Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Goodbye Goofy and Roman

They're gone.  The kittens.  Roman and Goofy.  Those wild boys.  Gone.  Taken in by a kind woman.  They'll be fine.  They're moving on in their new lives. 

They quickly learned how fun toys are.  But being former feral, their wild noisy play, that sounded like stampeding elephants, at times, in the bathroom, heard from my bed, came at night.  In the morning, they'd look so sweet and blinky eyed sleepy.  But the bathroom would be trashed!

Unrolled toilet paper would be everywhere.  Toys I'd find dunked in water dishes, drawers opened too, with objects from them all over, turned into toys also.

Kittens are too much for me.  Their energy!

So goodbye Roman and Goofy. Goodbye and good luck and now I can at last sleep through the night.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Help Me Understand

I thought I'd done such a good thing.  A feel good thing.

I trapped that lost gray tabby last night, the one the people came looking for, door to door, two weeks ago.  They left me their number.  They moved out of those apartments behind the cul de sac, and hadn't been able to catch their unfixed young  boy.

I gave them a good lecture about spay neuter.  They had unfixed others, too.

I find their number, once he was in the trap this morning, and call.  No answer.  I'm perplexed.  She'd said to call anytime day or night, if I saw him, and she'd come immediately.  Hmmm, I think.  So I take him on over to Heartland, to be neutered.  Pre arranged.  Been having spray mark issues with you know who.  Peeman Sam.  And others.  Over him, an unfixed boy, out in the yard.

I think, "She'll call me.  She was so anxious to find him.  Don't worry.  She'll call."

But she didn't call back.

I start to worry, to wonder what I'll do with him.

I get back home and try to make alternate arrangements somewhere.  I try Safehaven.  After all, now they have that new shelter.  33,000 square feet.  OMG.  That's huge.  Surely they can take him.

But no.  I get a call back.  "We'll put you on a list, call you maybe sometime, if we ever have room."  I laugh loudly to myself.  "Sure you will."  I know about the list.  It doesn't exist.   I say, "You never help."  The guy laughs, like he knows its the truth.

Here's the really funny part.   I see someone out front, a car, an old couple getting out.  I go out my front door to see if maybe someone is visiting me.  (Not, they're appraising the dead neighbor's house) As I open the door, an envelope falls.  There's a handwritten note scribbled on the back, from the people looking for their lost cat, saying they're still looking, signed her name, with her number, the same number I'm calling with no answer.   The same number I'm leaving messages that say, "I've got your cat.  Come get him."  With no return call.


I'm creeped out by the note also because I was home all day yesterday, except for one hour, and nobody came to my door.  I believe they left the note in the middle of the night.  That is totally creepy.  I tell neighbors, so they can watch out.  One neighbor tells me the people behind her now have a huge marijuana grow going, allegedly for medicinal purposes.  Yeah right.

At 2:00 I'm shocked to get an answer when I call.  They claim they are on their way over to my place right then.  Wow.  Coincidence.  Right when I call them, they're on the way over, without even calling me back.  "Huh," I think.  "That's a little too good to be true."

They also claim they're buying me a whole bunch of cat food to bring me in thanks.   One part of me wants to believe that.  Another part, my skeptical realistic side, is whispering loudly "Wow, what a con."  They claim they'll come get him as soon as he's back from surgery.  They don't.  They've still not come.  They're never coming for him, I think now.

How strange.  I mean they left that note in the crack of my door just yesterday.

Angry now, I call the police.  It's against the law to abandon a cat.  I want them hunted down and charged.

I talk to a community service officer.  I start by saying this is all very odd.  After I tell him the story he says "It's not that strange.  This IS Albany, after all."  He's right.

He calls them, leaves a message, calls me back, says their phone went right to message which means its turned off or dead.   He says he'll call me in the morning to see if they ever came to get their cat.  Fat chance they will, I think.

An Albany employee, my friend the code enforcement person, says she'll foster him for now.  Thank you Mary!

Things will never be right here in the Twilight Zone.

After all.

Check him out.  Glad I gave him a name for Heartland neuter records.  Benny.

