Monday, June 28, 2010

Woohooo. Re-employed!

So, I'll be starting, mid month, to take cats in to Willamette Humane's spay neuter clinic. I won't be able to take as many in as I have, but at least I can take in some. Better than none! Yay!

Here's to hoping the OR Vet Board will figure a way to help the people of Oregon make solving feline overpopulation far easier. I know they could.

In other news, Lane County is getting it together. Numerous groups got Petsmart free roaming cat grants, and one group alone is getting 40 ferals at least fixed a week at Greenhill. I wish we had a shelter fixing public cats in this area. Boy do I wish that. If I lived in the Eugene area, I could get employment as a trapper with one or two different groups.

I think if I could rig up somehow, a very very small home made trailer to pull, to sleep and cook in, I could be a travelling spay neuter trapper. If I could rig something right, and find homes for the cats here, I think I'd love that lifestyle.

Here, I struggle to find a place now to get any cats fixed, without driving an hour one direction, but I can't even get in there now, due to them upping prices by $20 per cat over that rule. But I haven't totally given up.

I am totally paranoid over what happened to the other four kittens I took to Heartland with the other three, who came back here, (from the Lebanon situation). I returned two of the kittens late last week to be fixed and adopted out. I guess they were adopted.

As for those other four, I can't find out anything. I want to trust Heartland, but I have a hard time trusting them. That's because of history. A few years ago, they took in a few kittens from the BS colony, when I was overwhelmed getting over 120 cats fixed on that short dead end street. I took to Heartland, in all, about five, with fears over it, even though they were under no kill order, to be returned to me if they decided they couldn't keep them, for space or whatever reason, instead of killing them.

I had a volunteer for a brief time, who also was undergoing volunteer training at Heartland. She mentioned to me she went for training one day and most of the cats were gone. They'd killed them, due to a ringworm outbreak.

I had not received a call about Marianne and Scottie, the latest two kittens I'd taken over, to come retrieve them. I raced over there. Scottie and Marianne were in a carrier by the euthanasia room, about to be killed. They had been in foster, had come back, and they were going to kill them. They claimed under black light, one had a few hairs of green glow on one ear, indicating possibly ringworm. They did not have ringworm. I was furious but glad I had been able to save them. They both ended up in great homes. I determined then never to trust Heartland again.

But I did, with these seven kittens. I was told by the shelter director they weren't the same shelter. I believed them. Was it stupid of me? Did those four kittens die because I was too naive?

So I have been under stress thinking about it. I want it to be for no reason at all, other than the history I've experienced there. I became more stressed when they asked me to come get the three, who otherwise would be euthanized, because they had URI's. I keep asking about the other four, and have not really received an answer that calms my fears.

I very much want to believe they are a different shelter, that they would honor a no kill request resolutely. I want to be able to trust them. But my stomach is queezy and I can't stop worrying about those four kittens. I don't rescue kittens to have them killed.

UPDATE: Yay. They have reassured me the four are still in foster and just fine. I feel much better. I thought both Tabitha and Prancer had been adopted but it was only Prancer. Tabitha is still waiting. I must have missed her when looking at the kittens yesterday. Probably sleeping in one of the little kitten beds they have in the kitten rooms.

I've decided to start having a ceremony, when a cat leaves here, either if adopted (if I ever get another adoption inquiry) or goes to another group or shelter. Some sort of a let go/goodbye ceremony, to symbolically let them go, from my mind, so I don't worry about them forever. It's hard for me. I know people think it's silly, to worry about one little kitten, among the millions out there. But I do, if they've gone through my hands. I know them, know what they need, what they fear, what makes them happy. I want the best for them.

Plus, I've seen the darkside out there, and it is very very black indeed.


  1. does the willamette clinic also charge the twenty bucks for pain meds? Or is it just the county where you were taking the cats? How much will you be paying per cat?

