Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who Was the Calico with the Brain Tumor? Warning: Graphic Images

The photos at the bottom of this post are graphic, of the top of the gravely ill calico's head, engulfed in a lethal tumor. I see such horrors all the time. It took a couple of women with very soft hearts, Marta the Mormon, and a neighbor near where Marta works, a lot of courage, to try to help such a horribly ill cat. They had to overcome their soft hearts, in a way, to deal with helping her. I salute them. Marta finally e-mailed me the photos she took of the cats' tumor, yesterday. I am still trying to figure out where the cat originated from.

If you remember the story.....

I am still trying to figure out where that gravely ill calico, with the brain tumor, who crawled under the house on 4th street, came from. She is the one my friend, Marta the Mormon, called me about that Friday, November 7, when I'd just delivered six cats to the Neuterscooter clinic in Veneta to be fixed, and had returned home hoping to sleep through the day, before picking up those cats, including Munchy, that night.

Marta works nearby. She had seen this calico, whom she thought had been shot, and of course wanted to help her. I went down. A neighbor, whom I actually knew from taking in cats for her, and for people she knew, was also trying to catch the injured cat. The cat retreated beneath a house I also knew. I'd taken in 10 cats to be fixed for that couple.

I was unable to get under the house because the foundation hole was too small. I could only work in my head and one shoulder and arm. This was enough. I had duct taped by trusty homemade net to a piece of PVC, to extend it, blocked the other exits from under the house, except for one, over which I put the transfer hole of the drop trap. Marta waited by the blanket covered drop trap, ready to put the transfer board back in place if the cat exited into the drop trap.

I steered the cat with the extended net to the hole and kind of pushed her out. Marta replaced the board on the drop trap and the cat was contained. Only then did we realize the horror of her plight. The neighbor was so upset she couldn't stand it, and called the police, who have access to a fund set up by SafeHaven, to help such horribly injured unclaimed strays, with vet care. I shepherded the poor cat into a live trap and the neighbor took her to a vet, where she was euthanized.

She looked like half her brain had been taken off, but it was in fact a tumor, more common to cats positive for FIV. The tumor is very smelly and the vet theorized someone dumped her because of the tumor and its smell, rather than care for her responsibly. FIV is so easy to prevent. If you get your cats fixed, the likelihood of your cat getting FIV is reduced to almost nothing, especially if you make sure all cats in your area are also fixed. Keep your fixed cat inside, and you reduce the risk to nothing. This disease is primarily passed by fighting males.

I've been going through pictures of cats I've gotten fixed in that area, and there have been scores, trying to identify where that cat came from. I got a ton of cats fixed two blocks from there, fed by a 7-11 clerk, who finally moved out of drug central. That district is also known as Felony Flats. One was a calico fed at a different location, but I don't think this is her.

I got at least one calico fixed for the woman who lives in the house under which that cat took refuge. I did not take a photo of that cat. I got a calico, feral, fixed for a woman who lived just north of that house then, but this cat did not have a right eartip. I got a calico fixed for some folks who briefly moved in with the neighbor trying to help the cat. But it was not that cat either.

I got a calico fixed at Hope's colony, only a few blocks from this location, but I looked at the photo of that calico, and it is not her either.

I got a calico fixed, along with 8 other cats, for a household two blocks east, but it isn't that calico.

Then I remembered a call from a rehab house of some sort two or three blocks the other direction. They had a sick Siamese male. This was the first of September. I never was able to contact someone who knew what I was talking about. I don't know if the woman who called me was a temp resident or what, but I had recommended a couple of options. The problem was I could not get a reliable contact person there. The Siamese was an outside unfixed cat and the symptoms this woman described were consistent with FIV. I was so taken, in her description, privately in my head. that this cat had FIV, that I described FIV, it's causes and symptoms to this woman and urged her to utilize other options to get the cat to a vet immediately.

I asked if they had other cats there. The woman said there was a calico. My guess is this was that calico. I will guess that Siamese is deceased also, if he had advanced FIV symptoms, as they described.

This photo of the calico was taken by Marta, after the cat was in the trap, with her cell phone camera, from above, so you are looking down at the top of the gravely ill cats' head. It is a graphic photo of a horrible tumor, so be warned.

The appearance information I garner from these photos, to identify the cat, using other photos of cats I've taken to be fixed, from that area, are: orange blotch running down left flank. Orange on left ear, black below left ear then a patch of orange on left side of face. Orange ring in the middle of dark colored tail.

The Contributors--Poppa Inc's Step Up Heroes

Blessed Midori, of Ridgefield, WA and her husband have pledged to contribute $45 per month to Poppa Inc. next year. Marianne, of Surrey B.C. has pledged $20 per month. Claire of France has pledged $16 US dollars per month and her neice--$6. Diane of Corvallis--$20. Three of the above live outside the US!

None of these folks have a lot of money.

It is hard to believe, actually, the kindness of strangers and their generosity to help mid valley strays. But I think, in reality, although these are wonderful cat lovers, that they are contributing to Poppa Inc, really to help me. For what would I do, and they know this, if I could not help the strays, through Poppa Inc. funding. That is like sitting up to a very nice warm fire, when I think about it.

And Jeanne of East Coast (how do you like that listing of your location, Jeanne?), has now pledged also $20 per month and she doesn't live anywhere near Oregon, let alone the mid valley, either! Is not that amazing?

I Luv Christmas

I do love the Christmas season. Not for religious or commercial reasons. I love it as a season that feels like anything could happen, like people might just bust out of their tight fitting shells and do something spectacular. I feel like there is a magical twinkle behind every eye.

I love Christmas.

I like the thought of helping others, in secret. My brother and I once discussed finding a worthy target and sneaking up to their porch very very early Christmas morning to deliver exactly what those folks needed to save their lives, like a receipt for the rest of the rent for the month, or a paid overdo car payment. Whatever it was that person or those folks truly needed to save them, that's what we would deliver, in secret---early early Christmas morning.

My younger brother and I even discussed once the need for more superheroes in this world. I said "How hard could it be? We find tasks needing done desperately, scope the area out, swoop in at night and do the job." We had in mind doing repairs, like new roofs, or replacing junked out non-running cars with one that ran, raising money and delivering relief to families whose kids had cancer, that kind of thing.

My brother said with his luck, if he wore a cape, he'd get caught and end up trying to explain the tights and cape to sheriff deputies and some big hairy biker type cellmate he got stuck with. I said, "Oh, if you got caught in the act of trying to be a super hero, helping humanity, they'd love your tights, cape and the whole story. They'd probably get some for themselves when they got out of jail, and go try the same thing. Everyone wants to be a hero."

I do love Christmas. The possibilities for hope and spectacular goodness are unlimited. It's like inhibitions are loosened, like when you're drunk. We're freed to be generous and good.

I saw stories on the news of Black Friday lines stretching out. Some of those in line were interviewed. What struck me was that many of the young waiting for cash off deals on non-essential electronics and games, were buying for themselves.

To this, one reporter said loudly and very noisily "Bah Humbug!" I am with him.

In other news, I believe Sam might be getting a home on Tuesday. I am excited about this possibility! Munchy left last week and sure, we miss that funny fun little boy, but he needed to move on, also. Sam is well loved here, and is looked up to, especially by Doc and Mops who follow him everywhere and sleep entwined with him. They adore him!

Mickey, Then and Now

Mickey is the orange and white long hair male, who, when I first met him, at the HTN colony, had a blood streaked side. The HTN colony is located on two short Albany streets that is probably one of the worst places in Albany to land, if you are a cat or a dog, or even a human.

Many of the properties were basically junkyards. Unfixed cats were everywhere, and the few responsible residents of the area were in a constant state of shock, at the irresponsible actions of other tenants and residents of the area, that caused so much horrible suffering, for dogs, cats and even children.

