Saturday, December 09, 2017

That Darn Alarm Clock

I never bothered with an alarm with Miss Daisy alive.  She was my alarm.  She wanted me up, and made sure it happened, so she could get her morning cat treats.

Now that she's gone, I must rely on conventional waker uppers, like my battery powered alarm.  I set it for 5:30 a.m., as there is trapping to be done this morning, and wake up, see my clock says 6:30, curse the clock did not ring, get up, begin the chores of litter box cleaning, water dish filling after setting my teapot on the stove to boil water for coffee.

Then I spy another clock I have, also battery powered, in the kitchen and the real time is 3:00 a.m.  I've already done the chores and am drinking a cup of coffee in preparation even though I thought I was an hour late waking.   Ah shoot.  The alarm clock isn't even running.  Battery needs changed.

Ah well, back to bed in a moment and I can sleep later since all the chores are done.

I have battery powered clocks because there have been constant power glitches here since I moved in, with the power going off for a few seconds then coming back on and I got tired of resetting the clocks.   Lately the power company has been here sometimes all day, four big trucks or more, crowding the block, to replace some lines and a transformer.  Maybe it will be reliable now.

My clothes dryer has been broken for ten days now.  I took it apart when it began a horrible scraping sound and became very hot.   Once again a front glider bracket is nearly worn through and half broken.  This is because I overload the dryer.  The glider brackets attach at the bottom of the front piece of the dryer, one on each side, pads on each, around which the drum rotates.  I had to replace a bracket and the felt seal a few years back.

At first I was going to order parts online but then I dallied and went to a repair shop with the front piece that has the damaged felt seal and broken bracket and asked what it would cost to be repaired there.  The price was very large, over $120 for parts and an hour labor and I thought that is more than a used dryer would cost off craigslist, which is where my washer came from, for $100 and has worked fine for years.

So finally then, I ordered the two parts online.  And three days later they came but the cement for the felt seal wasn't included although I had paid for the cement.  I called them up and the rep said it was back ordered and it would be five to seven days before it could arrive.  I cancelled the cement order and ended up finally at Home Depot comparing glues until I found one that would tolerate both high heat and moisture.

I spent a lot of time removing the old felt seal and glue, dousing it in rubbing alcohol to soak, then scraping the old off with the end of a screw driver.   Finally last night I glued on the new felt.  Now it needs to dry 24 hours, then I'll add the new bracket and put the dryer back together.

Takes clothes awhile to dry hanging up but not that long, a couple of days for most, three for jeans, but the cat bedding takes too long so that is why I want it fixed.  Otherwise, I see I could easily live without a dryer and I'll use it far less now, knowing how long it takes to hang dry different items after the last ten days.

We have had clear days here lately but it is cold nights, below freezing but not that cold.  And I prefer the cold to the rain.

I took Cheetah and Wren to their new home yesterday and I miss them already.  The new home is with a dedicated cat lady with a very interesting creative house.  I like it.   Copper won't be leaving for another week because his new owner stated she has difficulty applying eye meds so could I keep him til he is through the course of those meds and I said "yes I can".

I feed the Waterloo boys every other day still and also the farm colony cats every other day.  They come running when they see me.  These are two of the tamest of them. 

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Trip to the Big City with Cats

Yesterday morning early I drove to Portland.

With cats, of course.

I took along Twilight and Pisces, the Harvest Drive girls.  The other 11 I took all were KATA kittens, who needed fixed before they could be adopted out.  We have a slight shortage of affordable spay neuter availability in the area where I live.  To put it mildly.

Hence, the need for a trip to the big city.

Which is never fun, now that Portland is so congested on almost any roadway it is not a pleasant experience to go there.  But sometimes one must brave the traffic jams to get a baker's dozen kittens fixed.

Driving to a parking lot, to nap and wait, later in the day, I saw all these amenities for bikes, on the roads, including green boxes, green slashes and I have no idea what they mean.   And all day long, I saw only two bikes.  I see more bikes here where I live, than up there, and yet they spend so much on bikes and seem to not keep up the roads for cars.   I can't figure it out.

Anyhow, was a smooth trip otherwise, just tiring, very much so.  But now all the bathroom kittens except Copper are fixed.  Winnie is gone to Heartland and tested positive there for FIV (Feline Aids).  FIV is generally a disease of big fighting males. It is caught and spread when they bite one another and the bite wound gets closed over.  But females can get it too, when they fight or get bitten by an infected male in the act of sex and then they can pass it to their kittens.  Often the kittens throw off the virus however and Winnie may accomplish that.  Heartland will adopt her out.  FIV is hard to spread cat to cat and even infected cats often live normal lifespans.

