Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Exhaustion

I'm totally exhausted. Am going back to bed here shortly. I cleaned all the litterboxes and fed and petted everybody. The Vancouver man is going to adopt the rest area kitten but only after she is spayed. And soon, I believe, some of the adult cats will be making a trip to Portland, into the hands of the adoption group.

The black adult rest area female and gray male from under the HIghway 34 bypass will move to a barn home this weekend. Both are very grateful kitties, building up, by eating everything in sight, from near starvation.

And I am overdue for a long winter's nap.

I have adjusted to life without a dryer. I hang up towels and even bedding, jeans, socks and underwear I hang over doorknobs to dry.

I am a lucky person compared to most.

I wish I could have put that Siamese back into her owner's arms. It's a horrible thing, to lose a cherished family member. I'm sure she goes over and over the moment in her mind, and wishes she hadn't done what she did, putting her on a leash, only to have her immediately lose her collar. The cat was not normally walked on a leash.

I don't know where Sophie is. I don't think the dead white cat on the freeway was her. I could be wrong.

I saw a story about fire fighters rejecting union pay raises in Washington state, for the good of the community. I wish more public employees, union employees, overpaid managers and CEO's, would do the same. This is hero stuff. Sacrifice for good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not Sophie


Have I stooped to new lows? I went back up, waited for a break in traffic in the dark. Then, flashlight in hand, ran out and grabbed the flattened gory roadkill, using a plastic bag for a glove. And ran back to my car, the flattened carcass hanging and flapping as I ran. I took it to the far side of my car, where I took a close look.

There was very little left recognizable. But I don't think it was Sophie. It was a white cat all right, nice clean ears, like a house cat would have, too. There was one ear only intact. The rest was flattened dirty gore. But it was a cat and it was mostly if not all white.

Whether it was Sophie, I don't think it was, because there was white hair on that one ear. I know that means almost nothing. I didn't even check to see if the hair was attached, or slid onto the ear from somewhere else. There was nothing left on the spinal column, but the bloody stick of the column. No tail to check for color. The one paw with four perfect pink paw pads, untouched by wear, like a house cats' are, had white hair on it. Nice clean thin claws, not overgrown, not yellow and thick, extended in death.

Christiana from Safehaven saw the body too and said she for some reason didn't think it was the lost Siamese. Quite a coincidence, however, being that close the rest area.

But maybe not. The black adult I trapped there was a female. I believe the gray tux kitten is hers. ODOT crews found another kitten a month ago, starving, and about a month old. And all white. The dead cat could be the male, Mr. Impregnator.

There's a source of cats on Talbot road or near the Devor Connor exit. Somebody has unfixed cats spilling over. I know it. Makes me angry sometimes.

Today six cats were fixed including the black female from the rest area. I took in five more from the 13th street house in Albany, too. The vet told me they found a bb inside the uterus of the female from 13th street. The clinic showed me the BB. When I told the owner about this, he said "I have a BB gun. I shoot at raccoons." I said "You're not a very good shot. You shot your own cat. I suggest you dump that gun in the trash."

Defeat. Dead Siamese on I5

I saw a dead Siamese on I5 this afternoon. The cat was not there this morning when I headed to Jefferson with 6 cats to be fixed, including the black female from the rest area.

I tried to get the body off the road, pulled in beside it, off the road, but the stream of cars and trucks was frightening and I had trouble even getting back on highway with the car. A police officer had pulled in behind me. He told me to come back in the night. By then, positive identification will be almost impossible. But it was a Siamese, looked Lynx Point, less than a quarter mile from the rest area.

I imagine it is her. She was lost in a very stupid move by her owner on the 23rd. She lived one week. This was not a pleasant last week of life for her. She was desperately scared, confused, alone and hungry. I was out there, for her, because I hate the thought of what she was going through. I knew exactly what she was going through, because I've been through it.

Right now, I just want to cry.

The lives of two cats, this black female and that little kitten, were, however, saved because of Sophie. Rest in Peace, Sophie. Two cats will live because of you.

In the big wide world out there, much sorrow and suffering goes on, most of it brought on by people with issues. The Gaza strip is being blasted to hell, but then Hamas has let their own people down, by ending the ceasefire by firing rockets into Israel. Will this conflict never end? I would think people with brains and hearts could figure out how to stop killing one another instead of investing brains and big bucks in bigger and better methods to kill one another.

So the Israelis rammed a boat filled with doctors and medical supplies headed for Gaza. They rammed it three times. In my mind, when I heard this, overwhelmed from lack of sleep, I thought, would it not be wonderful if we were all out there, in boats, fleets upon fleets of boats, taking in food and medicine and love right through all the warships and rocket fire, from the angry men on both sides. We don't need to be killing each other. We need to just stop it.

No luck

Well, I guess that group Keni works with really isn't going to be taking any of the adult cats from here. Not anytime soon, at least. That sucks. I'd been led to believe I could take four up right away.

So I guess Keni took her three kittens she'd been fostering and some other fosters took in cats and bottom line is the cats here were never really in line or at the very bottom of a long long list. As always, at the bottom.

The people who expressed interest in two kittens were not home when I called back. I left a message. No answer.

The man I thought a stellar adopter for this kitten from the rest area may not be at all. He was going to come down tomorrow. I called his vet reference and they have only one record of him, for the euthanasia of a cat. No record of any routine care on the cat. He also has an older dog, but apparently, if this is true, the dog is not getting any routine vet care. I e-mailed him for clarification, but I bet I won't get a response.

Obsessed

I can't leave the lost Siamese situation alone. I went up early early this morning, after sleeping most of yesterday afternoon and evening. I saw a cat twice, looked white from a distance, but not sure it wasn't the tabby on white, just don't know. No luck trapping. Had people and dog trouble again.

A little mini dark old pickup with white canopy pulled in. The two people went to the restrooms, then disappeared into the field. I just knew they'd seen the trap in their headlights. I drove back around and they were hurrying into their truck. I went to look at the trap and it had been kicked several feet and, of course, sprung. Golly gee whiz!

Next came a man who turned loose his big dog to run in the field. The cats know there are dogs in that field all night long, most of them loose, so those poor cats have little chance at all. The man stood out in the dark of the field, legs apart. I think he was also taking a piss.

Remember, this is very important. Never let your kids play at a rest area in the grass and never eat at the picnic tables. I have a new vision of rest areas now, as one big giant toilet, for man and beast.

Someone told me, after watching the dog crapping event, held there constantly, that maybe ODOT should disinfect the entire rest area, close it down for a weekend, douse the fields and tables and everything in clorox. She was joking.

So, yes, I am obsessed with finding that Siamese. Sure, I see a white cat there, but it could be the tabby on white. During the day, there's no sense even trying, due to all the people, but more importantly, all the dogs. I'll probably give up. I'm no good at catching her obviously. I wish I could. I want her to have a happy ending. What a horror, to be a loved cherished house cat and suddenly be on your own in a wild area like that.

The kitten I caught there is leaving tomorrow. The black adult and gray adult male are leaving Friday and I may have a home for Button and Grasshopper. That means I will be down to the two adult females and three kittens in the bedroom. I am hoping Keni's group up there, that she works with, will take in the two adult females, Candy and Auntie at least. I had hoped they would have room also for Tugs and Matilda.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pulled the Traps. Going to Bed

I hate to give up on that poor lost Siamese, but exhaustion has decreed that I have to. I went and pulled the traps. Two had been sprung. One looked like it was sprung by someone curious, who pulled up on the towel, springing the trap. The other looked to have been sprung by a dog. Very common and irritating.

I had an encounter with just another bad dog owner. I was out in the brush trying to put out some food before leaving, and hopped onto the road, only to come face to face with a huge off leash German Shepherd, who took an aggressive stance and began growling and barking very intimidatingly. The dog had growled at me when going the other way also.

His owner was an asshole, who took no action to put his dog on a leash, but rather said "he's just scared of you" like it was nothing to have a dog charge you, growling and barking aggressively. A BIG SCARY DOG.

In such a case, does one pepper spray the dog or the owner or both?

I've met so many arrogant unthinking dog owners in the last few days at the rest area. That's where you go to meet them.

