Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Signs I Need a Break

There are a couple of signs with this last cat round up, that my upcoming break is clearly needed.

When I picked up the nine cats,  I carefully laid out each's paperwork on the counter at the clinic, putting the records in groups to give to various owners, caretakers.  Then I walked off and left the paperwork on the counter at the clinic.  So I had none to give to caretakers when I returned cats.   I'll pick it up next Monday.

Also, I usually take photos of every cat, for records.

This time, I entirely forget to take pictures of the three girl kittens, even though they were in my bathroom overnight.

I was late arriving at the clinic, too.  It didn't matter as there was still a check in line.

The five kittens in the bathroom were harder to catch, they're so quick, when in a hurry, to get into individual traps.  With the two females, Topaz and Moonless, in cages out in the garage, they need in live traps too to go.  I remove the carriers that are in the cages they use for beds, along with their litter boxes, and put in a set small live trap, covered.  Then I remove the cage coverings, sheets usually, that give them privacy. The cats are generally up on the shelves I've made for the cages while I do this.  I simply go on with morning chores in the house then.  Usually I come out and they're in the traps, which was quick at least with them.  They simply want privacy, not completely exposed in their cage and go into the trap to hide.

Pho and Higgins, the two north Albany adults, were already in live traps at least.

Then comes the task of loading nine live traps into the back of my car and securing them with bungee cords.  Lastly I grab my cup of coffee to go that I've made in the kitchen and head out.  Hopefully I've remembered to gas the car.

It went just fine despite my neglects, like the girl kitten photos.  Three girl kittens and two boy kittens were fixed.  Jacob and Israel, the two boys from Lebanon I'd had in my bathroom a few days, went on with my barn cat placement friend, who met me there to pick up Topaz, one of the black females.  She has no trapping jobs and is bored and decided she could take on trying to house cat tame those boys.  So those three left me in the clinic parking lot after surgery.

Topaz, who was spayed then went for barn cat placement

Lebanon apartment complex kitten Jacob

Jacob's brother Israel, also fixed yesterday
Then I headed to Meow Village, six cats still in my car, to leave Moonless there, as pre arranged.
Moonless, formerly of Waterloo
I had not eaten yet at that time, when I arrived at Meow Village, and was famished.  I could barely stand the sight of her grand daughters eating Rice Krispy treats.  I finally begged for one, like a candy whore.  And they gave me about 8 of the individually wrapped treats.  I ate them all!   I blame the kids...wasn't my fault.

But those treats constituted my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Now I had five cats left in the car.  I dropped off the three girl kittens, with no photos taken, off Knox Butte Road and while there was texted by the N. Albany folks, who had trapped Pho, the torti female, and Higgins, the orange boy, that they were headed to my place.

I arrived just before they did.   I handed off the handsome pair of now fixed kitties.  They'll return my traps later.   I bravely pretended to myself I'd watch a little TV before hitting the hay but that didn't last long.  I plan to actually eat real food today.  And rest up.
Higgins, fixed yesterday, from N. Albany

Pho, a torbi female, also spayed yesterday

Nine more cats fixed bottom line.  That's always good.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Nothing But.......

Nothing but........cat fixing.

I'm still at it, but not long before my time off.  I seriously need the time off and am very much looking forward to it.  There's tomorrow's cat load to be fixed and then one more a week from tomorrow.  And then?   Bwa ha ha.  I'm off.

In the garage right now, wait three females.   They're waiting to be fixed tomorrow.   Two of them are unwanted where they live and won't go home.  Which is a sorry thing, to be unwanted.  But, the black female, Topaz, from the Tennessee Road colony, the last cat there, will be joining her relatives who were fixed two weeks ago, with my barn cat placement friend.  She is about to place all of them, and says Topaz will be welcome to go with them.  They'll be together again, all of them, at a new place, where they are wanted.

Topaz will be fixed tomorrow
That's seven cats (5 adults and 2 kittens) removed from that one location.  Another 3 kittens will be fixed tomorrow from another location on that same road.   That will make five kittens, their mom and a big male helped there at the 2nd location.  The male didn't return as he was unwanted.  14 cats helped on that road alone in the last couple of weeks.

So besides Topaz, and the other three kittens from the other location on that road, the two boy kittens from the Lebanon apartment complex also will be fixed.  My barn cat placement friend is also taking them tomorrow.  She's bored and I hope she can tame them for house cat homes.  She volunteers with an adoption group up where she lives too.

Then there is Moonless, from Waterloo.  The woman who fed her contacted someone in Salem for help I guess is what happened and that person asked me to go catch her.  I took a trap over.  The young kitty may be tame.  The woman who fed her said she just suddenly showed up and had kittens.  The woman handled the kittens plenty then found them homes.   Moonless didn't take much to trap and she has been eating up a storm in a cage in the garage.  After she is spayed tomorrow, Meow Village will take her and find her a place.

