Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dazed and Confused in Oregon

I've experienced, recently, a series of unfortunate events.

Some of those events are now partially resolved.

My knee is much better after the doctor injected it with steroids.

However, the title on the new used car I bought is not clear.

Why it is not a clear title is unclear.

Does the fog of Oregon shroud common sense?

Does our rain and mist and chronic depression melt down into the souls of agencies like the DMV?

There was a loan indicated on the title.  The former owner before I bought it assured me the loan was long paid off and the title was signed by the lender.  I believed him.  I had researched what the rules were in Oregon from the DMV website and it stated the lender must sign and date the title when the loan is paid off.  The title of the used Scion I bought, an 11 year old car already, was signed by the lender.

I thought this would be an easy title transfer and went into the DMV to get it done.

But the Oregon rain descended on my sunshine.  I was told the lender should have stamped the title as well as signed it.  Stamped?  What's a stamp?   I still don't know.  I walked out of the DMV in a state of complete confusion.

Nowhere on the DMV website had it said anything about the title must be signed AND stamped by the lender, or it would not be considered a clear title.  NOWHERE!

I angrily texted the former owner.  I like him, however, so that was hard.  I said I was going to call the police, that he'd scammed me for all my savings and then some.  He seemed genuinely shocked that the DMV would not accept that title and that lender signature.  He too asked "what is a stamp".

I called the lender number from my car in the parking lot of the DMV, over and over I called.  No answer.   Well, the bank is in New York, and I was sitting there in Oregon time.  Banks in New York were closed.

I felt like a fool, like I"d suckered into something and now I would pay for my stupidity.

My computer failed last night.  I had tried to print out insurance ID cards on it, so I could drive the newer car.  The old car had failed again, when I stopped for strawberries, after returning the cats fixed Monday.  I was so done with it.  To drive the new old car I needed insurance on it, before I even went to the DMV, where I would be told the title was not right.

My printer was broken.  Three hours later, I got it running long enough to print two pages---two ID cards.  Then the computer failed too.  I'd never switched over to the old tower someone gave me, after I knew the mother board was failing in the other computer.   I had backed up my files at least.

Today I'm on the donated tower.  It's as old as the one that failed but it works.  I worked late into the night trying to get antivirus on it and figure out how to add my router, which I never figured out.  All my favorite old programs gone for good, like Picasa.

A heat wave has suddenly struck Oregon.  Going to be close to 100 this weekend.  It's already climbed to 90 degrees inside the house, on one day this week.  See, the cooling system here quit working, maybe a couple months ago.   There's a slow leak somewhere.  Last year, it was recharged and that was all it took.  But now that type of coolant is banned, because of ozone depletion or something, and since this entire system, that includes the furnace and heat pump, won't take the newer allowed coolant, the entire system must be replaced.   This is a hardship for my brother who owns the place and I was embarrassed that it must be done.

But now with the house becoming intolerably hot, I am scared for myself and my cats.  I don't know when it will be repaired.   So someone north of Salem has offered two  window sill AC units they no longer use.  I am going to get them today.  Do I know how to install them?  No.  I'll have to somehow create a shelf outside the window to hold each, somehow unstick windows that I've never opened, then somehow also make the area above each secure, so neither the cats can break out, nor burglars in.

It does seem impossible to clear the car title, to get some cooling in here, all of it actually.  But one thing at least is working now---the donated computer tower.  I can't do anything more on the title clearing.   The rest of the day I'll work on the cooling fix.

I think Oregon is making it too hard and too complicated to buy an 11 year old car.

Signing off

Dazed and Confused in Oregon

Monday, June 19, 2017

Good News All Around

There's good news out there.  I see it sometimes even out in the world.

And there is good news for me.   I have the car, although I haven't driven it outside of driving it home after purchase.   That's because I haven't switched over the insurance yet or rigged it for cat hauling.

My knee, good news there too.  I suffer from a ruptured bursa and the previous chronic pain has been bursitis I guess.   The doctor today said, with a firm authoritarian voice, "I'm going to cure you."   In my mind, I was skeptical.  "Yeah, right!"  I thought he was joking.

But I wanted to believe.  Who wouldn't.  I want to walk again, without pain.  