Winnie was found quite a distance from the others and I'm not sure if she was really one of them.   Copper tested negative for FIV/Felk and is still recovering from conjunctivitis.  He cannot be fixed for some time, or the stress on his immune system from anesthesia and a neuter, would likely allow the virus that gave him the cold to begin with, to make a come back.

But Wren and Cheetah were fixed Monday at WHS and by some coincidence, the same vet was working at the FCCO yesterday, and fixed their mates, Twilight and Pisces.

A friend up in Canada has sent me lots of help for the cats including toys and cat food.  She recently sent Squeeze Up treats.  Pisces loves these treats, so this morning, with her a bit under the weather from her spay yesterday, I brought her one.

Wren and Cheetah are leaving today, going to a local cat woman, who will work at taming them further.  Copper is leaving Sunday. 

Monday, December 04, 2017


I caught the black tux last night, the one I'd been after, whose feeders moved.

I didn't trap all day like I had been, but left it til evening, after driving up to Sweet Home to pick up four trailer park cats. 

The trailer park is a far cry as far as cat population, from what it used to be.  I don't know exactly how many I've gotten fixed there since I started, two years ago.  Lots.   Tenants have come and gone.  Cats have been left but not many. 

There may be only two unfixed cats left in the park.  One of them is owned and the other is a black male stray I intended to trap yesterday but I got going too late, after doing chores and lounging all morning.

The cats roaming around are all looking good, healthy and sporting those ear tips, like badges of courage.

So I took the four and called it good.
Grem, from the trailer park

Smokey from the trailer park also being fixed today at whs.

Noname from the trailer park, being fixed today.

Shadow from the trailer park, also being fixed today

And on the way back to my place, I set two traps instead of one, at the house where the black tux used to be fed, and where many neighbor cats eat too.  I set both in places I had not set the trap before, to throw the now very hungry black tux off some, and spread catnip about, to further mess up his mind.

Two hours later I came back to check the trap and there he was.  He's a massive boy, well fed I'd say, but he was not happy at all.  I hoisted him into the back of the car and was whooping and hollering for joy inside.   I did my happy dance once home, out in the driveway.

He's up at the clinic today with the four Sweet Home teens and McLagan Road kittens Wren and Cheetah.  They are leaving me tomorrow, going to a nice cat lady in town here.
Cheetah from Mclagan Road, being fixed today.  She has blossomed into the most fun and loving kitten.

Wren from McLagan Road.  I used to call her Meadow.  I love her so.  She is getting fixed today.

As for Jackal, as I named the black tux, he's leaving from the clinic to go to my friend who places barn cats.  She's meeting me there, which is nice of her.

Jackal!  I got him!
So I got that big boy and it made me happy.  I was also cheered totally after seeing all those cats, long fixed now, with their ear tips, playing, well fed and happy at the trailer park.  Fixing the cats there has made such a huge difference.   I just wanted to cry, out of happiness, to see it.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Winnie Now at Heartland

Winnie is at Heartland Humane now where she will be put up for adoption.  It was hard for me to take her over there, now separated from her sisters and best friends, the Harvest Drive girls Twilight and Pisces.  Makes me want to cry tonight.  Winnie is one of the four McLagan Road kittens.

She needs to move on, however, and I hope she isn't adopted out as a single kitten to a household with no other cats.  She would be miserable.

She loves other cats and to play.

I hope she isn't adopted out to assholes who glance her way now and then but otherwise ignore her, and kick her outside, to fend among the dogs and cars and all the other threats that come with a cat outside.  I hope her adopters keep her flea free, all that, take her to the vet if sick.  I hope she is adopted by kind, loving and responsible people.

I am not so convinced there are that many of those types of people left around anymore.  Guess I"m worn out trying to trap cats a family fed.  Then they moved and left them and with days before they have to turn in their keys, they called me, wanted me to trap them.  Would have been easy had they done it before they left.  But now?    There are lots of free roaming neighbor cats in the area who get in the trap and it becomes a matter of luck to catch the right one and lots and lots of time.

