Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feral Squable. Hairy Comes Back.

The black long hair eartipped feral, whom Heartland asked I rescue when he came to them in a live trap, was not the cat lost nearby with same description. He has been up in Wilsonville for almost two weeks. The person who took him, then took him to be scanned a week ago. He was put under light anesthesia and it was determined he had no chip, as the other lost cat would have been microchipped.

The woman said she would relocate the cat to the farm to which she had taken other cats. But I couldn't get the story straight. First she said it was an old woman who fed cats table scraps in her garage.

I always want to know that the cat is going to be properly contained, if a feral, and fed after released. I could not get a straight answer on either of these two concerns. She said something about the old lady feeding them scraps then they eat rats.

The first story, about the old woman who fed the cats table scraps, changed, when she told me it was a man taking him, who would hold him in a shed or outbuilding somewhere. I could not figure out how the man related to the old woman and the garage or if the two were the same property. I don't know why she was dodging me but I was confused. Straight forward questions, these were, I thought.

Then finally she told me the man told her two or three of the five she'd taken him very recently had already been killed by coyotes. I thought, why would a person even bother relocating ferals to somewhere they'll be killed so quickly? That is not helping them.

From the start she'd said we'd take him out together, but she switched and said "no" I could not see the place. I told her I was coming to get him back. I don't trust her anymore. That's nuts anyhow, to relocate cats to where they survive only a few months.

I went and got him today and could hear him breathing when I got in the door. He is very ill.

I took him to the vet, asking about a long term antibiotic injection and the price to inject him. I was told it would be about $85 so I went for it. But they did not tell me they were going to charge me $62 just for light anesthesia. They should have. There was confusion, I think. I was asking the cost before hand, to decide for or against.

I also assumed since the other woman was not charged at all for same thing, that I wouldn't be. They did charge me. The cost for light anesthesia alone was over what the cost of spay for a pregnant cat. The actual bill was over $160. I was floored, shocked, hurt that I had not been told beforehand of the anesthesia cost. I felt tricked!

It made me cranky. I want to know a ballpark cost before I agree to something.

Then the assistant tells me he also got a free exam, so I asked for the results of that at least. I figured I could find out if he'd had a temp, if he any mouth or tongue sores, consistent with chlamydia, or bad teeth, approximate age, if he had earmites, and they could not produce any of that information. I don't think he got an exam and if he did, they had no information on it.

I got an antibiotic injection and absolutely no other useful information about this cat and the cost was over $160.

You live. You learn. I learned a great deal today.

I learned you make darn sure to know exactly what you're going to be charged beforehand, and what will be done, and preferably, in writing, so there in confusion on either side, in the end.

There is just nobody filling the need for the unwanted cats out there, nobody with the money to do it, that is. Just little people. The big shelter, they kill ferals or sick cats, and only end up with a fraction of the aftermath of overpopulation anyhow. The kill shelters kill a high percentage of those. It's a wasteful ineffective inefficient after the fact way to address feline overpopulation.

The no kill shelters stick their heads in the sand, and take care of a handful of cats, and use the "no kill" label to get public sympathy and more money that they don't use to throw at the root of the problem. They just fatten their salaries and bulid bigger shelters. It's all just pathetic.

I've said it a million times. Maybe someday someone with some power and some money and who has the ability to get the real story out there of whats' going on and what should go on, will read this though. I just keep hoping. In the meantime, I'll pick up cans to pay bills for cats I've never met before they end up in my hands in dire need of help. I'm going to help them, too, if there's any way I can do it and there should be a whole lot more people doing the same.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boy Howdy

Glad I'm cutting way back, on road to quitting, the insane cat wrangler business.

It's really nuts.

So, I was so tired today, for some reason, I had to sleep in a rest area on the way back from Portland. Cats got dumped at a rural tavern, not that far from where Recycled Gardens used to be. It was like a trip back down memory lane to drive by the old Recycled Gardens barn, on Cornelius Pass Road.

I went to help Poppa's president. I love the Poppa Inc. people and would probably do anything for them if they asked. I was up too late though, doing chores.

Since I was headed up, I took up four cats, from two situations, all tame, all really nice people. I have invoked the "no asshole" rule now. I don't help assholes.

Be nice or its goodbye.

But on the way back, sleepiness overwhelmed me, so I pulled into the rest area and napped for an hour.

Returned the four cats, then came home to get a phone call. I don't know the woman. Someone gave her my number and she was upset about a relocation of some cats, but I'd never seen the place, so there's no way I can tell anything about it. I did tell her it sounded ok but that kittens usually should be relocated with an adult cat, because they are just like little kids.

Then, just as that was going on, the DD woman who lives nearby calls and says she has "Tiggers brother" in her house and to come now. She's terribly upset and nervous. It's another stray in the area over there that she's taken it upon herself to care for. There are countless strays over there on that street, and one by one, she and a neighbor and I have gotten them all fixed. This guy is the last of them, for now at least. But I didn't want to take another cat up to be fixed tomorrow. Might be worth it though. To get that situation done. And it is done now.

Anyhow, this woman is certainly not an asshole, she's really nice and works hard to make sure all the cats around there are fixed and I do think that is great.

But I'm slightly stressed and worn out again.

I don't relocate ferals anymore because people don't follow relocation instructions and because it is so hard on the cats, that most never make it and because predator populations are out of control in Oregon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Basic---Classic Travolta

Travolta's movie "Basic" was on TV last night. I am a John Travolta fan and this movie is classic Travolta. He's a great actor and is at his best in this movie.

I also like this movie, because of all the plot twists.

The plot twist at the very end of the movie is the greatest!

Big Rallies Today I Hear

Briefly on the news tonight, not much coverage of either, two rallies in WA DC. Glenn Beck and his followers then bunch civil rights people honoring the I Have a Dream speech of Martin Luther King.

