Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hairball Slide and Trip to the Affordable Clinic

After finishing the big situation down in Harrisburg, in just four days, I had to take a break.

My knee was killing me, along with my right leg, even my right foot.   I knew I'd need to rest awhile.

Felines First Rescue had asked me to transport a cat of theirs, although the cat had already been adopted.  FIV positive Zepplin, a sweet orange tabby male, needed full mouth extractions and his new owner could not afford that.  So FFR had told him they would help by getting him to the affordable clinic.  I agreed to the trip as transporter.  FFR made two appointments so I could take one of the cats here.
Zepplin went with me yesterday

Monday morning, when I awoke, I noticed someone had coughed up a hairball, nearly in the bedroom doorway.   I simply stepped over it.  I wanted my morning coffee and got the tea pot on the stove and turned up the heat.

I went back to the computer and later heard the pot scream it was ready.  Forgetting everything else, eager for my first cup of coffee, one of life's great joys, I ran for the kitchen.  And hit the hairball with my  left foot!

I went sliding forward, my left leg straight out as I went down. Fortunately I have some extra padding.   But the toes on my right foot caught on the door jam. So as I fell, with forward momentum, my right knee bent backward and sideways awkwardly.

I sat there on the floor howling in pain.

I finally realized I could move, and crawled/scooted to the kitchen for my coffee.

I got up and realized I seemed ok.   I was sore again, on my right knee and leg later, but everything worked which is a big plus at my age.  I put an ice bag anywhere I thought might need it, tied them on with lengths of cloth, and plopped in a chair to sip my coffee.

Yesterday I left at 4:30 a.m. with Shaulin, my abby tabby seven year old, in a live trap, headed first to Portland then across to the coast.  I met Feline First Rescue at a Shell station off highway 217 to pick up Zepplin, the reason the trip was initiated.

The weather was terrible all the way to Portland and beyond, to Astoria.  I figured I was in for a day spent in the car.  I had a sleeping bag in the back and some books to read.

I dropped the two cats off at the clinic by 8:15 then headed for Seaside.  FFR had paid half the gas but also gave me $10 for lunch.  Well, I hadn't had breakfast yet, so I ate out, for once, an omelet, on FFR.  It was a great omelet!

I felt like a big deal, like someone, walking into a restaurant, laying down cash, like someone with money, for breakfast.  I don't eat out much.  It's not in my budget.

By 10:15, and after waiting out a thunderstorm, I headed to the beach, figuring the rain would be back.  But it never came back!  I walked several miles on the  beach, before heading for Ecola State Park.  I don't know why I went there, instead of to some of my favorite beaches.

At Ecola, you have a few options.  One is to hike a steep but lovely trail to the top of the bluff, to the hikers camp and a great look at Terrible Tilly lighthouse, then back down.  My knee was not up for that uphill hike.   Or you can head down to Indian Beach.  But yesterday  it was underwater mostly from high tide.  Or you can go to the Ecola park overlook which offers just a view of the ocean in two directions.  I went there after seeing Indian Beach was swallowed by high tide.

I rolled out the sleeping bag in the back of the car and took an hours long nap.  I thought about driving down to gawk at tornado damage in Manzanita, but decided against it.

After I left Ecola, I headed north back to Hammond and the city hall/library.  I love this place.  Sadly, due to problems with the building, they are moving in November.   It's a friendly tiny cute library that offers a book sale section and four computers you can use.

I could not resist looking through the for sale books.  I was urged on, in friendly banter, by a librarian who said, the more I take the less they have to move.  In the end, I filled a grocery bag with books for $5.

Afterwards I kicked myself not only for coming home with about 15 more books, but also for spending the $5.  I read a lot, however, I enjoy reading.  And those books will provide me a couple months of enjoyment.  I mentioned life's little joys, like that morning cup of coffee, making it, and sitting to relax as the day begins, sipping coffee and watching the news or, if its not too rainy or cold, sitting outside with that hot cup, to watch the day break and the birds wake up.

Well, reading is also one of my little joys, especially at night, with the stars or night sky visible through my bedroom window, one light on, to read by, otherwise, the house dark, my cats warm against me, and me deep into a good book.

I took lots of photos yesterday but last night, when I went to view them on my computer, from the camera card, and clicked on one photo, they all vanished, emptying the card even of photos that had been on it for months. I do not know how that happened or why.  I was sad.  The photos you see on this post were taken on other trips.

