Saturday, March 28, 2015

He Said She Said

If you recall, a few weeks ago, I took 13 cats up to the Portland FCCO to be fixed.  Ten of those were from a Lebanon colony fed by an old man.  Three were from around an Albany house.

I don't have funding anymore to get cats fixed.  If people pay my expenses to trap their colony and contact the FCCO to get appointments and make their deal on what they'll pay, then I might possibly help, as long as the cats can return.   But I can't even do that very often because it puts more mileage on a car with already far too many miles on it, most of those odometer miles accrued from helping people out.

But when I rounded up those three, they said there was another, a girl, a black tux, and she'd had a couple litters.  I couldn't let that go, in my OCD head.  No way, not more unwanted kittens born under garbage in a field.

I saw a black tux in the grass nearby and pointed the cat out, asking if that was "her" and they affirmed it was.  I was perplexed.  The cat had a huge male head.

The FCCO offered to "finish" this colony with a reservation for Sunday's clinic.  There's no way I can afford to drive to Portland and no way I'd do it for one cat even if I had the gas money.  The FCCO offered up a solution.  The Salem FCCO volunteers were transporting cats from the valley up to the Sunday clinic.  Yahoo, I whooped!

So I went over with the drop trap and waited, with it set up, watched the other cats the people feed eat under it, and chatted with about everybody in the hood because that's how I am.
The Buff boy on the left and the white girl with some black eating under the trap are two of the three I took to be fixed before.  Their black tux male, to the far right, is already fixed.

 I ran into a woman I'd known a long time.  I helped her with cats long time ago, then when I was having pre back surgery intake done, I ran into her again, because she worked at the hospital. That was in 2005.  I didn't expect she'd remember that but she did.  So she directed me to another house on the block, said the woman there fed cats and might know the black tux "girl".

The woman met me at her door with a parrot on her shoulder.  It was too cool!
I reached out to the parrot, instinctively--a friendly gesture.  The woman quickly stopped me!  "He will shred your hand!" she warned.  I jerked my hand back.

Her house is set up for the parrot!  She loves him and he loves her!

  She has a cat in the house, also, but in the bedroom, away from the Parrot.  The cat once was loosely owned by the chaotic house people but they claimed to see her only once a month.  I know why!  She's inside and safe and well cared for now at the Parrot Woman's house because the poor cat had dislocated her shoulder, fence and roof walking, in a fall.  The Parrot Woman took her to the vet.  When X-rayed for the shoulder issue, the film showed she'd also been shot with a pellet.

The Parrot Woman is very creative in surviving on minimal social security.  She has the kitchen completely hung in heavy plastic, including across the doors to contain heat and she lives in there, because she can only afford to heat one room.  She does her dishes in a pan and then uses the water to flush a toilet or water plants.  She has a barrel under one gutter too, to save water, for toilet flushes and plants that way.

I was amazed.  Her sister also gifted her a cell, on her plan, since she could not afford a phone anymore either.  I told her my brother did the same for me and we talked about how much we each love our siblings.

She has lots of family in town, which, she says, is important if you're poor.

She cares for strays (ain't it always the poor who do so?) including others from the house I originally was asked to help and she was happy to learn those three are now fixed.

But as for the tux, she said, "It's a very big boy, not a girl."  She'd named him Captain Kirk.

Not long after, I went back to my drop trap and saw "her" along the fence and called to the cat, to stop him in his tracks, and showed him a plate of food, which I then put under the drop trap.  I retreated to my car.  In the meantime, the chaotic house people's tiny dog ran out to eat under the trap.  One woman and two kids raced out after him, temporarily delaying my effort.

But, the big tux quickly came and under the drop went Captain Kirk.  I yanked the cord and he stood staring vacantly at me, after the trap dropped, blocking all escape, unsure of what this meant for him, then went on eating, as an alternative to doing nothing at all.  I covered the trap and quickly transferred him to a live trap.

Over at the Parrot lady's house, I showed her the cat, to confirm it was the one she fed too.  It was.  I got a glimpse of huge balding balls too, to confirm Captain Kirk is a he and not a she.

I asked the chaotic house folk again how many litters "she" has had and they said they thought over four years, maybe two, but the last kittens they found were dead.  "Uh, huh," I said, knowingly.   "Only two".