Although they represented opposing politics, the rallies were peaceful. Nice tribute to Dr. King, in that regard.

I guess the two rallies crossed paths at one point. Becks crew was yelling at the other "Go to Church" and they yelled back "Don't Drink the Tea". I couldn't stop laughing.

Glenn Beck is probably what I would call equal to the word "hate". I don't know why except he's always condemning this or that person or group. He seems about as far from a religious person as one could get, just from the noise I hear from him and about him. But I don't know him personally.

My personal thoughts are that he is breaking ground for a Mitt Romney rerun for president. They're both Mormons. The Mormons have been ratcheting up public image lately, kind of whitewashing their beliefs. Then another Mormon came on TV and says, concerning the new Mormon makeover commercials "That's not what the Mormons believe. I wish it were, but it isn't." So that's funny too.

I don't want an Iran type religious fundamentalist government in America. That's crazy.

I have no idea what Sarah Palin means when she says she wants to um, boy, I can't remember her words. They had a sound bite of that Palin sentence too on the news, take America back or something. But to what? America is better value wise than it's ever been. What should we go back to? Lynching blacks? Women without the right to vote? Um, child sweatshops? Um, prohibition? I don't what they mean when they want to get back to basic values. I think they mean vote Obama out. That's probably about it.

Yes, our government needs to get super financially efficient but they are a reflection of us and our overspending spend beyond means ways. We'd need to change to make the government change.

I also find it odd the back to values thing often means controlling women and somehow outlawing homosexuals. I also find this very funny because it was only a couple months ago that a Portland couple was outraged because footage of the woman nursing her newborn was pulled out from on file by FOXS news to use in a story about a new injection given women birthing girl babies at birth to make them "more like girls", meaning more estrogen to make them want to stay at home and take care of kids.

The Portland couple was outraged that the video of them, made for a different story, was used by Fox news in basically a homophobic story when they have gay and lesbian couple friends.

See something like that negates all the conservative rants about homosexuality being a choice. If women's behavior can be influenced with biological injections at birth, then said behavior is not choice it is biological and same with men. Duh.

I also find it outright hypocritical that they are against abortion but ok with altering who a baby is at birth.

Look no further than the pseudo estrogen containing pesticides, like atrizine, we spray liberally on fields across America to figure it out, Glenn Becheroo and crew.

Oh wait, science is sin. I forgot.

At least the rallies were peaceful. Nobody died for screaming politics today.

Me and the cats here had a catnip party tonight. Possible kitten adoptor coming tomorrow. Crossing fingers and toes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Whoa! No Way! Woman Requests Help Fixing Kitten Purchased from Spay Inc.

Just got a call from someone, said they have a four month old kitten needs fixed. I asked where she lives and she lives in Brownsville. So I said, "Have you tried Spay Inc.?"

Turns out, she bought the kitten from Spay Inc. I said "Wait a minute! You bought a kitten at Spay Inc. that was not spayed and want me to get it fixed? No, no, no. That is not the way it works. The organizations' name is Spay Inc. Do you get it? "Spay". Go make them fix that kitten. It should have been fixed before it was even adopted out."

She said, "Well, they did worm her." I told her again, to get Spay Inc. to fix that kitten she bought there, probably for over $50.

She told me a Lebanon woman whose young male I got fixed gave me her number. I suspect that was a Spay Inc. kitten too, although I don't know for sure. I'm going to try to find out. I wonder if I am getting played/used by Spay Inc.

Can't believe it. If she bought an unfixed kitten at Spay Inc., that's bad! Spay Inc, spay your kittens. Do not be part of the problem.

Garden Blessed

I love my garden. I put no effort into it. I don't have a green thumb. No. Wasn't born with one.

So I planted the easy crops. I planted squash cause it grows itself. I planted sungold cherry tomatoes,those yellow ones, cause I love them. I planted onions and kale and collards and lettuce and bush beans. The yellow bush beans, my favorite, gave and gave and gave. I love them. Thank you yellow bush beans for feeding me half the summer. I love you. Yes, I do.

And the cherry tomatoes gave and gave and are still giving. I love them. Yes, I do.

And the squash, oh my gosh. I gave up almost. See, squash have male and female flowers on each plant. You need bees to spread their love and share the pollen between the flowers to make squash happen. I had no bees coming.

But then, then the catnip bloomed. I love catnip. I want to spread catnip everywhere all over the world, or at least all over the mid valley. The more catnip the better. It should be everywhere, free for the taking. I do my part in that regard.

So the catnip bloomed and bees came because they love the catnip blossoms. Also the rosemary bloomed at the exact same time. Like synchronicity.

And the squash started forming from the fertilized female flowers. Little baby squash that grew into big honking acorn squash of a variety I just love. And they have given and given and given. One squash plant. Sure, the runners took over the yard. Who cares. I got dozens of squash. Dozens. From one plant and no effort. The bees did the work. Thank you, bees.

So, I ate squash. And I ate it. And I peeled it and froze it. And I've made soup of it. And thank you thank you thank you. One plant. No work. Lots and lots of really delicious food. Squash, onions, kale, collards, lettuce, tomatoes, and especially those bush beans, thank you. I love all of you.

But the real heroes, the bees and the catnip. Of course. Of course. I owe those bees for the squash. The catnip, boy, keeps on giving. Like only catnip can.

You know what I mean.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Too Much Fun?

I might be sinning. I am having too much fun lately! In one week's time, I floated an Oregon river on an inner tube (hey, it's free, why not?), and tonight, danced crazily to night glow over at the Art and Air Festival. They had a Blues musician playing while some hot air balloons periodically filled with light for a few seconds. Very pretty!

It was over by 9:30, so I will get another good nights sleep!!!!