The man who cared for many of the neighborhood caste offs, couldn't even say how many cats he'd buried. I asked "30?" He said, "More than that. Way more than that."

The cats came to eat from all over the two streets, even barely owned cats, cats whose owners were still living on the streets, but didn't provide even the most basic of care.

Dangerous dogs often ran loose and killed many wonderful cats, including Chachi, tossed out by a tenant on the cross street at the end, and his sister Goldie. I can barely stand to think of all the sorrow and death and misery I encountered there and the horrible apathy of many residents, like they were already dead, had no beating hearts. I hope things are better in that area now, for the people and the animals.

The old man who cared for the cats was one of only a few people on the street at that time whom I could clearly identify as being truely human. It was that bad. And a lot of innocent dogs and cats were caught in this horror. Many died horrible deaths.

I saw Mickey first as a flash, as he darted out of the body of the old car the man set up for the cats to sleep in comfortably, shielded from the onslaught of dangerous dogs and the weather. I saw blood streaked into the white fur on his side. I asked the old man about him. The old man said the cat was very ill.

The next time I saw him I understood why. His eye, long infected by the herpes virus, had swollen with bacterial infection and ruptured. Mickey was skin and bones. I couldn't stand it.

I stalked the car the next morning, with my homemade fishing net. I came up on his blind side, walking soft like a cat. When in position, I let him see me. When he darted. startled, for the front exit, I was waiting, with my net.

I took him immediately to the vet. Donations came in, to help cover his eye removal surgery. Mike and Linda in Portland, a couple I've never met, covered most of it. The Cat Blogospherees also chipped in.

Mickey, a long lanky adult male, weighed in at only 5 pounds. He was desperately ill but he survived. He buddied up with a second cat I brought back here from the colony--a young male named Brambles with a severely inflamed eye, also from herpes. The vet said if I didn't treat him, he would lose his eye, too. So, Mickey and the younger Brambles shared the same holding cage here, while I treated both. Brambles brother was killed two weeks later when a Long haired yellow dog, came through and killed almost 20 cats. Brambles and Mickey would have been killed, too. Brambles is still here, awaiting a home of his own he'll likely never get. So here he will likely stay and that's fine.

I guess the dog was left behind when someone moved by accident and they retrieved him. That killer dog should not have gone back to anyone. Wherever those people moved to, with that killer dog, that dog will kill again. And again and again. Why do people shrug as if it is nothing, when a cat is shaken to death or torn apart by a free roaming dog? I want to know why. If a dog killed my cat, that would be a dead dog. It's always on the news when someone's dog is attacked by another dog, but if a cat is attacked and killed by a dog, it's like its nothing.

It's almost like the difference between men and women, the relative values assigned their abuse or deaths, that is.

I got an inquiry about Mickey from a Canadian no less. The new laws had just gone into effect, that U.S. citizens had to have a passport to pass into Canada. I didn't how I'd get Mickey to his new home. I knew this was the home for him. I knew this was a once in a lifetime home for Mickey and I wanted him to have this chance.

Fortunately, I"d met a cat loving woman in Corvallis, who briefly (one time) fostered for me. She thought it was nothing, to drive me up to Bellingham with Mickey. We went one Saturday and met Marianne at a predetermined spot. I was immediately impressed with this extremely cheerful fun loving woman, who once worked as a clown and now works with disabled kids. I am so glad Mickey went to Marianne. She sends me new photos and updates all the time. I hope to one day get my passport so I can visit her and Mickey in Surrey. Until then, I love the photos she sends.

Mickey was a cat without hope or future, on deaths' door and look where Mickey is now!

Mickey in the old car, before I netted him.
Mickey at ten pounds, after being with Marianne awhile.Mickey now. Marianne, his Surrey, B.C. adoptor, just sent me this updated photo today.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hope, Then and Now

Hope is the very sweet devoted mother, who was abandoned on 5th street in Albany. I was called to help get cats fixed by a neighbor of a tenant boarding house. Behind the boarding house, was a single rental house, owned by the same landlord. The man who owned, then abandoned Hope, had lived in that house, which was falling apart, with an open floor in one spot.

I got Hope fixed, but had to return her. But tenants in the boarding house took her in and said they would find her and her three young kittens, a home. Instead, they kicked her back outside, along with her kittens. I didn't know this.

I got a frantic call from the neighbor of the boarding house three weeks later. She said Hope had been badly injured, and had an eye hanging out of its socket, but no one could get to her, since she had retreated back into her former home, with her kittens. A maintainence man was working inside that house at times, and concerned neighbors had the police put a note on the door, for the landlord to call the police about the injured cat, but the house owner never contacted anyone to help get her out.

I went over the next morning. I took the first photo through the window of the empty house. She was inside, with her kittens around her, having entered through the crawlspace in back, and then come up through the huge holes in the flooring.

I tapped on the window and called to her. She saw me and must have recognized me from when I got her spayed. She almost seemed like she had been waiting for me, knowing she could trust me. She began meowing frantically and pacing inside. I immediately went to the back of the house, and knelt at the hole in the foundation and called to her. It was not Hope who came out first, however. First, Hope made sure I had all three of her kittens, before she came out too. Her eye looked absolutely horrible and must have caused her immense pain. It was removed in surgery.

A very wonderful couple in Bend, Oregon wanted Hope from the moment they saw her on my website. They had to wait a couple of weeks before coming over, due to severe snowstorms, but they came. Hope now enjoys a wonderful life, and even travels with the couple in their RV. Hope is far more well travelled than I, in fact.

Hope's story is both horrible and beautiful. I am glad for my part in her story.

Hope, inside the house where she once lived, with the man who later abandoned her. She retreated back into this house after being horribly injured, and continued to care for her three kittens, despite such a horrific injury.
Hope, just after she came out of the house, with that horribly injured eye.
Hope now. Her current owners, who are absolutely nothing like her first owner, just sent me these photos of her.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Searing Pain

I didn't do anything physical today. Except, I put back up a curtain rod in the spare bedroom. There was none up and I had no privacy to dress, since the window faces the street and neighbors. That was not a physical job. I just reached or something. Right afterwards, I drove over to the Christmas parade. But even by the time I got out of my car, my back on the left in my left shoulder blade started in on the burning tearing searing pain. I had to adjust my purse strap so I could use my purse for a sling for my left arm. I also had to come home. I just could not take the pain. It was so bad I even called my doctor's office. It's still extremely painful. The doctor said I should go to urgent care tomorrow, see what's going on. He said he could be a torn muscle or it could be something worse, like I damaged my spine again. I hope not. For gosh sakes.

The original injury was not caused by heavy lifting of any sort. I was whacking at the leaves above me, on the cat yard wire, using a four foot piece of 3/4 PVC like a baseball bat. So, my guess is, and it's just a guess: torn muscle.

I had one before, in my shoulder. That was a horrible actually, with an extremely heavy roof I'd built on the ground for a shed and was trying to hoist atop the frame by myself. It began to slip and I tried to stop it, because I didn't want it to hit the window of the shack where I lived and break it, because I knew the slumlady would have gone berserck. I stopped it all right, at the expense of a muscle in my right shoulder.

The bizarre thing with having a torn muscle in my shoulder was that if I raise my arm turning it slightly, my arm would collapse because that motion had no muscle to do that work. It was kind of funny in a sick sort of way. The doctor then told me some people have surgery to reattach and others don't, and hope some strands are still attached and that it will re-attach over time. So, that's what I did, I waited, and reinjured it a few times. It was six months probably before my right arm and shoulder worked right again.

So when I got this injury three weeks or so ago, I figured it felt kind of like what happened to my right shoulder that time, and that it will heal in the end, but boy, it is a wee bit painful to be honest, in the process, if that is what is wrong. I've had an ice pack on that area for an hour now, so it is numb, without feeling, at least mostly and right now, that's the way it has to be.

