Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Behave! More Cats Caught.

The old woman told me off.  I'm not living up to her expectations.  She is experiencing loss of patience with me and wants me to hurry and get this done.  She expressed this dissatisfaction when I asked her again not to feed today, to make it more likely to catch some cats tonight, since I caught only three more this morning, even though I was there by just before 6:00 a.m.

She decided not to feed wet food under the drop trap, as I requested, but rather on the porches, and she fed all of those big cans, a dozen or more, in two days to the cats, on the porches, no less, and not under the trap, which would have made  them easier to catch, for the cats sake and for my sake cause I'm the one sitting out there watching traps and hoping they go under the drop trap.  She has no sympathy that an unpaid stranger is leaping tall buildings to help her out.

She wants to pamper the cats you see, and I'm interfering.  Who doesn't want to pamper cats?  It's the norm and I'm asking her to do the abnormal, not feed, not pamper,  be hard and cold as stone when I want to trap and she just thinks that awful.   It is!

So I'm enemy number one and she is doing workarounds to protect the cats now from me, so they are properly fed, which, unfortunately and too bad for me, as far as she is concerned, makes them very difficult to catch.

I did not know how to respond to her critiques this morning.   I was shocked to silence once again and stared off into space wishing I was out there in space.

Didn't help either that right at 7:00 a.m., which had left me only an hour, once I arrived, some guy shows up in a truck.  He had on a white hard hat and his white truck had official writing on it, like some company.  He strolls right into the old lady's yard and stands by the drop trap, then finally leaves, realizing he's not in the right place, that he needs to walk around to the neighbors.

But it's over then.  The cats have vanished and he's still walking around behind the old woman's trailer and the old woman has begun her poor job performance rant against me and the neighbors pug is barking up a storm and the garbage truck is coming around the corner.

I left with three cats.  I didn't tell her about the black tux I caught because she would want her released.  She only likes it when I catch a boy, because they fight and mark.  I caught a tiny kitten too, and had to fight her over not releasing it.  1.1 lb black male kitten who is not going back there if I can find a rescue to take him.  Everyone is full because people don't fix their fricking cats.  Calling him Benji.

In this extreme heat here, I think it's awesome I've caught even one cat, despite my job performance rating, which finds me lacking.

I guess there will be no raise.  From zero starting salary.  Nothing per hour, I'll be staying at that.  Darn it.  I'm being tongue in cheek here, trying to be funny, saying this because I don't think it comes through to some.  I'm not being serious in other words.  I actually love challenges like this colony.

Benji, the black boy kitten.  Update:  Kitten's name is now Ricky Rumble and is he is being fostered by Karen at KATA.  Good luck, Ricky!  She has a dozen kittens at her place in foster.  Ricky will love the company and have so much fun playing!
Black tux female caught this morning

Tabby on white male caught this a.m.
13 caught thus far.  But the honeymoon is over and its getting ugly out there.  People don't understand that anything worth doing isn't easy and solutions aren't instant.   When things get tough, you know who is tough--those who keep going.

Trapping cats with an uncooperative caretaker is hell.

Let's hope I can catch all the cats to be fixed before the old lady gets a restraining order on me!


Monday, June 29, 2015

The Planets are in Align

I went out into my yard this evening and saw this:

As if the fire blob in the sky the other night was not enough.

Now Venus and Jupiter are conjunctering.  Or something.  Moving in on each other.  Won't happen again for a really long time, so step out and take a look just after dark.  Look west to northwest.

In other news, Civic Stadium, an iconic baseball arena in Eugene, built in 1938, went up in flames this afternoon.  I never attended a game there, but everyone in Oregon knows about Civic Stadium and it makes me think Field of Dreams.  Always.  Now its history, gone baby gone.

Onward to Finish!

How blindly optimistic I can be sometimes.

I called the old woman last night, to be sure she is feeding under the drop trap. She wasn't.  "You must be strong" I chided in jest, "resist those demanding cute little faces.  Make them go under the drop trap if they want wet food."

"I'm out of wet food," she says, deadpan.  "Can you get me some?"

"Oh gosh," I'm thinking, going over what I have left here for mine, how much money I have, the whole shebang.  I get obsessed however with finishing a colony, and not missing a single cat, who then can go on to reproduce and start it all over again.