I did all my chores all day long so having a little fun for a couple hours tonight, entry is free to the Arts and Air Festival, was GREAT!!!!

I love fun.

Tomorrow or Sunday, I might hit another free mid valley event, in Corvallis no less, very close by. The Fall Festival!

I know the Eugene celebration is excellent and fun, also going on this weekend, but it's too far away and too hard to find parking down there and costs too much.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oregon Cat Trappers, Fixers, Small Time Rescues on Strike!!!

(Madam Grizzle, this also is for you, and for all the other little people, with almost no money, taking on the gigantic task of solving feline overpopulation, largely without the help of any of the recognized shelters in our state, and certainly with no help from the huge humane organizations who pummel old ladies with tear jerker junk mail and the airways to get more donations to feed their huge salaries. Please feel free to e-mail other demands!)

We're going out on strike!

Our demands:

That the populace of Oregon exhibit responsible and kind behavior.

That talking head groups who claim Oregon is advanced because of its anti abandonment and cruelty laws actually track how often those laws are enforced/prosecuted before touting them.

That breeders be exiled to an island. We don't care which one or if it lies in the path of hurricane season.

That people who get cats or feed strays fix them and if they don't, if they request help, that they are polite, helpful, on time, grateful and donate something to those helping them.

That we are provided cars that work and gas to run back and forth, here and there, to round up cats from irresponsible Oregon populace.

That people whom we've helped with cat fixing for nothing who then get more cats and don't fix them either, be spayed and neutered themselves immediately, along with their offspring.

That people who offer helpful suggestions about what a lone cat trapper or small time rescue should do, but refuse involvement, have their computers confiscated and be banned from the broadband world.

That shelter directors, whose shelters receive copious public donations by turning the shelters' back to the overpopulation problem and taking in only the really cute kittens and puppies, sometimes from out of state, be quartered and the difference given to us, the people making a difference for nothing.

That we all be immediately sent on fun fancy lazy sun laden beachy all expense paid lengthy vacations.

We may add to the list.

Haven't fixed your cat yet? Don't whine to me. Put down your cigarette. Turn in that mountainous pile of Bud Lite cans under your trailer porch, skip church tonight, and get it done.

Anyhow, the above was for fun and prompted by Madam Grizzle's comment on the post before this one.

Yesterday, while the phone rang off the hook, with requests to take cats in, not get them fixed, coming from as far away as Canby, dazed, confused, and so stressed I was literally turning around in circles, I finally ran out the door. Ran!

I drove down to Roseburg and floated, late in the day, the S. Umpqua. I got tube rash on my arms, on my inner elbows, and did not get back until about midnight, slept in after then not getting to sleep until nearly 3:00 a.m. (still had to take care of all the cats here), got up, drank coffee, wrote above post, am going back to bed). See ya!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Told Off!

In trying to tie up loose ends, I decided to call the people with kittens after I'd fixed the moms. Teh Lebanon woman who feeds strays and pushes religion has five kittens, feral, with the last mom cat there I got fixed. However, it isn't easy to get cats there, due to there being lots and all of them fixed, supposedly.

The old womans relatives upon whose property she lives, could help, but refuse. The neighbor who plays with the cats could help but refuses.

So I went up and tried to drop trap them and caught only two. I left a trap set and went to the trailer park, where one tenant, the outspoken Christian one, was supposed to have put an outside fed female into a carrier of mine she had for the last month, but somehow just doesn't get around to it. She also has an unfixed inside female.

There is one more orange tabby semi feral, and the man with the trap is too lazy to help trap her. Then there is one more kitten from the now fixed tabby mom out living under a trailer, and one of her kittens taken in by a tenant.

So I was just there to pick up the carrier but the woman was not home. Carrier was on her porch. I got it. Then the man who could trap with his trap but doesn't, and has like ten million excuses prelined up every time, as to why he doesn't, came running up to say a tenant is getting a kitten right then from his mother, who has unfixed cats, big surprise there.

And could I take it to be fixed. I said ok. Then he said he'd find the woman with the other kitten and finally did and she came over, wanting the kitten fixed, but with attitude. And tonight was not the night to hit me with attitude.

She wanted to know why I don't just have the strays killed. I said "I will tell you why. I'm a volunteer. I love cats. I've been sacrificing to help you people fix all your cats, 32 so far. I volunteer to help the cats, not to kill cats for your convenience." She repeated the same question, only in nastier tone, and I repeated my answer, in nastier tone, then told her to get away from my car, that I'm a volunteer, and I said it with force and pride because I knew I was at the end.

She refused to move and started in again about why don't I kill the cats instead. I pointed away from my car and said "Go!" But she wouldn't. I got into my car, rolled up my windows, also on the other tenant running up afraid their free fix job might be rolling out of the park, which in fact was exactly the truth, and drove off.

Later, I pulled off along the road, and called the trailer park owner and told her "I'm done. I fixed over 32 cats at your park and removed 8. You donated $200 and thank you for that, but that paid to fix only four of those cats."

"I am a volunteer. Your tenants made it very hard to fix the cats there."

I told her what had just transpired and other things that had transpired on previous visits, suggested she call Spay Inc. in Brownsville because I think they have access to county cat grant funds, then said "Kindness is a virtue and should be encouraged, not condemned and ridiculed. Same with personal responsibility. I'm done. Goodbye."

I went back to the old woman's place then, to check that trap and found some guy who boards horses right there, twenty feet from the trap, his car, with barking dogs, also near the set trap. I knew then I would catch no more kittens.

He smiled and said, "Are you the cat lady?"

I replied, "No. Not anymore."

Just Another Reason

I am trying to tie up loose ends before I quit this completely. So I call a rural woman whose females I took in a month or more ago and yes she has five kittens needing fixed.

But she finally tells me her landlord, the farmer, is paying someone else to get all the cats fixed on his land. I know who it is.

