Thursday, April 30, 2009

No Pleasing Some of the Chronic Commenters. Cat Haters Letter in GT

Click post title to go to a letter written by a Philomath woman. Her letter is a response to one written by a Tim Sullivan of Corvallis, suggesting how wonderful it would be if the cougar roaming North Corvallis dined on house cats. He apparently dislikes cats very much.

The woman who retorted to the cat hater's letter, in above link, has received many comments. You can comment by creating an account, which is free, signing in and then leave a comment. Many of these folks are chronic commenters and most are not very nice about the comments.

I tried in vain to defend cats in the comment section but those folks who comment do not like me and have attacked me anytime I comment about anything. I think that is common, however. Most commenters on any site, these days, even on youtube, are mean spirited and leave nasty comments on the sites of strangers for no reason other than to take out their anger.

My brother and I talked about this phenom two days ago. Anyhow, there are a lot of cat haters out there. As I mentioned in the comments, most extreme cat haters are control freaks. It is true a good share of the time.

Three Cats Being Fixed Today

I often stop by the Pink House colony and give the cats food. I did so again this morning. They are looking good, all fixed and happy. Former enemies, like the outcaste last male fixed, sleep happily now with all the rest in a pile, in a dog house converted to a cat house outside on the porch, past tiffs forgiven. I still have one Pink House cat in my bathroom, the female with the extreme drooping conjunctivitis. She is slowly getting over her ailment. Has taken a lot of work and expense, but she's beginning to recover.
Rock Hill Silver Persian mix, being spayed today.
Gray tabby tux female, from Albany business, being spayed today.
Unknown sex gray tabby, from Albany business, being fixed today.
The Albany gray tabby again.

I don't think the Scio man showed up at the vet with the two cats he said he would be there with. He hadn't by the time I left the vet clinic, at 8:45. He had called here, telling me he was the man who was caring for most of the cats owned by an Albany woman. I got most of them fixed. Her landlord had told her she had to move out or move out most of the cats. She had 14. But, I guess she had a few more than 14. This man, a friend of hers, let her keep most of the cats at his property. He even set up a camp trailer they could go in and out of, for shelter. Turns out two were not fixed and so I arranged for him to take them in this morning, then accidentally deleted his phone number. I hope he made it up to the vet clinic with those cats. He does not live that far from the clinic.

The other three I took in to be fixed are two from the Albany business, who have had cats roam into their warehouse and outside of it. So far, one worker has trapped two and rescued a litter of kittens. There is a gray tabby tux female, who was literally starving, and wolfed three cans of food once here, yesterday, during the day, while in the trap in my garage. This morning, he met me with a medium hair gray tabby. Both are being fixed today.

The third cat up being fixed is from the Rock Hill group, a Persian mix young female. She is cat number 11 fixed from that situation. There is still a lactating mother and her three kittens who need fixed there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back to the Hill Folks

I went back up this morning, to the hill folks place, to the place with too many of everything. I was concerned about the lactating mom cat in my car, who was fixed yesterday. The hill folks hadn't found her kittens. They don't believe they're alive. I don't either now.

I got called first from a business on Queen. Over a year ago, the mom of someone who works there, called me, wanting to know what to do with strays roaming the warehouse. I said "Trap them. Let's get them fixed immediately." But, it never happened. Workers chased off the cats.

The cats returned and had litters. They found one litter but one of the kittens fell two stories and down in behind a wall. The son of the woman who originally contacted me, dug the kitten out of the wall and so far, it is still alive. He set a trap. This morning, he called, excited. He's caught one. He had not done one single thing I had advised, in the trapping. He had not lined the trap with paper, nor covered it and he'd left it set all night.

I chastised him lightly this morning for such behavior. An uncovered cat in a trap is a terrified cat. She'll be fixed tomorrow. Then returned. They don't feed them. She has already eaten three cans of wet food. That's just since this morning.

I loaned him another trap so he could try for more.

After I picked up her from him, and got her settled, I went up to the hill people below Lebanon, to return the four fixed yesterday.

I looked for the kittens after I released her and she ran right into big old rotted log fall. And then later, I searched again, when she crawled into the dozens of junked old spidery cardboard boxes under the deck. There are old tires, boxes full of glass jars, boxes full of empty tin cans, and lots of poop too. There was a little nest I found deep in the boxes, a flattened out old white plastic bag in the dirt. But I could find no trace of any kittens.

