Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Sweetest Kitten in the World

I'm not kidding about the post title.

Ellie is the best.

She went from this........

In this photo, taken by a concerned citizen, Ellie is crouched along a curb in the mall parking lot.

To this......
Ellie in my foster cage this morning.

Ellie is cuddly, playful, loving, fun.  She's just wonderful.  This morning I took her, along the with Lebanon family, the mom and six kittens, up to Animal Rescue and Care Fund.  Click here to visit ARCF's facebook page. Go adopt them all!

Let them know they are not trash and wanted.  Give them great homes.

Kate, the torti I trapped in the parking lot too, now with the bird lady, is doing great.  Evelyn left me a message this morning.  She's gaining weight and the bird lady says, has 24/7 access to lots of food, since she was so starved.  She's happy, the bird lady said in her message, which made me get emotional.

I also trapped four cats, including mom, over at a new colony, which is behind the Albany colony.  When I heard the mom was gray, I was happy.  The Albany colony man, who wasn't that involved in helping with the cats, had told me about the gray skinny mom, rarely there but who had had many many litters.  I never met her.  Until last night.  She's now in the garage, along with three of her last litter of all blacks.  There's one more to catch.  I was sick last night when trapping, couldn't bend over without a work out to keep from vomiting.   But I still caught four, at least.

All of them but mom are going to my friend who places barn cats.  Mom will go back, since she is older and has lived around there all her life and the woman feeding her is trying to make a house pet of her.  No photos yet.


Friday, September 22, 2017

These Darn Kittens!

The kittens are driving me a little nuts.  Its hard to do laundry, dress, shower even with them racing around, over my feet, over their mom's belly, racing up a ladder, falling off, touching a ball, then sending it flying down the floor, as four of them join the chase.  Oops, they've seen my foot.  Two detour to grab my big toe. Another joins in, climbing my pants leg.  I'm trying to get to the sink.  But its hopeless.

I look at their mom, catching her eye.  I shake my head slightly.  Her expression changes to one of exasperation, exhaustion too.

There's nothing she can do.

I call them the little horde of heathens.

The bee hive of busy kittens suddenly silences.  They're all in a pile sleeping.  Omg, I think, I have to hurry.  In a rush, I throw laundry into the drier, and another load into the washer.  I grab my towel and take a shower, try to dress.  They're AWAKE again!!!  NOOOOO!

They're leaving Sunday morning.  I'll miss them.  I know you know that.

Ellie, the kitten from the parking lot, is going too.  She's a sweetie, all love, cuddles and play.  But she's not so keen on the little ones.  Ellie likes big cats, not these mouse size things who think her ears and tail are merely toys.  Ellie is on her way into her teens and the eye rolls have begun.  Kittens are certainly NOT cool.  Everything is a game to a kitten!

By Sunday noon, I will be down six tinies and one teen, plus the tinies' mom, who is awesome herself.  I'll be down 8 cats!

Should I cry, laugh or crack a bottle of champagne?  I'll probably do all three.

Animal Rescue and Care Fund is taking all of these precious souls!  THANK YOU ARCF!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I experienced an unexpected failure.

The brand new heat pump quit working the moment it turned cold and rainy and I switched it to heat mode.  Maybe the heat pump too is revolting with sudden onset winter, when its still officially summer.  Snow in the mountains now.  It's been pouring down rain for days.  A tornado, if you can call an EF 0 a tornado, touched down briefly outside Lacomb, taking a couple barn roofs off.  Last week wasn't it over 90 with wildfires everywhere, I think to myself.  Or was that some other year.  Or did I dream all that.

Yes, the heat pump, barely two months old, shut itself down and won't run.

The Heat Cool guy is here and I think he doesn't know what is wrong, outside maybe possibly something in how the thermostat was wired.   I'm trying to leave him be.  Can't be an easy job.  Takes smarts to figure out why something isn't working that should be working.

I've come to expect that new things won't last, and that new things are not built so well anymore, that mostly they're thrown together fast as possible, as plastic as possible and as cheaply as possible with the poorest paid laborers doing the work as is possible to get away with.  Profits, man!

And that new things are too complicated for their own good.

I told my friend I think it might be wise to go back to a wood stove and a fan as my heat cool system.  Simpler.  Cheaper.  Adequate.

The heat cool guy was coming tomorrow.   Then he called this morning and said he could come within an hour and I said fine.  I figured he'd flip some switch and be done.  Replace a wire.  Clean a contact.  Now its' been almost 2 hours he's been here.  No word if he's figured anything out yet.

I had plans for today.  Guess not anymore.

UPDATE:  It is fixed!  The guy just methodically worked out the wiring thing.   I was impressed!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Let's Be Kittens!

