Tuesday, February 27, 2007

They said she was feral.......

The former camp boondoggies told me the three kittens of the tame abandoned torbi Itabi, were feral. I trapped two more of them yesterday, the last two. I still had the brown tabby kitten, who was pregnant at spay, in a rabbit hutch in my spare bedroom, wanting to hold her until I trapped the others, which is the easy way to do things.

I trapped the tabby on white kitten first, then left a trap set. I came back an hour later and the torti was in the trap. The Boondoggies had called her a calico. They said she seems more desperate than the others, and had darted frantically around the trap, when it had closed on her sibling, the tabby on white, then disappeared under the complex again. They put some food through an opening under the building, hoping to comfort her. They had been feeding these strays ramen noodles because they had no money to buy cat food. So I gave them a bag. These are very poor people whose power has now been shut off. M has been laid off at his seasonal job. They expect an eviction notice soon. And yet they are concerned about the strays, and feed them their own food.

When you have nothing, one must cling to something. One must find hope somehow. Some people find love, hope and meaning by helping out lives just as desperate as their own, like the strays, like this little torti.

She howled pathetically in the trap, not like a feral. A true feral will crouch silent in a corner of the trap, avoid eye contact and do anything to detract attention from themselves, because they believe they are going to be killed and that the trapper is a predator. This torti risked everything when she cried. Her risk paid off.

I took the trap with her in it, into the bathroom at Countryside Vet Clinic this morning, intent on finding out why a feral, if she was feral, would cry in a live trap. This isn't normal.

Handling a feral cat is a dangerous endeavor. One must be very careful, or one will get badly bitten, or scratched up. You don't want to reach into a trap directly into the face of a cat. Even an owned tame cat, under such scarey circumstances, might bite. I usually wait, hoping the cat will turn it's head away from me, then I reach in, on high alert, because cats are quick. At the worst, a cat might dart out desperately past me and then I'd have to corner the cat and net the cat and put it back into the trap. I had my net there, but.....I had a feeling about her.

I went on that feeling and I did reach right in. She had turned her head slightly. At that point, I began scratching her behind the ear. She startled and turned toward my hand. I lowered it and opened my hand, palm up. She laid her head down against my open hand at the bottom of the trap and her crying ceased. At this point, I pulled her out of the trap.

She laid against my chest. She clung to me with her front legs and paws and laid her head against my shoulder. I snuggled my face against hers. This is a little girl who just wants loved, a place to live, to play, like a kitten should, and enough food to eat.

In my mind, I was cringing, knowing I would help her already and not turn her out, but running over the numbers of cats I already have needing homes. And I don't seem to get people contacting me anymore, since the move messed everything up, wanting to adopt cats. I have no advertisement budget. As she was relaxing against me, but clutching me tight, like she'd never let go, my own desperate situation, of having too many cats and how was I going to find them homes or provide for them until I did, seemed less significant.

I've always operated by the heart, on faith alone. I don't know how I've managed financially, to save so many cats and get so many fixed.

It's magic, I think sometimes, or angels, slipping money into my wallet when I have none, so I can keep on doing what I do, saving little desperate kittens without hope, making believers of the likes of desperately poor people, and them making believers of me--like those boondoggies over there, feeding this little girl the last of their own inadequate food supplies.

Someday maybe it'll all catch up to me and I'll be sitting under an overpass homeless again myself. But what will that matter, really? I can smile then, and, if I get the chance, right before I die, too, I know, seeing the faces of desperate little cats like this torti, wanting love, knowing I gave it to them.
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Sunday, February 25, 2007


I want to cry. I can't even do that. I don't know why I can't cry anymore. I just can't.

This is my life now. I live in Albany, OR. I keep thinking I just am on a trip, a bad trip, but it will be ok, because I'll get to go home soon.

The realization hits me, if I let it, and I don't let it hit often, that this is where I live now, this is where I'm stuck for the rest of my life. In Albany, OR.

I don't like it here. My human contact has been reduced to zero. I don't even chat with a friendly Dari-mart clerk anymore, or wander the aisles of Winco when I'm lonely. I don't run out into the night here, when I'm upset, and instantly find shelter with the darkness, watched over by the stars. You can't see the stars in Albany, OR. They've blotted them out with street lights and porch lights that glare even into your sleep.

There's nothing to bond to here and no place to hide from the concrete and anger and revving pickups and screamers. No forest parks, no river rock slabs to crouch under, away from sight to be soothed by girgling waters.

There's nothing in Albany, OR.

I want to go home.

I'm not a city girl. I never have been a city girl. Do you know that Albany, OR has fewer people than Corvallis does? And yet, one would think, if one lived here, that Albany was half as big as Portland maybe. At least this country girl sees it that way. How could I not? There's no center to Albany. Without a center the city seems to go on forever, every way you look. And you search for the center, the heart and soul, and you can't find it. So you go back home, and close your door and pull your blinds and try to cry.

People don't talk about volunteering. Not here. It's every man, woman, child and stray cat for themselves. And God help the poor in Albany. The poor huddle quietly in utmost poverty and are soundly judged everywhere you can hear people talking or writing about it. "Lock em all up!" "Let em pull themselves up by their bootstraps." Etc. Etc. Ad nauseum.

You're just another ghost here. In a city of ghosts.

I miss my home. I want to go home. I've got a nice place to live here, but I'd give it up to leave, to get out with my soul still alive. Living in Albany could kill a decent soul real quick.

I don't even get phone calls. I think the last message left on my machine happened a week or more ago.

I'm alone. Utterly completely alone now. This feels like a deep hollow darkness in my stomach, like death hovering right at my back.

I think I can cry now. Yes, I know I can.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lebanon Colony Kittens--Still with me, Needing Homes

Solomon, a long hair male kitten, who was severely matted.
Fuzzy, a.k.a. Shebear, a long hair black kitten, now admiring herself in the mirror.
Panda, a long hair black and white female kitten, and the smartest of the four.

Another photo of Fuzzy, kind of glaring at me, because she's tired of getting her picture taken.
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Photos of Itabi and Me

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The New Girl--Itabi

Itabi was abandoned at an apartment complex, had some litters of kittens, then fortunately, ran into some former Camp Boondoggle residents, who, now in homes themselves, understand the importance of spay/neuter. They went to a lot of trouble, to hunt me down, because they wanted Itabi and her offspring, who are feral, fixed pronto. That's what education can do. Itabi wants a home. Her feral daughter, who was pregnant, was spayed yesterday and will return to the colony. Itabi is loving, extremely happy to be on a lap again, and I can't betray her, by putting her back outside into a colony. I just couldn't do it. So now Itabi, too, needs a home. She's a gorgoues torbi, with wildish jungle markings. A great cat and spayed now, to boot.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Boondoggies Again and Qwest Windfall

A former Camp Boondoggle resident called me last night. Seems she and other tenants are feeding some cats at the apartment complex where they live now. So, bone weary of all these cats in need calls, mainly because I'm broke as hell and needing a vacation to improve my attitude, I went over anyhow this morning, before going to Lebanon to pick up Mean Turkey cats. I quickly trapped the cat the woman said was pregnant and she stuffed the tame mother cat, abandoned at some point by a nearby tenant, into a carrier.

She thinks there are about 8 cats they feed in total. I took them my last remaining bit of cat food. She had resorted to feeding them ramen noodles. She feels sorry for the cats, yet has no money to buy cat food to feed them. I'm now almost out of cat food myself. I'm out of Advantage and I need to find a way to get donations of these items--cat food--wet and dry, vaccines and Advantage are my most wanted items now.

I headed on up to Lebanon then, to pick up the last four unfixed cats there. That turkey was huffed and puffed on the porch, like he knew I was coming. So I knocked on their windows. The dogs would bark, but I got no human response.

I could tell, that turkey wanted to hurt me. Or somebody. So I got out my pepper spray and a big stick and was just about to take him on, when the woman opened the front door. The turkey went after her. I think this was a big mistake on his part. They had considered him a pet.

But she couldn't get out her front door, without him trying to attack her. He didn't go after the dogs, whom she let out for their morning "chore". But when she tried to bring out the four cats, in carriers, she had to shield herself, with the carriers, from the turkeys attempts to attack.

I yelled at the turkey, with pointed finger "You have issues!" The woman agreed that he has big unresolved issues and that he needs anger management or an oven.

The woman off 25th who has ten or twelve unfixed cats, some pregnant, just isn't following through about getting them fixed. She claimed in one lone e-mail to me that she wants them fixed, but just doesn't have time to deal with it. I had replied she would not have to lift one finger, that I would come, put them in carriers, take them away to be fixed, keep them the night after surgery here, then return them. She made no response to this reply.

With every litter born of those cats of hers, the futures of those cats grow dimmer.

So six more cats are up getting fixed today. Four are Mean Turkey colony cats, three of them males, while the fourth is a females and two females, one pregnant, from the Boondoggie refugees. Well, at least six more Linn County cats won't be breeding. That's a good thing!