And, a worker at the farmers' warehouse, called, wanting me to trap more at a house where I finally got 8 more fixed last year, and ten the year before, after finally getting permission from same farmer, she told me this other woman had been out there trapping.

So I called the other woman, to ask if she was getting the rest fixed there. I had to leave a message. She left a message later on, said it was too far for her to drive and asked if I could go catch the last ones. She didn't tell me she's getting paid and sure didn't mention paying me to do work she was being paid to do. I did not return the call.

To find out she is getting paid, if it's true, but still tried to get me to do the work, that riles me. That is slimy, man! I also wonder if she is getting htem fixed through the county cat grant and then also charging the farmer for the spays/neuters. I don't know she's doing that, I just wonder.

I'm not bemoaning she's getting paid to trap and round up the cats. We should all be paid. I'm bemoaning her allegedly getting paid and trying to slime me into doing the work and that I got cats fixed out there on that guys land and he never offered a dime. I got told not to ask him, by a nonprofit, on scene, because he donated to them, then his renters cats overflowed onto their property. Stupidly, I did as asked, to adher to wishes, to smooth things out. There's nobody smoothing things for me.

My stupidity, my niceness, my helpfulness, my silent lips, all these things are falling away. I'm going to become a bitch. I've needed to become a bitch for a long long time. There are way too many assholes out there who need told exactly what they are. Maybe that will become my new volunteer effort: telling off assholes. My first call will be to the woman trapper.

I feel like an idiot, being taken advantage of left and right. At least, I did not fall into the other trappers' trap. I didn't take her bait and go trap for her while she got the farmers money. The only solution is to just say no and to get the hell out. I'm way soft hearted when it comes to animals and people are dishonest and leechy.

I love cats. I love helping them. I don't regret helping any of the cats I've helped. I try to forget these people I run into that are like bad dreams. But, I don't like bad dreams. I want some peace, some joy, some nights under the stars without druggees and partiers everywhere. I want some peace away from the rat race, with the animals. I want some peace.

This information, from the woman with the kittens, is just another brick in the wall.

A Very Bad Place for Cats

I got a call this a.m. I'm still groggy from being up half the night over that darn pickup outside my bedroom. I finally fell asleep on my couch. I did not want to sleep in my bedroom a few feet from strangers with intent unknown.

And it got cold last night, really cold. Seems like fall is coming on quickly.

So this morning I get this call from a woman I've met a couple times. Apparently she got my number off the "I Quit" craigslist post I did last week, where I asked for help in placing the cats here because I'm closing the cat rescue down. She gleaned my number off that plea of mine for help by going to my website.

Her parents are cat collectors and the cats all have herpes and one, she said, is in the process of dying from an exploded eye and her parents yell at it now, that's its sick, and shoo it away, claiming it must be a dumped cat, although her daughter says its one of theirs. She didn't know what to do.

I had visited her parents house on the outskirts of Albany years ago, and tried to convince them then to let me help get their cats fixed. this was at the request of the daughter. She had described them as very very mean, and I experienced their meanness then. Nonetheless, I gave them my card, gave them information also about the FCCO clinics and urged them to get it done.

In the years since, I've run into the daughter a few times and urged her to get those cats fixed at her parents, to no avail.

Today, after she called, and described the horrors there, and wanted me to somehow "fix" the situation and treat all the sick cats, but said it would be problematic because both her parents are so mean, I told her she needed to immediately call the police and get them on this, because it's too much for me to handle, since those mean people won't even give permission to be on their property and all the cats are sick with herpes or chlamydia.

She wouldn't go for that saying her parents would know it was her. I said "So what? They've done it to themselves and made cats suffer for years." Time for mean parents to go to jail for their sins.

She interupted, said someone was at the door, said she'd call back. How do people not get involved and just make that call to the cops in the face of such suffering caused by two very very mean people?

I bet it's because she's scared of them, was brought up by them, maybe suffered because of their mean nature. People don't get as mean as they are overnight. She's probably always had to deal in fear with mean parents. Well, now she needs to deal with it by getting them jailed for long term animal neglect and abuse, which might also be good for her!

She's the eye witness. She's the one who can do it.

I hope she calls back. I can't even remember where her parents live. I can't help her, because the cats all need vet care for once in their lives, removed from those people, fixed, placed. I don't have the money or means to do that for her, and it is her parents and her responsibility, sadly, because that's a lot of weight on a daughter. I told her if she could take me out there, to witness what's going on now, I can make the call and find a way so it doesn't lay on her, that call. Not that the cops would do anything. You would hope they would, but that doesn't mean they will.

I can't get out of my mind the ruptured eye cat she described, and her father screaming at a sick dying cat to get away now.


I was looking at lost and found ads, on craigslist tonight. I see one for a black long hair cat, lost less than half mile from where the feral black long hair was caught. I thought "Boy, that's kind of more than coincidental."

Yet, the cat in the trap acted quite feral. Except. Except feral usually don't eat two cans of food after just being tranferred into a live trap, and while riding in a moving car. That was way unusual.

So I e-mailed the guy with the ad, to ask for details. I asked if the cat has, by any chance, a right eartip. He did not know what those are and said he would not have noticed. I can't tell from the online photos of his lost cat, but he also said the cat would disappear for up to two weeks routinely. When that happens, usually someone else is feeding the cat, thinking it's a stray maybe. Maybe someone moved, took the cat, then it tried to find its way home. His cat has been missing two months, which is a long time.

Cats can turn feral if they endure terrible hardships and starvations in that amount of time. Turns out he adopted the cat from Heartland. I told him to contact Heartland to see if they had original records to see if the cat came in with an eartip. The cat could have gotten an eartip later, in one of its two week missing spells if someone took the cat in, thinking it to be a stray, getting it eartipped even though already fixed.