I am slightly concerned that maybe my spinal cord protection system is falling apart again, but I'm pushing that concern out of my mind and hoping its a torn muscle instead, even though I know it might be a long process for healing. Hard not to use an arm, when I have all this daily work to do.

Another really bad thing about pain is, you tighten up everywhere, in defense, and sometimes just in shivering agony.

Cat Yard Back in Action

I zip tied the cat yard wire back together this morning, because the cats are unhappy with confinement and driving me nuts, to be honest. So I took it slow and did it, using my ladder.

I am building some outdoor litter boxes, too. I got two big plastic storage containers quite awhile ago, when they were on sale, and now just have to build a roof to go over them. This is to keep the cats from using the fresh dirt, that never has grown grass out there, for a litter box. I'm using scrap wood, painting it to seal it from the moisture, to build the covers. I got the outdoor paint at the Habitat Store for almost nothing. It is an odd color, however. Who cares?

In news on Angel, when I stopped by there the other day, to let them know why I had not returned the two kittens, I saw the two boys I believe are the ones the former boondoggie told me had both beaten Angel and been evicted. It was then I knew she was lying about something, and maybe about it all. So, I no longer trust at all the validity of that story concerning how Angel was injured. It could be true. It is rare, if a cat is hit by a car, that one leg would be broken in the rear on one side and another on the other side, in front. So I do believe his injuries came as a result of human abuse. I don't know who did this to him or what really happened.

I went to Kmart to get some silicone sealant, for the outdoor cat house that is leaking and my gosh, the store was over run with shoppers. The clerk said, when I checked out, "You didn't buy any of the big sale items." I said, "I know."

A Walmart employee back east was killed in a stampede of early morning Black Friday shoppers who broke down the doors early. That's just sick.

I'm glad the terrorists have finally all been killed or captured in India. What a horrible thing. What is up with these disgruntled people training to kill in mass. According to accounts, they were ruthless, showed no mercy. We sure live in a violent world filled with a lot of unhappy people.

Speaking of which, I ran into an unhappy woman at Kmart. I recognized her because I've helped her with some cats. She is very religious. When I ran into her and asked, just in conversation, if she was there to get bargains for Christmas, she became very downcast looking, even sadder, and said she didn't believe in Christmas and would not celebrate such a pagan holiday. She said then "Do you know, in pagan origins, Santa Claus represents the devil?"

I didn't know that, or, if it's true. But I said, "Almost all our holidays have pagan origins. Did you know the symbol Christian culture has come to recognize as that of devil worship, actually once was the symbol of fertility and the woman?"

She said, "I knew that and those people worshipped humans, so it's just as bad."

I said "But do you see what I mean, that many mainstream patriarchal churches have deliberately assigned new diabolical meanings to old symbols, in order to not only control women but distort religious belief from truth? And so, we can make these holidays mean whatever we want them to mean. Good things even."

She conceded but told me again, there was only one true church, the one she belongs to, and that Jesus is coming soon and I better be ready and "back in the fold".

She ignored that big elephant in the living room--her own depression and the fact she is living unmarried with some guy who makes her unhappy, solely because she fears being alone. I thought briefly of saying something like "You're living in sin. Remove first the mote from your own eye." Instead, I said nothing, and encouraged her to find a way to happiness. I hope she can find a way to be happy.

Well anyway, nonetheless, in full knowledge Christmas is a total mishmash of distorted pagan symbols, meanings, and Christian belief, I am going to the Christmas parade tonight in Corvallis. I cannot forget the one year and the group that made me laugh so hard, I think hot chocolate was coming back out my nose---the dancing librarians.

They were just marching along in the parade, pushing book carts. UNTIL....the lead librarian turned to face her fellows, and blew a whistle. Suddenly the librarians began a drill dance routine with their book carts that was both amazing and drop dead funny. They weren't there last year, but I keep hoping beyond hope to see again the dancing librarians in the Christmas parade.

I had some old soft tomatoes in the frig, too old to use for anything but making salsa, so I made some. I didn't have enough tomatoes to make much. And I didn't have two ingredients I like to use to make salsa--fresh cilantro and fresh limes. But it came out just fine, with what I had to add--a few garlic gloves I cut up, a jalapeno, fresh, and onion. I prefer to use green onions, added late, so they retain some crunchiness and at least one bell pepper, but I didn't have these things, so I made do. The salsa is great!

Electronically Ignorant

I need to find the book "Building RC Devices For Dummies". Unfortunately, such a book is not on the market.

I'm electronically illiterate, is the problem. I've been struggling for hours, searching the web, for the right site to clue me in. The cats are mad at me for ignoring them, too. Getting hissy spitty and it's also into the wee hours of the morning and I'm no smarter for the hours wasted.

Web searches are frustrating. Useful information is hard to find.

I want to be able to build RC RF traps. The one I have is wearing out. I bought that sender receiver with servos as a unit. I want to be able to build them much cheaper and with more channels. I also lust after something someone has back east, and that is remote dialers triggered when the trap springs to call the man's prepaid cell phone to let him know which one of four traps has been sprung. I want that!

He claims he bought the parts on ebay and put the units together for under $10. And I'm just struggling with it.

I feel like an idiot. So many things are remote controlled, with mechanical action intiated by servos or solenoids. The senders/receivers are primarily digital, infrared, ultra sound or radio frequency and I have chosen RF as the most suitable for use outside in all weather conditions and the most economical.

So I know you have to have the crystals that match in vibration, in both sender and receiver. After that, I clue out. In between, the receiver and the mechanical part, solenoid or servo, you have to close or open a circuit or something, guess you have to make that? And do you have to have a specified matching power generation from the receiver to the servo or solenoid, decreased or amplified depending on the need?

You can buy solenoids for a buck and a quarter that pull in .6", which is all I need, at 9V. That's cheap and a 9V battery is doable. Ahhh, I'm lost already. So do receivers have to have a power source to? Oh forget it, I'm going to bed. I didn't learn much back in high school I guess, or in my limited troubled college days. Oh wait a minute, I get it sort of. You have to close the circuit between the two poles on the 9V battery with the vibration of the receiver crystals. Ok. I just have to figure out how that's done now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

GM, Exxon---You're Doomed

It's the return of the garage tinkerer. They're back. We're back. Sure, a few houses might explode. There will be injuries. Lots of them, taken with smiles and bravado. Progress is marching forward in garages across the country, assisted by free stuff on craiglist and junk boxes at garages sales everywhere.

Exxon, GM---you're doomed. We, the garage tinkerers, the wannabe inventors and saviors of the world, have begun our quest and we shall be victorious.

Magnets for wind generator motors, dissected from discarded microwaves---just the beginning! It won't be just meth addicts stealing copper wire. The garage tinkerers will be out there too, needing a fix on their addiction for creation of AC current.

Watch and be amazed. The garage tinkerers will be the new wall street.

Today, I've been learning about different types of generators, how to generate power, about electricity in general, about solar cells and how to make them, about how to hook up wind generators to your house, about where to get the best old alternators to make into wind generators, etc.

Where have I been learning this useful crap? Where else. On youtube.

How to make a simple generator!

Car of the future or freakazoids? God bless them one and all.


Look No Farther Than Right Here for Transportation Ideas for our Future


I was watching the pneumatic tube leave at the bank drive through teller and zip from outside my car window almost instantaneously, to the teller, inside the bank. I thought to myself: this is the wave of future human transportation: vacuum tubes.

Imagine, vacuum tube transportation. You climb in, strap down; the operator pushes in your destination code, a "send" button, and off you shoot, sucked through a tube, to your destination. The tubes could contain secured in line chairs, or, you could pay a commuter sleeper tube fee, and enter a tube with a bed, turn off the light and snooze as you are sucked to your destination. There would be switching areas and unload ramps. We could hire cleaned up carnies to operate the load and offload areas.