And the best news of the day is my interactions with Qwest customer service today, over the phone bill. They gave me a $23 and some cents in credit, and I"m not sure why or how they came up with that exact amount for the credit, but when you're looking a gift horse in the mouth, you smile, thank that gift horse and quickly get off the phone, before you say something that messes it up.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Old Body. Hard Labor. And--Recycled Gardens--Recycling at its Finest.

I went up to Recycled Gardens today to help Keni, POPPA's President, with some hard labor. Recycled Gardens is the nursery in Hillsboro that raises the money I use to fix cats. RG, as we refer to Recycled Gardens, takes in unwanted plants that are repotted and sold, to make money to prevent unwanted pets. It's a circle. A beautiful circle. So, if you need outdoor plants, please buy them at RG. Directions to RG are posted on POPPA's website at www.poppainc.org.

The plants at RG come from nursery overstock, but many come from "digs" where volunteers go out to properties and dig up plants that may be about to be destroyed otherwise, in development or for other reasons. This is recycled at its finest.

The old barn, used as part of the nursery, is situated in a hazelnut orchard. Now the hazelnut farmer, (who is very good looking), wants some of the orchard out back, back. Some of the trees, mingled with nursery stock, are ailing and need sprayed, he says. So we have to move all the nursery stock out back, to the front, permanently. This is a lot of hard work. Some of the plants are massive and some are dug in. These are trees and large bushes that wouldn't do well in even 25 or 50 gallon pots. These too must be dug out and dug in below the barn.

So if Keni needs help at RG, I go. That's because POPPA and Recycled Gardens have helped me fix literally thousands of area cats. I call the RG, "The Little Barn that Could". It's really unbelievable what a handful of volunteers and Recycled Gardens have done for the state of Oregon.

POPPA, RG and we POPPA volunteers, the very few of us, are a testament to efficient use of funds and labor. POPPA volunteers each limit most of what they do, to what they are good at doing and enjoy doing. And there you have it---a highly efficient small group of people getting thousands of cats fixed every year.

But old body and hard labor sometimes are not a great match. My back is killing me. My right shoulder is a sea of pain again, and I don't even care.

Keni took myself and the old property owner, a retired shrink and animal lover, out to lunch at Rock Creek McMinnamins. I got a bit tipsy. We had a blast! She just turned 80, the retired shrink, whom I love, and I am about to turn 51.

I worked until about 5:15 p.m. Then Keni pointed out a cat that had showed up a few months ago at RG. So I trapped the cat for her, in a couple of minutes. She wanted it trapped, so she could get the cat fixed. So she then headed off to her vet with the cat and I came home. I came home with a brand new Little Giant nutria trap. This trap is too large to be useful for general cat trapping but I have my uses for such a trap.

Unfortunately, also, my water bill came today. It's $70. Also my phone bill came. And I can't figure out for the life of me why the same service here is costing three times more than I was charged in Corvallis. In fact, my stomach churns to even think of trying to work this out with Qwest, due to my experience, recently, with them, trying to straighten out the whole thing with call forward on busy, for my internet answering machine. I'm just so dreading what must be done---calling Qwest customer service. I call it "customer torture".

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two Movies Worth Renting and a Turkey Attacks!

Hard Candy and The King

When Hard Candy began, I thought it would be much different than it turned out to be. A man is buying gifts for a young girl. He's obviously not the girls' father. She seems to epitomize the innocent, trustful nature, and dorkiness of an average preteen or young teen girl.

But events take a turn. The young girl quickly turns things around on this child molestor who has perhaps killed at least one young girl in the past after luring her into his predatory snare. She seems to know this, but how she knows this, is not ever disclosed.

At the end of the movie, the tortured tormented child predator, just before his death, implores of the young girl repeatedly "Who are you?" She replies "I'm every little girl you've ever hurt."

I liked the movie. Probably most women who were ever abused or molested would like it.

This young girl turned out to be no piece of soft candy in the mouth of a predator. Hard Candy.

The King is a disturbing movie. It is also interesting and quirky and I recommend it. The movie begins with a young man being discharged after his tour of duty in the service. He looks up his father, who wants nothing to do with him, since the young man was the result of a one night liason. The young mans' father is now the head pastor of a large evangelical church. His snobbish Christian son plays in a Christian rock band every Sunday at his church and wants to be a pastor, too.

The young soldier takes up with his father's daughter, a disenchanted teen, paling in the edge of her snobby brother's favored status. She does not know that this is her half brother she is sleeping with. They keep their relationship secret, engaging in steamy motel room encounters. Until, the girl's brother discovers their relationship and follows the soldier back to the motel room for a fateful encounter. Afterwards, the young soldier moves into his fathers' house and lives in his son's room. This is a disturbing interesting twisted movie, well -written, well filmed and I loved it.

I got seven cats fixed today. One female, six males. All were from rural Lebanon. The family gets cats dropped off at their house. The husband has been laid off. The wife had to have emergency surgery, plunging them into severe debt because they have no health insurance. So, they had cats needing fixed, and still have a few more. An old friend of this couple contacted me, asking for assistance for the family.

I was also attacked by a huge male turkey when picking up the cats this morning, at the residence.
He cornered me, then attacked, digging his claws into my leg. I could have killed him, I suppose, once I recovered from the shock of it all but that would have just lowered me to his level. Hahahaha.
I thought he was strutting back and forth in front of me, fanning his tail and blowing up his little red beard, because he found me attractive.
Sadly, this was not the case.
I do hope he contracts bird flu, however. I hope he's one of the first birds in North America to catch bird flu and die from it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Extreme Power Bill

The power bill for the first month here was $158. I can't figure out what took that much power. I lower the heat at night to 61 degrees. During the day, I have it at 67 degrees. I don't understand a heat pump, which is what this house has. I don't know if it's better to just turn it off during the day, even though I'm in and out, or what. I have no clue. And you can't shut off heat to certain rooms I guess with one of those. Besides, this house is open design and the only room I could shut off if I could would be the second bedroom.

I don't think the frig works right. I can't get it down to safe temperatures on either the freezer or the frig compartment. I have tried getting it to safe temps using both the number dial and air control dial. The blower in the freezer runs constantly and I can't make it stop.

I don't use the dishwasher. I switched all lightbulbs to the energy efficient ones. I do use the washer dryer. The only thing I wash in hot water however is cat laundry, that needs hot water, to help kill things. I take one shower a day. I have taken no baths. I still wash dishes in the sink, like at the old place, in cold water. I rarely use the stove, although I do cook more than at the old place. It's an old stove and perhaps those use more than their share of power. Most lights are off all the time.

Where is all that power going, I can't figure out? The usual suspects are hot water and heat. I thought heat pumps were supposed to be so much cheaper. I guess not. I think it's a really old heat pump. I don't know anything about those things.

I'm scared now. I'm scared of the coming water bill. The good thing is it hasn't come yet because the city of Albany hired some dufous billing company who just quit sending out water bills when they ran out of statement paper. I was lucky, one of the ones they never got to billing before running out of statements. I was told the city just fired that company. I also was told I could suddenly get a shut off notice hung on my door and if this happens to call the city utility billing and tell them I was one who didn't get a bill.

Maybe the water heater is too old. Maybe it's the frig sucking power. I have no clue, but it's scarey to live in a house with such high utility bills. At the old place, despite the lack of insulation, the highest gas bill I ever had was something like $84 and the electric bill was insignificant even though the hot water heater was electric.

But see, there was something wrong with the hot water heater there, probably at least one elment nonworking, so I never really had a hot shower and lord knows there was nothing pleasant about lingering in a shower at that place, because I'd freeze.

I suppose the gas bill stayed low, too, due to the extreme noise of that damn furnace and before it was replaced, when it nearly killed me again, the interference that old straining furnace caused in the TV, every few seconds, made me decide that to freeze was a better alternative than have that monster running. This decision likely kept me alive, due to the CO the failing blocked furnace was delivering to my environ.

So, in a winter, the combined electric and gas bill at the old place, could reach $100 or more. Therefore, I guess $160 here is not outrageous, just seems that way, since it's all in one bill, and there isn't a way for me to kind of limit things, like I could at the old place, to reduce the numbers. I didn't pay for water at the old place either, since there was a well. The well water was undrinkable, granted, so I had to fill water jugs for drinking anywhere I could, including in people's backyards from their hoses.

At this place, I will be paying for water, but only if the city gets its act together and sends out statements. I don't use much water. I wash dishes, take one short shower a day, and do a couple loads of laundry a week. That's not much, but I hear the water bills in Albany can also be outrageously shocking. Well, I won't find out, will I, until the city actually starts sending statements.

Until then, lala land it is. I'll pretend the water is free---a great big thank you, from the city of Albany, for working so hard unpaid to fix this city's cats. Free water is the least they can do for me. THANK YOU, Albany.

