Monday, August 29, 2016

The Lines in the Lawn

One morning, coffee cup in hand, a few days ago, I went out to sit in my white plastic mold stained lawn chair, and was startled to hear hissing sounds.

A cat fight?  In dead Jack's yard?

I charge around the corner, in my night clothes still and almost run into a handsome young man with an orange vest, carrying a device that looked like a clam digger on steroids.  It hissed out red paint onto dead Jack's lawn, in short stripes.

I almost spilled what was left of my coffee.  Gosh he was handsome.

"Oh hi," he says, "I hope I didn't startle you."  The power company really should warn people before they do work but they don't.

"You're the power company?"

"Well, no.  I mark out lines for the power company.   The underground line is failing somewhere and they're going to replace it."  "They" meant the power company.  For kicks he found where my line cut off from the main one, angled across my driveway up front, then ran along the very edge of the house to the meter.  Nice to know where that is.  Wouldn't want to stick a shovel into that.

"Don't worry," he said, "it runs through PVC pipe."

I already knew something was wrong.  The power blips out frequently here,   then comes back on.  I don't even bother to reset the electric clock anymore.  I have battery powered ones, so I don't have to do that.  It's been an issue since I moved in here.

"Are they going to dig up his lawn?"  He didn't know.  He didn't know if they'd replace the entire line or could do it without digging everything up or just repair the damaged part somehow.  What if the damaged area is under the street, I thought.  "I just mark lines," he offered.

The line runs across the street then right angles about five feet into the lawn of the house across from me, runs down two lawns under another driveway to the big metal power box.

It runs down the side of dead Jack's house to the yard of the house behind me, and on to the next street.  He had marked the entire length of the line.  He said they don't know where the problem is.  He said he didn't know when they'd come, and they don't warn people either, he said, and likely when they arrive the power will be cut.  Nice.

Over the next two days neighbors marveled over the blue and red lines streaked down dead Jack's lawn and across the street and on two other yards.  THEY had not talked to the handsome young man in the orange vest.  But I had.  I had information!  I became briefly in demand!
Underground power line position marked in red down my deceased neighbors lawn.

And down the side of his place.

First it was the little girl who sporadically lives with her dad across the street.  She wanted to know. She was sent over by her father, who will not speak to me, since his girlfriend moved out.  Don't ask me why.  "Why are these lines painted on our property?" she asked, like I had painted them myself as an act of vandalism.

I thought about making up a fantastic  tale.

I didn't.

Then it was two other neighbors wandering around Jack's house debating the lines and what they meant.   I told them what I knew.

Someone interested in buying the house began to debate the meaning of the lines, so I told them what I knew, feeling quite helpful.  "Will the yard be dug up," he asked.  "I just don't know," I said, feeling the glorious sting of power in my veins.

None of us know what the lines really mean, what the power company really will do or not do or when.

The young man also marked the gas lines (so they don't explode the neighborhood), and the storm drain line that runs very close to the electric line.

We're all waiting now, to see what goes on.

On cue, this  morning, the power blinked off, then back on.  I won't know how to live if power is continuous here.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Niners and Whisper Now with KATA (Kitty Angel Team Adoption)

The last two kittens from the Albany colony, that I had here, Niners and Whisper, went to a KATA volunteer today.   I will promote them and promote them, til they get a home that suits their natures.  They are still shy and with me being so busy lately, they got little handling.  They had no future here.   I miss them already and feel pangs of worry for their future.

Hopefully KATA (Kitty Angel Team Adoption) can find them a good home.  KATA is on facebook and you can readily contact them there about Whisper and Niners.


Whisper is going through a growing streak

Friday, August 26, 2016


I somehow made it to Portland with 20 Linn County cats.

Even though....I was a wee bit tired out.  I'd had to keep 14 of them, most teens and kittens, in my bathroom, due to the heat.

They all had to be in individual traps so I had to borrow some traps.  Except the four going to a Portland rescue.  They included the three young kittens I'd trapped and a relinquished tame teen male.  The kittens were taken in by Animal Rescue and Care Fund, two boys and a girl, all now on antibiotics due to congestion and colds.