Shaulin had to have six teeth pulled.  She also got updated on her rabies shot, droncit for tapeworms and her ears cleaned.

She behaved very well and Zepplin was no problem either.  Except he didn't wake up from anesthesia at the clinic for a long time.  They were literally sweeping the floors and emptying the garbage around me as I waited, and waited, for him to wake up enough to be released to go.

So I didn't get to leave til about 6:00 p.m. to start the 3 hour drive home.   I met a FFR foster woman at the same Shell station off 217 to hand Zepplin off and Shaulin and I proceeded the rest of the way home.

Home never looked so good either.  The happy cats waiting for me made me feel warm inside.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

23 More Cats Fixed

Yesterday, 23 more Linn County cats were fixed.  14 were fixed from the Harrisburg colony and 9 Tangent barn cats also were fixed.

I took only 20 to the FCCO however.  3 other Harrisburg colony cats were fixed at Willamette Humane.

Darling Calico who now has a name!  Autumn!

Another little boy, fixed whs yesterday, with a name now, which is important--Pumpkin!

Little boy, now named Willow
These three were not going back, that was pre determined.

But what about the other 8 kittens under 3 lbs from the colony where nobody was getting enough to eat

Well, after she thought about it, the Salem woman who helped get the above three fixed said she would foster those 8 as well, just so they won't have to go back.   I hope to find her help with it, people willing to take on one or two of the kittens, you must be out there somewhere, people.  I know you are.  These little guys want a future with enough to eat and safety from cars and coyotes.

I was so worn out I didn't get proper photos of anybody, but the Salem woman promises she will get some.  The 8 I dropped off there last night, as rain poured down in buckets, were four boys and four girls.  The boys were all orange and white and the girls, a torti, an orange and white, and 2 calicos.

Little male orange and white, still sleepy from Anesthesia

I still have the 3 older kitties here.  they were all girls I think.

I'll return them after the storm blows through today.  We had a tornado yesterday hit the coast along with lots of wind and rain.  Driving home after dropping off the 8 kittens the skies opened up and the rain was so extreme I could barely see to drive.   A trucker ahead of me slowed way down and put on his flashers to alert the dumbshit drivers who were still driving like maniacs, including some sort of utility truck who raced past me and went hydroplaning, fishtailing back and forth on standing water.   I was happy to be crawling along and safe.

I am exhausted from the efforts of this week.   9 Tangent barn cats also were fixed at the FCCO yesterday.  The caretaker contained them, delivered them to me, and picked them up last night.

In all, 28 cats were helped from the Harrisburg colony alone.   18 of those were not returned, the tinies and the littles.  The tinies, all seven of them, are with Animal Rescue and Care Fund.  The littles, 11 of them, are with the Salem woman, who will need help taming and placing them in safe wonderful homes.

Here are some more photos of the 11 kittens, now with the Salem woman. She took these photos.   She is going to need help!

Bless the kitties, and those who help them.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Colony

There were supposed to be just 16 unfixed cats at the colony I was referred to, in Harrisburg.  Including kittens.


I had taken only nine traps when I went down Tuesday to trap.  I had only five reservations yesterday with the FCCO for fixing.  But we are getting a 3 punch storm system moving into our area and I knew trapping today would probably be futile, due to the heavy rains and winds predicted.

When I saw the overwhelming number of cats, and tiny kittens fighting for the food too, I set to work.  I knew with the upcoming storms, I better get them all and as I trapped, I was also working over in my mind where and how I could comfortably house them all til they could all be fixed.  And I was texting photos of the tiny kittens to rescues, asking if they might be able to take any in.  I got an instant response from Animal Rescue and Care Fund.  I was incredibly relieved.

 In a couple hours, I had 22 cats and kittens caught.   I hand grabbed some of the tinies, and dug some laboriously out of a spider crawling woodpile.

With so few traps, and even fewer transfer traps, with which to transfer cats out of the drop trap, I doubled up cats in traps, then tripled up.  In the end, I had six young cats in one trap, four in another and so on.

I went home with the 22, to get them set up and because Julie had wrangled two kittens of the seven left at the residential colony in Waterloo, and left them in a carrier outside my place, since she had to go to work.

I found them doing well, a brown tabby and a little gray guy.  The little gray boy kitten is darling and very loving.  Fell in love.....