Well, I don't know . I'll have the Wilsonville woman who has the cat get the cat scanned because Heartland microchips cats they adopt out. That will solve the mystery.

In other news, I can't sleep here anymore. I don't feel safe. Tonight, there was a pickup parked outside my place, twenty feet from my window, 2:30 in the morning, people inside, doing I don't know what, dark inside it. Finally the police came, to check them out. I was happy, because I was so nervous about strangers sitting so close in a dark pickup. They came and left. The pickup is still there. I don't know if the people in it had gone by then or what.

I think they're probably friends of the people down the block with all the cars, in the cul de sac, but I"m not sure they are. I don't have a clue who they are.

I must be getting old or something. Maybe this is the new normal, with twenty somethings out all night, up most every night, no jobs, doing I dont know what. Maybe it's normal and I should just try to ignore it and maybe safety isn't an issue.

But it's scary to me and I think safety is an issue now, big time.

However, having strangers sitting in a dark car a few feet from me does not make for sleep. They should know that, know better, unless they just don't care how they affect other people or are criminals to begin with.

When I am out cat trapping late in the night, I would never sit outside someone's window in a dark car, even if they knew I was there to catch their cats. Usually people ask me to leave when they go to bed.

Nobody understands them. They're up all night. They have all those cars roaring around and parking all over. The men ride around on little bikes in the dark. That's not normal behavior for most households. People have reason to be skeptical of their character and intent.

I do not feel safe here anymore.

The first year I lived here the worst things that happened were the Mexican kids shooting with their pellet guns that often went through the holes in the fence or over it and whizzed very close to my head. This happened repeatedly.

Then, the first Christmas here, after midnight, there was pounding on the door. I looked through the peep hole and it was two scary looking guys, one with long scraggly hair. I yelled at them to leave. They refused. I finally yelled I had a shotgun and was going to count down from five and when I reached "one" I was going to shoot. They ran. They were probably knocking on doors to see if someone would answer and if not, they'd break in. I think they were out behind my place before that. I also called two neighbors one of whom came charging out with a baseball bat.

There have been some other instances. This isn't quite Mayberry RFD. But nothing like recently, with all these people roaming through. But if they're not criminals, just bored young people, the fact they're up all night could actually make the neighborhood safer. If I could just figure out which side they're on, criminals or not criminals. I don't know them. They act like criminals. Doesn't mean they are. I suppose I could ask them, but I don't think if they were criminals they'd just come out and say, "Yeah, we got rap sheets a mile long."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eartipped Cat at Heartland

Heartland called. An eartipped cat had been brought in. Very feral. If I didn't come get the cat, he would die. I e-mailed someone who had trapped kittens nearby, but they said it was not a cat they had trapped. I do not know if the cat is a male or female, it was too feral to tell. But, someone up north said they would take the cat on, so I went and retrieved the poor cat, who was very thin and starved and dehydrated.

I did not think the cat would eat in a trap in a car, but eat the cat did, two cans of food. He's now resting comfortably in a set up at his new location, sound asleep.

While there, to pick the feral up, I was told yet another story about the four other kittens of the seven I took in to Heartland in late May from the 18 kitten Lebanon situation. I'd been told as recently as last week that they were still in foster and had not come back because they had so many there in the shelter already.

That was about different story number nine. I had been concerned since three of the seven were returned from foster care sick, and I was asked to come get them back or they likely would be euthanized.

That was in early June. Ever since, I have been trying to find out the fate of the other four, who seemed to have been lost track of. I suspected the worst all along. Usually, when people tell you a variety of different stories over time, something's not smelling right. They were under a no kill order.

Today I'm told a different story altogether, that they actually were returned mid June, by whomever was fostering them, and quickly adopted out. And yet that was the time the other three were returned to me, and I was rather frantic then to be sure the other four were safe and had not become ill, then killed there. I was told then they were still in foster. I was told one had slight sniffles but was fine. I was told this, that and the other thing about them for months.

I don't know what to believe, there have been so many stories. It makes me sad to think of the Q-tip boys, the two long hair delightful orange kittens, the buff orange boy and the long hair torti, because my suspicions are that they are long dead.

Anyhow, seals my decision that I want out of this business. It is a good decision, for many reasons, the number one reason being that I have too many cats here to support, that there are few homes available now, that when I go out to trap and fix cats there are always amongst them kittens or cats who will die if I don't intercede, causing me to take in more, and because I don't have any community support, like help with cat food, vaccines, transportation, volunteers, etc. I've never been able to find that here. And it is a good decision because I'm currently in debt over helping other people's cats. I've got to get out of debt. I don't like being in debt.

I was going to wait two months to take down my petfinder site, but I believe I will do so September 1st. No sense waiting around. I am not getting adoptions off the site. What I do get is more requests for help due to that site.

I ran another ad for four days and did not get one single call. So, I may be stuck with the cats here, but I can avoid taking on more. I also plan to change my number.

It's too bad, in many ways. The services I've done are grossly needed. But, it needs to be a paid position, or, at the least, an expense paid position, paired with an adoption only group. It's difficult, if not impossible, to do both. Time and money factors are prohibitive of trying to do both alone.

I'm going into the red to help other people and since the switch to the hour away clinic, the downhill debt flop has been rapid. Throw in the cost of flea treating each cat, gas, bait, a zillion other sudden emergency items, and my frugal ways have been unable to overcome the deficit of the last months.

Sometimes, you're just done. And done I am. I will use up the Albany cat grant. No sense wasting that.

I hope to contract out to other groups to trap. That way I have no obligation, as a sole agent does, for the cats and kittens without options run across in trapping. Those then are the responisiblity of the group I contract to for trapping.