So I took her some.  Fortunately, a Heartland worker, told me to come over today, see what they can spare, from their pantry.

Thank you Heartland.

While out there, I took some photos, anxious to sort out the colony, discover who is left to be fixed, how many, what sexes, when they show to eat.  A camera can be a cat trapper's best friend, especially a cat trapper who is getting old and doesn't spot slight differences and ear tips from a distant as easily as once she did.

It's important to know the colony, so you don't miss cats.

Guess who I saw!  BigVee and Jack, the two black tux boys fixed last Thursday.  BigVee was out and about while Jack was just napping beneath the grape vines.


BigVee and the trailer park bears.

And BV again.  He has a white tip at the very end of his tail, which is definitive for BV.
Freshly neutered Jack, napping beneath the grape.
This black tux girl is pregnant and not fixed, obviously.
This black tux is lactating and still unfixed.

There is this tabby female, with her older kitten.  The mom has been in heat again, but now doesn't seem to be any longer.  The still unfixed big black male now isn't following her.

She leaves the boy kitten on his own mostly, then feels guilty and comes to find him and play with him.  He's the only survivor from her last litter.

He tries to nurse but she doesn't want it.

And she pushes him off.  Here, you can clearly see the sex of the kitten.

So he plays by himself along the trailer next door, and considers following their cat inside through the cat door.  My guess is he's already done so, and the neighbors just don't know about it.  He's lonely and doesn't play with the black kittens.  There are six kittens I've seen, five about the same age, but from different mothers.  Four are black and then the Siamese.  Two of those five are now fixed, leaving four kittens, that I've seen, of fixing age, to catch, including the loner, the tabby boy.

This is the other adult tabby and I don't know its sex, but since it is often with the other tabby I believe they are siblings, or this one is the daughter or son of the female, from yet another of her litters.

This black is also unfixed, but, too small to be the big unfixed black male.  These photos are mostly taken on maximum zoom, through a window.
So, to summarize, I know there are two black tux females still needing caught.  I saw a black tux male, too, at the south end of the park, walking a fence line, big balls hanging, so if he ventures north, he needs fixed too.  That makes three black tuxes I know of.  I know of two black adults needing fixed because I've seen them, the big black male and this smaller adult.   I know of the two tabby adults. I know of four kittens ready to be fixed.  These are just the unfixed cats I've seen, with my own eyes, to know of but there could be more.

That's seven adults and four kittens, 11 more.

That I know of.

The guy called me, from a colony I fixed.  I've given him cat food off and on, since then.  I'd trapped ten and my friend in Portland fostered the five kittens, so only returned five, two males and three females.  He says now, when he called, he should have told me not to return the males.  I said "where do you think they'd go?"  I'm a volunteer and cannot find places for every unwanted Albany cat.   He said one of the big males, the black and white, scratches himself and is losing hair.  I said I'd bring flea treatment, if that would help.

I went over with it, although I was miffed already, that the guy wants me to do everything for him and treats me like his servant. I could have said "no" but I didn't, because I worry for the safety of the cats.

The big black and white is tame, but his skin was a mess.  I immediately thought "staff" because one of the rabbit people's cats and they are very close by, had a skin staff infection.  If cats have fleas, they scratch themselves, but if they've walked through filth, then when they scratch, they put that into their skin.

I didn't say anything, because he would just want the cat killed I think if he thought it was an infection or ringworm. He'd already told me one of the females I'd gotten fixed was dead, hit on the road.  The gray and white.  He told me this completely without emotion.  On the other hand, I immediately see the car coming, feel the panic, as I try to run, feel the tires.....feel the rush of horror of her sisters, her family, as they run, too, and hide, breathing fast and hollow from the loss and not knowing how to deal with it.
I guess this girl, fixed last November is dead now, hit on the street.  It's just one block long, the street, but people drive crazy on it.

 I gave him flea treatment for both the males, then he demanded I take back the feral housing units I had made for his cats, that they were making his house look trashy.  Damn, I thought.  I'd bought those containers to help him out, for the cats for the winter out of my pocket and they'd loved them and now he demands I take them off.