Moonless, a stray Waterloo female

Also in my garage a so far unphotographed torti female, Pho is what she's named, with a wandering eye.  Yeah, that right pupil wanders all over the place, strangest thing.   She was seen on security camera with a lone kitten in tow, but the kitten has not been seen in a few days so the people trapped her, using the old water bottle under the trap door technique.  You yank the water bottle out from under the trap door to close the door only on the cat you want to trap.  See, I helped them with two other cats a few months ago, and they didn't want to retrap those two.

They also trapped a tabby on white, but when she brought  him over, he was meowing in the trap and I could see--very tame.  I reached in to pet him and discovered how skinny he is and also that he is already neutered.  I advised her to take him on over to Heartland Humane, so he could be on stray hold, in case he has an owner, and then, if not, be adopted out.  So that's where he is now.

In the night, she texted me ecstatic, that she'd caught the big orange male, whom everyone in her neighborhood wants fixed (or worse).  The unfixed males have no friends.  They spray mark and look for fights and nobody wants them around.  Well hopefully this will mark a new era in big orange guy's life and in a month or two, when he turns into a nicer guy, he'll find acceptance.

I don't have photos yet of the big orange not even over here yet, or Miss Pho with the wandering eye, but they'll be fixed too tomorrow and at least they get to go back home afterwards, to their familiar home turf, which is always the best thing for them.

As for the kitten Pho has been seen with, they are looking for him.  He has not been seen, like I say, for two days and only twice ever.   They say he looks six to eight weeks of age, plenty old, if that is true, to eat on his or her own.  But where is he?

That's the cat story for the week.  Nine are set to be fixed tomorrow.  Of those nine, I'll only be overnighting two of them post surgery and they will go home the next day.  Getting off easy for a change, I'd say.

Onward to the Break!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

More Kittens

Don't even......

More kittens, from same complex the other four kittens came from.  They haven't caught this pair's mom yet.

These two, both boys, are older.  I had taken them kitten traps yesterday after taking the other four to Heartland.

They are so scared but not hissy spitters like some of the other four were.  Alexi, the worst offender on the hissy spit front, the gorgeous long hair brown tabby girl, was so swatty when I took them to Heartland, Brittany dawned a leather glove.

But.....look at her now, a day later merely....

Yes, that's a kid in a wheelchair she's sitting with.

Can you believe that?   It's like science fiction in a way, or some fake feel good movie, only its true.

I dropped them off at 2:30 yesterday.  By 4:30, I was texted by staff at Heartland that the tamest two, Titan and Sweet Pea, were heading off to a home together.    Ok then.  Now that is a good feeling.

These two older kittens, the latest caught there, may be a bit harder to tame down.  I picked them up this morning.  The black and white one is 3.4 lbs.

So anyhow, two more Mondays of spay neuter appointments, then I'm taking a long break.  I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ten Cats Fixed and More Kittens

Ten more local cats have been fixed, six of them kittens.

A Lebanon apartment complex is trapping cats on their property.   The adults will return, and they're fine with that, as long as they are fixed.  This is extremely progressive and practical and kind of them.

So the first six were fixed yesterday.   Big Boots was neutered.  He is a sweet boy, when contained, but not so sweet in his actions over there at the complex, prowling and fighting.  Well now those behaviors will slowly fade and perhaps even end, over time.  Can take a month or more after neuter but if he survives the next month or two, he'll be better behaved and have a better life.

Boots--now a neutered boy!
The manager with tenants' help trapped a mother cat too.  They also found her four kittens sleeping in a box and carefully covered the cardboard box with a cabinet door, then carried box, with covered kittens, inside.  They were in her bathroom when I arrived to pick them up Sunday morning.  I used a towel to cover the little hissy spitters, then scruffed them through the thin towel to put into a carrier I'd brought with me for them.  Their mom was in a live trap I'd loaned them, since they'd caught Boots first in their own trap.  I returned the trap Boots had been in when I picked up mom in my trap and the kittens.

All six were fixed yesterday.  The kittens are up for adoption.  I'm trying to find a rescue to take them but seems everyone is full already.

This is Pixie, the kittens' mom
Totem, a boy, on the left, Alexi, the wildest and most beautiful, a girl, on the right.

Sisters Alexi and Sweet Pea

Totem, a little boy. Sure looks like Boots, doesn't he?