I can do contractual trapping for expenses only, if need be, to get out of my tiny little space and see some new space (gas, lodging, bait). And if the group wants to trade me goods for my time and effort, that'd be just fine. That's how I ended up in the gorge, and came home with seven bags of Science Diet after I trapped 44 cats in a little over a day. Next time, I'd plan things a little better so as not to get totally exhausted, however.

18 Oregon High School Football Players Hospitalized With Rare Syndrome

Now, 18 in all, Oregon high school players at a football camp have been hospitalized with compartment syndrome in their triceps, which causes swelling and high creatine levels that can damage the kidneys, if not brought down.

It's rare for this to happen. Allegedly the workout was not vigorous, so the cause of so many players getting the syndrome seems mysterious. Click post title to see the story.

I'm sure they will figure it out. All the players except one seem to be recovering.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Two Males Fixed Yesterday

These two big boys were fixed yesterday, from the Albany apartment complex, making a total of seven fixed there. They think that's all the unfixed cats and I hope so. Getting these two big guys fixed should quiet the neighborhood considerably. The other five were a young black tux female, abandoned across the street, by some drug dealers, when they moved out (former renters' landlord said they were drug dealers and also id'ed the black tux as a cat their tenants left behind); a torbi female, also abandoned nearby, and her two black male kittens; a tabby on white female teen, also left behind by the drug dealers.

So there you have it, seven more abandoned cats fixed, at least. I also returned Laurel this morning. I didn't want to, but she has no hope of getting a home here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wake Up

I was just about to sleep, on my couch of course, and the phone rings. I'd checked on the big boys fixed today one last time. And the phone rings, after 11:30. Who in the world? I always think it's an emergency of some kind and my heart starts to pound.

Not. Some asshole, doesn't say anything, just blast indistinguishable rap. I can't hang up and have it stop, for some reason. I had to actually disconnect the phone at the outlet. I think that means whomever called is real close by, not sure though. So the number was an Albany cell. I call it. Guy's name is Dion Brietmeier, whoever that is. No answer though. I leave a message asking why he is harrassing me so late at night when I don't even know him. I ask "Are you drunk and bored?" Well anyhow.

I don't know anyone by that name.

Probably some drunk bored guy with an emphasis on drunk. No clue.

Well, at least with the two big males I think the apartment complex strays are done. I'm happy about that. One woman there wants to try to help find the kittens here homes. She's really smart. Researches everything. I'm going to give her some fliers to put up, if she can find places to post them. You never know.

After that darn phone call, I couldn't get back to sleep. I'm sure it's somebody playing games, but then I start to think it's a psychopath. There are lots of those too nowadays. Lots of people enjoy harming other people any way they can even if its calling them for sport to harrass them late at night. Well, it was probably just drunk young people.

Peko and Machi back. Two Big Males Fixed.

I had barely raced home from the Wilsonville clinic with the big apartment complex males caught last night, the last two thankfully, there, when the people arrived with the returning kittens. I'm sorry I can't see any ringworm. She said "Well put him in the sun, you'll see the light redness over one eye." Maybe it's my bad eyes.

They both have slight colds. She took them right to the vet when she got them, who vaccinated them with rabies vaccine. I would never do this. Kittens in a new situation need time to adjust. Stress depresses the immune system. Adding in a powerful vaccine, like rabies, really reduces the immune system. So then they both caught colds.

Anyhow, they're back, in the bathroom while I try to figure out if Peko really has ringworm or not. Peko has one little spot above one eye, not really broken out yet, but definitely a spot under his chin. Not the usual place I'd first see ringworm. Wonder if its one of the different species.

I've decided to publicly close down the cat rescue. I'm too far in debt, have too many cats here, and I can't find homes for them. Will keep trying but being able to say I'm shut down now might help people stop asking me to take more on. I'll try to work harder at finding homes for those here.

I bathed both Peko and Machi in miconizole shampoo, let it sit on them for ten minutes, then rinsed and blow dried. They absolutely LOVED being blow dried and rolled around for me to blow the warm air all over them. They're so funny and have grown so much since I saw them last. So Machi has ringworm starting on his feet. That I couldn't see until he was soaking wet, then I could see red spots through the white fur on his feet. Very early stage ringworm. Maybe i can stop it quickly, but it will probably end up on all the kittens. Oh my gosh, a rescuers worst nightmare, to happen in the fall, when kitten season is winding down. They'll be too big for anyone to want a month from now. Terrible thing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

End of the Line: Peko and Machi Returning

Peko broke out in ringworm. So the woman is bringing both back. Sad thing is, takes about ten days after exposure, so the kitten likely got it there. Trailers are notorious harborers of ringworm, especially in the carpets. They've been there one day shy of two weeks. But, if I wouldn't take them back, she was going to have them euthanized. It's barely showing, I guess, tiny line over one eye.

Now the kittens here will be exposed if it isn't already here somewhere. This is the end of the line for me. No more doing this.

I have been unable to find anything that flouresces green or looks like ringworm on the kittens here. Nonetheless I've been sponging their ears with vinegar, spraying their feet with miconizole. They're not happy about it, but I want to be sure. Tomorrow, the boys will have been gone two weeks. So, in all liklihood, Peko picked up spores there and, due to stress of moving, his immune system was depressed.

But, if she has spores in her trailer, and she was in here two weeks ago and handling all the kittens, that means there could be spores here, so I have to be ultra watchful.

It's just one of those things in this valley and with Oregon---fungi! We even eat and sell Oregon fungi--mushrooms. Fungi like Oregon. They like it alot and they love moist damp environments, like hay bales and straw stubble and even dust after the straw is turned under. Then the spores are kicked into the air during field burning or furrowing, like has been going on for the last few weeks in the valley. Bad time of year for dust and fungi spores floating around. Thank you grass seeders.

