Thursday, April 19, 2012

Confrontation

I got into it last night on a trailer porch with a cat hating asshole.

In the end, I used the only defense I could muster, in my exhaustion, the screaming lunatic preacher defense it could be termed, I think, if I was an outsider watching.

There were plenty of trailer parkies watching. It turned into one of those "person in trouble, mob watches, does nothing" scenes.

Which is why I felt particularly vulnerable.

Under attack, no back up.

I'd gone over to check on Deb's cats and try to find out if she was coming back or not. Four days before, I'd stopped by her trailer to see if she might be home. I'd gotten most of her cats fixed last fall, but there was one mother and one kitten I didn't get fixed. And when I tried, last fall, Deb had been hauled off by the cops to the mental ward after purportedly even laying in the road. I figured she was under duress. She had really no friends or family and the old woman next door was really mean to her. Since she was hauled off last fall, I've stopped by now and then, to see if I can catch her at home, to arrange to get those last two fixed.

Deb, despite living a terribly hard life, had a soft spot for animals and would drag home strays of all kinds, dogs, cats....She was a stray herself.

But last fall, she had collapsed under the weight of her life and her loneliness. I was later told she'd actually had a small stroke. But I don't really know what went on. She'd gotten another loser boyfriend. She was the one who told me he was a loser. I asked why she was going with him if he was a loser and mean to her. She said she was lonely.

She finally came home, I was told, had a cane and a walker. But was in the hospital again, I was told four days ago, and now they thought she really had Parkinsons and that she was not coming back. That first day there, four days ago, a neighbor said no one was caring for her cats. So I went up on the porch and put out some food. Her tame little black tux male came running out and gulped food, going from dish to dish, so eager was he to eat.

I could not believe her neighbors would not just take care of her cats at least but that's a zombie trailer court where many people have already lost their hearts. I decided the only thing I could do at that point was to try to find out if she was coming back or not.

It was last night I ran into a neighbor, when I stopped by again, to feed the cats and try to find out if she was or wasn't coming back. A Wilsonville woman had offered to hold the tame black tux until she could get him into OR Humane, but first I had to find out if Deb was coming back or not.

The neighbor across the street told me she wasn't coming back he didn't think, that her family would come by only occasionally. Someone had mowed the lawn and there were cars parked in her driveway though. I wondered what was up with that.

So I go up on the porch and all her cat food dishes are gone. The neighbor looks in the trash and there they are, thrown out. At that point, a neighbor who lives beyond the cat hating old woman next to her strides up. He immediately attacks me, telling me I caused this whole problem in the trailer park with the cats by feeding them.

I think he's kidding. I've fed Deb's cats only twice before. I tell him that. He says "I saw you here last fall." I say "Yeah, picking up and catching more cats to be fixed." But on he rants against me, that I've caused this cat problem here somehow, as he's kicking the food I just put out off Deb's porch. Not his porch. Deb's porch. He's taken it upon himself to throw out her things, and park his excess cars in her driveway and now is spilling out his hatred for cats in general on me.

I am already tired out from the long trip yesterday with another Albany unwanted throwaway life. I've worked getting cats fixed at that trailer park for 13 fricking years, beginning way back when I didn't even have a car, and a Corvallis woman who trapped cats wanted my help getting a bunch trapped there, since my reputation was already spreading, though I lived then in a low income hotel dive in Corvallis.

That was old Lou, a huge woman who fed cats there, the strays, thrown out by others, mostly drug addicts and alcoholics. The park was full of them. I got over two dozen fixed that she fed. She told me I was nicer to her than anyone she'd met in years. She died shortly after I got them all fixed at FCCO clinics. She died after getting a flu shot. I then rehomed all those cats, out of respect for her. Even then, I could not understand why her church members or friends or family or neighbors didn't help. I went to her funeral. She was a Mormon. She was also the first Mormon I ever met, that I knew of at least.