Moms will be moms and kittens will be kittens.

You can try your best to tell kittens or moms how to behave but it won't work.

Best to let kittens be kittens.  And kids be kids.  And Moms be moms.

So, in the spirit of kittenhood, and my kitten loaded bathroom...and a mom who sometimes seems to say with her eyes, "get me out of here"......

A video.

Let's Be Kittens...brought to you by....Kittens!

Mom and her six latest kittens will soon be going north to Animal Rescue and Care Fund, a great Portland rescue.

Today, five local cats are being fixed.

They include the above mom's first litter of the year, all now teens, three of them:  Gizmo, the girl, with brothers Blue and Skat.   When I went to pick up their mom with her latest six, Skat was busy trying to impregnate his BROTHER on a lawn chair.   Boy, does Skat ever need neutered!


Rosy is getting fixed too.  She's from the house of cats in Albany, although most are fed outside.   Already, we took four females from there to be fixed. Before that KATA took another female to be fixed and took out a zillion kittens.  Just one boy left to get fixed but he wasn't around yesterday.

And Kay is being fixed, if she isn't already.  She is the little torti from the Grocery Outlet parking lot who was hanging out with the ear tipped black kitten Ellie, although Ellie isn't hers and Kay doesn't particularly like Ellie.  The Bird Lady is taking in Kay.  She lives really close to that parking lot and Kay probably already knows the Bird Lady's house.

But the Bird Lady wanted to be sure little Kay is fixed first, and fully vaccinated.  All that good stuff.

Little Kay

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Useless Summer

Today Oregon will get its first fall storm, with a lot of rain predicted.

Sure we need rain.  

But my heart sinks to think of it.  The summer was completely useless.

We waited so long for summer after a winter that broke every record for rainfall.  Last winter stretched on forever and was one of Oregon's most depressing and wet.

Finally in mid June, summer hit.   It hit hot and hard and wildfires broke out everywhere.  Aided by teens with no brains, intent on social media stardom, and others both malicious and careless---firecrackers, unattended campfires, driving on dry grass, the usual causes.  The air lay low and thick in smoke much of the summer.  Here in the mid valley the misery was compounded by the grass seeders plowing dirt fields sending up massive plumes of dirt to hang in the already heavy awful air.

My knee popped in June too, leaving me unable to walk without wanting to scream for a couple months and it still hurts nights and still I have no idea what went wrong.

The car failed, too but still sits in the driveway, along with the latest, the new old car.

I count on summer to get out away from people, hike or camp, take the raft out and I didn't get any of that this summer except for a couple times out on a very very crowded reservoir.

I guess I'm bummed, knowing the rain is coming later today, lots of it, and that summer is gone, although the air quality yesterday was so bad who really gives a damn if its summer or winter when the air is worse than Beijing?

A forecaster bit his lip yesterday, stared apologetically into the camera and said we might be in for another horror of a winter with La Ninja rains.

Another bummer for me is how fast this town is growing, sprawling along the freeway, every square inch being developed into high density housing, without the roads that will handle the massive influx.  A block away a field has now been filled with dirt and leveled, and I bet it will be wall to wall look alike houses put up and the only street can't handle even more traffic.  There's no core to this town, just sprawl along the freeway, no real parks outside of squares of grass, and sports fields, for like baseball or basketball.   It's a wasteland of sprawl and cars and concrete.

 I feel trapped.  I'm old but I want out, away from so many people, but how would I manage a change now?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cute Kitten Alert!

Well, I am overloaded in cats again.   And I don't even take in cats.  Ha!

I have the torti and the ear tipped kitten from the Grocery Outlet parking lot.

Thankfully the torti is tame, and I'm advertising her as found, but the bird lady says she'll foster her and care for her permanently if she doesn't have a home.  Which seems likely.   She lives in the same area where I found her.  This is great news for the torti and for me.

As for Ella, the kitten, she's a great kitten and I have two groups who may take her.  Crossing fingers.

But I have also been working to fix a rural Lebanon colony.   This is the one where we trapped Black Beauty and got her fixed.  And also Willy, the kitten with bad eyes, who went to Meow Village.

There's a female there, with a litter in the blackberry vines.  We saw the kittens when I returned Black Beauty.  The colony feeder got them contained, all six of them, plus mom, yesterday.  We wanted to get them out of the berry vines before the rainstorm hits tomorrow.   They are in my bathroom while Ella and the torti are in the foster cage in the living room that Raven once occupied.

