Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Very Bad Day

There are times when you have to give up and just say to hell with it. I have reached that point. I knocked myself out for days, making the long drive to Hull Oaks Mill, thinking I could solve that once and for all. Thing is, I don't get help with the situation there. There is no one willing to reliably watch traps and communicate with me if an unfixed cat is caught.

I was down to three cats. Two in the boiler room, a male and a female, and the Siamese mother of the kittens, who are now here. I had set a trap that Mrs. Hulls caregiver was to watch until she left there, at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. I told her, after that, forget about the trap and leave it set. I'll be back.

I was back, at about 11:00 p.m. Saturday night, after trapping at Sycamore Towers, another frustrating experience, because one tenant is openly hostile to me, the same tenant who caused problems for me a few years ago, when I tried to trap and fix the cats of Sycamore Towers. I then would sit in my car and curse the "joy of volunteerism" in sarcasm, to try to lighten my mood, sitting in my cold car in the dark, being glared at through blinds by a woman who refused to quit feeding the cats and will do anything she can to impede my efforts to get them fixed.

Anyhow, when I arrived very late last night at Hull Oaks, I found a brown tabby tux in the trap out in the old vehicle graveyard. I put that cat and trap in my car, to bring to the FCCO clinic held today, and set another trap.

A man who lives in a fifth wheeler drove up at that point, thinking I might be a prowler. After I told him what I was up to, I gave him Nick's cell number and my home phone number. I gave him explicit directions about calling my home phone, only up until 7:00 a.m. this morning, if one got in the trap and Nick's phone today, because I would be at the clinic and Nick, the clinic coordinator, would get the call on his cell. I got no calls.

I'd left two traps in the boiler room, but the female was wary because the boiler room guys left a kitten sitting in the trap for a day, without calling to tell me they had it. They figured I would show up and get the kitten eventually, which I did. But, the mother she got trap spooked big time.

Nonetheless, I remained at the mill until after 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning, trying to lure her into a trap.

I finally gave up and came home. I got up late Sunday morning, after only about three hours of sleep, and after sleeping through the alarm and didn't get to the clinic with the 14 cats I had until 8:30 a.m. I then fell asleep in my car for several hours!

When I woke up, I drove down to the mill. My trap was not in the broken down car field, where I had left it set early this morning. I drove around and found the fifth wheeler man who said he checked it at 9:00 a.m. this morning and nothing was in it. I went up to the boiler room then. Nobody in either trap but the female was there. I decided to try to net her.

I lured her close with food. I was sitting in a chair with rollers on the bottom on the wood floor. I got her by the scruff and reached for my net and the chair went out from under me.

I knew I was falling, but tried to net her on the way down. I went for her, almost in slo mo, and she got away. My head slammed hard against the side of a cabinet. I saw stars, and slumped to the floor. Everything was black. I don't think I blacked out, however. It was more like dreaming. Then my head began to pound. It's still pounding.

I finally got up, left her a bunch of food, in apology, and drove down to Mrs. Hulls place. I was astounded to see my empty trap in the driveway. I went inside. The caregiver, who is the sister of the caregiver there yesterday, had taken it upon herself, without ever talking to me, without being asked to do so, to go check that trap over off property after she arrived at work.

She apparently had been talking to her sister, so she butted in, probably well intended, but inadvertantly caused mayhem. The Siamese mother was in the trap. This college student who knew nothing about what was going on, was not to be involved, then brought the cat in the trap over to Mrs. Hulls and told Mrs. Hull the cat was very upset and had been in the trap over 24 hours. Fantasy. Fiction.

The cat had likely been in the trap less than an hour. The fifth wheeler man checked it at 9:00 a.m. and it was empty. I believe that caregiver gets to work at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. I was down to the mill again about 2:30 p.m.

I was angry to hear I'd caught her and that this person had turned her loose. I said "You just ruined hours upon hours of hard work I put in to find her kittens and her. That trap was being checked by 2 people. I was here until almost 2:00 a.m. It wasn't even the same trap your sister checked yesterday." I was furious and kicked the trap all the way down their driveway to my car, put it inside, and drove off.

I put a note on the office door. The gist of the note was, "I've been pushed too far as a volunteer. There are three cats left unfixed here. It is up to you to get them fixed."

Thing is, they won't, I don't believe. And I can't do it anymore. All that driving to get down there, and I'd have to sit there day and night, because I haven't found anyone dependable to check traps and call. The cost to me, to help Hull Oaks again, like last time, has been stupendous. I love that area and that mill, but I can't sacrifice like this, my time, my sleep, my car, my money.

Do you know how hard it now will be to ever catch that Siamese female again?

Anyhow, I'm just kind of fed up, and very very disappointed, that I had her caught, I HAD HER CAUGHT, and that woman turned her loose. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Well anyhow. Life goes on. And as for me, I'm going to bed.

The other irritation at the clinic today was of my own making. I offered to help a family get the last two of their ferals fixed. They said they had them in a kennel, had caught them after the check in time this a.m.

But then the details emerge, and I should have said no right there. I'd exchanged information with them, about getting the other two fixed in Jefferson. Seems they "bought" their dogs from Heartland, paid their full adoption price. Then they got a cat from a neighbor for a pet. They claim they didn't think she'd get pregnant even if allowed to free roam. So what planet do these folks come from?

Then she got pregnant and now the kittens, who have turned feral, are a year old, so just let them pretty much out on their own, after they were born. Then, when she called later, to say her husband let the other two out during the day so they're gone, she also said they'd finally boarded up under the house that the cats were using for their "private" bathroom.. Like this should disgust me, like cats have "private bathrooms".

I should have said "Did you provide them a litterbox? They can't hold it forever, you know." Because she was acting like she wanted me think the cats were horrible and get my sympathy on that. Instead, I was thinking how disgusting her attitude towards lives, they created with irresponsible behavior, was.

She justified her husband turning them out by saying "Well they're mean and hiss at the kids." I said "They're feral and they were scared being confined to a kennel suddenly and having the only place they had to live, under your house, suddenly blocked off."

I hung up on her then. I got the call after I got home, from a long day at the clinic and even longer days prior to the clinic, helping people who behave in that same manner. I wasn't mentally capable of listening to more. People can be so mean to the animals.

Instead of being responsible and getting the cat fixed, the cat was allowed to breed. Instead of then taking responsibility and getting the cat fixed at a private clinic, and taking care of the kittens, they turned the kittens out to become feral and used a nonprofit clinic and volunteer efforts to fix their cat.

That's just lame. So don't think I'm a fan, lady. Yeah I hung up on you tonight and I'd do it again.

Well anyhow.......off to bed.

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