Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Total Eclipse of the.....(not heart)

Lunar Eclipse tonight.  Wouldn't you know, after all these sunny days with clear nights, tonight the clouds rolled in, completely obscuring the night sky 12 minutes before totality.  Darn it.

I took photos with my camera, hand held, no less, no tripod, since the battery compartment broke a couple years back and I had to do a rig fix, which covers the tripod mount screw in.  The best three I got are above, the rest, below.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Perfect Day

What a day, gorgeous and glorious!

I never left my place, but I enjoyed the 75 degree day of sun to the maximum!

Perfect weather!

A little late, with sun waning, I took a few photos.

The little apple tree is blooming.

Catnip is growing strong.

Meesa catching rays in the under eaves cat run.

Oci enjoying the sun in the window box.
Guess who?
Trouble, that's who!


I see stories all the time, about women who are assaulted or abused, in all kinds of ways, because some man can't control himself.  I've gone through my share of that.

When I lived in the shack in Corvallis, I used to go into a local hardware store there, to buy stamps, because they had a post office outlet and because the employees were friendly.  I joked with them and felt it was a friendly safe store.  Until one day.....

They knew I helped cats.  That's about all they knew about me I think, other than that I was poor and pretty much alone.  I stood in line that day to get stamps.  The employee working the post office looked furtive.  He had straight longish hair that sometimes looked greasy and a mustache and was skinny.

When it was my turn, he didn't want to sell stamps.  He said he needed a favor and needed to talk to me about it right now out behind the store.  His eyes were red, like he was hungover or something and he was nervous.  I figured it must be a cat issue, because I didn't know him other than chatting with him at the store every now and then.

He left his post office station and we went behind the store.  It was there I got the shock of my life.  He claimed he had some military reunion coming up and he wanted me to go out to some godforsaken lake with him, that night, and take photos of him in the nude or in his underwear, as a bet, that he could get some woman to do that, for his reunion.  I was shocked.  He claimed he couldn't do it at his mothers' house, where he lived, because she wouldn't approve.

I realized very quickly this wasn't about taking photos of him in his undies, that his furtiveness and nervousness meant he was probably either going to rape me or hand me over to someone he owed something to, to be raped or worse, way out there, at that Kings Valley lake in the dark.

A horrible sinking wave overwhelmed me.  I had thought these employees were friendly, nice people, but instead, he saw me as someone to take advantage of, someone without anybody who cared about her, so a target.

Betrayal.  Not just by this employee, but by all those who worked there.

Rage then overcame me.  I stormed inside and around the store, demanded to see the manager, and told him what had happened.  He was trying to keep me quiet so other customers wouldn't hear me.  He claimed he would take care of it.

I got home and called the police.  Later on, the store manager called me.  He was the son or son in law, can't remember which, of a local county politician, who owned the store.  The manager told me he had talked to the chief of police, whom he knew, and he made sure I knew that the police chief and he were tight, and that she had told him I was a mental patient and not to worry about it.  He told me any fear I had of that employee or of what had gone on, was just a mental issue.  I went ballistic.

The employee wasn't fired, though he admitted to everything.  I realized my mistake was not to file a complaint with the post office, since he was working in the post office outlet in the store, when he did that.

I went into the store to buy stamps and the employee working the post office station, pulls me out of line, leaving other customers standing there, to urgently take me behind the store to ask me to take photos of him, in his undies out at some remote lake in the dark?   Really?  Any store manager or owner with any ethics at all immediately fires a guy who does that.  Instead, the fact I was in the mental system was used to shove me under the mat, with the help of the chief of police.  What a bunch of hypocritical dickheads.

I finally called the CARDV helpline over it.  CARDV is the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence.  I told them the whole story.  The woman on the line said she wasn't really surprised, that an exchange student had been raped or something close to it by a local high level well known and got no justice and instead was sent back to her home country quickly.

But a while later, the hardware store went under and closed and I couldn't have been happier.  At least a little Karma got them.

I was badly affected by the experience.  To this day, it haunts me at times.  Not only the betrayal of trust, or the knowledge of what would have become of me, had I been talked into obliging this freak, but that nobody cared there, and that the store owner, the democratic politician, apparently held beliefs only in word, and his actions were a different story completely.

