Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Longest Day

I had a long day yesterday.

But it was fun, in some ways.

Karen came down from Portland after volunteering, on a TNR group, to trap a Sweet Home colony and get them fixed at the FCCO.

I went up to the colony Friday night and left the man five traps to begin.  He had the first five by 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning.  But I was in Lebanon by 8:00, to try to trap a female, the last adult needing fixed in her colony, and her latest five kittens.  I'd left the drop trap set up over there and the lady fed under it faithfully for a few days.

Who'd know it would be so easy in the end.  All five kittens and the mom went under the trap at the same time.  I yanked the cord, from my car, pulling the stand out from under the drop trap.  The trap dropped over all six of them at once.  Then I transferred them out of the drop trap to individual live traps one by one.

By this time Karen was almost to Sweet Home.  So I went home and transferred the six Lebanon cats to a cage I'd set up for them.  I met Karen at Shari's in Lebanon for breakfast and put the five cats caught in Sweet Home in my car.  Anyhow, during the course of the day we caught 19 cats in all (so far) at the Sweet Home colony.  We visited another colony less than a mile from that one.  That one needs trapped too for fixing.  We visited a new colony along highway 20 just outside Sweet Home with over 30 cats needing fixed and Karen told them to put four of the tamest kittens in a carrier. 

Karen went to take a nap in a parking lot.  How does that sound familiar. Just as I left her the Egg Place folks called, said they had 8 caught.  8?  I went over and let out the big male in their large trap because I had no room in my car for that.  The other seven were six kittens and a year old orange tabby male.   I put him in a trap, once home, set up 8 cats from the Sweet HOme colony, with food, put three of the Egg Place cats in a cage, and left the other three in Karen's carrier.

To make a long story short, Karen headed north with 19 cats in all, back to her Portland home.  Today, those 19 will be fixed at the FCCO.  I have one of the 19 caught at the Sweet Home River Road colony in my bathroom, as he's just five weeks old.  And I have the six kittens from the Egg Place colony here too, as we try to figure out a solution for them.  Four of the six have URI's.  We hope to find them house cat placements or rescues or shelters that can take them.  The Egg Place folks are overwhelmed. 

The six from Lebanon will be fixed Monday at Heartland.

It was one of those 32 cat days.  These are the 8 River Road Sweet Home cats I had in my garage during the day yesterday.  Ten more plus these 8 are being fixed today at the FCCO, plus the orange tabby from the Egg Place colony.

 Here is the lone Egg Place colony cat who went north to be fixed:

Egg Place colony kittens still here, at least I have photos of five of the six.

This little one is so darling and lovable.

This torti is very sweet too

The flamepoint is a boy, then one tabby is a girl, the other a boy.  All have runny eyes and colds and are underweight.
Well anyhow, today I'll pick up anymore the N. River Road colony folks traps, to be fixed somewhere, not sure where, and pick up the 19 cats fixed today, this evening, for return tomorrow.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Last Minute Trip to Coast Clinic

The clinic had a cancellation, thank goodness.  I called on Tuesday, hoping, and they asked if I could come today.  I said "I'll be there".  So off we went, Haley and I, left at 4:30 a.m.

Didn't get home until 7:30 though, due to getting hung up an hour and a half in Portland congestion.

Haley had all remaining teeth pulled--steroid and antibiotic injections, pain meds, and wormer.

She should feel much better soon.

It's off to bed for me.  Haley already beat me to it. She's sound asleep with her friends.

This was what Haley looked like last few days.  She's wild so I can't check her mouth out.  Before that, she stuck her tongue out, which is why I'd made the first available appointment for her, but that was end of December. When she started drooling bloody pus, I started calling the clinic, and they had an opening!!!! 
Haley and I waiting at the clinic for the vet consult.

On the ride home, she ate a bit, then slept.
I am extremely grateful to that clinic for helping her out!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Poor Haley

Haley has taken a turn for the worse, with her dental issues.   She originally had an appointment end of December but I'm not sure she can wait that long.  I'll call the clinic today, get on their cancellation list for her and try to think of somewhere else she could be seen.  It's not easy to find a place that will do feral dentals, as I've discovered over the years, without being charged over $1000.