In fact, I think a campaign is in order. I've suffered for Albany and Linn County, unpaid, long enough. If anyone is reading this out there, call the City of Albany and demand free city water for Jody Harmon, the cat woman who has, at great sacrifice, due to her very low income, gotten thousands of cats in Albany fixed for Albany residents.

This is a plan, man! Let's do it. I could make all the calls, if I had to, from various payphones, disguising my voice, but it would be so much more effective if anyone and everyone reading this would take up the crusade!

Here's the General Number for the City of Albany: 541-917-7500.

If you call, be nice, PLLLEEEEAAASSSEE! I've already basically been kicked out of one city (Corvallis) very recently. Be real sad if I got kicked out of another so soon.

Elly's Hard Life

Elly is a bobtail medium hair torti point Siamese, who once lived beneath various four plexes on College Park Drive, fed by no one, without love or a decent place to sleep. After I discovered the cat problems at that complex, Elly was one of the first cats who got spayed. She was also one of the first cats whom I got out of there and into a decent home.

I just found out more of Elly's history from a SafeHaven worker who used to live at that complex.

A couple of years ago, a tenant there tried to stab police officers, then went into her apartment and set it on fire. But first, she put many of her twenty some cats into carriers, to ensure they would die in the fire. Elly and her five kittens were some of those cats this woman intended to burn to death.

One of her kittens did die of smoke inhalation. A firefighter wept, the SafeHaven woman said, as he tried to resuscitate the little life. The SafeHaven worker took in the other four kittens. Elly and scores of other adults escaped death from fire, but were then turned out to fend on their own. And fend Elly did, as best she could, living under this four-plex, then that four-plex, having litter after litter, without much hope for herself or for her kittens in such a place.

But now, Elly lives a good loved life with Keni, POPPA Inc's president, up in Portland. I have an empathy for litter worm abandoned females. They have little say in their fate. There are always scores of males out there, following their balls, fighting to impregnate any female, willing or not. They are certainly not left with the burden of kitten care in a harsh environment such as exists at that complex.

And so when I help a litter weary female into a better life, I feel the relief only a woman might understand. Elly now is happy. Elly is loved. Elly will never be fought over by big nasty diseased males, with just one thing on their minds.

When male cats lose their balls, they too are freed of a life of following only hormonal drives. They get outside interests. They get to enjoy life. And the world, too, is better for their loss.

I begin to wonder how much better our world might be if more people were spayed and neutered.

Monday, February 19, 2007

LandLords! Get on Board the Spay/Neuter Train

Shebear, one of four kittens from the Lebanon colony, huddles in my toilet paper drawer. I am trying to find the four kittens a barn or shop home. I had thought I was going to be only trapping four cats, in the Lebanon colony, referred to me by a SafeHaven employee. So far, I've trapped 11 and there are at least two more to trap for fixing. This is too many cats for tenants in the area to feed. So I need to relocate these kittens, two boys and two girls, brother and sisters, so everybody gets enough to eat.

These cats resulted from a tenant who abandoned an unfixed house pet when they moved. This is so needless, the suffering caused, and the financial impact of now fixing a dozen cats, instead of just that original cat.

Landlords, get on board. Require tenants with pets to show proof of spay/neuter. What's in it for you? You will never have a feral colony arising around your rentals. Even if a tenant then abandons a cat, if the cat is already fixed, a colony will not form, and the cat will have a chance of getting a second chance, at Heartland or SafeHaven or through a private individual rescue. Plus, if the tenant abandons their cat, if it's fixed, you won't have the tenant abandoning ten or twelve kittens at the same time.

Fixed pets cause less damage to rentals. Fixed pets are less aggressive and do fewer marking behaviors. There won't be the moaning of in heat cats and screaming of fighting males, who might also be passing Feline Aids, when fighting, around your complex.

You will also be aiding your community, by lessening the spread of disease, lessening the impact of feline overpopulation on communities, shelters, individuals dedicated to stopping overpopulation with their own resources and time and helping the cats in general and the individuals cats. It's a win/win deal.

Ask your managers to go door to door at your units, asking if tenants have pets, and then requesting they provide proof of spay/neuter within thirty days. If their cat is not fixed, refer them to SafeHaven's voucher program. If a tenant does not fix their pet within specified period, immediately raise their rent $30 a month.

Some landlords put a small portion of general deposits or pet deposits into a spay/neuter assistance fund. This fund can aid tenants in fixing their pets. Some landlords waive pet deposits if a tenant will adopt a cat abandoned by another. Maintain a list of low cost programs, like the SafeHaven voucher program, and low cost spay/neuter vets in the area. I hope to work with SafeHaven to develop a landlord packet to facilitate these changes and provide the information landlords might need to implement.

Landlords in Linn County could make a huge difference in their communities with these changes and make lives like mine, and like little Shebears', a whole lot easier in the process.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

County Cat Fixing Money

The county may put up $25k to "agents" for fixing Linn County cats and for killing sick or diseased cats at the dog pound.

The specifics of the draft are difficult to understand and conditions of becoming an "agent" are severe.

To qualify as an "agent" and be able to access this money, one must fix 30 more cats per month, if one gets this money, than a person is already getting fixed and one stands to lose access to grant money if they don't do thirty more cats. In other words, a volunteer must do even more, which I wouldn't mind if I wouldn't have to go deeper into personal financial dodo to do it.

Fixing more cats increases my costs, due to costs of transport gas, bait, housing the cats before and after surgery, which costs me cat food, Advantage, wormer and laundry money expense. The county money would be paid to vets approved by the county, after the vet bills the county for cats brought in approved agent and the vet might have to wait thirty days for payment after billing the county. The only vet I work with is the Jefferson vet and I wouldn't ask him to wait like that, to be paid.

Plus, the "agent" will not get a specified amount of money, but supposedly will be notified, when funds in the account are low, because if the money runs out and vet bills are outstanding, then the agent becomes responsible to pay those bills personally.

The money is only for outside free roaming cats, tame or truely feral, although the county redefined the word "feral" for its own use, as any outside only cat. The county could deny a payment to a vet for fixing cats brought in by the "agent". Then the agent is personally responsible for the bill. I saw no reasons designated in the draft as to why the county might deny a vet bill.

When I heard the county was waiting for people to apply for spay/neuter grants, way back in November, I applied. Now, I must re-apply, if I want to get some of this money, by applying to the county dog control officer.

The other problem is proving I do thirty more a month. The number of cats I get fixed per month varies greatly. Sometimes I use FCCO clinics, but they are few and far between. I would not be able to acquire 20 appointments, the norm I get per month at Countryside, plus thirty more per month there. So that becomes an issue, where would I find a low cost vet I could utilize to increase the numbers of cats I get fixed by 30 per month? I cannot rely on use of FCCO clinics. The next clinic in this area is not until May. After that, there's not another until October.

I had offered up the option of transporting cats to Portland FCCO FLEX clinics, but, use of that option was contingent upon getting gas support, to transport the cats up and back and I was offered no gas support.

I don't have the money to pay all my bills this month, because of the move. In fact, I don't have the money to pay a lot of bills. Car insurance. Credit card payment. Water bill electric bill. Which ones don't I pay? I think I'll not pay the water bill because I just don't care anymore. I can't make it after this move. The vacuum is broken and the carpet reeks. My brother agreed to me removing the carpet and painting the particle board floor, but I can't afford to buy paint nor can I afford to pay to have the mounds of old carpet, if I took it out, hauled to the dump.

So that's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm discouraged that's all. I'm in a financial shithole and that can taint one's outlook.

I want badly to be able to be able to use that county money but my poverty makes it improbable that I will be able to even apply. That frustrates me and makes me feel inadequate. Plus, at that cat meeting, there were mayors present of various municipalities, including Sweet Home and Lebanon. They talked about creating ordinances to limit thrift stores and this made me feel they do not want poor people in their towns and if they can drive the poor out, by making their towns "poor unfriendly" it will solve many of their problems. I had piped up, but poor people can't afford to buy new goods, new clothes, new furniture, and you will make hardships greater for people already suffering if you create ordinances against thrift and second hand stores, which they feel limit the income of new goods stores and detract from new goods stores moving to their towns.

I guess the general attitude at that meeting combined with the county cat money draft, which would create greater hardship and poverty for myself, has put me in this mood, of feeling like a stray again, unwanted, an outsider who should stay in the shadows to scrounge for the basics, because of my income, someone they'd like to use, but want out of sight of their "normal citizenry".

The fact well paid shelter directors were there, who aren't out their beating the bushes for unfixed cats, as volunteers, was just another brick in the wall.

UPDATE: the downtown district lady, who works at 7-11 and has fed neighborhood strays, caught the final stray today, a female who is pregnant. To celebrate and to thank me, this poor person went and bought me a working vacuum at GOODWILL! THANK YOU GAIL! I've fixed about 25 owned and strays cats in a two block area in the past two months, creating a better neighborhood there and better lives for the cats.