I think the nursing being done on her might be from her older kittens, teens and adults now.

Then I looked at the three young kittens, still in that extremely tiny cage inside her place. It's so tiny the mom barely fits inside it to nurse them and so they rarely let her into it to be with her kittens. It's so tiny, she says, she can't keep a food or water dish in there for the kittens.

"So let them out," I said. "Kittens should not live out their kittenhood in such a tiny space," I said. "Well, the dog would kill them," she said, as justification, as those two sets of innocent eyes stared into mine, pleading. I wanted to grab them and run. Run fast and far and never look back. I didn't.

The third kitten was in the bathroom breathing steam, she said. She finally brought him out. He's skin and bones and very dehydrated. This is because none of them are getting anywhere near enough to eat or drink. Mom is skinny herself and putting out very little milk.

She had ready for me the last unfixed female, except for the lactating female. She'll be fixed tomorrow and that will just leave the young mom with the three skinny kittens who needs fixed and that will be it, except for any of the three kittens lucky enough to survive.

I wasn't feeling good out there today. I was so tired and clogged up. I came home and slept three hours. I don't like to be walking at places where almost every step is likely to be into some sort of poop. I just wanted to come home. She's trying, that lady. Today when I was up there she was cleaning to beat the band. I know she'll get it under control. She wants to.

Four Cats Fixed Today

This brown tabby female was lactating but the vet said she had very little milk. He said, however, something was nursing on her. The caretakers had said she had kittens about five weeks ago, but they've not seen them. They had figured all of them died, or were killed. When I found out she was lactating, I called them up so they could start looking for any kittens out there. She'll be home early tomorrow morning, at least.
This is an adult kitten from a previous litter of the above brown tabby female. Both eyes have been damaged by the herpes virus. She is functionally blind. The vet told me if the caretakers want to try anti viral drops, her eyes could be cleared some possibly by use of that. I gave them the information.
This was the only male of the four fixed today.
This was the teenage preggie, spayed today, sister of above gray tabby male. Both are older kittens from the brown tabby female in the first photo, but only cousins of the second shown female.

Four cats were fixed today from the Lebanon colony I've been working. I've taken in ten so far from there.

There are still two orange males up there needing fixed, but they are not frequently seen. There are still two females up there needing fixed. One is nursing three young kittens while the other is the female who just got pregnant and the caretakers husband wants her ot have kittens. Then there are the three kittens who will need fixed, the ones already born, plus any out there alive out of the brown tabby female. So, even if no more kittens were born, there would still be at minimum, seven more cats needing fixed up there, four adults, three kittens. And that's only if none survive of the brown tabby female's litter.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am Frustrated

I admit to frustration tonight. I am trying to help a Lebanon couple get a lot of cats fixed. They have a lot of animals. Dogs, a ferret, twenty plus cats. One mother had kittens and they have the three six week old kittens in a small cage. I suggested vaccinating since several of their cats have had herpes and one, fixed today, has two clouded over eyes, apparently from contracting herpes when a kitten.

None of the cats are vaccinated due to the sheer numbers of cats they have, I guess. I told her she could buy vaccines if she couldn't afford to get them all done at a vet. She doesn't like needles however. I suggested the intraocular, intranasal vaccines Densons carries.

She got some. But then she wants me to tell her how to give them. Then she tells me the kittens are sick and what should she do. When I warn her against giving vaccines to sick kittens, she says "Well I shouldn't have gotten them then." And, "What am I supposed to do with sick kittens, just see if they survive?"

It's frustrating. I'm just helping get the cats fixed. It isn't my fault they have too many animals to afford vet care for all of them. I know she's frustrated, but I can't give them answers for everything.

I told her to give the vaccines then to other cats there, to increase the protection and health of the herd, so they are not active vectors for carrying disease and transfer to other cats not yet vaccinated.

These folks have web access. They can look things up, do searches on the web for answers, too. I suggested that also.