I probably won't be able to get in elsewhere either before that.  Appointments even for spay neuter are a scrounge job now, as they are hard to find.  I don't know if that means more people are fixing their cats or that we've had an entire state with a population explosion.  Demand is extreme but affordable places to get it done do not abound.

I think its more that people have discovered the more affordable options through social media and are relieved to find somewhere they can actually afford, but unfortunately supply can't meet demand.

Without appointments most of the month, I've had a lot of time.  Been reading a lot but also doing projects and there are always more than I can ever get done.

I cleaned the gutters and just got a can of Flex Seal to try, once again, to repair two chronic gutter leaks at either end of the gutter running along the far back of the garage over the cat yard.  They are more the result of inadequate downspout numbers, so the gutter back of the garage, hanging over the cat yard, collects water.  The slope isn't right and  there is only one downspout even close to drain out the water.  My brother always was going to add another back there, but he hasn't visited his own house, this one, in years.

He's in San Salvador right now, with a friend of his from his church, checking out building sites.  I haven't heard anything from him or his wife, who is I believe in Wisconsin maybe, with his friends wife and kids, while my brother and his friend are both in San Salvador.  I assume all is going fine with his trip.   The major issue he will deal with there is heat.  He's not good with heat, being born and raised near the southern Oregon coast where fog, wind, rain and overcast are the norm.

I have been putting up mini blinds over windows, not only for privacy but to reduce heat loss.  The windows are very old, 50 years old in fact now, with aluminum frames.  They lose my heat to the outside and lost heat means higher electric bills.   Also, when the darkness comes so early, with lights on in the house, people outside can see in too easily.   Guess I"m getting prudish or something.  I don't really like window coverings, like to feel open and see the stars at night, let the sun shine in, what little we get, watch storms.   But, I also don't like people staring in at me.  Hence the blinds.   I've reduced myself some years to covering windows with reflective insulation, blankets, even cardboard when my electric bills are going sky high.

I had one Butternut squash, a small one.   I cut it up and roasted the pieces then made it into soup.  Simple ingredients, just the squash, onions, and vegetable broth, salt, pepper, olive oil and a dash of cinnamon.   It was delicious.  Today I may get some leeks, and make a leek soup with potatoes, onions and corn too.  I like soup in the winter.

This morning, I headed to 7-11 early, because I was out of coffee here.   I get there, get out, go in, come back out to my car, and stare with mouth open at my drivers seat.

It's the neighbor's Siamese!  Fluffy Butt!

He apparently got in my car at some point yesterday evening when the windows were open, then hunkered down in there when I came out to close up the car before bed.  When I saw him in there, at 7-11, after the initial shock, I cracked the door, slipped one arm in, got him by the scruff, while I climbed in, drove home with him sitting calmly on the passenger seat, then let him out.  
Fluffy Butt also likes to hang out in my garage, if I leave the door open, and sometimes gets closed in there, if I don't see him.  The latest tame guy in my yard, Buffy, also likes to come in my garage.  I feel like a kitty daycare, an unpaid one however.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Charlie Update

Look at Charlie, at Kate's new place, fire and all.  LOVE IT!

He looks the epitome of total contentment.

I love this photo.  She just moved into her own house with the boys. 

Jetson, the little black teen from the Lebanon colony, is also doing well at his new home with Dee and Paul and their older cat.   He finally started playing.  I'd not been able to interest him in playing when he was here, in my bathroom for a week, before he went to my friends.   He just wanted held. 

Thursday, November 07, 2019

The Stupid Lawsuit

I don't know if other people think the lawsuit that my county has pursued against our state is stupid but I do.

You can read a little about it here.

The lawsuit is being financed by the timber companies, who want to log more trees on lands owned by the state.  The counties involved, who get state money for timber cut on lands the same counties deeded over to the state, pretty much begged the state to take over, in the 40's, say they've been shorted on timber harvest yields to the tune of billions.  They call it a breach of contract.

The original 1940's contract says something like the state will manage the forests for the greatest good or something for all Oregonians.  It was a bad deal in the beginning.  The counties didn't want to manage the lands they deeded to the state.  They were worthless then, over logged or burned, etc.  The state, in its contract with the counties, never even included a management fee. 

The contention now, by 14 out of 15 of the revenue receiving counties, is that the only value a forest has its for timber production and that is the greatest good to all Oregonians. 

