Thursday, February 28, 2008

Seven Cats for Tomorrow

I have seven cats for fixing tomorrow, but I don't know if the vet can do that many. I usually take in four or five, at most six. If they can't, they can't. One is the final cat of six from downtown Albany. One is the abbytabby from Springfield. I returned the black and white male today and caught the abbytabby. I'm picking them off, that's for sure.

Then I went out to the Sodaville situation and caught five of those real quick. They are nice cats and all going to a barn home together after getting fixed. They were left behind by a tenant when she moved into Lebanon.

The old man at HTN took care of the female trapped a few houses down and fed by two old women last night and released her today. I've still got the Whitey2 male, fixed yesterday and will return him, along with the two bobtail females from their neighbors, tomorrow. I will also return the DD female tomorrow who was fixed yesterday and in early pregnancy. The two bobtails were also in early pregnancy. Of the four females fixed yesterday, only the HTN girl was not pregnant.

Poppa Inc. and myself saved this area from 15 more unwanted kittens being born within two months, yesterday alone.

Good for me and Poppa Inc. There are at least three females among the five I trapped in Sodaville also. Every female over four months of age is now in heat or pregnant.

Twisted

I'm having troubles. I want the cat yard to be functional but it may never be. I got all these maintenance issues here that I don't want to deal with but I have to. The washer isn't spinning anything dry enough to go in the dryer safely.

I've got backed up laundry. I keep putting it through spin cycle again, hoping it will spin the clothes dry enough for the dryer, but it hasn't done so yet and I need to give up and go to a laundrymat. I thought those awful days were over.

I have to remove the garbage disposal. It quit working three days ago. I don't know how to do these things nor do I have the tools to do these things and it's a pain in the butt.

I've got car issues, too. The back latch lever just flaps against the back of the car. Again, no tools to repair it. I wanted to drill holes through it and the back metal of the car to bolt it on, so it won't fall off again, which seems to be an issue in Scions of the year mine is but I don't have a good enough drill to do that. I found out the back hatch lever falling breaking off, the windshield easily cracking or leaking and the problem with getting gas, the angle of the fuel tank entry, are all problems that other 04 Scion owners routinely face. The fix for the fueling issue is a new fuel tank. Like that's an option. Bolting the hatch lever is the only solution I can come up with for the latch lever. And the suggested windshielf repair is some of a brace, although I forget the technical term.

My computer is about the only thing I have working right now, but starting it up this morning, it did the buzzing thing again, and failed to boot up. I finally got it going, but that has been a chronic problem with this computer over the years. It's an old computer, but I don't want it to quit too. I HATE all the cords involved with a PC. I hate dealing with all these cords.

All these things are frustrating me today. I miss having greenspace to get away from the crap of Albany. I need to exercise but I don't find any joy walking city streets. I don't bike in Albany anymore due to some close calls with pickups. Scared me.

I've got to find a pleasant way to find physical release and relief that I don't have to drive half hour each way to get to. But I don't know anywhere close and I haven't come across anybody who does. People are surprised in town here when I think parks should be more than for sitting on a bench or watching kids play sports or walking endless circles around a track or an algae encrusted fake lake next to the busiest four lane street in town.

I don't know how people in this town get exercise. I don't see many people on bikes. I see a handful of joggers here and there, running up and down 34th street, usually in the evenings, but that's about it. I don't know where to get away close by. There's a park by the river but it's just a bunch of big lawn fields and picnic tables. I can't find any bike or walking paths. There's a park across the river but the walking path is unbelievably short.

There is a duck shit filled pond at TimberLinn Park and one at Waverly Park. They call it a lake, but it's a shallow man made algae and duck shit filled pond. They stock these shallow warm fake lakes in spring with trout, who don't do well in such shallow warm nonmoving waters, so people have to catch them quickly before the water heats too much and they float belly up dead on the surface.

I think Albany recreation is likely the same as most city people have, except the big cities, like Portland, with their massive hiking parks. Urban parks in Albany, perhaps like many low budget cities, entail walking basically on a sidewalk around manicured lawns or man made ponds.

Hiking parks like Corvallis has, are probably not the norm for cities, but I wish they were. People need recreation close by. But I would guess the recreation available in a city mirrors the values of the residents. If people like spectator sports, there are going to be a lot of bench sitting lawn field parks, where people sit and watch kids play games. If people like stocked pond fishing, that's what a city will cater to.

But boy it's driving me nuts, being a country girl, a forest girl, trapped in this concreted car culture drugs and beer town. I don't even shop here. I get my groceries and cat food at either Winco in Corvallis or in Salem. My food and cat food are virtually the only things I buy, besides spays and neuters for cats, and gas for my car.

My birthday is Saturday and I have no plans. Some Corvallis woman wanted me to take her out (paying her way) on my birthday which is consistent with the way she does things. I declined.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So many unfixed cats.......

Got yet another call, this one from outside Lebanon. Some woman, Lana, moved out and left over a dozen cats. Deputies wouldn't do anything, because, they stated, they're not dogs. Landlord and the property management company claim it's not their responsibility their renter created a neighborhood nuisance. While the neighbors love cats, they want them helped and homes found for them, but have no money to contribute.

They are fed up, like everyone else, with lack of responsible behavior, from renters and landlords, in Linn County in regards to animals. There is so much exploitation, irresponsibility and selfishness in this county. Maybe there is everywhere. This crapole really sticks out here, like a sore thumb. No, like a bloody mangled thumb.

So somebody else they had contacted will take all of them in as barn cats if they are fixed. So good on that at least. Yahoo. That will be a good ending.

Another situation on Spicer. I ran into a woman visiting a friend over on highway 20. She and her husband had a female show up who had babies, then a couple toms are around too. Thing is, she said they don't feed them. Can't they all live on mice, she said very innocently. I said I"ll help you only if you start feeding them. She said they would.

Then there's some people feeding some stray outside a rest home. They'll take them back if they're fixed, but I'll have to work them in.

Then there are three more at HTN proper to catch and a couple more at the Slophouse next street over.

Then that Lebanon woman who never followed through, need to still get them fixed anyhow.

Two more to catch at DD. One more at Whitey2, although it's a tame male and they said they'd get him fixed when he shows back up themselves. But for the most part, Whitey2 and the neighbor thing is done, with today's fixing of three, one from Whitey2 proper, then the neighbors two manx females. And I"m glad of it, too.

Then I'd love to help finish that Springfield colony, just because it's far far away from here. Far far away. And a new show at the BS.

And then there's someone else and someone else and they all run together in a blur in the end.

The Poor Systematically Being Driven out of Corvallis

I see in the paper today that Hugh White and pals want to build a hotel on 1st and Monroe. I lived on 2nd and Monroe at the Julian hotel, a low income dive, for three years. There were people who wanted that building gone then and would openly call it a "blight", mainly because it housed poor and disabled people.

The roof always had leaks. Several of us called the fire department when the water was leaking down through a hall light fixture, fearing fire. The fire department said the water leaking through a light fixture was not a fire hazard until there was a fire. We felt this response meaned they too hoped the building would burn.

I live in Albany now because I could not find affordable housing in Corvallis, when evicted by my Corvallis slumlady just before Christmas a year ago. I love Corvallis. I lived there for several decades. To be forced out like that, because of Corvallis' affordable housing issues, was very hard.

I am not alone in being forced to leave Corvallis because of few opportunities for housing for very poor people on HUD. I ran into an older women at the Corvallis library at the talk given by former friend Wendy, the author, who asked how I was. I told her how much I missed Corvallis and she said she feared Corvallis would soon be a place where the only the rich could afford to live and where the poor would not be welcome.

That's what got me thinking about this, then I see the Hugh White drool in today's paper, about building a hotel on 1st and Monroe, by the low income hotel, the Julian. I know the two won't mix. So which will go? Not hard to figure that one out.

The takeover of the river front by high enders is just another sign that Corvallis is turning into a gated community of privilege.

I urge all of you riffraff of Albany, like me, former Corvallis residents, to enter richey rich zone often, dressed in the poorest of rags and talking white trash. They wont' be able to tell you outright that you're not welcome in their blessed kingdom, because of white liberal guilt.

When that homeless man was deliberately shot by a frat boy, who tried to hide his crime, lied to police then got only five months for shooting another human being, only myself and another poor person protested this insane sentence outside the courthouse in Corvallis.

The liberals of Corvallis don't care about the poor or about injustice, unless, of course, the perceived injustice is at Guantanamo Bay. The pricing out of the poor in Corvallis creates problems here in Albany, where many of the displaced end up.

I loved living in Corvallis. But I loved the parks. The people there, they're the same as most people everywhere, full of hot air.

Asundry Cats

My friend came over tonight, graciously taking cat photos on her camera of the six cats I have here, to be fixed tomorrow, then e-mailing me the photos, so I will have a record.