I've thought about taking my shoes off before coming in and making anyone entering do the same. Not just fungis travel on shoes, but also viruses. Spores can attach to clothing also and be brought in, blow around, and if they land on fertile soil, like a kittens' foot or ear or head, where there is less hair to protect the skin, well, the next thing you know, you have a ringworm outbreak. Ringworm is often taken into shelters on the clothing, hands or hair of people looking to adopt.

I didn't know the woman who adopted Peko and Machi had kids living with her. Guess her son is getting a divorce and moved in with his kids and his ex is already giving the woman hell for having a kitten with ringworm and her kids there.

I was over at that apartment complex where I trapped four, then took a tame teenager also to be fixed from the Hispanics across the street. Those all went to the Neuterscooter on a credit I had with them from doing work for them. For the seven cats, including Slurpy from Lebanon, to be fixed, I paid out $60 in cash, largely to pay for Slurpy to be tested and get a rabies shot, then eartips for the ferals from the apartment complex and pain meds for the females.

Across the street, the Hispanics, whose cat I got fixed last week, want me to find ways to get their relatives dogs fixed, too, but won't make the effort to keep their cats inside for long enough to catch the one remaining stray male, a big Lynx Point manx Siamese, abandoned also by someone at the complex. I finally put the Hispanics' male cat in my car, fed up with him going into the traps, fed up with the entitlement attitude of the Hispanics who I don't even think are legal citizens.

When they got back home, I asked them again to put their cats inside. I told them their male was in my car. "Oh, he can stay in your car then," the woman said cheerfully.

I replied, "I don't want him in my damn car. Put him in your house." So they took him inside and two minutes later plopped him out on the porch in a carrier, where he immediately began howling and rattling the door, defeating the purpose. I wanted to curse them in Spanish. I said nothing.

I'm beyond caring about anything anymore. I go through the motions of living but I'm pretty much dead too by now.

What people want is perfect kittens for nothing or they kill them. It's sad.

I sent an e-mail to the up and coming N. Albany people who contacted me about the strays their parents had fed for five years up there. I told them the long and short of the costs I had incurred trying to help them out. I asked, if they had not decided to wash their hands of this problem caused by their parents feeding but not fixing strays, because I can't with the three kittens still here, to let me know what they are willing to do. I told them about getting the call that the only one of the three I had found a home for is being returned and why.

People need to know the costs of their actions. They need to hear it bluntly and loudly.

Will I get a reply? I have no idea. My guess is I won't because he never responded again once I told him I trapped three of the four kittens and their mother.

But, if Peko has only one tiny line of ringworm and there is no evidence on the kittens here so far, maybe I contain this outbreak quickly. I mop and clean with vinegar, an acid, which kills fungus. I am also going to try something I thought of, since fungus and vinegar don't mix. I am going to find out, from the vet tomorrow, if cats and kittens can tolerate a little apple cidar vinegar, because, if they can, why not treat ringworm from the inside out with the substance fungus hates--acid!

I have not yet returned Laurel, the Lynx pt. Siamese female. She's tame, I discovered. The old woman who fed her, for three years I find out, through at least nine litters, without getting her fixed, causing massive problems in that area, was supposed to try to help find her a home, but I don't believe she will.

I now remember bringing in those two couches, after getting them at the neighbors garage sale. They're the ones moving out end of the month. Those couches had sat in their garage, for I don't know how long. What if they brought in spores? They could have.

Anyhow, I need to just suck it up and take Laurel back. I hate to, kills me, makes me angry at all these assholes out there, tears me up inside to know how badly she wants a home but to also know, there aren't homes out there even for all the kittens.

And still the assholes fill craigslist with their free unfixed kitten ads.

It will never end because there is a never ending supply of assholes being bred.

Goodbye Tabitha

Tabitha, Slurpy and Prancer, after I retrieved them back from Heartland the first time. Tabitha and Prancer went back to Heartland, once well, were spayed and Prancer was adopted out. Tabitha became ill again, following her spay, and, mid July, returned to me. She got over her cold and was adopted by a family leaving on vacation. I agreed to hold her as "their cat" until they returned, almost an entire month. Today, they came and got her. For all the work and money put into Tabitha, by me and by Heartland, the adoption donation I got? $20. Yup.

I remember up at the Lebanon trailer park, when Mom of Machi brought me her terribly dehydrated kittens, how the people on the porch of one trailer were talking, loudly, as drinking people often do, about how much money I"d be making off rescuing then selling those kittens. Inside myself, I wanted to lash out or laugh at their ignorance, born of justification of negligent behavior on their part. But I kept silent, knowing my words would be wasted.
This is beautiful smart Tabitha, prior to adoption, worth the effort, regardless of everything.
And this beautiful young Lynx Pt. Siamese, was Tabitha's mom. She was spayed and returned to the colony outside Lebanon. I trapped 41 cats there alone, to be fixed. 18 of those, the kittens, all ill, I took out never to return. Two of them, the bottle babes who laid in water 24 hours screaming, died, of hypothermia. The other 16 are still alive and most are now in homes. All were fixed prior to adoption so they, at least, will never begin a situation of suffering such as the one they lived in before they were saved from certain death.

Mickey's adoptor Sends me New Photo

Mickey, before I netted him, in the old car.
Brambles and Mickey, cuddled in a rabbit hutch in my spare bedroom.
Mickey now. He lives in Canada. Brambles remains here.

Mickey was one of the 90 or so cats I got fixed, feral and tame, on one short street off Knox Butte Drive a few years back. I saw him first in an old car some of the cats slept in. He was skinny and his eye was draining blood. It had ruptured. The cat had blood streaked along the white fur in his side, too. I got my net, and I netted Mickey.

His eye had to be removed. He'd grown up being fed by the old man but not handled by him. He and a buddy of his, Brambles, remained here. Brambles was a feral teen with severe herpes too and the vet said, if I took him back, he would die.