Well anyhow. As for the dryer, Keni says her husband is excellent at fixing dryers and will come down this weekend and try to fix it. When I read that e-mail, I wanted to kiss Keni's husbands feet. Her husband is very handsome, does long distance swimming, is a computer programmer and plays in a rock band. And fixes dryers. She got a good one!

Keni, on the other hand, is super organized, a good cook, funny, outgoing, great at creative things, is an excellent organic landscaper, can make all sorts of things, do all sorts of building projects and worm a feral kitten. They compliment each other well, I think.

Anyhow, Damon, the Home Depot guy, adamant about how I should expect cheap products to break very quickly, was probably just telling the truth, although I bet he wins no points as an appliance department associate, since that's where the cheap dryer was bought. As a salesman, direct terse truth, spoken loudly so many customers nearby could overhear, is not something that often gets a salesman promoted. But it's cute to think about what he said now. I wonder if he still has a job.

The Tiring NIght

I was at the rest area again. The owner of the missing Siamese showed up and looked for awhile, but there was no sign of her, and then the rain began. I fell twice in the mud, flat on my face one time, and on my side the other time. I sat in that cold freezing car, wet, wondering why I do this. I know why, because nobody else is.

But I wish sometimes, that I could find a way to do something for myself, not always helping other people and cats. I don't have people in my life, not more than once every few months. Other than that, I live a very isolated life. The people around Albany, are not supportive and generally complain I don't do enough for them.

I keep thinking I should do something for myself. The utmost thing I want to do is leave Albany and go somewhere where there are other animal people and fewer unfixed pets and less animal abuse and abandonment. But I would settle for going somewhere where I might find friends to kick back with a couple times a week. That would help so much. It is hard here, to have nobody, to be under all these demands from people, to be hounded by others who are just mean, but nonetheless it's hard to face meanness and people who stiff me, so often. It just wears me down and out.

I have way too many cats here right now. With the dryer broken, things are backed up and behind. I have spent far too much time trying to catch that Siamese. Some don't make it and that is one cat I can't help. I am too behind, too tired out, and too broke.

There's a tabby on white out there too, I believe freshly dumped. People suck sometimes, I tell you. Want to see that, go spend time in a rest area. You'll see some strange stuff at night, everything from drug dealing to drug use to whoring. The river was way up last night, covering the boat ramp and back road area, so the activity was way down, which made me feel happy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Public Works Stimulus

I saw in the paper the only projects Linn County came up with, for the economic stimulus package list of projects, supposed to put the country back to work en mass, proposed by Obama, once he's President, were a few resurfacing jobs. Paving. How in the world would that in any way stimulate the economy over here? Put a couple road crews to work? Probably county road crews at that.

The excuse from the commissioners is the projects on the list must be ready to go for 2009. Maybe that's a good excuse.

But I don't think there will be much economic stimulus going on here in Linn County as a result. Paving a couple of roads. Yup, that'll do it.

In the meantime, our governor is drooling to raise taxes, like on vehicle fees and gas, to do something, not sure what. All it will do for most people is make us poorer, I think.

Morning in the Rest Area

I went out this morning again, was at the rest area by 5:00 a.m. I almost immediately hear a screech out in the brush. I was at the restrooms and thought "Oh my gosh, the cat just was killed by something." I am about to go out into the brush, and I see there's some young guy wandering around way back in the brush. It's totally dark. I decided not to back there.

I shine a light back and see him, or his shadow, because he was way back. He dodges into the darkness behind a tree. He finally comes out, to his truck. I intercept. I said "I'm looking for a lost cat. Did hear that screech back in there?"

He's smoking a joint and paranoid as hell. He finally says "I don't hear nothing. I don't see nothing," gets in his truck and drives off.

Worried about the cat, I head out into the dark brush. I see what made the screech. Someone put a camoflauge painted cat house out there. It's crude and dangerous to cats, having only one entrance too small for most cats. But it is upended and on its side. Bet that guy ran into it, in the dark.

Then, I see something else I wasn't expecting--an entirely different cat, a gray tabby tux with a pink nose. I couldn't believe it. The cat vanished almost before my eyes.

I never saw the Siamese.

I did see scores of very lousy dog owners, pitbulls running loose, people leaning against the "no dogs" area sign, while their dogs took a shit. Dogs peeing against the legs of the picnic tables in the "no pets allowed" area. Dogs shitting everywhere, and 95% of them were shitting in the No Pets Allowed picnic area, totally ignoring the signs directing them to the dog shitting allowed area.

I came to the conclusion dog owners don't give a shit about much of anything. I wish I'd had a camera, because it was very interesting and sometimes very funny to watch the blatant disregard for rules exhibited by these people.
I also decided I'd never again sit on the grass in the a public park where dogs are allowed, or eat from a picnic table without spraying it down with disinfectant.

The ODOT trash crew man kind of laughed about it, said his superiors told him they can't say a word to anyone about anything. He said once he walked up to a man and asked him if he'd like it if someone took a piss on his kitchen table. He said the sad part is kids will play on the grass of that picnic area, rolling around and picking balls they drop. There is dog shit everywhere.

I saw only one man pick up his dog's shit afterwards. Many dog owners would look around, to see if anyone was watching before taking their dog into the picnic area to shit or letting them off leash to run wild.

I talked to a woman. She is a lost soul for sure, traveling the country trying to find a place to live, she says, that isn't toxic to her. She claims its the molds, and that she is sensitive to just certain mold, makes her cough up mucous. She said she's tried to live almost everywhere in the country and now is heading to Walla Walla to try to live there. It was a couple. The man looked tired and unhappy. The mini truck was packed in junk and trash. Life on the road.

I went to Home Depot about the dryer. An employee named Damon told me that's exactly what I could expect, that the bearings would go out, on a low end product like that. I said "It cost $250 and lasted less than two years. You call that low end? Then why do you sell that crap? Don't you care about your customers?"

Damon went on to tell me that I should have bought a high end good quality dryer. I said "My brother bought it here. So you're telling me you're selling no good products here?" He went on to say, "Cars break down and you expect that. You should expect a cheap dryer to break down." I said "If I bought a car new, I would not expect it to break down, fatally, in under two years. And nobody should pay $250 for a dryer and expect it to last less than two years. That's like robbing people."

I got nowhere with him and or anybody else there. I did tell them if they are going to consider it a normal occurance for their dryers to fry in under two years, they're crapping on their customers. And that's very true. That's crap.

I don't know what to do about the dryer problem. I'm still hanging up things all over the place to dry. I don't have time to go to laundrymats. I do tons of laundry here, with all the cats. A guy had said he'd stop by to look at it even before Christmas. He never did and I never heard from him again.
Here's the huge gray male I trapped up under the Highway 34 overpass. I have not been back to try to catch the starving calico, have been too worn out, trying to do too many things.
Here is the little kitten, a gray tux female, no body weight to her at all, whom I trapped in the night Friday night, at the rest area, when after the lost Siamese. This little girl was at death's door, nearly starved to death, and it's long term, not just a couple of days, and dehydrated. She's very tame and very grateful, just a purr face sweetheart.

I can't go after cats I have no place for, never meant to catch the big gray male or the black adult or the gray tux kitten at the rest area. I have too many now and have had zero luck placing any lately. But, I might have a barn home willing to take the gray male and the black adult, which is a big help, if it pans out.

I have to have somewhere the calico could go too, if I caught her. There are still those four young adult at Columbus Greens. I don't know if the family of the old woman is feeding them or not. They had said they would for awhile, but I don't know how long. I cannot place all these cats. In fact, it's tough for me to place even one, have no luck placing any for ages.

It can drive me nuts to think about that tame Siamese up there, suddenly on her own in strange territory. That's why I went. And I wore myself out, too, catching other cats I never knew were there.

