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.
The Fall Open House was simply spectacular! The weather was purr-fect and people showed up in droves. We raised enough money to get us through the next six months! But as you know, the need for funds is constant. The more money we raise means more animals can be saved. We want to save them all, but reality is harsh. It takes money to continue to save, and sometimes we just have to say no. Remember, no donation is too small. Our Facebook page has over 943,000 fans. Can you imagine if every one of those people sent in just one dollar?
I can’t help but notice that we are approaching the one million mark. Who will be the lucky one millionth “like?” That lucky person will get their picture in our newsletter!
Pictures with Santa!
Local supporters can help us out in an incredibly fun way: you can have your kids’ (and/or fur-kids’) picture taken with Santa! Parents can bring their kids and pets to The Cat House on the Kings Adoption Center at the Fresno PetCo (at Blackstone and Ashlan, behind the Walmart) on two upcoming Saturdays for that special holiday picture. And it isn’t just dogs and cats… you can bring any pet who won’t attack Santa. All pets are welcome, be they furry, feathered, or reptilian. Santa will be at the PetCo on two Saturdays: December 5 and 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For the small sum of only $8.95 you can take home a holiday memory and at the same time help out a good cause. All proceeds from this fundraiser go to The Cat House on the Kings. Hope to see you there!!
I Held The Golden Tickets
November was an incredibly busy month for, as my new shirts say, ”The Cat Trapper.” The $10 spay and neuter grant caused a deluge of appointments to be made. (These funds have since been exhausted.) However, having a modicum of aforethought, I had pre-booked eight appointments in November. My Golden Tickets I called them. My one mistake was making them all in the same week. On that Monday I had the good fortune to trap a female in Selma that I had been after for over a year. She has two kittens and they were they ones I was really after. I set up my drop trap and when mom walked in, I had my cat. (I am still trying to catch the kittens.)
That same day I went to trap at a home in Reedley. These cats were neighborhood cats left behind when owners had moved away. The woman feeding them not only wanted them fixed, she was able and willing to pay. That moved her to the top of the list! I got lucky and trapped three by the end of the day. The fourth was a huge but friendly fellow that I was able to pick up. As is my practice, I held them overnight, took them in the next morning, and then held them overnight again to make sure everything was okay. (The ladies always are kept two nights just to be safe.)
For Thursday’s appointments I had scheduled one person with a cat, a fellow rescuer with a small dog, a rare female ginger from the Selma family, and three cats from a small Reedley apartment building. On Wednesday morning I went to the apartment building and set up three traps. With the residents keeping watch on the traps, I headed over to Starbucks for coffee. I was in the drive-up lane when a resident called to say two boy cats had been captured. Fastest trapping ever! I returned and picked them up. I was on my way to teach my yoga class in Selma so they went for a ride with me. At the class, one of my students brought me a tiny fuzzy black kitten she had found huddled alone on the sidewalk in her neighborhood. After class, with my car already holding two cats and now a kitten too, I attempted to trap the two kittens living in the bushes. No luck yet, but I’ll keep trying!I dropped off the kitten at The Cat House and took the two boys back to my house. I returned to the Reedley apartment building to set more traps and, by late afternoon, had captured another young cat. This fellow had one of his feet missing from an apparent birth defect, but he still got around pretty well. Since I hadn’t captured the mother cat, I set up two traps that night. Even though I had no appointment for her, it’s easier to catch a cat if the others are already trapped. Sure enough, I got an early-morning call that Mom had been caught. There was no room to squeeze her in, though, and the doctor was taking a four-day weekend so Mom cat spent a few days at Hotel Dale. She wasn’t going anywhere until she was fixed! Finally Mom and her two sons were returned to the apartment building. Yes: I said two sons, as I kept the one with the missing foot. After a few days he calmed down and, hallelujah, I found him a new family. “Merlin” has been adopted by a wonderful family and will now be an inside-only cat. He will be safe, warm, well fed, and very much loved.
Now that control of the local feral compound has been taken over by The Cat House on the Kings, things have been humming along. A new caretaker has volunteered to take over the duties of daily feedings and upkeep. The compound has been cleaned, rearranged, and winterized with tarps and feral cat boxes to keep the cats warm and dry. Our caretaker has successfully captured six kittens born to a feral mom who continues to elude our attempts to trap. Trying to catch one or two cats when there are several dozen of them wandering around can be quite difficult.
Now that the weather is colder we no longer have to contend with partiers throwing beer bottles over the fence. We also had an incident where a dog owner allowed her unleashed dogs to tree one of the feral cats. She declined to call off her dogs, said she didn’t care about any leash laws, and challenged us to call the police—which we did. They spoke to her after chasing her down in her golf cart. Despite the leash laws, people continuously allow their dogs to run free. Not only is this unfair and inconsiderate to other people who may wish to walk their dogs or bring their children there to play, it is downright dangerous.
I Have A Hard Time Saying No
I’d barely cleared out all the cats when I received a call about dogs needing an emergency foster home. I’m not sure of all the details but a woman with several small dogs had her home condemned and she was homeless. Until she manages to secure someplace to live, four of her dogs will be boarded in one of my kennels. I couldn’t say no to someone in such need. The dogs aren’t much trouble and they are good guests. By “good,” I mean reasonably quiet and cooperative. When I go out to the kennels they seem happy to see me. One of the dogs is still hanging back but at least he isn’t growling at me anymore!
Wrapping It Up
Christmas is just around the corner. A Cat House on the Kings calendar would make a wonderful gift for the cat lover in your life.
If you are considering some year-end, tax-deductible donations to charity, please keep The Cat House on the Kings in mind.
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.