Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The Foodee In Me

 I've mentioned how ravenous I become for true Italian food when I read Andrea Camilleri Inspector Montalbano books.

I've been making various simple pastas, as a result.  The Inspector eats a lot of fish, on his breaks from solving crime and dealing with his coworkers and personal afflictions.  Among the fish he consumes-- sardines, anchovies and mullets.   I was looking up how to cook a red mullet Italian style, whole fish, not that I will do that, but got sidetracked, down a rabbit hole.

Welsh food!  I have Welsh in my heritage (along with about everything else).   

When a recipe called for Laverbread, I looked it up.   Everythings' better with laverbread.  So they say. Somewhere.  

Laver is a type of seaweed that can be collected along the coastline there.   You wash it twice to let the sand settle out of it, from every crack and fold.  Then you boil it and boil it and then, mix in some oatmeal--it is eaten after fried in bacon fat in a Welsh bacon, Laverbread and eggs breakfast.  Some critics claim laverbread looks and tastes like fried cow manure.

Sometimes laverbread breakfast includes cockles.   They're a small bivalve found in the sand along beaches and not unlike our mussels and clams.

Ok then, what is Rarebit?   Welsh rabbit.   Well it is nothing to do with a rabbit and is more like our cheese toast.

How to make Rarebit.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Lame Day

 I spent yesterday scrounging scrap wood from all corners of the garage, and its rafters, and hardware, to reuse, to make a new feeder for the park feeder lady.  She had said the deer were kicking apart the one she'd made.

Happy I didn't go buy some paint for it though.  I'd sent her a photo of what I'd made this morning by text and she replied with a put down of my effort.  I texted back to make one herself then.  I'll turn this one into a cat shelter for the cat yard.  My cats will love it.   

I also went over to start trapping the referral site, where the lady told FCCO she feeds 7 cats.  I didn't see any cats waiting for food, when I arrived just before the time she feeds.  But I set a trap and she said she'd call if one got caught.  That call didn't come til late afternoon.  I drove over to get the cat.  It was one she fed all right but the cat is tame and already neutered.  I told her its probably owned by a neighbor and let him go.  At this point she said she was cancelling her appointments.  

Ok.  Second time.  But...less work for me.   It can be hard to tell if you feed cats in a dense neighborhood if those cats are neighbor's cats or strays.   One time, Linn County had a cat grant for fixing stray and feral cats.  In it, they defined feral as any free roaming cat without visible ID.  This sure made it easy.  That was years and years ago.

The day was a dud, as far as getting anything else done, except some grocery shopping.  Weather was atrocious, rain and strong winds, cold too.  But hey, at least I got the garbage can out to the curb.   For some reason I hate doing that.

Smudge and Rogue were chasing one another around last night.

I took these a few days back, looking off to the east at the hills covered in snow.

That's Mt. Jefferson, all snow covered, way off there, sticking out and up towards the dark sky.

Tomorrow will probably be another lousy winter ick day.   Might take long nap and stay in.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Two Sunny Days

 Two sunny days we've had.  With temps around 60 or slightly above.

That's the best we can do here.  But I'll take it.   Today, rain is predicted again.  

I have been working on enclosing the gazebo I got, which was sold as an outdoor barbecue cover, a couple years ago.  I wanted it to help hold up the cat yard wire initially.  It came with a heavy plastic "roof" cover, which proved inadequate to actually keep out rain so I covered it with remnant vinyl.   Slowly I've been creating a wood exterior mostly with odds and ends of scrap I find or are free somewhere.   

I added an old cot as a shelf.  I got that at a Waterloo garage sale.

My latest add on is a door, which used to be the door to a small dog kennel I used inside as a foster house for kittens, briefly.    The cats love it even though its still not finished.  I realized another cat run shelf in the cat yard was rotted too and replaced it.   

Steve was visiting when I took the video.  He's the long hair white on black cat you can see outside the cat yard.  Steve mainly lives in my yard and the yard and house of the neighbors behind me.  He is really owned two houses down from the people behind me.

Later on, I heard a cat fight going on and went out behind the cat yard to see the gray and white boy, from the neighbors behind me and one over, was atop the fence and very worried.  At that point, his owner scruffed him from his yard and I asked who was tiffing with him.  He said "him" and at that point Fritter emerged from a bush that covers the top of the fence farther down.  Old Fritter (Kujo) who battles everyone, but is cared for down at the end of the cul de sac.

I forget what their gray and white boy's name is.   It might be Cashew, but I am not sure.  He's very polite and comes over to roll in the catnip in my yard.

