Saturday, February 25, 2017

Stranded on a Desert Isle

I'm stranded.

Up a creek without a paddle.

Hard to live without a working car?

2.2 miles to nearest grocery store.

Over 3 miles to the feed store where I buy 40 lb bags of wood pellets for litter.  Shall I walk them home balanced on my head?  Might take a whole day to go get one bag and get it home.

I live on a cemetery quiet suburban cul de sac.  Not a creature was stirring....

I live for leaving this cul de sac, and have left it at the drop of a hat, before the car broke, to do anything at all.  Because its like a tomb here.   And now, I can't leave.

Sounds a little like the beginning of a horror story.

Thursday when I was returning from Heartland with the three cats I'd taken there in the morning, the car problem became, hmmm, let's say severe.   Soon, it would violently shake at speeds over 50, then it was 40, then I could just make 30, with people giving me dirty looks, stares, the finger and horn honks.

I made it home.  The car has not been out of the garage since then.  I had an appointment for it to be seen the next day, but the appointment was in the next town and the car is scary to drive.  It can go short distances (I hope), before the engine is hot and begins its violent dance.

So now I have an appointment Monday with a local mechanic, but only for diagnostics, to see what's wrong.  An hour---$105!  That's not to fix it, but just to try to see what's wrong.  For $105 they better figure it out.

Life changes in an instant.   I hope it can be fixed and that whatever is wrong, is not something that costs a mint to fix.  Then I'll have to make the decision about whether its worth it, if I can come up with the money, to fix a car with almost 300k miles on it.  But what's my choice?  I don't have the money for another used car and when you get a used car, you're opening a box of chocolates and not knowing what you might get.

I went to Waterloo today, went with a friend.   I had hoped to trap or at least spot any remaining cats there of those left behind but we got there kind of late and saw no cats.  Then went to a trailer, same town, where I'd gotten a bunch fixed last fall.  They still have an unfixed teen girl, plus their cats were flea crawling again.  I flea treated about ten cats, wormed them, took them four bags of cat food, and brought back the unfixed girl teen.   My friend is taking one cat from the 34colony and another from Brownsville to Heartland Monday to be fixed, and will take this one along too.

I got a call from the complex Trouble and Zoey came from too.  The maintenance man has a trap now and there had been new arrivals.  He'd caught one of them and put him in a shed, so he could try to get the other two.   He showed me the large shed the cat was now in, full of shelves and stuff and hiding places.  He said he would have to set the trap again inside the shed to get him contained for fixing.  Such a nice polite kind young man, too!   He has a kitten too now in his house, who was born under the complex and now needs fixed badly.  She is probably the one bringing in more males from miles.  I hope to be able to pick that girl up tomorrow too, when my friend comes for the Waterloo kitten, so she can be fixed, and the orange boy in the shed too, if he catches him again by tomorrow.

I can do some things without a car, but only if there's someone free to give me a ride or do the transport work.  It's frustrating.

At the Waterloo trailer, I took this video of a big Himilayan male, fixed several months back with the others, at the FCCO.  He nurses and kneads on blankets like a kitten.



I made this video in one day, trying to get to an appointment and getting held up by trains.  Train hold ups are part of daily life here.  The railroads do what they like in town and use the middle of busy streets as switching yards.  Trains often seem to park and sit across streets, blocking traffic, until one by one, cars realize they'll be there for a long time, and begin turning around, to find some other way around.  It's kind of hard to see the train in the second part of the video.  It was a long line of black tanker cars, probably carrying toxic materials.   You can see one tank car way up on the left.  Some cars were even bumping up over the curb into a median strip of grass, going between trees on the median strip to turn and go back the other way.  I didn't catch that on video.

video

I gave up watching youtube videos on what could be wrong.  There are so many things that could be wrong.  Fuel filter is number one on my mind.  Mainly because its never been changed and I have a vague remembrance of a clogged filter on a Chevy Vega.   But they're no longer a cheap part and easy to change.  Mine is attached to the fuel pump set into the gas tank.   And replacing the pump and filter are quite expensive.  Not something you would do, to just see if that solved the problem.  Unless you were in the money.

Some videos suggest all kinds of valves and switches associated with the fuel line to the engine.  The throttle control switch.  The throttle flutter valve sticking.  Some thing attached to the back of the air intake manifold.  All sorts of valves attached to emmissions.  Clogged fuel injectors.   Oxygen deprivation to the engine from something clogged.   A clogged catalytic converter.  Bad spark plug wire.   Failing transmission.   That last one has me a little worried.  I had a car that acted up this way before and its transmission was toast.  I suppose I could tackle all these suggestions, from youtube videos, one at a time.