 I told him I wasn't his servant and to quite acting like I am.   After I left, I felt guilty for telling him off (to stop acting like I was his servant), wondered if he could handle it and if that's how he acts to everyone and its just one of those things.  It's not about him or me personally, it's about solving a problem and inflicting personalities into solving a problem, i.e., the male cats' health issues, is inefficient.

 I took two of the housing units away.   I feel for that poor male but I have nowhere for him to go.  I don't think he has ringworm, fairly certain he probably has staff, like the other did, but I am not a vet and do not have the money to take him to a vet, and if I took him off, then the man would never take him back.
It's this huge male, also fixed last fall, abandoned by someone, turned out to be tame, who wants in the guy's house, wants petted and loved, and the guy just wants him gone.  His skin is horribly irritated, he's missing a lot of hair now, and he may have a skin infection.

The cats situation makes me cry nights and haunts me because there is so little compassion out there for other people, let alone for a stray cat.

Like the old woman said last night when I was there.  She'd seen something on TV, said marchers were proclaiming "It's all about love".  She said "there's no damn love in this world! People are all about me, and what I can get for myself."

Which is not quite true.  I mean, look at her, poor as a church mouse, yet feeding all those strays, denying herself basics to do so.  If that's not love.....

Well, I hope at least to get all the cats at the park fixed.  I hope.

UPDATE:  Heartland Humane in Corvallis is going to take the black and white male, once they have room.  They will give me a relinquishment date.  If that skin problem is something unsolvable, he will be sent on his way to ultimate peace.  He can't live the way he is, however.  If it's staff or something that he will get over, they'll get him over it and adopt him out.   I left the man who feeds him a message to that affect and also apologized for our spat yesterday.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fire Blob in the Sky

Last night, I was awake in the night, due to some loud illegal fireworks.  I couldn't get back to sleep immediately.  Later on, about 3:30 a.m. I looked out my window, because I thought I heard a car out front and saw a fire ball in the sky, not very high up, looked about basketball or volleyball size. It drifted along, with the wind, like a balloon would.  I grabbed for my camera and fumbled over it, trying to get it on and then to find the thing, that was drifting SW over the end of the cul de sac by then.  I didn't think I got anything on camera, but found that I did in just a few split seconds, on the video.  So I took screen shots of those split seconds.  There was only one fire blob, but I took the photo through the window.  Looks like a Japanese lantern turned loose on the night, but in these extreme fire conditions?  Is this some arsonists tactic?

This shot shows the photo distortion caused by low light conditions, because that light on the left is actually a neighbors garage light.  Then you can see the blob, on the upper right.  This is just about the time it vanished, and was very low.

Same thing again, only this shows two neighbor's lights, one on the far left, one in the middle, then the fire blob up there on the right.
Well, the night sky fire blob is long gone, but it made my night a bit interesting, at least.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Seven More Trailer Park Cats Fixed In Endurance Test

I'm happy.  I'm also tired.

Seven more trailer park cats were fixed today up in Portland at the FCCO.

Two females, one of them lactating, and five males, two of them kittens.  I netted one of them in the shed last night, already so tired I was losing track of things, like my head lamp and kittens.

I didn't have the sense to quit, you see, and went at it past midnight.  Then when I finally did quit, I got slowed further by two trains crossing roads slowly on the way home to my bed.

After not enough hours of sleep, I hit the road with all 7 cats.  Headed north.

I hit another stall, the chronic traffic congestion that is Portland.  I could not live that way.   It took a full hour or more to get just from where 205 takes off from I5, to the clinic, which isn't many miles.  Bumper to bumper.

Oh my goodness, the case could easily be made for human TNR, just by existing in that traffic jam for a week, trying to get somewhere.

After dropping the cats at the clinic, where to go to seriously nap.  Well, I went to the rescue house, same place where I'd dropped off 8 kittens last Saturday.  I napped in the car, until it was too hot and then the rescue lady came and I napped inside a couple hours.  Then because it's scorching hot currently in Oregon I weeded in the sprinkler zone.  Nice, eh?  Yes it was!

So it all worked out and although I am worn out, I am pleased to get seven more fixed and so is the old woman, pleased as punch and yes, there are more out there to fix, but we've got a nice start.