I've caught a bunch of neighbor cats and a huge possum, but only one of the two who relied solely on this family for food and shelter.  I've caught one tabby three times.  She has a collar, so I release her, but catching her three times, you have to wonder, do her owners even feed her?  Or is she too on her own?   This area is really bad for animal neglect and abandonment.  Really really bad.  I don't know why.  A way of life I suppose.
This is the big tabby tux now with Meow Village

The first one and only one so far I caught of the two needing caught is a big huge tabby tux unfixed boy.  She had arranged for him to go to Meow Village.   So off he went after I caught him.

The other one is harder to catch now that she or he has seen the tabby in the trap three times, another cat too and the possum. Plus the tabby tux.  I'm wearing myself out trying to get the cat caught so it won't starve to death, now that its food source up and moved away.  Hurts my heart to think about it.

Doesn't help my dryer quit.  Started making a horrible scraping sound.  Its the front felt seal and brackets for the gliders again.   One of them is almost worn through.  Same as the last time I fixed it, years ago.   Waiting for parts to arrive to fix it, while hanging up clothes and cat bedding all over,  isn't fun.

So that's why I'm not a happy camper tonight, I'm tired out and I have to let it all go and go to bed.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Day at the Coast Sleeping in My Car

I took two cats to the coast clinic yesterday.

I went to bed early enough, but woke up too early, after nightmares. 

Been worried about placing the kittens in the bathroom.  No group will take them this time and I've only tamed two sufficiently for adoption but now nobody will adopt them.  I have no venue, unfortunately, and depend on finding other groups willing, if I take in cats in trouble.

There's been no spay neuter space in the valley for some time.  Outside of three I snuck into Heartland a couple weeks ago, there's been nothing.

Next week I finally have 7 reservations at whs on Monday and am transporting 12 up to the FCCO in Portland Wedneday for KATA.  How'd I get talked into that?  I stupidly volunteered after they expressed frustration at the lack of spay neuter in the valley and how they have so many kittens waiting to be fixed.  Why don't they take them up themselves?  Good question, one I can't answer.  It's true there is a serious lack of affordable spay neuter in the Linn and Benton counties.    This lack means more unwanted cats everywhere.  A viscous circle.

I admit I like any excuse to get out of town and transporting cats to a clinic is a good excuse to get out of town, don't you think?   I hope to see a friend for breakfast up there, and visit some favorite thrift stores.    Sure, it is tiring but getting out of town for me is a big deal.

I try to find ways to work with other groups.  I figure if I help them they'll help me, but that often isn't the case.

I'm also taking two of the bathroom kittens that day to be fixed along with the KATA 12.  Was supposed to be Copper and Winnie, but Copper got sick, has conjunctivitis, so she went with me to the coast clinic yesterday.  Along with Soloman, who is elderly and had been drooling.

I dropped off Soloman, who was scheduled for dental cleaning with extactions if needed, then waited for the vet to see Copper  Didn't take long.  She tested Copper for FIV/Felk (negative) and for coccidia and giardia since she'd had loose stools.  Negative on both of those.  In the end, she sent me with antibiotics and eye drops.

I then had Copper for the day while we waited on Soloman, in the car, so there was not a lot I could do.  I drove to the parking lot at the south jetty and took off my shoes.  Then I got in the back and spread out my sleeping bag, let Copper out of her carrier, which also has a litter box in it, and we snuggled until I fell asleep for a few hours.  When I woke, I found Copper snuggled into a blanket under the seat.

Soloman had to have four teeth pulled and also a lot of tartar removed.  He should feel better soon. Soloman is between 11 and 12 years of age.

Someone was supposed to come see Copper to perhaps adopt her today but cancelled.  I figure its probably not going to happen.  This is the second home possibility that's been lost.   It's depressing.

She can't be fixed now for a month til she's well over her cold.

Instead of taking Copper and Winnie Wednesday with the KATA cats, to be fixed, it will be Pisces and Twilight, the Harvest Drive kittens.

I didn't take a single photo at the coast since I did nothing but sit in a parking lot then sleep in a parking lot.  Super exciting day!

This is Copper

And this is old Soloman

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Driving too and from trapping locations, sometimes I become overwhelmed with the beauty of the valley.

The rain can drive one nuts, but the rain turns landscapes green. 

This time of year, next summer's grass seed crop is several inches tall.  The valley is carpeted in green and splendor, at least when the rain isn't driving down and turning everything gray and miserable.