The vacuum works and has attachments. When I first tried it, I understand why somebody gave it to Goodwill and probably claimed a deduction for doing so. The handle with bag pulls off, because whatever kept that on, was broken off. I solved this problem with a zip tie, my repair item of choice. The other problem I foresee is high bag costs, since vacuuming the entire carpet once, due to cat hair, fills the entire bag. Bags cost a lot. For now, I"ll limit vacuuming behavior and hope to find a way to rip out some of the carpet soon. The old now dead vacuum was a bagless kind, which was cheap to use, that's for sure, but not if it doesn't work.

Neverneverland and the Nowhere Kittens

Trapping for spay/neuter gives a person the key to enter Neverneverland--the country where your volunteer job becomes your life and the abused and starving kittens and cats cry to you for help, even in your dreams. In Neverneverland, the stream of unfixed unwanted cats is never ending. So are the calls from people wanting you to solve their cat problem for them, right now and for nothing.

Last night I returned to the Lebanon colony, to trap any remnants I didn't catch the night before. 10 of the colony were fixed yesterday. Six of the ten were males. Four of the ten were females. One of the females was in heat.

Last night, I caught the remaining kitten. Solomon I call him. Because he looked so sad out there alone.

I knew there were more. The tenants said that was it. I knew I was tired, but I have a pretty good memory for numbers and cats I see, even when exhausted.

But I left, hoping that was it, hoping I was wrong, eager to go to bed.

I didn't go to bed. The little boy kitten Solomon was so heavily matted he couldn't lower his chin. I don't have clippers or shears. I need some badly. Want to send me some good electric pet grooming clippers and scissors? E-mail me. I NEED THEM.

So I spent a couple of hours with him on my lap in my bathroom, already weak to his plight, already deciding in my weak mind, I couldn't take him back there, to suffer so, knowing there were too many over there for any to get adequate food unless I reduced the numbers by adopting some out.

The pile of hair grew. He's one of those cats with dense undercoat and long overcoat. Not good for a little guy on his own. I clipped and clipped with little tiny scissors that weren't even very sharp to begin with. But I made a good indentation in his serious mat problem. And he liked the attention.

This morning, I woke up late. I knew I had to get those cats back, because they can't do well in traps very long, especially the big males. Besides, male cat urine stinks to high heaven. I hemmed and hawed, however, tired out, wanting to go back to bed. And then I brought the other two kittens into the bathroom and pulled them out. The little short hair black tux male is so cute and it turns out, he's rather tame. The tenants over there might take him in, and if not, are going to try to find him a home. Then I pulled out the black/white long hair female and cuddled her.

I was finally loading the traps back into my car. I was loading the black long hair kitten, too, figuring I couldn't help all the kittens. When suddenly he began to cry, just desperately. And I weakened. I could feel it coming on. I took him into the bathroom and took him out of the trap despite his hissing. He clung to me, hugging my arm. Now he's pretty much tame and what am I to do with such a soft heart? It will be the end of me. I need to find some homes quickly and some fosterers who have access to electrical pet grooming clippers!

I returned seven cats, kept the four kittens, three of them now fixed, here in the bathroom. And as I pulled to the back of the complex, my heart sank. There were two more black and white adults out there. I knew I hadn't caught them all.

I gave the tenants feeding them a bag of cat food SafeHaven gave me a week ago. I returned SR's empty traps. And I came home. I've washed all the traps and carriers out and washed the tarps that line the back of my car. And now I"m taking a long winter's nap.

Want to adopt a nowhere kitten? One of them has a round hole in his ear where it was shot through by somebody who doesn't appreciate starving little nowhere kittens.

It never ends, the stream of frightened starving abandoned cats and kittens, crying to me, from everywhere.

I live in Neverneverland and I don't mind living here at all. I just wish more people would come live with me here and help with the chores, the chores of fixing and healing the cats the outsiders don't even seem to think exist. Here where I live, in the shadowy world of Neverneverland, true heros fight demons in hand to hand combat every single day. And it's no video game.

Are you up for it? Then join me.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Two Kittens and an Adult, Being Fixed Today, but in Need

Two of the ten cats from the Lebanon colony being fixed today are just kittens. I hope to find them a fosterer. Maybe you? So they will have a chance at real lives. The bottom photo is of one of the black and white adults, very uniquely marked, I'd say. Doc Anderson thinks he'll get all ten done today. When I called an hour ago, they'd already done five of the ten. That's amazing. I figured I'd have to let SR hold some of them in Lebanon until the next day I have appointments.

Hungry Eyes in the Dark

When I first arrived at the Lebanon colony, where I believed there were only four cats to trap, I went out back, and saw multitudes of hungry eyes, shining back at me, through the darkness. I set to work immediately, trapping cat after cat. I trapped ten in all last night. There are three or four still left to trap, which I will do immediately. Most of the cats are black and white with a notable exception. He's the big hairy angry Flamepoint in the bottom photo. This colony is likely the result of a single female or a female and a male, perhaps brother and sister, being left behind by a tenant when they moved, unfixed. She may have had up to three litters last summer alone, all of whom, this spring will be of breeding age. Many females were already in heat. Cat fights were breaking out between dominant males, spray marking was extreme in the area. The Flamepoint was the worst offender, tearing up other cats and marking territory in stinky yellow drips. Disease, like FIV, primarily passed in male fighting, would soon hit unfixed owned and unowned cats in the area. The area is going to be a lot better place, for both humans and cats, once I'm done.
Think of the expense and suffering that could have been avoided, had that one tenant not only fixed his or her pet, but not abandoned the cat either. Think of the money spent and misery that would not have then occurred.
Think it's your right not to fix your pet? Then keep your unfixed house pet inside! If you don't, your behavior is costing everybody else and hurting cats.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Just Go Trap the Four cats in Lebanon....."

The cats I was to take tomorrow to be fixed did not materialize. So, I was looking to replace them by scrounging up other cats needing fixed. I do have a long list of cats needing fixed. Laura, from SafeHaven, helpfully suggested I go trap the four cats living behind her neice's apartment in Lebanon. I said "sure".

Just four cats to trap. No big deal. Yeah right, Laurie.

I was going to take the first six from a bad situation in SE Albany. Woman has a bunch of unfixed cats, many of whom are pregnant, that are degrading the neighborhood and are not well cared for. It was neighbors who contacted me back in December. I told them to have her call me. She never did. So I finally drove by last week and stopped. It was an old woman who answered my knock. She said her daughter wasn't home but invited me inside. She was desperate to talk to someone, but apologized for wanting to pour out her heart to a stranger.

She has medical bills of all sorts. She's worried they'll be evicted, over the mess left by the cats. The daughter has only one litterbox and is rarely home. The daughter is on welfare, her old mother said, yet is always gone and she ends up taking care of the grandson, walking him to the bus stop. She was happy I could get the cats fixed. She took down my information and said her daughter told her she had tried to call me in December. I said nothing. Her daughter didn't call.

I told her I would be back Thursday morning to pick up the first six to be fixed including the preggies. She wrote it on her calandar. I was there Thursday morning and no one answered my repeated knocks. Later on in the day, the daughter e-mailed me, stating she was too sick to get the cats fixed now, that she had the flu, and that her mother had told me she wouldn't get them fixed until the daughter contacted me. I replied to her, that her mother told me to be there at 8:30 a.m. this morning to pick up the first six and I was there, but nobody else was.

She claimed she was so sick she could barely lift her head and just barely reply to the e-mail. The thing is though, I had asked her mother for their phone number or for the daughter's e-mail address. The mother told me they have no phone and that her daughter checks e-mail at the library. So, in other words, if the daughter is so ill with the flu she can't lift her head, what's she doing checking and sending e-mails from the library? The daughter doesn't know what her mother told me. And maybe she was at a friends house, who had internet, with the flu.

So the neighbors are going to start calling the cops. Some are sick of her behavior. Her behavior affects them. Her behavior gives cats a bad name. Her behavior hurts her own cats likelihood of living.

Without those cats to take to be fixed tomorrow, I did head up to Lebanon after dropping off Matty, the second cat from 11th street in Corvallis, at SafeHaven. Matty is a wonderful kitty and SafeHaven agreed to adopt her out.

The cats were swarming the back deck. I counted six right off, not four. They were all black and white. I was literally drooling over such a trapping job. I quickly filled all four traps I had with me, with cats. Still eager to continue, I transferred two cats to the two carriers I also had along and reset those two traps. I immediately caught two more cats. I transferred one of the two cats into the trap with the other cat, leaving me one more empty to trap to set. I caught another right off. Now I had nothing left to use. I was bummed.

My mind raced through possible solutions and settled upon SR, who lives close by and has traps. I zoomed over and borrowed four more traps, then zoomed back and set them. I caught three more cats--ten in all. I didn't want to quit, but I needed to get decent sleep.

The doc will kill me tomorrow. "How many'dya bring in, Jody? Four? Five?"

"Um, just ten," Dr. Anderson.

Yeah, he'll kill me.

