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Jackie Dale

by Jackie Dale



Shortly after last month’s column, I had my foot surgery. I tried to empty out my kittens rooms beforehand, but alas, that didn’t happen. So I had to hobble around starting the day after surgery, and it wasn’t easy. I am not going to sugar coat it. It was really hard caring for thirteen kittens, and the new mom and her three babies while literally hopping around on one foot. I used crutches for the first week, but it was cumbersome. I would prepare the food bowls for each room and then carry them in on a large tray.

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by Jackie Dale



June ended with me still having nineteen kittens and one mother cat. The amount of work required to maintain all these cats and still have a nice smelling house is staggering. Up at 6 a.m. to feed and scoop, which takes about two hours. I generally hit the sack around midnight. Why so late? Because in addition to taking care of the kittens, I have a ton of other things to do each day. I have several “side hustles” to pick up some extra cash, a home and yard to maintain, and ongoing TNR projects. You know, a life, lol! But I take my rescue efforts very seriously. I am aware that some people may think I’m “crazy” to do so much work “for nothing.”

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by Jackie Dale



The end of May was both uplifting and encouraging even with a hiccup or two. The day after I finished last month’s column, I stopped to feed my small colony and was perturbed to see a kitten. I had not seen any pregnant cats out there. One kitten turned out to be four kittens. They were scared, but it was clear that they were not feral. If they were born feral, there would be no way I would have been able to grab them by hand. Granted, I did have to crawl through some bushes, but I was not leaving any behind. Plus, they were flea-free, very unusual with cats born in the wild.

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by Jackie Dale



Kitten season is in full swing and the work is non-stop. The calls, texts and messages come in every single day. Sometimes I can help, but as I have been saying as of late, “I’m only one person!” I just can’t save them all. It is hard to say “no” but I only have so much room and time.

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by Jackie Dale



Kitten season has arrived with its usual tsunami of kittens. In addition, a lot of pregnant cats have come my way. I think this is in part due to two things. Number one is the sheer cost of fixing one’s pet is extremely high. Low cost alternatives are sometimes available but often require traveling, which is an obstacle for some people. I realize that if you can’t afford to fix your pet, you should not get one, but unfortunately, many people don’t have that much forethought.

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by Jackie Dale



Last month I began installing cameras so that I will be able to see the miscreants whose twisted sense of what is the right thing to do leads them to drop off cats on my property. All sides of the property will be covered, so hopefully no one will be tempted to dump their cats on me any longer.

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by Jackie Dale



This past month, the cat business has been brisk. At the top of the list of things to do is the installation of security cameras. Two large male cats showed up in my yard about a month ago. I believe them to be male because they have those typical softball-sized heads. I’m not sure they arrived together because they don’t seem to like each other. So far efforts to trap them have proved futile.

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by Jackie Dale



This time last month I was up to my eyeballs in cats and kittens. Noodles, Klinger, and Vivienne were no longer containable in the bathtub, and my husband, though extremely tolerant of sharing the bathroom, was growing weary of their antics. There was the usual unrolling of the toilet paper, scattering of cat litter on the floor, and the emptying of the waste basket onto the floor, but when they started jumping on the legs of the unlucky seated person, things got serious. I clipped all their sharp little claws, but they were still inflicting scratches on those brave enough to enter. We have two bathrooms, but the second one is small and also had a cat in it.

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by Jackie Dale



One of my foster people, a lovely young woman with a heart the size of the moon, passed away recently from complications of Covid. We are devastated at the loss of such a vibrant life and this column is dedicated to you, Leann Schmidt. Your love of animals was clearly evident in your actions to help save and foster. You will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved you. You will always live on in our fond memories.

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by Jackie Dale



I’m starting this column with some updates from last month. The starving cat TNR project was completed and the relocation of the cats was successful. F. Scott, who had to have his tail amputated after evil children lit a firecracker on it, went to rescue. I don’t usually ask for updates on the cats I send to rescue but F. Scott was a special cat. He was adopted almost immediately! I had no doubts; he had a stellar personality.

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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.

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by Jackie Dale



It has been a very long, very hot month. The extreme heat alone was enough to cause issues, but the smoke from the many California wildfires only served to complicate matters. I even tried to bring my dog, Ilsa inside the house, but apparently she isn’t too keen on being inside. Not sure why that is but needless to say, once she tried to launch herself through a closed window, I put her back outside. She has shade, a pool and I would regularly hose her down. In the evenings I walk Ilsa down to the nearby canal so she can take a little dip.

by Jackie Dale



It has been a busy month. I still have 12 kittens and one adult cat at my house. One of the adults that I sent to rescue was returned because she wouldn’t stop hissing. She is a very nice cat but she just has this weird habit that is somewhat off-putting. She also doesn’t care for other cats so finding her a home is going to be a challenge. She is reported to be an excellent mouser and enjoys affection; she does not like to be picked up, though. Normally, I would return the cat to the original owner, but they are moving and don’t want her back.

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by Jackie Dale



Some of you (hopefully) noticed I did not have a column last month. Unfortunately, my son, who was 28, passed away after a long illness. Frankie had a degenerative brain disease that progressed very slowly, finally ending my sweet boy’s life on what was possibly the worst day of my life. But for at least three people, the worst day of my life was the best day of their life because we decided to donate Frankie’s organs.

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