The counties who get money for state forests timber sales to private timber companies are 15 in number.  But the county who gets the largest take, because they have the most state forests, opted out of the lawsuit, citing it as bad behavior, Oregonians suing Oregonians.

Anyhow, the timber companies are stated to have venue shopped, looking for a sympathetic judge and jury and chose our county, that gets a tiny percentage of timber revenue compared to others in the 14.

Here's the stupid part in my mind:   It's a bad deal for taxpayers all around.  If the 14 counties win against the state, its the taxpayers of Oregon who have to pay up.   Everyone.  Counties don't manage money they get any better than state governments.  Our county is said to have the  highest per capita tax rate in Oregon already.  And now our commissioners are taking on a lawsuit that if the county wins, means taxpayers all over Oregon including here lose and have to pay up, while commissioners and timber companies gloat.

If people in the counties got a check every year, a share of timber revenues, like Alaskans get every year, for oil rights leased out by their state to oil companies, maybe I'd be for it.  But no, the counties will get the money, that taxpayers have to pay out and waste it away on stupid nothings.  So all this will do, is create a burden on taxpayers, shifting money, after the poor taxpayer doles out more, from one government entity to another. 

How stupid.

I understand the resentment of rich Portland people that goes on in the state and the feeling that state government caters to Portland and the wealthy there.  They go to the coast, the poor counties, build and buy second houses that they rarely visit, drive up costs for everyone including rent, for the local poor population reduced to selling trinkets or ice cream cones part time, or cleaning hotel rooms, for the wealthy tourists.  Sometimes you start thinking we are slipping back into a feudal type society, where the majority of people bow down to and work, for merely a pittance, for the rich.

Same goes for the forest usages other than cutting the trees.   Clean air and water, trails, hiking, mountain biking salmon fishing---those are Portland rich people activities we think, we of the downtrodden, who often struggle with rent or to keep a car barely running---sock it to em, cut em down, make em stay in Portland, they don't belong out here, they make us miserable. 

Ha!  I'm kidding around quite a bit in case you don't know.

The urban rural divide is often one of people siding with one or the other set of rich people.  Rural rich people want to have their way with public lands, free range their cattle free on public lands, etc. etc. while city rich people want to build big factories and pay low wages or put them in places that shit into rivers or into the air, they're mostly the same.  So its an allegiance thing mainly.  Like choosing to fan follow some football team and going all in on it, getting the gear, stirring yourself up to a frenzy, screaming at the refs, trash talking, tail gating with your like minded buds...drinking beer...what fun!

The state, depending on who is in charge, generally sides with one set of rich people or the other, usually not both, but sometimes with both, along party lines, adding in some factional group, to up their support and the rest of us choose sides.  It's a riot.   Plugging into unease and unrest of the populace depending on their set of problems--can generate enough hate to win elections and even lawsuits. And nothing changes afterwards for the little people who still drink the dirty water downstream of the rich people's factories and plants and operations, and breathe the dirty air and whose homes are swept away by landslides and work for pittances.

We could exact our pound of Portland flesh other ways, I suppose, without leaving ourselves also bloody.  To the common person, in the counties involved, the lawsuit probably seems like taking it to the state for a host of grievances accumulated over the years.  To the Timber Companies, the lawsuit is green green green---as in money.  They think the state, if the counties win, will sell them more of the people's timber.

But I think it would do us in, as a state, to be taxed even more, if the counties win, to pay for another bad contract, like PERS, made decades ago. Or the money to pay out the counties think they are owed would have to be diverted from other funds and again we'd lose out.

If the state is listening, I'm going to say, although I think its forest service land not state land really, Trail Bridge campground, the old growth loop, when I walked it this spring--looked decidedly unhealthy compared to years ago, when I camped there.  I think those trees, might be time, they come down and make room for a younger generation.

It's with some amusement I watch the lawsuit proceed.   I'm happy to be old sometimes.  The little people will get jacked no matter what.  Guess I'm in a complaining mood today.   Ha!  That's life.

The Simple Life

With no appointments for weeks, for spay neuter, my normal life of cat round ups that begin with calling and visiting colonies to be trapped on Thursday and Fridays, trapping on Saturdays and Sundays, culminate with taking cats to be fixed on Mondays, then returning them Tuesdays along with clean up, resting on Wednesday's---its stopped now.