I've had this problem elsewhere. An older couple who use a very expensive Albany vet called me to say an adult they took in from a neighbor is losing hair in patches. They have had three other cats do this, before they took in this one, they said, and took one or two of their cats with this condition to a vet who said it wasn't ringworm but did not know what it was. They wanted me to come over and look at the cat and tell them over the phone even, what they should put on it. I said "Consider taking her to the vet." They said they couldn't afford to. I said, "Consider calling around. There are less expensive vets than the one you use." And then I gave them the number of the vet I use in Jefferson.

They know their vet is extremely expensive. So when a cat has a problem, they want me to come look at it, and possibly take it to my vet, paying the cost myself. That ain't going to happen.

I have a designated little speel now, to recite, when people request this.
"I am not a vet. I do not know what is wrong with your cat. If you cannot afford to take your cat to your own vet, I suggest you call around to find a vet you can afford."

When people have kittens that are sick and they cannot or will not take them to a vet, I tell them to consider giving them up to a shelter that may have the resources to take care of them.

That's all I can do.

I'm know this woman is fed up with having so many animals. I am hoping she will talk to her husband, who she says loves kittens, about getting another pregnant female fixed. She would not let me take her yesterday to be fixed today, saying her husband wants the cat to have kittens, "because she's so pretty". She had at first hedged at getting the teen, who was fixed today, spayed, because she was pregnant. I pointed out they already have over 20 cats and now three more kittens, and two pregnant females could result in ten or more kittens born, in addition. She readily then agreed to her being spayed and really wants the other one also fixed, if she can just convince the hubby.

Come See Poppa at OSU Pet Day

Click post title to go to Pet Day schedule, in pdf. The second page is a map of events and booths. Poppa's booth is number 48, in the far left of the left most field, right next to vendor parking. That field is typically vacant of vendor booths, except for a small scattering. They appear to have gotten more applicants this year......

Poppa will have a booth at the OSU vet college Pet Day, Saturday, May 2. Poppa's booth location is about as far from the action as a booth could possibly be located, the outback, so to speak, but hopefully the booth will get some traffic. Poppa's president is coming to man the booth. I will help.

Afterall, Poppa Inc. helped fix about 750 Linn and Benton county cats last year alone. I'd like to know what those other nonprofits and groups there have done, by comparison. I guess I'm rather partial.

Poppa deserves an up front location, hero status in my opinion, not hidden in the farthest reaches of the venue. It is slightly depressing to see Poppa Inc. was given such a far off location.

But, oh well. Maybe Poppa will be able to attract people to that far field and make some new friends anyhow.

I see Chintimini Kennel Club will be there. It was a Chintimini Kennel Club officer who wrote a letter to the Corvallis paper against the puppy mill bill, describing the pet overpopulation problem as a hoax. Too bad Poppa Inc.'s booth wasn't right next to their booth. Boy what a contrast in values that would have made.

That field is all commercial booths, except for Poppa and the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary, and a Eugene Ferret Shelter. The three nonprofits, along with various commercial/product booths, occupy the far left line. Also in that field, but with better position closer to the buildings and action is SafeHaven who is up in the far right corner by the sidewalk, a very good location. Next to them, Senior Dog Rescue, who got a great location--front and center.

If it rains, that left field, will be vacant of people. I should check the weather forecast. Poppa did pay for a canopy and table, so at least the booth is rain shielded. In Oregon, in May, you sure can't count on sun.

Who is Pet Adoption Network? I know they used to be in the Albany area but they always claimed they only did dogs. Then I thought they did cats, too, because they were helping adopt out cats in Eugene, but I just got told all the main PAN people moved or quit, and that they are back to doing only a few dogs. Does anyone know?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bees, Cats and Mustard Fields

I headed up to the Rock Hill colony. There is a mustard field along a road on the way. I took some photos of the field and of the bees there to pollinate the crop. Up at the colony, I went after a feral female and male. Caught both using the drop trap.

Then I steered a young female, hiding in the laundry room, into a live trap, and caught yet another feral female, whose recent last litter disappeared. There are still two females and two adult orange males up there, who need fixed. One of the two females is pregnant and the woman's husband wants her to have kittens, although his wife doesn't want or need anymore cats to care for. She is going to try to talk him into getting her fixed.

The other female is lactating with three six week old kittens. The two orange adult males who need fixed still, are feral and I gave up finally on trying to find them.