However, I have a favorite.  That's fuel pump and/or filter.    I just have a feeling.  One video I watched described exactly what I feel, in the gas pedal, when I press on the gas, when its doing its thing, a catch, a depression, before it goes.   That's my baby!  Those two words, "a catch" so precisely described the problem as it began, that if they were precise in their own description, that would nail it.

Instead of attempting repairs myself, I'll just take it to the mechanic Monday.  If it will run.  I think it will because it runs cold just fine, seems like.  But after about ten minutes on the road, then the problems begin.  I suppose that's a super significant symptom.  Better go back to youtube with new search terms.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Little Scion That Could

The OC (Original Catmobile) with empty traps after returning fixed cats.

Cat loaded OC

My Scion has been the best car ever!   I once carried 27 cats in it to an FCCO clinic in traps and carriers.  It has hauled over 10,000 cats to be fixed or to new homes.

I've used it like a truck, like an off road vehicle.  I've gone through snow, mud and even high water that should have drowned and floated it.

I've slept in it, camped in it, cooked in it.

It has 280,000k official miles.  That's what the odometer says anyhow.  The odometer quit for some reason, for about year, back around the 240,000 mile mark.  I figured mid life crisis.   At some point I noticed it had started rolling over again.   So I don't know the exact number of miles on the car.

It stinks.  Too many male cats hauled, who peed in the trap while I drove.   The smell will never leave I doubt.

Mechanics complain.  So do tire stores.  The worst was Les Schwab in Corvallis.   I swore I'd never go back to a Schwab after that.  But other Schwab stores have been good to me.

For over a month the car has been reluctant when I push on the gas, hesitating, jerking and clunking.  Yesterday it was very very bad.  I wondered if I would get home.

I'd had a bad day.

I was told all the Waterloo cats up at the Lebanon relocation property were all still contained, as they should be at just over a week now, since they were retrapped.  Alley Cat Allies recommends a month in relocation confinement, in a comfy cage big enough so the confinement period is not horrible.  The cages four were in were awful!    I was going to set them up in a proper comfortable cage.  I bought an outside dog kennel.  6x8x4.  I then spent hours building shelves and finding other things around the house to add as amenities and loaded the car to overflowing, tired already, and headed up there.  It began to hail as I arrived.  Then snow, but the flakes were splatting wet.

The car had been lurching if I accelerated the entire trip up.

No power loss however.

I get up there and find the woman has already released four of the cats.  I was heartbroken, especially when the guy up there (the woman is on vacation) said she'd released them 3 days ago.  That meant India and Sonar had less than a week in relocation.   She knew better.  I sat in my car, hail pounding loudly on its roof, and cried.

I thought I should take back the other two, still in my cages, Autumn and Gracie, but my car was too overloaded.

I had texted the woman set up to feed the Waterloo cats remaining in the park.  She texted back she hadn't fed since Sunday, since her husband is in the hospital with pneumonia.   I went to feed them too.  And cried again, worn out, and sad for them too.  I saw no cats.

It was on the way home the car really began bucking, any time I touched the gas.

I don't know what's wrong.  Fuel filter?  Fuel pump?  Clogged injectors?   Throttle position switch or whatever?  Yes, I've been on youtube, trying to get answers.  Guess its really common and there are like a zillion things that it could be.   But its probably fuel line or transmission related.  Any impediment in the fuel in or exhaust out can cause the problem.  There are so many add on valves and things now. Maybe the transaxal joints are failing?   Who knows. I know the belt or one pulley is screeching too.  Related?  I don't know.

It can be very depressing to live where I live.  There is no one to help with anything.  There is no sharing among animal groups or eager volunters or any resources really.  I have trouble getting even a couple bags of cat food donated.  Yesterday, the weight of solving so many cat problems alone, without resources and now possibly a failing car, hit me like wet concrete.

I made it to Heartland this morning just fine with Gorgeous, the long hair torbi, Mack, the mackeral tabby male, and Conrad.  All from the 34Colony.  Gorgeous and Mack will be fixed, while Conrad will be tested and chipped to Felines First Rescue.  When they have room for him, he'll go there.  He's laid back and tame.  She doesn't know how he ended up on the property.  Dumped maybe?  Or dumped nearby.