Stories about women in the news bring back this memory like it happened yesterday. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Night Post

It's Friday night.  I better post.

The sun is shining in Oregon.  All is well.  Tomorrow maybe there will be something good enough to complain about.  Not today.  Sorry.

We don't get much sun in Oregon.  When it shines, it's like we're all high as kites and living in some cult like grinning tranced out euphoria.

We crash hard here.  So watch out.  The rain is making a come back on Tuesday.  We never believe that here, once it shows up the first time.  We don't remember it's schizophrenic spring.  All we want is sun.  When it vanishes again, we get mad, pop anti depressants, drink more coffee and grumble.

I finished the cat wheel.  The cats are totally unimpressed.  They want to jump on top of it, but then it spins on them.  Cracks me up.  I know it shouldn't.  But.....

 Who will be the first to figure out, now that it is old yoga mat lined, they can run in it?  Boy, they're so lazy, may be months before any of them try it out.  I'm thinking of making a cage front to it, with door.  Then I can just lock them in and spin it.  Forced work out!  I'm getting mean.

Cougie is getting better.  I gave her pain meds and antibiotics this morning and let her out of sick bay for the day.  She wasn't eating and was crying for her friends at the door of the bathroom, from inside.  Who lined up outside the bathroom door, concerned for her?  Not her family.  Was the Lebanon colony cats, very worried about her crying in there.  How sweet.

 Have had no more donations to help on her dental bill.  Was happy that people donated over $400.  Relieved.  Still have the fundraiser open if anybody feels generous, even to the tune of $5.  Even $5 helps.
 Click right here to visit the page. 

Share the link if you think it might help.

Cougie now has no teeth.  She can look at Poppy, to see how she soon might feel.  Poppy had the same affliction and became very skinny and ill, before all her teeth were removed a couple years ago.  Now she's so healthy and happy!

 That's her in the photo above!

Not only did I finish the cat wheel into the night two nights ago, but yesterday I gave away the big queen bed in the 2nd bedroom.  I never slept on it, preferring my little cozy home made single bed and ancient mattress.  I have a friend in Lebanon who needed a bed upgrade, frame included, so she came, with my other friend, and their pickup yesterday.  But first, they took me out to lunch.  We had so much fun, laughing and carrying on.  Oh my.  Might be illegal.

Then down to the work of taking apart the frame and hauling it all out and loading into the pickup.  Didn't take long.  The Lebanon cats who have called the 2nd bedroom home after moving in from the garage cage room when my electric bill during the December freeze out froze up my finances for months to come, got freaked out by the sudden loss of their hide under bed.  But that's one reason I needed it gone.  And it was too big for the room leaving no room for anything else.

I moved one of the two little beds then in from the garage cat room, creating more space there.  The little bed, which I got free somewhere at some point, was in the second bedroom before.  Now its back where it belongs and is the perfect size.  Been lots of heavy moving stuff around going on and my butt joint is feeling the ache.
Big bed out, little bed in.

Nights are no fun unless I Nyquil out.  Half a sip of that shit knocks me out til sometime tomorrow.  I can then get up for awhile, but before long, I'm dozed out again and useless.  Half a sip.  WHAT IS IN THAT?

So I try not to Nyquil out to deal with back pain and sleep on ice packs or count backwards into oblivion.  Counting backwards has always been a sleep trick of mine.  My mind will try to wander.  I won't let it.  Then it slips into this wave state  of dancing numbers and static.  I reach out to find the numbers but they drift away.

I don't like keeping things around I don't use.  I like open space and I don't like storing excess stuff.  So out it goes if I haven't used it in a year.  Two days ago, I took apart my old drop trap.  It was given to me years ago by Laura at Hubcats in Boston.  She sent it to me and didn't charge me.  What an honor.  Her dad made them.  She designed them.  I loved the thing and trapped so many cats with it over the years.  It was so much better than the fancy hard wire ones sold by Tomahawk, after drop trapping became popular, largely because of Laura.  Those are crap by comparison.   Interestingly, after only a few dozen uses, my hardwire tomahawk drop trap has parts falling off.  That's how they compared.  Laura's hand made drop trap trapped thousands upon thousands of cats while the other mass produced trap is dropping parts after I've trapped only a couple dozen or so cats with it.

