Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eclipolipse Begins

Yes, the Eclipolipse has begun.

I did not know a huge eclipse event is happening in sparsely populated eastern Oregon.  But one is happening and the stress on narrow low volume roads has led to fuel shortages and 30 miles traffic jams.

30,000 people are expected at Symbiosis, an eclipse festival, in eastern Oregon, causing traffic messes.

Meanwhile, eclipse day forecasts are looking good, except perhaps for clouds or fog on the coast.  I told you it would change.

I took big Bambam from the School Road colony up to be fixed today.  He will be picked up by my friend who places barn cats, along with 8 of the 9 kittens trapped at the colony and being held by the couple who trapped them.  They are keeping the 9th.  There are still more cats out there, to trap, but we are holding off until a week from Sunday to do more trapping, since the clinic is closed all next week over the eclipse madness.

Bambam gets neutered today
And the other two from that colony, in my garage, will be fixed mid week next week, up in Portland at the FCCO.  Hopefully they can go from the clinic to my barn cat placing friend.  I hope she will have room.

Rastus on left, Glory, behind him, on right.
Meanwhile Raven, formerly of Mountain Shadows, was returned.   I had hoped it would work out with the young woman, but she had never checked with her landlord, a family member, and had to return her.  She's currently in the foster cage and I'm looking for a place for her.

Raven, formerly of Mountain Shadows, is back

Raven would love a  quiet home, no kids, no dogs, and a few other cats.

Twinkie is still here too and I am hoping, crossing fingers, that Felines First Rescue will take him soon.

Twinkie, formerly living in the Circle K dumpster, is a tame fun boy now, but he'd love a home with another kitten to play with!

Add caption

He loves his velcro harness.  And I think it makes him feel secure too.
What are my big plans for Eclipse Day?   Well, dragging my lawn chair out to my driveway at about 9:45 a.m.  Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Last Minute Colony

I had reservations yesterday for five cats.  But last Friday, without any specific colonies to trap, and feeling worn out, mentally and physically, I called the clinic late, and left a message stating I had to cancel.

But Sunday morning, everything changed, after a comment on my Happy Cat Club facebook page.

The comment came from Amy, who long ago, took two of ten bottle babes I had, all with coccidia and only 24 hours old.  They were born to a teen mom as I trapped her.  At that time, I was driving with cats all the way to Coos Bay.  I took the bottle babes along, nursing them by bottle throughout the day, already exhausted from the trapping and the drive down to the clinic.  I was too tired to continue.  I sought out fosters for the babes, as the mom rejected them.  She was too young and in bad shape herself.

Amy was one of the people who volunteered.  And the two she took on are the only two who survived. I have held respect for her ever since.

The comment concerned someone she knew, who had never fixed  his barn cats and had decided he'd shoot the excess.   I asked her to call me immediately.  She did.  I said "go for it".  She did.  By now, Tuesday night, she and her husband have trapped 17 cats and kittens there.

Sunday afternoon, I called the clinic again, even though I knew they were not there, and left a message.  The gist of the message was "never mind", "didn't mean it", "cancel the cancel of the reservations for Monday."

Well fortunately, I arrived Monday morning at the clinic with three adult females and two male kittens and they said they had figured I might come with cats anyhow.  Guess they know my nature.

I had already asked my friend who places barn cats if she could take some and she agreed to take all five, even though two were just older kittens.  During the day, the clinic called to say one of the boy kittens had bitten an assistant and could I quarantine for ten days.  Well my friend has actually done that several times and she was willing to do that also (same one who places cats in barns).  All good.

Here are the five:

Duster, a little boy kitten, fixed Monday at whs, then he went to my friend

Gopher, the little guy who bit an assistant. He'd gotten out of the trap and they had to chase him down in the surgery room.  He was neutered and is on bite hold with my friend.

Fallon is a gorgeous tabby on white female, but, like the other two females, grossly underweight.  All three were fixed Monday.  All three were post partum but not lactating or pregnant.

Gypsy, a tiny skinny black tux female fixed Monday.

Rio, also post partum, also under six lbs, was so pathetic and skinny, it can just break a person's heart, but she is on the road to recovery and a better life I hope.
By Monday, the couple trapping at their friends place, had trapped 9.  I took the five up to be fixed, and they kept the four younger kittens, all wild.  By Monday evening, they had trapped 3 more.  An adult male, now here, in my garage, and 2 more kittens.  By this morning, they had five more, 3 more kittens and two more adults, the latter now also in my garage.