He brought in the needles.  Yes, needles.   He gave my knee some anesthetic then injected some steroids into it.   He said it would feel better for a day, then it would get much worse, to just get through that.  Then it should get better.

I reached for the crutches to use to leave the office.  I thought wait a minute.  I have to believe.  And carried them instead.

I wonder when the anesthetic will wear off and it will get worse, before it gets better.  I won't think about that.

In other news, the cooling system here hasn't worked for awhile.   I've been scorching yesterday and today.  Got to about 85 degrees inside here yesterday.  Today, closer to 90 degrees inside the house.   Yikes!

A friend had left me her old roll around air conditioner, with an air intake tube you stick out a window.  Today with my knee still comfortably numb, I rolled it in the house and rigged it in a window, after spraying the window edges with WD-40, so I could open it.  It had not been opened in years, due to inadquate screening, to keep the cats contained.

It's already got the temp in the living room down to about 80 degrees, but the coiled heat vent tube is really hot.  Hope that's ok.

It won't cool the entire house but maybe I can have one cool room.

And I have a surprise! Remember the little black tux mom I trapped, Louise, at the Lebanon street, then had grabbed 3 of her 5 kittens in a big pile of junk, that was icky, but the other two vanished down into the far recesses of the junk pile?  Remember that?

I have trying to find those two kittens.  Setting traps when I can over there. Listening.   Yesterday, still on crutches, I had gone out to a remote Lebanon location to catch a female, who had six kittens.  I let the guy do the work, setting up the drop trap.  The little girl waited hungry, patient, watching.  Took all of 8 minutes to catch her.  But no sign of her six 3-month old kittens.  I left him the drop to feed under, since he had to get going to an appointment.  But still he's seen no sign of them.  

He thinks maybe they're in a neighbors barn or shop.   But he said they usually come a bit after their mom, since she's weaned them.

Grenadine is being fixed today at whs.

After catching her I stopped by the Lebanon street, where we took all the cats out in March, about 14 I think, and had most recently caught Louise and 3 of her kittens.  I talked to a guy, one of many in and out there, who helped me set another trap and claimed to have heard one kitten crying piteously.  He promised to check the trap and find a phone somewhere, if I caught one.  He doesn't have a phone.  Nobody does there

I didn't hear anything and by afternoon, I was worried and agitated.  So I took off to go check it myself.   Nothing!  Empty!  But there was the old woman, tough as nails, doing laundry.   "Have you seen the kittens?" I asked, hopeful.  "They're not around," she said.   "My grand daughter caught them."

"What?" I gasped, not ready to believe they were safe.  "Yeah, they're in the trailer with her."

I went and knocked.  "Who is it?" a woman's voice called out from behind a worn curtain covering a broken out window.  "The cat lady," I responded.  She came right out smiling.  "I've got two kittens for you," she grinned.

This was too much for me.  I was on the crutches.  I was hot.  I was tired and now I felt like a million bucks, like a weight had lifted off my shoulders.  She brought them out, after I had her come get the trap I'd just taken from their carport.  Then I asked if she was ready  to get one of her two girls fixed.  They both had litters.  She handed over Oreo and I nearly cried again.   I told her how much it meant to me, that she got those kittens and that now Oreo would be fixed.   "You saved my faith in humans," I blurted.

The last two kittens.  They are already mostly tame!
Oreo, who is being spayed today
The third cat being fixed today is another from Mountain Shadows.  Willy was trapped, then held by the trapper as I struggled with car and knee issues here.  She had told me he is very tame, but extremely skinny, with diarrhea.  Well,  he will be tested, fixed if healthy enough, and I don't know if he will be alive or I will be told he was euthanized later today.

An Albany woman, who took up a cat to be fixed she's trying to help under my reservataions, is picking the cats up for me.  This is so helpful.
Willy of Mountain Shadows

Saturday, June 17, 2017

New Catmobile and Bad Knee

The last few days have been nuts.

I struggled to find a replacement for the Catmobile, since the old one has multiple problems. I contacted private sellers realizing I'd get a better deal since dealers have a markup to make profit.  

I found one in Bend, but it was on 04 Scion, but...low miles.  However, it was overpriced.