I'm going to tell you other reasons Laura's trap was better designed than tomahawks.  The transfer door was smaller, on the front and on the front edge.   Tomahawks transfer door is huge and in the middle on the side.  What difference does that make?  Lots.   You have to have far more space for it, because when you transfer, you have to account for the width of the drop trap and the transfer trap in the space you have, since that transfer trap is going to stick out to the side.  The transfer door being in the middle means you have to use transfer traps, with back doors and cannot transfer into carriers or traps without transfer doors.  You could with Laura's.  You could jam a carrier against the transfer door with the carrier door down the side of the drop trap, since the transfer door is right against one edge of the front.  You could lay a non transfer trap on its side, opening against the transfer door and the open trap door top down the side of the drop trap, for the same reason.   And the transfer door being on the front meant you could set it up in narrower spaces.  Far superior and more useful practical design.

Here's to Laura and Hubcats, Boston, although she's moved now.  You were an innovator who made drop trapping popular, who published online selflessly your design so anyone could make one.  You and your dad also made them and you gave me one of your awesome traps because you said you knew I'd use it for good and I did.  I used it and used and used it.  Oh, I'm going to cry.  You are THE BEST!  Thank you again and again.

But it was falling apart.  I'd had to reattach parts of the frame, tie netting back on with string and zip ties, repair holes.  I lost the sliding drop door somewhere sometime, and made a fako with plastic.

It was so sad to take it apart, like taking apart the last pieces of my old useful life and discarding them. I'll use its hinges and screws again.  I kept one part of the frame and I'm going to make some artsy something out of it, a keepsake of what I accomplished in the time I had the means (Poppa Inc's spay neuter money) to make a difference and do something splendid.

I saw a wreck before my eyes today.  I was at Napa Auto Parts trying to find brake pads.  My pads are grabbing and grinding.  Time to replace.  I was leaving the parking lot, and two cars were ahead of me.  One was going to make the easier safer right turn.  Traffic was heavy and turning left means crossing two lanes of traffic going the other way while timing it with a break in traffic going the other.

The Napa parts delivery car was trying to make a left turn, across those two lanes.  At first I thought I'd try it, then saw it would be too dangerous and too long a wait for breaks in traffic from both directions and decided to make the right turn.  But the Napa car was going to make a left turn.

I see a car in the right lane of the two lanes she must cross to go left stop.  I think, "What is he stopping for."  He motioned for her to go.  She did go. But in the left lane, here came a little car and slammed right into the rear of her car as she crossed that lane.  The car that hit her started to smoke.   Both women got out and got on their cell phones immediately.  I just stared.  Then, because two cars were behind me also wanting out of the parking lot and because cars were now backing up, I made the right turn and left.

I felt sorry for the woman who struck the Napa car. Wasn't her fault.  Her car was toast, in the blink of an eye.  I thought about how it could happen to anyone, and you'd never expect something like that, a car just appearing in front of you, like that.  No way she could avoid it.  Then you have no car anymore.  Sure, the Napa car is insured, but usually the insurance company will just total your car and you'll get what they claim is what a similar car is worth in your area.  But it's never enough to get a similar car and in the meantime, while you wait for even that pittance, your life is just screwed.

The Napa car driver has her own car to drive home, no loss to her, unless she loses her job over it.

That idiot driver who stopped in the right lane and motioned for her to go, and she did go, and there was an accident, what a moron.  Did you do that, stop to let her make the left turn across traffic, to be a nice guy, mister, to feel good?  How'd you feel when she got smacked by the car in the left lane?

Slinko's in fine form lately.

Vanishing Act

I'm going to smack her.  I can't help it.  Her butt's right there asking for it.

Lip Smacking Good, Comet says.
Guess who?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Hate to Brag, But....There is a Cat Wheel in My Living Room!

I almost finished the cat wheel.  I drug it inside, with much effort.  I should have used the cart.  It barely fit through the door sideways.

But once inside I realized the bracket would sag when it spun, so I had to remove the wheel from the stand and create a stand fix, to extend a piece for the bracket out a few inches from the stand post.  By the time that was done, and it wasn't easy, and my fix is ugly, the wheel had fallen over on me twice, as I tried to hold it or prop it on something to attach the bracket to the new post mount.