I still have Bonita too, the semi feral who is functionally blind, waiting to get her entropian surgery.  She has in the meantime, with me cleaning her eyes daily, become close to tame.  I had hoped I could get the surgery done at Heartland but that may not happen so looks like another trip to the coast clinic soon for me.  Be worth it for her, to get her lashes off her eyes.

Anyhow, the lovely mother in the bathroom with her kittens, all of whom had developing colds and eye issues, that likely would have killed them had they stayed in the bushes much longer, provides a pleasant distraction.  They are a lot of work, however.  Cleaning their eyes, applying eye meds, supplemental feeding them, all that.   That's really tough, isn't it?  Playing with tiny kittens.  Ha!  Not!

Mom ran around the bathroom frantically when I first brought them in last night, searching it completely, looking for threats, ways to escape, and was vigilant all night long, ignoring her kittens, on guard.  She's lived in the woods, and had to be this way, to survive and keep kittens alive.   Imagine being a mom with kittens that way, with everything want to eat them alive and you trying to protect them, feed them, feed yourself.  

Now she's deemed my little bathroom, that has seen hundreds of cats, safe and has relaxed.  The bathroom passed the mom test.  Apparently so did I.  She's so happy and purring up a storm.

And being a great mom.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Who Is this Kitten?

I love a good mystery.  I sure do.

When this photo popped up on Lost and Found Pets in my town, I went over to look for her, even though it was after 11:00 p.m. the night before I was to take Raven up to FFR.   I found nothing.  Where she was supposed to be, by Great Clips in the mall, automatic sprinklers were wetting down everything, even the sidewalk.  She allegedly had been running across busy 14th to the Safeway parking lot then back to the mall parking lot.

This was the photo of her in the mall parking lot, taken by a concerned citizen, then posted on lost and found pets.
So I take Raven up then have to sleep off my late night kitten search adventure.  Yesterday afternoon, however, I stopped in at Big Lots which is near Safeway and was chatting with the clerk who also had seen the kitten post.  I was reminded of the torti I had seen behind Grocery Outlet in April.  This had happened after yet another post in lost and found pets, about two starving cats in the Grocery Outlet parking lot.  I'd gone to look.  What I saw behind Grocery Outlet was a classic torti hanging with a big huge dominant gray tabby male, who had a collar.   I figured they were mating.  I didn't know if they were owned or not and had to let it go.  Except I alerted folks in the area who might see them and who might know if they were owned or not.

These were the two cats seen in April in the parking lot of Grocery Outlet.  Again, the photo was taken by a concerned citizen.
I finally tracked down the male behind a house two streets away, being fed by someone I know who loves cats.  She'd named him Gandolph and now feeds him.  I then got him fixed.

I wondered about the torti though and had looked for her, like I'd looked for the male, and wondered if she'd have kittens somewhere, who would likely die.  Now I wondered if the black kitten was her sole surviver and after talking to the Big Lots woman I drove over to check behind the Grocery Outlet, where I'd seen Gandolph and the torti together.  And low and behold, there's the black kitten, trying to get into the dumpster for food.  The torti is right there too.  I put out a handful of dry food, to keep them there, then go home and get traps.

I return and trap both within minutes.


That little black kitten has a right ear tip.  What?  Who would fix a kitten then return it to starve and try to eat out of a dumpster?

However, the timeline fit.  The torti's kittens' if any survived, if she wasn't already fixed, would be 2 1/2 months old, just like this kitten.  I weighed her and she's 2.3 lbs.  Her belly is growing back hair from a spay at least a month prior.  What in the world.

I began to ruminate over it and think of black kittens I might have gotten fixed and returned with ear tips..  At first I couldn't think of any.  Then I did.

Only one kitten fit the bill, a female, with ear tip.  I got her fixed from Waterloo, July 25.  Could this be her?  She'd been two pounds then, but obviously, if it was her, if she somehow ended up in an Albany mall parking lot, she would be without food or water and quickly lose weight. And she'd seek out other cats, for help, especially she'd look to an adult female, like the torti.

Both cats, once in my bathroom, drank forever.  They were so thirsty.

This is the Waterloo kitten with her mom and brother, just after being fixed at whs.  A neighbor of the owner asked me to fix them and got his permission.  He rarely even fed them and she had been feeding them.  I tried to get relinquishment signed on them, but the neighbor could never find the "owner" home to get them signed.  Is the parking lot kitten her?

The parking lot kitten with ear tip is tame   The torti is not tame.  I think she once was.  But no more.  Usually it would be reverse, the kittens wild from a tame mom.  Is the parking lot kitten the Waterloo girl?  Hell if I know.  Probably though.  Maybe the torti is even fixed, I don't know.  I hope so.

Ear tipped tame little parking lot kitten

Grocery Outlet Torti
I do love a good mystery.