Today I went in search of a missing trap. I came up shy a trap and paniced over it, unable to remember where it might be. I worry if a trap is missing. What if I left it set somewhere in a state of exhaustion and a cat is in it, is what I think.

I travelled from Corvallis to Monroe, even to Springfield, in search of that misplaced trap. All along, it was where I suspected it was, with someone who took in some of the DD cats. But I had been unable to contact her, and couldn't let it go in my mind. 'What if?' was all I could think.

I travelled to anywhere I had trapped between now and when I could last account for it, which was in a photo I had saved of one of the DD cats in a trap just after surgery. This is another reason I take photos of all the cats I take in to be fixed, to help me keep track of all sorts of things.

In Corvallis, at the Whitey2 colony, I picked up the next to the last cat from that colony needing fixed. The caretakers had put him into a carrier I had left for that purpose. In Springfield to make sure I had not left the trap there, where I'd trapped, I could not resist setting the one trap I had when I saw many of the targeted unfixed cats who looked ripe for the trapping. I trapped the black and white long hair. I could have caught more of those unfixed, I lamented, if only I had more than one trap along.

In Monroe, I urged Mr. sweet beer drinker camper man, to keep after that Siamese, which he vowed to do. He did not have my extra trap.

Back I came, only to then hear back from the woman who has had the trap for some time. What a relief.

In the meantime, I went over to HTN. The old man was in a tizzy and has been since Sunday when again two dogs tore onto his property and went after the cats. None were killed. These were different dogs than before. Soon, two boys followed the dogs into his yard and the old man erupted at them, yelling at them to get off his property and that if this were county, those would be dead dogs and if they came back onto his property, they'd be dead dogs anyhow.

I guess the kids were swearing up a storm at him, he said, so he lit into them back with the same. Then here came one or both mothers of the boys and started swearing at him too and threatening to call the cops on him for swearing at the boys. He said he told her to go ahead and do it, right then and there, that this needs dealt with once and for all, but the cops never came and he couldn't sleep at all that night.

I realize now how much he was affected by the dog who killed so many of his cats, how he now feels very vulnerable and angry, rightfully. I believe those two women are two of people whose tame cats I got fixed last weekend. but I couldn't really tell from his description. If it was them, they know dogs killed some of the old man's cats, because I told them. They should have had some understanding.

I believe they were their dogs, although I don't know that for sure either, one from each household, who ran loose last Sunday, tore through many yards in the area. They should know better, those owners, but it might have been, as I told the old man, just a one time accidental thing, that the dogs got out and ran into all these folks yards. They weren't the same dogs that killed his cats before.

I just wish they could all have some understanding out there, one to another, the old to the young and the young to the old and for this old man's loss and fear, for gosh sakes.

So I tried to calm him down and asked what I could do to make the situation better and I think it helped him just to be able to tell someone what happened.

He never knew the neighborhood would be so rough, when he bought that property cheaply years ago. But there are a lot of properties out there that are basically junk yards. I don't know how people let things go to the point where they're almost living in a junkyard or trash heap. I don't know why people get big dogs when they don't have fenced yards or time for them. There are so many dogs out there, it sounds like a dog pound with all the barking at night.

The old man keeps up his property spotlessly. His neighbors don't. This likely bugs him. One neighbor is a scam artist always trying to work something out of nothing for free, or demand things from him and other neighbors for free. There are abandoned houses out there. There are houses chronically under construction. Then, oddly enough, there are a few very well kept places mixed in.

Amidst all this human drama, the animals of those streets suffer intensely. That is where I came into the fray. And I"m always just hoping people will work together, drop their differences and get along. They all have so much more in common than not, I think to myself, really not knowing because I don't live out there. I don't like the constant conflict. I don't like the neighbor against neighbor dispute with the Whitey2 colony. I don't like this one either. I just don't. It destroys my hopes, that everybody could get along, work together, be nice to one another, respect one another's differences.

I think people turn on one another when their own lives are stressed to the max. I don't know for sure, but that's what I think. But turning on one another causes more stress, and you lose chances at getting what you need, like human understanding, compassion and neighbor to neighbor comraderie.

Those two dogs shouldn't have been running loose into other people's yard after their cats. That's a given. Those two boys shouldn't have come onto someone else's property either. But yelling at kids gets nobody anywhere. And the parents then coming down and yelling at an old man makes things even worse.

But in reality, none of these were big deal events. Nothing got damaged at all, no more cats were killed, no property damage from the dogs or the kids and the kids being yelled at for being on someone's private property, they deserved it. So I say---no big deal. Everybody apologize, shake hands, and vow to work together instead of plotting against one another. That's my opinion, anyhow.

Anyhow, I trapped the old women's final cat today, too, the female. I already trapped two they fed, both males, a gray taby on white and a gray and white. Then I had trapped the owned cats, from across the street, then got them fixed last Saturday. Now the female, a black and white long hair, is caught too.

And the other cats going up tomorrow: the two Whitey2 neighbor cats, both bobtails. They caught them!

And the DD colony black and white long hair female, pregnant now. Only two left to catch there.

Six cats going up to be fixed. One DD female. Three whitey2 kitties. One HTN female. One Springfield male.
DD Corvallis colony black and white long hair young female.
Springfield black and white, likely a male.
HTN old women's black/white long hair female.
Whitey2 neighbors brown tab bobtail to be fixed tomorrow.
Whitey2 neighbors gray tab tux bobtail manx female.White male from Whitey2 proper, cat number 12 to be fixed from that colony and the tenth white cat from that colony to go in for fixing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sun Activity. Global Cooling Coming?

I followed some links on a post from a Corvallis blogger and read there is some concern the sun may not be starting a new cycle in timely fashion. If the sun shuts down, we could go into a period such as occurred in the 1600's, the article stated, with high snowfall and, extreme cold, especially in the northern hemisphere.

I haven't gotten much into the climate thing because I don't know anything about it. I know the weather seems to be changing. I can see it in kitten reproduction. When you have ferals giving birth in January, that's a change.

If sun activity decreases, the affects take awhile to get to Earth. I don't know how fast heat radiation travels. Maybe then, if cooling occurs, we will be encouraged to drive more.

Well I don't know much about it, really. I see the Earth as a big house. Heat comes in. When it's cold, you want to keep that heat in. If it's too hot, you want it to get out and dissipate.

Too bad we couldn't have a way to open an Earth window, to let heat out of our atmosphere when need be, and close it up if its too cold to keep it in so we could maintain our planet's temp at "just right".

I bet scientists would scoff at such a simplistic view. Scoff away.

Antidepressant Drugs Don't Work

Click post title to go to Britsh article that compared patients who took four types of popular antidepressant drugs and placebos. There was no difference between improvements made by those taking the drugs and those taking placebos. Conclusion drawn: people can get better without taking chemicals.

We seem to believe taking pills will make us better. Whether these pills are fake or real, we believe in them and the results can be improvement, either way.

But consider how much Oregon taxpayers subsidize these drugs in Oregon, through the Oregon Health Plan. If they don't work any better than placebos, Oregon shrinks and physicians need to stop prescribing them. Recent articles in the Oregonian highlighted our highly drugged up foster care children, thought to be partly caused because drugged up kids bring higher payments from the state to foster families.

And yet, if antidepressants don't work and cost a lot of money, we need to hold shrinks, drug companies and the state accountable, fiscally. Stop prescribing, stop subsidizing drugs that don't help. Start prescribing known natural remedies for deprssion, like: social interaction; purpose in life, exercise, work, fun.

A lot of high end depression results from too much stress, too many demands on individuals, too high of expectations, and from financial woes.

Perhaps some of these causes could be mitigated by the attitude of my friend Dave, the maintenance man. He says, "W'ere all just fuck ups. In the end, we all die. Kick back. Let yourself off the hook. You're not that special."

My own version of Dave the Maintenance Man's philosophy comes from looking into the stars. You'll get a better idea of your own insignificance when you stare into that vast universe. We're nothing, not even specks. This helps me, helps me relegate my particular problems as to actual importance in the vastness of space and time.

Plant your feet on the ground. Go out and stare into that beautiful massive universe some clear night. Understand, you are nothing more than a knat. Less than a knat. Let your insignificant troubles go.

Staring into the stars, as an antidepressant, costs nothing. There are no side effects that I have determined, except neck torsion, which I now must be wary of. To offset this possible side effect, I lay flat on my back on a blanket on the grass or concrete.

Oregon Nonprofit CEO/Director EXTREME Pay

For nonprofits to pay CEO's and Directors this kind of money is obscene. Take a look at what Sharon Harmon gets as director of Oregon Humane, too. I don't know what our local animal nonprofit director's get, like SafeHaven and Heartland, but I would imagine it's a significant part of where donations end up--in the directors pocket. Some of these folks on the list below are cashing in big time on the suffering of animals and people.