Why? Angel Wasn't Left at The Shelter Because His Owner Couldn't Keep Him

Why is there a lie in the Democrat Herald about Angel? Angel was the cat abandoned by a couple of guy tenants over on 34th street early last summer, then fed on a porch and abused by somebody else, so that a leg was badly damaged. I contacted several places to see who might be able to take him in, once I heard about him being beaten, and SafeHaven said they would. Now, the article in the paper, about SafeHaven and pets in general in this economy, says the following, under a picture of the SafeHaven director holding Angel:

"SafeHaven Humane Society director Chris Storm scratches the head of Angel, a cat that was left at the shelter because her owners could no longer to afford to keep her. Angel, one of many animals left recently in need of expensive medical care, came in with a severely damaged leg that needed to be amputated."

Not only is Angel a boy, not a girl, but his owners were freaks, local drug scene people, who abandoned him months ago. SafeHaven knew this about him. I wonder if it was the paper's mistake.

If you read on down, the local animal control man says something about not that many people seem to abandon animals in Albany but rather find them other homes or take them to a shelter. That's not really true. The numbers of animals abandoned in Albany is high, but it is not related to the economic problems. It's always been that way here. Let's see, like the 16 cats shoved out the door in Columbus Greens by a neighbor of that old woman, then the old woman took care of them, but not for too long, since she died. The four adults are still out there, since I have no room at the inn. Before that, same trailer park, 16 kittens abandoned, on the other side of the park. That's just one tiny spot in Albany, where close to 40 cats and probably more, have been abandoned in the last few months.

Mr. Adair, pet abandonment in this area is huge! Always has been. Wish it would change.

I'm glad Safehaven took in Angel. If they have to alter his story, to get donations or for whatever reason, big deal. I wish all shelter people were highly paid. I wish I was paid even poorly. Hahahahaha. As for the Animal Control man, he's paid well with benefits, I bet, being a county employee, and I don't know what animal control does in this town. I know they will kill cats for people, but do not have a shelter for cats. I think they answer dog complaints. I guess I really don't know what they do outside of answer dog complaints. I think they have a shelter for dogs there, too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Night in the Rest Area

I was not going to try to go after that Siamese again, but my heart is going out to her. I didn't see her last night, in another cold night hunched dozing in my car. I did see the ferret ODOT crews said was lost there from a car 8 months ago. Isn't that unbelievable?

And I caught a kitten. A little thing. Maybe 8 weeks. Starving.

ODOT crews had said there were kittens dumped there, but they found one, maybe more, dead, and figured they all had died. But the first night there, I had seen something small dart away from one of my traps. I thought in the dark, at first, it was a skunk, but it was too small. Later, I figured I was seeing things. It was this kitten.

I've other small things in the dark from a distance near the trap. I think there are more kittens out there. No sign of the Siamese however, not all night long. Doesn't bode well for her.

Why aren't her owners out there in shifts looking? I do not know the answer to that question. I would be combing every square inch of that area, if I lost a cat there.

I have an offer of a Lebanon barn home for some of these cats and I am very excited about that.

Last night, about 11:30 p.m., suddenly a woman with a very large bright gold purse came towards my car window. I was dozing. She was shaking what looked like an old can. I tried to say something to her through the window, and she must have heard, but she just grunted and shook whatever she had in her hand again, like I should know what she wanted, or wanted to sell. All I could focus on was that gawdy gold purse.

She then went to try to wake truckers and see who else was awake or that she could wake up in their cars. I couldn't figure it out, but maybe it's something that goes on a lot at rest areas. Maybe she wanted money, but why that gold purse? Maybe she was a whore? Or selling drugs? I just don't know. But that purse was something else!

She finally got into a fairly nice black car and drove off. It wasn't a junker. So I really can't say what that was about.

I just got home, believe it or not, at 10:00 a.m. so those of you who haven't heard from me, I'm exhausted is all, from a quest to find a lost Siamese that has so far produced two unrelated very in need cats. And I am hoping very much that this barn home will work out for them.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Night at the Rest Area

I spent Christmas night at the rest area. Some folks lost their Siamese there, the 23rd. For some reason they tried to walk the cat on their dogs leash, even though the cat is not leash trained and the cat slipped the collar and ran for the brush.

I spotted the Siamese somewhere near 11:00 p.m., coming out of a wooded area. But the cat would never go for a trap, perhaps because by then the temp was below freezing and all bait froze solid quickly. However I trapped a young black cat.

Cats don't get to that rest area unless they are dumped or lost from a car. I asked her, "Which was it with you?" She was starving and trying to get into a garbage can. When she saw me, she peeked shyly at me, eyes hungry, for more than just food. She was in my trap in about five seconds she was so starved. Now what to do with this one?

I kept trapping for the Siamese without any luck. The worst of it is, she is crossing I5, twice that I saw. She wasn't hit, but she will be. Maybe that's why she's doing it. She thinks she's been abandoned.

Maybe she has. Her people weren't out there searching her out, that's for sure. Not sure why. Must be a reason.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to all of you! Yes, I finally found my keys late this afternoon, wound up in the springs, which are sort of unsprung, of my couch. This was cats at work. I'd already moved the couch to look under it. These were methodically interwoven into the spring coils. They have a string attached to them. I suppose, that night, with me asleep on the couch, that green string with the jingly keys was too much for them to resist.

The dryer is indeed toast. I am hanging things to dry over heat vents. It takes a couple days to dry that way, but it's working o.k. Slows things down but maybe that's just fine.

My Amazon order, with free two day shipping, gifts for a few folks, never arrived. It's still listed as arriving yesterday, but also listed as "in transit". With the two day free shipping, and ordering earlier in the month, I felt sure the order would be here in plenty of time, to reship out to the people I wanted to send them to, and for sure be here for a couple locals. Nope.

So Jeanne, the fact your package didn't arrive, lots of packages never got into Oregon due to the weather situation in Portland, at the airport. Thank you anyway.

I love all of you. You are all too wonderful, too good, too funny. Let's all make a toast, to good people across the globe, including my Canadian, British and French readers. I love you all.

And Merry Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day of Hell

Well, after finally getting a look at the cylinder of the dryer and seeing that it is hitting on the metal casing of the motor, I called my brother who told me I should call a repairman to fix it. I don't have any money to do this, so I just put it back together after vacuuming it out and stuffed it back in beside the washer. But I can't use it, because it heats up excessively immediately if it is turned on I suppose due to friction when the cylinder hits the metal. I don't even have it plugged in, for safety reasons. It's only two years old, but not under warranty any longer. I have wet sheets towels and jeans hanging everywhere. I can't even go to one of these creepy local laundrymats to dry what I have due to being unable to find my keys.

Isn't life fun sometimes? For now, there will not be washing of clothes, towels or sheets here. As for the wet stuff, I suppose next spring when the sun comes out they will dry, if not encrusted in mold by then. Hahahahaha. Wish I had some hard liquor.

Series of Unfortunate Breakdowns

Circular overhead florescent bulb that no longer works and must be changed. I was told it might be the ballast itself, which is something in the fixture that reacts with the gas of a florescent, that is bad, meaning the whole fixture may be toast, but for now, I can't even get the bulb out and don't want it to break when I am trying. Mercury vapor isn't cool.
ON the left is the outside of the dryer cylinder. The dryer is on its side. ON the right is the metal casing that is scraping the dryer cylinder, leaving screechy metalic scratch marks, possible sparking too, if running, which is why my dryer, until I figure out how to solve this, is not going to be plugged in. I have wet sheets and towels hanging everywhere. It's not pretty.


My appliances are acting up. First, it was the kitchen overhead, a circular bulb florescent, to quit on me, although if I jiggled the threaded metal piece that holds the cover, it would, for a time, come to life briefly. I can't get that circular florescent bulb off of there. That's the thing. And if you break those, while attempting it, you put mercury vapor throughout your whole house, toxic levels, the downside of any florescent bulb. They can be deadly!

The downside to this light not working: It's the one I turn on when I come in, from the garage, after coming home, with a lightswitch by the garage lightswitch. I now stumble around until I can get to the living room light if I fail to leave a light on, when I leave, or forget my flashlight.

The second thing to fail was a shelf in the garage room. The cats have shelves running from the cat run, so they can get down to the floor of the garage room. Last night, I heard a ripping sound, when in the garage, then the sound of scrabbling desperate claws that seemed to go on forever. Then I heard a huge crash.