Due to space limitations and big traps, I had to remove the passenger side front seat from my car to get them all in.  Once the traps were all loaded up, the big carrier contained the four relinquished kittens, ended up right beside me, facing forward.  Those little feral kittens were wide eyed and fascinated watching out the windshield as we traveled.  When we finally hit Portland its fantastic and beautiful skyline appeared below us, Mt. Hood in the distance, I said "Welcome to the big city, kids."

Only a day and a half before they were struggling to survive.  Now they've hit the big city and will likely end up in great homes.  It's a little mind blowing.

ARCF was there waiting to take them!  THANK YOU ARCF!

By the time I registered the remaining 16 cats, 15 from the big city of Waterloo and one from a Sweet Home trailer park, I was ready to nap.  More than ready.  And the temperature outside was rising.

A friend had invited me to her place, said I could sleep in their guest room, with AC, nice bed, cold water, the works.  I took her up on it, and slept probably 3 hours there.  It was so lovely and a lifesaver.  Beautiful house with a beautiful view.  I felt like a queen in that delightful bed with all those soft pillows.

Well on to the cat photos.  I just returned them all this morning.  It was awkward last night.  I'd just arrived home, all worn out, wanted to unload and feed the cats, but car after car of people showed up to look at the house next door.  Some were not quiet or kind in words about "the neighbor" (that's me).   I don't know why women who help cats are so made fun of, talked about, and put down.   Nobody else who volunteers their butts off so many hours, helps so many people and animals get this sort of treatment.  But its so common, if you are female and help cats.  Made me sick to my stomach.

Jack would be turning in his grave if he heard it, since he had loved cats too and even kept his kitchen window wide open so any and all could come and go.   He called me Jesus Christ to the cats, about the kindest thing any neighbor here ever said to me.  If some asshole cat hater buys that house, I bet he haunts them.   I hope he does.

So I figured, although I'm still exhausted, I better get the cats returned, all the dirty cage covers and laundry done, all the traps and carriers cleaned before the endless stream of people start in looking at Jack's house.

It's very nerve wracking to me, because all want to judge the neighbors, as they should, to see if they'll fit in, get along, but its hard to hear some of them and their words and I have great hearing.

If were a male celebrity, of any age or appearance, nasty or not, sport star or whatever, or a female celebrity but only a cute younger one with killer body, people would gather to help, take photos, ooo and aww over how wonderful it is they are helping the poor cats, donate to the cause, but not if you're just a little poor nobody and a woman and old.  My gawd, the horror.  Such a twisted shallow value system we have.

The Waterloo crowd was 7 female and 8 males.

Here are the girls:
Lovely, that's her name.  Lactating black short hair female.  Tame, and they want to rehome her once her kittens are found.

Also lactating, brown tabby female fixed yesterday.

Medium hair brown tabby female fixed yesterday, and mother of those three kittens who went to the Portland rescue.

Very prolific and also lactating small older black tux female Cocoa.  She's tame and I think they want to find her a home too once her kittens are caught (they're under the house and probably five weeks old now.)

Annie, tame tabby female kitten

Tame medium hair tabby female kitten.

The bobtail black teen was a girl too, like the one I caught and took the last time.

Now for the boys....two were  big boys, the rest underage.

Googly Eyes, a wildish teen tabby with white paws, but there's another, not yet caught, who looks similar, only more white.
Teen black long tail male.
Adult black tux male, also tame and they also hope to find him a home.
Adult brown tabby male, the 2nd adult brn tabby male now fixed.
Tame brown tabby male teen

Very tame black tux teen male

The above and below wildish tabby kittens were both boys, too.

And lastly the Sweet Home girl, born to a feral mom, but now very loved.

Not bad, eh?  20 cats helped, four in rescue to be up for adoption, up in Portland.

I'm pretty happy about it all, especially now that its over, that is.  Almost.  More cleaning and more sleeping to catch up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Difficult Days

Trying to solve huge cat situations alone is not an easy undertaking.  Especially when one is quite lousy at fundraising.

I often take on such situations.  Why?  Because it needs done.  Donations generally go to fuzzy face campaigns, as I call them.  An injured cat, an abused cat, a cute kitten....not to some knarled old cat trapper out in the night trying to get everything in sight fixed.  

I'm not the bullshitter I need to be, on facebook, to reel money in.   Facebook is full of bullshit and manipulators of all sorts.   Many nonprofits are doing great work and get almost nothing while those who do almost nothing get boatloads.