As a person who once worked at the Corvallis Goodwill and thought it was a sweatshop, I take issue with the Goodwill salaries especially. How dare they?

Goodwill of the Columbia-Willamette:
Michael Miller, President: $644,587
Richard Knox, Finance: $204,710
Mercy Corps:
Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO & Director: $221,178
Daniel O'Neill, Co-Founder & Director: $186,940
Nancy Lindborg, President: $185,325
Steve Mitchell, Treasurer & CFO: $157,666
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette:
Brent Stewart, President/CEO: $172,500
Carol Frye, COO: $120,750
Medical Teams International:
Bas Vanderzalm President: $162,848
William Essig, VP, International Programs: $129,771
Soozi Redkey, VP,Resource Dev.: $124,436
Pamela Blikstad, VP, Finance: $106,073
Providence Health System:
Russ Danielson, CEO: $579,939 (2005 figures)
Legacy Health System:
Pamela Vukovich, Interim CEO: $550,000
Red Cross, Oregon Trail Chapter:
Thomas Bruner, CEO - $145,000
Oregon Food Bank:
Rachel Bristol, Exec. Director: $133,112
Janeen Wadsworth, COO: $79,760;
Oregon Humane Society
Sharon Harmon, Exec. Director: $124,900
Susan Mentley, Operations Director: $87,547
St. Vincent de Paul of Portland:
Sharon Hills, Exec. Director: $60,000

Monday, February 25, 2008

Searing Pain

I am in severe pain. My back has been very bad for awhile, since finishing that darn cat run myself. It really never got much better. Then my neck began to hurt, too, periodically, but after picking up cat litter last night at Winco, my life deteriorated into a nightmare of pain again.

I use wood pellet fuel for cat litter. The bags are unweildy and weigh 40 pounds each. I bought seven of them. After loading them into the grocery cart at Winco, then getting them out and into the car, I was not able to unload them last night. I woke up with my right arm numb and pain up the side of my neck. My teeth on my right side hurt, too.

But those bags had to come out of my car this morning. I then left to pick up the cat trapped in south town last night. When picking that cat up, I called the Whitey2 neighbor to see if she'd trapped either of their two. She hadn't but did set the trap. Twenty minutes later she called me at the location where I had picked up the south town cat to say she had both caught. So I drove over.

By the time I got there I was in such extreme pain I didn't know if I could get out of my car or talk to the woman. I carried the first cat in the trap to the car. I asked the woman for a bag of ice and told her I was in searing pain. She still wanted to discuss whether or not I would tame the one male cat for them. I said I was in too much pain to really even carry on a conversation. It was really rather awkward and difficult. NO empathy whatsoever for me.

I got the second cat and came home with the ice bag tied to my face and neck with bungee cords. I get home there's a phone call from a Jefferson woman about the cats her elderly parents feed. I'd already gone over every option with her sister and now, to have to deal with another sister, for gosh sakes.

What they want is for me to trap the cats for them to kill or have killed. I couldn't be outraged enough. My phone message clearly states I do not trap for people who don't want the cats back, but they're special, you see, and I should trap them for them for free to be killed, because they can't figure out any other option, and don't want to put any money or effort into it either. I told them all the options, twice now.

I told them they could get them fixed and return them and feed them. Best option. I told them they could trap them, get them fixed, and then find barn homes for them. Second best option. I said the only other option is to kill them and I won't participate in such an endeavor because I'm a volunteer, a volunteer who loves cats.

They didn't care, you see. They want their needs met and they don't give a shit about the cats or a stupid volunteer, if they can work a way to abuse this volunteer into doing something they want done.

They don't want to pay for the fixes. If the fixes are free, they still don't want them back. They don't want to try to find barn homes for them.

My concern is they are going to trap them and dump them on somebody else. I warned them about such a thing. Finally, when she just wouldn't let up about me trapping them for them to do away with them, I told her the conversation was over.

So I'm shutting down. I'm in severe pain. I have to find some other way to get those heavy awkward wood pellet fuel bags here and unloaded because my spine won't handle it. I have all the cats I need for fixing on Wednesday and I am doing nothing, I tell you, nothing, until then. My phone is going into the off mode. I need to heal.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Painful People

I didn't get really going until late morning. I was exhausted. I finally went to Corvallis to give the neighbors of the Whitey2 colony another trap. But the husband came to the door this time. I'd never met him. I had some of their neighbors' Whitey2 cats in the car, to return, and wanted to show them to the wife there, so she could see how sweet they were. I don't why I would do that. Lonely I guess. Hoping to smooth things over between the two neighbors I guess.

The guy immediately started in about how the neighbors have too many cats and don't take care of them. This made me start roiling inside. Why? Because they don't take care of their cats either. They never fixed their male, whom now they haven't seen for weeks. They blamed the neighbors white cats for driving him off, even though he is much older and much bigger.

Meanwhile, the white cat neighbors had described the neighbors male as being over there, fighting with their cats, eating their food, but they didn't see it as a problem, is the difference, and fed him, even though they're really poor.

The university professionals had, when I told them this, disclaimed it, and would never admit their male is a neighborhood problem. But this, to say the white cat neighbors don't take care of their cats when these folks don't take care of theirs, was too much. And he also said he didn't like that the white cats came and ate their cats food. They just put out a little handful. What is the big deal?

How petty, I thought, how judgemental, I thought. These aren't uneducated slobs. In fact they are university professionals. Their neighbors are uneducated and very poor.

I told him all I could do was fix those neighbors cats which I've done, and that they need to fix theirs and since they're getting them fixed without donating a dime, they should count their blessings. Then I drove off.

When I took out the black female, a very sweet young thing, at Whitey2, after leaving their neighbors place disgusted, I realized she had not been eartipped at spay. This bothered me. I hadn't looked at the others, to make sure they were eartipped. I had asked they all be eartipped. The vet got busy and forgot is all.

I don't like getting involved in these neighbor against neighbor things. I hate it in fact. I just want both parties to get their cats fixed, love each other, and leave me the hell alone. I just want everybody to get along and help each other out.

I went out to the DD situation and set a trap. I found a south Corvallis woman willing to pick up a cat in a trap should they catch one. She would then call me to come pick the cat up. Later tonight, I did get a call that the long hair black and white female was caught in the trap I left set. I will pick her up at the other lady's place tomorrow. One down. Two to go.

This is cat number 15 from that situation. The other 14 have been rehomed. This one, and the other three, will have to return. But three fixed cats there is better than 17 unfixed cats, set to multiply.

I went to Winco to get cat litter then. When I got home, I sat down on my chair and my butt felt wet. I took off my jeans and low and behold, I was wearing a hairball on the butt of my jeans.

I don't know when exactly I sat down on one, whether it was just then, or sometime earlier. I wondered if I wore that hairball on my butt all over Winco. Nobody would tell you if you had a squishy yukky hairball mass on your jeans. It'd be far too embarrassing. Most people would think it was shit. What are they going to say, "Excuse me, ma'am, but you have shit on your butt."

I'm beyond feeling embarrassed anymore about such things, however. I just don't care.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Zoned

I am zoned. I am a zombie. I am the walking dead. I am staring empty eyes. Zonked. Conkled.

I got up at the crack of dawn, or maybe before, fed all my cats and cleaned their litterboxes, then I cleaned the litterboxes and fed the five ferals from Whitey2, now housed in three rabbit hutches.

I had to be in Tigard by 7:30 a.m. with 8 cats from four households in Albany. Three of the households reside on HTN street of nightmares. I believe the count on those two short little Albany streets is now at 83 cats fixed.

I was not able to get up early enough to also transport the five whitey2 cats fixed yesterday back to Corvallis. So I housed them in the hutches.

Off I went. 6:35 departure. I still got to the clinic by 7:40 a.m.

Afterwards, I wasn't sure how to kill the five hours til pickup. So I went over to Keni's. She was headed off to work however. I talked to her briefly before she left. I had breakfast with her husband and grandkid. We had cinamon French Toast. I made some coffee after spilling the coffee all over their counter.

Keni suggested I head out to RG. The owner of the property just had a birthday. I think it was her 81st and Keni said she'd been asking about me. She wasn't there when I first arrived, so I wandered over to the nursery. The nursery has drastically changed. The area available for stock is much smaller. Keni no longer manages it. Someone else does, for a salary. The two volunteers there were worried, because the stock is so low. I noticed a motorcycle inside the barn and asked if it was for sale or something. One person told me it wasn't, that a friend of the salaried nursery manager is storing it there. At least I think that's what the person told me.

I guess I'm slightly worried. I don't know the new nursery manager. Nobody has ever been paid before at Poppa. This was a desperation measure to get someone to manage it, since Keni couldn't anymore. Great loss for RG, to lose Keni's love, organizational skills, work ethic and dedication to that place. Keni is a doer, too, not a talker.