I've become completely freaked out over all this, the fact she wouldn't answer her phone, then finally did, said she was on her way over, then never came, never answered the phone again.  And that note left, apparently in the middle of the night.  This isn't normal or right.  Then I get a call, although I never heard it, saw it later, came in at 10:45 p.m.  Who calls at that hour?

 Message is from some unknown guy, who claims the owner had to leave town suddenly and he'll pick up the cat.  I text him that I have released the cat and I never want to hear from any of them again.

Unfortunately, that's what I have to do.  I don't feel safe.  This isn't normal, nothing about it.  He should be fine.  He's been on his own for awhile now.  Except he can eat in my yard or several other people's yards nearby.  And there are beds too for him and other cats, in two yards at least.  It is the best I can do because I don't feel safe with this.

No good deed goes unpunished.  I feel so sad for that cat.  I can't even sleep.  What is wrong with people?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

On the Lake

I took my raft up to the Reservoir a few days ago. Unfortunately, I became impatient with the blow up time and did not blow it up fully, so it was squishy in the water. Oh well. Usually I blow it up as tight as possible then pour cold water over it, or haul it down to the lake with my two wheel rear end cart, which allows me to carry the front only, and there, with it on the cool water, pump more air into it, once it contracts. I skipped this crucial step and paid the price in a squishy raft on the water. I didn't row that far this time. Just across the arm, around the point, and across the main body of the lake, to a small rock beach. There were not too many people on the lake, maybe a dozen ski boats, is all, unusual for this time of year. The water level has dropped quickly and the lake has rapidly warmed. Weeds are growing all along the bottom in most area, which is yucky and signals if it gets too warm, algae could start in, as it does in many Oregon rivers and lakes by mid summer, often closing them due to the toxic health effects of some algae.
 Here's a link to one of the first closures, Odell Lake, off Highway 58 out of Oakridge, closed now due to Blue Green toxic algae.
 I took the little donated camera along. It's so tiny I can easily fit it into a zip lock bag, to keep it dry. That was fun.
The kittens will be leaving for a Portland area rescue on Tuesday. Roman is very tame now but Goofy, the Siamese is still skittish and needs a better foster situation with more people handling him. They play wildly at night. I moved the homemade screen door on the 2nd bedroom to the bathroom so they can better socialize to human activity. They love other cats but most of my cats are kind of beastly to kittens. The ferals from the Lebanon colony love the kittens however.
Goofy on my lap.

My old river cat, Vision, now 20 years old, at least, is failing. She has become weak in the hindquarters, thin, deaf and she is not long for this world. Yesterday I trimmed some of her long hair, to give her some relief, not all, because I didn't want to stress her out. I needed to trim her nails, which I did, because she still traverses the high cat walks, with carpet and she could catch a nail, when leaping, and that would be a nasty bone crunching end for her. I want her end to be peaceful and easy. It won't be long. My precious baby.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kitten Video

I made a video of the boys. Please share. Maybe we can find them a good home!

Nowhere Days

Summer churns on.  Sometimes its' hot, sometimes overcast with thunder storms.

I only got involved helping the Corvallis colony out of complete boredom.  But also because they paid my expenses.  They cover gas and bait and the fixes.

Except I have now two kittens in my bathroom and I'm not sure where they can go.  They need a better foster situation. I can't have them out of the bathroom because I have too many jealous cats here.

The Siamese boy was so sick when he came here Saturday.  He had to have sub cu fluids Saturday night, late, after I got home elder sitting for some Lebanon folks whose family bought them tickets to ride the fireworks train from Lebanon to Sweet Home and back again, after dinner up there.  They didn't know they'd get back so late.  They did not arrive home until 1:30 a.m.
I loaned my camera to my friend, so she could capture photos of their adventure.  The ride costs $100 per ticket.  Relatives bought them the tickets.

I was knowing by then, Sunday would be a horror for me.  I was headed to Portland with the three adults caught Saturday from the colony. I had to leave by 7:30 a.m.   I did not get home until 2:00 a.m.  Then I had to do the chores here and give the kittens antibiotics and the Siamese sub cu fluids too, before dropping into bed for a very few short hours of sleep.