Waterloo boy kitten
Waterloo boy brown tabby out front with six of the seven tinies from the Harrisburg colony.  Of the seven from Harrisburg, six were girls, including that orange tabby in the back!
They all had URI's, but fortunately, yesterday, when I went to the FCCO with five of the Harrisburg colony cats, Animal Rescue and Care Fund took in all nine of the kittens.  They have helped so much with the Waterloo kittens and now with these Harrisburg little ones, plus two more from Waterloo.

I situated the teens and adults of the 22, in cages in my garage, plus getting the Waterloo boys set up in my bathroom, along with the tinies from Harrisburg.  I even vaccinated, wormed and flea treated the two boys.  I didn't vaccinate the Harrisburg crew of kittens since they had the eye issues I didn't want to make worse, but flea treated and round wormed them and got a start with eye meds.

Then I went back down and caught five more, including the last tiny, the little orange tabby girl.  I thought I was done and folded up the drop trap.  But as I was leaving, a teen orange and white showed up.  I left them a trap, ready to go, and during the day yesterday, they caught him.  I pick him up today, when I return the fixed seven.   In addition there are at least three cats with ear tips they feed, whom I got fixed four years ago.

I not only got five of the 27 I had from the colony fixed at the FCCO, but a Brooks woman, who helps cats, offered up her two Willamette Humane reservations, so two more were done there.  I met her, on the way to Portland, at WHS, and she even registered the cats and picked them up after surgery.  Later, on the way home from a long day in Portland, I picked them up from her at her home.  She had a surprise waiting!  Several bags of dry food she had recruited during the day to give the Harrisburg couple to help them feed the colony.

I arrive home, to find 10 bags of dry cat food bags piled in a chair by my garage, donated by an Albany woman.  I was floored and very happy and grateful.

The first seven are now fixed.  Four boys and three girls, and they go home today.  Seven kittens from the colony are now safe and dry and well fed and warm.   Along with two more Waterloo kittens.
Bradley, a big black tux male, one of two fixed yesterday at Willamette Humane.
Samoa, another male, fixed also at Willamette Humane

Calico female fixed yesterday at the FCCO

That's a great start!   I still have 13 colony cats in my garage and will pick up another, the orange and white they trapped yesterday, today, when I return the seven fixed cats.   Three of the remaining 14 I will take to the same Brooks woman who helped with 2 yesterday.  I will choose three in most need, as they will be fixed tomorrow at whs and she will keep them in her large contained cattery.  They won't go back.

The colony caretakers, an older couple on social security were quite happy to relinquish the seven six week old kittens and the three young teens.  That's ten less cats to feed.  And now I have many cat food donations to help them feed the rest.   So many people have helped, with food, with taking the kittens, by giving over spay neuter reservations.

So the 11 others I will be left with, from the colony, will travel with me to the FCCO Friday, along with 8 cats from a Tangent barn, to be fixed.  That is if we haven't washed away here, from the tons of rain coming down.  Or blown away.  The 2nd punch of these three storms hits Saturday and there are concerns about Saturday afternoon and night.

Some forecasters claim we are in for an extreme wind event with winds close to 90 or 100 mph.  Such high winds are not uncommon on the coast but could be devastating in the valley.  Oregon is full of big trees and high winds often topple them by the score.  I think of the Maple and Birch trees out back and hope for the best.

Forecasts can be wrong.  We shall see.

On another note, Panda is doing quite well.  She still drools a bit.  I do believe she fell and popped her lower jaw apart at the front juncture.  It is a common injury to cats but the treatment now, a vet told me, is to let it heal on its own. I believe this led to dehydration, which led to extreme constipation.  I could be all wrong about it.   She is doing just fine, eating, drinking, and acting like nothing happened.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Constipation--Not Just a Human Problem

Older cats have troubles like we do, sometimes.

Like constipation.

I wondered if that what might be affecting Panda.  I wondered it when I saw the Xray at the ER vet that showed an empty stomach, empty colon, except for gas, but stool in the small intestine.

I thought though if she was clogged so bad she wouldn't eat or drink and could barely walk, it would be fatal.

Nevertheless I began her on fluids by Saturday, knowing since she was not drinking she'd be dead soon without them.  And on vegetable oil, along with nutrical and baby food, via syringe.

Vegetable oil is the poor woman's stool softener.  It works well for that and as a lubricant.

With cats too.

Panda started peeing again finally yesterday and today, finally, she pooped.  A great big honking long dry one and instantly she was running around without any issues feeling good again.