There is a neighbors unfixed black and white cat over there all the time, too. She went and asked the neighbor if she could send him to be fixed and they said "no" and that they didn't think it was important. Yet the cat is over at the neighbors eating all the time, like a starved thing and trying to breed. Pathetic!

This torti manx female is elderly and already fixed.
This is a young semi feral female I did catch who will be fixed tomorrow.

I made a short video of the bees. Watch it below:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Injury to Insult

The middle post with half up round perch, which was a piece of plywood that formerly was part of my cat wheel. I dissassembled the cat wheel last fall. The second perch up, still in the construction process, will connect with a cat run from the pink pole against the green wall. Theoretically. Eventually.
My big toe, injured by a falling jig saw.

Ice pack on my eye. My eye was injured when it collided with a corner of the couch.
Buffy just loves Sam. All the cats like napping together on the table by the window.

Gretal, formerly of the Highway 34 shoulder.

Cattyhop, rescued as a very sick kitten from a yard next to a Slaughterhouse, cuddles with Miss Daisy, formerly a stray tossed from a car on Seven Mile Lane.

Have you ever decided to do a project, after pushing away the misgivings pestering your brain with pesky doubts? Do something you may not have the expertise, physical capacity or tools to do correctly? But you just push forward to do it anyway?

Today was a day I went a project too far.

I wanted a post from floor to ceiling two thirds of the distance from the west living room wall to the east wall. This post would connect, eventually, via near ceiling level cat run, with a post I would attach to the north living room wall and to the end of the hallway wall on the west. Eventually, it would connect, also via skyline cat run, to the east living room wall. Such big plans!

My garage has only a few feet of working space. I didn't even map out my project in a small area of my brain first, let alone on paper. I just plunged in.

I get this way. Sometimes I just don't care if I do a shoddy job or even if I hurt myself. I make movements and work almost as if in a trance. Usually I'm sleep deprived or have troubles on my mind, that keep me unfocused on what I am doing with my hands or to my house.

I slipped, on thrown up hairball, barefoot, carrying a 2x4, inside the house. It was a slo mo slip, in which I clearly saw the end of the 2x4 heading towards the big front window and altered my course on the way down to avoid that expensive messy eventuality. The altered course of my fall prevented the 2x4 from connecting with the window, but did not prevent my right eye from connecting with the end of the couch.

For the next hour, I couldn't bear to open my right eye. It hurt. But I still did not have the sense to stop. I kept working, one eye shut.

Outside, in the garage, I drilled a hole in the middle of a small square of plywood to use as a shelf on the pole. I would slip that plywood over the pole through that hole and secure it halfway down the pole, as a halfway up perch. The halfway perch would also be secured to the base, with a shorter pole, to help stabilize the taller floor to ceiling pole that would support cat runs in all directions. Eventually.

I had the plywood propped on the end of a trap while I drilled a starter hole, then used a jig saw to cut out the large square hole the pole would fit through. I forgot the plywood was barely balanced on the end of the trap, reached up to rub my sore eye, and rested the jig saw on one side of the plywood to do so. The board began to tip. I reached to catch it, and the jig saw fell off and hit my foot squarely on the end of my big toe. AWWWWWH!

I began cursing and hopping around on one foot. A big blue bulb appeared on my toe just below the nail. I went inside and got two ice packs. I applied one to my toe and one to my eye and plopped down onto the couch.

I was up and at it again within ten minutes, determined to finish. But my battery operated screwdriver's batteries don't hold a charge long anymore. Nor much power to effectively drill in a screw longer than an inch and a half. I was trying to ream in 3" screws. I was trying to build a brace for the top of the north wall pole, to attach the cat run to, but the drill screw bit skewed off the cheap drywall screw top and into the base of left thumb. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I pulled a third ice pack out of the freezer. Nevertheless, like a zombie, like a war damaged and worn soldier, I methodically pressed onward.

I have pink paint on most toes tonight. And some in my hair in the back. The pole is pink too. I painted it! My thumb is swollen and so is my big toe and my right eye is bloodshot a color close to the color of my floor to ceiling pole!

But it's up. The cats are ignoring it. I think it is a work of art!