  2. Nope, they don't. They were giving the required med all along. It's a nonprofit Humane Alliance type clinic (built in conjunction with Humane Alliance). I think. Salem has a huge overpopulation problem, far worse than here. That Salem shelter was an extremely high kill shelter. We had a few FCCO clinics there, years ago. We volunteers couldn't take it actually, watching the "march of death" as zillions of people stopped in to leave off their cats and dogs, on just one day. I remember dozing in my car at one clinic, in their parking lot. I heard yelling and it sounded like Vicki and Doris, of KATA. Sure enough, they'd gotten into it with woman, unloading her dogs and cats, marching them in. They ripped off their FCCO volunteer tags, and had it out with her. She had claimed they weren't really her cats and dogs, and that they'd find homes. Vicki and Doris straightened her out. When one of the very proper and civil volunteers cut loose on people, not being able to take this animal holocaust, I knew we probably would not have clinics there again.

    I am very happy that shelter is addressing the massive overpopulation problem in the Salem area in a very proactive manner.

  3. Is the salem shelter still a high kill shelter? Just curious. Hehehe - that sounds like vicki and Doris from what you've said! good for them!People are such ignorant wusses!

  4. I don't know, actually, what their kill rates are now. That was years ago.

  5. Yeah, I suppose it was a defining moment, that day, at the FCCO clinic, there in Salem. Two middle aged women, worn out from trapping all day and night, still up for a fight to defend animals, in a parking lot whose dozing volunteer occupants, in their ragtag vehicles, were witness to what was likely a daily event at that shelter, the march of death.

    Those people could have behaved responsibly, gotten their animals fixed, instead of letting them breed, then marching all of them in, to be killed, telling themselves, family members, anyone who asked, "oh, they're not really my cats." Or, "They'll find them all homes." Except we all had heard those lines a zillion times before and we didn't buy their excuses.

    From that clinic, a woman came in from Independence, seeking help for a cat struck on the road, who then crawled into her garden. I followed her back, in my old corolla, to net the injured cat. My brakes failed on the winding steep hill and I thought I was going to die. Fortunately, at the bottom of the hill, at the stop sign, no one was coming from either direction and there was a pullout and gravel pile on the other side, which I plowed into, also using the parking brake. I left the car there, got into the woman's car I was following, netted the injured cat, took her to the emergency clinic in Corvallis, in the woman's car, who then took me to Napa auto parts. They sold me a caliper with pads, told me the piston probably froze from corosion, gave me an on the spot tutorial on how to change it, and I did, up in that blistering hot pull out, on my own. Ever tried to bleed brake lines alone? The injured cat belonged to an OSU athletic department employee, who balked at paying for the cats vet bills and never even thanked the people who helped her, sealing my opinion of OSU athletics in cynicism and belief they're arrogant pampered farts.

  6. forgot to add - phew - glad to hear the kittens are alive and well!

  7. what ended up happening to the injured cat? did his owner eventually pay the vet bills or were you stuck with them and the cat?
    As far as the two women go, I really believe that people who feel as passionately about cats or animals as we do will defend their right to continue living...its this passion that fuels us, keeps us going for the cats.

  8. Hey, congrats on obtaining the two new places. That is GOOD news ands I am also happy to hear the kittens are going OK!!! This reminds me a horrid story of a family whop bizarrely left their cat with friends who allowed her to roam freely and she was picked up by the SPCA who killed her, sigh!!! Now, there are a variety of people here to blame - and kill shelters do not always say they are that which irks me to no end!(esp since many people do not even realize the SPCA die ex does this. So much education to do, thank God or the spirit or just Thank you FOR BEING YOU AND doing the work you do. Even though we know you love it, it still takes time, money and commitment and most of all, LOVE!!

  9. That's a scary horrible story, Siobhan, but I've heard that same story several times, different animals. I suppose it is not infrequent in occurance.

  10. I never found out, because we quickly transferred her to Corvallis Cat Care and that vet told me the owners did not want an operation that might fix her broken pelvis. She had advised containing her for a couple months, while it healed. It was cracked. They then took her off. But I felt and I think she did, that they would likely take her to another vet and have her put down. I don't know much beyond that on the eventual fate of that poor girl.