Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday NIght Stuff

I live lately in an extremely isolated bubble. I don't see or talk to people for days on end. I'm getting accustomed somewhat to almost total isolation. I don't like it, but I can't find friends, so I have to tough it out.

That's why the allure of the cross country trip with kittens. I never do anything or go anywhere anymore. No money. So what makes me think I could come up with bucks to cross this great country?

Wishful thinking.

My car is leaking oil. It was leaking at the filter I thought, so I changed the oil and filter. Now it's spotting at night. Static leaks they call it. Might be the oil pan gasket. I used to change those myself, but no longer have the jack or the will or the torque wrench or the manual. Excuses, I know. It's probably cork, dried out and cracked with the high miles on that wonderful car. So I'll carry oil, and check the level often and change the pan gasket if the leak gets worse. I'll have to.

I do not like working on cars. But, sometimes a person has to do it anyway.

Cattyhop is clogged with old poo to the hilt, although slowing, with lubing and fluids, it's coming out. She's eating and drinking ok now but not happy to be in the bathroom. I don't know if there is an underlying thing. I suspect she sustained a trauma, like a fall. Her gums on top, only in front, were red and slightly swollen. So was one side of her nose and her entire nose looked "off" to me, although I can't explain why I think that.

I think she fell off the garage room shelf, or caught a claw when jumping, slammed face first into something. I just have that feeling.

Will she be ok? I don't know yet.

Since I'm giving fluids, I had to find some more needles and big syringes, like 35 and 60cc syringes. I stopped in a Wilco. Their 1 inch 18 gauge needles? $.59 each!!!!!! Can you believe that price? Astronomically high. A 60 cc syringe? $3.59. That's for one!!!!

I went to Densons in Corvallis. Same one inch 18 gauge needle: $.25. That is less than half the price Wilco is charging, for a SINGLE needle!!! The same 60 cc syringe? $1.25, less than half the price of Wilco.

Know your feed stores. Know who is over charging you and who is trying not to. Densons in Corvallis is my choice. Always the best and they know their stuff.

I'd saved up and purchased, one at a time, three bags of cheaper dry cat food. 18 lb bags. Today I hauled them into the three old homeless campers. Richard and Pete were there, but not Stacy. I asked Richard, who was sitting in his tent, a new bigger one, naked, sheet wrapped around him, where she was. He claimed she was picked up on the road by a guy who asked what she needed and he claims she said "A job." And they guy hired her, only she comes back now and then. I said "Who is feeding the cats down there?"

"Pete is, but she got mad when he didn't do it right."

Richard often mixes up pieces of several stories. I can never tell what is really going on. I left a bag with each of the three campers. Bobbie and a couple other cats were down at Stacy's looking fat and healthy.

Richard's old black female was clinging to him in his tent when I went back by. "Did you feed those cats?" he implored, still naked. He wanted to talk. He was lonely. I said "I did," even though there was food in the big bowl.

Stacy's camp is cleaner than most houses. She's expressed her desire to me in past months, when I take in cat food, to get a job, to give back to society, to earn her own money, to stop drinking.

I began to notice the clean up at her camp. She even planted flowers and a few vegetables. Everything is neat, orderly, no trash. She's changing and every time I see her I give her a hug because to change at her age, to try, it's amazing. She knows she'll die if she doesn't. She wants more than what she has in life.

Anyhow. "My little girl is gone, you know," Richard says. I said, "I know. She was killed on the street. I heard there was a cat hit out there. I came over to see which one had died."

"Was it quick?" Richard asked. I said, "From the looks of it, she died instantly."

It was his favorite little cat, that black tux female. She was tame and someone brought her in and then left her. She attached to Richard and had four gray and white kittens last summer, who grew up in Richards tent. He begged me to take them out and I did, last summer.

I got the kittens little black tux mom fixed last summer too, and took her back. This summer, she was hit by a car and laying alongside the road when I happened to drive by. I went and checked, to see which cat it was from the camps who was now dead.

I ran into someone I know when up at the grocery store too. One of three kittens, from Scravel Hill, that she adopted about three years ago, was killed by a predator and eaten. I hated to hear that. She doesn't live that far from where a skinny teenage cougar was shot recently. I said, "It was probably one of the cougars killed and ate him." She looked down. It's not a good or kind death.

I said "That little cougar was so skinny looked in the paper photo, of her laid out dead, like she would be too weak to kill anything."

"Yeah," the woman said, "something must have happened to her mother."

The cougar was too young to be on her own and was killed hunting hens on someones property not too far from where this woman lives. The body was displayed in a photo in the paper. I cringed to see a cougar so nearly starved. How desperate she must have been for food. The bullet that killed her was a mercy to her.