My appointments resume first of December but only for two weeks of it, since the clinic takes time off end of December for all the holidays. 

Life has slowed now, for a time, fine by me.

I'm working on another round of flea treating all the cats here, which isn't that easy.   Yesterday I cleaned gutters, repaired an eave board, the part underneath, that is sagging, leaving a space, and also fixed some broken parts of the cat yard.  Nothing major.

The weather here is abnormally dry, although there was a bit of rain in the morning yesterday.  After a miserably cold start to fall, we've had fog, some sun (but not warmth) and strangely, very little rain, in the last couple of weeks.

A new cat has showed up here, an older buff tabby tux.  The cat is beautiful and spends a great deal of time in my yard.  So I wonder, did someone move in nearby with him or has he too been left behind.

The cat seems to know me, but I can't remember him, although he seems familiar.

I feel dull that I can't remember where I've known him.  Maybe I don't know him.

I got some more dental appointments for three of the cats here who need it again.   Button, Alexi and Haley all show signs of needing mouth work.  Button is the oldest of those three, quite elderly in fact and very wild.   But she is working her jaw.  I saw her doing so in the under eaves cat run, from my car, before I got out of it after getting home from the store and called the clinic right then.  I was surprised to get one day in December for all three.  Only a month out!  Later on, I thought, that's New Year's Eve.  Should I be out on the road that evening.  Then I thought I'll be home by 8:00 p.m. before people are all drunk and unruly, so it should be fine.

And I thought to myself too, nobody will be camping then, that I might be able to get a spot and can camp out the night before the appointments.  And I think I will do that, to make life easier on me.  Those campsites all now have electrical since hardly anyone camps in a tent anymore in Oregon.  The cats can be in my pop up cages in the back of the car and I can use my tent and take a cord and heater since it will likely be cold at night and be very very comfortable, for a tent camper.  I've done that before, camped out with the cats. I drove through snow on the way that one time, in the coast range, sleet on the coast, rain in the campground and my cheap walmart tent held up under sometimes pounding rain just fine.  The cats I took that trip, and I believe one of them then was Haley, were very comfortable in the cage in the car.  Makes the next day easier, that's for sure.

I can't take cats camping in the summer because if its hot they cannot be in the car, like during the day, if one has an appointment one day, and the other the next.

I'm excited to think about it.

I saw my brother and his wife.  They called unexpectedly yesterday.  They were driving and just south of Eugene, headed to Portland, for the night.  Then they fly to Chicago.  My brother is going with a church friend to El Salvador, at the request of his friend.  The trip will be paid for by their church.  He will be scoping out building sites down there, for some project the church has going.  His wife thinks they will want him to lead a construction team later on to actually do the building and he says no, that's not the case because he's too busy with his own business to go for that long, to build something quite extensive so far away.

He doesn't do well in heat so I hope he'll be ok.  I think he's going for a week, but I don't really know for sure.  They wanted to have supper along the way so we met up at the House of Noodle.  I ate there once before, a couple of years ago, with their son and his fiancee, who had given it a good review to them.

The food was delicious and I had a chance to practice chewing only on one side.  It wasn't pretty to behold I'm sure, at first.  But I am getting the hang of it.  I don't have the teeth anymore to chew on the other side.   What I learned is in public I should not be eating finger type food, like the vegetable rolls we had, that you have to bite in two because I can't do that anymore without quite a mess.  Here at home though, who cares if I make a mess.  Maybe I'll learn how to do that too with some practice without a scene of food dropping out.

My missing teeth do show now if I smile, but I'm learning to close mouth smile, trying to remember to smile with my mouth closed.

You can change habits in a week I'm told, if you try.

It is embarrassing, losing my teeth one by one, but getting older is all about embarrassment really.  I had to go to the new resident I've been assigned, to get my bp medicine renewed, and she is the type who wants to know my history.  So I gave her a brief recap and also of what I do now because I told her about my very sore shoulder.  I could immediately see the doubt creep across her face.  I do have quite a fantastic sounding history, I admit, but it is all very true.  The abuse I endured in the mental system, the beating I took at the hands of a church run hospital that ruptured my neck, etc etc.

