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Jackie Dale

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 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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by Jackie Dale



The past month has been interesting to say the least. I live in the country surrounded by orange trees, and every year the trees bloom for about a three-week period. During this time bee keepers bring their hives in so their bees can make the oh-so-luscious orange blossom honey. There are literally hundreds of hives in a one-mile radius of my home. Every year a bee keeper from Sacramento rents a piece of my land for his hives for which I receive a bit of cash and a gallon of honey.

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by Jackie Dale



The month started out pretty brisk, rescue-wise. Until two weeks ago when our rescue had to cut us off until the Covid-19 crises is resolved. We made it in with the final transport by the skin of our teeth. The person we deal with had to literally beg the powers-that-be, to allow us to bring in the last batch of cats. They were out of cats and people were calling for cats, so they said “Ok” to the one last run.

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by Jackie Dale



It has been a brisk month for The CatMother. I currently have two bottle babies, Chuck and Lola. Their mother had four kittens on someone’s lawn and then she got up and walked away. By the time I was contacted, only two remained. So far they are doing well, and I’m hopeful. However tiny newborns are quite fragile and things can go downhill quickly and suddenly.

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by Jackie Dale



I get lots of phone calls, emails, and texts about cats. So many in fact that when I received a call from an unknown phone number, I fully expected it to be about cats. When the call turned out not to be about cats, I started laughing which then forced me to explain to my caller. I’m pretty sure she was wondering if I was just a bit nuts. However, I do receive many calls.

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by Jackie Dale



I’m starting out the year with nearly empty kitten rooms. I had several private adoptions including a beautiful fluffy kitten that had been abandoned by the river. My last two adoptables, the polydactyl brother and sister, went to rescue on New Year’s Eve. Peter and Paulette had been previously rejected due to a teensy spot of ringworm. Time and due diligence paid off and the six-month-olds passed the test this time, free and clear.

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by Jackie Dale



December has turned into a brisk month for adoptions. September and October were absolutely dead. We hardly moved any cats at all. Between the shelters taking in animals from all the areas hit by the fires, two of the rescues we work with had to deal with major hoarding situations which filled all available spaces. Thanksgiving is approaching and we finally got the call.

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by Jackie Dale



The big news this month is…drumroll please…I received a $500 donation from a very generous woman! I have to say I was very shocked. I am so unbelievably grateful for this donation. This will pay for the Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) of a lot of cats. I am humbled by her generosity and her trust that I will use this money to reduce the over-population of cats in the Valley.

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by Jackie Dale



The past month has been very stressful. Adoptions have been slow, and the rescues have not been accepting cats because, big surprise, they are full to the rafters. My son’s medical condition has been in serious decline, and I have had to focus most of my attention on him and his needs. That means I have often been forced to say “no” when I would normally say “yes.” I’m trying to focus on clearing out my foster ladies before the cats get too much older. I’m still accepting the occasional bottle baby or two, but that’s about all I can handle at present.

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by Jackie Dale



August proved to be a long, difficult month. It was like moving heaven and earth to get cats and kittens either adopted or into rescue. People are either still vacationing or getting ready to return to school. The unrelenting heat certainly did not help. Throw in a few medical issues and sometimes you just want to throw up your hands and give up. But the cats are depending on us and in reality, if I give up, then I’m stuck with a lot of cats.

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by Jackie Dale




The only the thing in July that was more unrelenting than the heat, was the flow of cats and kittens needing help. You have to learn to say “no” if you want to retain any semblance of your sanity. You also have to learn that you just can’t save them all. There just isn’t enough time, money, and room to do that. Well, technically, if more people stepped up we would have enough of all those things. But most of the time, it’s the same old song and dance.

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by Jackie Dale



This is an incredibly frenzied time of the year for those of us involved in freelance rescue. That is because it is full-blown kitten season, and it’s really bad this year. I spend a good portion of my day answering emails, texts, and phone calls as well as responding to Facebook tags. The shelter is hovering at around 70 kittens and a handful of adults, mainly mothers of kittens.

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