It's happened again.
King's Harvest Pet Rescue, 2504 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport, is dealing with another cat-hoarding case.
Two years ago, shelter workers rescued more than 100 cats from one mobile home. This time, they could take only half the 50-some cats discovered in another Scott County home.
The 24 they were able to take to the shelter this week include three moms with litters. Many are not healthy enough for adoption just yet, but they are being well cared for at King's Harvest. The problem is: They don't have the space to rescue the other 30 kitties from conditions that would be unkind to describe.
"We desperately need to get some of our cats adopted, so we can go get more of the others," said Terri Gleize, director of the King's Harvest shelters.
Although they haven't done a head count in a few days, rescuers estimate there are 70 to 90 cats at the shelter now. (I lightened their load by one adoption, naturally.)
These hoarding situations are desperately sad. The hoarders always mean well and believe they are saving the animals. But it's just terribly unhealthy for human and feline to have so many cats in a home.
Cats and kittens that arrived Tuesday were so full of fleas, the bottom of the shelter's bath sink was covered in the insects. Many also have eye problems and upper-respiratory concerns.
Besides needing people who are willing to adopt, King's Harvest is in dire need of supplies. They especially need clumping cat litter and kitten formula. Cash is always appreciated, because vet bills are a constant challenge.
Walking through the shelter Wednesday, I thought about a refugee camp. Cats and kittens were everywhere, but no one was complaining. A kitten would occasionally let out one of those high-pitched baby mews that make your palms sweat, but the giant pride was otherwise content. They watched the workers and volunteers buzz from room to room, their hands cradling some sorry-looking babies.
"We're in dire need of the clumping litter," said Chris Bone, director of the rescue. "The Tidy Cat clumping litter does not emit dust, which can be a problem for kittens' upper respiratory system.
"We are over-run by cats and kittens."