Didn't help I spotted the lost brown tabby unfixed male in my yard as I drove in.  Some people stopped by a week ago, worried over their lost brown tabby male.  He'd been lost when they were moving out of the apartments behind the end of the cul de sac.  They also have an unfixed female who is already pregnant again and already had one litter this summer.  They have another unfixed boy too.  I gave them hell.  How dare they contribute to the problem and also to my problems by letting their unfixed male free roam this hood and daring to want me to watch for him and catch him.  How dare they?

The Corvallis folks delivered the cats to me at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  One black female looked like death warmed over, with bloody pus drooling from her mouth.  She was so skinny and dehydrated too.  Thick yellow snot oozed from her nose.  I shook my head and knew she would not come back with me.  The FCCO has policies about sick cats or diseased cats that the vet judges too ill to humanely return to outside life.
This is the sick black female who was euthanized.

This is Nero, the big older male, euthanized due to advanced stage FIV.

I dropped off the cats and headed to a local reservoir.  I had thought I'd swim, have some fun, but knew now I was too tired and I just needed somewhere I could sleep without over heating in my car.  I laid out an old sheet on the grass by a picnic table with some towels as a pillow and immediately fell into a deep sleep.  I woke up with rain splattering against me.  Thunder was roaring in huge lengthy bellows across the sky.  I went back to sleep, too tired to move.

I slept two hours and woke up again, damp from rain.  I sat in my car awhile in the parking lot and watched system after system roll through.  Picnickers just down from me huddled out of the rain beneath a canopy, that suddenly took flight and tumbled skyward and rolled end over end towards the parking lot, caught by the wind.  Two younger people took off chasing it and they all laughed.

I headed back to the clinic then, knowing, since the heat predicted had not come, I could safely sleep in my car.  Once there, I parked along the curb and crawled into the back of my car, with a silver windshield heat reflecter laid out under me. I used the same towels as a pillow.  I did not wake until 4:00 p.m., with a start, the time I would reclaim the three cats.

I reclaimed only one cat.  The black female had been euthanized.  So had the big male, Nero, as he was FIV positive.  My heart sank and I wanted to cry.    Only the black and white female was healthy and returning with me.

The black and white female, still here, fixed yesterday, who will return this evening.
I got back home and after greeting my cats, who were needy from my absence, I cleaned, did all the chores, fed the kittens, gave the feral girl in the trap food, and hit the hay by 9:00 p.m.  I slept a full 12 hours but still feel giddy tired.

I guess there's only one adult to catch over there still and the two kittens, who may be dead kittens by now.  The little Siamese boy was so sick and so dehydrated when he was caught I can't imagine the other two would survive.   They are still trapping over there, to catch them, if alive, and for the final female.

It was just bad timing, that's all, that I'd agreed to watch my friends mom, while they went off on their adventure, before knowing I'd be taking cats to Portland yesterday.  I survived it and they had a great time.

I hope to find a better foster situation for the two boy kittens, so they'll get lots of handling and exposure to people and tame fully.

Roman, black male kitten, and the Siamese boy kitten, not yet named.  They are still sick but vastly improved and both should survive.

Both parties, the colony people, and the people who rode the train, made donations to my nonprofit cat care fund, which was pretty much empty.  As a result, this morning, I was able to order enough Revolution for all the cats here.  I'm happy about that.

I'd like to also mention Galihad, the long hair senior Himilayan mix, left behind by people in Albany, is in a trial home now, with an old woman up in Portland.  She loves him and the home is probably going to be finalized, I'm told.  She says he's very very happy there.

I don't get to go anywhere unless its a cat mission and my expenses are paid.  So sure the adventure was exhausting and I didn't get to do something fun during the day yesterday, but the weather was bad enough I couldn't have anyhow.  I don't mind sleeping in the rain through a thunderstorm.  In fact, it was comforting on some level.

When I think further about it, knowing now I'll have Revolution for all my cats as a result, and that this bad situation in Corvallis, where kittens have been born to die for years, is going to be solved for good, it was a great weekend, all around.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A River Cat Dies

Precious Scratch has died.