Paying one person in a nonprofit can create volunteer resentment sometimes. Especially if it is perceived ever that they are not earning that salary. Well, I hope it works out, because I rely on the money made by Poppa to keep fixing cats here. There are no programs in the mid valley.

So anyhow, soon D, the property owner got back and we chatted awhile. I did a few small chores for her, in her place. She had to leave again almost immediately. She offered me lunch, which I made myself, from things in her frig. Then she headed off. By this time, it was time to pick up the cats at the clinic.

I stopped at the rest area on I5 south and someone came up to me at my car. She is homeless and lives at the rest area, along with almost three dozen others. Some of those folks have lived there for years. She invited me over to her lawn chairs, set up around her truck, next to another truck. Inside that pickup, a man on disability has lived for a few months, just in the cab, with his spayed calico kitty.

This woman left Nevada, she said, due to domestic abuse by a husband. She used to live in Oregon. She lived briefly with someone in Salem who kicked her out after awhile. She does try to work temp jobs, clear in Portland, which is a bit difficult to maintain, when she's living in the cab of a pickup way to the south. She is registered with several temp agencies, but can't find permanent work or save enough to get a place. She's lived there since last Thanksgiving that way, mostly just sitting in the cab of her pickup, since it's been so cold and wet, if she hasn't found a temp job to work.

I felt very fortunate after talking to her.

I came home and delivered all the cats back to their owners. I am very very tired and my back and right leg hurt very badly, so much so that it is painful to walk. My right shoulder is hurting too, and my neck.

I am going to bed. Tomorrow I'll deliver home the Whitey's.

14 cats fixed in the last two days.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Swear More When Tired

So I'm swearing more tonight. I"m worn out, is all. I seem to become more uncivilized when worn out.

I get these stupid ass bird lovers sending me hate e-mails about why the hell would I release feral cats after getting them fixed. Well dumbshit, what do you want me to do, keep the thousands of cats I trap for fixing?

So one of them e-mailed me really nastily after I posted a video about drop trapping at a Corvallis colony. It was hateful about releasing them back when the songbird populations are declining.

I told him, "you dumbshit. There are no birds there. It's right by a highway and hundreds get creamed on the highway. There's a cellphone tower nearby that kills any surviving songbirds. And if that ain't enough, the place is surrounded by a grass field farm that sprays the living shit out of anything alive and the chemical taint the seed if the songbirds eat it." I said "You dumbshit, harrassing a volunteer who is decreasing the population of free roaming cats on her own time. You fucking mean dumbshit. Why don't you go after cars? Why don't you start smashing glass every place you find it? Why don't you bomb cell phone towers or radio towers? Why don't you harrass cat breeders or just people who don't fix their pets? Bird people are usually rich. Why don't you campaign against ordinary people, every homeowner in America, with their chemical spray packs, out killing anything alive, anything that songbirds might eat is dead or tainted by these neighborhood sprayaholics. But no. You mean ass mother fucker. You harrass a volunteer who loves cats who is decreasing the population of free roaming cats with every night spent out in some godforsaken dump, sleeping in my car with traps set. What, do you think some volunteer who loves cats is going to go out and kill cats just for you?"

Anyhow, he didn't respond. It is rather stupid and brazen of the bird lovers to harrass someone helping them out. A volunteer, too. That's just so wrong.

I swear much more when I'm worn out and kind of fed up. YOu know?

Here's a hard thing to deal with: I had counted on that Lebanon Family Feud situation person's promise of a donation. Got 8 cats fixed up there, through Poppa, with some real long nights sitting out trying to trap them. I relocated six of them. Lots of hard work.

When I talked to her last week and she said she'd sent the donation, I was planning on putting it on these 8 cats going up tomorrow. She told me Wednesday she'd sent it. But, you see, it never came. She must have been lying again. That's hard, you know.

She did give money to that Lebanon rescuer who never did much of anything. She took in three tame cats from that situation, one of whom I had gotten fixed through Poppa. And then that Lebanon rescuer tried to get me to fix cats for nothing after getting donations to go toward the fixing of those cats, but not telling me. Tryging to profit off Poppa.

I found out on the side, is the thing. And you know, before I knew she'd gotten money, we had a conversation about honesty, about how I've been used by so many people, including a Brownsville area nonprofit, etc. Then to find out she was trying to use me, too.

It's hard to think she got money out of that Family Feud situation and I got lied to. It's hard to think she'd just sit there when we talked about unscrupulous practises, like the Brownsville person, who used to collect donations from people, who would even trap their own cats, them thinking they were donating to the FCCO, but she'd pocket the money, transport the cats to the FCCO clinic and tell them there were no donations from caregivers. She was just really making money off the FCCO. So we'd talked about that, and that Lebanon woman said that was one reason she split with that person, and all the time, she didn't say one word about getting donations to cover the fixes she wanted done through Poppa. Man alive.

So I am donating myself, to help cover those cats, because somebody has to. I respect those Poppa volunteers too much and what they do. I thought I'd finally have that promised donation, to help, but holy cow I'll never get it I know. There's a lot of liars and cheats out there.

And Six More Fixed Today.

Two females, both pregnant, from Whitey2, and four males were fixed today, all thanks to me, yup little ol me, and to the wonderful wondrous super heroes of Poppa Inc. Boy, does the mid valley ever owe Poppa Inc.

So anyhow, five of the cats, including the two preggies were from the Corvallis Whitey2 colony. And one was a feral gray tab on white male from HTN. Not HTN proper. But a few houses up towards Knox Butte. Two old ladies feeding a couple of strays. The gray and white male fixed Wednesday was also fed by the old ladies. And now the gray tab on white male, neutered finely. They also feed a black tux medium hair female, whom I have yet to catch.

Across the road at HTN, were some unfixed owned cats that I inadvertantly caught in my traps when trapping strays. I released them, then I went and talked to the people. So all four owned unfixers are going up with me to Tigard tomorrow to be fixed. Man, that's like a hundred, or maybe a million cats, fixed on just two little very short streets in Albany, OR.

You see here, we got a little problem going on in Albany. It's called irresponsible pet ownership. Oh yeah, when I'm tired, I call it something much worse. I say to my cats, "Well we live in Sodom and Gomorrah here. Everybody out for themselves and feeding their own private addictions and hell be it to anything alive caught in the path of feeding the addictions of Linn County." That's what I say when I'm really fed up and worn out.

So anyhow, I really made the Tigard appointments to take care of the neighbor of the Lovable Alcoholics. But then, when I was supposed to pick up her cats this evening, she wasn't even home. The woman who answered the phone said she was seeing the "heat" people about her bill. I said "The heat people closed up shop and went home over an hour ago." She said "Oh".

When I called back later, unhappy for obvious reasons, the woman answering the phone said another friend of theirs was trying to find the woman with hordes of unfixed cats, at one or another friends place, if she could remember the phone numbers involved.

And way later on, the Lebanon woman herself called, with what sounded like a damn made up excuse. She said, not knowing I knew otherwise, some relative had surgery and she was off visiting the relative. Hmmmmmm. Ya mean you weren't at the "heat people" or house hopping with friends? I told her it was way too late, that we arranged this and I got appointments clear in Portland to help her out and what the fuck, man. She takes off? I mean, what the fuck. So I told her "too bad".

And it is too bad. Free fixes. Pre-arranged. Stupid volunteer taking her cats to be fixed at the expense of someone else entirely. All she has to do is be at her place with her cats ready. And the dumbshit can't even be there when she says she'll be there, so her cats can be picked up, in Lebanon, by the stupid shithead volunteer to be fixed at no cost to her, with the bill being paid by the hard work of volunteers she doesn't know and never will, because she will never rub shoulders with the type of person who possesses the moral fortitude and character of the volunteers of Poppa Inc.

This is why Linn County has a cat problem.

So, I collected the four tame owned cats along the HTN street. Two of the caretakers donated ten bucks towards the fixes of their own cats. One, with two cats, didn't donate a dime. I asked him to, but he just went right back into his house and closed the door on me. And those two cats free roam. I have to get them fixed or HTN will just continue endlessly. Right and wrong are not well defined in Linn County minds.

I am not of Linn County and I never will be. I am from a different planet than the people who have called Linn County home forever. An entirely different planet.

To collect four more cats, since I had 8 reservations for the absentee Lebanonite, I took four of five needing fixed down along Old Salem, the never ending gates of hell for felines, kids and most folk honest, also known as Felony Flats.

These were nice folks feeding strays and I loved them instantly. They had them ready within moments after I called, after a KATA referral. Not much like that Lebanonite.

Off I go in the morning, with 8 more cats, from hell on Earth--Linn County--get yourself a case of Busch Lite and that's all you'll need, to fit here. You won't need ethics, responsibility, kindness, nothing much at all, but that nightly case of Busch lite and you'll be one of the blessed saved souls of Linn County.

