Friday, August 12, 2022

Wasps

 No.

I'm not talking about white anglo saxon protestants.   

I'm not talking about the women airforce service pilots either.

I'm talking about the buzzing stinging insects.

Nature's wasps.  I encountered them during repair on another gutter corner.

I was up the ladder, leaning over the cat yard, busy scrubbing down the pulled apart ends of that gutter corner yesterday.  The corner connector piece was toast--bent, pop rivets had popped off long time ago, at some point.   At the corner with the house---bare wood.  The metal ends of the two gutter pieces, that join at the corner, via the connector, at the back were about two inches from the corner of the house.  Beyond those  metal ends, on each side, to the corner--the bare wood of the fascia.  Which was by now rotting from the moisure exposure.

I'd bought a box miter to repair that corner via Amazon.  It fit over the joining pieces so easily and slid up the back to cover the fascia.  

Number one, according to youtube gutter repair how to video's:  clean and dry all surfaces thoroughly.  I used rubbing alcohol to soften old sealant before razor scraping it off.

I applied the sealant to the metal box miter itself, making sure to, or trying to remember, where all surfaces joined, so I had sealant on each, then hooked the top over one side of the gutter, then the other, and slid it into place up the back.   

Out came my hex head metal screws that I got but they're 1/2 inch not the 3/8's I wanted but could not find.  That's life.

It was hot and maybe it was not a great idea to be up on a ladder when its mid to upper 80's.   I wanted to get it done.   I've been a little out of sorts.  Neighbors gone--moved to Montana.  Not looking forward to the noise and activity of new people moving in either.  Nobody to do anything with or even chat with.  Not that easy to be constantly alone.  

The sealant was thick but not thick enough for heat and started drooling down the seams to pool.  I carefully wetted my finger and eased it back into the seams.  I may have to add some more.

I screwed it into place and was trying to reach way over and do the same on the outside of the corner piece that faced the cat yard--a dumb stunt from a ladder but I got away with it.   Until I leaned back, straightening up and that's when nature's air force decided this was their air space not mine.

Wasps, mud dobber types.  They came out of a small hole in the soffit that I'd not seen.   And buzzed my head.  I don't like wasps.  I swatted wildly at them.  Hex head screws went flying and almost 70 year old me, ran down that ladder like I wasn't a day over 50.  Left the job almost but not quite done.  No shame.  You want to go back up there with the wasps?

I did some no no's, like screwing from the inside to outside, leaving exposed screw tips on the outside of the gutter.  I figured so what, I know about them.  I won't get punctured or scratched by those pointed protruding bits.   The reason I did from inside to the outside was because the inside of the old gutter pieces were kind of wrecked and bulging and bent along edges, big holes on the edge from the darn rivets that had come out, bulging at the back, from pulled out long gone gutter hangers.  You get the picture.  And now you get another picture of my pretty new white corner.   Maybe it still will leak, but it will be looking good when it does!




Monday, August 08, 2022

Temp Bathroom Kittens

 I was bored.   I got a message from a young woman stating she had a mom and four kittens needed somewhere to go NOW.

I thought she meant she had them in hand.  She didn't.  They were a neighbors.  The neighbor was being evicted.   She had them in hand with relinquishment signed, by end of day, however.  

I posted about them everywhere, hoping somewhere there was a rescue or shelter with space.

Got no offers though, except, a private person will hold them until a rescue can be found with space.

Good enough!  I drove over to Lebanon and picked them up.  Tomorrow I'll drive them to Wilsonville.

For one night, I have a very proud torti mom and her four babes in my bathroom.

They're about 3 weeks old--a fuzzy torti girl, a fat muted torti girl and two orange tabby boys.


Just one night of more kittens, but one night is good.

Also I got one gutter corner repaired and sealed.   I won't know if it stopped the leaks til it rains.  Four more corners to go.

Today I drove them all to Wilsonville, and met up there with the lady who is fostering them.   I let them out while waiting in the car.

Mom had to give orange boy a bath.



