Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Strange Call about Feather

I got a message tonight. I was in the midst of watching the very last moments of a video, so I just listened to the message later. Sounded almost like a kid. She said her name was Victoria and that she saw Feather on the website and wanted to pick the kitten up as soon as possible, which also sounded like something a kid might say.

So I called the Albany number. A young adult female answered. I said I was returning the call, about the cat. She denied she'd made the call and said "yes", when I repeated the number to see if I had called the number I'd written down. I said "Is there anyone else there who might have made the call, a friend, a child?" She denied that also. I hung up, but the woman seemed sad or distant or something I couldn't put my finger on.

I wondered later. Was it a child who called? It was hard to tell on my muffled answering machine. I have Feather labeled on the website as a kitten I found at the rest area, near death from starvation, likely abandoned there. I wonder, did a kid recognize a kitten they had, that disappeared, or a kitten that was at a friends house who had disappeared suddenly back before Christmas? I wonder if whomever called knew Feather's origins.

Or was it just a child who wants a kitten and their mother can't handle having a kitten? Or did this person accidentally give the wrong number? The call came from a cell phone, however.

It was strange, I'll say, strange. But there's usually a reason behind strange happenings. They are rarely random or accidental.

Another Breeder's Dogs Confiscated

The cost of spay/neuter, vaccination, parasite control, care, and adoption, when breeder's dogs are confiscated, gets shifted to others. Breeders need to pay for the cost of their behavior, I feel. Click post title to go to short article about 25 more dogs, most sick, taken from a breeder in Grass Valley.

Movies

I've been watching some movies lately, to try to keep myself from doing anything that would make my pain predicament worse, with my spine and shoulder muscle issue.

I rented a couple then Jeanne from Baltimore has been sending me some. She sent me Dragonfly, which was ok for a Kevin Costner movie. I liked The Postman, too, another Costner movie she sent me. I'm not a Costner fan. He seems kind of bland or something, in his acting. I liked Field of Dreams. Sort of. I'm not a baseball fan, but I liked that one. I saw Dances with Wolves too, when it came out, but it seemed a little stereotypical Indian, on the other side of stereotypical, if you understand what I mean by that.

I know the settlers did terrible things to the Indians, drove them out of their lands, slaughtered them. In a way, the fact the pioneers and our ancestors did such things doesn't mix well, in my mind, with the current ongoing conflict about whether our country was founded as a Christian nation and whether there should be seperation of church and state.

We weren't founded on any Christian principles I know of, not in the manner we treated blacks and Indians. Jesus wouldn't have done any of that. So I think it's a moot point, to discuss "our Christian nation origins". Or to argue about whether the founding fathers intended religion to be part of our society and government. Well, I've slipped off path. Back to movies.

There are some out I'd like to see. Like Slumdog Millionaire. Like Knowing. I want to see the new Tom Hanks movie, too. I haven't been to a movie theater forever, but, I need to trap over in Corvallis again, near that 9th street theater, and instead of sitting in a cold car, dozing off, limbs going numb, be nice to watch a movie while traps are set. I could justify spending the money that way, too.

I broke the bank here, you see, with Miss Daisy's dental and Electra's broken jaw and three bad teeth. Having a bad shoulder and spine is a good thing, in a way, to coincide with my savings deleted. I don't spend anything trying to take it easy, to heal my torn muscle and inflamed spine. I've got lots of food here. I have got probably five bags of rice alone. That would last me four months without anything else. But I've got oatmeal and vegees, too, and a little bit of fruit. I've got some tortillas, some onions and I live usually, when I'm eating like I want to, not mindlessly, on rice and slightly sauteed vegee burritos. I love them and it's economical for sure. My favorite breakfast is a handful of almonds and an apple. So I'm trying to get back to my normal eating, too.

I go out in the garage twice a day to do some very gentle exercises after moving the car out. It's cold in there but I try to stretch a little first.

Today, I think I'll watch another movie Jeanne sent me: Triangle.

A Good Thing

The Heatherdale woman who trapped the tubby tabby did call SafeHaven and SafeHaven took her in today. She didn't seem too scared there. I was very relieved not to have to dump her out in a parking lot at Heatherdale, where she came from.

So that's a good thing to happen, for tubby tabby. I hope she gets a great home.

So the vet clinic graciously agreed to fit in the preg calico Thursday if I catch her Wednesday. Otherwise, I was unable to get appointments this week because they are so busy. Nobody wants to see more starving kittens born under trailers at that park.

The cat is for the most part on her own and eats on the porch of neighbors. She has already given consent for the spay at least, and really wants her inside cat also fixed. It should have happened last week, but then the cat got away from her when she tried to bring her out to my car, for some reason. I hope I can connect again with her to get that black cat fixed, too. I'll try catching her ex-calico at the neighbors.

Here's the good thing. The first time around getting cats fixed there, three years ago, maybe four, I took in over 90 cats to be fixed. The next year it was far fewer. Last year, in April and May, I took in 33 more to be fixed from Heatherdale. In the fall, a half dozen more. Now this spring, so far, I've only found five unfixed cats there, four of the five free-roaming and abandoned.

What I'm saying is, the diligence has paid off. Things are better there for cats. And as a result, for people, too. The first time in, I tell you, it was like a horror movie, with sick crying dying kittens everywhere. I guess that's why I scooped up 16 kittens right off, and still have one of them, whom I never found a home for, now a full blown adult. That would be Comet.

Photos of Clinic Cats

Sheep barn tabby female, recovering Sunday, after surgery at the FCCO clinic. 84 cats were fixed. She was one of three females trapped at the sheep barns for fixing.
Gray and white dairy barns female, one of 8 trapped there and fixed Sunday.
This orange female from the dairy barns was completely tamed and I guess dumped there by someone, producing offspring that weren't so tame. Anyhow, they are all fixed there now.
This is the Albany stray Lynx Point Siamese a woman has been feeding. He was fixed Sunday at the clinic. The woman has now located his brother, fed on another porch, a stray since he was a kitten. We're going to try to get him fixed. He looks the same as his brother, a Lynx Point, too, I am told.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kittens at Evanite and Breeder Lady Lies

An Evanite worker opened a door to a small outbuilding and a cat raced out. Inside, he found four newborn kittens. He quickly closed the door again, so the mom could return and so as not to disturb the kittens.

That area is a bad dumping ground. The apartment complex there doesn't help. Plus people have always dumped cats at Crystal Lake Boat Landing. It's so sad.

I don't have room for four newborns and their feral mom. Darn it all anyway.

I released the dairy barn cats this morning and collected my traps. Then I went to Lebanon and collected the 18 traps at the trailer park and took them to Corvallis.

I've been trying to find a place for the tabby female all day. No luck. I've asked the people who brought her to me to be spayed to come pick her up. I don't have the heart to take her back there. I don't. One of the pair of woman had pledged to try to get her into SafeHaven but I haven't heard a word on any progress on that. Doing this sort of work really is very difficult a lot of the time, very heart wrenching, very tear jerking.

Then it doesn't help much to see the opposition to the puppy mill bill in the Oregon house on TV---the breeder crowd. One fancy dressed breeder lady was telling the camera all enthusiastic righteous like that "prohibition never works". Huh, breeder lady, what in the hell are you talking about? Prohibition? I can tell you with all accuracy, breeder lady, that breeding is going on, at least in Linn County, on every street.

I guess the original bill would limit people to 20 breeding in tact dogs. There is nobody on earth that needs that many breeding age dogs. The problem not being addressed or mentioned is the massive numbers of healthy dogs and cats being killed in shelters, many purebreds, and the cost to taxpayers to do that.

The breeder mentality these opposers of the puppy mill bill encourage is directly responsible for the overflowing shelters and so many suffering animals. Those breeders lie like hell and say it isn't true, that not many healthy animals don't get homes or die in shelters.

But it is true. They don't know, because they don't want to know. They have no clue what goes on in the real world of cats and dogs. They're mother fucking fancy dandy liars, protecting their wallets, while standing in pools of blood they are responsible for. While pathetic little people like me, and so many other little people struggle daily in the shadows to save the strays, the results of the breeder mentality. The fancy dandy breeder people and their pimped out dogs and cats are a world apart from reality and they just don't care about the reality out there, caused by over breeding. They consider me and people like me the same as the strays beneath their feet, unworthy.