SR said she'd hold the ones the vet can't fix tomorrow until next week when I have more reservations. And, I will return to the complex tomorrow night and catch the remaining three or four, who also will be held until Tuesday, and then fixed. Saturday, the ones fixed tomorrow will be released.

This colony of four, wait, make that 14 cats, will be completely fixed and done with by Tuesday evening.

I can't think of a better pick me up way to spend a night than trapping a feral colony.

You should see the massive feral long hair Flamepoint Siamese I have in one trap. Woooweee, is he ever huge, mad and stinky.

Living in Pretendville

I'm living in Fantasyville. I live on a middle class street in a middle class house. But......I wouldn't even qualify as low income---on any scale. I'm way below low income. In other words, I'm a poor as shit white girl living in Pretend.

How long before the makeup starts to run and I get found out?

Not long, I'm thinking.

I'm fast moving into water way over my head. This church mouse poor white woman can't pay middle class bills consistent with living in this middle class house.

Wish I could, given the alternatives.

The moving bills are tailgating me, too.

I called my brother to talk about what I could do. Even my food stamps are going down, from nothing, to less than nothing, as a result of the move, and switch in my rent share. I can't figure this out. My income hasn't changed one bit. My circumstances have. I pay more in rent and more in everything here. So why should my food stamps get dumped down to $10 a month?

I was upset also when I heard that Best Friends wanted to do a story on Skylar from that complex. How evil is that, to be resentful of a little boy getting national publicity?

But here's the thing. The paper article misrepresented fact in the initial article. Skylar never placed a single homeless cat from that complex. He'd tell me if he knew of unfixed cats. That's it. Yeah, sorry to say, that was the totality of his involvement there.

I suffered all the consequences of placing over two dozen cats from that complex, housing them, vaccinating etc, them, getting over 70 fixed and now somebody else is going to get the glory. I feel so evil to resent that, but I do resent it. What ever happened to journalistic truth or did it ever exist? Makes a nice cute little story, but it's fiction, for the most part.

Anyhow, so, when I talked to my brother, about the financial ruin I"ve encountered, living beyond my means, I also told him how upset I was about just hearing Skylar was getting unearned national kudos for work I did and that I felt guilty resenting it, because he's a little boy, and it's not him lying about what he did and didn't do.

So my brother lays out his own bombshell. He had a contract to build a condo or group of them in Florence or somewhere on the coast. A contract. He's been working on this project for weeks or maybe even months. And he's gotten subcontractor bids, the whole shebang, worked on this thing for hundreds of hours.

Today he learns suddenly the developers aren't going with him, despite the contract. He's been screwed, royally. Lost so much money and time, it's unbelievable. And what kind of men do something like that to another? Evil men, that's who.

So he's screwed financially. He was subdued when talking about it and, I think, very very depressed over it. I told him I felt bad complaining about my situation and said I wished karma would hit more deserving people. Then I told him to tell those developers, if they ever return his calls, which they don't currently have the balls to do, that he has a 51 year old sister, with lots of spinal injuries, from abuse, who is just itching to come beat the crap out of their lying cheating dishonest brains.

I asked if he'd ever considered going into work less stressful and less cut throat. He says he's too old to try something else and besides building is all he knows. I said I understood, that cat trapping is all I know.

He's a good builder. He's a builder with ethics. And he's honest. These traits do not cut it well, these days, in the building profession. Yeah, he has a temper and he's a perfectionist and he's exactly the person you would want building your house. He might not be the person developers, trying to cut corners and who care nothing about shoddy work or materials, as long as it looks good to a buyer on the outside, would want. Know what I mean?

So I'm feeling for my brother this evening. I love him. He has faults. We all do. But one of his faults is not that he is dishonest. And getting screwed by dishonest deceptive evil people is just not right and it shouldn't happen to my brother over and over, but it does. Just like I get screwed over and over. Maybe all honest people do.

And that is one reason our society is going to hell in a handbag. Nobody stands up to defend honesty. It's everybody for themselves out there, in our carefully disguised ordered religious eat each other alive jungle world.

And about Skylar. He's a wonderful little boy who loves helping cats. I do want him to find a way to get an education and out of poverty. In fact, I need to get some humility here and whether the facts are tarnished or not, if Skylar gets national publicity, maybe he'd get a chance at a better life. When I vanguish my own ego, and I need to, that's what I want, what he needs and if there is a path for him to get there, I want it smoothed out so he can walk it easier.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cindylu Gets Home

Cindylu was adopted today by a Corvallis family. Cindylu got rescued Saturday after evicted tenants called and asked if I could take some of their 8 cats who otherwise would be left behind. I took Cindlu and her sister Matty. Both were pregnant. Both were spayed the next day, at an FCCO clinic in Eugene. Today, Cindylu is in a new home. Good luck, kiddo.

Her sister still needs a home.

I drove home today and turning the corner, almost to my place, I see at least two police incident response vans. And there's a dog down on the sidewalk, but still alive. There are a bunch of twenty something's around the dog and the cops. To myself, I was thinking, "I bet the cops shot that dog." Because that happens frequently in Albany.

Albany is full of lousy dog owners who get dogs to use as extensions of their penises or vaginas, you know, their alter egos, and they make them aggressive so they can somehow feel tougher. It's a pathetic thing, when you have lacks, to get an animal you think fills those lacks of yours, and your righteous fate, your deserved fate, then becomes the fate the dog suffers.

Nothing can fill a person's flaws and lacks except changing or accepting those flaws a person has. You can't get a big dog to take out your anger on and not suffer consequences when the dog suffers the consequences of your issues. You'll lack even more character as a result of stunts like that, and sink deeper into your own shit.

So I don't what happened with that dog, all those cops and all those young adults standing around. Maybe the dog got hit by a car is all and somebody called for help for the dog. Maybe it will be in the paper tomorrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Two Pregnant Teens from Trash Depot, Corvallis

I went over to the house, where the tenants are being evicted, who have 8 cats tonight, with a friend, who wanted to experience "cat rescue". He got a good idea of normal cat rescue stuff. The apartment these folks are vacating looks about like it did a year or so ago, when I got five cats of theirs fixed.

One female I got fixed a year ago had a litter of kittens then too little to be fixed. They never called back or returned messages I left a couple months later, to check up and see if they had any of those kittens left.

Well, these two girls are two of those kittens, now pregnant themselves.

The apartment itself was about knee deep in trash, like last time. They were supposed to get their stuff out today and tomorrow, but in the two hours between the time J and I left with the two cats and then came back, to see if we could find the two males, they hadn't done a thing about moving any of their stuff out or cleaning out any of the trash. It was like we hadn't been gone at all.

J had to hoist the old mattress up, but only after we moved off of it, piles of trash, clothes and scattered CD's, books and boxes. The cats were hiding in the old torn up box springs. Balancing on the wire of the box springs while loading a frightened cat into a carrier was not that easy. All the while J held up the mattress.

I could understand the eviction. I don't understand how people can live like that, without bothering to clean up or take out trash or organize anything other than in huge piles all over the floor, counters, and bed. But the mother has numerous disabilities. It's too bad she didn't qualify for a once a week housekeeper at least. This might would have enabled her to continue to have a roof over her head. What does it profit society that she is now homeless? She is incapable of caring for herself quite obviously. And the two daughters have grown up to believe living in that sort of trash is normal? I don't know this, but both are nearly adults now and made no effort to clean up either.

The notorious Lebanon trailer man, who lived in that trailer filled with unfixed cats, boxes piled to the ceiling of old papers he thought might still be important, and stacks of disintegrating urine soaked boxes of old computer parts, thought his life was normal. He laid at night on a folded over yellow foam pad in a corner on the floor. It too was stained and urine soaked, and was wedged between piles of computer parts and mounds of moldy reeking never laundered clothing, in the back bedroom. In the living room, more stacks of boxes, even old lumber and everything soggy with cat urine. In places there were piles of cat feces three feet high. I took 27 cats out of that horrible place.

His parents lived the same way. I found that out from someone who had known the mother. So what a child grows up to believe is normal living because their parents live that way, often becomes the manner in which they live.

I felt for those daughters of this woman with disabilities. And I wondered if in a dozen years or maybe less, they'd have places that look the same. Or maybe, the remembrance of it, will drive their wills to lead themselves into a better existence. No one can change another. One must change themselves. And possess the strong desire to make the changes necessary to get what one wants or needs from life. Charting the path is the difficult part--the how to get from here to there part. It's tough to chart a path.

But sometimes one is not able to even chart a path to even a partially acceptable existence, due to age or health or disability or even just circumstances. That's when the kindness of family, friends and strangers needs to kick in. That is if we humans have hearts of selflessness we can pull off the back shelves and reignite!

This little family claimed to have a family friend living across the street, but would that man help them move or help them with their cats or give them a couch to sleep on? Noooooooo. This is what I told them "He's some friend...." And I meant it sarcastically. I mean, that's damn pathetic. Yeah, I am talking about you, Tim.