I'm going to hell you know. I don't go to these churches here and I don't drink Busch Lite and I care about all the wrong things I'm told and so be it. I'll laugh all the way down into the light, with the cats and the strays.

I'm not from here. Don't say I am. I am not from here.

But....but, I do love these people I meet here. All of them. I can't help it. They're lovable. I'm just so weak.

Messy Things

I've seen unpleasant news items lately. Like the one about ten nurses, recruited from the Philippines to work at a care home, who all quit on the same day. The reasons cited by the nurses for quitting was extreme work loads, being called in constantly, at a dangerously understaffed nursing home. So what happens? The nurses may end up in jail. They are being charged with crimes like endangering the health of a child. This is a scarey precedent.

The spokesperson of the ten claim they were exhausted from long shifts and no days off and that they made repeated efforts with the management asking that they hire more staff. They claimed staff were poorly trained, too.

During my college days I tried to keep up with bills by working at nursing homes. I worked at the Mennonite Home in Albany for awhile. I specifically told them I was a college student and gave them the maximum number of hours I could work a week. But, I was a responsible person, who showed up at work when I said I would. Many nurses aids they had hired would not show up on time or at all. They would constantly call me to work, even when I had classes scheduled and they would threaten to fire me if I didn't come in. The Mennonite Home job was one factor that led to my downfall in college. Exhaustion. Total utter exhaustion trying to maintain a job to pay bills and take a full load of classes. They just didn't care there, about how badly they exploited an employee or breaking promises they had made.

Later on, I worked at Corvallis Manor, the night shift. This would be the end of my nurses aid career. It was horrible. They would routinely have only two aides on the swing or night shift and often not even a laundry aide. Often there would be no adult diapers available and no laundry aide doing sheets. This is extremely important in a nursing home where residents are incontinent and constantly pooping or peeing without ability to control bowels or bladdar.

It was sad beyond my ability to handle. The job is physically and emotionally demanding. It pays almost nothing. You're cleaning up human feces and urine and dealing with people who are angry or sad or desperately lonely or dying or all these things. Chronic understaffing is the norm. Demands on the low level employees are extreme and if anything goes haywire, the low level employees get the brunt. There is no support system in place for employees engaged in such a demanding low pay job, who, because of the low pay, are likely facing extreme pressures at home.

I ran into a caregiver recently. The stories of her job, that she would tell matter of factly, were eye popping. She once cared for an extremely obese patient who hadn't been out of bed in years due to extreme obesity now coupled with diabetes. The woman would also call her routinely after her shift was supposed to be over, because the woman was lonely. She did not get paid for these multiple calls, taking up her time after work. Or the woman would call her to say she'd had diarrhea and needed cleaning up, but after hours and the woman would go do it, even though she was not paid to.

She was paid under $10 per hour. When the woman she cared for would become so ill she would end up in the hospital, she would not go to work or be paid until the woman got out of the hospital. So this woman's financial status was always on the edge of collapse with such a job.

This is no easy job. Caregivers often are asked to do things that nurses should be doing, like catheterizing and treating bed sores. They also clean up feces and urine and house keep and cook and provide often the only counselling/friendship their client gets--all for almost nothing. Their clients are sometimes so angry they are verbally abusive to caregivers and extremely difficult to deal with. They work for agencies, usually, and sometimes for the state but as private contractors, meaning the state paid caretakers have to keep track of income and pay their own taxes. This has gotten so many of them into deep trouble with the IRS. The pay is so low many do not save up the taxes they need to pay or even know anything about taxes. The work is sporadic and sometimes requires travelling significant distances to and from a client's residence for only a couple hours work a day.

One caregiver with an older woman client said the family contacted her once and said they were visiting for a week, so she wouldn't need to come in. "You can have a vacation," the son said cheerfully. Yeah right. She couldn't afford to pay rent that month. Again. She eventually moved into a van and quit caregiving. She was way too far behind on everything.

Anyhow, to hear about the criminal charges filed against those nurses who quit riles me. Working conditions for nursing home employees have never been good. Meanwhile, there are owners of such establishments living luxurious lives.

The other thing riling me---the fact that slaughterhouse exposee had to be done by the Humane Society, now underfire for not contacting the USDA sooner. The Humane Society shouldn't have had to do the exposee anyhow. That's the USDA's job. They contacted local authorities with the information, who were slow to act, but knew contacting the USDA or FDA would produce zero results. Now the USDA and FDA are ridiculing the Humane Society, a private organization, when they failed their taxpayer funded mandate because they're so lame at what they do?

Utterly Pathetic!!!!

Nonfunctional and I Don't Care

I just don't care that much that my garage door is dying. Am I wrong in not caring? I'm not stressed over it. I can open it and close it manuelly. I'm not stressed my hose has sprung leaks, either. I'm slightly stressed the power bill was close to $175 this month. This place is all electric and my brother had three contractor crew members of his here for two days to build the cat yard. Contractor guys bring tangles of extension cords and power tools. Just tons of them. Everything, even nailing is done with power tools now, not muscle.

The cat yard and run were not finished despite all those power tools present, partly because contractor guys tore down most of what I had done, which took all of one day. My work was judged inadequate. They were not able to complete the run or yard the next day. They also left three piles of junk which I have yet to clean up.

I finished the cat run later on, using one power tool, an arm powered hammar, and a rusty old arm powered saw. Sure the physical labor hurt my neck and back, but not for that long. Ok, so my back is still killing me nights. If contractor guys come back, I hope they don't just tear all I've done down again. It takes them so much time to tear down that they then have no time to build anew.

Besides, there's the cost of all those power tools running. That's what hoisted my bill to the stars for last months' usage. Screw power tools!

So I still have no cat yard. Oh well.

My garage door isn't working. Oh well.

What do these things matter, really, in the big scheme of things?

My camera fried this week, too. I do miss that camera. I enjoyed taking photos of the cats I get fixed. And I keep a photo record of each cat in each colony, which has proven immensely helpful.

But oh well.

I took really good care of that camera. Nothing I can do about it now that it is fried. I walk by it and look over at it. Sometimes I touch it, run my index finger down the dull silver side of it. It sits on a dresser now, like a revered retired war hero.

I heard my old friend Wendy speak at the Corvallis library last night on Mystery Writing after her book, Death Pans Out, was published and quite successful. I was on the way out to Whitey2 colony to try to trap leftovers. I figured even though we don't communicate anymore and haven't for a long long time, that I still should show some respect and support. Besides I was curious, like a gawker, to see if she's changed any, since all her success.

Wendy is a funny entertaining speaker and should have been a comedian and still could be if the mystery writer gig doesn't fly. She's down to earth and humble and honest. I always liked that about her. She'd not tell you something just because you wanted to hear it. She'd tell you the truth. You could count on the truth out of Wendy even if it hurt.

Besides, I want to keep track if her next book, No Angel, comes out, because she copped a character in it, in orginal drafts of that book at least, off part of my life. So when that next mystery comes out, I want to read it.

I caught one more Whitey at Whitey2. There are allegedly two more Whiteys in the colony I haven't caught yet. Makes 11 caught there I think so far with the one late last night. I also returned six last night to Whitey2--four boys and two girls. One of the two girls was a blackey.

Before heading over to hear Wendys talk, I stopped by HTN. I'd released the gray and white short hair male I'd trapped at the two old ladies place. They'd been chomping at me to catch both the others they feed--a gray tabby on white and a black tux DMH female.

So I set the trap. I was going to have the old man down at HTN proper come check it, so I could rush off to Corvallis and hear W, but I caught the gray tab on white quickly. She was out in my car in a trap while I listened to Wendy, after which I went on out to Whitey2 and caught, with the drop trap, one more unfixed Whitey.

Six cats are up being fixed. Five Whitey2 colony cats, including the second all black, also a female, also pregnant like her sister, and one HTN gray tab on white.

Tomorrow I'm taking three owned tame cats from HTN and five Lebanon cats to Tigard. Still recruiting donations to help cover all this cat fixing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Three More Whitey2 Cats Caught

I returned the six Whitey2 cats fixed in the last two days this afternoon. Five were white. One was black. Two of the six were females, one in heat, one pregnant. I thought there were only four more to catch, one black and three whiteys'. But no. There are fiver more whiteys and one more blacky. I caught two more of the Whiteys and the Blacky then came home. I have one more Whitey here to be fixed also tomorrow with the three I caught this afternoon. That's ten in total.

I set the neighbor's own trap hoping to catch at least one of the two manx's they feed. Their grandson was there. He didn't seem very into watching a trap, but said he would check it and that his mother would be home in an hour.