Hey breeder lady, with your red lipstick and fancy hairdo and smugness. Breeder lady, you live in a nice little bubble world, that in no way reflects the reality out there, of how many animals there are, suffering, because there are too many.

Breeder lady, you're part of the problem, distributing your lies. Get off your fancy dandy butt and get out on the mean streets and you'll cry like I do maybe. If you have a heart, you will. If you really love animals, you will, love them more, that is, than it takes to pump out litters to sell like cookies at a church bake sale.

Your white hands and white lies will be covered with the blood of the animals, suffering like they do, because there are too many.

And there are too many people like you, too, fancy dandy breeder lady, sorry to say. I say, scrap that puppy mill bill and start a breeder spay neuter program bill. Let's fix those breeders. Literally. Hahahahahahahaha.

Albany public employee unions Refuse Pay Increase Freezes

The three unions representing city employees in police, fire and general city employees, refused a wage freeze, although all City of Albany management voluntarily accepted pay increase freezes. Click post title to go to story.

Here is the break down on city employee numbers. The 85 non union employees are the ones who very readily accepted the pay increase freeze.

"Currently, the city has 85 non-union employees, 186 in AFSCME, 77 in the police union and 66 in the fire union."

The unions said there is money there, if the city would not support nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Club. Albany routinely commits money to nonprofits that improve the community. Last year, for instance, Poppa Inc. received a grant to help fix Albany cats, through the city. That grant came from exactly the money the unions want for their employees, for pay raises.

With Poppa funds way down, Poppa applied for a renewal of that grant this year. If the unions have their way, it's doubtful Poppa will see a dime. Of the 939 cats I took in last year to be fixed, 250 of those were paid for by the Albany cat grant. I haven't done the numbers on last years fixes, but I will estimate two thirds of the 939 cats I took in came from Albany. At least two thirds. Last year was the first time Poppa received a grant from Albany.

I find it ironic, terribly ironic, because the police and animal control sometimes refer people to me, to solve Albany cat issues. I'm not paid by the city, and finally, finally, at least last year, with Poppa funds lows, came some huge huge financial relief in this effort.

And now the unions want the money, designated to go to nonprofits that increase livability, for pay increases. Ironic, it certainly is.

If, as a result of the unions stance, Poppa recieves no grant to help with Albany cats, when I get requests to help solve Albany situations, I'll just ask the requestee to please call the police department, or better yet their union, for cat problems, because they are supposed to address this issue under animal control and they are paid to do it.

I do understand people not wanting to lose pay raises. Especially those with families and children. If we don't get that grant, I might lose my job, since the funds are running out. I'm trying to figure out ways to make money for Poppa. I have three possible vending opportunities this summer. Midori is knitting more cat toys for me to sell at those events. I am making refrigerator magnets and greeting cards and someone else who adopted two of the Columbus Green Vanman kittens is sewing some craft items to sell, all to try to make money to fix more cats. I know that won't be enough, but I'm trying to come up with more ideas.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

84 Cats

84 cats were fixed at the clinic today. I didn't stay to volunteer. A woman who brought just one cat lost a beloved blanket of some sort that she either had over the carrier or inside it. I do suspect she might have been sneaking in her house cat to be fixed, but I don't know, didn't see the cat. Nor the blanket. It's too bad she lost it.

I think a good share of the cats were from Lebanon this time around. There were 11 from that trailer park and that many or more from an apartment complex. Plus others.

There were the 8 from the dairy barn in Corvallis, three of whom were females, and three more females from the sheep barns.

At least 84 cats were fixed. Someone drove up all the way from Triangle Lake with two.

I came home to tiffs galore here, amongst the cats. The old girl from Heatherdale, spayed preg Friday, is still in my bathroom. I made some pleas to other adoption groups, hoping one would take her in to adopt her out, but got nowhere on that. So tomorrow she has to return to life as a Heatherdale stray.

I am getting zero adoptions. Yoyo is causing problems here. He's super tame but doesn't easily get along with the other cats. In fact they attack him and he hisses and growls at them. It's been a misery. Mops fell off a cat run tonight. It was a horrible fall. He hit the wood stove on the way down, awkwardly. He seems ok, but I just carpeted that cat run, too, to try to keep them safe. It's the young teens who take immense chances. It's a wonder they survive.

I need to get some furniture, something, into the spare bedroom, then put the teens I'm trying to get handleable in there, so I can work with them. This creates issues, because it cuts out a third of the space in the house available for the rest of the cats. I can't work with them, however, running loose all over the house.

I have to find homes for a few cats. They're going stir crazy there being too many here, and so am I. I have to work harder at finding some homes.

The brief period in Corvallis was like travelling into light, in a way. All those bike and pedestrian paths, all those great parks and people out enjoying them. To come back to Albany, well, boy, kind of hard. Nothing like that here.

Just tonight, again, the irritating obnoxious odor of a probable nearby meth lab, I smell every now and then. Meth use and production is common here. I guess it must be a meth lab I smell but I don't know. Smells just like the ones I lived near in Corvallis, over in the Freddies district that were finally busted. I do live in the industrial district, however, and it could be some foul smelling periodic emission from one of the plants. A neighbor says it must be that, the industrial district, emitting something noxious now and then. I don't know, but it's really terrible.

Clinic Day

I was sooo happy last night when Nick ran out of traps and asked me trap some cats at the dairy. I was just going all stir crazy and cabin fevery. He'd set five, left, and all were filled with young teen cats when he returned, but he had no more empty traps to set. I went out to set three late last night, after his call, just as he was there to pick up the five, although he put the five caught into my car, since he had an open bed pickup and it was starting to rain.

We didn't wait there a minute, after he arrived and I'd set just one trap so far, before a gray tux young cat came out of the bales of hay and right into one of my traps.

So Nick went and got that one, hoisted it into my car, and was about to go get another trap with a cat in it, when a black tux short hair came trotting out. I grabbed Nick's arm, to hold him from entering the barn, and it was only seconds later that cat went into and sprung a trap.

I told Nick how difficult it was to see all those bales of hay without making myself a nice little nest way up top of the bales somewhere and taking a snooze. I love snoozing in amidst the hay bales, or laid out on filled grass seed bags stacked on pallets. There is nothing more comfortable in my opinion, except maybe snoozing on hay bales in lazy afternoon sun.

We'd seen a little fuzzy orange one too, so I told Nick I'd hang out a few minutes more, convinced that cat would be in a trap momentarily, which he was. 8 in all. I left traps set, but I think we got them all. None had been touched this morning.

I'd also been called by the Albany woman who feeds the stray male she rarely sees, so she's not been able to catch him. Well, last night she'd got him in. So he went over to be fixed, thankfully.

I didn't do any lifting at all. Others unloaded the nine cats. Then an old friend who used to live in Albany showed up. She looks terrific. She's lost 100 pounds since she got her stomach stapled last August. Unbelievable!

She's back in Corvallis to finish her degree at OSU, living with her folks, going home to NOrth Bend, where her hubby has a good job, on the weekends. She had done most of her degree while she lived in Albany, but then her husband graduated and got the job offer and they couldn't refuse it for her to stay here to finish school, that's for sure. So they moved down to North Bend. Anyhow, she's finishing now.

I taught her to trap when she lived, very briefly in Albany when I did, and I met her right after moving here. She wanted to get involved but then they moved. She's been getting involved down there. I gave her a trap. I figured it was a great investment for the cats of that area and it has been. The people who got me started gave me a trap. So I like to, if I can, give traps to the people who want to get involved. It was great to see her again. She had to leave, but she had come with a very in heat female, needed fixed, so we worked it in, even though she wasn't pre-registered.

In total, 11 cats were caught at that Lebanon trailer park, where Nick was told 50 cats free roamed. Turns out, it's a lot of the same cats, smorgasboarding around, porch to porch, being counted as different cats at different trailers.