The shelf over the door had collapsed. Upon examination, I found that it had been attached only to the foamlike door molding, which was only attached to the sheetrock wall with three very short sheetrock nails. Nothing through to studs. Now that was contractor lazy assedness and could have seriously hurt one of my cats or me.

I had to reattach the shelf, only securely last night. I have a nearly blind cat who functions on habit. If she came through the cat run from the house into the garage room, which is at ceiling level, then tried to hop the shelves to the floor, she would have expected that shelf to be there, when it wasn't and dropped like a load of bricks. So I put it back up, only secure, attached to a 2x4 I screwed into wall studs. I then put on two braces and put back the foam molding below it, with its sickly sheet rock nails. Foam molding needs almost nothing to hold it in place. However, a heavy shelf does need some work to secure.

So that at least I was able to fix, although I did hurt my back again. I don't know what is wrong that I'll suddenly not be able to bend over without serious sharp pain on my right side. Usually if I ignore the pain and bend over and over again, to stretch and pull at it, it will go away sooner, the pain.

So anyhow, next to break down--my dryer. Began making a rotational screech. Very loud. One you can't really ignore by turning up the TV or stereo, or taking several swigs of Nyquil and going to bed with the covers over your head.

I called my brother but he has been very sick for a couple of months, even ended up in the hospital overnight, when it was thought he was having a heart attack, which, he wasn't. He said to take it apart and see if it was the rollers or the bearings or, well, whatever. So I have been trying. I have determined it is the metal casing housing the lint vent fan scraping on the outer cylinder. But how to pull that off it. I don't know the answer and am for now, giving up.

Miss Daisy Video

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Deceased Womans' Cats and Legacy

I am still living the results of doing a good deed. The old woman who died suddenly in her trailer at Columbus Greens, was a nice old soul. We would chat while waiting on traps. I had to selectively trap many of the cats. I got 12 of them fixed before Thanksgiving, then ran out of Poppa funding for the month. In all, I've taken in 15 to be fixed now.

I was called by the family after Thanksgiving and told she died. They wanted me to take in all the cats. I said I couldn't, not unless they helped out. They said they'd try, and put something in the obituary that said donations should go to Jody Harmon's spay neuter fund, in care of the mortuary.

The family didn't communicate afterwards outside of once, after they left the initial message about her death and requesting help with the cats. This I suppose, thinking back, was a little bizarre, because they told me about putting that information about donating, on the obit, but never told me how I would ever get any donations, if there were any. Then, I never heard from them again.

When the cold hit, I finally went over and began to trap the kittens, feeling sorry for them. I went after the last four right when the very cold freeze hit.

The daughter, inside the trailer cleaning out her mother's stuff, said she would watch the trap and if a kitten was caught would move it, so the others wouldn't see it in the trap. I had asked that she do this.

She left a message a kitten was caught, later, but didn't move the trap. The only offer of help was they wanted me to take the rest of the old woman's cat litter, which amounted to about two inches in the bottom of a jug. There was not enough in the jug to fill much more than the bottom of one litterbox.

She also claimed that only two of the cats were really the old woman's. This was baloney and she knew it. This is what people claim to avoid any responsibility. In light of the hardships I was going through to help these cats, it was insult piled upon insult.

The vet clinic I used finally looked up the obituary and found the funeral home donations were supposed to be sent to. I called the funeral home--Fischer Funeral Home. They said there were two donations and that they would send them. They never came. This morning, I called again. The woman said they had been sent, but couldn't get off the phone fast enough, said she'd call me back. I told her nothing ever arrived.

I get a message back that there really were no donations. So I call again, and ask what is up with that, since I was told ten days ago, there were. The man said he'd look into it and call back.

When he did, he was mean, accusatory, told me they have a long history and good reputation and I was being accusatory. I told him I was not, that I knew nothing about them or their long reputation. The only thing I knew about them is my own experience with them, which amounts to calling them and being told, ten days ago, that there were two donations and they'd be sent to me and nothing ever arrived, and that even this morning I was told they had already been sent and the story was suddenly changed to "there really weren't any."

I said "No good deed ever goes unpunished." And described the expenses I'd been through taking in those cats.

He tried to claim it was really them who are doing good deeds, by establishing these memorial accounts. At this point, I really wanted to just start vomiting. I didn't know why he didn't just address the issue, which was, why did they tell me there were donations and they'd send them, and now they're telling me there aren't any. Why was he feeling the need to attack me.

In Albany, I have encountered really nobody with any morality as far as right and wrong, or fairplay.

I told him one more time, before slamming the phone down: "I called you up because ten days ago, I was told there were two donations and that they would be sent to me. Now, first the claim was they were sent, then the switch to there were no donations. What am I supposed to believe?"

Here's what I believe. They're either totally screwed up in their record keeping and there really were no donations or they stole the donations that they did get or lost them. And I believe they're not very nice people, for him to go at me in that manner, makes me think they're guilty of something off color altogether or just not very nice.

They claim they manage the memorial accounts very well, and yet, the family put down "Jody Harmons spay/neuter fund" without apparently providing any address or contact information (for me), so that the mortuary would ever have had an address to send the donations to, if any came in.

I only ended up calling them because my vet clinic said I should try that, since I couldn't figure out where these donations would be going, if the family put that in the obit or how I'd get them. I don't know how the hell it's supposed to work. I was never told anyhing, except the family said they'd put something in the obit, so maybe I'd get some donations to help with their mom's cats. I never got told a thing after that. I'm not psychic. I'm not in the know about such sutff.

What have I learned from all this? People suck. The old woman got me involved in the first place, by saying her son was willing to pay for the fixes of the cats. He didn't. He finally donated enough to cover two. Maybe that was wishful thinking on her part, I don't know.

I want out of Albany so badly. Decent honest people? Where are they? I haven't found them in Albany. It's like here, people think honest means whatever they can get away with. The animals suffer. And so those who help them.

I also tried to get management at that trailer park not only to donate, but to get involved. I listed all the cats I've gotten fixed there, about 100, maybe more, over the last year and a half. They were cagey, claimed they were under rules that did not allow them to even dictate if their tenants had cats or not, let alone whether or not they were fixed.

I already knew this was baloney they were trying to feed me. But they held tight to their baloney words, and refused to get involved or to donate a dime. I refused to swallow their bullshit sandwich. I wanted to vomit on them, too, but I don't, because for some reason, also, people make everything into my fault somehow. It's part of the scam artist mentality in these parts--defer blame, blame others. What they hope is that someone like me, who gives a shit, will do it for them for nothing. They're a couple of scam artists without any sense of right and wrong or fairness. I meet so many people just like them.

I'm also trying to collect from a Corvallis woman. She wanted six cats caught and fixed, three kittens, three adults. I caught them all. She wanted shots on the adults. I told her it would cost extra. They finally paid for two of the adults' shots, but never the third. It's been months. She had some friend of hers, she called the cat whisperer, who promised he was going to make a batch of business cards for me, for free. I faithfully sent him a file of the card design. Think he ever did it? No. But of course I'm trying to get the money out of her for the shots because that came out of my pocket, for gosh sakes. I think she asked it to be done, but expected her mother to pay. I think that's what went on there. Not sure.

I feel totally alone here, like a worm that gets stomped and stomped and stomped. I want to believe in people, want to believe they're honest and good. But most are not at all. They'll stomp on whomever they can stomp on and walk away with their little crooked smiles.

I suppose that's why I prefer trapping ferals in the middle of the night, ferals unattached to people, to feed them myself then, after they are fixed, no humans involved.

When you find someone who promises something and then actually follows through, without being under threat of the law or lawsuit, and that you don't have to ask over and over to follow through, then you have found an honest soul. When you find someone who pays you back for helping them out, no matter how long it takes, then you found a gem of a person. Such people are rare indeed.

This is my quest. I've always wanted to believe in the decency of people. It gets harder and harder to do.

Whacked Out Schedule

My sleep schedule got whacked out quickly, when trying to catch the starving calico. Waking every few hours to check a trap, for only a couple of days, really knocked me for a loop. I must getting really old.