The clinic is closed next week because of the eclipse.   I have no official spay neuter reservations until the following Monday.  I did get one offered me for Thursday and will use that for the most "endowed" of the two boys of the three adults in my garage.  My friend who places barn cats is taking him Thursday.  But that's not all.  I told her the couple is overwhelmed with the 9 kittens they have now and she got on the phone and found fosters for 8 of them.  So Thursday she'll take the kittens, then transfer them to the fosters and she will take on the adult to later place with others in barns.  I only have the one open spay/neuter reservation, however, and three adults who need fixed in the garage.

 We're getting this one under control quickly, nonetheless.

Also fixed Monday, three Brownsville kittens.   Two big males, Sable and Xander, plus their mom, were already fixed.  Well yesterday mom's three kittens were fixed at Heartland Humane, so fixing that family of cats is now completed.

This was the only boy.

That's enough excitement for the day.  I'll get photos of the latest three adults from the School Road colony later on.

In other news, the old Catmobile experienced a suspension part failure yesterday.  I don't know which part, but its clanking good with the smallest bump.  I'm retiring it or selling if I can find a buyer who wants to fix it up.   The suspension clank may be as simple as a ball joint or bushing.

But I'm tired of fixing it when I have a perfectly decent running car.  I took the newer old car to Schwab today, for help tightening the emergency brake cable.  I'll swap the tires and the battery to the new old car then maybe put it on craigslist "as is".

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Eclipse Woes of Oregon

Poor Oregon.  We were so planning on Eclopolipse August 21.

We call it Eclipse Day.

So far it has not been declared a state holiday.  It may as well be.

Many businesses are closing expecting doomsday traffic jams.  The state has asked its workers to work at home or, if they do head to Salem, to carpool, so as not to contribute to the mass of cars.

Many of us who are skeptical so many people could come here for a two minute event have turned into voyeurs, more interested to see if the massive clog of crazy eclipse chasers really arrive, and create the intense problems predicted.

Meanwhile, many wilderness areas where people were expected to congregate are now closed, due to wildfires, whose smoke also fouls the sky.   The Whitewater Fire has closed the Jefferson Park wilderness area, a gem of a place, expecting 5000 eclipse viewers.  Now a group of new fires in Lane County has closed many areas and campgrounds too.

Then there's the coast, where high tides are expected the morning of August 21.  Warnings have been issued against beach camping.  You could just wake up wet.  Or, you could end up in the ocean with little chance of survival.

Here's the warning.

But the worst timing of all may be the storm predicted for Sunday August 20, that may leave Oregon mostly cloud covered on Monday morning, August 21.  It is hoped the storm will move north by then and leave Oregon clear.  However, this morning, the Oregonian issued a story with predictions from accuweather for many Oregon cities, citing per cent obscuration, at the time of the eclipse on Monday morning, the 21st.  It is not an optimistic forecast.

Seriously, this is weather for Eclipse Day?

We are used to ignoring forecasts here.  They are rarely accurate.  So most natives know this forecast could be way way off, and change 40 times in the next week.

Meanwhile, I reconstructed the foster cage in the living room with the kennel panels I'd bought to aid in the relocation of Waterloo park cats.  The panel cage is bigger than the wood frame of the old foster cage in the living room. I left the frame in place because the cats like to sleep up top.  I could have built a wood frame that fits inside the panels better and completely covers the top, but that would have cost money.  So I ad libbed, left the old frame, and closed the gaps with other items, including two old metal shelves I wasn't using.  I'll add shelves inside the cage for cat lounging today.  Then I tracked down Mister Kitten (a.k.a. Twinkie) in the cat yard again and brought him in.  He needs to do time in the foster cage so he can get a home somewhere.

It is raining today in Oregon, for almost the first time since middle of June, when summer suddenly started.  Many of the cats are napping off the rain.  Like Sam, below, being bugged by elderly torti Tugs.
Sam and Tugs
Fantasia, one of the Quirky sisters, still crazy after all these years.
Fat Oci has the right idea
Sam endures the rain, stoically, yet displays his pain like a missionary
Vino is always cheerful
Some battles, Slinko, are best left unfought.  The tortis are in alliance.  Slinko cannot win.
Lastly there is Miss Daisy.  Posing beneath my beloved painting, acquired during the Animal Rescue and Care Fund art auction fundraiser.  I love the painting.  