I hope this will resolve all her issues.  I let her out of the foster cage which made her VERY happy.  She immediately went to eat, and later took a long drink at one of the water bowls which made me VERY happy.

I'll be watching her though.  I thought I had her problems resolved before, after trimming the hair matted at her butt.  So I'm not entirely confident now.

She'll be playing again soon I hope!  

Love you Pandi!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Panda's End?

My shy and beautiful Panda, now over ten years old, had a sudden event.

It was Fantasia who took me to her, worried out of her mind  Panda was in the living room behind one of the plastic garden benches that contain three litter boxes.  When I approached she moved, but not far.  She could only walk, hunched down a few feet before plopping.

Worried sick, I put a soft blankee over her and put her in the bathroom.  That first night, after examining her, I thought it was the matted hair around her rectum causing her pain and suffering.  I spent two hours clipping it clean.  It's painful to have hair pulling, especially there.

I left her in the bathroom all night and she seemed ok, let her out the next day.

I was gone much of the day but yesterday evening, I went looking for her.  She seemed to be sleeping.   Again, I thought she was ok, but then when I went to pet her, from a step ladder, since she was in a cat bed up on a cat run, she could not even hiss at me.  Panda is not a tame girl.

Frothy blood tinged foam came from her mouth when she tried.

I called the ER vet and got her down and took her in.  $502 later, I still have no clue what is wrong.  Blood work and Xrays were normal.  She was sent home on pain meds and got an antibiotic injection just in case.   She does have a bad heart murmur and a slightly enlarged heart.   The vet said she was dehydrated but not to give her fluids due to the heart murmur, as additional fluids and some of the electrolytes in it could cause her heart problems.

I don't know what happened or what is wrong with her.   She can't walk far before plopping, like it hurts.  Did she fall?  I don't know.  Did she have a heart event or seizure?  I don't know.

Now its a wait and see venture, for her and for me.

Panda came from a Lebanon apartment complex.   I had been asked by a Safehaven employee to help out there, where a relative of hers lived who fed cats.  It was hellish.  I had to go around two young adult men, who refused to help and remained glued to playing video games on two different TV's in the living room.  The young woman was pregnant.  One of the young men was the father and bragged to me he'd already fathered 5 babies at 19.   I had stared at him in disgust.  And finally said, "And yet you support none of them".  I couldn't help myself.   He was so damn lazy and useless.  That was ten years ago.  I wonder if he's changed, become responsible, grown up, become a man.   Probably not.

I trapped I believe about ten cats, but did not return, after fixing,  the four youngest, which included Panda and Soloman, her brother.  They had mats so bad they couldn't lower their chins.  Their sister had a pellet hole through one ear.  She died within six weeks of rescue, suddenly, of a heart event.   Scooter, their brother, went to a barn home.  I doubt he's alive today still either.  Panda was always too wild, too shy, to get a house cat home, so she stayed here, with Soloman and now they are older cats.  Both are very kind hearted kitties with many friends.

Panda had six teeth pulled almost exactly one year ago.

I love her.   I don't know what's wrong or if she will make it.

In other news, I took my car in to where the tires were rotated, and the wobble is now gone.  They rebalanced the front, but not the rear tires.  They were not balanced.  I wish they had done all four.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Car Wobble

My poor car.  Not only is it burning oil like crazy now, but, after I got the tires rotated, it's wobbled.  At first it was just at low speeds and I figured it was just the tires settling in, after the rotation, being in a new spot, taking new strains there in the new spot where they were spinning.

But now I know its not just settling in.  I finally googled "severe wobble after tire rotation" and got lots of hits.  Not an uncommon happening.

Seems the consensus online is the tires, in the new location, are out of balance or that rear tires may never have been balanced in the first place and now are up front with disastrous results.  That was the first and most common cause listed for the problem.

The second online reason listed is that one tire could be out of round or separating and in its new location, the process is speeding up or, being exaggerated if it was a rear tire, now on the front, where the tires turn and do all the work.  The front tires aren't just followers, after all.

The third reason given for the wobble after rotation is one rim may be bent and now may be causing more obvious problems with a different tire on the bent rim.  I don't quite get that one, why it would be a problem after rotation but not before.  So I figure its the first or second issue causing the problem.

I've got to take the car back to the tire shop today.  First I need to clean it thoroughly to hopefully avoid any "cat smell" comments or jokes.  

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Odds and Ends

Helping cats is an up and down experience and not for everyone.