Or sick. Last night, I was freezing, even though it was warm in here. I might be getting a cold. I fell asleep early, on my couch, maybe as early as 7:00, when watching the news. I just woke up. It's 6:00 a.m. That's a long sleep.

The cats were not happy with "the long doze". I did wake up a couple times, uncomfortable on the couch, which has failing springs. I always hurt myself when I fall asleep on that thing. Boy, I need to avoid that from happening.

I lost momentum in getting a couple more Christmas packages out, one to each of my brother's families, so it never got done. I have to do it today.

I ordered a couple books for my one brother and his wife, who are book nuts, and they never came, due to the storm I think. Plus Christmas rush mail, which now is a mess due to the storm in Salem and Portland. Albany missed the storm. So did Corvallis. It was balmy in these parts the last couple of days, while the storm in points north of Salem, crippled up that area in total.

I think it's still a mess up there, with snow and freezing rain.

I got caught up trying to catch a cat at the homeless shelter in Corvallis. It was supposed to be the Siamese manx a cat hater dumped in Corvallis, from his Gladstone neighborhood. Long story. One neighbor has been posting about him off and on on craigslist, for people in Corvallis to watch for him.

The neighbors allegedly came down after Thanksgiving to search for him. There were, allegedly, four sightings, two of them near the Borders bookstore on 9th. Then I was called by the homeless shelter, Community OUtreach, that clients there had been feeding this cat. I talked to several clients and staff, emphasizing what a Siamese looks like and they swore it was him, even had him named---Bob.

Clients there are not allowed to feed strays, but some were. I went over early yesterday morning, after contacting the Gladstone man still looking for the cat, that this was likely him. Unfortunately, it wasn't. I ran into one client, whom I knew from long ago when I lived homeless along the river. He knows cats and immediately described the cat they were feeding as gray, medium hair and a female. Then as one, all the other folks, who had told me he was a Siamese, changed their stories, too, that it was really a gray cat with a short tail they were feeding.

Finding reliable eyewitnesses is almost impossible. People turn something they see into something else, for lots of reasons. The only part of the description of the missing cat that is apparently getting through is "manx" and the color and everything else is justified into "Siamese" for interesting reasons by people who have reported seeing this lost cat. It is rather fascinating to think about.

I think about the unworthiness of eye witness accounts in trials. People have been sent away for life, even executed based on eye witness accounts. I know what eye witness accounts are worth just in my experience with cats and talking to people about lost cats or cats in a colony. Eye witness accounts are worth----zilch!

Well, I did reset the trap up there early this morning. Went back, and who do I have in it? NOt the starving calico. A huge honking beat up gray male. He was difficult to haul down a steep bank and across a busy highway this morning, on my bad shoulder.

He'll be neutered today, as a favor. Otherwise, the clinic is closed all week, and only open briefly next week. I am lost without anything to do these days, and going stir crazy. Part of my problem last night, in sleeping 12 hours, was becoming overwhelmed in lonliness. I don't see anybody or talk to anybody. It's just really very hard on me, the constant aloneness and dealing with so many difficult issues, the constant animal abuse and abandonment around here, the tragedies and horrors. This is very tough to deal with alone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Luck with the Starving Calico

I tried to catch that starving calico in the night. I saw her in the field, north of 34, between 99E and the off ramp from 34 to 99E. I watched her, white against the night, climb up under the overpass and try to curl up on the freezing concrete. I couldn't take it. How very very sad.

I set a trap and checked it every three hours. Nothing. She's vanished. I walked all the triangles this morning, before the traffic began, searching for a sign of her. Nothing. I had left out food also last night, in a few spots. Most was still there this morning. But one pile was gone. She had not returned to the overpass.

Like the last calico I trapped there a year ago, almost to the day, she seems to have vanished into thin air. Or she died. Although it is a balmy 40 degrees out, my hands nearly froze as I walked, from the freezing wind laced in cold mist.

I finally caught the calico a year ago there, just after Christmas. It was a long haul, because, she too would suddenly vanish, like a ghost. Gone. I figured her dead too, so maybe this one, a fire calico, whose orange spots are few and bright fire in color, will survive. I have determined instead of trapping her I will first try to build her up some, by feeding her. I left food in many locations. Like I say, it is one huge area and trying to intercept her with a trap before she frequents one area, means I have to engage in guesswork.

I know where a male is hanging out, however. I ran into him on a side road yesterday afternoon. He too is a stray in the area. My guess is they must cling to one another at night for warmth or they'd both be dead by now. She has to have somewhere she goes out of the weather, or the first very cold snap ten days ago would have already killed her. She's run down badly, however. I need to check the roads, see if she was hit in the night. I checked in the night, at the last time I checked the trap, but not yet this morning.

For now, I have given up trapping her and will feed her, and make warm small housing units available to her, if she's still alive. I take these up later if I catch a cat. Don't worry, I don't litter.

When they get so cold, they lose concentration, which, if living in such a dangerous area between many many busy roads, is often mercifully fatal.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smoothy Gets a Home

I stopped in at SafeHaven to see the boys. They were overjoyed to see me. Just as I was there, playing with Twitter a family came in and adopted Smoothy. They were very nice people. I was concerned about a young girl interested in adopting Twitter for a present for her boyfriend. Mr. Boyfriend has a roommate with an unfixed adult cat. Mr. Boyfriend abandoned his own unfixed female at his parents when he took off for several months. Boyfriend's parents never got her fixed and "got rid of her", according to girlfriend, when she started pooping on the side of the litterbox.

This isn't anybody that would probably ever even take a cat to a vet again. I am hoping SafeHaven's adoption screening will keep Twitter safe from such people. Well, if she isn't screened, maybe he'll change and start being a responsible person, get his roommate's cat fixed, keep Twitter flea and worm free. People change. One can always hope.

But if Mr. Boyfriend really loved cats, like Girlfriend seems to think, he would go find his cat he left with his folks, wherever she ended up, get her to the vet, get her fixed and take care of whatever health or stress issues she had, that caused her litter box trouble. So many people treat animals as disposable, if they're not perfect, trash them. Or if they develop a health or emotional issue, often caused by owner, they trash them then, too.

I had stopped by also because I saw the skinny calico at Calico Triangles that Safehaven's Christiana told me about. She looked in horrible shape, saw her as I was driving on 34. She was on the north side of 34, by the on ramp west, from 99E south.

I went back with a trap but she's vanished again. Huge area. But she looked on the brink of starvation. I saw the black tux who roams that area, too. I hate people sometimes. I can't take in all these cats in horrible dire straits. I don't have any success anymore adopting any of them out. So the only way I can help cats is if some other group with adoption venues and money can take them in afterwards. I can't bear all the expenses of getting them vaccinated, tested, and treated for parasites either, then hand them over to another group, who adopts them out and gets the adoption fee.

There is no win for me anymore. I have been abandoned here, by the other cat groups, who still want to feed on me, to have me solve situations, but offer me no help whatsoever in return. I cannot compete with their nonprofit status for adoption venues and donations.

My mission has always been primarily spay/neuter, but to accomplish such a mission, one runs into horrible situations, and without backup, from other groups whose primary mission is adoption, to take in adoptable cats, pay the costs too, of vaccinations etc, I only struggle here, unsupported.

I need to stop. I want to help that starving calico, but I can't, because I have too many here and I am not getting any adoptions. If someone else wants to take that cat in, I will certainly try to trap her.

SafeHaven adopted out almost a dozen cats just today, a volunteer there told me. I sit here, not a call, not a hit off petfinder. Dismal. Depressing, too.

I've gotten a few game players contacting me off craigslist. Usually they contact me only once, and when I respond, asking them to call, or send the adoption contract I have, I never hear back. Craigslist is problematic in this way, that even one contact can take tons of useful time away, in useless responses, and the person will never call anyway. Sometimes, I know, it's little kids, home from school, playing games with people's time for fun. I think craigslist has a lot of people who are very bored who use it, and may have nothing at all to do with their time. I think those people should turn off their computers and start doing something good, like volunteering.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Miss Corvallis

I miss Corvallis so much. My homesickness has been aggravated by almost total confinement for over a week. Not that there is anything to do in this town if I'm not going after the hordes of unfixed cats.