I got a Lebanon referral from KATA. I called the woman up. She is a neighbor of the Lovable Alcoholics. I took the Lovable Alcoholics' 16 cats up to an FCCO FLEX clinic last fall to be fixed. This woman has no money either. Who does? She has five females, all in heat, and three males she feeds. Six of the eight are tame. The two big males are half feral. I made appointments in Tigard for Saturday. I'm taking up four of these females, the tame male and three more from HTN.

I'm scrounging for donations right now.

I've been trying to fix the garage door opener here, too. Won't close with the remote or even the wall button, unless I hold down the wall button until it is completely closed. If it's even a half inch from not being closed and I let up on the wall button, it will open all the way, before I can try to close it again.

I tried a bunch of things already. The next thing I will try is to disconnect the wires for the wall button at the opener, then see if the remote works. If it does, then the problem is in the wall button or wires from wall button to opener, which are easy and cheap to replace. If it still doesn't work, might mean the remote receiver circuit board is bad, but one can, I am told, buy a generic sender/receiver with remote, and install the generic unit between the wall button and opener then program the universal remote, so not everybody with a universal can open it.

It's an old garage door opener, a model they don't make anymore, so one can't even find an online manuel for it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Six cats Fixed Today

Six cats were fixed today at Countryside, funded by Poppa Inc, except for one $15 donation put toward the bill. I can't show pictures because my camera is toast. One was an HTN boy, a gray and white male I trapped behind the house of a couple very sweet old women. I met them when doing the HTN door to door, trying to locate unfixed cats. One woman is over 90 and has just one leg. Her neice lives with her and helps care for her, although she herself is in her mid 70's. They feed a few strays. One of them is the boy who was neutered today.

I caught two others behind their house, but both were owned and I released them because the old women told me they were owned across the street. So today I talked to the two households involved with the owned cats. One is a single mom. She has two rescued unfixed cats Someone where she lived before asked her to watch the cats while he went on a trip, then he never returned for them. When he left the area altogether, he refused to get the cats again. When this woman moved again, she brought them with her.

The beautiful long hair orange male I trapped is already neutered but they have a beautiful smoke female who isn't.

Anyhow, there are two more the old women feed who are strays for sure that I need to catch.

It's like a big cat soap opera I'm caught inside eternally. But it's really quite interesting.

Anyhow, so that was one of the cats, the HTN male.

The other five are all from the Corvallis Whitey2 colony. Four whites, one black. One whitey and the blackey were preggie.

The other three whiteys done today were males. The whitey fixed yesterday was a male. I have another whitey here to be fixed Friday. So far, from Whitey2 Colony, six cats have been fixed, four of them males. I have a seventh in a live trap in my garage and will be trapping, hopefully, the final four tomorrow. So the final five, I am hoping beyond hope, will be fixed Friday. There are still two manxes their neighbor feeds. Once they are caught, that will end that area's cat issue. 14 cats in all. 15 if the neighbors fix their own tame male.

Six cats. Four males. Two preggie females. One from HTN. Five more from Whitey2 in Corvallis.

A new yard stray is slinking around outside late on the prowl for food. I set my trap but caught my neighbors instead.

Camera Fries Itself with Sparks and Gunshot loud Bangs

My camera that I received as a gift only three and a half years ago has fried itself. It worked fine yesterday when I took photos of cats I got fixed and out at HTN. But today, I go to take photos of the cats I was taking in to the vet for fixing this morning, and the LCD window display did not come on. I turned the camera off then back on, and the display was fine. So, I snapped a shot of the white cat in the trap. There was a loud snapping noise.

Startled, I looked around to see if the receptionist had heard it. I didn't think she had. I didn't get much sleep last night due to back pain, so I thought 'I'm overreacting.' I pushed the shutter again. The crack was so loud the receptionist ducked and I jumped. I thought the camera was going to explode.

I took the batteries out.

I was in Salem after dropping off the cats. I stopped in and asked a clerk at a store that sold electronics what I should do. She is young and looked at the camera, listened to my story of what it was doing, then said, in a "well, duh" tone, "This is a really old model. You should just throw it away and get a new one. We have a camera like this, only several models newer, on sale, because that model is outdated now too. Wanna buy it?"

I came home and called my brother. He had given me the camera as a gift to help me with my cat thing, so I could post short videos and photos of rescued cats and make fliers to help them get adopted.

He said to try it again. I held the phone right by the shutter of the camera so he could hear the sound and pushed the shutter. The sound was so loud he thought it was a gunshot. He said "well, do it about twenty times, maybe it will clear itself up."

On the third push of the shutter, the cracking spark sound of arcing snapping current, along with a significant cloud of smoke puffing up from the flash, was so loud I hit the deck, sure the camera was exploding.

At this point, I ceased depressing the shutter. The camera is fried.

I called the camera store my brother bought it from. The man said "It's fried. Get a new one." I said "A new camera costs a lot of money. This is just to chronicle rescued and fixed cats. My brother gave it to me. And it's only a little over three years old!"

My statement left the man unmoved.

He said "Look. This is the way it is. These cameras are built in foreign countries cheaply. They are extremely sensitive and don't last long. Your contacts inside the camera have corroded over time when exposed to even small amounts of humidity. Or they have shrunk or received slight jolts and are no longer in alignment, so now they're not properly passing current. Your camera is fried. Damage done. It can't be repaired for less than the cost of a new camera. Not even close. Because they would be repaired in this country at our wages. That's just the way it is. This is the disposable goods age. Nothing's built to last. Get a new camera."

I tried to mumble something about having a 35mm Minolta for over twenty years and the person who has it now still uses it. He said "Well this is a different age."

I hung up feeling very old and very out of touch and actually, quite angry about "this disposable age".

And I'm sad. I loved taking photos of the cats and making short videos. I need a camera to help adopt out cats effectively. I treated that camera like it was a million dollar bill. I never left it in my car, for fear it would be stolen. I kept it always in a padded case. I never exposed it to heat, cold or moisture. I slept with it beside me safely packed in its padded case.

It was actually the only thing of value I had. I treasured it, took care of it and that didn't matter at all in the end...

....in our disposable goods age.

My window on the world is dead.

Birthday

My birthday is coming up. I never do anything on my birthday. I used to get a bottle of decent beer and sit along the river to drink it, down where the cops couldn't see me.

Maybe I'm going through a midlife thing, although I'm past midlife.

I feel like I should do something significant or interesting before I keel over. I don't know why I feel that way. I suppose because you get one life and best to have few regrets really, if you can help it.

What significant thing would I like to do before I die? Well, that's the thing. I don't know. The idea of some sort of a quest seems so significant and meaningful in all its haze. What's a quest anyhow? Quests can also be very expensive, I'm sure, and I'm running on empty pockets always. Maybe I could just hike to the coast. Or to the mountains. Or to Adair Village. I'd wear a bright orange safety vest, as I walked, with big black letters that read: Quest Walker.

Or something.

Here are adrenaline junkie ideas, all expensive:

I could jump out of an airplane? Nah.

Sail the ocean in a 14 foot boat? Nah.

How about a hot air balloon ride across country? Or better yet, a hot air balloon ride out over the Pacific to search for the missing Japanese hot air balloon man, gone down somewhere out there and likely dead.

How about climbing Everest? That's the stupidest idea yet! People who climb Everest have severe mental illnesses.

Well, what then?

Submit ideas, please, for midlife crisis significant experience or quest.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another Whitey Colony

Photo shows the first of several Whiteys. This guy was fixed today.

Six cats went up to be fixed today, including the first of several white cats, from just another Whitey colony in Corvallis. Lack of diversity, even among the cats of Corvallis? Just joking. Corvallis is full of all colors of cats. This is, however, the second mostly white colony I've trapped within a few months. I'd say the cats, let alone the humans of our planet, could use some outside genetic material added to the mix. Want to have sex with an alien? We need their genes for our pool. Hahahaha.

Back to the cats.

So, the cat list today: one from Family Feud female, the one who started that whole problem, and that Lebanon rescue type did reimburse the neuter from Friday and paid for this female today. So good for her.

Then, I had a pregnant brown tab long hair from HTN that I nabbed with the drop trap yesterday. And two tame boys from HTN.

Then that little torti teen my neighbor found in his garage, scarfing everything in sight went up for spay. And no kidding, she was pregnant. That news dropped my socks off. Teen pregnancy---not just a human issue.

The last cat was the first Corvallis Whitey, trapped at a rural location. Those folks wanted to do away with the cat at first. But then I told them the cat was likely from nearby, because someone who once wanted to adopt a cat from me, told me about a house with a bunch of white cats around it. So they decided to just get the cat fixed.

Today, when I went to pick up another white cat they'd trapped, I went around to the other road, to their back fence neighbors. I knocked and knocked. No one answered. On the porch, all over the porch, were white cats, laying around looking hungry. I finally gave up knocking and went to my car. Several big dogs inside had raised a racket with me knocking and I thought they were coming at me through the window.