I could have done something far more productive today. I could have driven to Corvallis and taken a walk in a park. But my tiny garage space won't hold all this scrap lumber I've accumulated for the creation of the final picture I have somewhere in my brain, all painted and put together, of the interconnecting cat runs that will encircle my space and be magnificent.

That's my excuse for wasting a decent day inside, being repeatedly assaulted by tools.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Terri Irwin and the Corvallis Cougar

I sent an e-mail to Terri Irwin about the Corvallis cougar. If anyone could help that cougar kitten, she could. Terri Irwin, the wife of the late Steve Irwin, was once an Oregon cougar rescuer.

I received a response that because Mrs. Irwin gets thousands of e-mails, her e-mails are screened by a company and only those they deem pertinent are allowed on through to her. So, my e-mail was at least given a chance at getting through, but whether it will or not, I don't know.

For those out of this area reading this, a young cougar, probably orphaned, has been roaming a residential area near Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. Fish and Game has set live traps for the cougar and once caught, the cat will be immobilized then killed. This has stirred up debate in Corvallis. Many want the young cat killed. Others don't.

If there is another option, I'm sure all parties would likely agree to it. The only option I could think of was former Oregon cougar rescuer Terri Irwin, now of Australia. That's why I have been trying to reach her. Probably, she is far too busy to help a young cougar in Corvallis.

Harvest to Come

I hope to be a successful gardener this year. I have already planted lettuce, various varieties, spinach and squash. I was concerned about the recent cold weather's affect on the newly sprouted seeds, but they seem fine and are growing well.

The two broccoli plants that produced nothing last year are yielding. I don't quite understand this, but nonetheless, I've been eating broccoli from the two plants.

The cherry tree out back was overloaded in blossoms. Bees swarmed the blooms, including bumble bees, and I am happy. I have a neighbor willing to loan me a very tall ladder this year, so that I won't just be eating cherries off the lower branches. I am happy about the prospects of fresh sweet cherries to come.

I am hanging pieces of birch wood with holes drilled through. A couple down near Queen, for whom I trapped cats, showed me how these attract a certain type of bee, who use the drilled holes for nests. They are not honey bees, but these bees also pollinate. They are not aggressive bees either. I can't remember the species name, but they are beneficial.

I loved the pumpkins I grew last year and I will try to grow them again. I ended up using only two of the many pumpkins that grew from a single plant for their meat but I also dried the seeds to eat. I love pumpkin seeds. I don't have a green thumb, but I'm trying to develop one. I found out one doesn't need a green thumb to grow squash. They just grow. And one plant produces more than enough for one person and then some. If one grows pumpkin, not only can one eat the pumpkin, but one can also dry and eat the seeds. If you lack garden space, squash is the way to go!

I am planting the lettuce and spinach seeds amongst the flowers and other plants. I got the seeds last year at the dollar store. They were selling packets two for a buck. The seeds grow just fine.

Watering is an expense. Water rates in town are very high. But, I save water now. If the cat water dishes are dirty, but still mostly full, I use that water on the garden plants. These things can save on the water bill. Since most of my plants are just off the cement of the driveway, any rain runs off into the three feet of soil between the driveway and the house, automatically watering the garden plants.

I am trying to think of other ways to use water efficiently, mainly to cut down on the cost of having a garden and fresh vegetables a step out my door.

Did you know you can buy ladybugs and nematodes for natural control of garden insects and pests at Home Depot? Did you know worms love coffee grounds but many harmful insects do not? I am learning things and trying to learn more. Did you know you can spray water with a bit of dish soap in it on leaves of plants or corners of your house and spiders will not make webs there, and insects will not worry leaves sprayed with such a solution?

I once tried killing weeds with vinegar. It removes the waxy protective coating on leaves, leaving them vulnerable to the suns rays. But, this method does not effectively kill weeds, because the roots remain intact. I remember deciding to create my own weed sprayer, using vinegar. I had a bottle with a hose attached and vinegar inside the bottle. I had a second opening at the top with a cap on it. When I was ready to spray, I added baking soda through the second lid, then quickly capped it. I was hoping there would be no explosion. Sure enough, the pressure of the vinegar and baking soda reaction created the pressure necessary to force the solution out through the narrow hose. The reaction didn't last long but it was fun.