I miss the parks of Corvallis. I'd be out walking in one of them right now, in the snow, if I lived there still. There's nowhere here. I just want to cry sometimes.

I don't like the mentality here. I don't like the fact the parks consist of a square of manicured fake grass with maybe a bench thrown in. Or a concrete path around a stinky duck shit filled man made pond.

I don't like it here. I am not a city girl. Albany is like an inner city. If you like to drink or charge around in a car, or sit around and watch the factories belch or watch police surround a meth house, you'd love it here.

If you like some open space, to walk or bike or hike close in, you'd hate it here and would miss Corvallis, too, if you'd lived there all your life and are used to having parks to hike, bike and walk in all over, so you can get some exercise and get away from the concrete jungle.

I miss Corvallis. I miss my home.

I didn't get to finish my post, had a sudden emergency when some sliding cats dumped a huge water bowl. Well, it's cleaned up.

So what I was about to add was this: I am determined, until I can move back to Corvallis, to make things work here. I am going to create an exercise area in my garage. This is the only place I can do it, since otherwise, I step on cats. I'll have to move my car out when exercising, to have any room to do so.

Also, I must deal with the main floor in here, the sawdusting painted over particle board. And that means either epoxy paint or vinyl. I am too wary now of "the epoxy solution" after what happened in this bedroom! So that means vinyl. I hope to vinyl square it, like in this bedroom. Sure it's slick as all get out, especially if wet, but it is nice looking and easy to clean!

That's first on my list.

Second, painting the walls in the house something other than white, that shows every spot of dirt and cats are good at flicking it everywhere!

Third, the vertical blinds in the living room HAVE to GO! I hate them. You can never really see out and neither can the cats. The window is long in there, and, unfortunately thin and uninsulated, but there is nothing I can do about that. I'll have to put two lines of horizontal blinds, two sets, because the window is so long, but they're cheap, they really are, and maybe one day, I'll make curtains to supplement and help with insulation during cold.

But the vertical blinds are shit. You have to try to peak through the slats to see anything outside. This frustrates the cats. The cats mess with them. If any of the slats at all, are slightly out of line, you can't turn them, to adjust their angle, until you straighten every single one. Because the cats mess them up every day, I never bother anymore trying to adjust them anymore at all. So they're out of here. Horizontal blinds--in!

That will be a HUGE improvement, one I should have done long ago.

The floor, the blinds, the paint, those are fairly cheap fixes, if I use vinyl squares for the floor solution. Unfortunately, because of moisture getting into the particle board, causing bulges here and there, first I will have to sand the floor level. For that, I will need to find someone with an electrical sander I can borrow. Much easier and quicker than trying to hand sand such a large floor level. That could take a lot of time, and rip out my healing shoulder muscle.

Yes, my torn shoulder blade muscle is healing nicely. I can stand again, without pain if I move my back muscles which move and affect my shoulder blade muscle that ripped. I don't want to mess it up again. I want it fully healed.

The fourth thing I want to do is create a small room to protect my computer. I left a message with Nick, who does small remodeling projects like this. I hope to hear from him. He's also honest as hell, so he would do good work, and not rip me off either.

The fifth thing is I want to build a bedframe and headboard for that otherwise useless mattress. I don't really have working tools anymore, outside of a battery powered drill/screwdriver that does not possess, even when fully charged, much torque or power. It's not industrial strength, in other words. It's a skillsaw brand, but they're making them in China now of cheap brittle plastic and it's broken off several cheap crap parts already. These are no longer quality products that last.

Anything made in China, even normally good strong American brands, is crap!

You American companies, bring the work back to America and make the products decent again. PLEASE! We laugh here, mock the quality of Chinese made goods. Hahahaha--its' crap, made to break. Want something that lasts? Union shop! American made! Sue the company if it puts out crap! Yeah, because that works and the products put out are solid and well made.

Bring our work home. Buy American made and buy local produce. Boy, what a soapbox I can quickly jump aboard, huh? Hey, I love the local small time farmers, who sell their goods at the farmers market and stands. I don't buy from the kill everything living farm stands in the heart of pesticide acres, out here in Linn County. I buy, when I can from the small time organic farmers of the area. Not the pesiticde insecticide addicts and there are plenty of those types of gardeners and farmers in the area, too.

I again have several neighbors who I don't think could live without their spray packs of various killer chemicals. They are addicts. There should be treatment centers for chemical spray addicts, to help them kick their addictions.

Well anyhow, I am going to make changes here, to get by, until I can get out!

And, I have to make plans, on how I can get out of here. My escape! Complaining doesn't do anything real to make it happen. But it feels good!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oversleep!

Long hair silver tabby manx male, being neutered today. Well, I was just informed by the vet clinic, that this male died instantly, the moment he was anesthesized. I called his caretaker, offered a necropsy. He declined and said "these things happen". They do. Likely the cat has a heart defect, infection or has been severely weakened through chronic fighting, breeding and parasite infestation. I will be parasite treating all the other cats from this location. The vet said they are earmite, flea and worm ridden. UPDATE: the lady who used to live two blocks over, who sent me out to look for a sick black male, and that is how I discovered this colony, has just called the vet clinic to donate enough to cover the cost of Profender for these cats. She now works in Washington D.C. but still from there, tries to take care of her old home area, helping the stray cats. I think that is outstanding.
Flamepoint male, being fixed today.
Torbi female, being fixed today.
Another torbi female, being fixed today.
Org tab tux male, being neutered today.
One of five manx teens, this one a male, being fixed today.

I went over to a friends' place last night to watch Polar Express. She had cooked up some vegetarian spicy meatballs and some squash pasta, which I thought was good. I had already called the vet clinic to tell them I would wait and see, on bringing in cats today, on the weather. I'd told the brand newly found colony caretaker also, that, weather permitting, I'd be over early, like at 7:30 a.m. this morning, if the weather was ok, to get started on fixing that group.

I startled awake this morning at 8:28 a.m. Yup. Overslept.

Why? Two words. Let's make it three words. Deaf Miss Daisy.

She was on a tear. She slept all day and finally coughed up the irritating hairball.

She felt good last night. She felt so good, she ran in circles atop me on my bed, screaming in delight. Deaf cats. They can't hear themselves. They have no idea their happiness translates to no sleep for anybody else.

All night she was at it, delightedly racing around, jumping atop me in absolute bliss while I moaned and groaned and swore to keep her up all day today.

I must have finally dropped off to sleep. I never heard the alarm.

But, although I woke up at 8:28 a.m. By 9:38 a.m., I was at the vet clinic in Jefferson with six cats. How do you like that?

Four males and two females.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twitter the Kittens' Adoption Video

Twitter, Smoothy and Tex are now at SafeHaven. When SafeHaven contacted me and said they could take in three of the kittens, I was thrilled. They have an adoption chance now, while young. SafeHaven said they didn't have any kittens that young and fixed ready to go and people are wanting them. Christiana said they'd have them adopted out before Christmas. I hope they do. They're all three sweet boys. But when I was leaving them there, Twitter gave me a look, that just broke my heart, like I was betraying him. It was hard for me.

Cabin Fevered

I have cabin fever big time. I have only been out, briefly, the one time yesterday, in days. Man alive I see how cabin fever can drive folks up in Alaska nuts.

As for Christmas, I have no plans. I e-mailed both brothers, asking what their plans are, but I have gotten no response. I tried to call one brother yesterday, or was it the day before, no answer.

Well, I know I am on my own here. But for some reason, not sure why, during holidays, I like to pretend I'm going to some big family gathering, with all the drama that brings. Big warm and wonderful where everybody is glad to see one another, warm fire, that sort of mishmash, as many would call it.

I know the reality.

It's not just my reality. There are tons of people out there all alone.

I personally think its' sad so many people really have nobody at all.

I guess it is our culture maybe. I don't know.

In other news, I have to figure out what to do with this darn mattress. Those folks shouldn't have brought it if they really were never going to bring the box springs, frame and headboard they said came with it. Guess it was some friend of theirs, cleaning out a storage unit that it was all in.