I wonder about the woman herself. How will she make it? She listed the drugs she takes or uses, for pain, she said, including Xanex and marijuana. She thinks she'll not get into Community Outreach's homeless shelter because she'll test positive for THC, but she says it's for pain she smokes it. Is it true then that Community Outreach only will accept saints into their shelter? Because I've not met many saints, among the homeless or among the well housed.

I wish I had a magic wand to wave. Oh, for a working magic wand.

The three fixed cats they want to keep are two females and a male. One female had been hit by a car at some point and now isn't quite right, according to the girls. They found a neighbor who will allow them to live in his garage for the time being. They can also feed the other three outside cats at his garage. I did want to catch the white male, because it sounds like he has an eye that needs removed. Doing that is expensive unless it is done by volunteer vets at the FCCO clinic. I wanted to take him to the Eugene clinic tomorrow. But the hubbub of them moving and yelling matches between them and the landlord who was there, kept the cats and most people away.

The good thing is the feral female, on the loose in the hood somewhere, is Star, the older wild kitten they had, that I got fixed a year or more ago. So she's fixed at least and I have the only two unfixed females. The 2nd unfixed male is allegedly tame, and just hiding out, outside somewhere, during the stress of his owners leaving. His name is Buttons and he needs fixed and a home. Star actually needs a home, too. She was not that feral. But then, I only met her once, when I got her fixed as a four month old kitten. The white male's name is Precious and he beats up on all the neighborhood cats. He definitely needs a couple organs removed.

So I got the two cats who could do damage by continuing the cycle. I have named them Cindy Lou and Suzy Woo. They're sisters. I will try to find them homes. And they will be spayed tomorrow at the FCCO Eugene clinic. Thank god there's a clinic tomorrow and I could get them into it!

Urgent Need. Tenants Evicted. Their 8 Cats on Their Own. Need fosterers.

8 cats have been left without homes when their owners were evicted from their apartment in Corvallis. I met these people over a year ago and got four or five cats fixed for them. One of the cats had kittens too young to be fixed. I expected to hear from them again, if they needed more cats fixed. They never followed through.

Now, over a year later, they found my new number and want me to come help with 8 cats, all but three are unfixed. They've been evicted, gone from the apartment, the cats still there, around the outside. Several are allegedly pregnant. No sense in blame gaming because these folks aren't with it at all. They're out of it. I remember having to wade through trash the first time, to try to corner and net cats they had claimed would be ready to go, when I was at the place over a year ago.

So I can't take in 8 cats. They claim they want to keep three, the three fixed ones, but want someone to foster those three until they can take them. I'm not going for that, because if you agree to hold a cat, and not adopt it out, for somebody who's not even going to pay expenses for the cat, without a legal timeline, that can draw out forever and a day and create extreme resentment. But the other five, all unfixed, at least three allegedly pregnant, I want those cats fixed. The slumlord I mean landlord, don't I, claims if the cats stay around there, he'll do away with them.

So anyhow, I also broke with a cold last night. I need some help fostering these cats and finding homes for them once they're fixed. Allegedly, two are feral, so a barn home would be in order for them, even for all five, if one can be quickly located. Contact me, by leaving a comment or e-mailing: bluestray@yahoo.com if you can be of help. THANK YOU.

Two More Husspuss Fixes--Seven Cats in Total Fixed Yesterday

This is a big black and white male, fixed yesterday, from the Husspuss colony.

This orange tabby tux, fixed yesterday, has an orange tabby brother at the colony, whom I already trapped and fixed. He'll be glad to get back home today.
Yesterday, I took up seven cats to be fixed, courtesy of POPPA Inc. Four of the seven were males, including the two above. The three females plus one of the males hailed from Sweet Home. The other three males all were Albany boys.

Friday, February 09, 2007

More photos of the Torti Trapped in the Molded Shower/Bathtub

The one photo shows her foot, as Deputy Hiner starts to remove the strip of wood at the bottom of the molded bathtub. She was stuck in a very small space with no way out.

Torti Trapped for Six Days in Molded Bathtub/Shower of Corvallis Trailer

I got a call today, an emergency call, the man said, obviously stressed, on the message machine. He said his pet cat, a torti he adopted from Heartland three months ago, was stuck under his trailer in Corvallis and had been for six days. He said he could hear her crying for help day and night and that he could hear her very clearly in the bathroom.

I went over thinking the cat was just under the trailer and I'd net her or something. I crawled under, and tried to see up into the space where I could hear her crying. Insulation fell into my face, eyes and hair. I couldn't find where she was at.

I finally determined she was caught under that molded bathtub somewhere and called in reinforcements. I had no tools with me, and I knew things were going to need removed.

Deputy Randy Hiner, Animal Control Officer for Benton County, came through.

We had to remove a piece of panel in the closet in the bedroom behind the back of the molded tub and shower. We then had access to the backside and underneath of the tub, but we still couldn't see her. What we could do was hear her. She was desperate and we could hear her in the bathroom but near the floor on the tub's bathroom side. She'd somehow gone up into the area beneath the tub, then gotten jammed in the narrow space on the bathroom side of the molded tub's edge. This was an incredibly small space.

We removed the strip of board at the base of the tub. Her front paws and legs shot out-- desperately reaching for us, but there was no room for her to exit the two inch space. She somehow pushed her head through at one point.

We had to remove a board under her, to give us any space, including removing its nails and Deputy Hiner somehow did this reaching into a two inch space. We then had to push her head back through because try as we might, there was just not room for her whole body to exit into the bathroom in that small of an opening.

We then carefully backed her by pushing her, on her side, towards the front of the tub, where there was a space at the corner. Once through that, she could turn around and exit her nightmare through the opened hole in the man's closet we had created by removing that piece of paneling and a shelf.

Yay, she was free and immediately rushed to the food dish.

Lucky torti. She would have died in there and the death would not have been pleasant at all. She is doing well after her ordeal, her owner states. He could find no injuries. She's already again playing fetch with a cat toy, but returning to the food and water dishes about every 15 minutes. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Chic 70's Looking End Table Converted to Litterbox Hider

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Goodwill End Table Converted to Litterbox Hider

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Optimism Returns

How selfish of me to wallow in depression. I have a roof over my head. A great roof, too. Sure I miss Corvallis. But I am romantisizing the memory of life in the shack. I forced myself to remember all the little sordid details. Now, I feel much better.

I went to Goodwill today and found a great wood table for almost nothing and two end tables. After looking at them, I knew I could take out the shelf, remove one cupboard door, and create hidden litterbox cabinets of them, and as cheaply as one could buy a plastic litterbox at Fred Meyer. It was difficult to get the table and both heavy end tables into the back of my car, but I succeeded.

Mr. Husspuss Caretaker caught another cat, a huge male. Sure he's 88 years old. But he still carried the heavy trap with the heavy cat down some stairs and hoisted it into the back of his pickup. He's an amazing geezer. My guess is he's on Viagra. He's on a mission now, to catch every last one of those cats. He sat there all day yesterday, waiting for an unfixed cat to enter the trap so he could cut the line holding the door up. And he caught a beaut! That big male must weigh 15 lbs!

I scored some wood pellet fuel bags too, today, at Home Depot. I use them for cat litter. I scored 8 bags. Yeah!

So tomorrow, I'm taking six cats up to be fixed. I'm working on learning how to use Microsoft Excel and am keeping cat records now.

Tomorrow, the two Husspuss colony males will be neutered. A local convenience store clerk's male will go up, too. And four Sweet Home cats, a POPPA online referral out of Beaverton, will go up also. Three of those four are females. Six more cats will not be contributing to overpopulation. Yahoo!

And I rather easily talked myself out of moping around. It's no fun to mope, so it wasn't hard to show myself the light. JUst took me slapping myself up the side of the head a couple times. Wasn't pretty but it was worth it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Depression Hits

I am sunk into depression. I suppose it's the move. I've been swallowed by a dark hole. I live in a city I don't respect where I don't know anyone. Somehow in the move I got lost and I do not even get calls about cats anymore.

I am finsihing up the colony I began before the move but have no other cats in line to be fixed and seem out of every loop.

I hate the carpet in this house. It is giving me respiratory issues. The cats also find the very old shag very interesting and have been marking it, in disgusting ways that they never did at the old place. I have no way to clean it either. I have an old vacuum that overheats after three to four minutes of use.

I don't like the fact I have to keep my blinds shut and the windows closed because there's nothing but street or neighbors to look at if they're open. In other words, I'm in culture shock. I'm living without any privacy, without any greenery, in a sea of concrete and subdivisions. And it's sent me into depression.