Did she first kill and eat Newman, the little gray tux boy from Scravel Hill? She might have. It's why I don't place ferals anymore, or outdoor cats. Too many predators. And in the city, if a person won't contain the cat to their own yard, and why wouldn't people do that, or keep the cat inside, then I don't adopt to them. They don't last. They're killed in terrible horrible ways.

Hairy is in a huge cage in the garage room and finally doing better with that severe URI he had. He coughed up a huge honking hairball today, and feels better instantly, is even sitting out in the open, doesn't go in his carrier and hide, when I change his litterbox and talk to him. Made me realize how terrified he was, how terrified they all are, of extreme changes, how happy I am I took him back. It was like fate, because that woman had not noticed he was so ill, and would have taken him to that barn home, where the cats live only a few months, before being killed by coyotes.

I realize the ferals take a long time to adjust, to feel comfortable. It takes work but not much work, just some simple steps, some reassurances, some comforts they understand as gestures of goodwill. I don't like realizing this, in light of relocation, and so many people, even rescuers who should know better, just open a carrier and turn them loose, on their own, when "relocating". He turns his head away from me shyly, if I get within a foot of him, then peeks back at me, through big yellow eyes. He trusts me now. He's seen me with the other cats. I chatter senselessly to him, tell him bad jokes.

I got a call from a woman in town. I got ten cats she fed fixed, then a couple indoor cats. This was two years ago. She's not exactly motivated. She's not what you would call someone with a work ethic, someone who would do something she didn't have to do, or wasn't forced to do.

She wanted to complain about the cats to me. I have no relation to her, other than doing all the work in catching them and getting them fixed after she called. But she wants to lay the responsibility of them on me. She wants to move, she says and taking care of them is preventing that. So how is that my problem, I ask, I want to move, too.

She wanted to know where she could get them euthanized. This was a ploy to get me to say I'd relocate them or take them, to save them. I scolded her. I told her again, like I've told her before, I will not help her, encouraged her to advertise, put some work into it, that she won't find them barn homes if she doesn't try. She wants to give up without trying, because she's lazy and has cultivated her laziness.

I told her to put ads in the paper, put fliers at vet clinics, post on craigslist, research feral relocation, all that, but she was still fishing for an easy out, for someone else to do it for her, and it bugs me, the laziness, the lay it on someone else attitude, the "it's not my fault, help me please, I am a victim, you see" pathetic helplessness shamelessly driveled. I told her nothing good comes easy. I told her to get at it and then I said I had to get going.

So I'm going to take a stab at solving the attic cat situation. Nobody else will help that older couple. Guess it's up to me. I"m getting old to crawl around in attics or even get up into them. I'll try to be well rested before I attempt this.

I only went one time to the flea market. I had a good time that one time, but I really cranked out my spine and neck, doing too much lifting when tired. My left eye was twitching from neck nerve pinching. My finger, that I once sprained, got resprained and it's still jerking and popping and sometimes non usable. My shoulder became inflamed. I'd pulled a muscle nearly off it a few years back, and that flares up now and then.

When I pulled that muscle, trying to catch a falling roof no less, for a shed I was building from scraps of this and that, I could actually hear/feel the tearing. That was both interesting and scary.

I'm a battle scarred woman. But, proudly, I still exist taking no medications. I've learned to deal with pain. That neck disc ruptured into my spinal cord, when beaten on the psyche ward, and doctors afterwards telling me the pain was mental problems, leaving me to deal with horrendous pain on my own, actually taught me how to deal, psychologically, with severe pain sans helpful medication. At least I learned some tools for survival through that ordeal.

I have nothing left to sell at the flea market. I sold all the rest of my decent junk and a box of junk my neighbor donated that otherwise was headed to Goodwill.

After that, inspired, I put that old nonfunctioning bike on craigslist and sold it. Then, I cleaned up a large carrier I never use to post on craigslist. I had to fix the closing mechanism and scrub off all the rust on the door and window grates with a metal brush I got at the dollar store, but then I sold it, after a few postings, for $25!!!!

I think that's it though, as for anything I might fix and sell from my small store of belongings. I'll make sure though, because that was fun. And the $25 from the carrier went onto my credit card bill for Cattyhop's vet visit. That was well worth the effort involved in cleaning up that old carrier.

That guy who bought the old bike and then I gave him the other nonworking bike I had, he's doing about the same thing, fixing up old bikes to sell to make some money. There's a feel good aspect to turning something old or not working into a working object then selling it, recycling it back into use.

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