Sunday, August 07, 2022

Boring Hot Weekend

 What a very boring hot weekend.  

Temps were near 100 last two days, tomorrow just mid 90's, then cooler.  Well, forecast has been downgraded to upper 80's.

I just did cleaning and a bit of yardwork.   The neighbors who are leaving in under a week are finishing up their packing.

I had a terrible nightmare last night that their house was bought by a local older woman who is a notorious cat hater.   I woke to what I thought was her shooting at them, and them screaming, through my fence that separates the neighbors place from me.  I was breathing fast and my heart was pounding.   Was so relieved to find it was just a dream.

I'm trying to fix the gutter corners that leak.  They've leaked for years.  Why I've got this thing about stopping the leaks this summer, don't know, but its probably a good thing.   Been watching gutter repair videos on youtube, where else.

Haven't seen a soul this weekend I know.   Saturday wasn't that fun because of the car lot neighbors having another party and every place a car could be parked on the block, there was one parked.  One partially blocked my driveway so that when I got home from the grocery store, I drove down to the end, and asked whomever owned it and there was a crowd of people outside their place, to move it.   I waited other side of street in my car, until two sullen people emerged from the group to move it.  Seemed put out they had to do that.   I held my temper.   Later, when in bed, was awakened by one of the big loud stinky trucks idling and roaring off.   I cursed but that's about all I can do. 

Maybe this next week will be more interesting.   I really had to stretch to come up with anything that happened this weekend.  

Friday, August 05, 2022

Four More Fixed

 I took four cats up to the FCCO yesterday morning to be fixed.

Most importantly--the three Crabtree teens went.   I didn't sleep a whole lot the night before.  Something in my brain didn't want to miss the 6:00 a.m. alarm.  So I gave up at 5:00 a.m. and got up.  I'd gotten a later check in time--8:30 a.m. which means leave at 7:00 to be sure to get there on time, in case of severe congestion.

I had to transfer them from the large cage into individual live traps.   This proved to be very simple with this crew.  The torti teen was up on the shelf while the other two were inside the carrier bed.   I close the carrier door, to keep them inside, removed the litter box and put a set live trap in its place, then took off the blanket covering much of the cage.  This propelled the little girl to try to hide from me and now the only place she could hide was inside the set live trap.  So she was easy.  I removed the trap with her inside from the cage.   I then took out the carrier and transferred the two inside it, to live traps one by one.  I slid the slide up back door of a transfer trap over the carrier opening, then lifted the live trap door and the flamepoint came out of the carrier first, into the trap.  I slid the door down and moved that trap out of the way and slid a second in, same way and the buff and white came out quickly into the trap.

I had four spots.  Instead of spending hours over behind the gas station, where now a homeless RV camper stays nights, parked against the fence, where I trap, I took a Sweet HOme big boy.  He'd showed up at a previously completely fixed colony.  Second time a big male has showed up there, only to quickly get neutered.  In 2019, I caught over 20 cats, kittens and teens there.  Quite a few of the teens went into rescue.  The lady there, who sells eggs from their own flock, won't put up with unfixed cats coming in now.  He can stay if fixed however.

With no more spots now til second week of September, I picked him up there, to be fixed as the fourth cat to fill that last spot, fearing he'd stand no chance, if those hormones weren't curtailed fast.

He's a really big sweet guy!   He went along for the ride to the FCCO.

The fuzzy flamepoint teen from Crabtree turned out to be a girl. So there were two girls among the three teens.   

Cats can get pregnant at four months so very happy we caught them.

Here's the big guy from Sweet Home.


Will he survive there?  Don't know.  Be a couple months before his hormones diminish.   They have a large pack of coyotes who run the field behind their place and a very busy major highway out front.   

I was going to head up to Waldo Lake in ten days, for a one night stand with the lake I love most in Oregon.  My only real getaway for the summer.   But....a wildfire broke out a couple days ago, lightning caused, about 3 miles from the lake and they've closed the western side trails and probably are emptying the campgrounds on the east side today.   The entire Waldo Lake wilderness area is now closed.   It made me cry.  I was so excited about that one night out.   Maybe they'll get the fire out before the campgrounds close for the winter in about a month.

