Sunday, October 23, 2011

Boards

Today, I was loaded up with free wood. Free boards, really. OSB.

My friends have a neighbor rebuilding his house after a fire. There is lots of scrap wood piling up. She went and asked if I could have some of it, to build things with.

He agreed and set aside the bigger pieces of OSB.

Today, I went to load it up. My friends loaned me their pickup. I drove my car over, left it parked, and swapped out for their pickup. Then I drove it over the field to the pile of boards. There were a lot of boards there. Many were beautiful and rectangular. Others, not so useful in shape. But it was a take all or nothing offer.

I loaded it all into the pickup and drove the pickup back to my place. But where to put all that wood for now?

I dumped it temporarily at the back of my garage which I quickly cleared, wildly tossing stuff out of the way.

Another friend had arrived and wanted to go for a walk with her dogs. I left the wood problem behind happily for a time. Now it's there, to haunt me.

I started off the morning high in hopes for the kittens over in the colony I've been working, the kittens who are disappearing and dying. Last night, I talked to the colony caretaker and she agreed to hand over any and all but one white one, if I could persuade the KATA volunteer from Corvallis to come with me and take some of them.

The KATA Corvallis volunteer had to cancel an appointment for today to go. But out we went. Two of the kittens are sick, with conjunctivitis and diarrhea. I didn't think the couple were going to be there, but out they came. They had given me permission to take the kittens if they were not there. It's too bad they were there.

The KATA volunteer asked how many they would like to relinquish. The woman said, "None of them."

I was shocked. SHOCKED! I talked to her just the night before and she had told me to take them all, except the white one. Now, it was like I was talking to someone else altogether. Plus I was horribly embarrassed in front of the KATA volunteer, after she cancelled an appointment to come. I was also terribly dismayed for the kittens. And for the neighborhood.

After this, I had to tell the couple I will not be back again, that they will need to get the rest fixed. That's pretty rude to do what she did today.

There are probably ten kittens who still need fixed and two adult females.

They went back into their house then. I couldn't help myself. I scribbled out a quick note about the upcoming Corvallis FCCO clinic, urging them to get the rest fixed there, to register immediately and stuck it into their screen door handle.

There's nothing more I can do there. Not without tearing me apart emotionally, getting used and abused like that, having to watch those kittens suffer when they could be getting the medical care they need, fixed, vaccinated and adopted out to indoor only homes. And those people, being so selfish over them, that they would deny them all those things, when they are already caring for 30 cats, none of them very well cared for, living as strays.

Makes me sad to think about it, really sad to think about it.

After my dog friend left, I took back the empty pickup to get my car. So I was telling them what happened and that now I short on cats for the clinic since I planned to take at least seven or eight more from that place to be fixed. G says, "You want to catch a cat, then catch the one out back right now." She said she was just out back of their place and he was inside the shed eating.

That shed used to be my shed. HP volunteers built it for me when I lived at the shack in Corvallis. I'd ripped out a shoulder muscle trying to build one myself out of scraps from here and there. I was attaching the roof, made from tin I scrounged off a shed burned down in Jefferson by the fire department for practice. The roof began to slide, as I hoisted it up. I was losing control and one corner was headed for that blessed shack's rotted out kitchen window, which would have been enough to make my slumlord scream for a week at me, then evict me. So I caught it. I caught the damn roof on its way down, as it fell.

I could feel the muscle tearing off my right shoulder, as I hit the ground, rolling in agony. It was a horrible ripping feeling that I could easily convert in my brain to sound. After that, my arm wouldn't work right. I'd drop things if I turned my hand one way. I couldn't lift anything.

I needed a shed. So, someone signed me up for the Day of Caring and they came, the HP engineer team, highly organized, and in one day, hauled off my home made shed and created a new one, which was beautiful. They would not let me help, which made me feel helpless and useless, but of course I could not help, with a useless arm, hanging from a useless shoulder.

When I was evicted by the slumlady, there was no way I'd leave her a shed that was mine. So my tow truck friends just chained it up and winched it up onto a flatbed and took it home with them. I'd already installed a cat door with a tunnel made from a large plastic flower pot.

Tonight, I peaked inside my former shed and saw the black and white cat. G says, "Do you have a trap?"

"In my car," I replied, and ran off to get it. In the meantime, she blocked the cat's exit through the flower pot tunnel with her legs. I flipped over a metal tub and put it under the flower pot and set the trap on that, with transfer door up, trap covered except for the far end, so the cat would see light and think he could escape.

I told her to slam the transfer door down when he bolted out through the flower pot exit into the trap. Then I slipped inside with my net. He was hiding in a bale of hay and spooked out the hole instantly, when I touched him with my net, and into the trap.

Yahoo! One cat caught. It's a big unfixed male with a clouded eye.

After that, I went up to the VV colony and hand grabbed two of the four remaining unfixed kitten. The orange and white one weighed in at only one pound six ounces still, way under weight for his age. But his sister, the torti, was obviously of weight, so I scruffed her when she wasn't looking and dropped her into a carrier.

Try as I might, I could not locate the other two male kittens, who hang out down near the couples' daughter's place. And she wasn't home.

Home I came to find several messages. One was from someone with six cats needing fixed. Then someone else needed a male cat fixed. In short, I have 20 cats lined up, 22 if I catch two males out off Clover Ridge. 23 if I catch the new roamer around my place. Unlikely though, since he roams in very infrequently.

I'm over my limit in fact.

So it was a great day. I can build anything I want with all that OSB. If I can find some scrap 2x4's, I'll be busy all winter!

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