I rented and watched Slumdog Millionaire. I enjoyed the movie. However, it is shocking to see the poverty and relentless brutality portrayed and the viewer cannot hide from seeing the way many children must live in a nation like India. Made me count my blessings.

I was cheering throughout the movie, that the Slumdog would win in the end. It is very well put together, to keep a viewer interested, with flashbacks interspersed with the game show. The flashbacks show how he came to know an answer, in his brutal lonely childhood in the slums, where he and his best friend struggled to survive by hustling.

After the slum dwellers are attacked and the slums burned by another class, and his mother killed, the two boys live in a garbage dump with an orphaned little girl. They are taken in, along with other slum orphans, by a group of men whom at first seem intent on caring for the children and teaching them to sing.

However, once a child can sing a song well, the two boys discovered, they would be blinded with acid, and sent out to make money for the men, by singing and begging blind on a street corner. The boys and little girl try to escape. The boys are able to leap onto a moving train but the little girl is left behind.

The flashbacks are shown as Raman, now a young adult, deliberates the question.

He is accused of cheating with one question left to the million, and hauled to the police station where he is brutally tortured in attempts by police to extract a confession. Further flashbacks there, as he relates to the police how he knew an answer, fill in his life story.

In the end, he is taken back to the game show, now a hero to millions, for the final question that would make him a millionaire if he answers correctly. Meanwhile, the girl from the slums, whom he has always loved, who has been intertwined in his life, is enslaved to the mafia like criminal whom Slumdogs childhood best friend now works for.

His friend makes a sacrifice that will cost him his life. He gives her the keys to his car, and helps her escape the compound of his boss, her enslaver, to go to be, finally, with the love of her life.

This movie is hard to watch, but I loved it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Peko Now

Peko is one of the three Kelly Road kittnes, that also included Miato, now named Maxwell, and Rags, the Ragdoll. Peko was adopted by a young man, a university student, to surprise his fiancee on Valentine's Day. They send me updates on how she is doing. Today, I got some photos. They just love her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Six Cats Fixed Today

This cat was a male.
All three brown tabbies were females.
Male, with severe earmites.
Another of the females fixed today.
This female turned out to be already fixed. The caretaker of all these cats is refusing ear tips. HOwever, if another already fixed cat gets shows up she wants fixed, I will inform her to get these cats eartips or pay for the fixes herself.

Six cats from the Rock Hill colony were fixed today. All were actually tame. I don't really know much about the situation that led to this couple having so many cats. She was referred by a Lebanon woman on E street for whom I took in to be fixed four adults and five kittens. It was very late when I arrived last night, after going with Vicki way down to Marcola. I barely found the place in the dark. It was almost 10:00 p.m.

She has a dog in the yard who began to bark and never stopped. I kept up at my car, hoping to keep the dog from barking so neighbors would not be annoyed. She had five cats inside, and put them into her carriers and I set one trap and quickly caught one she calls one of the "strays". She has about twenty cats, she said, but she and her daughter got 8 fixed last year on SafeHaven vouchers.

Unfortunately, they did not know any other of the solutions out there, like the FCCO or even the close by Spay Inc., to get the rest fixed. They then reproduced. She claims the strays come down from a barn above her owned by an older couple who get cats as mousers but will not fix them nor feed them, so they end up at her place begging for food. Anyhow, I guess she might have half dozen or more left needing fixed. Today six were fixed.

In other news: BEST SURVIVOR OUST EVER last night. Yes, I watch Survivor. I love watching the human drama of it and I know a lot of it is edited to become drama, bits and pieces shot at different times, put together to make into a dramatic story line in one episode. Nonetheless, last night's vote out of Tyson was spectacular.

Tyson is a good looking young athletic man who is also funny. He declared himself a Mormon from Utah right off, but later on, said he might want to move somewhere less Mormonany, once Survivor ends. But, Tyson is also vain and rude and uncaring. He was unrelentingly mean to Sierra, a young frail woman on his tribe, who had a bad start to Survivor because she was suffering from Strep.

In last nights episode, before the vote, when Sierra was begging for a way to remain, he told the camera he felt she was worthless. He told her that to her face and that she was next to go. At the vote, Sierra thought she was being voted out. She wrote down Tyson's name and made the comment when she did so, "You're a jerk."