Last night, I was so depressed over it.  I lamented my isolated life and being unable to find anyone to do anything with too.   Just tired I guess.   

Waldo Lake is pristine, beautiful, in a wilderness area.  No motor boats allowed on the lake. No generators allowed in the campgrounds.  So......a lot nicer experience than most Oregon campgrounds which become more like drunken loud rowdy homeless camps, only add in roaring vehicles of all sorts, and if at a lake, screaming jet skiis and motor boats too.    I lost interest in loud crammed together camping a long time ago.

Vivian from Silverton picked up the four cats at the FCCO for me which was nice.  I was exhausted and too tired to stay in Portland somewhere in some parking lot all day.   She says she doesn't mind the driving.  In case you're not from Oregon, Silverton is out east of Salem, not a short drive for her even to Albany from her home.

My neighbors leave for good in under a week.   I dont' have any idea who bought the house and will be moving in.  The one thing I realized at the bird lady's block party was how much that small neighborhood resents the big multi building apartment complex built just beyond the end of their formerly dead end street.  It's all they talked about among themselves and when the police arrived, because they make visits to the Night Out parties, one officer got cornered and even brought out a notebook to write down the complaints about the apartments.  One lady had gone to the city council meeting to air complaints about the traffic and other things associated with the massive structures that destroyed their neighborhood quality of life, but left in tears, the bird lady said.   

The apartments have an exit onto a major street but instead of using that, most of them seem to come and go on the ill maintained piece of street that used to be the dead end.  I couldn't believe the traffic coming and going, as I sat there, about 20 feet off the street, in the bird lady's driveway.

Anyhow, there really are no constraints on unfettered development here.  They're putting in 30 houses a block and a half from me.   Just south of town, almost 300 I think houses are going up in former farmer fields.  Even though only a few are currently built and occupied, the traffic has so drastically increased its hard to get back on Columbus Street, coming down Seven Mile from Lebanon.  Too many cars now, from the development.  They now need to put in a stoplight, at Seven Mile and Columbus.   I doubt they will, they'll just let it be a mess until too many car crashes happen.

They could double or triple this town's size with developments and still there'd be no shortage of out of staters wanting to move here.  The majority seem to come from California, but there are tons of Texas license plates and Idaho ones too on the roads.  When I become discouraged and lonely, I look to blame things for my mood.  Development with resulting population increase is a great outlet!    Why not?   Population booms increase prices and traffic--the boons of existance, especially when you live on limited funds.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Night Out

 We don't have a neighborhood night out party in our hood.  So I went to the Bird Lady's Night Out party.

They'd hired a mariachi band from Salem.   Someone brought a cockatoo. The bird was a bit worse for the wear.  But hopped onto shoulders, ran around following people like a dog, let out the occasional loud squawk and bobbed to the music.

The bird also likes beer.

Maybe its a parrot I don't know.  Or a cockatiel.  It's missing a lot of feathers so its kinda hard to tell.




 I stayed about an hour.  The music was great.   Watched people come and go.  I didn't know any of them, except the bird lady.   I can't recall just how many cats I took to be fixed from that small neighborhood but it was over two dozen.

Saw two more needing fixed, maybe four more while there.  Big huge apartments went in, at the end of their formerly dead end street.  Brought along new pet owners and already apparently abandoned pets.

I went to the reservoir as an escape mechanism today, just for a couple hours.  Was really too tired to paddle very far.  Laid in the water, swam awhile.   Sat in my kayak mind far away thinking how nice it would be if my brothers could share the tranquility of the lake with me some day.   I thought how once I went camping with my younger brother and his son and wife down at Waldo and what a production, probably an exhausting one, that was for them.  They all came very late Friday night although they had intended to get there before noon and left early Sunday, eager to get back home.   That was several years ago.   I realize its not their thing, not restful for them.    