After feeding the cats at the county park a couple days ago, I drove out to help some folks on Harvest Drive rake leaves.  I needed the exercise and also to check out the trap set on another porch there.  The last kitten, a black one, hasn't been seen in some time.  I doubt she's still alive, but I want to be sure she has the best chance if she is.  So I rebaited the trap now constantly set.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving and the KIttens

I didn't do much Thanksgiving.   My older brother and his wife now live in Idaho.  I'm not sure if I will ever see them again.  I used to spend a day somewhere before Thanksgiving with them.  Or rather a few hours.  And sometimes I'd go there at some point near Christmas.  Now I'm on my own both holidays.

My younger brother and his wife stopped briefly on their way north earlier in the week to spend the holidays with their daughter in Washington State.  They had spent the night in Eugene, and were having breakfast in Albany and invited me to join them.

It was nice to see them, even if for such a short time.  I'm not a breakfast person but the food at this place just off I5 was very good. They looked good too and were so funny, they made me laugh.

In the end, I went out to someone's place I've known for years for dinner.  Through cats, when she encounters them, and they need fixed.  She took in three barn cats from me too, but I didn't see any of them when I was out there, which is not surprising.  She took in Siletz and Angelo from Mountain Shadows trailer park in Sweet Home and the female, Bambi, I trapped at the Albany porn shop.

I was so tired by the time I got there and they were already sitting at the table ready to eat.  I guess I got the time wrong. I'd been up to the county park, as it was the day to feed the cats there, and to the farm colony too, as I knew the cats in both places would be waiting and hungry and relied on me and there's no one else who feeds them or will.   I fell asleep on the couch right after eating, could not stay awake.  They have a room with a couch in it, and its mostly windows and the view to the west of the mountains and valley below them is spectacular. It is so beautiful out there and they keep making their place more suited to enjoy the beauty.  All I needed was a short nap to revive a bit.  It was so nice of them to invite me.  They had other folks there including some graduate students with no place to go.  One from Ireland.  One from Brazil.  One from South Korea!   I then came home, and unbelievably, fell asleep by 7:00 p.m. 

Black Friday I spent at Petsmart, once I got moving and paid bills I'd put off paying.  A really nice donation from a grass seed farmer allowed me to stock up on cat food for colony cats I feed.  However, by the time I got there, the stock left at sale price was low.  Petsmart Black Friday wet and dry cat food sales are well known by the cat rescue community.   I got as much as I could and even saw a Brooks woman there I know.

Their sales only lasted til noon, so I was home early.  I fought off holiday depression or tried to by singing to myself and staying busy and counting my blessings, repeating in my head the lists of things I have to be thankful for and how good I have it, which is true.  Everyone else on the block seems to have company, people and family visiting and doing things together. In the end, I was ok.

I do suffer occasional depression but mostly it is sparked by lonliness.  Over the years I've developed strategies to combat these feelings.  I have to keep rested because being too tired can bring it on.  I have to limit my exposure to depressing negative news about the world too.  And I repeat positive things and constantly remind myself I could be dead any moment, better enjoy this minute, like Miss Daisy did.  She never wasted a moment on self pity.  I am determined to stay positive, too.  She is still inspiring me.  But I sure miss her.

The bathroom kittens are doing ok.  The 2nd Harvest Drive kitten, Pisces, is a silver tabby.  Well, she's really the fourth, but Blizz and Rabbit are long gone.  I left a trap set out there for the little black kitten, but last night, when I finally called the couple, whose porch the trap is on, they'd not had any luck and had not rebaited the trap, so my heart and hopes fell, and I asked them to rebait and keep trying.

Here's a video of the river and falls at the county park.  The water is now very high on the South Santiam because of all our recent rain.  It's very warm rain too.

Here's a video of Pisces, as she gets acquainted here, with the bolder bonded pair of Winnie and Copper.

Winnie and Copper have a home to go to together once they are fixed but that won't happen until week after next.  Copper and Cheetah, the torti girl, keep fighting off eye conjunctivitis, but Copper cannot tolerate eye ointment, makes her eyes worse.  Some cats and terramycin eye ointment don't mix. So she's going to the vet with me and Mops next week.

I still have to find homes for the other four, once tame enough.  I'm getting there with them.  Here's Meadow, although the video isn't that great, was trying to show how much she loves to head bump.  She's the cute muted torti.


Copper is the funniest kitten.  She talks and is so loving.  She reminds me of Miss Daisy.

Cheetah is fun too!
One holiday gone, one to go.  And I've got a garage stocked with cat food now, should be enough to feed the colony cats for three months.