I came home, because my neck problem got worse again. I think it's right back to that pulled out muscle from late last fall. All roads lead back to that time and me whacking upwards at the cat yard for hours from underneath the cat wire, to try to dislodge about a foot deep layer of wet soggy heavy leaves atop the wire. I shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't get those darn leaves off and the wire was set to collapse under the weight. I have to resolve the cat yard problem before fall. But I have to help to do it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Doc, taking refuge inside a carpet tube.
Mops, one of the Starvation Kids and member in good standing of Sam's clan, stands over Mums, one of the Lebanon Christian shovel killer colony cats. Mums has also joined Sam's Clan.
Button, from the Deceased Woman trailer colony, out of Columbus Greens, and Cattyhop, formerly of the Slaughterhouse colony, look out the window. Cattyhop is best friends with bully boy Comet, formerly of Heatherdale trailer park, and with Deaf Miss Daisy, whom Comet also loves. Miss Diasy, however, is certainly no bully.
Brambles, a young male from the HTN colony. I took him in to be fixed about the same time I took in MIckey, the long hair orange and white male, whose eye had ruptured, who ended up adopted by a Canadian. The vet told me I needed to keep Brambles because he too had a seriously inflamed eye, due to herpes infection, and would lose it, if I didn't treat him. Brambles and Mickey were best of friends. Shortly after that, about 17 cats were killed at HTN, by a stray Golden Retriever. Included in the cats this dog killed, was Brambles wonderful brother, who was super friendly and outgoing and who loved life. That dog never paid for what he did. I found out later the dog was lost by people who moved from nearby, just before they moved, and later re-united with his owners. The dog should have been shot.
Oci, a slightly feral little girl, who loves it here. She was left behind with other cats in Millersburg. I also call her Miss Hiss. She is precious actually, in that she so much loves having a home, and is defensive of her home and new wonderful life.
Oci again.
Sam, also abandoned in Millersburg, who is adored by every cat here, with the exception of bully boy, Comet.
Tugs, from the Lebanon Christian shovel killer colony. Tugs, Matilda and Mums remain here, from the 12 I took in from that situation.
Tugs, formerly of Lebanon, again.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bummed, Totally

Here is Electra, on my bed, two days after three teeth were pulled and her broken lower jaw bone was wired together.
Electra again, with lower jaw shaved.
The brown tabby stray female, rounded up by tenants worried about her, at the trailer park, to be fixed. It's a shame she has to go back there, to live as a stray, even though she has been fed by several people.

I am bummed today. I suppose pain is one reason. I gave my spots away yesterday to some Lebanon trappers, then today, I was going to take in two more Heatherdale cats, one a free roaming pregnant calico, loosely owned. The trailer woman said she would have her cat, also a female, also likely pregnant and the calico, inside this morning. I warned her not to bring them out when I arrived, that I would hand carriers through the door.

What does she do when I arrive? She marches out with her female in her arms. I tell her to go back in the trailer with her cat and I'll bring her a carrier but she won't and comes towards the car with her. Of course the cat suddenly freaked, clawed her, was dropped, and ran off.

She claimed the calico, the one she "loosely owns" had "not come out of hiding" wherever she was, outside, last night so she could call her into the trailer. Well, she was right across the street, eating food on another porch. The woman tried to call her over from that porch, but the pregnant calico wouldn't come and finally I had to leave. The calico is quite pregnant. That's all Heatherdale needs, is more kittens born under some trailer.

Unfortunately, this was her last chance to be fixed because I'd given my spots to the Lebanon trappers.

So it's tough luck for me and for the calico. I failed to make appointments far enough in advance at my vet, so I don't have anymore until mid April, long after the calico will have produced more kittens for Heatherdale that nobody will want and that will die horrible deaths or go on to form new colonies. It's really dismal sometimes. I did not know about this calico until yesterday late.

I haven't had human contact for too long, not anything normal that is. I don't know where to get it anymore. I guess I've given up on finding human companionship. I don't want to be one of those totally alone people until one day neighbors see emergency vehicles out front of my place, and they ask police, as they haul out my dead body, "So she's been dead like three months? Eeeewwwww!"

I don't watch much TV anymore either. I used to watch CNN, the weather channel, History channel etc, but I no longer get any channels except the three major networks. The shows they air are fairly lame, to be honest, not very interesting. I watch the news, half hour of local, half hour of national and that is about it on TV.

I've rented a few movies lately but nothing really was worth the watching, to be honest again in my opinions of the movies I chose. I used to like "The Office" but it's not as funny as it once was, I don't think. I once watched Dancing with the Stars, but that got old, too. There was a good line last night on Office, however, after Michael told his coworkers he'd just quit. One coworker confessed to the camera, "I love a good quitting story. It makes me feel like I have some control over my own life," then he kind of fades out, looking down, like he knows he could never quit and doesn't have much control over his life--the classic "Office" message inquiry into drudgery and why and how people endure it.

I do like The Amazing Race. Not only for how the teams interact but how they react to different cultures. Plus it's like taking a reality trip through far away places that I will never see. I think it's fascinating to see these other countries and cultures as they show them on Amazing Race.

I don't read books anymore. I should I know. So hard to find one I like. I've never been to the Albany library. I have no plans to go either. Finding a good book to read in the library is tough also, unless you know what you're looking for before you go, like going to a video store to rent a movie without first creating a list of movies to look for that you might like. I have gone to video stores and wandered and wandered then left without renting any movie. It's shocking to see the violent horror flick after horror flick lining the rental movie walls. It's the preferred genre these days I would have to guess.

Anyhow, I had a bad night's sleep last night with the other Heatherdale cat in my bathroom, which takes space up, from the hordes of others here, and with Yoyo's constant hissing at the other cats. He has not fit in well here, although he's a little sweetheart with people. I believe he was victimized quickly by the bullies, when I was gone, and is now afraid of all my cats. I don't have enough space or rooms here to give him a room of his own, unfortunately. That cuts down on space, crowding the others, which causes problems, too.

I need to get cracking on finding some homes for some of these cats. That's something productive I could be doing.

I believe I discovered where it was that Electra suffered a fall, hitting her chin and breaking that fragile lower jaw. It's in the garage room. I am going to carpet those runs so they will not be so slick for the cats. I am actually in the process of doing that right now, in fact. Upper ones first.

Electra is recovering rapidly and beginning to eat everything in sight and even play again. Miss Daisy is feeling extremely good, after having two more teeth pulled, and playing wildly.

UPDATE: So the tubby the tabby, from Heatherdale, was indeed very pregnant. She was spayed today. No sense a stray having kittens under some trailer. She's so nice, too, to have been abandoned by someone. She'll need to stay here and recuperate at least through the weekend.

My vet clinic, when I told them about the other preggie at Heatherdale, said they'd work her in next Thursday, since I laxed in getting appointments. This is wonderful news! It's a relief, actually, because I would have been asked to catch and take on her kittens, when they emerged from under some trailer. I love my vet clinic!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Going to This Sunday's FCCO Clinic

I am not going to be going to the FCCO clinic this Sunday. I couldn't get a volunteer position, actually I've had trouble being assigned one at the Corvallis clinics for a couple years.

I don't have any cats lined up to trap anyhow and so there's no reason to go. I told the coordinator I won't be there and won't be using the small number of reservations I had, so he can give them to someone else.

And that is that.

Two More Girls Fixed Yesterday.

These are the two tame females I got fixed at Space 41 last April 30, there at Heatherdale. The woman has since moved out. I don't know if the tabby in the photo is the same tabby roaming the park now as a stray along with a white cat with half length tail.


The photo below shows the possibly pregnant Heatherdale stray the feeders caught yesterday then brought to me to take to be fixed. And yet she is familiar, the slight slant to her eyes, that makes me think even now and remember commenting about to her caretaker that she looks oriental and exotic. I can't tell if the cat in my bathroom awaiting a trip to the vet tomorrow is fixed or not. She sure looks pregnant, to be sure, huge round belly.

But it's kind of a squishy belly, almost like a worm belly. She has no milk dropped but man does she look pregnant. The woman who owned the tabby and the white cat I got fixed last April, (photo at top) moved out. Another tenant says for sure she was a person who likely left her cats. Is this her tabby then, and the white cat, the other female I took in to be fixed for that woman at the same time, now abandoned and living the life of strays? I don't know. We'll see. If she turns out to be spayed, I'll know it's her and that her people left her.