Stevie had by this time retreated into the house behind me, although he's not owned there, and was hanging out an upstairs window watching the fracas with Fritter go down, from a safe vantage.

Earlier Fritter had been in my garage.  Yes of course he hissed at me while wandering MY garage.

The black unfixed boy, Sinbad, was back this evening, looking for food.   The people I thought might own him don't.   I need to find a spare spay neuter spot somewhere and get him in.  His unfixed status is probably adding to Fritter's fury, although doesn't take much to rile up Fritter.

I went over to the flea market at the fairgrounds yesterday.    It was very crowded.   All of a sudden a familiar face appears and he starts out by proclaiming "I'm a trapper now and I caught me a woman!"   It was Tom, from out near the grange, and his wife.  I hadn't seen them in a long while.  I caught cats out there repeatedly and at the grange.  Long ago, they hosted a Neuterscooter clinic at the grange.  The Neuterscooter vet's kids were helping and now two of those kids are vets themselves.  If that doesn't make a person feel old, don't know what would.   

Anyhow, Tom had rented a trap, to catch a female and kittens in their barn he said, but then he bought the trap and so far has caught four cats and he runs them down to be fixed at the WAG clinic in Eugene when he catches one.  The "woman" he caught was the adult female.  Made me laugh.  WAG clinic is affordable and does ferals although only first come first serve.   So its good for getting one feral here and there fixed but not for numbers.

I might try using them for Sinbad.

Speaking of boys getting fixed, the latest dumped cat at Waterloo park was fixed last Wednesday.   Happy Cat Club paid for it, but since the lady took him to a private vet and it was really really expensive, she donated back almost half of the cost. (Whew!)  She's the one who saw him up there in the brush and had been feeding him.  I tried to find somewhere he could go to be placed but failed miserably and so she just took him home.    His name is now Tipper and he's one lucky kitty.  He was really pathetic there, would show up wet when it rained and never really left a small area, likely where he was dumped.  

I gotta trap tomorrow, an FCCO referral.  She has seven FCCO spots Wednesday and I'll probably have to drive them up, too.  Which might not be too bad a prospect since I don't get out much lately.   A little road trip might be kind of nice.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Exhaustion Hits

 I was so tired today.   I got up normal time and did all the chores, fed the three cats still here, the gas station cats, but I was trudging.  My eyelids were so heavy.  I just wanted to crawl back into bed.   I resisted long enough to return the gas station cats.

I had dreaded returning them.   The guy is nice enough but isn't communicative, didn't call to see how they'd done, so it was painful to think about returning them there.  But before noon, I went.  I called him first so he'd be waiting and I wouldn't have to go back and yell at the trailer through the brambles.  For once he answered his phone.  But once there, I still had to wait ten minutes before he ambled out.

Once that was over and done with, I beelined it for home, and went straight back to bed and slept for hours.

The day before, with the cats up at the clinic getting fixed, I'd ended up at the Bird Lady's place.  I go there once a week or so now.  She's so thin and weak, can barely walk, with a walker.   It's hard to see. She said she couldn't get up and out of the couch she uses for a bed anymore, it was too low and that she'd asked her grandson to raise it but all he'd done was bring up the cinder blocks, which were out on the walkway.

I don't know why I said "I'll do it."   What an idiot I can be, over estimating my own age capacities.  

She wanted the four corners of the couch up on the cinder blocks plus some long decking planks from the garage put lengthwise, with the ends atop the cinder blocks.   I got those planks from her garage first and then one by one, carried the cinder blocks in.   It was extremely difficult to get the heavy couch up high enough with one hand and my shoulder, and then try to push a cinder block under the corner with the other hand and arm.  Getting the planks lengthwise, one down the back and one down the front, resting atop the cinder blocks, wasn't easy either.  At one point I was on my back, trying to hold up one end of the couch with my feet and legs while shoving the cinder blocks under the corners, then getting the plank ends atop them.  I was done in, but got it done, and it was extremely stable.  At this point she tried it out.

Too high, she said.  I nearly fainted.   

I told her I couldn't do more and asked her to call her grandson right then and any neighbor who might help because I was worried if it was too high, she'd fall getting off and on it.  I was panicked some over this possibility, in fact.  She made several calls asking for help but no one could or they didn't answer.

I told her I could at least put it back the way it had been, by sliding the blocks out from under the corners but she didn't want that either.  In the end, I brought in a half cinder block she had in the yard, and made a step for her, to get up and down to the couch easier and covered it in a plush small blanket, so in case she fell at least she wouldn't hit her head on something hard.