I feel like I have no use or purpose anymore or any hope of happiness. I'm depressed. I hate living in Albany. I want to go home.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Husspuss Young Calico and Black/White--Both Females, Fixed Today

With these two fixes from the Husspuss colony, 11 cats have now been fixed from that colony. Five or the 11 have been males. Six have been females. Included in the females---calicos Peewee, pictured above, Yellowtail, a very cute calico, a long hair torti with white neck ruff, and Dipper, fixed at the FCCO clinic. The other three females are One Eye, still here, who had a herpes infection in one eye. Not sure if I'll return her or try to find her a home. She, too, is black and white, like her sister, fixed today.
The males include the tame two-toothed Ebineezer Geezer, still here. They include a long hair brown tabby on white, an orange tabby, a black and white medium hair with a white tip on his tail, named "Tipper", and a little gray tabby tux.
Still to trap--two big males, one gray tabby on white and one black and white; an orange tabby tux male, another gray tabby tux, of unknown sex, another young gray tabby on white and the long hair black female, now being chased by the two big males, indicating she is in heat. So, there are still six cats left needing fixed there.

The total number of cats in the colony needing fixed is 17. Two of the 17 are the big males, not permanent members of the colony and likely drawn in by females in heat.

At least one of the colony members, old Ebineezer, will not return. He's just too old, too tame and too sweet to live the life of a stray any longer.

As for One Eye, she is over her herpes eye problem, and I am still debating on whether to return her or to attempt to adopt her out. She certainly likes it here, but I believe she does miss her family and kitten season will soon strike the mid valley, making adoptions of adults nearly impossible.

Isn't This Feral Persian Mix Beautiful?

He is being neutered today and also partially shaved, due to severe matting. I believe the couple who trapped him are going to try to make a housepet of him. Good for them!

One of three Blodgett Girls Being Spayed Today


Seven cats are being fixed today. Three are Blodgett females. One, is a Philomath feral Persian mix male. Two are ferals from the Husspuss colony. And one is a teen from College Park Drive. Five are known females. One is a known male. And the seventh's sex will be a surprise. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 05, 2007

BOOM! Gun Fired One Foot From My Left Ear.

It's not been a good day today. I got stood up by someone who claimed they would meet me at 4:00 p.m. at POPPA's in Corvallis, with their three cats, that they want fixed.

I wasn't happy to be stood up like that. Waste of my time.

So, I went by the Husspuss colony, to see if I could selectively trap another cat there, since I was shy of cats for tomorrow's appointments.

I rigged the line. Mr. Husspuss caretaker was figity, up and down, opening and closing the door. I tried to joke around with him, to no avail. I noticed the pistol on the counter, but figured it was just maybe a cap gun, I guess.

Suddenly he jumps to his feet. It's dark out and raccoons have showed up, which explains why no cats had showed up.

He opened the patio door and I was looking out. I spotted a raccoon over by the wire fence and said "It's raccoons keep the cats away. Look, there's one there."

No sooner had I said that, but I saw, in peripheal vision, on my left, something raise and then "BOOOM". God almighty.

He'd just shot off a .22 full of buckshot right by my head, at the long gone raccoon.

Then he started fumbling with the gun as if to reload and I got the hell out of there. Before leaving, I asked his wife, sitting in the living room knitting through it all, how come neighbors haven't called the cops on that?

She said "Oh, I don't think they really hear it, above their TV's, and it's really quite harmless, since it's buckshot." I just shook my head.

They'll have a stray feeder up tomorrow. I'm putting it together tonight. To keep the coons off their porch and hence everyone safe around there. Even myself when I go to trap. And the cats. And to keep 88 year old Mr. Husspuss colony caretaker out of the county jail.

God Almighty. My ear is still ringing.

I then went to the College Park complex. I was supposed to pick up the four month old female kitten for spay tomorrow. Of course, the mother was not home and the kids wouldn't let me take the cat without their mother being home, even though other unknown adults were there. One kid tried to tell me what apartment her mother was at. Frustrated, I went to that apartment. There was a large angry handwritten note on the door, telling everyone on Earth to leave her the hell alone. I knocked anyhow. No answer.

I went back to the original apartment. This time another adult got the kitten and put her in a carrier. They're moving anyhow, real soon, and claim they're taking this one with them, on the bus, when they move to Tennessee.

Poor little girl kitten. I don't know what will become of her. But at least, she won't be out there somewhere putting out kittens no one will care for.

I went down to another apartment. The woman there had told me once she had a male she wanted fixed. She claimed she never told me nothing like that. Another woman, with a zillion kids around her, said she had cats, lots of them, but wouldn't say if they were fixed or not and was very rude.

I knocked on the neighbors door then. There's always three or four cats on her porch and I've never caught her in a mood to open the door to talk to me. This time, some man yelled through the door "Who is it?"

I said "It's the cat woman. Do you have cats needing fixed?" He yelled back, through the closed door, "We're good." I think they do have unfixed cats.

I was upset after all the rudeness and discontent that oozes into the very air you breathe at that complex. But then I saw one of the calicos I got fixed two apartments down. And she saw me and came running. It turned my sour mood happy. I got out some tuna and wet food and gave her a nice dinner.

I got four cats going up tomorrow at least. I got a big huge gorgeous gray Persian mix male, from out beyond Philomath. I got the little kitten "Mary" who has no future in this world. And I have two Husspuss colony cats I trapped Saturday. At least I have four in hand.

Now I got to get the rest of the HussPuss colony cats fixed, and possibly out of there, because I don't think Mr. Husspuss will be a free man much longer.

I like my new place here. It's been hard to get used to in many ways. One good thing so far is I've been spending far less time online than I used to, because I put my computer in a corner out of the way. So, I don't log on much anymore, not like I used to.

And my TV watching time has gone way down too. It's been a good thing, to cut down both on computer use and watching TV. I play more with my cats and I am now actually preparing an evening sit down meal and eating it slowly every night. These are good changes.

Well anyhow. I'm taking four cats up to be fixed in the morning so I'm going to bed early, another new habit I've gotten into here, at the new place. Not sure why.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Device for Flea Treating Ferals in a Trap

  Posted by Picasa

I created this device so I could treat ferals, through the trap mesh, for fleas, and even roundworms. The two poles are fiberglass tent poles. At the end of one, I taped a 1 cc syringe. I then zip tied another pole to the other, to use to plunge the syringe. To aid in pushing the syringe plunger, I screwed a small screw into the hollow end of one of the fiberglass tent poles.

I can even part the hair on the back of the cats' neck, prior to plunging the syringe, usually filled with either Advantage or Revolution, with the tip of the syringe. I've been using such a device, of my own devising, for years.

Conversations with the Husspuss Colony Caretakers

Only five more cats to catch in the Husspuss trailer park colony. I caught two more cats yesterday, using a mecbanical selective. That makes 11 caught and fixed from there so far. And the old couple and I sat around and chewed the fat while I was doing the trapping.

Both cats I caught yesterday are female. I caught the final calico of the crew and the final black and white. Remaining are the second brown tabby tux, a brown tabby on white male, an orange tabby tux, brother of the orange tabby I already caught, the long hair black female who is purportedly now nine years old and barren, and the long hair gray male tearing up the neighborhood and not really a member of the colony.

Peewee, the calico I caught by tying a fishline to the trap door, running it up and over a plant hook and then inside the trailer, where I tied the line off. And then I waited. But not for long. The cats are used to eating in a tied open trap. Yellowtail, the bigger very beautiful half tame calico, immediately began nosing around the trap and then went right in. I waited.

Peewee, her sidekick, a little calico who likes to sneak inside the trailer and sleep in a chair, showed too. When Yellowtail backed out of the trap, Peewee entered to eat. I cut the line holding the door open. The trap door dropped closed and she was caught.

I went out and covered the trap with a towel, then took her out to my car. I transferred her in the back of my car, into another trap I had along. I wanted to tie open the same trap they were used to. I was going to leave. I hadn't even meant to trap any cats, but couldn't resist when the final calico showed up so quickly.

Mr. H wanted me to set it up with a line again. He was itching to cut the line on the big gray male. I set it up and was going to leave, but started chatting with this nice old couple.

They mentioned they had just celebrated their wedding anniversary. Since Mr. H is 88 years old, I assumed they'd been married like forever. But Mrs. H said "7 years".

"Seven years?" I said, incredulous. "Well, this is the second time around for both of us," she explained. She went on to say she'd been single for 30 years after her first marraige. I said "Why'd you decide to have at it again?" Mr. H then made a sexual gesture to explain why they both decided they wanted to be married again. Both of them then grinned slyly.

My internal reaction was "eeeeuuuuwwww". I had held this couple on a pedestal, a more than human pedestal, forgetting even really old people have basic animal instincts. Even really old Christian people and these folks are highly Christian, at least they seem to be.

Then, turns out, I'd run into her before. She did look slightly familiar. She'd lived at the N. Albany trailer park at the time I was trapping there, years ago. She knew Bobbie and Steve, the likable alcoholics, who lived in the front white house before they were evicted. She knew the druggee trailer, the bane of my existence in that trailer park. Seems there's always at least one really really rotten group of tenants in every trailer park or apartment complex. I'd almost forgotten the afflictions I went through there, trapping all the cats for fixing, then re-trapping them all again, when old Lou, the primary caretaker, the only caretaker of the cats by then, suddenly died.