This is Conrad, getting tested and chipped today.

Gorgeous is getting fixed.

Mack is getting neutered, too today.


After much deliberation, I decided to keep the outdoor dog kennel.  It's in panels, and is very very easy to put together.   I can get that foster cage out of the living room, and, if I need a cage for taming kittens or a sick cat, can put that one up quickly.   It's a good thing to have on hand and ready, and allows me to rid the living room of that useful but ugly and space sucking homemade  foster cage.

My car refused to budge when the temps turned to single digit and layers of ice enshrouded everything three years ago.  Battery.  I think however the car just wanted me home safe, not out in that ice storm.   Then in February that year when over a foot of snow fell, the car pretended to have a bad starter.   I had to stay home again, not drive and when the snow melted, the starter problem was gone.  Yeah.  They could make movies about my car.

It's front bumper has been ripped off.  It's back bumper has been caught on my garden boxes, pulled off and drug.  Both times I just snapped them back in place.  A few tears in the plastic here and there, a few missing clip bolts, no big deal.  It's dented and scratched and faded with missing parts here and there and I just love that car.  Best car ever!  Has averaged in the low 30's in miles per gallon its entire life, more before all the ethanol got added.

I think it will be fine, I told my brother, who said, "What?" when I told him the miles on it, when he asked.  Then he added, "Why it must still have its new car smell, its just getting started."

"Right on," I smiled.  Just getting started.

In the end, my optimistic nature starts trying to restart.  I think to myself, 'there's nothing I can do now about India and the three teens, released after just a few days in confinement at a new place.'  In the end, I still think somehow I can find and save those Waterloo park cats left behind.  Maybe I can, maybe I can't.   And in the end, I think my car will just keep on running, keep on carrying cats to be fixed like its nothing to have close to or over 300K miles, like the brave little car its always been.

I think about all the Mexican nationals, some in this country, illegally, for a very long time, now, with their families, living in fear today will be the day they're taken away.  I think about little kids going through cancer treatment and their familes. Such thoughts help me realize my problems are really trivial.





Monday, February 20, 2017

So Long Arizona

Good luck kiddo!

Animal Rescue and Care Fund, a great Portland area rescue, had an opening with their lion tamer, a lady who tames feral kittens, so off I went, to deliver her Arizona, who was almost but not quite ready for the big show---adoption.




Arizona was the wildest of the three girls, of the litter of four, so I kept her to tame, while the colony caretaker's grand daughter has taken on taming Rum and Jamaica.

She started to tame the instant her sisters were gone.

I greatly appreciate them giving her a chance.   The ultimate goal, for her, was to tame her down so she could get a real home.  I will miss her energy here.  She is soooo fun!  Slinko will miss her too.  He not only played wildly with her, but wrestled with her also.  Him being about ten times heavier than she.  Or more.  He was gentle!

The night before, D and I set traps at her old place.  It's harder now, after thefts went on at the property and the gate got padlocked due to those thefts.   She has permission to be on the property to get the cats out.  We're almost done.   After setting traps, and returning very early, we caught two more.  In the porch trap, thankfully, finally---her beloved Gorgeous, a long hair girl, who hung out on the porch, with Handsome, a big already fixed tame Maine Coon, whom I caught last time I trapped there.  And we caught a mackeral tabby boy.

They will both be fixed Thursday at Heartland.  This pair makes 21 cats caught there now.   Two of the 21 caught are tame males---Handsome and Conrad.  She is working now to find a placement for Conrad.   One black male, Sheldon, got out of her garage, but is being fed in the neighborhood.  The first seven cats caught, I took to Meow Village right after they were fixed at the FCCO.  And one long hair older torti became very very ill, and this morning, is being sent across the rainbow bridge.    The rest are still in her garage, and she is building a cattery in the garage that will eventually connect to an outside contained cat yard too.  She's trying to do right by them and I admire this.  I don't see it often.

The Mackeral tabby boy

Gorgeous, Handsome's buddy, now caught, soon to be fixed

I heard the tame little Waterloo girl teen, left behind unwanted by the camp host who once claimed her, whom I trapped last Tuesday,  is now at CATS in Sherwood.  That's Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary---a wonderful place.  I think Julie took her there yesterday same time I was taking Arizona north to ARCF.  She probably passed me along the way.  I'm not a fast driver.