I don't know how much vacuum it would take to suck people around the state.

We could forgo vacuum chutes and use water propelled chutes instead. Those tubes would have to be very water tight and maybe contain emergency scuba tanks!

There's zip line transportation solution, too. This solution involves very high poles, at the top of which you load into a cart chamber or tube hanging by pulleys from the line. You get to the top of the loading area, by counter weight use. Other transporters going down power your journey to the top.

Gravity does the work on the zip line transport. This system of course is more easily used in one way trips from the Cascade and Coastal range areas to the valley, due to altitudes.

But, if you put a lot of heavy people or a heavy load on a trip down, you could use that weight to counter the gravity pull to transport lightweight people back to the mountain areas! You could pay heavy people a fee to travel down the line to the valley, in order to power more light people back to the mountains if you had to. But you could also transport freight down, to counterweight pulling people back up.

How about this idea, for heavily used highways? Steel overhead track lines with fold down bars, hook at end. Heavy duty eye hooks built into the tops of very lightweight cars. The hook bars have adjustable lengths. The track lines running down the lanes overhead are supported by heavier duty infrastructure above them.

The idea, take away friction caused by vehicle weight increasing efficiency. Further friction reduction perhaps could be achieved by cars on oval tires, like a ball. I have no idea how the merging would be done. Space and speed would be automatically maintained. No passing. Sure, the fun would be taken from driving somewhat but....well this is an idea in infancy.

What about this one? Weight powered paddle wheel generator. Remember paddle wheel generators, that you build on a stream? What about we could use that concept for transporting cars, like down a cliff or steep hill, instead of a driving a windy curvy dangerous road?

Car onloads to a platform that is really a sort of paddle wheel, goes down, and its weight turns the wheel as it goes down, wheel generates power? Seems a simple concept to me. Of course, I have no formal training. I'm a cat trapper, for gosh sakes. Some engineer can work out the details.

I was told by an engineer that personal very small household paddle wheels attached under house gutter systems would not produce much power. Darn it.

Now as for maximization of solar energy, and I admit to knowing zero about solar energy or its production, I'll make this suggestion regardless. How about just generating heat, no electricity, with solar?

Since black absorbs more light, you'd have like black light wave energy absorbent curtains. You'd maximize the rays maybe with prisms sewn in, or even tiny mirrors. We all know there's no easier way to start a fire, than by using your glasses, or better yet, a magnifying glass, to concentrate those light waves. Now we would not want to start fires, for sure, with our curtains. That would be bad. Some engineer can solve that issue. I'm just throwing out ideas.

Ok, you absorb the heat, with the black material, maybe magnifying effect with the prisms or mirrors, now how to use that heat in warming your house. Disregard if you live in a really hot area of the country. Using The power of Vacuum, that's how!

You suck it into your house, in one way vent systems so if the density of air, which is thicker cold, I think at least, increases, then that one way sensor system shuts it off. I don't know how to create the sucking action yet, without using more energy than would be produced, but I figure that's an engineers' problem to deal with. Just one thought on that, however. You'd create a need, a want, for the warm air in the house, to pull it in. How? Hell if I know. Engineers, that's your job. Just trying to help out.

These are just a few of my very own ideas for transportation and energy solutions in an energy depraved age. I can come up with more. How about you?

I am adding another idea: blow up vinyl cars. You heard me right. Perhaps you could buy them at your corner market. The floor and frame would be harder vinyl. The rest, you'd blow up like you would a river raft. The electric engine compartment would be made of seperate material. Of course, one would have to avoid sharp objects. Road rager types would take to carrying pointy things, to deflate the cars of those they were angry at. These cars would be so light, you could propel them with sails during Oregon storms. If windstorms were too extreme, ODOT would man ballast stations along I5, where you could add a couple of sandbags to hold your car to the road. No smoking in these cars or, well, it wouldn't be a pretty outcome. They'd melt around you!

Punked by Feral Kittens

This Soda and her brother, Slurpy. They're the ones who were living under the 34th street complex and fed by the former Camp Boondoggies. I returned their mom and intended to return them, too, but they had severe URI's, so I've been treating them with antibiotics. Now they're tame, and taking advantage of me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Answer from City on Excessive Chlorination Levels in Albany Water

A water department employee just called me on my excessive chlorination complaint. Seems they get tons of such complaints about Albany water.

He says they have to use far more chlorine in Albany water than other cities do for two reasons. One reason is because the source of Albany water, some of it, is an open gunk filled canal, so the risk of all sorts of bacteria is high.

The other reason is distance the water travels from the two plants to North Albany water users. He says piping the water clear to north Albany requires that the levels of chlorine, which can dissipate as gas be adequate once they reach users at that distance. So that means they have to dump excess chlorine in the water, to maintain levels for the time it takes to reach North Albany, so in town users closer to the plants, get far higher levels of chlorine in their tap water.

I guess they get a lot of complaints from in town water customers. I would guess they would.

Water rates in Albany are exceedingly high, higher, I am told, than any other city in the state. And yet, the quality of that water is such that some users cannot stand its smell or taste, due to excess chlorine.

Also, I don't think drinking high levels of chlorine is healthy, long term.

He said I'd need to get a filtration system to rid the water of the chlorine.

Or I can move, which is my ultimate plan.

Update on Angel One From the Cemetery

I've dealt with two Angels lately. If you remember, Angel was one of the kittens abandoned with their mom, Spirit, in the Scravel Hill Cemetery. Ghosty, Angel's sister, got a home, but both Spirit and Angel remain here waiting.

With the bedroom floor project, I let all the cats, including Angel and Spirit, out of my spare bedroom, which had been the foster cat room. Angel disappeared. Later I found her under and inside the loveseat. She still gets under there, despite the fact she's growing to big to get under that small opening at the bottom, which now I intend to block somehow.

Last night, she was out playing and had pooped all over her long hair near her rear end and tail. I caught her and gave her a bath and stuck her in a rabbit hutch, until I can fix that darn loveseat to keep her out from under it.

This morning, I fired up the battery powered clippers and gave her a haircut. No, it's not perfect, that's for sure, but I think she feels better. She has exceedingly long thick undercoat hair. I put Munchy in there with her briefly, because he stuck his nose into and wanted to investigate. He's not happy about confinement but I'll let him out. I took these updated photos of Angel from the Cemetery.

By the way, Angel Two, the badly abused white cat, is doing well, SafeHaven told me yesterday, as a tripod, learning to navigate while still at the vet clinic.
Angel, with Munchy, whom I stuck into the rabbit hutch with her, when he insisted.
Angel, looking not entirely happy, after I gave her a clipper cut.

The Dog in the Paper

I read the Gazette Times story about the dog, with the jaw broken that didn't mend right so the dog cannot really eat. Senior Dog Rescue is begging for donations to help cover the dogs' surgery.

The surgery is already scheduled. Some people turned the dog over to ARK animal hospital in Philomath claiming it had a medical condition that prevented it from eating. Well, in reality the dog's jaw had been broken, probably by them, and healed wrong, so the dog couldn't eat without trying to suck up the food.

Anyhow, Senior Dog Rescue is a well publicized nonprofit and they're trying to get this dog a needed surgery, so it can eat again. That poor dog. They took in a hundred dogs this year.

I took in hundreds of cats this year, despite having no money, and found most of them homes. Some had severe medical issues, too. Makes me feel less inadequate. Almost successful.

I suppose I will always feel inadequate. The cat people world is vicious sometimes. There is no comraderie and no support amongst the various cat folks in these parts.

I don't know if that just this county or if that is everywhere. I know the Eugene people have struggled with the same issues. So a even if a person or group accomplishes tremendous things, you really never get anything but negative feed back locally, for the most part, and so many angry horrible calls and demands. It can drive you nuts, or give you a very skewed perception of people.