Trying to place all those cats was how I encountered Poppa Inc. Keni, Poppa's president, offered to take several as barn cats at Recycled Gardens, the nursery Poppa used to run to raise funds for spay neuter. That's how I connected with Poppa Inc. in the first place. I took up four and was astonished to see the beautiful Recycled Gardens and to find people working like that to help solve the problem. I'd never been anywhere at that point in my life or met anyone normal, having lived my entire life in the horrific controlled isolated and abusive poverty stricken world that is Oregon's mental health system. I had not left it yet at that point.

To encounter such a world as Recycled Gardens and people like Keni who applauded me helping Lou's cats after she died, that was something new to me. All I got even then at that trailer park, where I was helping complete strangers, were dirty looks and demands.

At Recycled Gardens, I found a niche. I didn't get up there much, since I was poor, and it was way up in Beaverton, about once every couple of months. I had a really clunky car then, that was always dropping parts. I bought it used off a woman for $200. There were misfits like me who volunteered there too. The values admired there were hard work and dedication to making the world a better place. This was a far cry from the world I knew. I'd lived in the Benton Plaza in Corvallis, under "mental health care" for 11 horrid years of complete meaninglessness and hopelessness. There people, mostly labeled mentals like me, or poor old people, basically waited to die. They turned to complaining there, and I joined in, about life, endlessly, about our lot, about problems, like the cat problem. Many turned to drugs and alcohol to ease the relentless wait for death.

At Recycled Gardens people were actually actively addressing problems, with hard work, instead of just complaining. I got inspired!

I went on to help dozens upon dozens of cats there over the years, including Deb's cats.

The people who move in and out of there cause the cat problems there. As do the people who live there who sit by and complain but do not help their neighbors.

So when that man attacked me as the cause of the problem there, all these memories come flooding back, of the sacrifices I've made to help the people there. I turned on him like a deranged preacher. The old woman who hates cats, next door, who was so mean to Deb while her own little dog free roams pooping, got in on the fray, too. By watching. And laughing. And agreeing with the asshole.

I wasn't surprised.

I was screaming for him to leave me alone, to get away from me, that I didn't cause any of the cat problems here, but I'd solved a lot of them by getting over a hundred and fifty fixed, and to back off. I screamed "Where is kindness, where is love, why don't neighbors help neighbors?" I screamed they were all a bunch of zombies without beating hearts. I ranted on. The man had also demanded I take out all Deb's cats. I had retorted why doesn't her family do that or you, her neighbors, why is it you want me, a stranger, an unpaid volunteer, to do this for you?" He wanted them to die of starvation then.

I couldn't look at the little black tux, watching this exchange but still trying to grab mouth fulls of food. He was doomed and so were all the cats. This horrible weight of knowledge and the despair, for me, in the knowing, was what drove my loud retortions. In frustration I hit the railing with the side of my hand. Later, my hand swelled and turned purple.

I was leaving then changed my mind and stormed back onto the porch saying "I will take this little boy, to save him from you, you hateful awful unkind people." I backed him into a carrier and left. I was sobbing hysterically then, sobbing so hard I couldn't see to drive, so I pulled over and down another road and sobbed like the world had ended. All the frustrations and sorrows associated with Kiwi and the horrors of living in an area so cold and heartless, overwhelmed me. My own loneliness overwhelmed me. And my aloneness in caring about the unwanteds here is a terrible weight. People who care about strays around here are considered abnormal.

I then took black tux boy to Safehaven, still heaving with sobs, and asked if they could take him in, after telling them about what had just happened. They agreed to take him in, tested him on the spot (negative) and were sympathetic to my sorrow.

Last night again I determined I need to move out of this area and to an area where I have contacts or friends. To save me. I am so lonely here. To help animals is extremely hard. To do so alone, with no support system at all, is very very hard. Let's face it, I don't have any real friends close by. Not even one. It's really tough to be alone, harder than most can imagine.

I am worried about the rest of her cats. But I also cannot put myself through more at that damn trailer park. I hope Lou's ghost will haunt them.

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