Mrs. Deeds, a little torbi teen, now fixed too.
I encountered a poignant situation.  I'd been depressed mainly out of exhaustion and exposure to so many unkind people.   I've been lonely lately.  I mean I'm alone most of the time, and I've gotten used to that, but any human contact has been hard to come by lately.  It's hard to manage the constant demands of strangers calling wanting help with hard situations when alone.  Lack of a support system takes its toll.  I manage by switching bad into good in my brain.  It's the only way I've survived my whole life.

Yup, the optimist, always looking for the light in the darkness.  Even so, sometimes the darkness is too much.

This family encountered Mrs. Deeds, not sure if it was before or after she had her kittens.  Mrs. Deeds was in dire need of help, either way and they helped her.  They've got her five little kittens inside their house and let her come and go, but the kittens were inside, so she would come back in to care for them.   I thought that was beautiful, especially when I met Mrs. Deeds and saw how young and tiny and scared and in need she really is.  Lots of people would have just turned a hose on her, or called me angry, to complain and want her and the kittens gone.  But these folks helped her out.

Mrs. Deeds was spayed yesterday.

Then there's the older couple helping out a friend of theirs, who in my mind, seems not much of a friend.  But that's not my business, is it.  They trapped over 20 cats and kittens last fall at his place, to save their lives really, kept a couple of the kittens.  I placed the rest with rescues and my barn cat placement friend.  He wanted two back, so two fixed boys returned.  But he failed to tell his friends another cat showed, got fat, had kittens.   So once they knew, they trapped her, and five of her kittens and a big male too.  He didn't want the kittens or male back.  He doesn't watch traps or set them.  He doesn't even bring cats in traps to his friends helping him.   My gosh, what a guy.     The big male went last week to my barn cat placement friend.  The mom of the kittens was fixed last week and two of her five kittens were fixed yesterday---Lover Boy and Weepy Joe.

They're fostering all the kittens and will probably keep two of them.  At least.

I hope their friend pays them back with a truckload of cat food.   What are the odds?  Not good, but I can hope.

Lover Boy, a little boy, fixed yesterday.

Weepy Joe, also a little boy, fixed yesterday too.
And the tenth cat fixed yesterday?  A throw back call pulled me back to the Turner colony, the colony I worked last winter.  31 cats and kittens I caught there and got fixed.  Meow Village took almost a dozen of them after they were done.  I love this older couple, both in their 80's, he closer to 90 than 80.  But that was a lot of work, I tell you, back then.

I didn't know they'd given a kitten to relatives before I came on scene and that she never got fixed.  At first they told me she couldn't go back to her relatives and could I take her.  "No," I said.  But I could get her fixed.  She is in heat and making life miserable on everyone.  I picked her up on the way to the clinic since they're between Turner and Salem and its literally 6 minutes from their place to the clinic.  But after loading up all the cats, getting the kittens, still hissy spitty, who I had free roaming the bathroom, into individual live traps, which is how the clinic needs them, I was running late.

I forgot to gas up and the car dash was displaying its yellow empty tank warning light, before I even got to the Turner house.  I told them about the empty tank, as I loaded the black tux girl into a trap.   Frank had to take his son to work but hobbled over as I prepared to leave, with a gallon red plastic gas can and said there might be a little in it, that it couldn't hurt.  I shook the container and figured there might be all of two cups of gas in there.  I pretended to add it to my tank but nothing went in.  There was too little in the gas container to get it out.  I made it anyway to the clinic, then to the nearest gas station.

Oreo was spayed yesterday.
Oreo, spayed yesterday
I returned Oreo first after picking up the ten now fixed cats and kittens, since the couple live very close to the clinic.  The old woman always offers me good stuff, like cookies.  I sat down to eat a couple peanut butter cookies she'd made the day before.  We chat and BS about everything.

She started talking about Oreo.  Pretty soon, I was trying very hard to keep from busting out in loud laughter.  I tried so hard to stifle my mirth it came out my nose, along with peanut butter cookie crumbs.

She said Oreo was a nice cat but that yesterday, Oreo jumped on her lap and bit at her arm and rubbed it.  So she began petting her along her back and Oreo was into it and suddenly her eyes went funny and she was making muffins on her knee and she realized Oreo had an orgasm.  She said it calmed her down right away and she went off and slept.  But it wasn't an hour later she was back and on her lap and wanted it again.   And she just wasn't going to do that for a cat and had to go to the kitchen, she said.

All the way home, the picture invaded my brain, of an 80 some year old woman giving an in heat cat on her lap an orgasm.  I couldn't stop laughing.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Original Drop Trap Creator

Drop traps are all the rage now in TNR cat trapping.

I wonder if people know, a woman named Laura first developed the drop trap for cat trapping.

She ran Hubcats, in Boston back then.   I don't know where she is now.

I'd like to say a thank you to her.  People will never know it was her who first made this fantastic contraption.  Now they're sold at Tomahawk.