You exist in this tiny one person world of horror and feel tremendously alone.

But when I read about the number of dogs taken in by a high profile seemingly well respected group, and know I took in far greater numbers, it's kind of shocking in a way. I think to myself, "Well, I have done quite a lot this year."

I hope they get the donations to cover the dogs' surgery. I'm sure they will with a newspaper story like that--very poignant, makes you want to cry and then to donate and then to go find the people who did this to that dog and beat the crap out of them and then to adopt this dog. So that's a well written story.

My neck and spine have been a mess, along with my stomach. I might have really messed myself up in whacking those leaves off the cat yard wire from underneath. Arms overhead work kills me, with my metal neck plate, and I shouldn't have done it but how else would I have gotten them off?

When I touch my face it doesn't feel quite right, partially numb, like the sides of my neck. But is that my face or my finger feeling that is off? I think this time it's my hands. My shoulders are swollen, cutting off nerves to my hands. I'm not able to feel things as well. This morning it was quite pronounced. I can't raise my left arm yet without sharp pain in my shoulder blade. that was almost well, when I went to the store and got those 40 pound bags of wood pellet fuel for cat litter. It wasn't lifting them that caused the relapse.

It was something as simple as dropping a can of cat food in the store and trying to catch it, mid air, as it fell, bending over, reaching out for it with my left hand. Boom. Sharp pain in my shoulder blade again, like something retore, just out from my spine again.

And so it started all over, the healing. My neck doesn't really want to turn but I think that is from tightened muscles. I'm just a painful mess.

I don't take pain killers. I pack my body in ice. I"ve always done that, ever since the original injury to my neck when the doctors told me my extreme pain was nothing but mental illness symptoms and would give me nothing to alleviate the pain and it was so horrible I can't even think about it, without wanting to wince and grimace. I took then to packing my body in huge bags of ice and so that's been my way to deal with pain ever since.

You can't feel if you're numb! Comfortably numb. From cold.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Bizarre

I responded to someone posting about a lost cat on craiglist. It's a Siamese manx, allegedly a loved neighborhood stray. In Gladstone. Lost in Corvallis.

How'd this happen? According to the guy looking for the cat, a neighbor trapped him, stuffed him in a bag, put the bag in the trunk and transported him to the trailer park on Walnut and Highland in Corvallis. According to the guy looking for the cat, the perp's mother had lived in the trailer park until she moved to a nursing home, and he went down to clean out the trailer, and decided to dump off the neutered Siamese manx at the same time. Neighbors in Gladstone allegedly called the cops on the man after he bragged about it to another neighbor.

This one neighbor is still looking for the Siamese manx, dumped in Corvallis.

I get a call tonight but was in the bathroom. I did last call return and called back. Seems it's some guy in Gladstone, claims he has a feral cat in a trap and what can he do with it, wonders if I'll take it.

I said "You realize I"m in Albany?" "Yeah, well, anyhow, what can I do with this cat?" I said "I really don't know. Do you understand I'm in Albany?" How about getting it fixed and letting it go?

I was totally flabbergasted. Who in the world would call someone in Albany from Gladstone wanting them to take a cat in a trap, for them, and be calling after 8:00 p.m.?

I checked the addresses of both the man who'd trapped the cat and the one looking for the Siamese manx, trapped in Gladstone, dumped in Corvallis. They live about a half mile apart.

That's like twilight zoney.

Is this a coincidence? I never get calls from Gladstone. Is the man with the cat in the trap, the same despicable man who treated that Siamese so badly, putting him in a bag in a trunk and driving all the way to Corvallis to dump him out? That's an evil heartless person who did that. Was this the same guy, still out to kill cats? I don't know if it is.

I realize half a mile might seem not very far apart, but in a city, packed in houses, it's quite a ways, really.

But I think it's weird I'd be communicating with a man in Gladstone about a cat dumped in Corvallis, then get a call from some other man in Gladstone who has no manners i.e. calling a stranger that late to ask a favor, and wants me to take a feral cat he has in a trap now.

Well, today alone I've been asked to take on 21 more unfixed cats. Today, I've received no new offers of donations for spay/neuter. I think that says a lot about our little Oregon world. Don't you?

I think people would eat one another alive if they thought they could get away with it. That's pretty much my feelings these days.

I've not been feeling well, with my stomach messed up. And I've been really isolated lately, more so than usual. Lack of significant human contact can mess with your head after awhile.

We Need SOLV in Space

Bizarre? I think so. There are people into the fad now of tracking and watching space junk with telescopes. Including the latest high profile piece of space junk: the lost tool bag, allegedly seen in orbit over Canada.

NASA is slightly worried this latest piece of litter will collide with an older piece of infamous litter, part of the space stations solar panel, that fell off at some point and became space junk.

We need a space program to address space junk and litter. There is a lot up there. We could assign especially bright inmate crews to space junk pickup. Just a thought.

Been Sick Again

I've been sick again, horribly constipated. I've got to figure out a way to get chlorine out of the tap water so I can drink enough water. For now, I am going to start buying bottled water. City of Albany water tastes horrible. The folks I just trapped for don't drink it either, despite their poverty, describing the taste of Albany water as that of gasoline.

I don't know if the city knows how many people cannot tolerate the taste of its extremely expensive water. I don't know if it is worse in some areas than in others. I run into such people everywhere, when out trapping. It is a common complaint, given the cost of water in Albany, which is higher I believe than anywhere in the state.

It is pathetic when the water tastes so lousy and you can even smell it sometimes when you open the tap. What is going on, I wonder.

I did e-mail the city about it, hoping for answers, but I wonder if I will get any. The smell of Albany water has been notorious for a long time.

I remember years ago, when trapping on Elm street, for the lovable alcoholics, in the second round with them and cats. It was summer and it was hot and I was thirsty and I asked if I could have a drink of water.

They eyed each other, like I was "out of the know" and said "sure, if you can stomach it". I said "what do you mean?" Steve just turned on the faucet and said "Wait for it." Sure enough, the horrible aroma of chlorine gas soon filled the kitchen. I said, "No thank you," and thirsted on.

I have much more of a chlorine sensitivity I think than most people. How do I know? Because I can't swim in public swimming pools more than a couple times, without my eyes turning blood red, my hair turning brittle and my skin breaking out in a rash. That's how I know. I could be a chlorine canary. The sad part about it is, I love to swim and I can't swim in pools due to the chlorine issue I have.

I do like to cook. I rarely eat out. Unfortunately, when I do eat out, it's a drive through fast food joint. But that food doesn't even taste good to me. I suppose I do it about once every two weeks.

I like making my own food and most of it is simple stuff. At Winco, during this holiday season, if you buy $50 worth of anything, and that's where I buy my cat food, human food and even cat litter, you get a turkey for $.22 per pound. So I've gotten two of them in the last month--18 pound turkeys and they each ended up costing about $4 each. I make cat food out of most of them. But I don't waste anything. I then put the bones in water in the crock pot to simmer for a day. Then I grind up the bones to mix into cat food, and I make soup of the broth.

The first batch of soup was absolutely wonderful. I've been eating it for almost a week now, every night for supper. I added rice I always have cooked up, broccoli, onions, garlics and carrots. My goodness, that was good.

I don't go by any recipe. Maybe I should. This batch I'm making, with the turkey stock base, will also have rice, I think, or maybe I'll add pasta noodles this time, but onions and sweet potatoes and broccoli.

I am a big broccoli lover. I think, if I could eat just broccoli, kale and almonds, I'd be very happy. Those are my three favorite foods.

But I also am a squash lover. I love acorn squash especially and also spaghetti squash.

My most common dinner is rice with cooked vegees in a store bought tortilla with a piece of fresh kale in the middle, but I soon will be making my own tortillas, I hope, also.