I thought about tossing the box springs from my single mattress. The cover around it is rotted away and the cats have begun making themselves at home inside the box springs set, which sits on the floor with the single mattress atop it. This other mattress is bigger and in better shape, but I can't get up and down off floor level to sleep on it on the floor. I thought about putting the single mattress atop it and tossing the box springs. But this other mattress is quite a lot bigger than my single that I currently sleep on. And thinner than the box springs, meaning I'd be really low to ground level. It isn't as easy for me to get up and down off the floor anymore.

I need to learn to reapolster things. I guess I would need a sewing machine to do that. This computer chair, given to me by someone who got a new one from their family, for a Christmas or birthday many years back, is losing it's padding and the cover to the pads, not only on the seat but on the arms and back. I've duct taped it over and over, but it's getting way beyond that.

My couch, too, is falling apart. I got it at Goodwill two years ago. It wasn't in good shape to start with, but the clothe is rotted and falling apart, thread thin on the sides. Last night, I screwed a couple old boards on the edges of one end, where the cloth covering the ends is falling off its so thin, leaving large openings.

The fix job even is bad, due to my current shortage of scrap wood. My brother took the majority of my scrap wood away when I moved over here. I don't think he realized how much I rely on scrap, to make things and to fix things. I'll have to seek out a source. Some of the boards I have I have used over and over and over again, to fix various things, or make things that I then take apart.

I also want to get rid of this basically useless dresser. There's some fancy name for it. It came from Recyled Gardens. Someone donated it used, to sell there, but it never sold, so Keni brought it down here. I has six very shallow almost useless small draws at each end and in the middle, three extremely tiny drawers, that will hold almost nothing. There's a huge toppley mirror attached to the back always in a state of "about to fall over". I've been worried about that thing since it came, falling and hurting me or one of the cats. The thing serves no real use, holds almost nothing, is ugly as sin and takes up space.

But, getting rid of that would leave me almost no furniture. I don't need furniture that I don't use, except the cats like to perch atop the furniture. In the spare bedroom where I now sleep I have a very small wooden desk that I don't use either. Got it at a garage sale. I have an entertainment center, that is also unused totally, except for the cats perch atop it to look out the window. I have a nightstand, which I do use, and then the box springs and mattress I sleep on.

I got that mattress and box springs from Love Inc. when I lived in Corvallis. It's one of those refurbished mattresses. One a store takes in used, then cleans and sometimes like puts a new covering on. At least I think that's the process. Anyhow, when Love Inc.'s float passed in the Christmas parade, the short time I was able to watch, due to my shoulder injury, I cheered up a storm. They didn't know why, I know, but I did.

If I were in a normal state of motivation and physical ability, along with having just a bit of money, I'd make myself a bed frame and stand just as I wanted it. I'd use four by four's I think for the four corners and maybe for the four frame pieces, at the bottom to hold the mattress, bolted together with large bolts. I'd put heavy slats to hold the mattress, even a piece of plywood, but I can't get one in my car.

The corner posts would be probably 7 feet and at the top, I'd have a bunk and shelves and other fun things for the cats. I'd have it by the bedroom window, so they could watch out both windows rather than bother me all night!

And if I did have the motivation, money and working tools, I'd build an enclosure for this computer and its desk so that the cats could not work as easily at destroying it!

Hahahahaha. To foil the cats at their most treasured work, that of disregarding the importance of our human sacred objects to the point of using them like toys, perches or even litterboxes, that would be my most masterful acheivement of all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vegetarians Saving the World?

I didn't know half of the problem with global warming is due to livestock. Livestock production/meat eating is just as culpable, if not more culpable, than cars. In particular, ruminates To be specific--cows. They produce tons upon tons of methane, expelled into the atmosphere, and mostly from breathing, not as farts as many might like to think.

So, the real planet savers are non driving vegetarians. Vegans more precisely, those who don't eat meat or even dairy products. They're not promoting the livestock industry and it's extreme production of methane gas, dispelled into the atmosphere and a major contributor to global warming.

Vegans who drive SUVS are just as planet saving as nonvegans who don't drive at all.

It's a different take on it.

Livestock production is tremendously consumptive of all sorts of resources. It's also terribly unhealthy to eat most meat produced in our country. I saw the documentary Corn King. They told how most cows now are corn fed. They stand in massive feed lots up to their hocks in mud and manure, eating all day and not eating what is normal for a cow, with five stomachs they are born with, in order to chew cud. That's grass, not corn or any grain. Feeding ruminates a grain diet is deadly to them. That's why they have to put them on massive amounts of antibiotics, because they get acidosis, from eating grain, instead of what they're meant to eat--grass.

I haven't eaten beef for a long long time. I never liked it. I rarely eat meat at all, in fact. I grew up a vegetarian, in a church that preached vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle choice. I began eating some meat, but not much later in life. I still eat meat now and then, but infrequently. It's not only unhealthy, but unbelievably cruel, the way most farm animals are treated before being slaughtered.

I remember the phrase passed around our church, to describe what you are eating when you eat meat---"the scrophulous tumors". That's a phrase that can scare a kid and it scared me.

But now, it's not only highly ethical to not eat meat, but also good for the planet. So do your duty, you planet savers out there, who just hate SUV's, but don't go much further. Stop eating meat!

If I was starving, would I eat meat or even bugs or worms? Of course I would.

I'd eat dirt too if I was starving. Or even newspaper. You do what you have to do to survive. And if the survival of our species, not just individuals, depends on turning the world to vegetarian living, would you change, to save lives, to save our species future?

Actually, I don't think I would. I don't care anymore, you see. I have no family at all. I have no stake in the future of this planet or its people. I rarely eat meat because it serves me not to eat meat. I see how people behave towards animals. I know how people have behaved towards me. I also know how many parasites and all sorts of other stuff is in meat. Not healthy stuff.

I hear so much crap out there. Bullshit actually. People claiming religions. People often will go stark rabid over protecting fetuses, but will live their lives in all sorts of ways that ultimately kill living people. Like eating meat. It's funny. But, the bullshit and bullcrap I hear out there, the blind stupid justifications, the rabid believe systems that are pretty much a bunch of empty noise, that's why I don't give a shit anymore. I realize our species can't change its course anymore than can an ant or a bee or a mouse. Pointless to worry about the future of our species, is my point.

I've wandered away from whatever point I thought I was going to make here. I wonder what the weather will be tomorrow. We're supposed to have another big storm move in, with snow, or freezing rain, something, not sure what.

Never Again in My Life!

I will never go to Postal Connections in Albany again. It was awful, mainly for my own goof ups. I don't mail many packages. Even though I"ve been in Albany almost two years, I still don't know really where anything is, not like I knew Corvallis. So I stick pretty close to home, if not out finding cats. There really are tons of chain stores and malls in Albany, but nothing much else, so if you're not a shopping type, and I don't have the money nor the desire to shop, this place isn't for you.

I call my life here--existence, if you know what I mean, like I could have the same relationship to this town if I was just passing through, staying one night in a motel because my car broke down on I5. It's hard to explain what I mean. It's not like this is home. I'm existing here for now.

I couldn't get away from Postal Connections fast enough today, after stopping in there to mail a couple of packages. I finally was able to get out of my iced over driveway. I avoid the Albany Post Office like the plague. In good times, not at Christmas, you can easily wait an hour or two in line. I couldn't even imagine what it might be like at Christmas.

So I figured "these are lightweight items that shouldn't cost much to mail, even at Postal Connections." I was very wrong.

I did not know what to expect really, having virtually no experience mailing packages at a private store. They were not forthcoming with information. I asked for the cheapest route possible. The cheapest turned out to be, after the four very small light items were packed up, in one of their boxes and a mailing label on it---over $18. I nearly dropped dead on the spot.

I was so flabbergasted I didn't know what to say. I had to pay it, but I took the other package away and said "no" to having it mailed by them. I had forgotten my wallet. It was not in my purse. I had to excuse myself to go find it in my car out in the icy parking lot. The young clerk was rolling her eyes. I felt like an idiot.

I got back and paid it, and tried to collect my things. She had not discarded the old beat up box I'd used to just bring the small items into the store in. So I had two of those old boxes, and the two packages to try to juggle. I think the clerk thought it was funny. My change spilled out of my ragged wallet onto the floor. I was trying to pick up the coins while juggling the two old empty boxes and the two other boxes. She stood there, rolling her eyes, like I was such a loser.