Anyhow, I found this massive tree that had recently fallen into the lake, down the bank.  It was huge, maybe four feet or more in diameter.  I couldn't stop looking at its size.


Well, that was my day today.

Done!

 Yesterday, the last three unfixed cats at the Crabtree colony were caught.

The first, a fuzzy white flamepoint boy, they caught in the morning.

I'd already headed early to the clinic with Hercules, the big male from there so he could be fixed.  And taken along Gizmo, the small gray and white kitten (only survivor of Daphne's first litter) she hand grabbed a few days ago.  He'd tamed fast and a friend of a friend who lost one kitten but had another, who was lonely for a playmate, took him.  Don't worry, it's all rescue connected.  Daphne, the muted torti adult female, was fixed last week and had been in heat again, at spay.

I drove out, when they caught him, and transferred him from the drop trap to a live trap.  Brought him home.  That wasn't long before I left to drive to the clinic again to pick up Hercules, fixed and vaccinated and parasite free now.

Just as I arrived at the clinic, another call--they had the torti teen under the drop trap.  I drove the back roads, once Hercules was loaded, to Crabtree, and transferred the teen girl out of the drop trap to a live trap.  I left Hercules with them, to recuperate there, and took the scared young female home.

I was dead tired by this time, had everything done except for setting up a cage in the bathroom so the teens could wait for their appointments (Thursday) in comfort.   I was just worn out I couldn't do it.  That's when the call came again.  Last teen caught.  It was about 9:00 p.m. I think.

The teens' mom was fixed last April, apparently days after her kittens were born.  

I drove out to get that last unfixed cat at the colony--a buff and white teen boy, transferred him, once there, from the drop trap to a live trap.  Happy!  It was over.  29 cats caught there since March and now finally, all will be fixed.

Of the 29, two were inside cats there, from the colony, taken in by them as kittens.  5 were kittens who did not return.  Some were likely males that only stopped by for sex last spring when I trapped then and went their ways after release.  Maybe there are 16 or 18 or so regulars outside.   

Anyhow, once these three teens get fixed Thursday, its over and done with there.  All fixed.  Finally.

I'll try to get better photos later today, when I do get the cage up and them in it, for their comfort.

She's a torti, but its hard to see the cream and orange

Buff and white boy, with the personality of his dad Hercules.   He's a tough one!

Fuzzy white, probably a boy too

18 adults caught first time around--last March and April.  Now this time, its been three more adults, five kittens and three teens.   

That's a wrap on that colony, once these three are fixed.   Feels nice.

It's back to break after Thursday when the teens are fixed, until second week of September.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Relentless Hot

 The heat wave continues but today is allegedly the last day near 100 degrees.  Seems like its been going on forever and I guess is Oregon's longest heat wave.   The heat does not bother me greatly except I can't get a lot done, not during daylight hours anyway.  I move like a tortoise in the heat.   I sleep in the afternoons when its just too hot to be doing anything.

Today's heat may bring thunderstorms, which strikes fear in the form of wildfire threat.  But maybe they will be wet thunderstorms, not dry, and come with plenty of rain to squash any fires lightning starts.

I took this photo of my outside thermometer last night at 7:45 p.m.


Nonetheless, my neighbors moving sale went incredibly well and they sold almost everything they had for sale in the last two days, including their kitchen table and couches and chairs.   They're leaving in under two weeks for good.   

They said a couple in their 60's  maybe bought their house with cash and they're hoping they didn't buy it to use for a rental.   We shall see what happens.  Two houses down other side of me, that house was bought by a couple and now houses college students.  However, the blue devil monster pickup hasn't been at the college student place all summer and I am hoping it is gone for good. That pickup sounds like a freight train.  (Spoke too soon on that.  Heard loud belching farting roaring and just knew.  Sure enough, that extremely loud truck that wakes me up when it roars and vibrates by, is back.  Hate that thing)

I got given a spot Monday, for the Crabtree colony, then two more spots were given me by the clinic.   I thought "Great, the Crabtree folks can pretty much get the rest of the cats in their colony."  But they've only caught one more, the adult unfixed male, last night.  I realize in the heat, its astounding they caught even one.  He's the last adult there needing fixed, as far as I know.  There are still three teens, however, needing caught and fixed.