Eclipses come and Eclipses go.  In about two minutes time.   The world won't end if its raining in Oregon on August 21.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Cats Moving But Not Much Else Is. Heat Oppressive

I got five more cats fixed today.  Although the temps are no longer in triple digits and temps near 90 now seem cool, today's humidity turned the heat and all of the outside, into a steamy sauna.

Three of the cats fixed today are a little family of Brownsville cats a friend discovered.  She helped their feeders trap them.  They grabbed  the female's kittens when young and took them inside, so they could tame.  They'll be fixed later.  One of the males had virtually no lower jaw.  The vet said it was from an old traumatic injury, like being hit by a car, but long healed and he manages fine.

This is Sable, one of the two big Brownsville males fixed today.
Tawney, the female there, whose kittens are safe inside a home

And this is Xander, whose lower jaw is virtually gone.  This photo doesn't show it well.  I'm in awe that he survived that injury of long ago, and has done well.
Big Max was fixed too.  He was likely once owned, but now is a stinky smelly angry boy, making him a bit tough to hold from Saturday until this afternoon, when he finally went home after being neutered.  He's being cared for and lives in a garage.

Albany big boy Big Max is now fixed.  And, thankfully, back home.
Also I've had Camelia here, from Mountain Shadows, awaiting a placement.  She loves other cats, but people?  Not so much.   Finally my friend who places barn cats said she had room but couldn't come down to meet me in Salem for just one cat.  This prompted some movement on my part and I returned to the Albany colony, since relatives of the caretaker had complained about the numbers there.  I caught two in the night Saturday night, one of whom had no ear tip (wasn't fixed).  Eclipse, that little black boy, was fixed today and today, he along with fellow colony member Ebony, fixed in May, and Camelia from Mountain Shadows, went off with my friend, to be placed.

Ebony, from the Albany colony, went off for barn cat placement

Eclipse, also of the Albany colony, a little male, was fixed today and went with Ebony.

Camelia of Mountain Shadows left today too and was immediately happy to meet Ebony of the Albany colony.  She's been housed in a cage inside the house, due to the heat in the garage since being brought to me by the Mountain Shadows resident who had fed her.  It's time for her to move on with her life.
The heat today has been oppressive, hot and humid, with skies clouded in wildfire smoke.  The weather pattern may change soon, to cooler weather and possible heavy rain is in the forecast, on, of all days, Monday the 21st.  Eclipse day may see downpours in Oregon.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

More Cats, Sleeping at the Lake and Knee

I've been taking it fairly easy lately, after the massive numbers of cats and kittens helped this spring and summer, especially those removed to safer places.  And after my knee injury.

My knee was doing so well, too.  I thought.

Then last night I was in Waterloo, again hoping to catch anyone I could of cats left to fend on their own when the camp hosts who cared for them left.

I was just following a friend across the grass, her with the flashlight, me without one.  Suddenly my left foot tripped over some protrusion in the grass and there are a lot of them there.  Felt rooted into the ground, like a rock maybe, something hard.  I started to go off balance and down, and instinctively my right leg tried to save the day by catching the fall and it did, but as my knee bent and strained to pull me out of the fall, there was another pop behind my knee and the severe pain again, was instant.  I could barely walk afterwards.

I was mad at myself.  I should not have worn sandals in the dark.  They don't fit right and I lift my toes up to take a step the front of the sandal doesn't lift and can catch things, like bees, or edges of rugs or rocks in the dark.  Discouragement flooded me last night as I tried in vain to sleep.

We caught a cat up there but it was a Waterloo Residential colony cat, long fixed and ear tipped and what was she doing so far from her home up in town, to be down where she was.  Hungry, my guess.

this is her last night
I still have Camelia the muted calico from Mountain Shadows.  My friend who places barn cats has space now but didn't want to come get her unless I had other cats to go too.   I felt it a good time to reduce the numbers at the Albany colony, as there have been complaints lately.  So I set traps and caught two in the night.  Low and behold one of the two has no ear tip.  She or he will be fixed and move on.  The other is one of the many fixed last November.

This Albany colony kitty, who will move on to barn placement, has no ear tip, so will be fixed tomorrow.  I was not shocked to catch an unfixed cat there, despite already catching 22 cats at that location, 17 of whom returned after fixed.  