I'd need to find a loan to get any used car, even an old one.  So I began asking people I knew and one friend said "Sure".   Without hesitation.   However, she had visitors coming from out of state and was very busy.

In the meantime, I found an 06 in Portland, some slight body damage, low miles, for a really good price, half the price of most Scions that have more mileage.  I jumped on it.  Then came the moving parts of the car drama---getting that loan in hand and finding a ride up to Portland.

I did not expect another moving part!  My knee!  It's been hurting lately.  I've been wearing a brace.   It had hurt so much I tried to make a doctor appointment but I could not get in for a couple of weeks.  I settled on seeing one I don't know next week.   My knee would not make it.

My ride came to get me, to go to Portland.   The seller up there expected us.  I had the loan in hand.  I turned to make one step up from the garage into the house, and my knee collapsed in an explosion of pain, with an add on snapping sound on the backside of it.  I doubled over, unable to stand on it, screaming.

Ah shit, I thought, through the tears and the pain.  THE CAR!   I wanted the car badly.  I also wanted heavy duty pain killers at that point.   My friend, the driver, went and got ice bags from my freezer.  She tried to call people she knew, who might go with us, and drive the car back, if we still went.

Finally I said, "Let's do it."   I had crutches in the corner of the garage from some old injury.  Good thing.  If I put no weight on my leg I could bear it.  There was a lot of cursing and sudden screams of pain on the trip up.  We stopped for aspirin.

I told the seller he was nothing like I expected.   After hearing all the stories of murders and robberies of craigslist buyers, in parking lots, or them finding out that great deal car they just got is actually a stolen vehicle, we ran through scenarios, and what to do if this or that happened.   April was going to hang back in the car, doors locked, engine running, for instance, as I went to meet the seller.  With my knee now unable to bear weight, I told her, if anything goes wrong, save yourself.  I'm too slow but the crutches will slow them down.

We arrived at the location and the seller was not a criminal, not a gang member, doesn't even have a record, I'd guess.   We were not surrounded by armed thugs  demanding the hard fought money in the envelope.   "Hmmm," I thought, this is nice!

It was all over in about 20 minutes.  I was going to drive April's automatic home, thinking that might be easier on my knee.   Then I realized the manual transmission Scion I'd just bought has the clutch on the left anyhow, so it'd be the same no matter which car I drove.  I had not driven a manual in over 20 years, but it came back in a flash.  I LOVE THE CAR!

I stopped twice on the way home, to rest my painful knee.  By the time I got home, it was so painful and swollen I wanted to scream.  It was then I went to the ER.   Nothing is broken, the Xrays said, but probably something is torn, the doctor said.  I need an MRI, but first I have to go to my regular doctor and then be referred to an orthopedist and then maybe an MRI would be ordered.  How many months will that take, I thought.   I got an immobilization brace, that is very difficult to maneuver with, given it turns my leg into an unbendable log.

I took a taxi to the ER and also back home.  Nice guy driving.

I took a pain pill, had been assured it was not an opiate, since I am allergic, and went to bed.  This morning I woke and suddenly flushed burning hot all over.  My skin was hot to the touch.  This turned to cold and clammy with sweating.  I tried to get to my phone, thinking I was having a heart attack, but felt I was passing out, and quickly got the floor so I wouldn't hit the floor.   I lay there half hour at least.  I got up off the floor, telling myself to quit being a wimp, that if I was going to die I die, but I'm not going out laid out on the floor barely dressed.  And I need to get the litter boxes clean before the ambulance or hearse comes.  I looked up the pain pill side effects online and there they were:   hot flushing, cold and clammy, hypo tension.  Ok, calm down, toss the pills out or give them back.

Two people have already asked me for "extras".  WTF?  I will not be part of destroying people's lives who have addictions and weaknesses to them.  I'm taking them to my pharmacy, who has a destruction program.  I now feel having an obvious injury makes me a target for addicts and dealers.  WTF, I'll say again, what is this world coming to.   The pills are gone now.  They're no good to me, the way I react, and its no good having them even in a drawer.  I don't feel safe with them here, because of all the addicts.  I had to get them gone!