Oregon rain continues.   On and on.  Everything soaked and waterlogged, including my brain I think.  The Pineapple Express they call it, when front after soggy front hits us, coming straight across the Pacific.

I wish the Pineapple Express would drop something other than rain.   Like good fortune, or even pineapples or coconuts or.....sunshine!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Regain Composure

I'm resting up after last week's twists and turns.   The night spent in my car, freezing and stubborn, hoping to save the cats who would be left behind in the county park.  

Then the next week, last week, which seems so long ago now, trapping more in a Sweet Home colony, getting 8 of them fixed, housing them before and after surgery, plus others, tame and feral, along with attempts to catch more at the county park.  The clean up afterwards, in the midst of also travelling clear up to the county park trying still to save those.   Kind of did me in.

I was upset over the woman's plans, with the six cats we caught, to release them after only a week in confinement.  In a panic, I tried to change her mind, worried for them, (the alley cat allies protocol for relocation states a month, in a comfortable large cage), tried to come up with a quick large comfy cage, to house them longer, thinking that would help and it would have.  

And in the end, I could do nothing, but sit here and cry.

I'm still sitting in the dark, trying to regain my composure and perspective and optimism.

Arizona may be leaving soon, for a Portland rescue.  I am grateful to them, for considering her.  I'm still trying to find a suitable placement for Trouble.  She's not feral, but not completely tame either.

She wants to be.
Oh Arizona


Yesterday, I worked hard all day here, to keep my mind off everything else, (labor is good that way) cleaning out the garage, rearranging, and pulling out the old metal cabinet that has sat for years in the garage cat room, rusting away, piece by piece.  Today it goes to recycle.   I have someone with a large entertainment center that would replace it perfectly, in their driveway, unwanted, but need another person to help get it over here.   I haven't been able to find anyone.  Not yet.

I was up on the ladder, pulling at an old 2x4 in the loft of the garage, still trying to figure a way to build a cage for those cats up in confinement, that would be comfortable, although I had no way to get it there, if I built it here.  Suddenly, just as the 2x4 gave, from where it was caught among other boards, a cat fight struck up, with a sudden squeal, in the overhead run, a foot from my head.   With the give of the 2x4, and the sudden sound, I lost balance backwards.  There were items all around the ladder base from my work to rearrange the garage.  As I lunged backwards, towards all that stuff around me, I thought "shit".  I caught myself on my right foot, rather gloriously, stepping/jumping down from the 3rd rung, threading my foot and leg through the junk to find the solid garage floor.

Ouch!  My bad knee had trouble with that force.

Later someone asked me why I was limping, at Walmart.  I said, straight faced, "There was an incident earlier.  Involved a ladder, a cat and a 2x4."  Then I limped off down the cat food aisle.

It was after the ladder incident I gave up on the cage build.   Some things I have to let go, and hope they work out.  I'm sure that woman, who loves cats, will do what is best for them.

I had to distance myself, hope for the best.

I tried to call both brothers.  No answer.    I tried to call various friends.  No answer.  Sometimes its nice to chat with a familiar person.   Maybe its best I don't have that.  I have heard it makes you strong.

I try not to watch the news either.   But yesterday I did.  I heard that the replacement to the ACA is in the first stages but might result, through the shifts they are planning now, cutting medicaid to states, in me losing health coverage.  I try not to think about that but such thoughts push back in, like bullies.   Then I try to think about ways I could survive, make plans, cut pills in two and store them away like a squirrel for the winter, that kind of thing.

I try not to obsess about the article I read about the financial woes of our state, due to the public retirement system's unfunded billions, and how it may take raising corporate taxes, among other things, the city club of Portland, was saying, but that maybe they would give tax credits to low income Oregonians to offset the price hikes this would cause.   "What about us?" I want to yell back at them, those of us on fixed incomes.  "WHAT ABOUT US?  HOW WILL WE SURVIVE?"  Then I think its selfish of me to think that way and retreat in guilt.

Doesn't help to watch the news.  Or worry.  Off goes the TV, so those debates become, after a couple days, non existent for me.   Denial is a woman's best friend.

Old Lucy atop me in bed, Starry beside us
Will this winter never end?

Maybe I will hibernate like a spring bulb, til I sense the warmth of change.

I have my books, my warm bed and my cats.  

I can whine up the ying yang.

But....

My world is good.












Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Perspective

Today, exhausted, from yesterday and from hauling two cages up to the relocation site, plus Autumn and Gracie, to join four other county park cats already there, I am finding perspective on the park cats.