I do not have much of a taste for store bought already pre-made and packaged food. It doesn't have any taste to me. Plus, it is far cheaper to buy a bag of rice, then some tortillas and vegees. Two onions, a couple heads of broccoli, three sweet potatoes, a handful of peppers, a head of kale and a couple of squash will last me over a week.

I like to try new things, also. That's why I am going to get myself a recipe book!

Last summer, I tried bell pepper burgers, grilled strips of red or green bell pepper in a sandwich, trimmed with an onion, kale and, if I had any, mushrooms. Delicious!

I also made myself zucchini burgers. You can make them just by frying or grilling circular slices from honking huge overgrown zucchini, or, you can shred zucchini, mix in an egg, seasonings and some crackers or bread crumbs, and grill a burger of the mix.

I prefer them made the latter way, just because zucchini can be flat tasting unless dressed up with some seasonings. But if you cut off large rounds to use for burgers, instead of the shred method, there's nothing to say you can't marinate those rounds in seasonings and even bread them before grilling or frying.

Got favorite recipes that aren't expensive to create?

Send them my way!

Cats 903 and 904

Cat 903 I've taken in so far this year, the third teen female from the Overpopulation Photo child colony of three teen females, their mother, with abandonment issues, and one angry big black tux tom. All five are now fixed.
Here's mom. She was fixed yesterday, too. Cat number 904 taken in to be fixed this year. I'll get a better photo.
The two other teen girls plus the big black tux tom were fixed on Friday.

Mr. Angry, now becoming a nice guy already. Although he was just fixed Friday and returned last Saturday and this is just Tuesday, in trying to catch the mom and other teen girl, we caught the big black tux guy twice more, which is why I refer to him now as a trap whore.

Poppa's money will be gone sometime next year, is what I found out. Unless I can come up with grants and donations to extend and replenish it. I put a post on craigslist about Poppa and what Poppa has accomplished for the mid valley. I stated I was looking for 150 people willing to donate $20 per month or 300 people willing to donate $10 per month and I got absolutely no responses from that post. None. Nada.

I have three people willing to donate--the same three people who have been donating to Poppa already, when they can. Diane is from Corvallis. Midori is from Ridgefield, WA, and Jeanne, well she's from the east coast!

I'm not giving up.

The Overpopulation Poster Child colony is just one really good example of the good Poppa does this community. This poor couple has already taken in 12 dumped out cats from that neighborhood and they can barely afford to feed themselves. To have a mother with kittens show up almost made them cry. They could not find anybody to help them out, were given no useful information by the major shelters of the area as to what they could do.

Then they ran into me at Wilco. The next day, I trapped the first three. They were all fixed using Poppa funds. The couple could afford to donate nothing. These folks truely have nothing. Inside their place, an old TV, a couch, some chairs with broken parts, so you have to be careful when you sit in them, and that's about it.

The woman brought out a little box yesterday and gave it to me. Inside were a about ten quarters. She said she'd been saving for an emergency and wanted me to take them. Can you believe that? The poor feeding the strays. Without apology, without reservations, without complaint. Like Jesus would.

So Poppa funds helped them and these funds are crucial to take care of situations exactly like this. The cats were helped and so were these people.

The other recent situations: 34th street. I've been back to the former boondoggies apartment complex many times. This couple, formerly homeless, now gainfully employed, got housing. When they moved in, they found a tame abandoned mother with three teen girls living under their complex. They got my number through the City Council woman, Sharon Konopa, who helped them out of homelessness, when the City of Albany bulldozed homeless Camp Boondoggle.

I trapped all four cats. The mother, after she was spayed, got a home. Poppy, the torti, is still here over a year later, never got a home. Well, I guess you could say she's got a home here, and she does, until, if ever, she is adopted. The other two girls I returned. One was eventually adopted by a neighbor while the fourth lives now inside their place, happy, healthy and looking good.

Then, more strays showed up or were abandoned there. An orange male, then three more kittens they found. I got those four fixed, along with helping them out with a sick male that showed up there. He had stomatitis, a mouth full of overgrown tissue. The usual treatment is cortisone injections for life and pulling all the teeth. They at that time were floating from job to job, and doing seasonal work and could not pay for the cortisone injections.

So we got experimental. Some cats with stomatitis benefit from three weeks on zithromax. Dr. Anderson was willing to try since he was treating other patients with stomatitis, who never seemed to live long, on monthly cortisone injections, and he was curious to see if it would work. Well, the cat is still doing just fine, two years later, with no stomatitis, after three weeks on zithro. Can you believe that?

He doesn't get great food either, nor adequate parasite treatment. Finally they again have wormed all the cats and treated them for fleas.

So, when I heard they had a mother cat and two kittens dumped off I trapped all three. I returned the mom after spay last week, but the two kittens, both long haired brown tabby beauties, about three and a half months old, are still here. They had severe URI's. I didn't catch it before they were fixed, or I would have held off on their spay and neuter. The little boy has bloody drainage out his nose. They're gorgeous kittens, and have tamed quickly. But they are still in my bathroom undergoing antibiotic treatment and nutritional supplements.

The mother cat was in heat at spay. I also took in a stray male they were feeding. Another disaster of population explosion averted thanks to Poppa funds.

Also on 34th street, I've taken in 8 of ten cats roaming another complex. They're in danger, since the owner of the complex doesn't want them there. But at least now most are fixed. Of the 8, five were females including a beautiful torbi kitten I sure didn't want to return. But I have so many here already.

And there's that recent trailer park situation. I've trapped 12 of the 16 cats there an old woman feeds. Four of the five adults I took in were females. Three of the seven kittens I took in were females. The woman's son did finally donate a hundred bucks to Countryside which I immediately used to pay for some of the 34th street cat fixes. $100 donation covers the cost of fixing two females or three male kittens.

On Tudor, two residents were feeding strays and everybody on the street wanted them fixed. At one house, I trapped and took in three male kittens and their mom. At the other house, I trapped six adults to be fixed. Three of them were females who had had multiple litters. There are two more cats in the area I know of whom I need to trap and get in, one a female, the other a male.

Poppa helps this community and its people. Of course, Poppa Inc.'s funds help cats immensely by humanely reducing the population in this area. How to keep the funds coming for such an extremely important nonprofit?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Two Females Fixed Today

The poster child colony, as I've dubbed it, is done. I had trapped the third teen, from the colony last night, and already trapped an angry big tom and the two other teen girls for spay. But the mother was skittish and coy and refused to go in a trap last night. Didn't help that the just returned now neutered male went back in it over and over and over again.

I think he quickly became a trap whore, loving the great bait and attention involved in getting trapped. Maybe he even loved the thrill of feeling the trigger plate give beneath his paw, with the inevitable drop of the door. You never know.

But the couple, already burdened down under the care of 12 area strays that they have paid to be fixed and vaccinated out of their very lean fixed retirement income, were desperate she be fixed. Reassuring them that I would get her did little to alleviate their long term concerns.

They could see what might have happened, with four girls and one tom, and many other unfixed toms lurking the area, in early spring, and it wasn't a nice thought. The number of cats would explode and they knew it. Four females having four to five kittens each in the first litter of the spring would increase a five cat colony to at least a 21 or 25 cat colony. That would be merely with the first litters born. By the end of next summer, they might have been feeding 70 cats. That's how fast it can happen.

So, I got a call after I got back from taking the third teen to the vet. It was Scott. They had tricked her into entering their house and slammed the door. She went nuts, climbing the curtains and tearing around searching for an escape, but he had his welding gloves on, got ahold of her and got her into a carrier. Man! He's like in his 60's!

I see these young people sitting on their butts who won't even help watch a trap or do anything, citing some fake ailment. I'll think of him after this, when I see lazy ass young people. I'll think they're even more pathetic now.