How much do I wish people would practice personal responsibility and fix their cats?   Well I think you probably know the answer to that.

I have been stymied at finishing one Waterloo situation by the colony caretaker herself, who always has many excuses why I can't come up now, to trap any left unfixed or collect a mother's kittens.  They will suffer and grow up wild, if they live through the winter.  With as many cats as she has, you would think she'd be raring to finish the job.  But she acts now as if I'm bothering her and the enemy instead of taking responsibility and getting it finished so no more are born there to suffer and turn wild and live short difficult lives.

Dozens of hours, a great deal of money and worry and work has gone into fixing many there already and placing a dozen relinquished kittens.  And yet she won't finish it out.  It's not like she is bearing any of the cost or labor.  Why not get it done?

On another front, little Gibson, from the Sweet Home colony, the only kitten alive there, has died.  He died suddenly, in foster care, at least loved and warm and fed in his end.  He likely died of worm overload.   He was severely dehydrated with huge belly when I took him up to Animal Rescue and Care Fund.  Even the act of worming a kitten engorged in twisted knots of roundworms can kill them.
R.I.P Gibson

I was finally contacted by that colony caretaker about returning Sashi, the big male Siamese, fixed Friday.  I had become worried he was being dumped on me, as I could get no response from any of the numbers I had for them.  But I did finally get a response and so he is going home shortly.

Finally, after months, I got a borrowed carrier returned.  I have tried to get it back since loaning to a Sweet Home trailer park woman, who had an unfixed female.   The first attempt to get it back, I went clear to Sweet Home to get it, and was told by the woman's mother, I'd have to come back, since she didn't know where it was.

On the second attempt again in Sweet Home, I was told by the woman who borrowed it, that the carrier was in her mother's truck.

In the third attempt to get it back, she was to meet me at the Waterloo store, as I was returning cats to the county park.  I contacted her at 4:00 to meet me at 5:00 p.m. there, but she never showed up.  I waited half an hour.  Later she said she lost track of time.  Really, between 4:00 and and 4:30, when she would have left?

On the fourth attempt, I just asked KATA to go pick it up and they did and I now have it back, months later.   You would think if you help someone out to that extent they would make every effort to get borrowed equipment back to you, and you would not have to travel clear to Sweet Home and try, time and time again, to get your own things back, from someone you helped.    You would think people would have some respect, some decency about it, some fair play.

I spent 12 hours Friday night out sitting in a car on a country road, traps set along a stretch of that road, hoping against hope to come up with a mother and her kitten, allegedly seen dumped out of a cardboard box there a few weeks back by a man on his way to work.  Allegedly it was a Hispanic woman with kids in her car who committed this act of intense cruelty, dumping out a young calico mom and four kittens.  Allegedly he got the license plate and reported it to police.

Since then someone spotted the kittens huddled in the grass by the road.  Someone else grabbed two of them and put them in a carrier, but they shrieked and the mom and other two kittens ran into the brush, never to be seen again, until last Wednesday, when one of the remaining kittens was found dead on the road about 200 feet south of the dump site.  The fate of the mother cat, a young calico, and the other kitten are unknown.  In 12 hours, sitting there, in the dark, I saw no cats at all and nothing touched any of the traps or any of the marker plates of food I put out along the road.

I found wood rat nests galore as dawn came and light returned and I could see.

Dumping cats exhibits utmost cruelty.  they don't know what to do, where to go, where to find shelter or food or water, and often die slowly, one by one.  Was the woman, the alleged dumper, even contacted by police?  Was the incident really even reported? I don't know.

They may have all been saved had those who initially spotted them immediately placed food and water out for them, but this did not happen.  All fault however rests with the person who dumped them.

Loo and River will be tested and chipped, then go to the same woman who took in Niners and Whisper.  I'd had another foster lined up, in Portland, but it fell through, when she took on other kittens.  I'll miss the pair, from the briar patch at Waterloo county park, but happy they will move on and have a chance at a real home.  Testing, chipping will likely cost $25 each, but for them to get out of here, and a chance at homes, its worth it.

Today I pick up two more cats, more of Bootsy's kittens, but from a previous litter and adopted by yet another camp host, to be fixed tomorrow at Heartland.  Today I return the Siamese male.  The rest of today, after that, is for me, to catch up on cleaning, sleep, and shopping.

Happy Sunday.

Fix your pets people!  It's a matter of personal responsibility and kindness.