It's all I can try to do.

It's not easy to solve cat overpopulation issues anywhere.   This one was particularly difficult due to the distance and people involved.   I was not the one called about the cats in the park.   I'd been dutifully trying to solve an equally difficult situation however, only a few hundred yards out of the park.

Another woman was called by someone who found kittens on a trail in the park.  Then someone called the county and the local shelter to complain there were starving and dying kittens.  I heard that people were talking about the problem with folks running booths at the state fair, too.  But no one would do a thing.

The local shelter gets adoptable cats, from the public and you pay to take them there, or from other overloaded shelters, like from California, even the midwest.  They don't go out and solve local overpopulation issues.  That has become the domain of the lone unfunded but dedicated volunteers.  We get no publicity and if we get talked about, its probably bad-mouthing--ridicule.  We can do nothing right, but we keep going.

I got involved in the county park and it was not easy or cheap.  The camp host hid cats from us, got cats from people, then let them free roam the park and breed in the bushes, where sick starving parasite ridden kittens would eventually come crawling from, begging for food with sad eyes.  Or some camper would hear them crying.

Over 50, close to 60 cats and kittens were helped.  I haven't figured the numbers yet.  We took all kittens out, that is, those the camp host would give up.  And many adults.   She'd call me and want me to come get a cat right now.  She was no help and finally might fess up she had another unfixed cat in her RV.   I tried to like her.  I wanted to pretend she wasn't the biggest part of the problem.

Last night, I finally lost it completely, with her.  Julie had paid for her site, so she could help get the last cats, the ones she had helped breed, and had fed, and claimed to love.  Not that long after I drove up, she was out and about, which sure doesn't help catch cats, and thinking my visit was all about visiting her, apparently.  Her cats were out roaming, which makes it impossible to set traps.  I'd just catch them, over and over.  Then she makes an accusation.  She claimed Toyko, a cat she had declared to be hers, and who had been living in her RV, had been dumped by Julie so Julie had to take him.

This lie was the last lie I would take from her.  I let her have it.

I feel guilty today.  It's not PC to tell people the truth but it doesn't help a person at all if you don't.  But its sure ingrained you have to be nice no matter what and when I'm not nice and I wasn't to her last night, guilt sets in later, even though she has treated me like some kind of a slave for months.  She continued then unfortunately to impede efforts to catch the cats last night the remainder of the time I was there.  If only maybe I could have held my tongue, I think to myself today, in the fog of exhaustion like I am.  I'd held my tongue with her way too long already.

It is what it is.

On another note, I took Autumn, who has been very upset, and I knew she wanted her family, and Gracie, to the relocation site, and set them up in two large crates.  One of them has two doors, so I opened the end door wide, and jammed the opening against the other cage opening, with its door wide open, and zip tied the two cage openings together securely.  Both cages have shelves.  The cage with the second side door, for access, has the litterbox, water and food.  I set them up right next to their four family members in the next cage (the cats are all related at the park).  Kujo, Little T, Sonar and India are in those two cages.

Autumn relaxed visibly.


Autumn, looks up at me

Autumn and Gracie, ready for rest

Little T

Left to right, Kujo, India and Sonar





Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Lonely Heart in the Dark

I spent Valentine's Day as it should be spent---caring.

But boy does caring hurt.

Especially when those who should care, just plain don't.

I'm talking about the county park cats and the two camp hosts, who bred and fed them and now are walking away like its nothing to leave them on their own, with nobody to feed them.

They didn't just not care about the cats they are leaving behind today.  I was up there trying to save them.  I made that clear to both.   So did they help, as you might think, since they are their cats?  Nope.

They fed them.  They bred them.  It was their responsibility to work at getting them fixed.  They didn't lift a fricking finger to even do that.

We had to kiss their feet to even get around them to get it done.  When it was their responsibility in the first place to do that.  They were, after all, the ones feeding them.  That makes them their cats.

There is such a thing as personal responsibility.  When you feed cats, it involves more than throwing out some cat food.   You have to get them fixed and if you don't, then you stand tall, and take responsibility for what you've done, find them homes, get them fixed in the end.  You don't walk away.

But they are.

They didn't just have zero interest today in helping catch the cats so they could go to someone who will care for them.   They impeded the effort on every level, from trying to feed them, when they're both leaving tomorrow, and letting their own cats free roam to get in traps, or going out and standing by the traps, so the cats would never go in.  It was unbelievable.