I'm bruised and sore and I have a cat wheel in my living room.  Do you?  See?

Bet you want one.

It's not done.  I had nothing to line it with.  Worn out, bleeding from a couple spots with the cats upset and fighting, I thought, "I'll use shelf liner."  But I just had two feet of it, so there it hangs and lining it so they can actually use it now must wait until tomorrow.

I think I'd like to add a one cat sleep shelf in the middle.  It would attach via one bracket to a bolt and free swing on that bolt to be always level as the wheel spun around it.  That would be so funny.

Time for bed at last.  Should sleep well.  Cats are all mad that I gave the wheel my devotion this evening and not them.   Ingrates!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Toothless Cougie

Cougie is home and now completely toothless.  Had to be, with her allergic inflammatory reaction to her own teeth.

Makes me wonder what causes this affliction as it has become more and more common to find in cats, at younger and younger ages.  Untreated, meaning by that, all teeth and tooth roots pulled, it can lead to early death from kidney failure, among other things.

Cougie is in sick bay, looking ragged and rough.  I gave her pain meds tonight and she will be on those awhile, along with antibiotic pills for two weeks.  Long time in the bathroom, but I'll let her friends in to keep her company.

She will like that.

And the benefit, once the antibiotic course is done with, and she's healed, well she's going to feel just peachy keen!

I'm still doing the fundraiser, have raised about two thirds of the cost for the dental.  The cost came in at $628.  So far raised:  $435.

Click here to go to Cougie's fundraiser page.  Share it far and wide!  Just under a couple hundred dollars left to raise and it will be entirely paid for.  Thank you so much to all those who have donated thus far.  I so appreciate it and so does Cougie.

The cat wheel stand is almost done.   Did what I did on it yesterday, nothing today, lazy I am.

Here's the stand.

Cat Wheel stand, made of part of an old 4x4, very used, and part of the dead neighbors' patio table.

Some supports for the stand post, partly painted, made of old 2x4 pieces and parts of the plywood board I cut the cat wheel from.
Just had a thought.  I'll use the part of the dead neighbors patio table I cut off, as the back stand post support.  Will look good!  And be easy!  I like easy.

It'll get finished one of these days.  These things usually do get done.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Cougie Needs Another Dental

Cougie is once again drooling pus, and not that long after her last two dentals either.

She had her first February 10 up in Sherwood, paid for, thankfully, by Odd Cat Out.  At the time, she was diagnosed with stomatitis, and an allergy to the lining of her own teeth.  This usually means all teeth need pulled, because otherwise, its just drawn out.  Also, I have seen that cats with this affliction whose teeth are not all pulled quickly develop kidney failure at a young age.

Cougie was to have been tested at that first vet visit also, but I was never able to find out for sure if she was or wasn't.  The records went to Odd Cat Out.  Only one tooth was pulled that first trip.

She was in trouble again by the 27th of February and went up the 28th.  I thought all her teeth were then going to be pulled, but at least nine were left in her mouth, maybe more.  And now, all over again, only this time, she's going to my trusted vet in Corvallis.

She had a cancellation so this is getting done once and for all tomorrow.

I started a fundraiser.  I am now affiliated with Odd Cat Out, although I merely use their money, like I did with Poppa Inc., but to do so, I have access to a Poppa Inc. Odd Cat Out dedicated bank account and can raise money to put into it, if I am able to do that, and then use it, which is easier for me to get things done down here then, instead of going up to their vet clinic.

Click here to go to Cougie's fundraiser page.

I set the goal amount on her fundraiser page lower than the cost will be, as was recommended by the site.  I'm new to this.  Learning.  Feeling my way.  Actually, I feel like a bull in a china shop trying to navigate the social media world to fund raise.

I will raise the goal amount on the page tomorrow, when I know the true cost.  Please share the fundraiser page far and wide, twill help, no doubt and getting the word out is the main issue, when raising funds.  If the true cost ends up $600, for instance, all it takes is just 600 people donating one dollar.  That's not so bad, to think of it that way.

Poor Cougie.  Let's hope this will be the final tooth pulling venture she will ever need.  This is a great vet she's going to see and she stands a very good chance at full permanent recovery.