A friend came up to help me clean litter boxes and she took me grocery shopping  I am grateful.  Now I have to sleep again.

The three kittens from the Lebanon junk pile went to some friends of a friend today.  Goodbye kitties!

Cheyenne and Jersey, not pictured---Dakota
The Mountain Shadows resident who traps caught three more, two of them tame, and one of the three is owned.  Honest mistake.  She thought it was the gray male left behind by one trailer.  Instead, its his son, adopted as a kitten by another trailer.  I got both fixed.  She's going to contact the people I got the teen fixed for a year ago, make sure they want him back.

Here he is.  He'll probably be returning.
 And she caught this fixed torti, whom she has fed awhile.  I got her fixed over a year ago.  It's sad.  Now she must find a new home.
 The other tame boy she caught is super skinny, skin and bones really, with diarrhea.  He's not fixed and she's still got him.  We're trying to find somewhere he can get help.  I gave her wormer for him today when she came over.

I am supposed to trap tomorrow, several places.  I hope that goes well.  Looks like I'll be riding shot gun with another trapper and be mainly "supervising".  Another word for it is back seat drivering.  Or something.

I'll get a photo of the new improved Catmobile. It is just like the old Catmobile, only silver and one year younger, and a decade younger in road miles.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dying Catmobile

The Catmobile is dying, I fear.  Terminal maybe.

Sometimes it just won't start.   It uses over a quart of oil a month but there are no leaks.

Today I was able to drive Sunny and Buddy, of Waterloo county park, to meet up with a Brooks woman, who will drive the boys the rest of the way to their new home.

Good luck boys!   They used to be fed by a camp host at the park and were fixed years ago by another group.  But they too were left behind, when the camp host left.   They are ok now.


Mountain Shadows old kitty Joplin went to a friend of mine's place last night.   After she took me out for dinner.  I loved that and enjoyed chatting with her and the food very much.

I was worried about taking the boys so far, to just north of Salem, with my car sometimes not starting.  But it started up and I made it up there, and it started for the trip home.  But then I stopped at a store.  Feeling over confident I guess.  Then it wouldn't start.  Like forever.  I was about to give up.  I was thinking this is its final hurrah.  But it suddenly started, although it smelled really hot.   I made it home.

I'm not sure I will drive it again.  But how will I survive if I don't?  It's so far here to even a grocery store.  My knee is bad right now.  I can't carry cat food bags and litter bags home.   What am I going to do, I think to myself and the worry wears at me and I think I want to crawl into a hole and sleep so I don't have to figure this seemingly impossible problem out.   Used cars are so expensive.  Mechanics are so expensive.  How will I survive.

I'll figure out something.  I have to.  For now, I just have the three wild kittens to move out of here.  The plight of the Mountain Shadows cats will become a nightmare as I am no longer in a position to help them.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

More Mountain Shadows. More Street of Drugs

No sooner did I get the six Mountain Shadows cats trapped last weekend into various places, than the resident up there brought three more she had trapped.

One of these three is a very elderly black tux, cloudy eyes, thin, but from age.   Maybe Lucy's sister, or brother.  I haven't even checked yet.  She's in the bathroom.  She was in the bathroom with the orange tux boy she trapped, thinking it was Fiji.  It wasn't the massive Fiji, but rather a teen boy who looks just like him whom I got fixed in March for another trailer.   So he's going back today.

Joplin, the old tux, can't see well, and would jump into the towel cupboard, to sleep, but the little boy was already there.  This would startle Joplin and she'd start screaming.  For peace last night, I transferred the little teen boy to a garage cage.
Elderly Joplin, still full of vinegar

The resident also brought me another brown tabby wild boy, who is likely Bobs brother.   Bobs was fixed and my friend in Portland already found him a home.   Chester is a very stinky male but getting fixed today at the FCCO.

I ran both Chester and a black tux from the street of drugs up to Portland to the FCCO this morning.  My friend who places barn cats met me there and we transferred Louise and Chester to her traps.   They will go home with her.