They also showed absolutely no respect or kindness to me, coming all the way up there, sitting in my freezing car for hours upon hours, spending my money, and hours upon hours of my time, to try to clean up the aftermath of their irresponsible behavior.   They may as well have been spitting on me, or stomping my face into the dirt.  The female camp hosts cats were all over the place and getting in the traps.  She just didn't care.   She didn't care that she was making it impossible to get the cats she was about to leave on their own, when they could go somewhere else if caught, and she didn't care she was wasting my time either.

Even if they were going to leave them, if they knew they had somewhere to go, if caught, wouldn't you think they'd do everything in their power to help catch them?   That's what I really don't understand.   Why instead did they just blow it for those cats of theirs, to have a chance, with their behavior today?   That's beyond my ability to comprehend.  

Here are he cats they are leaving on their own.  They have names, and faces and they had friends there.  They believed they were loved and would be cared for.     Cumi, just a teen boy, alone now.   Mistachio, an adult female muted torti.  Bootsy, a black and white kitty one camp host has fed for years.  Goliath, a big brown tabby boy, who is older.  And one camp hosts own orange short hair, fixed years ago, no ear tip.
Left Behind, Cumi, brown tabby tux fixed teen boy

Mistachio

Goliath, although they call him Mr. Paws
 I don't have a photo of the one camp hosts orange tabby boy he's leaving.
And maybe sadest of all---Bootsy.

To see the cats under his trailer happy, rubbing heads, and to know tomorrow, three of those cats, Bootsy, Goliath and Tuffy, the orange tabby, and two brush cats, Mistachio and Cumi, will be left on their own, to know what they'll go through, anguish, loss, and starvation....its hard on me.

I did catch Gracie today, the gray female, and the tabby girl, just very young when I first met her.  They refused to relinquish her then, now they just don't want her and were going to leave her.  They finally agreed to take her brother, and the adult brown tabby male.  They had claimed all three were wild, as an excuse to leave them, but none are.

Why isn't it hard on him, or on the other camp host?   Why did they not even try to help?  Why did they even impede the effort?   Why were they so cruel to me?

It was lonely and horrible there tonight, to know, to understand, and to realize the heartless nature of my own species.  Happy Valentines Day.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Trying to Turn Lemons in the county park To Lemonade

When life keeps stomping you down, there's only one thing to do--hit back!

I swear that county park is going to kill me!

Been after that last unfixed teen.   Then the one park host who fed the cats in the berry vines, including the lovely India, got fired.   She was going back to feed, but won't be doing that soon.  Panic set in.

With a full schedule of trapping elsewhere, Saturday morning I went to the park, worried for those poor cats.  I wasn't there five minutes when the other long time camp host comes up, says, "oh, glad to see you.  We're leaving and we're leaving our five cats."  Shit.

Those five cats include Bootsy, whom he has fed for years, plus two of her kittens from litter before last, whom we got fixed, and whom he wouldn't relinquish then.  But now he's leaving them?  Plus two grown boys KATA got fixed for them years ago?  Up and leaving cats he's fed for years?   How does one do that?

Disgust, panic and sorrow washed over me.

Nonetheless, I set about trying to trap the brush cats the other camp host fed.  In several hours there, I caught just Kujo and Little T, two of four fixed brothers, siblings of the unfixed teen.
Young male Kujo is out of the park and safe now.

So is Little T, his brother

And so is India, mom of the Little Heathens

Autumn, unfixed until today, won't go back either

Sonar is now safe, and with his brothers, Little T and Kujo

I made a stupid move.  I bought a campsite for the night, to try to catch the rest.  Stupid, because I had pay out for it, when I'm sitting there catching those cats for them as a volunteer.  I so want that county park in my rearview mirror!

Julie took the two boys.

Off then I went to Sweet Home, to trap a colony there, for reservations on Monday.   I drove in off the highway, past a business, and down a muddy rutted driveway, following a cat, because I wasn't sure where I was going.  In front of me, was a trailer, quite trashed, with many camp trailers in various states of disrepair, most full of trash, beside it.  "Uh oh," I thought, "drug country."  I called the woman who wanted help.   She said "No, you're at the wrong place, get out of there if you want to live."   I drove on, to another property, also with many junked trailers and vehicles.