About then, three people came out. I told them why I was here and they said they would love to have them fixed. They looked at the cat in my car their neighbor had trapped and told me his name. They had to leave. So I trapped, very rapidly, four more white cats and one black one. That makes six whiteys trapped so far, and one all black. I saw three more Whiteys and one more all black, whom I'll try to catch tomorrow.

The first whitey fixed today was a little male. Five more whiteys will be fixed tomorrow. So, I should get that situation under control real quickly.

Two preggies fixed today. Kitten season is on its way.
Torti teen, was pregnant at spay today.
The three Springfield males fixed last Friday:
DSH black male, with two inch tail.
DLH black male.
DLH young brown tabby male.
Two big long hair already fixed orange boys eat under my drop trap.
Tame male fixed today from same street.
Another tame male fixed today, brother of above cat.
This long hair brown tabby female was pregnant at spay today.
Chachi and Blotch, a fixed female, touch noses while wandering in the junk next door. Blotch's son, who looked just like her, was one of the cats killed by a dog. Chachi's sister Goldi, was also killed.

Door to Door at HTN

I was out at HTN yesterday going door to door to locate unfixed cats. I found several. I also finally trapped the long hair Slophouse gray male. I also drop trapped an unfixed female at HTN and loaded up two tame males to be fixed. I tried trapping two of four two older women feed, but instead caught the two owned cats they also feed. I don't know if the people across the street have booted out the young brown tabby or not. He's always crying on their doorstep and now these old ladies across the street from his owners see him everyday when he comes to eat.

I released him, however, and the very whiney long hair orange male I also trapped, who also is allegedly owned. But the two who are strays didn't get in the trap, or rather, I gave up after trapping the second tame cat. It was late.

I heard from someone who adopted three cats from me a couple years back. Her inlaws live in Corvallis and have fed some strays. They'd trapped one and were going to have it killed at Heartland. What stopped them? It costs money, they said, to have Heartland kill cats. So, they agreed to getting them fixed, but won't pay a dime.

So one from there will be fixed today and I hope to get them all trapped really quickly so I don't have to deal with it very long. I'll try to dig up donations to help cover these people's cats, too. It's pathetic.

Here's the other pathetic thing. The Lebanon rescuer did get money from the person she was trapping for, pocketed it, wasn't going to tell me I don't think, and was going to try to get the four she trapped for the uncle of the Family Feud situation, in and fixed on my reservations and on Poppa funds. That's just so wrong. Stealing is another word for it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Letter to Gazette Times was Printed

I wrote a letter to the GT, very late one night, when overwhelmed in stress and sadness over the cats killed by the dog. I suppose I wrote it totally to make myself laugh. But it was printed---today, in the GT. There have been many letters lately in the paper about what should be done with the old Whiteside Theater in downtown Corvallis. A developer group tried to buy it, in order to create shops, but a group of Corvallis residents formed to oppose this development, hoping to do God knows what with that old building in leui of creating shops out of it. They call themselves the Friends of the Whiteside. But have they bought it yet, or decided what they want to do with it, after opposing any development of the building? No! So all these letters keep drifting into the paper of people suggesting what should be done with that building. In a late night computer typing binge, I made my suggestion in a letter printed today:

Lots of fixes possible at Whiteside Theatre

I say we create a state of the art spay/neuter clinic out of the old Whiteside Theatre.

Why not, I say? We need to fix a lot of things — cats, of course, included.

We could even spay and neuter and right ear tip politicians. They probably shouldn’t be reproducing. I’d vote for an ear-tipped politician. We could spay and neuter everything there is too much of and nothing there isn’t enough of. I’m spayed and very happy about it.

Without all the fighting over territory and spray marking cold wars, nipped in the bud by eliminating hormones because we’ve fixed everybody, we’d finally have peace on earth, as a byproduct of our little Whiteside clinic.

No more need for those poor protesters to stand by the courthouse. Consumerism, job loss and environmental concerns —-gone.

Because there would be far fewer of us needing work, destroying and consuming.

We may have to live trap some of our more feral residents for spay/neuter at the Whiteside. But we’ll de-worm them for good measure and they can watch a movie while they’re coming out of anesthesia.

What a fantastic investment our futures a spay/neuter clinic at the Whiteside would be. I can see it. I am so excited about the prospect already. And me and my cats would sure love to live in a corner of it. We’re dying to return to Corvallis.

As always, please fix those cats, people, for gosh sakes.

Jody Harmon

Returned Springfield Cats

I returned the three Springfield ferals I helped trap last Thursday, who were fixed Friday. I meant to return the three boys yesterday, but got involved finishing the cat run. After returning them, I bought some cat food in Eugene, then stopped by the mill to retrieve a trap that had been there forever. I had left it with a guy living by the mill, so he could catch the Siamese female, who is the only cat not fixed there now. But he never tried, so I felt it was time to get the trap back.

While there I spotted the Siamese, so, I set the trap myself. I promptly fell asleep in my car while parked in the boneyard field of old trucks. I awakened to someone knocking on my car window. I knew the guy knocking on my window. He lives in an old camper shell in that field and works at the truck repair lot by the mill. We chatted awhile. He woke me to warn me if the guy who owned the property came through pulling a big rig, he'd be pissed if he couldn't make the tight corner on the dirt field because my car was in the way.

I just wanted to go back to sleep, however. I was extremely drowsy.

But I pulled the trap, then, on a whim, asked if he'd try to trap the Siamese. He said he'd try. I showed him how to set the trap.

By the time I came through, on the back roads, into Corvallis, it was early evening. I bought a few items at the Grocery Outlet and came home. I promptly fell asleep then, on my couch.

I never meant to be gone all day just returning those cats. I had hoped to go for a hike at Bald Hill in Corvallis or some such needed recreation. Instead, due to exhaustion, I fell asleep here and there.

The Family Feud situation returns. The Lebanon rescuer who had three of the inside cats from Family Feud got the one tame male fixed through myself and Poppa last Friday.

Now she's trapping for the uncle of the group, says she has four in traps. She didn't tell me the granddaughter gave her a donation. The granddaughter called here two days ago, still saying she was going to donate to help offset the spays and neuters, come by with it yesterday, then she never called again yesterday. She did tell me in the conversation that she had donated to the Lebanon woman, however, who took the three inside cats.

This was before I took up that little male for the Lebanon rescuer, to be fixed, that she had received a donation from the granddaughter. She could have told me she had received a donation that would certainly have covered that neuter. So now when she tells me she has cats in traps from the Uncle, I am not so sure she didn't get donations from him to cover the fixes and now wants the fixes covered by Poppa. She may have gotten nothing from the uncle, but now I don't trust her.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Don't Like Rehoming Cats

I don't like adopting out cats or relocating ferals. I don't like it at all. It's so hard to find good house cat owners, people who won't just leave a cat behind or barely notice the cat and kick it out the door, people without addiction issues or severe anger issues or honesty issues.

And as for ferals, they're far better off where they originally roamed, rather than trying to get people to contain them for two weeks at a new location, and hope they follow instructions and hope the cats won't try to find their way home.

I tell people feral relocation success is 99% psychological. You have to get the cats to believe they are better off in the new locale. This takes time and effort. Most people think you can just dump a cat in a barn and they'll stay. What a pile of baloney.

Taking a feral cat from everything familiar, from friends and family members, from favorite haunts and food sources, favorite places to sleep and drink and lounge in the sun, and planting them somewhere entirely different, somewhere where they don't know what's dangerous, where to find food, what to do, this is extremely hard on them.

It's like if you were kidnapped and plopped down in totally alien territory. You'd likely set off for home, even if you knew you'd likely die in the process of trying to make it home.

But try to get people to understand that, or to believe that. Most people assign animals no mental capacity or emotions, which of course is not the case. Just because some people can't read animal emotions, doesn't mean they don't have them. they do. Believe me, the cats go through so many feelings common to humans. We like to pretend that we are much different, so we can feel less guilt when we abuse, torture, eat and experiment on these living creatures.

But, if you want barn cats, for mousers, you must, as a matter of keeping them around, at least give credance to the advice of those who understand how the mind of a cat works. And the mind of a cat will say, if the barn home is not a much better environment than where that cat came from, "I'm going home."

I try to relocate at least three cats together, at least three cats who knew each other at their old location and preferably are family members. I try to get the new caretakers to understand the principles of relocation. Some try. Others turn them loose the moment my car leaves their driveway. Later they call to tell me the cats have disappeared. I try to urge them to go out and look for them, to call them, to leave out food, but usually they want to move on and forget them. But I can't, is the thing, and this behavior causes me great angst and sleepless nights.