THANK YOU to Carol who donated $100 which went to the FCCO to fix the seven today. Thank you to Ellen, the cat caretaker's daughter, who donated $30 towards my gas.     Now I've got five and maybe more reservations in the FCCO's free fix clinic Independence Spay and already someone pledging to cover my gas so I can do it!

Three big boys got fixed today.
BigVee, a male, fixed today.

Blackietoo, a black male, was fixed today.  Blackie, another black male, was fixed last Saturday.

Jack, big black tux male, fixed today.  The old woman tried and tried to get me to release this boy, claiming it was a black tux female who just had kittens.  This was late last night, and he was the only cat I'd caught and she wouldn't leave it alone, she was so worried.  So I got out the flashlight and mirror and showed her underneath him, that there were no milk bags and for good measure, Jack, yes I name them, moved his tail and I got a good look at his "equipment" and was able to further reassure her this was not a new mom, unless some serious nature twisting had gone down.

Junior, one of the boy kittens fixed today.

Peewee, another male kitten fixed today.
Julie, the lactating feral black female fixed today.

One of the old woman's in house feral kitties, who ran into her house as a kitten and the old woman kept her in, til she could be fixed.  Now she is fixed.
There are lots more over there needing fixed.  Allegedly three orange ones.  At least one more big black male, because I know him by sight.  Several more younger blacks of unknown sex.  At least three tabbies, one currently in heat, another a kitten.  At least two more black kittens and one Siamese kitten.  Probably others.  We're cutting it down though.  You never get done unless you start.
Big black unfixed male after a tabby female, who is trying to avoid him.

Shed kittens

Young adult black still unfixed.

This medium hair black tux is allegedly unfixed but owned.

Life is good.  Cats are getting fixed.  I'm happy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bye Bye Jake


Jake took a road trip with me again yesterday.   He seemed excited sitting in my carrier by the car, outside.  He's a good boy.  He acts feral, but I know he really isn't, that once, as a cute kitten at least, somebody loved him.  They did not get him fixed, and likely he roamed off looking for love years ago and became lost, or his people left him or kicked him out, when he was not a cute kitten anymore and maybe spray marked in the house.

This is the way it is with many unfixed free roaming males.

So Jake ended up at a trailer park and one resident, a guy, didn't appreciate him fighting with other males on his porch, so he trapped him, and, according to the volunteer who dropped him off here, called deputies, thinking they'd take care of it, i.e., kill Jake for him.

Instead, KATA was called and the volunteer picked him up and no one was really sure if anyone was feeding in the park, or it would be allowed, and if they would agree to get the rest of the cats fixed.  I hope they do, but in the meantime, with the uncertainity surrounding Jakes freshly neutered persona, Jake went to a nice safe place to live out his days.

Odd Cat Out took him in.  They're usually full but had a rare opening.

I drove Jake up yesterday.  They set him up in a cage so he can get acquainted and the other cats can with him.  He did not look scared, just tentative, and very interested.

I saw some old friends, like Princess, from the Corvallis homeless camps, where I got 52 cats and kittens fixed, and removed most of the cats eventually.

Princess, formerly of the Corvallis homeless camps.
It was hot.  It's going to get hotter.  I spent a few hours, helping the director remove nails from boards and breaking fence boards off 2x4's.  She's getting vinyl flooring in the sanctuary, and the old fence boards will be used as paneling along the bottom parts of the of the old barn.  She's using recycled fence boards, but they have to be pried off and nails removed.  This is tedious hot work but it needed done and had to be done because the property owner needed the piles of fence pieces moved.  I stayed til the job was done and both of us were hot and filthy and exhausted.  I didn't mind.  She's helped me out so often in the past.

Goodbye and good luck, Jakey boy.

One other action yesterday, took me by surprise.  A neighbor came out to talk to me by the mailbox.  This neighbor never talks to me.  She said she had some cans and would I want them.  I said "ok".  It was not a large bag of cans, maybe $3 or $4, and I was about to leave with them, when she said, "there's a cat, really sick and skinny, orange tabby and white, who poops by our fence, and can you trap him".  Then I knew why she'd spoken to me.  I became sulky, knowing the can offering might have been disingenuous, to leverage me into an expensive cat venture.