Her father would build the traps she sold.  She sent me one for free however.

They were much lighter weight and easier to use than the current version sold at Tomahawk, through Community Cats.

Made of wood and netting, with the sides hinged, I could quickly flip it open for set up. The transfer door was on the side of the front, making them far less space consuming, and with the transfer door in that location one could transfer cats to carriers and to non transfer traps alike.

That was years and years ago.

I met Laura once.  She invited me to a TNR conference to be held in San Francisco.  I had no money to spare and no nonprofit either at that time.  She said we could share a motel room and she'd pay for it.  She was flying in from Boston.

I thought I'd just drive down.  The conference was only Friday night and Saturday, I think it was.  Ok.  I drove down on Friday.  The trip was incredibly difficult on me and long.   The hours wore at me, driving that far, already tired.  My back hurt so bad after just two hours.  I had to stop repeatedly to stretch out my back.  I paid a pet sitter $100, which was hard for me to come up with then, to watch my cats.  I had very few cats then and lived in Corvallis.

I remember the thrill I got, coming over from the I5 freeway, from Sacramento, to Oakland and coming around a bend or hill, in traffic, to see the bay bridge, and the city of San Francisco, lit up across the bay.   It was a sight!

I finally got there and met Laura for the first time, the woman who created the drop trap, and had sent me one for nothing, to use.  A hero of mine!

I went to the conference but my tiredness fast overwhelmed me.  The director of the FCCO was there, giving a speech.  In my daze I thought how nice it would have been to just get on a plane to fly down as she did.  I had to excuse myself within two hours, as I was falling asleep and went to the motel room and slept through the remainder of the conference.  Isn't that ironic.

I met Laura that night for dinner with her friends from New York's Community Cats.  I had never met anyone from New York before.  I thought how sophisticated, smart and hip they seemed.

I drove back on Monday I think it was.  I stopped at Lake Shasta to stretch my back out again, I remember that, and wished, I remember, I had something along I could wear to take a quick swim.

The trip was later a blur to think about, three days of exhaustion.  I was glad I met Laura.  She was a pioneer and will never get her do, for designing something now frequently used by many many people.  She was also very humble, I remember, so she would want nothing but the satisfaction of its usefulness to so many.   I can't for the life of me even recall her last name or draw up in my brain a face to put with her first name, since I met her just that once, in that exhaustive weekend.

Here's to you, Laura!!!   Creator of the original drop trap.

A link to a page describing Laura's original drop trap:  Click here.

And I found where Laura is now.  She's got a new nonprofit, in Rochester New York.  Click here.

She's still fixing ferals.  Some people never change.  Which is good.

If you use a drop trap or your cats have been benefited by one's use, consider a donation to its creator!   You can donate at that second link.  Tell her thank you, and that you heard of her invention from a long ago friend and admirer in Oregon.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Productive Week

The past week is a blur by now.

It's just after 4:00 a.m. here.  Why am I up?

Because I fell asleep last night "for a short nap" at 6:00 p.m.  I didn't wake up til 2:00 a.m.

It seems like ages ago I drove Gretal to the vet in Astoria. However it was just a day over a week ago. She's doing much better by the way.  It took about four days after she got that steroid shot, but now, no more stinky diarrhea.  I don't know how long her improvement will last.  The vet sent me home with another shot for July 1.  If they help, she'll send them to me.  Her diagnosis is IBS, Inflammatory Bowel.

Gretal is elderly, so any extra time she gets she and I both appreciate.

The trips wear me out, just the long drive in one day is enough!  But I dealt with it.

Then it was the cat round up that immediately followed.  I realized I had 14 reservations to fill last Monday, which also seems like ages ago.  In the end, this week alone, I got 15 cats fixed and took in two kittens I found.  They're already gone too.

It was an extremely productive week I'd say.

I'm very happy about it.

Here's yesterday's video of the latest kitten.  I took it just before he left for Heartland Humane also.

And then there are these two scoundrels, neighbor cats, who come to trash my catnip plants.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Guess what!

I have a buddy for the night!

This is Kettle's brother.

The folks out there heard him crying this evening, in the barn, went out, saw him, but couldn't catch him.  So out I went and set a kitten trap in the barn.

They offered me dinner and I said "Thank you".   We sat around their fire pit then, swapping stories and laughing about life.

We made one last search of the barn with flashlights.  She was hearing him, when she would meow.  He'd answer.  But where was he.  We searched and searched.  Then I said "I hear movement on wire."   Felt like an idiot.  The wire I heard movement on was the trap.  He'd been in there all along.

Glad to meet ya little fellow.

Tomorrow he's reuniting with his brother, in foster with Heartland Humane.