Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Deaths in Catland

There have been three wonderful cats who have left this world in the last couple of weeks.

The first cat of note is Halfnhalf.  Halfie was a river cat, one of my river cat family, whom I trapped long ago, when living off and on homeless along the river with the cats and sometimes in a low income hotel near the river in Corvallis.   A friend adopted both Scratch and HalfnHalf.  Scratch died at 19 earlier this year.  Halfnhalf finally gave in last week.

Vision is now the last living river cat.

Halfnhalf, before her death last week, of old age.  She was 19.


I spent a Christmas Eve along the river trying to retrap Half n Half, long after I'd trapped her to be fixed, so she could go to a home.   I tried to use the bathroom at the Chinese restaurant nearby, as there was nowhere open otherwise, and was shooed out like vermin.  I hate that place to this day.

My friend took her in and she tamed over time despite her adulthood and feral nature when adopted and was absolutely wonderful and had the greatest life she could have imagined or even I could have dreamed for her.  Scratch did too.


Twister died today.  Twister was one of several cats I trapped in 2007, over on Clover Ridge. Some stupid developer bought on old woman's house, to turn the lot into four houses.  The old woman had cats and she left them behind.  The developer contacted me, and he lied to me, said he'd take the cats back, if I got them fixed, but after they were fixed, wouldn't, promised to pay for all the fixes and my expenses, didn't, and then Twister, one of the cats, tested positive for FIV.  The developer is the guy I tried to throw an open can of tuna at, I was so disgusted with his behavior, but I slipped and it went all over me.  Probably a good thing as he likely would have had me arrested.  I referred to that man in my mind as the devil in blue jeans.  He was a slick liar and smooth talker.   I also tried to get him to go meet some of the neighborhood original residents, being horribly affected by the development, but he refused.  He had no soul though.

So Odd Cat Out took Twister in, way back in 2007.  He's lived 8 years more with FIV.  He died of kidney failure and a tumor of some kind on one kidney.  He died in my friend's arms.  What a good life he got despite his beginnings.
Twister in 2007


Then Demi died, after a battle with Lymphoma, the great cancer cat killer.  I had no idea how old she was.  I called her Whitney.  I first trapped her in 2012 at some awful apartments in Albany, where the tenants fed the cats but would not help trap them to be fixed and because about half the tenants seemed to not work or do anything more than party half the night, they made trapping so very difficult.  It seemed like a big game to them.  It was not a game to the cats.

Because the tenants continued to feed but not fix the cats, even though one tenant had a live trap, they multiplied and management began evicting the feeders and condemning these cats, dependent on those assholes, to death by starvation.

I sat out there in freezing cold for three weeks at night, trying to save the rest.   I caught 13, including Demi again.

Three of those cats are still here with me, while Odd Cat Out took in six of the adults including Demi.  Two adults went to another rescue and two teens to yet another rescue, all up in Portland.    Demi was feral.  At least she got two years of a good life with her family members at a very nice place before cancer took her away from this often cruel world.

Demi, a.k.a. Whitney, when I first trapped her in 2012.  R.I.P girl.

I will close with a quote from Old Ray, an old man, retired from the university, who fed the river cats, including Vision and HalfnHalf long before I encountered them.  I met him along the river.  He'd ride his bike down from his home.  Each morning, he'd feed the cats, then strip naked and take a dip in the river off the rocks down from Mater Engineering.  Such things are no longer allowed after the big riverfront remake, where it was all yuppied up and "improved" and where I was arrested for yelling at a barge and defending my family--the river cats.  There was no place along the newly improved river front for stray cats or poor people.  We were equally out of place.

Old Ray and I were standing near the banks and along comes this group of dressed up hipsters.  Ray rolls his eyes and goes "There goes the neighborhood!"

11 comments :

  1. RIP indeed.
    All of them lived longer and better lives because of you. And will retain a corner of your crowded heart.

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    1. Thanks EC, yes, RIP to all of them.

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  2. There is rather a lot of information in your post. Oh, that sounds like spam. Nineteen is a good age for a cat that did not always have a cosseted life.

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    1. The river cats were a tough group, Andrew. They had to be.

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  3. I would get too attached to the cats - when I had my own it was bad enough to lose one of them.

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  4. I am so in awe of your strength and dedication. I'm not sure I could be so brave in either facing down rotten people or risk losing my heart to doomed animals. You're amazing.

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    1. I am not without a lot of issues, Darla, including sometimes severe PTSD with nightmares over bad situations and horrible animal abuse. If I make sure I sleep enough and do not get overly tired or dehydrated, I do ok, but otherwise, I often suffer from helping cats over the years and seeing too much of human nature.

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    2. There are streets in this town I cannot walk, because of experiences there, with badly neglected or abused animals, because then the nightmares and inability to concentrate start in.

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  5. Like Darla, I admire your strength and dedication. You are definitely the Social Worker of the catdom there! I'm sorry for your losses, but am glad those kitties had you on their side.

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    1. Thank you, appreciate your support and kind words. I'm glad I was there for them too!

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