Outside, frustrated, embarrassed, humiliated, I couldn't even swear properly. I sat in my car awhile, trying not to cry and trying to regain some composure, before I drove all the way to the Post Office in Jefferson.

It's small town friendly and the clerks are actually courteous. There are never two hour lines, like at the Albany Post Office. I paid just over $4 to mail the other package there. It would have cost over twice that or more, to mail at Postal Connection.

I should have come to Jefferson in the first place. I didn't think I could make it, due to the ice on the roads. After the experience at Postal Connection, I would have walked to the Jefferson Post Office, if I had to.

I will never ever go to Postal Connections again in my life.

After that, I went over to the SW Albany location, to search for the sick cat for the woman who now lives in DC. I didn't find the cat, but two streets from her house, where her ex now lives, I found a man with a zillion unfixed cats. I had rolled down my window to ask a neighbor of his, about the sick black cat, and she began telling me about all the unfixed cats next door. So I asked if she'd come with me, to talk to the man next door, about getting them fixed. She did.

He knew the sick cat I was talking about. And he also wants to get all the ones he feeds and has inside fixed. Weather permitting, I told him, I'll take the first ones in on Thursday. Weather permitting. It's supposed to snow tomorrow again, however.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold!

It's cold out there! In the 20's I bet. I haven't left my place today. Driveway, streets, snow and ice is all. My tires are bad. I have no chains that fit them either. So I'm staying put.

I wonder how SafeHaven is fairing, with their dogs and cats, in this cold. I e-mailed and asked if there was anything I could do, from here, that is, since I can't get out. I know a lot of their dogs live in outside open kennels. That's bad in this weather.

I thought I could offer if nothing else, if they need it, to give up my garage room for some cold dogs. It isn't heated, but I could heat it and it's inside, warm enough, insulated, with access to the backyard which is fenced. I am going to offer that. The only cat hanging in there now anyhow, is blind Stinod. She's gotten rather portly I have to say. No cold gets to her. I could herd her back through the run into the house proper and shut it off. I'm going to offer SafeHaven that if they need it. The garage room.

It's bitter out there. Bitter.

I try not to think about the suffering animals out there, from wild animals to strays. I try to shut it out. I did what I could before the weather hit, delivering outside feral housing units, temp ones at least, catching those kittens, but still, it's hard to shut out what I know is going on out there all over Oregon. Animals suffering from this. Strays, but also animals owned by stupid or indifferent owners, who won't bring them inside in this, or provide them warm shelter at least, outside.

I think about the homeless out there. Places have opened in most communities for them, warming centers, men's shelters, family shelters, but what about in the tiny towns without resources to do this. I think about homeless kids in this chill. They are not party to mistakes made by adults that land some adults homeless. Innocent victims they are. There are homeless who refuse such help as shelters or warming centers and I know why, because they have an addiction to serve and you can't serve it in a shelter or warming center. Oh boy, it's cold out there.

Well they caught the bank bomber not long after putting his picture all over the place. I suppose someone called. They haven't said much else, like why he did it.

No power outage here yet. But with wet snow freezing into ice on branches, I wonder what will happen tonight. Supposed to maybe snow again Wednesday. I've given up on the week. You can't trap cats and put them through surgery and return them in such cold.

I had some cats from Corvallis and one from the foothills of the coast range, but we've put it all off on them, since nobody can get out, or feels safe driving out steep driveways.

Someone who used to live in Albany, e-mailed me from DC, wants me to find a sick feral she fed, now cared for by an ex, and get him to the vet and warm. I e-mailed back I'll try, but no cat, especially a sick one, is going to trek through an icy field even to get some cat food in 20 degree weather, freezing the pads of his paws. I'll try to get ahold of her ex, see when he saw the cat last. It's sad.

I'm house bound for now. Kind of can drive you a bit stir crazy but it's fine. Sometimes there's nothing you can really do, so you just have to accept that. Vacation I guess.

Candy, the muted calico, wants out of the bedroom. She's a funny cat and very very sweet. I put the traveling screen door, as I call it, on the bedroom, so now they can at least see out into the rest of the house and interact with my cats through the screen and they love that. It's a homemade screen door, made out of old fence boards from my last place and some wire and some hinges and old gate latch, also from my old place.

I had it on the spare bedroom. Then, I had it on the bathroom and now it's on the main bedroom.

The people who brought me the mattress, who said they had the box springs and even the headboard that went with it, never brought the box springs or frame or headboard. I don't think they're ever going to. Now I'm stuck with a useless mattress. I guess I'll have to have it hauled off.

I never updated on the car going to the shop either. The mechanic never heard the sound. He tightened a belt and thought it must be solved. It still makes the sound, as loud as ever. I'm not sure what to do now.

Well anyhow, I"m slightly bored, maybe you can tell. Maybe more than slightly bored. I've written three Christmas cards, and told myself 'that is something'. I also told myself 'at least you've written and mailed three!' I was quite proud that I have written some even before Christmas this year. I was going to mail off some small packages, of small gifts but now I cannot get to the post office. I am therefore justified in my procrastination, which feels good.

I"ve gotten about six Christmas cards from people I don't know at all. One is from Florida and is apparently a friend of Diane's, a blog reader. Hey Diane, are you the one behind getting all these cards from people I can't recall ever meeting?

One of the cards is signed strangely, just a first name and a "'64". Down in the bottom right of the card, is a handwritten number. I think it is "108". I cannot for the life of me figure that one out. Am I supposed to know this person, maybe from 1964? I don't have much of a memory of that year, since I really was just a little kid then. Hmmmmmm.

I wonder if the 108 means that person has actually sent out 108 Christmas cards, and maybe, keeps track of them by number then the name of who they sent them to. I just don't know. Most of the cards are from strangers, and are just signed with a first name, and nothing else at all, so no clue as to why they wrote and sent it. Two of the six do mention my work with cats, the one from Florida and one from Canada.

Well, anyhow, did I mention I am slightly bored? So are the cats, and more than slightly. Candy is crying at the window. She wouldn't want out if she got a blast of the cold out there.

Oh one thing, I rented a really good movie---The Lazarus Project. Very good, good ending. I liked it.

Winter Hits Oregon

Snow hit the mid valley last night. Snow shuts down the mid valley in Oregon. We don't see much snow in the valleys of Oregon. We do in the mountains, particularly the Cascades, not so much the Coast Range. But in the valley? Rare stuff indeed. So we love it, at least some of us do, we who rarely ever get out of the valley, to visit the mountains in the winter. We folks who don't or can't winter recreate, for whatever reason, do love it when winter, other than pouring rain, comes to us.







I lost an adopter today, some folks interested in two kittens. They were at Petco, and while there, decided instead to get two from KATA. I don't know why, but it gets to me. It gets to me I suppose because KATA gets community support. They get help from Heartland and Petco. I know they work hard to help cats. I feel like quite the outsider here, in the mid valley, so often. It's the old issues, of wanting to be accepted here, be good enough or something here, in my own community.

I guess it doesn't matter so much. Good for them, adopting out two kittens. I couldn't care less what KATA does or doesn't do anymore. We had a major falling out and it was long overdo. I just have to find homes for all these here. I hope I can. I will do my best.

Sam's Clan

Sam, formerly of Millersburg, now has a cult following. The Starvation Kids idolize Sam and follow him everywhere. Sam doesn't mind, nor does he abuse his power as leader.








Two of Sam's devoted clan--followers Doc and Mops.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Matilda at Her New Home, Already Has a Friend, a Bigger Matilda!

Little Matilda is settling in well, at her new home, and already is great friends with a bigger lookalike, Mini. Her new adoptors just love her and how laid back she is. I'm so happy she's doing so well so quickly.



Snowing! And My Dysfunctional Light Display!!

It's snowing, then it's supposed to all deep freeze. What does that mean? Um, not sure. Probably power outages, wrecks and general lack of productivity, as people put on their skis, slip and slide, throw snowballs and call in sick to work.