I need a bullshitter to help out I guess.  Someone good at it.  I'm completely uncomfortable with online begging anyhow.   I'm going to scale back after this latest great project, and try to figure out how to fund the Happy Cat Club.

Still working the Waterloo colony.   Have 19 more here tonight from there.  If you don't think that's a ton of work trying to care for 19 more, along with all the rest here, find somewhere for the ones they want to relinquish, clean litter boxes, do laundry, go way out there, a 35 minute drive one way, to catch more, only to be stonewalled by people who would rather scream and curse at you and sit on couches while others clean up the mess.

All for $31 in donations.   I always say if you're not going to help, at least shut up and get out of the way.

So off I go with 20 cats to be fixed tomorrow.  Well, four are actually going to a rescue. One is from a Sweet Home trailer park.  Thank you Animal Rescue and Care Fund for taking the four.

This will be 32 now trapped at the Waterloo colony.  And there are more.  Have not had time to take many photos.

Another unfixed female, possibly pregnant.  I also have 3 of her kittens from last litter, maybe 7 weeks old.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Home Needed

I need a home.

For me!  Pool, spa, sun, ocean breeze, warm ocean, did I mention that, not the cold Oregon island would do.  Or two.

Ok, I really need a home for two kittens, the last two colony kittens, Niners and Whisper.

I'm thinking I should change Niners name to Two Spot or to Little Slinko.

Ok, This is Slinko (One Spot, a.k.a.)
And this is Niners, a.k.a. Two Spot.  But maybe Little Slinko?
Whatever you call him, he's a sweet guy, a little shy still, LOVES other cats.  And his buddy, possibly sister, more likely cousin or who knows, Whisper, needs a home too.  Today she's in a sleepy grumpy mood......and was a little miffed when I woke her for, of all things, photos.

She is not completely photogenic when suddenly roused.  Are you?
She gave me quite the scare last night.  I decided they could be in the 2nd bedroom most of the time, until I find them homes or an adoption venue.  More space to race around like normal kittens.  I carried her in, from the foster cage, which mostly is to protect them from my kitten hating adult cats, then realized there's a large gap between the door and floor.  So I left her in the 2nd bedroom, and ran outside to fix that gap temporarily by getting a bag of pellet fuel to lay in front of the door.

But when I opened the door to see how she was in the larger space, she had vanished.  Oh gosh, I worried, she'd already slipped out under the door and where was she now.  A methodical rational search deteriorated into a rather hysterical one, that included sobbing, self flagellation and some cursing.  Did I mention this was near midnight.  Did I mention it was still about 90 degrees here in Oregon.

I found her.  She had not left the 2nd bedroom.  She was nestled in beside the mattress, under something.  I took her back to the foster cage until I can fix the door gap.

Miss D is looking model beautiful lately.  Given her advanced age, somewhere over 16, I am jealous she looks so darn good.

Did I mention, despite my late night missing kitten act, Miss D clawed my face awake at 6:30 a.m. so she could have her morning cat treats.

So before you think "Ahhhh, so cute" over the above pictures, think of my scarred and bleeding sleepless face.   Ok it'd be better if you didn't.

I want out of town.  I need out of town, for even one day, one night, anything but the endless concrete and streams of cars, many pulling trailers or boats or stuffed with camping gear and happy people, or topped with bikes and kayaks that make me growl with envy.  See I'm sliding the downhill toboggan run into bitter isolated old lady.  All I need is a couple days in the woods by a lake to turn me into a grinning silly optimist again.

We're cut off here, from the mountains.  ODOT is to blame.  Ok, I could go around via another highway.   Fine.

I should do it.  Summer will soon be gone.   Then it will all be "I should have done this, or that."  Whine, whine.

In the meantime, I need to find two sweet kittens somewhere to be loved forever.

Monday, August 15, 2016

First 13 Fixed from Waterloo Colony

I took up 13 cats to the FCCO yesterday from the Waterloo colony.   There are at least 14 more.  I identified at least 5 more adults who need fixed and 9 more kittens.  Before the man next door said he and his wife feed two females and there are two litters over there.  I peeked over his fence and happily one of the two adult females they feed is one I just got fixed.   I saw kittens scatter, smaller than the ones I'd seen in the other yard.  Oh gosh, I thought.

The 13 I took to be fixed were 7 males and 6 females.