Tyson is a jerk.

Unbeknownst to her, the two men from the old tribe, JT and Steve, plus some of the old tribe women, had decided to rid the tribe of a physical threat, who also happened to be an arrogant jerk. Tyson was voted off.

Coach, the joke of the show, although he does not know it, voted for Sierra's removal also, making a big show of it, by saying "I am the Dragonslayer. I cut off the dragon's head (meaning ousting Brandon, although he had nothing to do with that) and now I am slaying his mistress. (meaning Sierra)". Coach is a magnificent liar. He considers himself a master man, being a soccor coach and symphony director. He lies, is arrogant and thinks he is splendid, yet he is laughed at and mocked by other tribe members, behind his back, and no doubt by the TV audience, because he is a joke. He and Tyson were best buddies and thought they had everything under their control.

In reality, southern boy JT and his friend Steve, a nerd, and another woman from the old tribe, are running the show, quietly and without fanfare.

I want JT or Steve to win. Or even Sierra, although she is somewhat whiny. Actually, I'd love it if anyone but Coach or Erin won.

But the elimination of Tyson last night was a feel good moment for all those who have ever been bullied or abused by the barbie crowd at any time in their lives.

Bully Barbie boy Tyson got voted off the island. Good riddance.

I can only hope the outlandlishly arrogant ego blinded Coach is next.

Go JT! He's an honest hard working good ol boy. Go Steve, the nerd. Go Debbie, the school principal. Go all you women left, except Erin, who seems more bitchy than brainy.

Kittens in the Wilderness

This is where the kittens were dumped.
Watch a video of the expedition to find the third kitten below:

A lot of this goes on up there.
The saved. Her brother was not so lucky.

A Sweet Home couple, who enjoy driving logging roads, called in a report of seeing cats, way out in the middle of nowhere above Marcola. Since no one in Eugene seemed willing to go help them, Vicki of KATA asked me if I would go with her, since it is an extremely remote area, and the logging roads can be confusing.

So this evening, after I got my car back from the shop, I met her in Crawfordsville and we went on up and met a Springfield woman, who, with her children, had been up there trying to find the spot and the kittens. Just before she came down off the mountain to meet us, to take us up, she caught the little calico.

The initial report was of two white calicos kittens seen by a mudhole. The mudholes are created by four wheelers, up there tearing everything up in monster pickups and four wheel drives. Although no shooting signs are posted everywhere, a lot of shooting and teen partying goes on up there, too, in various spots. The quarry, half way up, was the scene of a drunken shooting a couple months ago, between two target shooting parties. And, the very top is a hotspot for hang gliders, a jump off spot because of the cliff. It's redneck heaven, in other words.

And it's beautiful.

It is extremely remote, however, and to take kittens that far into the middle of nowhere, to dump them out like trash takes a certain breed of monster.

The little calico caught was so skinny it was sad. Cherie's elderly mother actually spotted the dead little white male along the road, not far from where Cherie had just trapped his sister. But was there another up there or had the old couple, the only people to claim to see two calicos, been mistaken and instead seen the white male and the calico now caught and safe? We didn't know for sure and may never know for sure. WE followed Cherie into the woods because she had to leave and take her mother home. We were up there for hours with half a dozen traps set. We saw nothing.

Cherie was the only person of the Eugene cat people crowd willing to act, I guess. The Talking Heads just talked, for two days I guess, on message boards and e-mail lists about it, according to people in this area, who are on the same list. But nobody did anything. That's why Vicki finally decided "enough" and went down clear from Sweet Home. She didn't want to go alone, so called me. I'm not on the lists and had not heard of the situation. In honor of Cherie's "Action Hero" work to save this calico, and because she even had to rent traps to bring, I gave her one of my traps, as a gift. I know she will put it to good use.

It is not safe to be up there alone at night, so we all left just as dark was setting in. I stopped between Brownsville and Lebanon and hurriedly picked up six cats from a woman waiting on me to arrive.