The garage reeks now from huge male pee. He's set up in a cage. The cats come here, to my unfamiliar garage, scared and thinking they're probably going to be harmed.  They don't know how to act or what to do.  My job, if I hold them any length of time, is to reassure them.  If they see me interacting kindly with other cats, this can help.  So can catnip, baby talk and treats.

 Do you think insecure Sam is O.K. with that?  Hell no.  Sam is going nuts!   I'm spreading catnip and other very strong odors to mask the scent of my severe indiscretion.
Captain Kirk

Meanwhile, the Parrot Lady has another male she's trying to catch because the FCCO said I could bring him too if she catches him.  She's not sure she will, since he  only shows now and then.  I guess he's a huge unfixed male also, slate gray in color.

The Salem folks are taking the cats this evening.  The big guy will be gone from the garage by late afternoon. Update:  He's up with the Salem FCCO folk who will take them to the Portland FCCO to be fixed, then bring them all home.  He went with another young orange and white male.  There are at least two more big males, not fixed, causing problems.  The slate gray one, not yet caught and then this big guy, with an old collar, but no id.  His balls are HUGE.

Meanwhile, Buffy from the BS loves her cat weed.  I let her indulge.  Why not?

That's the stare I go for every single day. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Miss Daisy--Ultra Efficient Feline Alarm Clock

Every morning, I go through waking up with Miss Daisy. It's not right. This is human abuse!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring has Sprung and Jack the Gnome at Home

The cherry has busted out in bloom.  Yikes, the beauty.  I must shield my eyes!

I'm not hearing and not seeing bees, however.  Yikes.  Where are you, you little pollinators?   Get out here and get busy.

Wouldn't you know the Cherry bloomed right during a big rain and windstorm.  Not good timing.  Those blossoms need pollinated before they blow off.

There's still time.   I need some bees fast.

I want to be ready this year, to take more of the cherries, make jam and juice, besides eating them, eating lots of them.  I'm going to build a ladder so I can get up high to pick them.  The tree was never properly pruned to a height that's reachable.  Then when I was going to cut it down to proper size, well the birds came and I know they would object.  They like sitting up there, and looking down on me.  So being a birdie now, overlorded by crows and mourning doves and Coopers Hawks and little dickey birds of all varieties, I left it high and the birds be happy about that.  I serve the cats and also now the birds.  It is my lot.  But I get the cherries, by gosh, I get my fair share of cherries, be there any.

Altered state dandelion
I generally don't kill dandelions.  I make wine of them.  I'm hoping for a good crop again at Dead Jack's.

Jack (He's a Gnome now)
I've named the Gnome in Dead Jack's back yard.  His name is Jack.

It's not a very pretty gnome, if you ask me.

I know that gnomes are not known for beauty, but this one's really really ugly.  A step beyond the usual gnome ugly.

Since the big house is all locked up now, that's Jack the Gnome's home, the old cat house, that even the cats declined to use.  This photo I call Gnome at Home, in fact.
Forgotten Space---Just the way I like Space

Happy happy happy Cherry

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gordon is Dead and Visiting BS

Back in 2007, when I was trying to recover from yet another move, this time from Corvallis to Albany, after I was evicted by a slumlord, I was also trying to solve multiple huge cat situations and doing so alone. Two of those huge cat situations I tried to "fix", were the BS colony and the HTN colony.

It's more than I can do to force myself to recall the horrors sometimes of those years.  This area is not somewhere you want to live if you're an animal.

There were streets so horrible I can barely drive by them now.  It triggers nightmares.

I suppose it's the same now, I just have to shield myself because I can't take it.

I ran into the son of a couple who fed close to a hundred cats beyond Cottonwood at Walmart yesterday.  Memories of that terrible situation flooded me.  I called it the BS colony, for Big Situation, but also there was another obvious connotation to that name.  Bullshit!  He told me his parents would like to see me again.
BS Colony--Field of Cats

BS colony--Four Friends

My friend drove me out.   I figured it might be good for me to try to lay some ghosts to rest.  I still have three BS colony cats here---Shady, Mops and Buffy.   I got about 120 cats fixed along that dead end street and rehomed countless cats and kittens, as many as I possibly could.  My brother has one of Shady's cousins.
It's never easy to tackle such massive problems alone and with no money.

A veterinarian had asked me to solve that huge cat situation and then later he apologized for asking me.

When I first drove out there and saw the garage crawling in cats, my heart beat a little faster and my mind began working on who I would I get in first and where, and I began a mental list of the cats.  The couple would sit in their garage and chain smoke and drink coffee and often play cards.   I call that little wobbly overloaded table with the fold up chairs "Command Central".   A lot of good bullshit passed between us on breaks right there.