Abandonment is common in Albany. If cats such types of people abandon are not fixed prior to being abandoned, they begin feral colonies. That is why I call fixing the cats of those people most likely to abandon cats: feral prevention.




Two cats were fixed yesterday. Yes, I weakened and took in the two females owned by the son and daughter in law of the BS colony caretakers, knowing they were of breeding age, and would likely not be fixed otherwise. They're beautiful girls. By the time I was settling in last night, finally, after the Heatherdale people brought me that stray, now in my bathroom, the folks who own these two girls, in the photos below, had called several times. One had already pulled out her stitches. I had warned them to keep them from pulling at them, or to get an e-collar. I don't know what happened. I told them to call the vet, who they said told them they needed an e-collar. He called me again then, wanting to know where he could get one so late. I looked in my things and did not have one, so I recommended he go to River's Edge, since they are 24 hour. I don't know if he did or not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Electra and Miss Daisy's Day

Miss Daisy had two more painful bad teeth pulled. Electra's problem was far more complicated. I took her in for an exam after she began to lose weight. Then, yesterday, I wanted to see if she was eating and seperated her from the others and gave her a small plate with her favorite wet food. She was interested, wanted to eat it, but would only lick at it and take tiny bites.

Today, at the exam, the vet couldn't find anything obvious wrong except tartar. I told them to give her a dental, that, while under anesthesia, maybe they could examine her further.

They spotted something very serious and painful--a broken jaw! The two bones on the lower jaw, in front, had popped apart. Oh my gawd, my poor baby. They pulled three teeth, did bloodwork, that turned out fine, and wired those bones back together.

The most common in house causes of that are blunt force to the face. Most common indoor cause of that, a door opening with the cat on the other side. This didn't happen to Electra. The injury was a week to ten days old. I bet she was bullied off that cat run, before I got the other shelves up, so there was more than one way off. She probably had to jump off hard, landed and the impact lowered her chin to the ground. I feel terrible that I didn't get the rest of the shelves up, so there were multiple ways off. I worried about that. She could have slid off the garage room runs too. I need to carpet them. I have two bullies here, Dex and Comet. Oh my gosh, my poor baby. I have worried about the cats, especially the older ones, falling off the runs when bullied or chased. Oh my gawd, my poor baby.

She'll be on heavy duty pain meds for a week but she'll be fine. She also had three teeth pulled and the rest cleaned. She hasn't had a dental in about three years. I'm so glad I noticed.

Cats hide pain, because they feel vulnerable if injured. Former ferals like Electra hide it even more. The vet only saw the problem because under anesthesia the muscles that still held it together relaxed and they saw movement between the two bones of the two sides. It doesn't take much to pop those two bones apart, the vet said.

So it was kind of luck, kind of a watchful eye I keep on the cats, for changes, and the careful eye of the vet when she was under anesthesia.

UPDATE: I thought Electra had fleas ten days ago, due to what looked like flea dirt on her chin. I used a flea comb and got it all out but there were no live fleas. Now, reconsidering that fine black dirt imbedded in her chin, it was likely really dirt, not flea poop, and that means her fall was in the garage room or out in the cat yard. She likely jumped or fell, hitting her chin on the way down. So that makes sense now. That means her injury is even older, at least two weeks old, maybe more, and had nothing to do with the new cat runs.

I went over to Heatherdale to try to trap the new unfixed strays I was told about, even sent photos of, although I couldn't tell much but color in the photos, early this morning. They are being fed.

However, the cats only showed up just as I had to leave, to get to the vet, which was frustrating. But even carrying an empty trap inflamed my shoulder and arm into pain and partial numbness. I then put my foot down, and said they needed to trap the new strays at Heatherdale. There were a lot of excuses, but then they did borrow the managers trap and caught the one they said was the pregnant cat. They said they'd seen her impregnated, by the white one.

They brought her over late tonight. I put her in the bathroom, because they brought her in a carrier and she began to meow. She's totally tame. I let her out an hour ago, and to my shock, I believe I recognized her. My mind began to go on scan mode. She's extremely fat. I don't think she's pregnant just really really fat, but she does look pregnant, with bulging out sides. I'm still going with "she's fat".

I began looking through photos of cats I've fixed from Heatherdale. I come upon two females fixed last April, tame and owned, so no ear tips, one a big brown tabby and one a white one, with a half length tail, just like the other stray the stray feeders are convinced is the male who impregnated this one. Now this is either one huge coincidence or these are indeed the two cats owned by a woman in another trailer not that distant from where these other folks feed.

I don't have that woman's number. And it is very possible she moved out and left them, like so many people do there, but being as how she is so extremely well fed, I don't think so. I think these two girls are smorgasboarding around the park mornings. I could be wrong but I think the white one, the feeders think is a male and this one they think is preggie, are the pair of girls fixed last spring. I'll go there in the morning with her and knock on that trailer door. I'm betting I'm right. Who wants to take the bet? It's kind of funny, in a way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Miss Daisy Once Again

Miss Daisy's mouth has been problematic since I got her. She originally was likely thrown from a car on Seven Mile and perhaps whomever committed such a thing, tried to shoot her close range. Extreme noise is one theory as to the cause of her deafness. Her little paw pads were even burned from walking the blistering hot pavement that August. She is one brave little soul.

A kind farmer found her in the ditch. She screamed at him. Then, neither he nor I knew she was deaf and he thought she was just making sure he heard her. Roger called me about his latest cat find. In the meantime, he accidentally closed her in a shed. He couldn't figure that out, since he thought she'd hear the door closing and get out. Well, that's when I began to wonder if she might be deaf.

I was going to adopt her out but she had health problems. Her mouth was a mess. I went clear to La Center WA to take a trapping job, that ended with me passing out on the hood of my car with a trap set in the middle of the woman's driveway and set badly. I blame it on the Margarita.

The woman had offered a hundred dollars to come help her trap four ferals. I was scheduled to work the next day at Recycled Gardens anyway, for a sale. So drove to La Center the day before, to make some money to pay for Miss Daisy's dental.

The woman was a stranger to me and it's kind of scary sometimes to go that distance and drive to a remote location up a winding road and into the trust of stranger. I liked her instantly. Her husband had died recently of cancer. She had a shrine built for him, with his photo and a candle flickering. Suddenly, she turned to me and said her deceased husband had just informed her she was to take me out to dinner at one of the local casinos. I thought "Hey, great!" And off we went.

The dinner was excellent. But, the problem arose when she asked if I would like to order a drink. I rarely drink. But I said "Yes, thank you very much. I'll have a Margarita."

One Margarita, led to two Margaritas. Can you imagine? A virtual nondrinker consuming two margaritas?

Well, you probably can.

We got back and I was supposed to trap those four cats and earn that money for Miss Daisy. I tried, at least I think I did. I do remember trying to get into her house to use the bathroom, and to find out where I was to sleep that night, and I had locked myself out. I couldn't rouse her, with knocking. I went back to my car, to spend the night inside it, and woke up with someone tapping me on the back, the next morning. I was laid out across the hood of my old Toyota. I'd set only one trap and set it badly, right in the middle of the driveway a few feet from the front of the car. At least, thank god in heaven, there was one cat in the one trap I'd set.

I was totally embarrassed. I was also hung over.

I gave her a trap I felt so bad. And I slunk home red in the face.

Miss Daisy got her dental. She's had to have several teeth extracted twice since, too. The last extractions were last August, when three more very painful teeth were pulled. The strange part is the bad teeth have been mostly on one side. I'm guessing it is the side she hit on, when thrown from the car. Now, she is again making gurgling noises when she meows and again has bad breath and again has sudden jerky breathing when trying to sleep consistent with a cat in pain. She's going in once again tomorrow, to be put under and I'm hoping all the rest of the teeth pulled on that side. They're not going to last anyway.

Miss Daisy had nightmares for a very long time after she came to live with me. She is, however, an optimistic joyous cat. But I know when she is not well, and it's happening again. She's in pain, and yet maintains such a wonderful attitude most of the time.

I hope all goes well in her surgery tomorrow. I love her so much. Electra, my old semi-feral, has been losing weight. Of course this worries me greatly. I had found fleas on her two weeks ago. She's the flea magnet here, the flea canary. So I treated her for fleas, and wormed her, since fleas mean a cat can get tapeworms. There's not been enough time since her worming, to see a weight gain, if that was the cause of her weight loss, but I want her checked anyway.