So I went and picked her up and took her also to the vet. They're having a slow day, lots of cancelled appointments and no shows. They asked if I could just hang out awhile, while they did her, so I wouldn't have to come back up and I was happy to do that. It didn't take them long. Maybe a half hour.

My Poppa allotment for the month is gone and that's just fine. December and a new allotment is almost here. And I have embarked on a fundraising attempt. I have had zero response so far, in my pleas, online, by phone, and in person, to find 150 people willing to donate $20 per month.

In fact, I have not found one single willing person.

So far, I'm a fundraising flunkee!

Philomath Selfish! Craigslist post unbelievable

You start wondering if you're just banging your head against a wall, if you sacrifice so greatly to get cats in to be fixed when you have little jerk offs, like the one who posted on craigslist below. She's getting rid of her cats and one cat has already had two litters, probably all adopted out unfixed, and she is advocating that the cat be allowed to have more litters. What a little uneducated selfish cat killing Philomath jerk.

There are people sacrificing labor and money to solve the overpopulation problem. And there are people actively causing it. Like this one:

Re-homing 2 cats (Philomath)

Reply to: see below
Date: 2008-11-23, 11:49PM PST

Two female cats for re-homing. No adoption fee. One cat is 18 months old, loves people, likes to be inside and outside, litter box trained. This cat loves being a mom, has had two sets of kittens so far. The other female cat is one of her kittens and is 12 weeks old, loves people, likes to be inside and outside, litter box trained, eats dry food and drinks water.

Call 541-929-2380 if interested.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just Trapped One Tonight

With an ability to get just two more cats fixed this month, I didn't overdo attempts this evening to catch the two remaining unfixed cats at the Wilco couple colony. I went over with the drop trap, and quickly trapped the third female teen with that, but mom wouldn't go near it or the traps and I don't know why, suspect she's hormonal, either pregnant or in heat. I'll get her eventually.

That colony was ripe to explode: three bored troubled teen females, a mom with abandonment issues, and one angry big tom. These cats' situation is a poster child for population explosion, human or feline. Big angry boy and the three teens however are now fixed. Only mom remains uncaught. Traps remain set. Soon, the situation will be a poster child for peace on earth instead.

Funny how removing hormones from a situation so vastly changes things for the better and so quickly.

Anyone for creating human peace on earth?

We all now how it could be achieved. But who is really willing?

The Peace people and the God people would both oppose such a step.

Yet the Peace people and the God people are opposing ends of the same magnet.

If they were all deaf, dumb and blind, they'd love each other. I know they would.

Or, if we started the project first with them. Clip. Clip.

And then the Let Us Be people, a.k.a. the middle of the roaders, the compromisers, could be let go of burdensome noise levels at both ends of the frequency spectrum.

What's Everyone Doing for Thanksgiving? And, About Thanksgiving

What are you folks out there who read this, doing for the Thanksgiving holiday? I'm curious, to see who does what, or if very many people have the big holiday get togethers anymore. I bet they still go on out there.

As for me, I don't have any plans. Not yet anyway.

About Thanksgiving:

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Thanksgiving (disambiguation).

Thanksgiving Day
Observed by Canada, United States
Type National
Date Second Monday in October (Canada);
Fourth Thursday in November (U.S.)
2008 date October 13, 2008 (Canada);
November 27, 2008 (U.S.)
2009 date October 12, 2009 (Canada);
November 26, 2009 (U.S.)
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American holiday, which is a form of harvest festival. The date and whereabouts of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention, though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.[1] Despite scholarly research to the contrary, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is done in the evening, usually as a gathering of friends and/or family.

And this, on Thanksgiving's origins, from Archiving Early America:

The First Thanksgiving Observance
A Proclamation Signed in Script Type by George Washington
Appearing in The Massachusetts Centinel of October 14, 1789

This historic proclamation was issued by George Washington during his first year as President. It sets aside Thursday, November 26 as "A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer."

Signed by Washington on October 3, 1789 and entitled "General Thanksgiving," the decree appointed the day "to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."

While there were Thanksgiving observances in America both before and after Washington's proclamation, this represents the first to be so designated by the new national government.

After their first harvest, the colonists of the Plymouth Plantation held a celebration of food and feasting in the fall of 1621. Indian chiefs Massassoit, Squanto and Samoset joined in the celebration with ninety of their men in the three-day event.

The first recorded Thanksgiving observance was held on June 29, 1671 at Charlestown, Massachusetts by proclamation of the town's governing council.

During the 1700s, it was common practice for individual colonies to observe days of thanksgiving throughout each year. A Thanksgiving Day two hundred years ago was a day set aside for prayer and fasting, not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is today's custom. Later in the 18th century each of the states periodically would designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory, an adoption of a state constitution or an exceptionally bountiful crop.

Such a Thanksgiving Day celebration celebration was held in December of 1777 by the colonies nationwide, commemorating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.

Later, on October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for the observance of the fourth Tuesday of November as a national holiday.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November (to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy). After a storm of protest, Roosevelt changed the holiday again in 1941 to the fourth Thursday in November, where it stands today.

The first recorded European Thanksgiving in America may or may not have been at Plymouth, and it is acknowledged native Americans held many such gatherings of thanks for a bountiful harvest prior to European colonization of America and the conquest of Native populations. But, the first Plymouth thanksgiving, may have included and not included the following menu items, from

The Pilgrims' Menu:

Foods That May Have Been on the Menu:

Seafood: Cod, Eel, Clams, Lobster

Wild Fowl: Wild Turkey, Goose, Duck, Crane, Swan, Partridge, Eagles

Meat: Venison, Seal

Grain: Wheat Flour, Indian Corn

Vegetables: Pumpkin, Peas, Beans, Onions, Lettuce, Radishes, Carrots

Fruit: Plums, Grapes

Nuts: Walnuts, Chestnuts, Acorns

Herbs and Seasonings: Olive Oil, Liverwort, Leeks, Dried Currants, Parsnips

What Was Not on the Menu:

Surprisingly, the following foods, all considered staples of the modern Thanksgiving meal, didn't appear on the pilgrims's first feast table:

Ham: There is no evidence that the colonists had butchered a pig by this time, though they had brought pigs with them from England.

Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes: These were not common.

Corn on the Cob: Corn was kept dried out at this time of year.

Cranberry Sauce: The colonists had cranberries but no sugar at this time.

Pumpkin Pie: It's not a recipe that exists at this point, though the pilgrims had recipes for stewed pumpkin.

Chicken/Eggs: We know that the colonists brought hens with them from England, but it's unknown how many they had left at this point or whether the hens were still laying.

Milk: No cows had been aboard the Mayflower, though it's possible that the colonists used goat milk to make cheese.
Source: Kathleen Curtin, Food Historian at Plimoth Plantation.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Munchy, Doc, Mums and Matildas

Mums, one of the Lebanon Shovel Killer Neighbor cats, sprawled out. She also awaits a home.
Mums playing in a basket that was meant for their toys. But they empty it, if I put the toys inside, and old River cat and toy horder Vision, will then take all the toys and hide them from the other cats, behind the frig. She's that way. I don't why.

This cat will never adequately overachieve. Sad.
Little Matilda, laid out on the floor. I do still have four lovely Lebanon Shovel Killer Christian Neighbor colony cats still here, awaiting homes and Little Matilda is one of them.
Little Matilda Big Eyes. She is a funny fun kitty!
Doc is one of the three kittens I found out off Gerig, in Dead Car field, nearly starved to death, last August. Doc is a darling wonderful boy, still waiting for a home, too.
Smiling Doc, on his back, playing.
Doc again.

Munchy still needs a home. He is an incredibly sweet little boy, who likes to sleep with me and play wildly. His eye has healed up nicely.

Four Cats to Be Fixed Today. 899 Taken in This Year.