Nothing has changed.  When I got out of my friends car yesterday, I yelled "It's me, the cat woman" from outside the garage, because nobody uses the front door there and they are always out in the garage, I heard the usual chorus of dogs barking, then people yelling at them to shut up and somebody saying "get in here" and I knew that was my cue.

Inside old cats hover in piled boxes and make shift beds atop the washer and dryer, just like they did 8 years ago.  They're all fixed with the exception of their son's male.

Their son is back living at trashy Heatherdale trailer park and says someone is "stomping" cats there, trying to break their backs.  One of their girl cats was killed and the male was injured twice, so they brought him out here.  And no, he's not fixed and he's running loose.  His testicles are golf ball size.  I want to clip them myself.

We chatted and chatted, about the old days and the cats and told stories.  L can tell a good story.   She has a friend and had given her my number back then to solve another terrible situation over on a pair of Albany streets, where she lived.  I called that colony HTN, or Hate Thy Neighbor, because they all hated each other and it was like a war zone, with this one kind old man feeding all the caste off cats and there were lots.  The rest of the folks on those streets, well, nobody gave a damn about anything that I could tell.  Lots of junk everywhere.  Drugs. Fighting. Drinking.  Vicious dogs. It was a horror.

I got them all fixed eventually, probably close to 90, at the old man's place and then all along the street, and there were more horrors.  A loose yellow lab came through and over a few nights, killed 20 or more of the now fixed cats, until I sat out nights in my car with a piece of rebar just hoping that vicious dog would come by.  Gordon finally got a gun.

The police would do nothing.  They're cats.  Who cares, is the attitude around here.

Mickey, one of the HTN cats, became my first international adoption and still lives up in Canada with a very kind woman.  Brambles is still here with me from the HTN.

Gordon died a few months ago.   KATA was contacted about his remaining cats is how I found out initially.   They didn't take them, full I guess.  There were supposedly about ten left alive.  Well I saw one of them yesterday, the girl he kept inside at the trailer.  She's now at the BS colony, out there where I visited again yesterday.

The woman friend of the BS woman found homes for all but three of the others and still feeds the three, allegedly.  She didn't like cats back when I got them fixed for Gordon so  I generally distrust that people have changed.  She bought the property off Gordon's two brothers and fenced it in so cats couldn't be on the property, according to her friend from the BS.  Gordon never liked his brothers and his brothers hate cats.

I don't think it did me any good to return yesterday.  Just dredges up very painful times and memories.   But, I would like to get that poor male fixed.   I think how much suffering fixing all those cats at both locations prevented and that does not make me feel much better.  You'd think it would.  I just don't want to think about either place.  I want those memories to fade and leave me in peace.

Brambles from the HTN

Buffy from the BS

Mops from the BS

Shady from the BS

Friday, March 20, 2015


A transport of ten or so California cats to Oregon has been in the works for over a month.  They were semi ferals, fed by an old woman who died, I think is the story, but I'm not totally sure.  Some were in a kill shelter I think.  Again, not sure.

I was signed on for a short part of the Oregon transport, from Roseburg to the sanctuary just south of Portland.

Today was the day.   I should have been home by noon, or by 1:00 p.m. at the latest.  I was up by 5:00 and left by 6:00 a.m.

All systems were go, I thought.  It was a two hour drive down to Roseburg and the meet up location with a transporter couple.  They have a business doing it.  I would then drive back up past Albany on up to the Sanctuary, three more hours, and then an hour or so back home.  Six hours in all.  Home by noon or 1:00 p.m.

However, just south of Eugene, I suddenly get three voice mails from them.  I hear them delivered and pull over to listen.  I have no clue why they were not delivered when the people called, but rather in the case of one call, the next day.   Seems the transporter people were delayed an hour in packing up the cats last night at the rescue who had them in Long Beach.  Then traffic had been bad, so they were, they said, four hours behind.  What?  FOUR HOURS?

Well, it was actually much worse than that.  They were over five hours behind schedule.   As a better option than waiting for hours in Roseburg, I drove on to meet them two hours beyond Roseburg but they were not there yet either. I waited another hour.  They arrived after 11:00 a.m.  They were supposed to arrive two hours farther north at 8:00 a.m.

