by Jackie Dale
Since this will be my last column for the year of 2021, I went through my notebook to compile some statistics. I try my best to log in everything I do, but I may forget once in a while. However, the numbers are pretty accurate. Drumroll please! As of November 21, the numbers are…
Cats/Kittens Personally Taken In: 208
Sent to Rescue: 399
Private Adoptions: 11
TNR’s: 72 (& counting)
Dogs Rescued: 5
The past few weeks I have been very busy concentrating on TNR’s. I booked appointments for every single week for November and December. Every weekend has been spent trapping because the vet I use goes on an extended vacation each year to visit family overseas. She will be gone for all of January and February. That will bring my cat business to a virtual standstill for those months because I can’t afford to get my cats fixed anywhere else. I probably need the break anyways, it has been a long and difficult year.
I returned to the “A & W” TNR project to trap more kittens. One kitten followed an adult male cat into a trap. When the door closed the adult freaked out and continued to do so whenever we approached the trap. We were very concerned that the adult would injure the kittens during transport, so I drove ten miles back to my house for another trap and some cage dividers. I have become pretty adept at separating cats in traps and moving the other cat into a different trap. It’s a tricky procedure, but you know what they say—practice makes perfect! And yes, getting two cats in one trap is a pretty common occurrence.
The Reedley TNR project continues with eight cats and older kittens now fixed and vaccinated. It turned out that there is ringworm running through the colony. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done in a case like this. It is impossible to administer daily medication to a colony of feral cats. Typically, we do nothing. Ringworm will normally self-resolve in about four months. If the cat/kitten has an underlying illness or compromised immune system, then it can really take off.Here is an interesting fact:
Cats who groom themselves a lot are far less likely to contract ringworm. That is because ringworm spreads when the fungus flakes off. If it lands on fur, the cat will groom and ingest the flakes which cause no harm. That is why it is important to treat ringworm with a good fungal cream. Keeping the areas moist helps prevent flaking. I also wipe down each exposed cat daily with diluted apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is a natural antiseptic and helps prevent further contamination. It is also important to maintain separate litter boxes and even separate poop scoopers. Kittens Came In
I got a call from a lady in Reedley who had found an adorable Siamese kitten. She said it was crying continuously and when she went to investigate, she found the kitten next to its dead sibling. This lady was ready to have a baby literally any minute so I picked up the kitten. It was so adorable! “How adorable was it,” you ask? So adorable that it was adopted with twenty-four hours. The adopter had previously adopted a kitten from me so I felt comfortable with the adoption. She took it to the vet the very next day to get it a well-check and first vaccinations.
I accepted a kitten that was born into a friend’s feral colony but put it in temporary foster while I deep cleaned my kitten room. Then my friend brought me the sibling so I retrieved the other one from the foster and reunited them. They are both super cute, and I expect they will go quickly.
The next project involved some kittens that lived at a school and a park across the street. The ladies who feed them hired me to trap three kittens. Just down the block is the post office with all the cats. I decided to set some traps there as well. I caught the three I was after at the school plus two at the post office. At the school we had two girls and a boy. At the post office it was one boy and one girl. All were fixed, vaccinated, and released. One of the cats was a gorgeous brown snowshoe. First one I’ve ever seen. The ladies at the vet’s office were also intrigued by the rare cat. It was quite unfortunate that the cat was simply too feral. The chances of socializing a cat that age are pretty much slim to none. The post office project is slow going. The cats/kittens are very wary of the traps. The mother cat has proved to be most elusive. The first two kittens I trapped there are still here with me. One is taming down nicely, the other is not. He continues to strike at me when I attempt to pet him. He has some neurological issues as well. I will most likely be allowing them to live here with me. I will not allow them back at the post office.
As I write this column, I’m trying to trap three cats at a private home. Next week, four cats at another private home and the following week, four more. I have a list of people needing help. It will continue like this till the vet leaves. I am going to try to only accept emergency cats and kittens. I will continue to accept fixed, friendly adults on a case by case basis. I can usually send those out to rescue fairly quickly. This is my opportunity to take a bit of a break and focus on settling my father’s estate.
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.