She's old. I love her.

She does not have diabetes or hyperthyroid because she exhibits no behaviors consistent with either, like extreme thirst. She is not drinking copious amounts of water. Electra has never in her life been overweight either. She is not vomiting and still is eating, but not eating a lot. She does not have diarrhea. What do I worry about, hairballs, kidney failure, lymphoma. I have been treating her for hairballs, but with hairballs, too, a cat starts drinking more, when trying to dislodge a discomfort in the stomach or intestine. Anyhow, she's going to be checked tomorrow also, for teeth problems, and I'll ask the vet to feel her thyroid area and abdomin. She doesn't have bad breath but that doesn't mean she doesn't have a bad tooth.

Update: Miracle at Heatherdale. I was contacted once again, by the South African with the nonprofit to help Ugandan school kids with books, at least I think it's Ugandans, but I could have the country wrong. She lives at Heatherdale and loves cats. But she won't trap them herself, the strays, that is, who need fixed. I am not clear as to why.

She said there were two maybe three unfixed cats again. Over I went, armed and ready. But, in that huge trailer park, crawling in drama and drugs and crime with a few honest tenants thrown in, and with all the already fixed strays out too, I decided the two, or maybe three, could wait until some quiet early morning.

Nonetheless, I stopped by one trailer where I'd gotten a dozen fixed last summer, just to see if he knew the cats the South African was referring to. He knew the big beat up orange male all right. I knew he would.

Then there's a white one with a half length tail, crook at the very end, just like Comets' tail. Comet is from there, one of 16 kittens I netted and hand grabbed in the carport of Trailer 52. The daughter of the old woman who lived there then had gotten herself a kitten at SafeHaven that wasn't fixed. She was a meth head and never did get her fixed, which is one reason I have been at SafeHaven to fix kittens before adopting them out.

The cat must have been responsible for about 40 cats there, by the time I ran into her. Her daughter from one litter looked just like her and had had litters of her own. Well, that cat, now named Molly, is with a friend of mine in Corvallis. She got spayed of course. And I scooped up 16 of her latest offspring and offspring's offspring in the carport there, because the old woman wanted them all gone.

Comet is the only one who did not get a home of the 16. I had back surgery right after fixing Heatherdale that year. And in the end, trying to round up every unfixed cat before surgery, I had to have little kids help me carry traps I was in such pain from my back. That was three years ago. Almost four years ago. Most of the cats I got fixed who stayed there, as fed strays, are still there, or have been taken in by tenants.

A lot of them have disappeared also. I was back again last June and got another 30 fixed, using Albany cat grant money. There's one woman who's never at her trailer, actually quite a few would fit that category. But some tabbies were living under her trailer. Next to her, I asked the guy in that trailer if I could set traps under his carport and he ok'ed it. He said he'd call if the trap was closed, but I never heard from him. I tried calling him. No answer.

I finally went over. There was a cat in the trap, all right. I knocked on his door. To my complete shock, he answered the door stark naked and began railing against cats and said he once ran for mayor of Albany and might again, on the premise all strays should be trapped and dumped in the country. "Ok," I thought to myself, "this guy's a nutcase." It was hard to just talk to him with him stark naked and all, but what I did, was I dressed him in my mind. There may have been some alcohol involved in his behavior that night.

I relocated five tabbies then, fearing for their safety, to Turner. But I trapped two more males that I had no place for, Ronnie, a beautiful silver tabby abandoned by another tenant, and Baby, a long hair black male. These two were fed by a real nice older couple. I love them. The wife of the pair swears like a logger. Or maybe worse than a logger. Or better. Depending on your perspective.

She told me tonight, because I stopped to say hi to them, too, that both Ronnie and Baby have disappeared. I don't like hearing that. Not at all.

The woman across the way from them has a calico she kicked out and is now limping around. The old couple thinks the woman's boyfriend shoots at the cats with a pellet gun.

A few months ago that woman called me, said she had two mothers and two litters and wanted them all fixed and also to volunteer. But when the day arrived, she didn't answer the door. She didn't reply to phone calls either. The old couple told me she got hauled off by the cops. Again. When I finally got ahold of her, she said her father took away the cats and kittens. I asked what he did with them, and she kind of mumbled something but would not really say. Nothing good happened to them, I bet. Then she got the calico and almost immediately kicked her out. So that one needs caught and fixed and she needs out of that horror zone, too.

Then I stopped by the motorcycle rider guy's place. Yes, he knew of the big straggley orange long hair I spoke of, that the South African said wasn't fixed. I got a dozen fixed there at his place, that he feeds, born in his trailer, last June. He came right out to the window of my car and pushed a hundred dollar bill into my very surprised hand. He's a bushy guy. He said "I told you I was going to give you something for helping when I could." I said "Yeah, but everyone says that and nobody ever really does it."

"Well, I'm different," he said with a big grin. "I guess you are," I retorted, with a grin of my own. "Is this real or did you just print it off?" I teased. "That is the real thing," he declared.

I was pretty happy of course. Seems kind of coincidental, given the story I just told of trying to make a cool hundred before Miss Daisy's very first dental and now I get a hundred handed over to me to help out with this dental and I think it's ok and I won't fight that help that is for sure. He got a whole lot more than a hundred bucks worth of labor out of me. At one point, trying to catch his last cat, I hid behind a woodpile across the street, holding a string to yank from the drop trap. I sat there for three hours before the cat I was after ambled home.

I wanted to stop in at the two guys place. I love them, too. So you see, I complain about Heatherdale but I have a lot of friends living there, so my complaints are just complaints. Not worth much.

Nobody keeps promises. And gives somebody something they promised them almost an entire year later, when they don't even have to. It's not like I went out hunting him down and put a gun to his head and said "pay up buddy or die". Ha! Like I could ever do that. Nope. I was just minding my own business hunting down more strays and he showed up at my car window smiling and paying off a very old debt, without me even asking.

What a nice thing happened to me tonight at Heatherdale.

Wild New Cat Runs. Bald Hill Park Photos.

Some photos of the new and improved cat runs I am putting back up after painting the walls (and the old cat runs boards).

Shady and Button atop one run.
Old box frame turned into a climb. Old nonfunctional live trap zip tied to it for a cat bed. They fight over who gets to sleep in it.
Runs attached to pink wall.
Old trap bed.

Here are the two cats I took in last Friday. The black little male turned out to be already neutered while the torti teen came from a woman living in a tiny 5th wheeler in Albany.



About ten days ago, I was in Corvallis and took the time to take a short walk at Bald Hill Park, my favorite Corvallis park.





Monday, March 23, 2009

Cat Fixing Update

Update: Friday, I took in two cats. One was a stray who showed up at the 34th street Baptist colony, a black male, whom I picked up that morning and took straight to the vet. He was already neutered. He's been hanging out with the strays for several months and the woman feeding the strays has been feeding him. She was fearful for him, since the apparent demise of an abandoned formerly tame and owned orange tabby male. She didn't want that to happen this little guy too. But, fortunately, he was already neutered.

The second cat fixed Friday was a torti teen, owned by an extremely poor woman now living in a beleagured Albany trailer park in an ancient 5th wheeler.

Today, a Lebanon woman took in her own five, four of them females and picked them up herself. She is connected to the Marian trailer cats I got fixed last summer.

I took 3 adults, three teens and two kittens from there to be fixed and returned only two adults. One of those cats I got fixed, but then relocated, or tried to, was Marian, who disappeared when she escaped from me when putting her into a containment cage at her new barn home down on Witt Drive, when the sudden extreme roar of a jet boat, from a nearby event, although it was not to start until the next day, on their little short road, caused her and me, instant jolts of adrenalin. It was so loud it was like a bomb had gone off right beside the barn.

I tried to hang onto her, in her panic, and got seriously scratched, wrist to shoulder, and bitten in my attempts. She was never seen again. I searched for her for weeks. I hope she is still alive out there somewhere, and that some kind person is feeding her. I still search for her.