This guy was fixed last November and will move on to barn placement.   The woman who feeds them is nearly 90 years old now.
So Camelia and the two Albany colony kitties will move on tomorrow, the one after being fixed. Also being fixed tomorrow--Big Max, a stray in Albany and 3 wild things from Brownsville.

Big Max is a huge half tame very angry very stinky male.  About time he got fixed.
I went up to the lake Friday with my raft, no camera or anything, spur of the moment.  But I was so tired by the time I was out on the lake all I could think about was a nice long nap.   You can imagine, then, how happy I was, to spot a piece of old dock, washed against the shore, bobbing with the waves of countless boats.  All the beaches were crammed in people and there was nowhere else I might lay for a nap.  This shore is not accessible to people.  Perfect, I thought, and rowed over.

I tied the raft to one end and climbed onto the dock.  I knew that piece of dock.  It had been farther north along the same shore the last time I was up there, on the move, like a piece of driftwood.  I had no towel, but I did have a windshield sun reflector I was using to keep the sun off my legs when I rowed.  It was hot, near 100 degrees out, but I was sun screened up.

I lay on the reflector, reflective side down, and used my life jacket as a pillow.  I pulled my hat over my face and leaned the 3 foot Styrofoam paddle board I have with me, over me too, as a shield against the sun's rays.  Then I slept, even dreamed, and would wake suddenly to loud noises, from boats, and take some time to come out of the haze of dreams to remember where I was.

I wanted to get up, be productive, row around, maybe swim, but I was too weak to do so, in the motivation department, and the allure of sun dappled sleep on a rocking bed, sound of water everywhere, was too much to overcome and I napped again, off and on, for hours.  I would sit up now and then, when boat wakes violently rocked the dock and sent my raft nearly up onto it, and hang my feet into the water, and kick at the water and splash water onto the dock to cool it, or just for the heck of it.

I'm not sorry I spent the day napping on the lake.  Not one bit.  It was easy and enjoyable and dreamy.

I forgot to add, before when I wrote the blog, these two photos of Rogue, a beautiful playful boy.  I took this through my garage window, as I sat with coffee inside, and looked out through it up at him in one of the cat runs.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Smoke in My Eyes. Total Eclipse Thoughts

As the date for the total eclipse of the sun approaches, the state's worry over it seems to ratchet up. We are in the path of totality.  My little town is in its path.  A million people are expected to visit Oregon to see the eclipse.

 We have congestion problems in Oregon.  Our population has grown exponentially it seems, especially in Portland creating massive traffic jams that are a permanent part of life now.  We are being warned to be prepared to "shelter in place" the weekend of the eclipse, as there may be many problems, not the least of which may be jammed up impassable roadways, when too many cars try to traverse them.  And wrecks and road rage happens.

Fights, fueled by alcohol and crowding are anticipated too.  Injuries, drug overdoses, illness, (perhaps foreign viruses carried in by overseas tour groups) even an abnormal number of lost hikers, drunken campers and rattlesnake bites are apparently in the preparedness plans of local hospitals.  Seriously?

Some of us are taking these warnings as over reaction and with skepticism.  That many problems, on one weekend?  No way.  But just in case, I plan to have my car gassed up and lots of cat food on hand.

Other than that, the voyeur inside me, is curious to see if the mayhem predicted will actually happen.

We may get aced out of a good eclipse view however, by something completely out of our control:  smoke!   We are covered in a haze of it, last few days, mostly from forest fires burning clear up in Canada.   It's a misery in the valley, combined with Oregon's own fires, creating more smoke and the valley's grass seed industry, currently in fazes of plowing up the dirt in dead dry fields, for replanting.  This time of year, with all that dirt in the air, always produces misery for me, without the add in of smoke.  The dirt in the air seems to settle on my eyeballs so they feel like sandpaper.

Our air is currently dirtier than that in the vast human colonies of L.A.  Our air quality is worse currently than that of Beijing!  Now that's bad!

You don't want to be a runner right now.  You will just breath those unhealthy particulates deep into your lungs.  So hang up the jogging shoes and pull out the couch and the chips and slouch out.  It's healthier!