Louise had five kittens over at the street of drugs.  I didn't catch her first time around there because she has this perfect right ear tip and I was sure she must be fixed.  Not so.   And she has the kittens to prove it.  I hand grabbed three of the little rascals, all close to 8 weeks, and fully capable of eating on their own.  The other two, however, dove down into the junkpile they have lived in.  The pile is helter skelter old boxes full of junk and cat poop and pee, packed mostly tight into old urine and feces soaked clothing.  Yikes.
Louise.  Doesn't that look like an ear tip to you?  Would you think she was already fixed?

Her kittens are older.  Five of them.  But I only got three.

I hope to get the other two soon.

Last night after checking kitten traps there again I went on up to the county park where my friend had planted herself and set a couple of traps for the remaining park cats.   I knew Buddy was there somewhere, along with Boots, Cumi and Paws.  Plus an unknown unfixed male who has come in since.   I didn't know Sunny was still alive.

 In my mind, I'd created a scenario, you see.  The scenario was perfectly pleasant, easy on the soul and in it, Ron, who had adopted Sunny and Buddy, but then left them behind, along with Bootsy and Paws, when he and his wife were moved, as camp hosts, to a different park, actually came back for them.  There was a big reunion and off they went with him.

Reality is never quite so happy.  I joined my friend and we joked around endlessly.   I was worn out and asked her to read to me, anything, off facebook, that was funny.  Finally we were giving up and collecting the traps, still joking, and I was about to pick up one trap when I actually noticed it was closed.  "Oh," I said, "wow."

It was Sunny.  I hadn't seen him since before they were left.  We'd seen Buddy earlier, sitting in the bushes plain as day and I hadn't seen him in awhile either.    So we caught Buddy's best friend, Sunny.   And still there are four left to find and catch there:  Buddy, Bootsy, Cumi and Paws.  And of course the new arrival unfixed male.

Sunny is here now, in the garage, waiting for the cage to clear, with the little owned orange tabby tux in it, and that will be his waiting arena, til we get Buddy, so they can go together.

Louise is gone but her three kittens are here.  And Joplin is here, the old fart, in my bathroom.  She or he has a place to go also, as do the kittens, but there's been another complication.  My car.  What else is new.

Now if I turn the engine off it may not start again.  Something about the transmission  Probably the neutral start switch, I'm told.   Blessed be Youtube.

To be safe, I just drive where I can leave it running.

A woman began to complain to me about some stresses in her life.  I waited patiently through it.   All the time I'm thinking, "Lady, do you want to know stress?"

Actually I'm not worried much.   All I want to do is sleep anyhow, and catch those last two kittens.  I cancelled the trapping I was to do this afternoon.   Sorry I don't want stuck dead in my car out beyond Lebanon.  Oops I meant stuck in a dead car.

I'm going to try to spray the outside of the neutral start switch with WD40, see if that helps.  Doesn't it help everything?  Maybe its just gunked up.

Thursday, June 08, 2017


I overslept this morning.  I am usually up by 6:30 a.m. and sleeping in does not make for a good day usually.

I woke up at 9:00 a.m.  I couldn't believe it.  Half the day gone, seemed like.

I then spent a long time trying online and by phone to find help for the remaining Mountain Shadows cats.  I felt alone with the whole thing and defeated and stressed.

I'm not really alone in it just feels that way.  FCAT has taken four or five cats from there.  A friend in Portland has helped and one in McMinnville, by taking in cats.  Felines First has taken in a couple.

I guess what I wish I had help with is rounding up the cats who need out and holding them, til places can be found, and also other people involved in looking for places they can go---homes, or rescues, shelters that can take them.  That's what so hard.

And all the driving, clear up there to Sweet Home over and over, then to vet appointments for them, then to take them wherever I find for them.  Rounding up intake fees or donations for shelters or sanctuaries, to offset their costs.  It's killing me.

I've been seriously stressed and distracted the last few days.

Tomorrow, Siletz and Angelo leave.

 Lily, the tame torti, from Mountain Shadows, is now in my bathroom waiting for somewhere.

I found a shelter (Pixie Project) willing to take her if she is fully vetted and negative on FIV/Felk and doesn't have a mouth full of bad teeth.  It's way up in Portland, but if I can get her to a friend north of Salem next Tuesday, she'll take her the rest of the way.  She'll get the checkup, spay if not spayed (I bet she's already fixed), test, chip, all that, on Monday at Heartland.