A woman and her husband greeted me.  Cats were everywhere, coming out of the wood work.   Then, out of another trailer, limps a quintessential cat lady, if I've ever seen one.  Gray hair, not combed, in a robe, cigarette hanging from her mouth.  I had the drop trap set up and she says "What are you trying to do, catch those cats with that?"   And she shakes her head like 'how silly' and picks up a black tux, who yowls in protest, but only briefly, and stuffs him down into a trap.  She repeats this with a meowing fat Siamese.  Then tries it with a big gray boy with runny eyes.  He squiggles free, but I just pull the drop trap down over him, then transfer him out.  I catch 8 in no time at all.

I see a neighbor walking the road.  I had asked these folks to talk to neighbors, to see if they have cats, to keep them in.  They said they hadn't talked to neighbors.  I ask why.  They said because the neighbors don't like them.

I go talk to the walking woman.  She claims the cats are all fixed.  Another neighbor comes up, who has a tame orange tabby, and says "no they are not, we still have kittens getting born everywhere around here."  The other woman still claims some other person got like 100 fixed before moving.   I don't know who or what to believe and go back.

I take the 8 and leave.  Once home, I unload them fast, because I have to go back to Waterloo for the camp night.   I call KATA though.  I figure they'll know if some are fixed there.  Sure enough, they do.  They got about 12 fixed last fall and warned me about the very property I drove up to first off.

Thanks a lot for the warning.  A little late.
Commander was fixed, a boy.

This boy turned out to be already fixed.

Gramps was fixed too, another boy.

Jackson got fixed too, another boy.

Jader was fixed at Heartland, a girl, with lice.

Omni was fixed, a little boy

Silly was fixed, a post partum girl, so they have to return early, in case she has kittens.

And Wily was fixed, a girl.




Off to Waterloo after throwing my sleeping bag in the car and a chair.  That was the extent of packing for a night in the county park.  It turned out to be a freezing night, too cold to catch cats as bait quickly froze.  I'd wake up shivering and the windshield was frozen over.  I can't say it was a pleasant night.  I'd had to pull the traps anyhow when the raccoon troops arrived.

But Julie came by for awhile, brought some firewood, soup, even hot chocolate and cookies.  We had some laughs before she left and I went to my freezing tomb for the night.  I need to fix the sleeping bag zipper or get a new one!  Wish I'd had my wool sweater too.

Bleary eyed and exhausted the next morning, at the point of tears, I see the old camp host drive up in her RV.  She says she staying one night.  I call Julie up to tell her and we make a plan.  Julie will pay for her to stay five nights if she will feed the cats under the drop trap so we can catch them.  I leave the drop trap and Julie comes to pay for the site.

I'm so tired I can't even think straight and want to yell at both camp hosts and the county for all this pain and suffering and expense and sorrow.

I go home.  Julie catches India.  Texts me her photo, takes her home with her, to join the boys.  This news makes me happy and lets me sleep.

This morning, after the cats have seen the familiar RV, of the person who used to feed them, and they're feeling good under the drop trap, Julie catches two more, including the unfixed teen and Sonar, the third of the four brothers.   I rush up with more traps, and to pick up the unfixed teen girl.  I've already taken seven cats from Sweet Home to Salem to be fixed, plus one more from that colony to Heartland to be fixed, plus two girls from Albany, and a boy from Lebanon, all to be fixed.  But Heartland says to bring over Autumn, the teen muted torti and last unfixed cat at Waterloo park.   She was fixed today and won't go back there to that park of starvation.  She's currently recuperating in my garage.
Autumn, now fixed, was the last unfixed cat in Waterloo park.

These two girls, a mom and daughter, were fixed from Albany.  The family has it hard right now, one son with cancer, and they have to go back and forth to Dornbechers in Portland, and one daughter with autism.  So at least their cats are fixed.  A friend of mine along with a friend of hers arranged it all.  Heartland even fixed one girls' umbilical cord hernia.  I love Heartland Humane.

Big Foot, above, was abandoned by a neighbor in Lebanon.  So someone else is taking care of him.  He not only got neutered and vaccinated but rid of his tapeworms and even his hair mats.   He got a nice hair cut.  This photo was before his hair job.  Like I say, Heartland is really good.

Julie is taking the cats the one camp host fed, but the fate of Bootsy and the the other four, fed by the other camp host, is up in the air.   All these tribulations and challenges and seeming complete apathy by pretty much everyone, to their fate, can make a cat trapper sob.

I am still hoping to find somewhere for all of them.  Can you take any?