the hamstring in my other leg. I suffered a torn ACL, a torn meniscus, and a fractured knee cap. Understandably, I was in a lot of pain and not too mobile. Fortunately my daughter was able to step in and help out with the kittens.
Open House is A’Coming!
Only one short month until the Cat House on the King’s fabulous Holiday Open House. We are still hoping to get more donations for the silent auction. Please, please, oh please try to donate something. There are just so many things that would make awesome auction items. A little imagination is all it takes to come up with something spectacular to donate. You could even buy some amazing cat tree or otherwise unique cat related item and donate it because it is, you know, tax-deductible. I know of several people who are doing just that. You can even have it shipped directly to The Cat House. Just remember to let us know it’s coming so a receipt can be issued.
And of course, don’t forget to buy some raffle tickets for that eye-popping emerald ring. One very lucky lady with a size-7 finger might just be wearing that stunning piece of jewelry on her hand on Christmas morning! Or, fellas, it would make a jaw-dropping engagement ring.
The Calendar is Coming Too!
It’s back! It’s back! By popular demand, the limited edition Cat House on the Kings 2018 calendar will be on sale soon. We’re putting the finishing touches on it, and we will be selling it online soon (watch our website and Facebook page), at our Fresno Petco Adoption Center, and at The Cat House on the Kings (including at our Saturday, November 4 Open House)
Yoga With The Cats
On a recent, beautiful Saturday morning, a group of people, including Lynea, gathered on the grass at The Cat House on the Kings to do yoga with the cats. The class was held by Mark and Juliana of Boho Beautiful. It was a very spiritual experience with the cats enjoying it immensely too. The couple from Canada sold all their belongings, quit their jobs, and embarked on a life changing journey to make a difference in the world. The couple is currently on a year-long quest to travel the roads of America holding yoga sessions to benefit local animal charities. Juliana and Mark’s philosophy is: “We don’t travel to escape life, we travel so life doesn’t escape us. Upon our wonderful journeys we write and we film, we laugh, we challenge ourselves, and we live. The world, the animals, and the people we meet inspire us every day to keep trying to make a positive change in this world. To leave our footprint of kindness, compassion, and love.”
The couple has even spent time in Europe and raised $10,000 to help save the elephants in Thailand. Mark and Juliana have a YouTube channel where you can follow their many yoga videos and adventures.
They have a website, www.bohobeautiful.life, and you can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. It was a blessing to have them come to The Cat House.
The kittens. The many, many kittens. One had only to visit The Cat House kitten quarters on any given day to see that every available space was taken. Employees and volunteers do their best to handle the overflow, taking in many foster kittens. There is a constant demand for people to bottle feed kittens, but there are just too many kittens and too few hands. It’s really hard to say, “No,” but when there are so few people willing to help and only so much money to go around, there are hard decisions to be made.
I think that perhaps the lack of grant money has kept many people from fixing their cats in the last year or so. I’m hoping that the droves of people that took advantage of the recent grant’s $10 spay/neuter fee will mean that next year will not be so bad, kittenwise. I can hope, right? Unfortunately, the grant funds have been exhausted, but that means 7,500 cats got fixed and that is just an awesome thing.
That being said, at one point in mid-July, I had nineteen kittens of various ages and a few in foster homes as well. I would do the bottle feeding and try to foster out the older ones. I am very thankful to my little group of foster people. You are the best!
Bottle feeding is demanding, both physically and emotionally. The kittens often arrive sick, dehydrated, and just in general ill health. The loss rate can sometimes be high and that can be really discouraging, but we try our best to save as many as we can. As soon as some would leave, more would arrive. I was like a “cat broker,” as I adopted cats out, got some into rescues, and placed several feral cats as rodent control cats. It is a time consuming process requiring many phone calls, texts, and Facebook messages, coordinating, transporting, etc. I am not a rescue, I’m a TNR person, but sometimes we have to step up and do a little more because it is just the right thing to do.I had a friend bring me two kittens found at Fresno City College, only days old. Mr. Apricot and Kiwi did very well in the beginning. They ate well and pooped well. Everything a kitten foster mommy desires. However as time wore on, Mr. Apricot just did not seem to be growing as well as Kiwi. He did really well for two months but suddenly took a turn for the worse and lost his little fight for life. By then Mr. Apricot had a little following of fans and well-wishers as he went on little adventures such as “Mr. Apricot Goes to Wal-Mart,” “Mr. Apricot Gets Kidnapped,” and “Mr. Apricot Goes to the Post Office.” His sister Kiwi was adopted by a lovely family with two doting teenage girls. Kiwi is living the high life as a spoiled little princess.
While still struggling with my knee, Lynea, who didn’t know I was hurt, asked me to help a woman with multiple sclerosis who had a kitten problem. The kittens were in the backyard of an unoccupied home. The woman could hear them crying. The mother and another kitten lay dead in the street. I knew the kittens would never survive alone because not only were they too little, the temperature was over 110°. So I hobbled over and surveyed the land. No way could I make it over the chain link fence with my knee. The backyard had a pile of trash 5-feet tall that had been completely grown over with giant weeds. I first had to shimmy between the yard’s fence and the fence of the adjoining property.Then I had to push down a small fence, and I entered the yard. I had to crawl over the big pile of whatever that was, to access a small lean-to piled high with junk. There were spiders everywhere, and I was pretty sure there were other creepy things there too. My ankles were being relentlessly poked by numerous foxtails in my socks. The two kittens were eventually located under some filthy clothes, tires, and boxes that had to be moved. I netted one kitten and was forced to grab the other kitten by the tail to prevent its escape. I emerged without being bitten or scratched. However, my socks had so many foxtails in them I just threw them away. The two little girls went to one of Tammy’s foster homes for foster/socialization, and there are already adoption applications pending.
See you all at the Open House on November 4! Remember it’s just the one open house a year from now on, so let’s really make it count. And an extra hour has been added (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) to the event. Be there or be square!
Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section and remember that if you buy an ad in KRL you can designate 10% of the ad price to go to the Cat House.