I did not return two tame boy kittens who were relinquished.  Instead, after they were fixed, I dropped them off at a friends place.  She will either adopt them out or get them into a shelter up in that area where they will get homes.

The FCCO gave me several small bags of food to give the Waterloo lady, which I did today, when I returned the other 11.

I also took her a bag of wet food and a bag of Meow Mix, donated to me by a kind Lebanon woman.

One of two lucky boy teens from the colony who get a chance at real homes.

The Second Boy Teen.  No longer will they have to fight over scarce food.
This teen brown tabby boy is a wild thing, so had to go back.
So was this teenage black tux boy---wild, went back.
One of three adult males who were fixed and returned.

Adult brown tabby male, fixed and returned.

Black long hair male fixed and returned.
I took up six females from the colony.  Two teen girls and four adult girls.

There was this bobtail black female teen, fixed and returned.

And this black tux little female.

And three gray tabby females, one of whom was pregnant.

Gray tabby female number 3, fixed yesterday.

And finally this black long hair female.
It's a little stressful, to see such overwhelming situations.  But then you go up to the FCCO and meet people trying to make things better.  A Lebanon woman transported 19 cats from one location up to be fixed.  The colony caretaker trapped them herself, but the other Lebanon woman provided her all the information needed to get it done, then transported them.  And Spay Inc. took up seven kittens.  Five of these I trapped at the Albany colony, where Bluey and Toby came from.  Two others she trapped down the block two houses, after getting their mom fixed locally.   In all, on that block in Albany, 22 cats were fixed over the last few weeks.  But just yesterday, up at the FCCO, with the 13 I took, the 19 Sharon took and the 7 Julie took, 39 Linn County cats got fixed, which is good.

Then I hear of more kittens at Mountain Shadows, one of the trailer parks in Sweet Home I worked early this summer.  And with at least 14 probably more like over 20 left to fix in Waterloo, I get a churning burning feeling in my stomach.  Add to that an Albany apartment complex, wanting me to trap cats on their property (and not return them), I sometimes feel sick all over.

Bluey and Toby at a Felines First Adoption Event.  I heard they did well, although they have not yet been adopted.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bye Bye Bluey and Toby


My under the house babies are leaving me today.  Two of them anyhow.  Bluey and Toby are heading north to Felines First, who will try to do what I've not been able to do:  find them a home.

I will miss them but they deserve a home and I can't find them one.

I will still have Niners and Whisper here, and will work to further socialize them and find them a home.  Hopefully I can find help with the latter if I fail.

I've been spending time out looking for a kitty lost out an RV window, when the RV was parked over near the fairgrounds.  I guess he routinely goes in and out the window, when they stop for the night somewhere.  This time, he did not return.

The first night, I was walking and looking and a guy crosses the road and comes toward me.  He was off balance and had a stupid grin across his face.  Booze will do that for you.  He wanted to chat.  He told me I looked very suspicious.  I asked why.  He said "its the tuna".   "Oh," I say, "I look suspicious because I'm walking around holding a can of tuna?"  "That's right," he said, triumphantly.  Then he adds, "You're cute," and tries to grab my hand.  I pull away and say "Do you know why I carry this big huge flashlight?"  He doesn't miss a beat and says "So you can swing it at people like me?"  "You got it buddy," I say.  He stumbles off down the sidewalk.  I am cracking up so badly I'm bent over.

What a nice drunk.

Will be trapping another colony tomorrow.  Nice lady, lots of cats, but many they have tamed and by "they" I mean the 8 people living in a tiny two bedroom house.

It will be blazing hot so I have to get up there very early in the morning.

Dead Jack's house is now up for sale, as of yesterday.  The feeding frenzy over it began shortly after the for sale sign was planted in the yard.  The dead mouse in the dining room is apparently a big draw.

 Housing is in short supply in Oregon.  People are moving here from all over the fricking place. All Oregon will soon look like L.A. I'm afraid.   It drives me nuts and I long to leave this concrete town for places more remote.  There were people even in my driveway just not caring in their frenzy about little things like trespass.  Now I have to be careful, not go out half dressed or half cocked or half anything else, not leave things out unlocked and probably I better hook up my white trash security monitor.

If anybody asks me about the house I'll be sure to mention how he had the toilet seat in his kitchen sink at least two months, but probably a year.

I don't want new neighbors.