Three of the teens went to a barn home outside Brownsville and are doing fine. I adopted out the two small kittens. One is doing great in Jefferson while the other, a very healthy kitten, died in the hands of a Lebanon family, who noticed, after a few weeks, that she suddenly couldn't use her back legs, but did nothing about it, apparently, and did not take her to a vet. She died.

Since the young daughter carried her around constantly and slept with her, I am guessing she suffered a traumatic injury, perhaps rolled over on, in sleep or something else. It was horrible to hear of that little kittens death. I no longer adopt small kittens to families with young children unless I know the family.

But a good thing in hearing from the Marian trailer woman this weekend, was that the allegedly feral female I trapped and returned, is now a house cat, she told me, loved and tame.

As for the gray male I returned, they don't see him, but he's probably still there and probably still eating the scraps they leave out on the porch. For one cat, scraps would probably keep him alive and this woman with the five cats fixed today, who is the sister of the man of the Marian trailer couple, takes cat food to them when she can. So it's his sister, who lives in Lebanon and loves animals, who took in her five today, paying a small copay on each, and vowing to make sure that gray male at the trailer, gets fed outside.

I had not intended to take any of those Marian trailer cats in to adopt out, just to get them fixed, but their neighbors' dog had come over and already killed three of the kittens and one adult between the time they called and when I got out there, three days later. I knew that many faced no future there, with a vicious dog next door, and them unable to afford cat food for any of them. They have no vehicle either, and if they go anywhere, although they are in a remote location, they ride their bikes or hitch rides with friends or family.

So two cats went in Friday and five more today. Also, I am told, there may be three more strays who may not be fixed, at Heatherdale trailer park. The woman who is feeding them is going to try to get photos of them and send them to me so I can check the photos to see if the cats have eartips or if I recognize them as house cats I got fixed for residents who then may have abandoned them.

An Adair woman called, wanting to get three cats fixed, but then refused to get the pregnant female fixed, stating her kids all knew the cat was pregnant and she wouldn't know what to tell them. They have four dogs, seven kids between the husband and wife, and nobody works.

I told her this might be a good time to discuss responsible behavior and kindness with the kids, but she said she couldn't. I explained Poppa's policy, which is they all get fixed or they will need to pay for it themselves and suggested she try the FCCO for the two males. The other thing is that they have their own vet, in Albany, whom she says she is going to work with, to get the two unfixed dogs done. I suggested she work with her own vet then, to get the cats fixed, being sensitive now to the concerns of my own vet, of people using them for spay neuter only because they are affordable but continue routine care with another vet. So I told her I could be of no help with Poppa funds and my vet. I think it was the right thing to do.

Will the Ax Fall?

I am waiting again, head resting in place, guillotine ax poised to drop. Ha, now is that over dramatized or what? Here's the thing: the vet I use is extremely affordable, so affordable on spay/neuter that people who take their cats and dogs elsewhere, to their own vet, for routine care, are using my vet as the valley's low cost spay/neuter clinic. It's riling them, I think, rightfully so, too.

So there's talk there, about how they can't make it on spay/neuter alone, if their prices are so low. There's talk of raising prices. When I heard this, my heart starts racing wildly. My job is on the line, as are the spays and neuters of hundreds of cats that, unless I have access to somewhere affordable, won't get fixed. Guillotine sweat out!

Fact is, there is no other place affordable in this valley for spay/neuter. I think most Corvallis vets cost over a hundred dollars to fix even a feral. Some have barn cat prices but that price for the spay of a feral is still over a hundred bucks! Who can pay that? Poppa can't pay high prices like that and, if I lose the one place in this valley where getting a cat fixed is affordable, Poppa's money will move to an area that has such options.

Sure we have the FCCO clinics. Three times a year, with a very small number, relatively speaking, of cats getting fixed through those infrequent visits by the FCCO van.

To actually solve the overpopulation problem, a community must have somewhere affordable people like myself can take cats in high numbers, rounded up, in door to door endeavors, owned and feral, immediately to be fixed. And preferably, the money to pay for the fixes available, either from a nonprofit source or county money and grants, or from private donars, kept on account at the vet clinic to be used only for spays and neuters. Otherwise, the problems will continue and magnify.

I understand my vets dilemma. They're a private business. They can do what they want to survive. In this day and age, without low cost spay/neuter options, some vets, like the Neuterscooter, have seen opportunity. In much of American there is no access to low cost spay neuter, yet poverty in America is widespread.

Poor people get pets. That's the way it is. Often, lack of education or judgement and responsible behavior, can go right along with poverty. Therefore, cats and dogs go unfixed. It's the way is is and communities must address how to solve this issue.

Where some vets feel no need to be part of the solution, others do. And some, see a business opportunity. Like the Neuterscooter vet, who tries to convince vets they can make a good living, meet great people, even travel, pay off student loans, etc, by offering low cost spay neuter. Yes, she's an incredibly hard worker and developed an unbelievably organized procedure flow that augments productivity, from check in through check out. Doesn't mean others, willing to work hard, can't do the same.

I'd like to convince my vet not to do fewer spays and neuters, but to do more! I don't think that will happen, but maybe some other vet out there, will not think of low cost spay neuter as bad business but as business opportunity.

I remember a job I had way back. I was living with my parents after being kicked out of OSU for being a mental case. My shrink talked to OSU and told them school was too stressful for me, so they kicked me out pretty much. He then went on to put me on about 11 drugs, give me labels and ruin my chance at any life. He was a piece of work, if you ask me.

He had told me "a mind is a terrible thing to waste," as he drummed his fingers together and stared at the wall. I know now he was talking to himself. He didn't want to waste the opportunity to make lots of money on my mind and life with lousy practise. I'll never in my life forget those words he spoke. Because they propelled a young woman without self esteem into a nightmare existence and further abuse that lasted decades.

So anyhow, I briefly lived with my parents which was, to be very very minimal----awkwardly horrible.

I had no job, no money. Down in southern Oregon where they lived the old vet retired. A new vet, an Irishman to the core, took over his practise, but the old clients of the old vet, weren't showing up and he was having a tough time. I went there looking for a job. He had no money to hire anyone full time, but he asked if he could hire me two hours a day, three days a week, for one month, to sit there and go through the old files and call the old vets' clients and try to convince them to come to him.

I had no self-esteem. My father had drilled into me how pathetic I was since childhood, and already the mental health system had taken its toll, too, by letting me know how faulty my brain was, how I'd never have a job or be able to do anything. I was drugged to the hilt, by the mental health freaks, and their drugs bloated me out terribly, blurred my vision, slurred my speech, took my balance away and further reduced my ability to live. I took the job anyway. It brought in about $10 a day and I needed even that pittance, to help pay for those stupid drugs I stupidly took because I stupidly believed those freaks.

I got to enjoy talking to people over the phone and because I believed in that vet and his prices and that he was a good and kind fellow, I could honestly "sell" him. He began getting old clients back and soon after that, I lost that job, because that was the point of me being there. My mother had said the father would tell her it wasn't enough money I was bringing in with that job and I knew it wasn't, but I couldn't find anything down there. It was hard to find a job if you were a girl, in a small lumbertown, unless you wanted to bartend or whore. There were not many options for young women ever in that area.

It was my one and only sales job. I believe I would be very good at sales, but only selling something or someone I really believe in. The whole thing with my vet brought up that memory. I routinely "sell" my vet to anyone I come in contact with, with honesty, because I know how people are struggling these days, and I know how affordable this vet is and I've never had a problem with quality of care there.

The next job I got was total loss---clerk at the 7-11. The guy hired me only because I was honest and honest people down there were difficult to find. But the stress of that job was so unbelievable, I couldn't do it, couldn't keep up, was scared at night, after one clerk got robbed at knife point. I was threatened by drunks, vomited on, and I just could not handle it. Lasted only a month.

Same think happened when I tried to work at MacDonalds. I lasted only three days. Couldn't handle it. Those jobs take a whole more people skills than I ever possessed and I salute the low wage earning folk doing those jobs, jobs I can't do.