Initially I took the cans, but stewed and stewed and then took them back and left them in the couple's driveway.  I don't like bribes or tiny gifts with expensive strings attached.  I don't know for sure that's what this was, but it sure felt like it.

 I don't like the fact my neighbors do not like cats, and want me to remove, care for and find homes for any cat free roaming the block.  There's nothing I can do about it, however.  They must think I can do all of it free or that I'm rich or they just don't care and want the cats gone.  I don't know.  But after years, I just try to avoid my neighbors.

The upside of this is, the cat described is possibly the cat I already removed and is long gone and in a new home in Corvallis after being threatened by another neighbor who does not know I got him out to safety and is friends with the neighbors of yesterdays' contact.  Neither do they know the poop they said belonged to the cat might be from a small dog that is walked right by their yard often off leash.   I didn't bring that up and just came home and stewed then tried to get over it, succeeded in the end, and took Jake up to OCO.

Nonetheless, just in case, I set a trap last night and, as suspected, it was empty this a.m.  I'll keep watch, just in case there is another free roamer that looks just like the extremely healthy not sick at all and certainly not skinny cat now gone and safe from this neighborhood.

This is free roaming unfixed male time of year. They often get in trouble, get diseases from fighting one another, can't find food or water and die in all kinds of horrible ways.  If this is a very sick cat roaming through, he likely won't survive the next five days of extreme heat we are getting in the valley.  It's a sad fact of life for unfixed free roaming males.  At least Jake won't suffer this sort of fate now.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Before and After!

Black male cat from trailer park before fixing

And him yesterday!  Love that great ear tip!
I took a few more photos yesterday at the trailer park.  Initially I thought I was going to trap more to be fixed Thursday, but turns out there's no money to get that done here.  I requested reservations with the FCCO in their free Independence Spay clinics, that begin June 30, but no word yet on whether I can get in with more trailer park cats or not.   If its' not free, I can't do it, as I still even have to come up with gas money.  Nobody is contributing on these cats.
The old woman who feeds is 83 or something and scrimps so she can buy cat food.

Not good around here. Very few resources to help cats.  Especially to get them fixed.

Darn it anyhow.

Not sure if this guy is fixed or not.

There were four kittens in the shed last night, four blacks and the Siamese.  Another kitten was outside the shed, so there are at least five kittens about the weight when they too can be fixed.

This black tux is lactating.  See that swollen milk bag above her rear foot?

Well, one can only do what one can do.   Darn it.  I wanted to at least solve this situation.  I probably won't give up on trying to find a way to get the job done either.  I don't give up easy.

UPDATE:  I just got a $100 donation to help fix the trailer park cats and have offered it up by e-mail to the FCCO, to do all of them (not sure I'll trap them all at once, for one clinic).  I hope they will accept this.  I am very excited over the possibility!  Thank you Carol!

And, by the way, remember Jake, the big crypt orchid from the Tangent trailer park?  He got himself an offer of an open space at Odd Cat Out, up in the Portland area.  Lucky Boy.  He's leaving tomorrow.  He wasn't wanted at the trailer park.  He was trapped because the guy who trapped him wanted him dead.  THANK YOU Odd Cat Out!

Good Boy Jake
Also I'd like to send my warmest get well wishes to Oscar of the Neuterscooter.  The Neuterscooter operates out of Indiana, often fixing 100 cats in a single day for very low cost.  For a brief time, they did clinics in Oregon and I was privileged to volunteer at a few of those clinics.  Some were marathons, like when we went to eastern Oregon and fixed 400 cats in 4 days.  I was crawling, literally, by the end.   That's how I met Dr. Peavy and Oscar.

Oscar is the nicest guy, hard working, fun loving and in love with life.  He's got the most lovely positive charming attitude you could imagine.  He was driving two days ago and hit head on by a drunk driver.  Oscar survived the crash and is home from the hospital but sustained some horrible injuries that will require a long healing process, is what I've heard thus far. Considering what the car he was driving looks like after the crash, this world is lucky Oscar is alive.  Best wishes in recovery to my Neuterscooter friend Oscar.