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.
Okay people, next weekend is The Cat House on the Kings big Fall Festival Open House. I hope you all have marked your calendars, made sure you had the day off from work and are ready for some fun and lots of kitty lovin’! Remember to bring an admission donation: bleach, pine cleaner, paper towels, scoopable litter and/or of course, cat food. We use both canned food and dry food. Please note that we try to avoid dry cat food with brightly colored pieces of kibble. Something about the dye used to color the food messes with the urinary tract of the male cats. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you on November 1, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Trees, Makeovers and Calendars
The Cat House on the Kings has recently partnered up with Tree Fresno, and on October 17 volunteers arrived at The Cat House to assist with the planting of trees in the open acreage. Landscape designer and certified arborist, Susan Stiltz, directed the volunteers in planting the Pistache and fruitless Mulberry trees. There is still plenty of space left, so if you would like to donate a tree, it would be greatly appreciated; you can donate it in someone’s memory if you like. For more information contact Beth Caffrey at beth@cathouseonthekings.
The Cat House on the Kings is the Grand Prize Winner in the “Hauspanther” (online magazine) “Ultimate Cat Shelter Makeover Contest.” The Cat House garnered the most votes to win, among other things, a “Catified” room makeover complete with $1,000 of cat products donated by The Vertical Cat and a designer cat toy assortment from “Hauspanther.” We would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for The Cat House. You came through for us again!
The time to pre-order your Cat House on the Kings calendars ends this Sunday, October 26. There will be some calendars available for purchase after the pre-order period is over, but they will be in limited supply. The Cat House has received orders from nearly every state and 12 countries! Don’t be the only one without a Cat House on the Kings calendar. The clock is ticking down so order right now! www.cathouseonthekings.com/calendars
Backlash and Background
My column last month prompted one reader to send an email to Lynea complaining that my column was just too sad and that all the stories should have happy endings. My response was to say that if you don’t like my column then you certainly do not have to read it. I went on to say that it was not my job to sugarcoat the world for people. I am a realist. I write about the truth and the truth is sometimes painful. When I wrote about Rocky’s story, he was doing well. I had literally just finished my column that day when I received word that he had taken a turn for the worse and didn’t make it. I had to change the ending of his story to reflect that. This reader also seemed to think that I was Lynea’s sister.
That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to give a little background on myself. First of all, I am not Lynea’s sister. I am a wife and mother of two. My daughter is 17 and my son is 22. My son has a terminal brain disease and my main job is caring for him. I am a free-lance writer, a fitness/yoga instructor and a former ballerina who now teaches. Lynea and I met about 20 years ago when I answered a plea for donations of food. I ended up adopting a cat from her and the rest is history. I write for a local magazine, Traffic, and in January of 2012, The Cat House on the Kings was featured as the cover story. Shortly thereafter, I was hired to write the newsletter for The Cat House.
When Kings River Life Magazine asked me to write this column, I agreed. I do not get paid to write this column, I do it for the sole benefit of The Cat House on the Kings. My goal is to spread the word about The Cat House, to make people aware of all the good work that is done there. The Cat House survives solely on donations, so it is vital that we reach as many people as possible. If anything I write offends someone, I do apologize, as that is not my intention. However, I cannot alter the truth in order to make it less painful. I hope you continue to read my column but if you choose not to, I will understand.There is a lot of heartache and heartbreak when you work in animal rescue. There is no way around it. In animal rescue, you see the worst of the worst. There is rampant abuse, neglect and abandonment. And there is sometimes senseless, horrific violence. A Fresno woman was killed in her own driveway while defending her cats from a woman walking her dog. The dog walker, in front of her two children, stabbed Mary Lara to death. The Cat House on the Kings and ARF (Animal Rescue of Fresno) stepped in and volunteered to help after learning about 18 cats and several dogs that now had no caretaker.
Education is the Key
I believe we need to create a program where we go around to the schools to properly educate students on how we should care for our fellow creatures. The need for this was never more clearly illustrated to me as when someone recently said to me, “Animals don’t feel pain like people do. You are treating animals like they are people, giving them human emotions.” I was simply flabbergasted at this line of thinking. Let me mention that the topic was whether or not it was necessary to anesthetize male cats before neutering. I cannot fathom that someone would actually believe that animals do not feel pain or have emotions. This is exactly the sort of third-world thinking that we must rally against. I have said it before and I will say it again and again: Education, as well as mandatory spay and neuter laws, are the only ways to control a problem that is completely out of control.
And finally, the latest “Animal Rescue Site Fall Challenge” started on October 13 and runs until November 23. We didn’t win in the last one but we are hoping this time will be the one. It only takes a minute and a few mouse clicks to help us win some cash! You can vote every day and even sign up for a daily reminder. http://www.shelterchallenge.com
Last, but not least, if you place an ad in Kings River Life, you can denote 10% to go to The Cat House on the Kings.
Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.