I then moved to Albany, was briefly homeless, then taken in by someone I'd worked with in Corvallis, when a student. They were a married very very Christian couple. We'd worked together at a nursing home in Corvallis, which was a horror because of the low staffing levels. Often other aides never showed for a shift and so they called the reliables in, and overworked us until the stress was too much. Also the horrors were hard to witness, the cold way in which those poor old people were treated, like commodities, and if you talked to these lonely folks, slowing down your work, you got blasted by a supervisor. Sometimes they had no adult diapers and no laundry worker doing sheets and it was just so horrible to see the suffering of those old folks and how poorly that place was run. But that's where I met this couple.

I moved in with them. The kids latched onto me. Three of them then. Then one night I came home and the husband was there, with his wife's parents and they looked gloomy. The husband's cousin had come to live with them, too. He was an alcoholic and they wanted to help him. Instead, the husbands' cousin and the wife took up in an affair, in her own house. The husband kicked out the cousin when he found out. The wife came and he confronted her with the knowledge of the affair. She packed and followed the cousin back to where he came from. I lived there only briefly after that.

In the end, the wife came back and went on welfare, got a divorce from her husband and custody of the three kids. The husband, after the divorce, ordered himself a bride by mail. And much later, the cousin came back to Oregon and rejoined her, married her and they had three more boys. All five of the boys have ended up in jail. One is now a homeless young adult whom his mother described as a "hoodlum".

Another just was released from the penitentiary, for rape, another, the youngest, whom I knew was gay from the time he was tiny and wanted to do his mother and brother's hair, was arrested for molesting a young child, a boy, and now is in jail I think. They've all had massive problems. So I was surprised when the wife wanted me to help with some cats before they head off to missionary college before leaving to be missionaries on a SW Indian reservation.

That really got to me, to know so much about them, and to know they're going to go push their religion on Indians. It seemed so bullishly hypocritically white Christian arrogant. I just wanted to wretch after hanging up the phone. I guess the reason is, they could stay right here and do missionary work, for their own family, their kids.

After I left that place, I don't remember where I wandered to, maybe back to Alaska. Time frames of the past, at my age, are blurred.

End of the story I know, of course. I'm helping cats. So I guess it turned out ok for me. And I hope very much my vet doesn't raise prices so much that I'll have to start some new chapter because I like this chapter. I like this chapter a whole lot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tragedy

One of the four cats I vaccinated last Friday, as a favor, to friends of friends, died today. They just called and told me. Even though they say they don't blame me, or the vaccine, I know they do. When someone you love dies suddenly, first inclination is to blame somebody or something.

What they told me tonight, however, and didn't tell me Friday, was that the cat whom they found dead on the stairs tonight, suffered a traumatic event of some sort two weeks ago.

The wife went out and found him laying on the mat and drops of blood there also, where he had been laying. He was dirty, crying and then slept for 24 hours. The wife felt he must have been attacked by a wild animal and gave him antibiotics for a week figuring something must be wrong and antibiotics probably wouldn't hurt, in case he had an absess.

These are folks who do home doctoring. They are elderly and have usually home doctored most of their animals. They had bought their own vaccines, as they always have, but the husband has always given the vaccines. He's had a stroke and now can't do it. The wife tried, messed up one, then a friend, whom I know, suggested she ask me to do it.

I was late arriving due to the big Albany wreck.

There are few clues I could garner about the cats' event two weeks ago. The cat would have had no infection, because he was acting "down" right after he suffered whatever he did, as evidenced by his back and rear legs being dirty. So the injury was not infection, it was mechanical, like brain trauma or a ruptured vessel or a million other possibilities. So the antibiotics she gave the cat for a week, would have not been useful. The fact the cat slept for 24 hours afterwards is telling.

What would cause a cat to sleep that long, drops of blood, dirty, and showing pain but no injury to his shoulder area?

Head trauma. Internal injuries. Broken blood vessel. The cat died on the stairs, which is also a clue. When a cat climbs, the heart pumps harder and if the cat had a broken blood vessel, he could bleed out completely. I would guess the cat was hit by a car. He had no missing hair, no outward sign of a fight with another animal. That to me is consistent with being rolled by a car. Or trampled by livestock. Or a fall. But the dirty back half is more consistent with being hit by a car and thrown off the road. He could also have been shot and fallen off something when shot.

The cats' death was not related to vaccination. I did lecture them about over vaccinating since it was a five way vaccine they'd bought for each cat and give them every year.

I offered tonight to pay for a necropsy, so they could be assured it was not vaccine caused. And not caused by me. I wonder why they didn't tell me about the traumatic event. But then, they called me last minute, when the wife messed up one vaccine in trying to give it to one of the cats and I don't know which one, maybe the one who died.


Anyhow, they claim they don't blame me, but I think they do. I won't do that kind of favor again. I've never had a cat or heard of a cat dying because of a vaccine unless they have an allergy, then it's immediate. Vaccines depress the immune system and it could have added too much to whatever had happened to him already.

But my guess is that the cat had suffered a traumatic internal injury and tonight, on the stairs, that injury resulted in his death. They put their cats out at night which is the most dangerous time of day for a cat to be outside, in the country.

I know I did nothing to cause the cats' death. Nonetheless, I feel absolutely horrible about it.

What If Everything crashes?

I think about it sometimes, what if the economy totally collapses? Even when I5 was closed very briefly, due to flooding north of the Columbia River, Seattle supermarkets got no shipments and reports flickered on the news, that some store shelves could be bare in no time. That was just a minor glitch, too.

What would happen? It would not be pretty. Most Americans, with the exception of Mormons and survivalists, don't even keep stocked up on a few staples to last them a week. It would be worst in the cities.

Gangs would flourish as pre-crash organized violent militias, and take what they wanted in bloodbaths. Black markets would arise overnight. Criminals would steal and then sell commodities at extreme prices or in trade for more weapons. Warlords, basically leaders of violent gangs, would control our country.

Can that happen here?

Small communities would need to fortify themselves and band together. Everyone would become useful and if they were not useful, contributed nothing, they would be expelled to fend alone.

That's one view of what the future might hold if our ecomony falls apart.

Sometimes I think about it. My brother was talking about it when we chatted on the phone last week. He thinks the re-organization of America will ultimately be good. He believes there are too many people living way beyond their means and too much corruption in big corporations and in labor unions and too many unrealistic expectations from ordinary people and demands, like from some unions. He believes there are far too many people contributing nothing to society, except taking from it.

What would I do? I don't know. I know Albany might very well be one of those towns that would immediately become a bloodbath of violence. Where, if people are deprived of what they usually have, the reaction is to take from others, violently if need be. Sometimes I think there are people out there itching for things to fall apart so they have some righteous excuse to kill people.

There are not many people who own land anymore, so they could raise their own food. The land in Linn County is largely owned by grass seed farmers. You can't eat grass seed. Sometimes I think this is wasted land that could be used to grow food and maybe those farmers will grow food, if there is a huge crash, to make their living by raising food to feed Oregon.

One could not rely on wild game, should there be a crash. Every gun owner and their kids and cousins will be out shooting anything that moves, if they feel they can, without consequence. This will cause an immediate drop in game animals that will continue until they disappear. Same with wild fish.

I figure, perhaps a small number of goats and chickens along with a vegetable garden and a few fruit trees and berry bushes would be the easiest way to make it through. Goats are easy to keep. They would provide milk and cheese, even meat if need be. Chickens are perpetual egg layers and their feathers are useful in insulation. Creating a root cellar would keep many vegetables and fruits long into the winter, while canning, if available, would provide year round vegees and fruits from a garden and a few trees. A properly built root cellar is just as good as any refrigerator and requires no power to operate.

Do others think about the possibility of a crash?

And as for my cats, I could feed them rodents, of course, and even raise them here. If extreme violence erupted, I'd put my cats to sleep, to spare them horrible deaths and head for the hills, on the run, with what I had, and try to survive as best I could.

Jonathon Livingston Seagull Vs. While I Lay Dying

I was out in my garage trying to repaint the old cat run boards and cut them to fit with my old saw. Now why didn't I just move my car out to give myself some room? Why didn't I unpackage the new saw given me for my birthday by Midori and her husband? Why, when once again the shop light shorted out when I merely touched it to a metal trap, did I then resort to trying to cut straight with an old saw by dimming flashlight, with the board propped amidst tons of other garage stuff, with one end on a live trap, instead of moving out the car, getting some light in there, and maybe building a sawhorse out of other old cat run boards?