Wish I knew some men, who'd like to camp out all night up there, and check some traps periodically, for the third kitten, the second calico, if she exists--men with guns preferably, since there are too many drinking men with guns who frequent that area, therefore it isn't really safe for anyone else.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Price of Returning One Cat: $80

I got my car back. Total price, for a used tire, to replace the new one ruined, plus alignment--$80. What pissed me that night, besides hitting the curb, was that the woman was not home earlier, when I tried to return her cat, the designated time. I had to come back with the cat much later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tire Killing Curb

Chunk torn out of tire by curb, along with slightly bent wheel lip.

This is the curb that killed my tire. Coming down, into the parking lot, from above, turning right, then angling farther right, to get into the one non disabled parking lot, you just cannot see that the curb is even there.

I am getting a used tire, not even the same brand, but at least the same size, today for $30. I also have to have it re-aligned and the front end checked for damage, to axle and steering rod on that side, which will cost, even if nothing is wrong, about $125. I'm getting that done tomorrow. I hope very much nothing has been damaged except the alignment and the tire. The wheel lip is bent but hopefully it is usable.

Because of the male cats fright pee attack, I have to somehow get that stench out of the car, too, before it is baked in. Ideas?

I went and got the used tire. It's over five years old and the tread is extremely different than the tread on the other three. It's worn on the edges. Probably should have not spent that kind of money on that old of a tire. The car drives horribly now. I don't know if it's just me needing to adjust to the feel of having a tire with different tread on it, or something more ominous. Driving with different tread tires can feel like you're heading in several different directions. Maybe that's all it is, but it does not feel like its' driving normally and it is shifting to beat the band.

That happens sometimes too, but usually in a head wind, when its sweeping in more air on the intake or when climbing a hill, since it's an automatic four cylinder tiny motor. I hope nothing serious is broken. The good thing is when I backed out to take it to have the tire put on, there was no jerking or clunking when I put it in reverse today.

I have an appointment tomorrow for re alignment and for a check of underneath components that may have been affected. This will cost me over a hundred dollars. Hopefully there not be anything wrong with that front axle or the steering rods.

I cancelled the doctor's appointment. Had to. And I am cancelling cat fixing appointments also for tomorrow. Have to. Some things you can't do much about.

This experience hasn't taught me much I guess, except how dependent I am on a car and how difficult it is financially to be dependent on a car.

I did live without a car for decades in Corvallis. I would really not want to do that again, as you have no freedom to go anywhere or do anything other than walk a small area of one town. Relying on bus service is ok for some things. But even the far superior bus service in Corvallis, compared to Albany, came with time constraints. To use the bus for all transportation involved a lot of waiting and transfers. HOwever, this time can be put to good use. Like reading. Sometimes, when the buses were behind, they would just skip a route, too, and you could sit there waiting forever, not even knowing. That was years ago.

To shop, using the city bus, meant a lot of trips, since it is difficult to transport a lot of bags, if walking to a bus stop, and the amount of baggage allowed on the bus was limited also. Getting a pet to the vet required finding someone willing with a car. This was not easy. So, do I want to go back to living without a car? I don't. If I lived in Corvallis, it would be easier to live again without a car. Not so easy in Albany. People live that way here, mostly low income folks, but most do have friends with cars I think.

You have to do a lot of begging, to get rides to get things you might need, and begging for rides like I used to do, boy, that was tough and hard on self esteem.

I am lucky to have a car now. Means I can travel if I want. Means I can do the work I do, which is actually the only use this current car has ever had. I hope to, before it dies, use it for recreation, like a camping trip or a trip to the coast. I have not been to the coast for a decade.

It's a Toyota, and to have over 120K on it, having had no trouble with it so far, that's really good.

I remember when my last old car quit. I lived on the outskirts of Corvallis. The well was bad where I lived, so I relied on filling water jugs and I did laundry in town. When my car broke, my laundry piled up and I got a little desperate for water on a couple occasions. It was a long long walk to a laundrymat, nearly four miles, and so I took to hitchhiking with my laundry. I know it's dangerous. It was a much simpler life. I quit answering the phone, since I could not work the cat trapping without a car. I walked more, too.

In the end, I got the Scion, from my dad's estate funds, and was thrilled. I am still thrilled with the Scion. Probably the Scion makers never envisioned it being used as I have used it. Makes me smile to think of their possible reactions, if they knew.