by Jackie Dale
This month I begin my column with my current project, an eight-cat TNR in a nearby town. However in this case, the “R” will stand for “relocate.” Why? Because the cats were literally being starved to death. The story goes that an elderly woman had been feeding a small groups of cats at her home. The woman recently passed away. The daughter kept feeding the cats. Then one of the cats had kittens. Her siblings told her to stop feeding the cats so they “will go away.” Now for purposes of clarification, these siblings live in another part of the state so why they would even be so interested is puzzling. I’m assuming they at least have enough smarts to realize that unfixed strays would multiply quickly. So the woman, who in my opinion has some sort of mental defect, stopped feeding the cats. She did, however, continue to feed her own personal cat.
So alas, it was no big surprise that the cats didn’t leave. They just got thin and sick. How anyone with even the tiniest of hearts can, day after day, watch cats starve, literally to death. When a coworker bringing a meal found two dead, emaciated kittens, action had to be taken. The coworker took to Facebook to ask for help and a few of us stepped up to the plate. The coworker did most of the legwork, finding a home for two of the cats that were friendly and securing a safe place for the feral strays and setting up a GoFundMe to help pay to fix the cats. My role in this project was to trap the cats and house/care for them until they can be fixed. Then they will be transported to their new home.
I was very angry at this woman for not having any free thought or mind of her own as to the welfare of these animals. While we were setting the traps, she stood there with a non-stop running commentary on why she wasn’t feeding the cats. I told her several times that I was completely uninterested in her excuses. I was pretty rude and directed several mean comments to her, all of which seemed to go right over her head. I said to her, “Your mother must have been a very good woman to care for these cats.” “She was,” answered the woman. “Too bad you’re not more like her,” I said. Swoosh, right over her head. I flat out insulted her and asked her to go away while we worked on her problem, but she just didn’t seem to get it. The woman holds a responsible job so she can’t be a complete moron. It is as though she has no empathy in her at all. We call those people sociopaths. Or perhaps she is one of those people who regard animals as objects without feelings, not worthy of compassion. She offered no funds to help, she didn’t even express any kind of gratitude at all. I loathe the fact that some people just expect other people to clean up their life messes with no regard whatsoever to the time, effort, and money we are expending on their behalf.
Transports—The Ninjas are Gone!
We had some transports this month with nineteen cats/kittens going to rescue. This included F. Scott, the cat who had the firecracker lit under his tail. I initially thought F. Scott to be a feral, but I had a feeling about him so I did not tip his ear. I kept him in an outside kennel for two weeks then let him out. He got along fine with the other cats, and my dog too. Within a few days I was petting him, and it turns out he is one special cat. He was extremely affectionate. He loved to go with my dog and I on our daily walks. I decided that as friendly as he was, he deserved a home of his own. His tail never healed properly so I had to have it amputated. The surgery went well and F. Scott has a cute little bobtail now. It was really hard to let this one go, but I know he will make some lucky family a very fine cat.
I also sent out the one friendly female from the “dumped in my yard” gang. I’m working my way through the remainder. Of the two older boy kittens, one has been fixed and the other now allows me to pet him briefly so he will be going to be fixed soon along with an adult male who is becoming quite friendly too.
The ninjas finally left! The four sleek black panthers, all boys, and the only girl, a tortie, were included on a late September transport and frankly, I was glad to see them go. They were great kittens, friendly, loving and playful. But they were so active! They were literally wrecking the kitten room every day. Getting to places I thought were inaccessible and knocking over everything in sight. They would hear me approaching the door, and as soon as I opened it, they would swarm out like the zombies on World War Z! They were really, really fast. They were a lot of work.
More TNR and Rescues
I saw a post on Facebook where a lady was giving away kittens. She had two orange ones left, so I contacted her and we met at a Burger King. I wanted to take both kittens. She said one was promised to another so I should just choose the one I wanted. She said they were girls, but they were actually both boys. I took home my chosen kitten and I must say I picked a good one. The kitten was healthy, confident, and loving. My husband came home from work and said, “Who is this little spud?” And the name stuck. Spud quickly won over my husband who soon declared that “Spud wasn’t going anywhere.” We need another cat like we need a hole in the head, but I have to admit, the little guy has an exceptional personality. He is very playful and is giving our cats, including poor blind Fabio a run for their money. I don’t think Spud knows that Fabio can’t see him coming. After the initial surprise of being jumped on, Fabio seems to enjoy playing with Spud so hopefully they will be buddies.
Fabio had to have his eye sockets cleaned, and the vet said it was time to sew them shut too. Poor Fabio had to keep in the stitches for three weeks! He is fine now and back to his normal self.
If you would like to donate to help fund TNR projects, support the feral refuge, or any aspect of my cat-related work, it would be deeply appreciated. I use my husband’s PayPal account (steamodale@gmail[dot]com) and I have a GoFundMe account under my name. You can also send donations via snail mail to Jackie Dale, P O Box 1859, Reedley, CA 93654. Questions? jackiejoy@hotmail[dot]com.