We loaded the 11 carriers into my car and I headed out already worn out from driving so far and frazzled from too much coffee.  My car used to be comfortable but not so much anymore.  The seat is worn down to bare metal on one side of the driver's seat.   I've tried to hold what is left of the seat together with duct tape.  The seat has gone through 250,000 miles too, like the car, with someone sitting on it to drive those miles.  That would wear down anything.

My butt went into spasms.  The nerve or something gets cut off on my gas pedal leg, making it twitch and spasm.  The shoulder strap of the seat belt cuts into my neck.  Today was difficult and painful.

One cat cried almost the entire trip up to the sanctuary.  I stopped only once because something was cutting into me.  It was the seat metal.  My towel cushion had shifted.

Here are photos of some of the cats, as they rode, in carriers.  I did not know their names or take photos of all 11 of them.  The one cat whose name I recall is the huge orange tabby tux male.  They call him Terrible Tony because he's got one of those hissy spitty swatty personalities.  But sometimes those big males are just big babies waiting to come out as loves.

Terrible Tony

The farther I drove, the more uncomfortable I became.  I was very tired and crabby by this point.  I just wanted it to be over.  Finally it was.  Finally about 4:00 p.m. I arrived at the sanctuary, two hours shy of 12 hours of driving.  Those poor cats, eh?  They had endured in small carriers riding clear from southern CA.

 I was there at the sanctuary over an hour, walking, moving, trying to get the circulation going.  My friend and her workers unloaded the cats and got them set up in cages where they'll be a couple weeks getting used to things.  One little girl with one blue eye and one yellow eye was quickly talking to other sanctuary cats and very happy to be there.   It was cute!

None of the cats seemed worse for the wear and were quickly set up in big cages where they could sleep and stretch and eat and use the litter box.  I got to see some old familiar faces at the sanctuary.

Also, I heard the news those five teens that went up to one rescue, who wouldn't take them because four of them tested light positive for Felk, have all now retested negative.  I figured they would.

And I got to see the likes of Thunder and Flopsy, two of the Olson Lane cats at the sanctuary.  Thunder had to go to the Sanctuary because he is FIV positive.  Flopsy went because Thunder needed to go with someone he knew.

Thunder, from the 60 cats left behind on Olson Lane.  He's up in the rafters at OCO Sanctuary.

Flopsy, from the Olson lane colony.  She looks like many of her relatives here, but especially like Vino and Mopsy McMuffin.
I got to see Ava and Isis too from the Bone Pile Colony, that tragic Lebanon colony where they threw dead cats in a pile that became a pile of bones.  Got over 30 cats fixed there and removed every kitten as they were going to shoot them and were digging a hole to throw them in.  Something like 20 teens and kittens I took and the two mother cats Ava and Isis went to OCO.  Forest, one of the teens who didn't tame, is still here with me from that colony.

Isis.  I guess I forgot to take a photo of Ava.
I saw Bobbi from the Corvallis homeless camp too.  He's not that young anymore.

Bobbi, one of the 52 cats I got fixed at the Corvallis homeless camp.  OCO also has Trucker and Princess from the camps and I have Honey, Teddy and Starr.
The Sanctuary looks like an art project.  It's very cool and the cats seem happy and healthy.  I've never seen it look so good.   Or maybe my memory is bad because I have not been out there in a long long time.  I could not lift the carriers to carry them up the stairs due to my shoulder which was getting better until the long day today seemed to inflame it all over again.  Fortunately, I did not have to do that part of the work.
An artsy cat tree
One of  the kitties, no doubt worn out like me, set up mostly, in a nice cage.  He has a shelf too that you can't see in the photo.  It's real nice.

  I had to get back in that car and drive another hour back home.  I got home about 7:30.  I tried to stop for supper groceries but realized I was way too tired to get out of the car and do that so I just came home.  I don't need supper.

Well those cats will love it up there I imagine.  They're lucky.

My gas was completely covered by my friend who runs the sanctuary.   She'd asked me to help with the transport and I guess I'd do almost anything she requests.  She's helped me a lot, and has helped mid valley cats tremendously, especially when Poppa Inc. paid for all the spays and neuters of the thousands of cats I rounded up to take to be fixed.  She also gave me a donation that will allow me to go buy five 25 lb bags of cat food which means I'm covered in dry cat food for a month.  So the transport was well worth temporary pain or suffering of the day.  I will have it easier here for an entire month free of worry over cat food.

 I was just a transporter who got a little more today than I bargained for.  But it all worked out.  Those who drive for a living have my respect.  It ain't that easy!