Just say no next time, I remind myself.  She's fallen multiple times in that place.  But the main reason is there's too much stuff in it.   Houses stuffed in stuff drive me nuts.   Immediately I want to get unused things out of there, for them, so they can see how wonderful it is to be able to move around in your own house, unfettered and free!  Even cook on a stove that formerly was piled high in stuff.  Ha!   People are attached to their stuff, I've discovered, and I have to let it be.   Still drives me nuts!

The couch elevation contributed to exhaustion today.  

I'm so ready for some sun here.  Allegedly we might get up to 60 degrees on Thursday for the first time this year.   I gave in and renewed my Costco card.   What can I say.    I love their mocha freezes but I like to be able to get their cat food when I need it and not rely on others who have cards, who have their own lives and are busy.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Gas Station Cats

 I got all three gas station cats.   

I couldn't get ahold of either the attendant who was helping or the man who owns the cats who lives behind the station in a camp trailer in the field.   

So Sunday I went to the gas station and the female cat was out by the cars parked by the station, so I set a trap and caught her quickly, as she was hungry, then texted the attendant I'd caught her.   

The man in the trailer didn't answer texts or calls.  He has a bad phone that won't hold a charge and has to charge it at the station when he can.  The attendant had told me to honk three times, then he'd come.  But it didn't work, and neither did yelling from behind the station at the trailer.  I finally walked out to the trailer through the mud and pounded on the door.  Only then did I realize my mistake.  I saw another trailer much closer to the station down the other side.  Ha, I thought, no wonder.

I then yelled at that trailer through the berry vines and up he came with the two other cats in carriers.  But just as we loaded them in the back of my car, the black kitty broke out through the insecure front of the carrier, into the back of my car, and quickly out the front open door, back towards the trailer.  So he took a better carrier I had along and soon was back with the cat in it.

I was happy to get these cats or soon there would have been a colony behind the station.  Gracie is the mom of the other two.



So those three are up being fixed along with two Lebanon strays a lady helped out in her neighborhood but had been unable to get fixed. She tries to help cats in trouble she finds, but sometimes has trouble finding a way to get them fixed.  Those two are Sindel and Finnegan.



When I picked them up, I was met by a dog who seemed bigger than I am, but who is very very friendly.

I'd really like a day to romp somewhere with that dog. He looks like he'd be so much fun.

It's pouring here today, an atmospheric river thing, although central and northern California are again getting the worst of it.  I think they may wash away down there.

I'm happy for them with their reservoirs full again but wtf, rain and snow can now stop already.  Come on.  Enough!

Winter blues and agitation/irritation from the constant drippy icky gray are high around here.

We could sure use some sun.

The video is of the black unfixed stray male, taking refuge under my eaves, to stay dry.   I figure he is an abandoned cat since he's always over here and nobody seems to care about him, like when the weather is really lousy, like freezing or pouring.   So I'll get him fixed, if I can catch him, for my next appointments.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Danger Danger

 I get an email.  Its from an aol account.  Name is familiar.  I look the woman's name up in my records and she once donated to help the cats, years and years ago.   Hmm, I thought.  She said she was asking for a favor.   I  looked her up online, to see where she lives, then replied to the email and asked where she lives.  The answer came back in cut and paste block, line over line.

Ok that's a scammer for sure.  Another email came, this time with a cockamaney story about her bank not letting her use her card but it would all be cleared up in a couple days and  would I please buy a gift card for her friend dying of cancer for her birthday, on amazon.   She wanted a $100 razor card sent.   

Ok for sure this is a scam.   I spam labeled her email.    No way. 

How did whomever it was have access to her email account and password for it?  I don't know.   I've never had a scammer email like that before, from the person's actual email account/iphone.  I figure maybe its a no good relative or her phone was stolen.

I hear a knock on the door and answer it, thinking its a chewy delivery.   They knock after leaving the cat food.  But its a young adult man.   He says he used to live down the block.   I don't recognize him.   I tell him this.   I don't tell him I never recognize anyone I rarely see and that human names and faces don't really register with me.  Never have.