She was 19.

She was something else, a treasure, from the river.

I met Scratch during a very hard time in my life, a time I'd rather forget, but it was also the time that saved me.  The cats existing along the Willamette river, born to discarded souls, became my family.  I lived along the banks with them.  They gave me love and in return, I got them fixed and tried my best to find them homes.

This effort became desperate when the city of Corvallis embarked on a project to revise the banks of the Willamette, where the cats lived and create a park.  I fought that park, me, a little nothing, a nobody, but a somebody terrified for the safety of her new found family.

This family did not only include the river cats, but also the other animals who inhabited the banks of the river, including beaver, otter and even a disabled mother duck.

She'd sleep with her brood next to me, knowing she'd be safe.  Her foot had been badly burned in a fireworks fire that caught grass along the banks ablaze.  I fed her also until she healed.

Scratch went to live with my bus driver friend, after I trapped her.  She was skinny, skrawny and loud.   She took to life there.  She climbed their backyard apple tree and walked its branches to the roof.  She slept in the barn with the chickens.  She loved those chickens.  Once, they saw her fly off the roof and into the apple tree and were astonished to see the target of her vengence was a huge red tailed hawk, hunting her beloved chickens. 

That hawk took off in a flurry of feathers and fur.

The hawk was twice Scratch's size. 

Scratch never walked anywhere, she always ran or trotted.  Towards the end, she still wanted out, and would flop immediately to watch the fields, even to her last day.  It is tragic such a beautiful soul, so in love with her life there, had her time run out.  But that is the only tragic thing about her story.  Her life was glorious.  She was cherished.

A river girl, unwanted and struggling, became a loved member of a family.

Rest in Peace my blessed Scratch.

I love you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Update and the Kitten

I have not posted in awhile.  Why?  I don't know.

The heat steals my motivation for all things nonessential?

Camera was DOA.

Those are a couple of half decent excuses.

I was gifted a camera, from a woman in Texas who no longer uses it.  I got it yesterday and am thrilled.  It's tiny, fits in the palm of my hand, and is very easy to use.  It also takes good pictures!

The only request from Debbie was that I think of Abby, her beloved friend, when I use the camera.  That I will do!

Here's the camera gifter's website.

Here's a photo I took this morning of Juno with the gifted camera.  What do you think?

The camera is so tiny and easy to use compared to my old one.   It's perfect for me.

I got involved with a trapping situation.  In Corvallis, no less.  I thought it was going to be easy to help this couple catch four kittens and two adults living under a deck in the yard that backed the yard of the house they'd bought for their mom, as they want to move her out of Albany, for the usual reasons (crime, drugs, free roaming dangerous dogs, etc).

It was far from easy.   The kittens were not being fed there.  In fact, they were being fed in multiple places, including at an apartment complex where I've trapped before, a block away.   I quickly found the person again who feeds at the apartments and was dismayed to discover there are at least six unfixed adults, and kittens have been born and suffered and died and vanished from the earth.  But what to do but try again, to stop the suffering.

But in two days, I caught only one of the two big males and one of the kittens, the sick one.  The heat does not help the trapping.  The apartment feeder had two traps of her own.  I had her tie the largest open, to feed in it awhile and get them used to it, and when this near 100 degree heat passes the valley, we shall try again.

I wore myself out completely, by trapping very late the one night I had to catch them, before surgery today, and going over again very very early the next morning ,with not even four hours of sleep.  I get cranky and groggy for days if I don't get my 7 hours in.  Now I pay.

I was going to trap last night again, but was notified the surgery for today at Heartland is full.  So only the one big male could be fixed.  I guess the woman who contacted me originally is going to try to find somewhere else to get them fixed affordably, when caught.  She had a borrowed trap also. I showed her how to use it and she got the young couple in the yard where the cats sometimes hang out involved to help watch it.  So she has a trap and the apartment people have two and so its all up to them now.  I'll just try to help find places to get them fixed, if they need that.  It's really tough around here, unless you can afford to travel to Portland to the FCCO clinic, but that's a lot of gas money.