She leaves and comes back in and says that medicare now pays for a yearly mental acuity test and I think "oh brother" but go through it. I should never have said a word to her of my history, I realized. I am afraid of doctors, the power they have over you to ruin your life.  After the horrors that befell me......if I get a whiff of that coming off a doctor I'm gone.

My brother and his wife and I had a brief conversation about homelessness, how bad it is and the causes.  My brother shocked me with his candid statement that part of the problem with "helping" homeless populations is that the homeless exist in communities of homeless folks and when they're taken out and plugged into these sterile low income one room converted hotels, they lose all community and belonging.  I couldn't agree more.  It's the same as taking one cat from a colony, how they grieve their friends and family, that they would rather live hard in a junkyard with their friends and family, then be "rescued" and live in a cage or alone somewhere.  "There will always be homeless folks," he said.  "Why not just allot land, provide a dumpster, bathrooms, maybe some tiny houses, let them be.  You can't fix everyone or fit everyone into the same mold and the problem is too big otherwise.  The ones who want out, will get out, if the chance is laid out to them on how."  I thought "oh my, my brother is wise."

I used to say, when I was entrenched in the horrors, loneliness and uselessness of the mental system, that Nami folk treated us like wild animals that they would  beat down, drug, cage and control and every now and then parade in public on leashes with choke collars, to get rounds of applause for controlling such wild beasts so well.

Gunnie is back home now.  I took him back home on Tuesday.  It had been a week since he had the 8 extractions and he was very cage weary.   I hope he and Pirate and all the others I got fixed at that colony will do all right.  There are two more cats who came from the colony, who went to relatives, whom I will get fixed as soon as I get spay neuter space again.  Then there are also the three boys across the tracks who need fixed too.
Gunnie.  His mouth is all cleaned up and he went home Tuesday.   He gained weight in the month he was here.  I do worry though as sometimes those folks over there just forget to feed the cats or something.

There are five more kittens at the trailer park, where I trapped before my break, teens now, who need caught and fixed.  They are a priority too.  There are two more in Waterloo and three in Sodaville (teen kittens of the mom cat I got fixed a couple weeks back) and two more at that Sweet Home colony I trapped also a few weeks ago and caught 7.   And others.

I get to feeling a little frantic when I have no spay neuter reservations and lists of cats who need fixed.  A little frustrated.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Another One Bites the Dust

Another tooth is gone.  It was split, it turns out, clear to the root.  No wonder it hurt.

And yes it was one that I had been waiting to get fixed for some time now.  It won't be needing a crown now, or the cavity filled.

I got into the dental clinic yesterday, when they had a cancellation.  They had said we have a cancellation right now, how fast can you get there.  Faster than the speed of light, I thought, but I didn't run red lights getting there.  I made it there in a hurry though.  He was a nice guy who said he thought it was split then confirmed it as one part would move.

He wanted to get me in at their other office for the extraction, but then found out that doctor wasn't in this week at all.   Then they tried to search anywhere it could be done, faster than waiting a week or two or more.  Finally he said if his 10:00 a.m. appointment didn't show up, he would pull it himself.

So I waited.  And hoped.  And thank the goddess, that person was a no show.  So they numbed it up and pulled it, although it broke.  He dug out the other piece quickly though.  And that was that.

So another tooth is gone.  One my friends' dentist said had a cavity back in March when I was getting a second opinion on whether a different tooth had to be pulled. Then my other friend said she'd have the two with cavities fixed at her dentist who, when I went in, in May, said I had no cavity in that tooth, nor in the other one I'm still waiting to get filled.

So anyhow. 

That's life.

It may be a blessing in disguise as I really could not afford to get a loan to pay for it to be crowned.

Yesterday, Salem, from Lebanon, was spayed, and so was Pumpkin, the latest new arrival in Waterloo.  He was likely dumped as he first showed up in the park.  The people who were feeding him will let him stay.  They've also had two other new arrivals whom I need to get in to be fixed.

The beat goes on.

Pumpkin of Waterloo
Salem, formerly of the Lebanon colony but now with a relative, was also fixed yesterday.  I was also able to confirm when I returned Salem, that the muted torti I saw atop a trap when I trapped a week ago Sunday there, is indeed the muted torti from across the street, who is already fixed, although they have three boys who need fixed still.