Hercules banged his face trying to get out of the drop trap and already tore the newspaper up in the trap.  He was caught late last night.


  He was not an easy catch and rumbled around under the drop trap.  She called me in a panic over him being so aggressive, bouncing the trap up and down, lunging at the sides.  I drove out as fast as I could to transfer him out of it to a live trap.  He was banged up and has earmites, I can tell, which may have made him lose much of his ability to hear.  This can cause traumatic fear, when trapped.  

I put him immediately into my cool bathroom, and doped him good with catnip.  He ate a large plate of food I put in within minutes, so he maybe was just hungry.

Giving him food and catnip quickly is more a goodwill gesture than anything else.  Trapped cats often think they're going to be killed.  When they receive food from their captor, this fear is diminished.

I watch the series "Alone" on the history channel.   Contestants are dropped alone in the wilderness, this year in Labrador.  They then survive as long as they can with only a few survival tools and weapons (no guns) for hunting.  Basically its who can out starve the rest.  Watching these experts at survival and hunting generally last less than a month, with the best lasting two months and lose over a pound a day doing so, is dismal to think about how the rest of us might fare, if dumped into such a situation through some disaster. 

Anyhow, some of them act so strange when they kill an animal, like a squirrel or something.   You are the enemy when you put an arrow through a grouse.  Don't comfort the animal you have just mortally wounded.  That is terrifying to the bird or animal.   What makes a person think that after they've inflicted mortal painful injury on something, that same animal or bird would desire gibberish comfort from their tormenter?

Little Dragon in the cat yard

Yesterday I found a hole in the cat run wire out above the driveway.   I began a cat count then and the only cat I could not find was the usual escape subject--Phantom.   She's hard to find though, in the maze of the cat yard and runs and numerous hiding places.   I'll look again today.  She would be the one who would go for that tiny hole, 8 feet off the ground, the only one who would even notice it.  The sun sail had been attached to the wire, via a bungee hook, and pulled out a wire staple.  That's what caused the hole to form.

Last Thanksgiving I helped some folks who discovered kittens in their barn.   We trapped four kittens and two adult females.  One of the females was already fixed and chipped and had been missing a year so she went home.  Three of the four kittens tamed enough to get homes, too.  But the mom and one kitten returned to the barn.  Now they've got the pair a cat tree.  How cute is that?


Rogue in the cat yard.  I took this yesterday and discovered I have a photo of him in the cat yard from a year ago July.  

Here is Rogue last July in the cat yard.  Rogue is quite an elderly cat.   He has only two colony mates surviving of the nine originals--Haley and Alexi.  The most recent to die of his relatives was Misty, who died a few weeks ago, rather suddenly.

Lastly, here is Tweetie, also a very very old gal, originally from Columbus Greens trailer park.   Her sister Button is also still alive.   I am amazed that they are still alive, Rogue too.

Tweetie and her sister Button almost never come inside the house but remain in the cat yard and the garage room just off the cat yard.  Both have beautiful green eyes and remain wild.  A Wilsonville vet is responsible for the unbearably extreme eartips.

Comet is still alive too.  I have no idea why.   He's so old and a stick figure really of his former self.  I give him sub cu fluids about every three days and he eats and drinks still and seems to try to trip me in the kitchen, yowling over his desire for chicken, as he weaves between my feet.  He thinks he needs it daily and I just can't cook chicken in this heat.  Sorry old boy.

I wonder if next week I'll think its too cold.  Starting tomorrow, the temps are to drop into the mid to low 80's, then even to upper 70's.   Will I whine then, I wonder to myself, or just be happy its not 100 degrees anymore.  I"m thinking the latter.

Wasps

 No. I'm not talking about white anglo saxon protestants.    I'm not talking about the women airforce service pilots either. I'm...