At some point, with the dull old slipping saw blade grinding to a halt, having achieved its two minute overheat limit, while straining to see, a tiny splinter of wood flicked up and hit my eye.

I thought to myself "Oh shit, I'm going to lose an eye over this." Fortunately, I flicked the splinter out quickly.

My stupidity turned my mind to an old book I read long ago: Jonathon Livingston Seagull.

Jonathon Livingston Seagull was no ordinary Seagull. He wanted to go where no other seagull had gone before. He was going to take what a seagull can do, that is fly, to the limits of possibility.

What does this say about the human race, about me, in my inevitable path to injury or worse? Jonathon's quest was to shake the inevitable fate bequeathed him, as a seagull, the sojourn from birth to death, grinding away in the never ending marching line of earning a seagull living, flying, mating, breeding, finding food and dying.

Stepping out of that marching line bequeathed him as his seagull duty and fate was unheard of. Such dreams fuel the rebel yell of youth.

Don't we yearn, especially when just breaking from our parents, to step out of the line of everybody else marching down that inevitable depressing progression, doing what is expected, living within the boundaries of what we believe is possible of us as humans. And yet, we march the path to destruction as a species, unless the Jonathan Livingstons' dare to be more.

Jonathon's only recourse for salvation was flight. There were limits to his possibilities even if his flight achievements might prove spectacular.

The book was on every seventies trendy list. So I read it then. I still think about it now, although I don't remember many details.

I think of the humans species demands upon the dreamers to stop dreaming. Unless of course the dream is pre-approved, a religious or workaholic or exploitative light bulb that will, in the end, march us to the end at an even faster pace. The boundaries placed upon the acceptability of experiments off the marching path are tight.

"Do not go an inch too far left of the path or an inch too far to the right or be branded, labeled and maybe jailed, as well, certainly drugged for your own good, and ours."

On we march, our fate sealed. Unless there be Jonathon Livingston Seagulls out there, pushing the limits from the updraft off a secret cliff.

While I Lay Dying is a hysterical work of literature. It was loaned to me when I was recovering from back surgery. I could not smother the giggles, that of course would start my freshly opened back to jiggling and hurting, but I didn't care. While I Lay Dying is the antithesis to Jonathon Livingston Seagulls message. It also portrays exactly the same philosophy I exhibited today in my garage.

Go read it. You'll laugh. Then, if you're like me, you'll start seeing yourself behaving the same way sometimes, when I know I want to be catching an updraft off a distant cliff.

Yoyo's Adoption Video



With sister Muffy, and brother Sir Purr both adopted and his mom, Suzie, gone too, Yoyo inhabits my bathroom alone. He's such a love and so interesting. I hope I can find him a home soon also.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another Reason to Buy US made Products

Click the post title to check out a story about China made drywall, causing loads of issues in Florida and other states due to its high sulphur content. A class action suit has been filed and the homeowners living in China drywall homes are suffering more financial losses and health issues. Where's our US imports inspection agency and why aren't they on the job?

Bottom line: buy US made products. Reward companies making products in the US and employing US workers. Yay for American made!

In other news, Reward Nevada for its increased emissions of toxic substances, like Mercury and Aresenic, that are creating hazards even in neighboring Idaho where fish in local lakes have concentrated mercury levels too high for safe eating, by not visiting Nevada.

Susie and Daughter Muffy Get a Home Together

Sir Purr, above, also got a home today, leaving, of the family of four, only Yoyo left here. He is delightful.
Muffy, the little tabby on white girl teen, got a home with super friendly manx mom, Suzie, in photo below. Yay!

Well, off craigslist no less, I had a great response and as a result, Suzie and Muffy, got a great home together. I am very happy. Celebrating in my own way. Rip roaring ecstatic over it.

Now, to find the two delightful lookalike boys good homes. Yawny, a.k.a. Sir Purr, and his delightful brother Yoyo.

UPDATE: Sir Purr is leaving also to a home. Really nice people, too. He'll be leaving any moment now. That leave Yoyo.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Horrible Wreck in Albany

There was a terrible wreck in Albany today. Click post title to go to the paper story about the wreck.

I just missed it, too. An older couple had called. The woman said her husband always gave their four cats the distemper vaccine but he'd had a stroke and she just wasn't able to do it. They are friends with the Millersburg Chaos colony folks and also several other Millersburg people I've trapped for. I told them I'd be there at 3:00 p.m.

But Pacific was backed up with slow going a couple blocks south of Costco. I peeked around the line of cars to see a firetruck and ambulance had arrived. I quickly made a left and headed down Old Salem, although traffic seemed to be sneaking by the wreck, which appeared to have just occurred. I felt lucky then, to have avoided whatever happened. I feel even luckier now, after hearing what happened.

I guess the police were chasing a stolen jeep, stolen last night in Portland by a big time Portland area felon, with a record as long as War and Peace. And yet he was out free roaming and not locked up.

When the cops tried to stop him, he bolted in the stolen jeep and the cops gave chase. Some time in the chase he ran a light, and rammed high speed into four other cars head on, on Pacific right there near Costco. At least two people in those cars, innocent people, are in critical condition, the news says.

When I rubber necked, in the bumper to bumper traffic on Old Salem, looking right across Waverly Lake to see what was going on over there on Pacific Blvd., I saw debris even on the pedestrian path down by the little lake. It looked like crumpled metal and even a twisted up little child's bike is what it looked like from that distance. It was bad, I could tell then, real bad.

Headed out Conser to the old couple's place, a deputy, lights flashing, must have just got the call, and was headed up there, too. I gave him his due, and pulled over as he raced by so fast I knew then it was something bad that had happened.

When I got back, it was all over the news about the 22 year old car theif and the results of his latest felony, on a whole lot of innocent lives. I hope he never sees the light of day again. He needs locked up forever.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Candy Now




Look how good Candy is doing in her new home. Her people sent me pictures tonight. Candy was one of the strays taken in by the old woman in Columbus Greens trailer park, who died a couple weeks after she took Candy and the torti kitten into her trailer, as house cats, after I got 16 cats she fed fixed. Tweetie and Button are still here of the 12 I took in after that kind old woman died.

Candy got a great home. The couple have two other cats and they report she is best friends with them. Always makes me feel very good when adoptors send pictures to let me know how the cat or cats are doing after adoption. Candy has been in this home for quite some time now. I'm so happy for her. She got great people!

Nick in the Lion's Den

Well, Nick braved the Lebanon trailer park Neighborhood Watch meeting, about the dozens of cats in the park unfixed. He said for about the first twenty minutes they were not very nice about the issue, wanting him to take them all away or shoot them. When he told them he was only there to offer help fixing them, and if they were going to demand otherwise he was leaving, they settled down, and some, he claims, even offered to help.

Brave guy. I hate those sorts of meetings. In fact, I prefer to slip into such a situation in the middle of the night, when everyone is dead drunk or in highly medicated sleep states, and just silently trap the cats and be gone, with them reappearing "marked" (with an eartip) magically a couple nights later. I've just worn out over the years on the stress of human interaction over cats in places where people don't fix them.

Nick hasn't done much of that "field work". He's fresh blood and yahoo, am I ever glad it wasn't me this time getting yelled at or asked to do it all.

My right arm and shoulder are painful and partly useless, due to pinching nerves. But at least right now my face isn't in spasms and twitches. I think it might be two weeks or more, if ever, before I'm back to being sort of functional again. Most of the time I fake it anyway. Most of the time I'm in some sort of significant pain. I don't really even know what I did to trigger this. Maybe I sleep walk and enter kick boxing contests with twenty year olds while sleepwalking. That would explain it.

Nick says I've been under too much stress, haven't gotten away for years, decades maybe, and that my muscles are constantly in a state of action, due to the constant phone ringing and always it's something somebody wants me to do right then for them and often it is an abusive call too, and there's usually neglected, abused, badly injured, abandoned or worse cats involved. That's too much stress to take every single day alone and its affecting me.

I think he's probably right. I said I wonder when they'll stop demanding on me, when I'm laying in the street kicking and twitching and gasping my last breath on Earth? He said even then they'd kick me, wanting me to get up, tell me I was faking death, that they needed some cat caught right now. He's probably right on that, too.