Mrs. H lived on the other side of the trailer that burned to the ground at the N. Albany trailer park. That old woman escaped only because her dog woke her. The fire started when a sheriff deputy's trailer caught fire. An extension cord was left plugged into an aquarium or something, but was unsafe and ran under a rug or.....well I forget the details. The deputy was not living at her trailer because she was in the process of moving. But the fire at her place caught the old lady's trailer next door on fire, which was the trailer next to deputy's trailer. On the far side of that old woman's place, this woman, now living in another Albany trailer park, lived.

It's a small small cat trapper's world.

Well, so anyhow, as we were chatting like this, up rambles the final unfixed black and white cat and starts checking out the trap. Mr. H is scrambling to move some stuff behind the chair by the sliding glass door, so I can get to the tied off string, with their scissors, and cut the line. I had run short of suitable fish line, so had to tie it off short, to the curtain rod just above the sliding glass patio door.

This meant, with the cat, who didn't know me, but knew them, stepping inside the trap, I needed to shuttle closer to the string, so I could cut it when the cat was far enough into the trap, but stay away from the sliding glass door, so the cat didn't spot me and spook off the porch. Mr. H wanted to be the one who cut the string, then decided I better do it, since he didn't want to blow the chance to catch that cat.

I cut the string and the second cat was caught. I didn't have another trap to transfer her to, or I would've rigged the whole thing again. Mr. H was grinning ear to ear. He joked about wanting me to catch the raccoons next and neuter all of them. He said "why don't you do that?" Then he laughed.

We're going to make a stray feeder, so the coons don't bother the cat food. Otherwise, Mr. H sits out there and tries to scare the coons off physically, which I think he enjoys doing anyway. He said he counted nine of them making the rounds around the park that morning. So the stray feeder will at least let those coons know that dinner won't be found on that porch at anytime.

So I came home with the pair of cats I never intended to trap yesterday, but did anyhow. I gave them both shots, Advantage and wormed them. Then I set them up in a rabbit hutch placed on a board placed on cinder blocks, from the old place, in my spare bedroom. They are not so happy, currently, but they'll relax today, I'm sure. I sprinkled them over with cat weed---good stuff, too.

They'll be fixed on Tuesday and go back home on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Lynx Has LymphoSarcoma and Living in Car City

Lynx is a lynx point Siamese whom Keni, POPPA Inc's director, adopted from me a few years ago when I could find nowhere else for him to go. Lynx is FIV positive.

Like Jules, the other FIV positive male Keni took in from me, Lynx hails from Albany and was abused in Albany, like Jules was. Jules had a horrendous wound across his throat, when I took him away from a N. Albany barn, whose prominent Albany citizen owner, had attempted to kill him with a shovel.

Jules was an older FIV positive seal point Siamese. He lived the good life, the loved life with Keni and her husband in Beaverton before finally succombing, at ripe old age, to FIV related illness. He died sleeping wrapped in Keni's arms.

Now Lynx has lymphosarcoma. I don't know how old Lynx is, at least nine or ten now. I got him fixed for an Albany family living on 34th street, not far from where I live now. They claimed if I got him fixed, they'd keep him for life. They claimed he'd been found by their uncle roaming Brownsville as a stray kitten. He then took Lynx in, but abandoned him when he moved. They then took him in. I got him neutered. A year later, he showed up at Heartland in a live trap. They called me. I took him home.

By this time he had a pellet lodged behind one ear and was FIV positive. Keni says X-rays taken this week show two other pellets inside of him, one lodged next to his spine and the other just sort of floating around. Mother fucking Albany animal abusers. Are there any real values in this little car city?

He became exceedingly ill, with pneumonia shortly after I took him in. I was broke. I laid with him atop me in my bathroom, at the old place, without even the money to have him euthanized. He could barely breathe, rattled and coughed. And yet, he was so happy to finally be loved, that he would purr. Lynx lived.

I spent the next year trying to find him a home. I took him to a Eugene adoptathon event. A student wanted to adopt him. I made her wait three days, to think about it and to read up on FIV. Three days later she and her boyfriend drove up to Corvallis and adopted him.

She agreed to a home check visit one week later. But then, she did not answer the phone. For the next two months I tried to get ahold of her without success. I finally found her parents number on the web and called them. She called me, angry I had involved her parents, the next day. She had abandoned Lynx two days after adopting him, at a Eugene recording studio. I went and retrieved Lynx again, and gave that shithead lying little brat student a tongue lashing.

Next, he was fostered by a house rabbit person, up in Portland, who didn't even like cats, and shooed Lynx around with a broom. And when she said he had to go, because those wealthy people were moving across the river to WA state for tax reduction purposes, Keni took him in. And I was just so happy and grateful, you can't imagine. For a cat to live with Keni and her husband is like a cat ending up in heaven on Earth. In return, I took one of her ferals down to a friend of mine in Oakridge, where she still lives happily.

Now Lynx, an old cat by this time, has lymphosarcoma, a rather common tumor with FIV cats, and one that usually proves fatal. His saga was heart wrenching. So many abandonments. But, in the end, he found love and an easy life with Keni and her family. Thank you, Keni and family, for giving another Albany abused kitty a good life and love.

I live in Albany now. And I'm struggling with it. I love having a decent place in which to live--a house where everything works, that is heated, where I can drink the water, where I don't have to grovel to a slumlord, as I did at my old place and places before that.

And yet I long for Corvallis, for some reason, which I still consider home, I guess, in my mind. I did live in Corvallis for over thirty years. I found myself mumbling to my cats last night, as I tried in vain to shut out the bright streetlights and porch lights of neighbors, lighting up my bedroom like daylight, "I want to go home."

I miss the fresh air of an open window beside me nights, the view of the stars and the sounds of coyotes yapping and howling.

Here, I am surrounded by concrete. Albany is a city, full of crime, drugs, cars and concrete. As far as I can tell, this city worships the car. There are cars and trucks revving and tearing around everywhere at all hours. There are no real parks in Albany. There is nowhere even remotely wildish to escape to. Moving from Corvallis to Albany is probably the hardest move, as far as culture shock, one could make.

Black and white differences. Corvallis works at livability. Albany works at nothing.

I couldn't even find a place to buy a few stamps. A postal worker told me the only place one can buy single stamps in Albany is at the Post Office itself. They are available at the Postal Connection near Fred Meyer if one wants to pay a significantly higher amount per stamp, which I do not.

There are no cheap grocery stores in Albany, unless you count the Grocery Outlet, where you can get outdated canned and boxed processed food, sometimes cheaper than the outrageously expensive Fred Meyer and even more outrageously expensive Safeway.

As for fresh produce, I guess I'll have to drive to Corvallis for such food, back to Winco, where I can get cheap cat food also. I went to Winco at least four times a week when I lived in Corvallis. There is no equivalent store here.

There's no downtown scene here either, like in Corvallis. I had taken lately to going out with different people, sometimes from place to place, coffee here, a beer there, on Friday or Saturday night, in down town Corvallis. I enjoyed that.

I don't feel any sense of community here. But of course I just moved here. I don't know anyone who lives here.

I tried to drive around yesterday, when I was looking for stamps and a postal outlet of any sort, which there isn't in Albany, to see good things about the city, since I am supposed to call it home now. I could see if one enjoyed shopping a lot, one might like it here. There are lots of stores and a mall. But I'm not a shopper at all. I buy food and cat food and that's really all I can afford to buy. Or need to buy.

I begin to think the unrest here, the poverty here, is self-created. The city is grossly spread out, so people who do not have cars are put at instant disadvantage. Without cheap food stores, and by that I mean a store like Winco that sells at least some wholesome foods, the poor are limited to buying processed food at the likes of the Grocery outlet or wasting their food dollars at Fred Meyer and Safeway, where prices are four times higher than for the same item at Winco.

And the poor have no real recreation opportunities. In Corvallis, at least anyone, rich or poor, can hike Bald Hill for exercise, as I did, or use any of the wildish hiking parks, or swim in the Mary's summers, which I enjoyed doing and so did a lot of other poor people.

Want to walk along busy highways and streets for pleasure or excercise? That's what's available in Albany, Oregon.

Culture shock. From light to dark. From blue to red. From bike worshipping city to engine worshipping city. From dark starlit nights to bright streetlamps and concrete in my eyes.

Corvallis is a town. Albany is a big city, at least in attitude and values.

I remember getting some cats fixed for a family who lived off Waverly a few months ago. They had moved to Albany from Corvallis a few years back. They talked about how they want to move back to Corvallis, that they just don't like Albany like they liked Corvallis.

I need to create some sort of a private space here. A fenced private yard where I can get away from it all, maybe a native garden in that private yard--something. I need to block the streetlights and porchlights nights, for some darkness, too.

I wonder if a Corvallisite can ever feel at home in Albany, Oregon.

If a person is going to move, moving from Corvallis to Philomath wouldn't be much of a change. Moving from Lebanon to Albany or vice versa might not be much of a change either.

But moving from Corvallis to Albany, now that's a change!