Good night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

No Saints!

I don't believe in saints.  I've never met one. Don't suppose I ever will.

So today's day, St. Patricks' day, is a non event for this non believer.

But..... I love the shamrocks and the green and I watch the Irish drinking and the wannabe Irish drinking in awe.  How can they chug it down like that?

I like the parades and the drama and the drums and the fifes and bagpipes.

And then its' all over and so be it.

I don't believe in saints.   Never met one.  Am confident I never will.

My right shoulder is still problematic and my arm goes numb off and on but it's better.  There are ten bags of wood pellet fuel piled in my car, done so by a clerk at Mega Foods, and I can't get them out until my shoulder de-inflames and no doubt that will re inflame it for another two weeks time.  But I had a coupon and I had to use it, to get $10 off of $50.  That's significant savings for cat litter, which is what I use pellet fuel for.

There's been lots of cat drama lately and I had to bow out as it gets to me quickly.   It's over the Lebanon Safeway cats.  I guess Safeway trapped many of the cats fed behind the store. They claim they took them to the farm of an old woman who shops there and who helps feral cats.

But many area cat people don't believe them and petitions have been circulated and signed and accusations made.  I think I might know who that old woman is who took them and that would settle it if they're out there, that Safeway actually did relocate them and did not kill them.  Who knows.

The trouble is someone is feeding them on Safeway's property and long ago, a Safeway employee got the cats fixed at the FCCO, according to what I was told.  But then more came and were not fixed by the people who feed them and Safeway got fed up is what I understand and banned the feeders from the property.   I got that information from a combination of both sides.  Sounds like all that needs done is the cats trapped and fixed and also at other places where this couple feed other cats, if they are not fixed, including at their residence.  

Sounds like the couple need to buy a trap and learn how to use it.  That would be awesome.   If you feed them, you have to fix them.  Simple as that.

But as my luck would have it, the cat person most upset who forwarded me the information in the beginning, in the end, wanted me to do the work---trap them, transport them to be fixed, and after that, I have no idea where the cats were to go and I got no further response over it.  This led me to go nuts last night.

How could they do that again, I ranted.  How could she raise holy hell over the situation but expect me to do the work?  Don't they know my right arm does not even work right now?

 I could not even sleep until finally I had to NyQuilize to sleep and get over it.  I do not know why it touched off such a nerve in me.  I suppose because this is what happened just over a year ago, when I got asked to help with those 60 cats abandoned over on Olson Lane and was promised I'd not end up with any cats but I did and also with an injury that took months to heal and while it did, I struggled and nobody helped me out here.   So that I get to believe I'm not even thought of as a human being, but rather more like a machine that doesn't really feel all the pain a human can feel, in their minds or their bodies.  And that they laugh at me, when I protest or cry in pain.  I suppose all these thoughts made me nuts last night.

This morning I told both parties, the feeders and the woman who laid it on my lap I would be unable to help.   It was the right call on my part.  The feeders are very nice and they can easily learn to trap and once they do, they will feel liberated because no longer will they be feeding without fixing.  But sometimes it takes a crisis to realize.

I love helping but I can't help much anymore.  My car's got too many miles and so does my body.  I have plenty of cats here now and can't take on more.  And I am no longer psychologically fit to do adoptions.

I have to accept these limitations on myself.  If I came into money, I'd get myself a transport van and a bank account to fund spay neuter efforts, gas, insurance and bait and trap myself happy.  I am working on getting nonprofit status and who knows, maybe one day, I'll have those things.  But I don't have them now.  I got nothing now.

Or maybe if I came into money I'd go somewhere warm for a month and lay on a beach and swim in the ocean and laugh and laugh and dream with the sand warm beneath my feet and the sun flickering off into nothing.

My micro is gone.  But I took it apart first because I wanted to learn the parts and how to fix one if I ever get one again and it breaks and all that.   It's interesting.  I got to learn about cavity magnetrons in the process and how they came to be.  

Read up on them here!

Magnetron on the left, capacitor on the right and the wave dispersing fan.

Microwave cavity magnetron

Three major parts of the microwave, (not counting the turn table motor, function circuit board, wave guide and wave disperser fan)--magnetron, capacitor and high voltage transformer.

High voltage transformer

Apparently you can build an arc welder with microwave transformers! Read how to do it here.

Well, the micro is now gone, but it no longer worked and I enjoyed its necropsy.