One of two teens from the Wilco couple colony, being fixed today. There are three teens plus mom, but I only caught two of the teens and not the momThe other teen from the Wilco couple colonyThe Wilco couple colony angry black tux problem male, who is getting an attitude adjustment today.
Second Boondoggie kitten, being fixed today.

The boondoggie kitten again. I think it's a girl. The other one, fixed Wednesday, was a boy, and still in my bathroom, because he has a cold. I returned the mother, who was in heat again.

I am using the last of this month's alloted funds, to take in four cats. One of them is the second kitten of the two kittens and mother cat, fed by the former Boondoggies. However, I have to dig the kitten out of a bathroom cabinet this morning first.

Yesterday, when I stopped in at Wilco, to get some hold over Advantage, since I am out, until a mail order shipment arrives, a couple came up to me, after they saw the back of my car. On the back of my car, I display, with black adhesive numbers stuck to magnetic white backed sheeting, the up to date number of cats I've taken in for fixing this year alone. That number is currently 899. 899 cats rounded up this year so far.

They asked if get cats fixed. I said "Yes". Then I quickly explained my current funding shortage and that I will get another allotment of funds the first of the month and could they wait.

They described the sheer numbers of cats they've taken in, from their neighborhood, since moving to Albany. 12. And, they've had to get all but one fixed. That one wandered up needing help, sporting a right eartip. They don't have a lot of money. They cannot believe the sheer numbers of unfixed free roaming and abandoned cats in Albany. They think it's disgraceful, and a commentary on residents.

They had one cat wander up desperate, who had on a collar with ID tags. They faithfully called the number and the two, a couple, came and retrieved him. They said they had to make him live in the garage, because they'd gotten a dog. Two months later the cat returned, without tags. The couple had said they were moving soon. So they dumped their sweet cat and he is sweet, like trash. Common behavior here.

They used to be diehard dog people. They said they used to enjoy turning hoses on cats if they came into their yard, in other places they have lived. Now they're diehard cat people and cannot believe how much they missed out on, before. They described each cat with love and adoration and told me cats are so much more interesting than the eager to please dogs.

Anyhow, more strays have showed up outside, a mother with three kittens and an aggressive male and that they could find no one to help get them fixed. They'd been to Safehaven, called places. I said I didn't know when I could get their strays fixed, but I wouldn't forget them.

So when trapping a couple more at the 34th st Baptist colony was a wash, I went over there and trapped three, two of the three kittens and the big trouble making male. They were thrilled. I wish I could have taken in all five, however. I believe I have almost $200 left in the fixing allotment.

Even if all four are females, and I know one is a male for sure, it would come out ok on the funds.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are Some Unions Killing America's Economy?

I know the big three American car companies management is shit, pardon the French, unfocused and without innovation or the ability to be agile in response to changing conditions. But are the unions also partly to blame with their demands for huge salaries, benefit and retirement packages?

Consider the south and their auto manufacturing plants. They're foreign car companies making cars in America. Like Hundai. They were lured to states like Alabama, by tax incentives offered by local communities. They are non union plants largely using temp companies to hire employees. The temp companies then pay the benefits like health insurance. The workers are happy and thankful to have jobs.

There are no unions demanding unrealistic benefit packages and protecting unproductive or bad employees. The plants are modern and flexible, able to convert easily to changes in market demand.

I'm throwing this out and I know it's a hot button issue. Are unions destroying the American economy?

Who doesn't know a government worker who barely works or who is always taking time off, paid, for reasons unapparent to the naked eye. I knew such a worker at OSU, who took a week off almost every month and never got fired. I could not believe how that person got away with it.

I also know government workers who do way more than their share of work, doing routine unpaid overtime and who do their jobs with excellence. So I don't know about public employee unions and what they do to bring down or make better the lives or Oregon citizens, especially those of the taxpayer, paying their salaries.

I saw something on the news tonight, is why I ask this question, comparing the big three auto makers and the non union foreign auto plants of the south. The difference is night and day.

Click post title to go to wages page of the auto workers union site. This gives basic wage, per regular hour, not including overtime or any benefits. Average low level blue collar no skilled labor job--$25.63 per hour.

Then there is THIS which is sort of funny, in a way.

Little Miss Sunshine Now! Her Real Name is Tsarina.

Tsarina, or Little Miss Sunshine, now. Isn't she beautiful? Midori knows how to cheer me up. She just sent me this. Look at that beautifully carved pumpkin, too.

Little Miss Sunshine, just after I dug them out of that woodpile.
Little Miss Sunshine after ringworm bath.
Little Miss Sunshine, in August of 07.

About a year ago, a Ridgefield WA couple, formerly of Lebanon, and tremendous animal lovers, adopted a Siamese mix kitten I had dug out of a woodshed, literally, outside of Philomath. I mean I literally dug them out. The shed housed some hay and what looked like a few pieces of wood. The four kittens were hiding in this woodpile. But, unbeknownst to me, who began disassembling it, to catch the kittens, and the house owner, the woodpile extended down into the ground about five feet. It was an old and forgotten woodpile. What had looked like an easy kitten hunt, became something else entirely.

But, I eventually caught all four--three girls and a boy.

Little Miss Sunshine was here the longest. She got terrible conjuntivitis, after being spayed at Heartland, so bad her eyelids bled. Once over that, she caught the ringworm brought in by Hope's kittens. Hope was the stray female whose eye was knocked out, yet still continued to care for her three kittens. Her three kittens were beautiful, but infected with ringworm and infected 11 other cats and kittens here, propelling me into hell.

Thrice weekly antifungal baths on 14 cats, some of them feral, soon became my routine. The shampoo had to stay on the cats for 10 minutes, too. But I got the routine down pat and it became just part of life here.

This infection further delayed Little Miss Sunshine's adoption chances. She was a teen by this time, a very sweet one at that. But then, Siamese lover, and big time animal lover of all kinds, soft hearted and very funny too, Midori e-mailed, interested in Little Miss Sunshine. She and her husband, who also do historical reenactments, adopted her.

Since that time, they too have had thier own troubles, from health issues, to a sewage flooded basement. Through it all, they have kept their sense of humor and kindness. Tsarina, formerly known as Little Miss Sunshine, is beautiful and part of their family. Not only that, but Midori is now trapping cats! And getting them fixed!! Woohoo.

I had been worried about Angel because I hadn't heard back from SafeHaven on how he is doing. Well, he's doing fine, resting at the vet office, on pain meds and fluids, prior to his surgery. I didn't hear back from SafeHaven because they were off up above Sweet Home, with the sheriff's department, who had apparently been investigating an animal and child neglect case. Today they acted, removing five or six kids, 20 horses and SafeHaven took 5 or 6 dogs from a shit filled property, where apparently nobody was being fed.

From what was described to me, it sounded like sheer hell, with the man and maybe the kids too, living in a feces ridden junk piled shed. The kids were hauled away kicking and screaming and the man was arrested. I guess the sheriff's department had found foster placements for the 20 horses while SafeHaven took the dogs. They said there was no evidence of cats on the property. But I wonder.

Well, I just saw the story on the news about the raid on the animal neglector out in Sweet Home. The news story said they removed three dozen horses. I know the SafeHaven personnel, who went along to get the dogs, were covered in shit when they returned and they said it was a combo of horse shit, dog shit and maybe even human shit. They wanted to burn their clothes and it looked they should. Click post title to go to the story. There were, according to the story, cats and a rabbit on the property. SafeHaven said they saw none, but then, cats would disappear with such a force of people dropping into the property. Now those cats will be totally on their own. I guess the man poached deer and let the dogs eat the carcasses.

The guy's been in trouble before for animal abuse. Can you believe what it says in the story, that one kid had to sleep in a chicken coop?

I lived in the loft of a stable once, when I could find no place I could afford to live, when a college student, after returning from a summer job in Alaska.