Monday, November 07, 2011

Wore Myself Out

Getting old, I am.

I thought was doing ok with the time change, getting to bed at 8:00, really 9:00 by the old time, on Saturday night, with the cats for the clinic long in hand. But I didn't sleep well. Too much caffeine.

Nonetheless, I dropped off the cats at the clinic and came home. I was going to sleep, but someone I know was volunteering and said she got off her shift at 1:00 and would I like to hike up Bald HIll. Of course I would! I haven't been up Bald Hill in ages, only a couple times since moving out of Corvallis.

So I went back at 1:00 and we walked the paved path from the Fairground out, then cut right to the old barn, then went up the hill from there. I am seriously out of shape and really didn't think I'd make it, without frequent stops, but I got a second wind and it wasn't a problem.

I then remained at the clinic until I could leave with my cats, joking around with Leah, the tech, whom I've known like forever.

We reminisced about clinics of the past, like the Eugene one, where Julie from Brownsville showed up in the cage cleaning area out back, near days' end, with beer. We all joined in kicking back. Then Leah came back. She said she'd wondered why all the volunteers were heading out to cage cleaning.

"So what's going on out here?" she asks.

"Nothing," I said, trying to push the beer bottle under my chair with my foot. But it fell over and I instinctively reached to save it.

"Nothing huh?" she says. After that, she made a new rule, she said, telling the story to another tech on the van there Sunday-"No alcohol at clinics."

I told her "I used to go to Eugene clinics just to net loose cats." She laughed. The Eugene clinics were notorious for volunteers who blatantly refused to follow procedure. Unclipped trap backs were common as were cats arriving in unsecured and bizarre cages. They'd get loose. I'd try to track them down and net them.

They were a fun group though and cared deeply about cats.

It was after that, the Never Ending Colony worker called, wanted back up, said she'd trapped a second kitten, but there were cats all over the parking lot. She wanted me to watch her trap, the trap I gave her, when she pledged to finish the colony.

I told her I'd have to take these seven cats home first. I did and about an hour and a half later, headed back to Corvallis to the Never Ending Colony. I sat there over half the night, in a freezing car, tired out. In the end, I drop trapped an unknown brown tabby. I was squinting through a fogged up raindrop shrouded windshield across a parking lot trying to see if it was a fixed cat or an unfixed one under that drop trap. It's not that easy.

At about the same time I trapped the big gray and white already neutered tame male. I made sure he was neutered, in my car, before letting him go his way.

I came home after that, with the brown tabby, and had to do neglected chores. I went to bed, but set the alarm for two hours later. Because the Millersburg main feeder, who won't communicate with me, but only by proxy, through an older couple, told them she saw two more black and whites where she feeds either Saturday or Sunday morning.

The delay in information bothered me, because if I had known there were more, I'd have kept trapping. I trapped the other five Friday night. I could have trapped Saturday morning, Saturday night, even Sunday morning. So I went over really early to set traps. Like 5:00 a.m. I saw one black and white one, then the tame neutered male. I caught nothing. I was so tired by this morning at 9:30, when I finally got home from there, and also had returned the wrecking yard cat and the barn female.

I had to sleep, so I did, all day long. I got up only a few hours ago. I have five cats lined up from one street, the street I've been working in Albany, for the clinic trip, where the brown tabby also will be fixed. That has been fulfilling to clean up that street. Down to the kittens of a feral mom, four of whom were taken in as bottle babes or slightly older, to be tamed so they could find homes. They couldn't find one, who is still alive but living wild, with his now fixed mother. I have to catch that one. Then, as far as the cat woman of that street knows, all the strays and owned cats on the street will be fixed. She's a really nice woman and was so happy Poppa and the Albany cat grant and myself could make this happen.

I think this time around it's been about 28 cats fixed along those three blocks. That woman works hard to tame the strays and find them homes, once fixed.

Orange tux guy, Marco, saved from death at Heartland, by coming here, who already had the ear tip, he's going along with me and will stay down there. They have some place to take him. I'm happy about that. He has been in my bathroom and while he does fine in there, uses the litter box, eats ok, he is totally feral. I do handle him, but most people couldn't. I'm so grateful for their help.

The Snipped clinic is still looking for a permanent vet to replace the one who quit. They've had lots of interest in the job but not just any vet will do, has to be one very very good at spay neuter surgeries. It has to be frustrating for Tamara to still be looking. I hope they find the right match soon.

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