He wants to come in.  I say "no".  Twice.   He says he was one of the little kids who used to come to my door from down the block.   Still nothing is registering.  Over the years I've had a lot of little kids come to the door from down the block, selling things like little bracelets they made, or food their mother makes to sell.  I always bought whatever they were selling because they were little kids.   There was a boy amongst them.  Could this be him, I thought?    I felt old suddenly. This guy is in his 20's.   How could an adult standing before me be that little kid.  Little kids should never grow up to be adults,  with all the issues we adults have, I think to myself.   I still don't know who it was.   He said he was just out walking when I asked if he'd moved back to the area.  That group of kids and their adults had moved away years ago.   If it was that kid I am thinking of last I saw him a relative was teaching him to drive on the cul de sac.   

I was a little fearful that night, because I didn't know who that man was at my door or why he so badly wanted in.   Later, I rationalized that he was just back in town for something and wandering the area where he grew up and meant no harm of any kind.  Some men do not realize the innate fear we women must have to survive of men we do not know.  

Life has been lonely lately.  Most of my friends and I never had many have died or moved away.   Three more friends face housing issues (eviction for various reasons) but there's nothing I can do about that.

  I try to be friends with a Lebanon woman but its hard for me to do because her house is a disaster zone and if I go there I want to start cleaning it.  I can't help myself there.   OCD a little bit on cleaning.   She took in the latest dumped cat at the park.   I thought I had a placement for him but she didn't want  him to go to a shelter and be in a cage.   Good thing, really, since when I finally met him I realized he is too shy for a shelter.  He's tame all right but he's been out on his own for some time, you can tell.  Happy Cat Club will pay for his neuter on Tuesday, at her vet clinic.  HCC has had a lot of expense for January and February since in all 44 cats were taken in, during those two months, by their own people to be fixed at the OHSS clinic.  Instead of billing Linn County residents the $43 per cat fee, they bill Happy Cat Club.   It's hard to keep up the fundraising to sustain those numbers but I am thrilled so many people are taking in their own cats, for a change.  The bill for those 44 cats to be fixed was $1892.00.   You might think that is a lot of money and of course it is, but consider its what some of these rescues end up spending on one sick intake, at a private vet.   44 is a significant number of cats who now will not be creating more cats so the value for that money spent, for the cats, their caretakers and the public is extremely high.

The adult daughter of the Shedd colony caretaker has been advertising the tame boy I trapped out there on lost and found pages.   She and her husband took him home after he went to the FCCO along with nine others I'd trapped out there.  She's had no luck so far finding who could own him.  I had already gone to neighbors of the colony out there, to ask.  He too is likely a dump.  She'll try to find him a home or get him into a shelter eventually.  I'm happy he didn't go back out to the colony.

I'm supposed to be getting three cats living behind a gas station for tomorrow's appointments, but I'm not sure I'll get any of them.  A man living in a trailer in the field behind the gas station is supposed to get two of them.  I gave him two of my carriers to put them in on Friday.  But he doesn't communicate well, doesn't text and rarely answers phone so I don't know.  They're the adult kittens from litter before last of the female, whom the station attendant is supposed to catch, but she doesn't answer texts or phone calls either. So I'm blind on it, and need to determine early as I can if any of this will happen so I can hopefully find other cats to fill in, so the spots aren't wasted.

We "sprang forward" in time in the night.  Daylight savings time.  It's either off or on, I don't know.  The digital devices auto adjust.  But, I have two battery clocks in the house and the car clock that don't auto adjust.  I'm old fashioned and use a battery alarm clock that loudly ticks.  I love the ticking sound at night.   

That's it, nothing much going on here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Deep Thoughts


Sometimes when people complain about feral cat colonies and destruction I have to laugh.   Sometimes I laugh to their faces and blurt out "You mean as opposed to human colonies?"

Did you ever see the Jack Handey Deep Thought skits on Saturday Night Live?   I haven't watched SNL in a long time.  Some of it sticks with me.

Sometimes I dream about peace and I know how peace could happen.   I went to a peace protest once with my own sign.  It read "Give Peace a Chance.  Neuter everyone."

When I see graffitti I think to myself the males were out spray marking again.

During the Covid years, there was a lot less stigma about being an isolationist.  People thought you were smart.

My neighbors call me a cat lady and give me a wide berth.  Except Jack when he was alive.  He called me Jesus Christ to the cats.  Perspective.  Jack should have known cats don't worship anybody.

How about a video of Gigi, playing atop her favorite complex expensive toy, a Chewy box.

If you think you are too old to play wildly, go have a chat with vertigo boy Rogue.  He'll change that lousy attitude.

And finally, some really really deep thoughts from the one and only Jack Handey.....

The Foodee In Me

 I've mentioned how ravenous I become for true Italian food when I read Andrea Camilleri Inspector Montalbano books. I've been makin...