I have two more unfixed males coming through my yard now.  It drives my cats nuts and I'm getting a little worn out over it.  I've already trapped 49 cats coming through my yard unfixed since moving here.  Now two more.  Can you believe that?  

In the meantime, I have this black fuzzy male kitten in my bathroom.   What should I do with him?  He has three strikes against him already.  He was born wild.  He has a URI.  And he's black.

The shelter in Corvallis would take him, but they are not no kill and would not guarantee that this older feral boy kitten (8 or 9 weeks of age) would not be killed, if he is too sick or too wild.   I quickly tamed him, but to me.  How will he act elsewhere, I wonder.  I'm torn over what to do with him.  

He needs tested.  A colony goes on breeding like that for years, eventually diseases get in, over males fighting, diseases like FIV and Feline Leukemia.  It's the latter I worry over, with him.

On the fourth, I went to Lebanon and had dinner with my friends, who also had family over, whom I know.  We had a rowdy good time.  We laughed and joked after we ate, then we played wild cribbage games.  Yes, wild cribbage.

I needed to get away from my own thoughts. I'm alone most of the time.  If I read the paper or, worse, comments after paper articles, I go a little nuts.   There's a lot of hatred going on towards the poor in our country.   It's always been that way but lately its been worse.  Hasn't helped that I feed the hatred myself and tell myself, since my self appointed job ended, I'm more worthless than ever.  I start thinking I need essential skills, so I won't be gassed when the poor haters take over.  Everyone's poor in Lebanon I think.  My friends are poor.

We joked about the hate and said if they come to kill us as poor people, we'll not go down easy.   We got guns, they said, and we'll rain down on them.  I laughed and they laughed and I felt better amongst my own kind.

I'm not poor by any means.  Well, if you said "What's your income?"  and I told you, you'd think I was poor.  However, I have everything one could dream of having--a roof over my head, food, a frig, a stove, a TV, a computer, a bed.  Everything most people in the world only dream of having.  That's what I am told at least.  I'm only poor by American standards, not by world standards.   By world standards, I'm filthy rich.  A wealthy woman.  Isn't that funny to think about?   

Anyhow, my friends and I took plastic chairs out onto their cement slab out front when it got dark and watched illegal fireworks, that must have cost thousands, bought in Washington state stands, shot up by locals from their backyards.  The displays rivaled any we could have seen at professional shows.

These particular locals had strung a line of plastic lawn chairs and junk across a grassy drive down to some trailers and the river and posted it "No Trespassing".    A couple, headed down that way, to the party, stopped and told my friend, when he asked about the lawn chair line and sign, the law can't trespass, even for illegal activity, if its posted no trespass.  After they went on, to drive down there, my friend doubled over laughing.  "I'm going to tack up a little No Trespass sign right there, on that fence post and do whatever I want and the law can't come past that sign," he mocked and bent over laughing again.

After awhile, a young couple passed on the road out front too, headed down to the party along the river.  The young man had a rifle over his shoulder.   They were firing into the air later.  That makes me nervous.  What goes up, comes down.  Somewhere.  Those stray bullets often hurt people.

 Where'd these people get that kind of money, I'd think after watching bursts of five or six mortars blast high in the sky.

I came home to people blasting mortars over my house from the street behind me.  And also from the houses on the street behind the neighbors across from me.   People must have more money this year.  Those mortars cost hundreds of dollars to buy just a few.  You have to buy them in Washington and transport them illegally across state lines because they're not legal here, but the police don't seem to do anything about it.  

Last night, they were blasting off more.  I think "Enough".

When I hear and see them I try to imagine what if those were real mortars being shelled at me by an enemy army who wanted to blow me and my family and friends and home to bits.  I shudder when I think about that but that is what happens in wars.

Here are more cat photos, taken with the gifted camera!

Top to bottom: Mums, Oci, Gretal, behind Brambles and Sam.  Brambles is doing so much better after his dental where he had five teeth removed, when we went up to the N. Coast clinic also with Rogue.

Starry and Shaulin!



Last, but not least, Guess Who?
It is the beloved and beautiful Deaf Miss Daisy of course.  Photos Courtesy of Abby.