The heat wave, that produced temps in the valley of 107 degrees for a couple of days is over I think.  Except we're supposed to be above 90 for the next week and on.    The heat and the smoke and the dirt from the don't want to be here now. So watch the eclipse in some other state of totality because the haze covering the valley, from the smoke and the dirt and the heat, may just keep you inside anyway, watching it on TV.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Clementine Gets Vet Care

I called her Blessed, the old muted torti, a mess when she came here from Mountain Shadows trailer park.  I tried to clip off all that dirty hair.  She had mats and cakes of dirt and fleas so bad, and a URI and was drooling puss from bad teeth.

I got her partially cleaned up and on to antibiotics and then Chelsea adopted her, with the knowledge I'd gotten her an appointment for further care, particularly blood work and dental, at the coast on the first of August.

Chelsea renamed her Clementine.  This is a wondrous cat who immediately hugs you, wraps her front legs around your neck and just hangs on.   She's old and sleeps a lot and other than that, likes to eat and get love.  She's an easy cat, a lover and very grateful.

Yesterday was the day for her vet visit.  Chelsea came along and brought her two big dogs.  We took the old Catmobile as Chelsea was going to help drive and doesn't do stick shifts.   I had no doubts taking it.  I knew it would be ok despite its age and miles.

I didn't get enough sleep.  I almost never do when I have to set an alarm for so early.  I had to be up at 3:30 a.m. after all.   The dinging alarm seemed to spark a dream long before I woke.   I was ready to go by 4:30 a.m. and Chelsea arrived with her dogs and with Clemmie in a small cage, with a carrier along for her to be in at the vet clinic.  Off we went, into the lightening morning.

I knew it would be very very hot in the valley yesterday so I didn't mind heading west.   I handed Clemmie off to a very kind vet with no qualms after the three hour drive over, from where I live in the mid valley.  I like that clinic.  Not only are they affordable but They are practical.  You can say, "do what needs done" and they will do what needs done but not more than needs done.

I was already worn out by then, but we drove down to Oswald West state park and parked in one of the many parking lots along highway 101 and then walked the beautiful short trail in to Short Sands beach, popular with cold water surfers and also with tide poolers.  We hoped to find exposed tide pools and we did.

Everywhere along the coast was crammed with people, escaping the valley heat or on vacations.   Short Sands was a little less crowded early because of the need to walk in, I think, but by the time we left it too was getting populated.  Other beach parking lots were full to the brim with people overflow parking up and down the highway near the beach access.

Chelsea's dogs had a grand time, running in circles and chasing one another.   Large Red Rock crabs could be seen just under the surface of the water.  I saw four in one spot within feet of each other and tried to get a photo through the water but didn't do very well.  I think they were after the millions of Sand crabs that were everywhere.

Two crabs can be seen in this photo, under water, but only if you know where to look.  that's my shadow on the right.   

One of Chelsea's dogs
We left Short Sands and got lunch at a drive through Fish and Chips place in Seaside, then drove on up to Fort Stevens state park and out to the south jetty beach where I've often spent the day when waiting on cats at the clinic.   There we ate lunch and Chelsea took off to the beach with her dogs while I pulled the dog's blanket from the back of the car and drug it under a pine tree and laid out on the marsh grass for a nap.  I was sooooo sleepy.

The gentle upward slope under the pine coupled with the soft sand beneath the grass was too perfect a bed and I was soon asleep.  The breeze off the ocean, and flickering light created by branches waving in the breeze, blocking and unblocking the sun, calls to me now, as I want to nod off again and think of that soft sand bed and the salt air on that breeze.

We picked up Clementine not long after that.  Her blood work came out normal.  I was happy. I'd worried she had hyperthyroid.  She is still so thin.  The vet said to feed her all she wants.  She'd had to have all the rest of her teeth pulled.  They were rotten and infected.   At least 11 teeth were extracted.  Total Vet Bill, including take home antibiotics, pain meds and antiinflammatories:  $310.

I drove for awhile on the trip home but then let Chelsea take over as I was too tired.  We headed south instead of over the coast range back into Portland.  We could not tolerate the idea of sitting in a Portland rush hour traffic jam in 100 degree heat.  So we cut east across through the coast range back to the valley on highway 18, north of Lincoln City, that then turns into 22 into Salem.  Got home about 9:00 p.m.   Chelsea took Clementine home again.

It was a promise fulfilled to finish out the help Clementine needed to get on with the happy rest of her life.   I'll be worn out for a few days and brushing sand out of things.  Today the temperature here may reach 108F.