I spent all morning contacting shelters and rescues.  Pixie called me back right away.  I was very relieved and happy that even one cat could be placed.   I didn't hear from any other shelter until later in the day when the local no kill shelter called me back.  I was really very surprised to hear from them.  I'd contacted them about the Mountain Shadows cats.  They said they will, when they have space, take in one or two of the cats at a time, intake fee waived.

I have to get the cats tested, however, for FIV/Felk first, and they must pass a rather stringent behavior challenge.  A stranger must be able to pick up the cat and hug the cat to their face without the cat striking at the person, hissing or biting.    Right now they don't have space though.   This torti, Lily, would easily pass that friendliness test.  She's really wonderful.

I was stressed in part because my car was becoming difficult to shift into park or reverse. Been the last few days, maybe a week its been doing that.  I googled that problem and found out its usually caused by low transmission fluid, which means a seal leak somewhere.  But the fluid level was fine.  So I spent hours tonight, removing the drivers seat and the cover over the gear stick and linkage.  I figured the lever itself, that shifts, might be sticking because something was impeding movement.

When I finally pried the cover off, I jerked back, in shock.  Shoot!  Old gunky coins, pieces of old candy and many unidentifiable objects, gunked and corroded with age, plus inches of all kinds of dirt and debris began to cascade down once the cover box was off. I was embarrassed to see such filth.  How did the shifter even work?  14 years that collected under there.

The only things I didn't find under there might have been a dead mouse and a litter of kittens.

I vacuumed out everything loose, then spent another hour with a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol cleaning it.  It was dark, raining off and on, and I'd eaten something that didn't sit with my stomach so bending over to work at cleaning made me want to vomit.

I didn't take it for a test drive because I just finished about 11:00 p.m.  I'm sure the hard shifting problem will be gone when I do.   And now its back to bed even though I got up really late this morning.  Feeling pretty happy about hopefully solving that one little problem in my life, that little worry.

Took this after I cleaned it up

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


The aftermath of the weekend cat catches is this.

Rocky, the cat with the injured tail, from the other Sweet Home trailer park, had to return.  He was a wee bit agressive, not feral, agressive.  I'd put him in the bathroom, to recover, after Heartland said "No, we can't keep him, or even handle him."

I was stressed to say the least, with all those other cats in the garage and now this big just fixed smelly male in the bathroom, whom I thought Heartland was taking, the only reason I went and fetched him out of that trailer park.

Rocky behaved ok at first.  I'd made a frantic run to Heartland, late yesterday afternoon, after receiving the text that they were not keeping him, to come get him.  I was in Salem picking up the cats fixed there.

  But then began the extreme mood swings.  One minute he wants petted, the next he was screaming at the top of his lungs at me, from right beside my bare leg.  I figured he would love to kill me.  The next moment he might be my best friend.  He couldn't decide.  He had a distant look to his eyes.  Hmmm.


I took him back to the trailer park.  Maybe in a couple months those hormones won't be raging anymore and he'll be good and can get a home.

The long hair torti from Lebanon turned out to be already spayed.  Her foster dad came and picked her up.  Her sister, however, who was extremely pregnant, had four kittens this morning, I'm told.

Poor Siletz, the little black girl from Mountain Shadows, was spayed Monday but the tech told me her insides were not right.  Her uterus and ovaries were all knotted and adherred together.  Took them awhile to get all that out.  She should now feel a whole lot better.

And Angelo, the sad gray tabby boy, neutered Monday, was a crypt orchid. Means one or both testicles are "lost" up somewhere in the belly.  The vet has to open them up and go looking.   Angelo and Siletz are leaving together on Friday to a home outside Corvallis.

As for Lenny and Squiggy, the bonded brothers, well today they went south, perfectly happy together, in one carrier, one VERY heavy carrier, to a new home near Roseburg.  Thanks FCAT!

That leaves Lily, the tame torti, skinny and sweet, whom I hope to get checked for a spay scar, or fixed, tomorrow.  Then I'll be scrounging her a place too.  She's the only one left of all those cats still in need of a new place to call home!

Here's the Happy Cat Club May Activity video...