Sunday, February 07, 2010

Late Night Trapping Stints

This is one of the strays, a male, young, about 8 months old, born, the feeder people say, to an abandoned mother cat who has since disappeared, as have a couple of the siblings. The one left to trap is the surviving sibling. This guy was neutered yesterday, vaccinated and, I hear, is going to live with a farmer who took another cat from the same group some time ago.

I've been burning the midnight oil of late, trying to save some Benton County cats. They have been fed by three people and there are a very small number of cats, five to be exact, three of them tame caste offs from Adair.

But one person complained. ONE whiney complainy person who wanted them gone, complained to the county, who gave the people feeding them two weeks, or they would be killed.

So there's just one left to trap. I spent half the night out there last night trying, after catching the last monster male, a tame brown tabby tux, poor fellow, probably left behind by someone.

At 1:30 a.m. she was about to go into a trap and suddenly a huge skunk shows up and the cat moves off as the skunk tries to enter my trap. I ran him off, not wanting my trap "skunked", then had to take up the two other traps for same reason. I left one set, and the cat came right back. That's when the mob of raccoons showed up. I heard them fighting way up somewhere on the Christian school's grounds the night before.

So I failed at catching the one last cat, but I hope I can catch her, before the county moves in, intent on killing her, because one person complained, when they drove by in their car.

I'm not fond of the area. There is a very very loud RC plane park nearby and those loud whining revving engines are not music to my ears, or the ears of anything alive I would guess. Must really be detrimental to wildlife with their sensitive ears and to the birds.

It is terribly interesting to me, when I was told it was a biologist who complained about the handful of strays, due to "environmental impact", as he or she ignored the RC plane park, the taking out of habitat for a frisbee golf course and the ever expanding school too. Blind to all those things, including the car he or she was likely driving that is a bird killer by nature, which labels such people to me just plain cat hating complainers, tunnel visioned and mean spirited.

Or they feel out of control, and the one thing people feeling out of control do often, is complain And sometimes, people feel out of control when a world is going to hell. When the natural world is being eaten alive by development, concrete, cars and pollution, all out of one's personal control, and what they could change, like personal habits to make things better, might be too inconvenient to change, such people then make themselves feel better in this damaged world, by placing blame on five stray cats.

I understand people who feed strays sometimes are messy about it and irresponsible about it. They need to try to rehome the tame ones and any kittens and fix the rest. They need to be discreet and clean about feeding them too, and atune to concerns. That doesn't happen much either, I know.

Well, at least these five will be gone from the sight of the complainer person. They will be fixed and hopefully places will be found for them. You would not believe the MONSTEROUS size of the last male I trapped there. He is tame and lovable, skinny for his monstrous length and size, but a gorgoues and beautiful cat. The feeder people said he showed up about a month before.

I was so exhausted today, after waking up at 8:30, six hours after I went to bed, I could barely function. I was going right back to bed, but when someone called offering a ride to Costco to get cat food I accepted because invitations are hard to come by. I usually feed the cats here Costco dry food, because it is decent quality and cheap enough. They also have a $10 16 pound bag for sale at Costco, but the first ingredient listed on that brand is corn. Cats don't eat corn!

Anyhow, I got five bags which should last me awhile. But going out into a terribly crowded and rushed store, was not something my exhausted body and mind tolerated well. The moment I got home I collapsed on my mattress the wrong way and fell alseep for six hours. I woke up freezing cold and I think I'm getting sick, but at least I'm rested!

The big guy is going in to the vet in the morning. I have not even had a chance to see if he is neutered already. Big unneutered males don't hold well here, not even in the garage, because Sam is so sensitive to unneutered male smell. It starts him up with the pee marking.

Whether this guy was abandoned or wandered off looking for love, is a point in question. I already have him posted as a found cat, to see if anyone responds, and will suggest to the feeder people, who will be holding him, that they run a found ad and make a report at Heartland. They already plan to have him chip scanned just in case. But if he isn't neutered, he won't have a microchip. Most shelters microchip now, registering the cat to the shelter itself. If the registration is never changed, at least the shelter finds out, if a cat they adopted out lands at another shelter. I would like to find an economical place to get all the cats here chipped. I got Electra and Hopi done long ago, when I had only three cats. Hopi is gone now but Electra isn't. She's still with me.

I got to see two old river cats, which took me back in time, from the colony I lived with, when homeless, along the banks of the Willamette. The feeder lady for this colony adopted Scratch as a teenager from the colony along the Willamette. That colony was fed by an old man who didn't get them fixed.

When I wandered into it, I was homeless off and on, and when not homeless living at a hellish old low income hotel along the river. I spent less and less time there. I had problems with the manager who came on to me even before I moved in. My roof leaked in 8 places there. I moved out in the end to homelessness and it was an upgrade.

Anyhow, I took to living with a colony of cats along the river, the colony the old man fed. Despite the fact I had no money and no car, I hooked up with a Corvallis couple trying to get area cats fixed, who loaned me a live trap. Then they bought me one. I kept a wild cat fund for fixing the cats, at a local vet clinic, fed by poor people and bus drivers. I'd trap a river cat and walk back a half mile with the cat in a trap to my place, then hitch a ride out to the clinic. I got 30 cats fixed that way. Scratch and Half n Half were two of them. A city bus driver took in Scratch.

In the alley down near where the old man fed the river cats, an old woman fed some alley cats, who were hated by the two businesses flanking the alley: Allan Brothers warehouse on one side and Mater Engineering on the other. There were three siblings in the end: Muddy, Half n Half and Stripe.

Muddy and Stripe both were killed as a result of the river project. I'd gotten them fixed long before. Half n Half and Muddy had defended Stripe, when he was badly injured along the river in the riprap dumping. He had crawled into the Mater warehouse. I thought Mater Engineering was going to let me into the warehouse to get him out and save him. I went there, armed with catch gear, after calling to ask permission and was told "no", by Scott Mater himself. Stripe died a horrible and slow death. His brother and sister would station themselves at either end of the alley after the old man would put out food for Stripe at the edge of the huge doors, which had enough space under them for cats to slip through. This was to defend him, so he could eat, from a big unneutered tom, that came in from a neighborhood and was likely owned, and who would attack Stripe over the food.

It was a horrible thing to not be able to help Stripe. It nearly drove me mad, after being denied entry to be able to help him. Worry and horror and sadness overcame me for weeks then years over the plight of the river cats and their fate with that project.

Muddy was next to die. That left Halfie alone and miserable and afraid. I spent Christmas Eve that year retrapping her. The old man was in the hospital with a long misdiagnosed staff infection that nearly killed him. I got Half n Half out of there alive. She joined Scratch at the home of the city bus driver, one of the kindest most honest people I have ever met. At last, a another family member was safe.

I got to see both Scratch, now 15, and Halfie, a couple years younger, last night. Scratch is still Scratch in her old age. Halfie, adopted as an adult full out feral, is now a loving purr bug couch potato. Scratch, Halfie and Vision who is even older than Scratch, are the last surviving river cats.

Of course I am spending nights out in my car to trap those otherwise doomed cats in order also to help someone who saved two of my river cat family of long ago. And was kind to me back then, when I had no kindness or any light in my life.

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