I don't like relocating ferals. I don't like adopting out house cats. I just don't know people as well as I know cats. I can't read people like I can read cats. I have come to distrust humans more than I trust humans.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cat Run Done and I'm Done In

I am done in, I tell you, worn out, like you couldn't imagine. After Snowman left, I was determined to get the cat run, from house to garage room, completed. And it's completed. But I just got it done. I have been working on it all day and I am so worn out. Swinging a hammar to staple down wire, finishing the stairway to Heaven hinged door, putting a lid on over where the cat door exits and all sorts of finishing uppers. My neck is killing me. My shoulders are killing me. My back is killing me. And it's Miller Time.

So Snowman left. But, this evening, there's this knocking on my garage door. It's the neighbor man. He's got a kitten in his arms. Seems a skinny starving torti five month old came into his garage and began to eat. She ate for forty minutes. He watched over her while she scarfed everything in sight, then he refilled the dish so she could eat more. He kept watching over her while she ate, so his cats wouldn't run her off. She was so desperate. Then he brought her over to me. He's quite the old guy, very polite and kind and caring. So she's sleeping right now, in my bathroom. Every bone protrudes. She's beautiful though.

Snowman leaves. And another one comes in. Well, what can one do? This ain't Mayberry where I live, that's for sure. In fact, I call this town Methberry. The cats in this little town, a lot of them that is, are desperate souls.

Cat run photos:




The new torti kitten, starving, desperate, beautiful.

Snowman Gets His Home

Snowman got a home today with a Springfield couple. They had come by to see him last week, before departing on a week long vacation on the coast. Of course they fell in love with him, at first sight. He is just a big lovable guy that nobody couldn't love. Today, with their vacation over, they stopped by and took him home.

They had asked he be tested for FIV/Felk. So last week, I had him tested. He was negative. I knew he would be. The couple checked in during the week, to ask how the test came out and told me they were having an absolute blast on their coast vacation, hunting agates and petrified wood.

Today, looking happy and rested, they came to take Snowman home. They're a wonderful couple and I know they're going to give him a great home. Good luck, big guy. I am very happy for him.

Well, there has been another bizarre mass shooting. I don't understand why individuals take their personal rage out on strangers. Unbelievable. I guess they found a ton of cold meds in his hotel room. Maybe he was one of those cold med addicts. I think Elvis was allegedly addicted to decongestants and died as a result. I have known a lot of decongestant/cold pill addicts. If you take enough, it's like speed and causes freakazoid behavior, euphoria, hallucinations, irritibility and sleep loss.

It's a tragedy so many young people are killed or injured by freaks with guns, likely targeted simply because a freak wanting to inflict mass casualities knows school classrooms will provide lots of potential victims.

There were either five or seven school shootings just last week alone here in America. That's sick.

Some guy in Portland just got taken into custody for making remarks on his Myspace page about wanting to kill students at his college campus. He was taken to Portland Adventist psyche ward for a mental evaluation.

That's like the sickos' evaluating the allegedly sick.

Here's why I say that: I was beaten severely at Portland Adventist on their psyche ward by staff in 1998 just before Christmas, then discharged into a snow and ice storm, 12 degrees out, at night, without shoes, coat or transportation. A neck disk was ruptured into my spinal cord, in this beating inflicted on me at Portland Adventist by staff on their psyche ward. I had surgery to repair damage done and now have a metal plate in my neck. I am often still in pain from the beating. So, it's a little ironic that the public would take any comfort in someone getting useful treatment in today's brutal psychiatric system, especially at Portland Adventist.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Week of Sorrow and Anger

This has not been an easy week, to find out many of the wonderful cats I worked so hard to get fixed, at the expense of Poppa Inc, were killed by a free roaming dog. I went down Pitt Road today and talked to the people at the end, whom a neighbor said had a dog matching that description. I told them many cats had been killed in the immediate area by a long haired yellow lab/retriever mix. I didn't say that a neighbor told me they owned such a dog. They're new to the neighborhood looked like.

The man asked if I wanted the dog shot. I didn't know how to respond. I don't know if the killer dog is theirs or not. So I just said I had to find the dog first. I didn't tell them I'd been sitting out nights waiting for that dog to come along, ready to tackle it with my bare hands.

I've had nightmares. Last night I had quite a go around with them. All involved some monster attacking my own cats, them screaming and me roaring after the monster and being torn up myself. In one dream, my arm was bitten off. Miss Daisy, for some reason, my deaf cat, could talk in my dream and was screaming at the monster, who looked part golden lab and part human, with huge fangs, not to kill me because she loved me.

In another dream I was following a truck on a curvy road. With double yellow lines and right on a corner, from out of nowhere, a wildly painted up VW van passed me and then the truck ahead of me. Both careened off the road and down a bank.

I stopped my car and jumped out to see if anyone needed help. The same monster as in my other dream leapt out of the VW van. He looked up at me, then began tearing apart the man trapped under the pickup. There was a bazooka, for some reason, laying by the side of the road. I picked it up, balanced it on my shoulder and aimed it down at the monster. But I was afraid to fire it because the man being torn apart seemed to be still alive, although he was screaming. I didn't want to hurt him when I fired at the monster, but I knew he wasn't going to make it. He caught my eye and nodded fiercely. I fired the weapon and there was a horrible explosion. I woke up trying to remove pieces of that shithead monster from my dream that were splattering on my face. That dream was kind of cathartic.

Anyhow, I have only taken in a very few cats this week for surgery. Two on Monday. One of the two was an owned Corvallis male and one was the final female of seven kittens born to a pregnant mother dumped on highway 34. I took her in to be spayed, then caught six of the seven kittens, by then teens, who were fixed at the Neuterscooter. And now the last teen kitten is spayed.

On Wednesday, I took in just one cat, a newly dumped male, at the HTN colony.

Today, four cats are being fixed, one from the Lebanon Family Feud situation, one of the tame ones that was in the house and three from Springfield. I went down to Springfield yesterday and spent the day trapping with a friend from West Fir. I trapped the same colony two or more years ago.

The Family Feud situation is still ongoing. The granddaughter got permission from a judge to enter the house to get the cats out and anything there that was hers, but, the Lebanon woman who took in three of in the inside tame cats, said the granddaughter went ballistic when she found out she could only go back in when someone was with her. She took the inside tame female, but the Lebanon rescuer took one of the two black male brothers, both teens, the old neutered manx male, Stump, and Sylvester, the big beautiful yellow and white long hair male, neutered through Poppa.

The second teen black medium hair, was terribly frightened by all that went on there, and fled out the door. He has not been seen again. The one who fled is the one, fortunately at least, who was already fixed. The male teen the Lebanon rescuer took in was not fixed, but is being neutered today.

The granddaughter had left me one more message, stating she wanted to make a donation, for all the cats I got fixed for her and her grandmother, and for all the hours upon hours I spent helping them, then relocating six of the 8 outside fed cats so far. I returned her call and got only a message machine and haven't heard from her again. I didn't think they'd ever really make good.

I also took in the two kittens from the Corvallis Dilapidated Duplex situation, an orange tabby tux short tail male and his sister, a torti. They were too small for my vet to do, (they want them four pounds) so my West Fir friend offered to get the male fixed through 20 free fixes a local veterinarian had offered the community in Eugene yesterday. They were also going to do the female there for free, but discovered she has a heart murmur. Since they didn't know who owned her, which is nobody yet, really, they didn't know whether to proceed with spay, since it's a greater risk then.

She is being spayed today, at Greenhill and I don't know if she'll make it through anesthesia with that heart murmur. If she does, she'll go into foster with a different friend of mine who lives in Lane County. I paid for her spay. $50 cash. Had to be done. But I hope she makes it.

Since I was in Eugene, I went trapping with my West Fir cat rescue/fixer friend. We caught four in total at an ongoing problem colony. She kept one of the four to get fixed down there and I brought three up to be fixed here. Poppa Inc. will be reimbursed at least for these fixes, after the fact, however.

I've been working on the darn cat run, hoping to help my cats get some relief from the stress of so many being crammed into this house with no fresh air or hope really.

I am very much hoping Snowman goes to his alleged new home this weekend. That would help. Hope is gone. Bucky is gone. The kittens from DD won't be coming back.

My brother has had me look at two houses in Corvallis but both are on busy highways, one on 99W and one on Philomath Blvd. The one on Philomath Blvd. has been up for sale forever and a day and labeled a "fixer".

My brother didn't think either were a good investment since they're both right on such busy highways. I'm dying to get out of Albany. My brother will put this house up for sale.

Again, my brother is looking for a house, $150K or less, which I know is really a hard thing to find in the Corvallis area. But that is where he is looking, the Corvallis/Philomath area. If we find something, I'll get to go home. So if you know of one, please contact me.Male from HTN colony fixed Wednesday.
Highway 34 female teen, fixed Monday.
Owned male from Corvallis, fixed last Monday.