As I finished my last column, I was patiently waiting for the vet to return from vacation. She had already contacted me and set up appointments for the day after she got home on the 3rd. Meanwhile, someone dumped two friendly cats in my yard. Both males, one was fixed and one was not. The unfixed fellow is super fluffy and full of matted fur.
It has been a few months since my last column. There has been so much going on that finding the time to sit and write has proved quite elusive. I left off in mid-September as the vet was returning from an extended vacation. “Popeye” had just had successful eye surgery. He was subsequently adopted by my son as a companion for his other cat.
Jackie Dale-TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Still Lots of Kittens, Some Finally Left, Working on a Deadline
Although I kept saying I wasn’t going to take in any cats/kittens during our home improvements, I apparently have a hard time saying “No.” I got a call from one of my feeders about an injured kitten at a local strip mall. I went to check it out and as I pulled up, I immediately saw the kitten. It was just sitting there with another cat that I assumed to be the mother cat. As I approached, it continued to sit there until I got very close.
The past two months have been busy. I took in a white kitten from a local woman. She called two days later saying there were two more. Then, they asked if I could take the mom cat as well, and I said yes because then I would not have to bottle feed. Then, she said the cat got out. Oh, I just love that. She finally got the mom cat, and I made a third trip to town to pick her up. I was so annoyed by this I forgot to bring a carrier, so the cat had to ride on the dashboard on the way back. Not a problem for the now named Olive. Her three kittens are adorable.
My morning starts with immediate work. The leisurely cup of coffee is nonexistent during kitten season. The first thing I do is feed the many hungry bottle babies. I make the formula the night before to save time. Then, I have to clean the litter boxes because I do believe that the inside cats wait all day long in order to all go poop during the night. Next, I feed the outside cats. I have the cats that hang in the front, the cats that hang in the back, and the cats that live around the fringe of the perimeter. Everyone has their chosen area, and they pretty much stay there.
The month started with helping the residents of a small apartment complex with their resident “strays”. With one resident’s help we were able to corral the daddy of the group and get him into a carrier. I then took him home and transferred him into a trap. I also grabbed a young kitten who looked very ill. I fed and cleaned up the kitten and gave him a warm bed. However, the next morning he was gone. My consolation lies in the fact that he felt safe, fed, warm, and loved in his final hours … not die outside, cold, hungry and alone.
The past month has been difficult. The sheer number of kittens needing help is overwhelming. There is a meme making the rounds that says: “It’s rude to ask a rescuer how many cats they have during kitten season.” When people ask me that question, I just sigh, shrug my shoulders, and say, “I don’t know.” In reality, the numbers for the past month have hovered around 23-27 kittens and cats.
Jackie Dale—TheCatMother/Cat Trapper: Professional Cat Chauffeur, The Great Escape, It’s A Smelly Cat
February was a month for spending quite a bit of time on the road. Driving Nadine, the Rottweiler, to the rescue required that I ask a friend to drive us there in her roomier SUV. Nadine was very well-behaved in the car, but we think she was nervous because her last ride in a vehicle didn’t go so well. She did not want to get out. However, once out and reassured she wasn’t about to be abandoned again, her personality bounced right back.
January started out with a trickle of cats. A couple of cats here and there from the local shelter and one lady who paid me $100 to take in a friendly stray. Then came a call from the rescue, they were low on adult cats. I only had one cat, an FIV+ cat, who had been waiting for an opening in that particular unit. However, not one to waste an opportunity, I quickly rounded up some friendly, fixed adult cats to make the trip.
The past few months have been so busy I didn’t even have the time or energy to write my columns for the past two months. The non-stop cat work combined with the holiday season just made for an extremely hectic time. In addition, the vet was leaving at the end of December, so I had to get as much done as I could before then. That included resuming trapping at the golf course. I had only been trapping there for a couple of weeks before the rains started.