Actually most of the cats died there. Before I came along, the old man said he buried 30 or more every year. People dumped animals all the time there, and would move out of the shabby shacks and duplexes leaving their animals behind. Free roaming viscious dogs attacked the cats routinely, killing or maiming them. In two or three nights, a free roaming long hair golden retriever killed 17 more cats. The old man was like a zombie after those attacks, could barely take it. I got him to call the police, wasn't right, a dog doing this. The cops came but the officer called it a cat problem. I tried to redirect her over and over, tell her "Look, a dog came onto this man's private property and killed cats. Do your job."

Didn't help. So I sat out there nights, awake, in my car, with a piece of rebar. I was going to do the job that needed done on that dog.
But, I finally found the people who owned him, across the road and down a narrow dirt driveway. They were moving and he'd gotten loose. They said "So, what are you saying should happen to that dog, you want him shot?" I said "Hell, yes."

I don't think they shot him. I think they just moved on with him, to kill elsewhere.

The old man got a gun after that. A neighbor on another street who had had cats and other animals killed by viscious dogs advised him to get one, then to three-S the problem: shoot, shovel, shut up. The police are no help. They hold cats at no value. So he got a gun. He'd heard the screams the first night, opened his door and that dog was right on his porch. He'd slammed the door shut because the dog was wild eyed, he said. All the cats killed were shaken to death.

Mickey and Brambles were in my spare bedroom then. Brambles brothers were killed by the dog and so were two of Mickey's siblings.

I don't like going down that street. I did a few months ago, when once again back on the street of nightmares, as I dubbed it, to trap ten cats for an older couple. They had promised to pay for the fixes. They never paid a dime.

The old man said the 30 or so he had still cared for have died off or been killed one by one, leaving him feeding about 12. More viscious dog kills, too. It's nowhere anything alive should live. Most of the people are already dead for all practical purposes. When there is so much suffering going on around them and they act like its not there, that means they're dead.

The old man was the only human alive I met on that street. He paid a price for it too.

I rehomed a lot of cats, thankfully. I had a volunteer briefly, whose car ran well. She drove myself and Mickey all the way to the edge of the country of Canada. There, we met a former clown, current school teacher, who drove down from the country of Canada, crossed our shared border, and took Mickey home with her. Mickey is now a Canadian citizen and very very happy, see latest photo above.

That's him, on the bed, on the far left.

Mickey's video was one of the first I ever attempted to make and post on youtube, using my digital still camera. It's below.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fantasia Adoption Video

The two sisters are very bonded and do everything together.
Fantasia still nurses on Meesa, her mom.

Fantasia is very athletic and likes to hang upside down, for some reason, maybe because she looks slightly like a bat?

I am getting worried I won't be able to find Fantasia, Echo, Starry or Nemo homes, before they get to be teenagers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today's Disgusting Project

Disgusting project for today: rid myself of the stinky loveseat.

Now, I've had that loveseat almost since I moved in here. When I came here, I had virtually no furniture to fill such an expansive living space. My tow truck friends, whom I know from trapping cats at one place of business they've had to another and then at their residence property, found the loveseat beside a furniture store dumpster and brought it over.

The problem with having cats and get previously smelled up furniture is sometimes, they decide to mark over the previous smells. And that is what happened to this loveseat. I've wanted to get it out of here forever.

But I didn't. Same troubles. Can't afford dump prices.

But couches are all foam and wood. And I know a family who has an outdoor firepit in their backyard, and always are interested in discarded old wood, for their almost nightly sits around the campfire.

Last night, I took them the wood from the chair. Today, I'm taking them the wood from the love seat. I dismantled it and oh my gawd, I'm glad I did. It was stinky to the innards.

Getting rid of the foam and cloth outer cover isn't as easy. But it will go, piece by piece, in the garbage. It can't be re-used.

I've had too much to do lately. I injured one foot. I still have two black and blue toes from the bad shoe marathon hike. My hands are punctured and torn from getting rid of the chair, piece by piece. But these things must be done.

I got a short chair couch that pulls out into a single bed from the moving neighbors. And a leather couch from them also. They look a lot nicer than the old disgusting love seat and recliner. Out with the disgusting. In with the less disgusting.

I've worried, since the moving neighbors have cats, that the new used furniture will start a pee markover fest. So far, so good.

I got called by the old woman in Lebanon again. The feral Siamese mother I trapped over there, the latest that is, whose kittens I found by following her after I released her, has brought over four of the five kittens from the barn across the road. The fifth disappeared and the disappearance is probably related to why that next day, she marched the other four across the road to the old lady's place.

She wants the kittens fixed. Actually, she wanted me to take them but finally settled on getting them fixed. I told her I can't right now, that I still travel clear to Wilsonville with them, and that my car is making clanking noises, when I go over bumps. It's true. I have no idea what is wrong. I've tried to find what is wrong but I can't figure it out.

I also need at least two tires that aren't as bald as the two up front are now. Wrecking yard search time.

She also wanted once again to try to convert me to her brand of religion. She's set on that. It's always Jody the Infidel to the rescue of these in trouble Christians. But they still want to convert me to their kind. I resist. I tell them plainly that if their religion is so great how come their own people don't help them out. I think it's a valid arguement.

The Lebanon trailer park is full of professing Christians too busy going to church to take care of the cats they get or themselves. Then there was the memorable Albany woman with all the cats, all unfixed, who screamed at me for asking her to get her nine cats inside, so I could better trap the last five unfixed ones, even though she had a trap and could have easily gotten off her butt, if she could shut up long enough, and trapped them herself. She was always in church and wanted me to convert over to her church, which is a different church than either of the aforementioned. I told her to ask her fellow churchies to start helping their church members out, like her, instead of Jody the Infidel always coming to the rescue because something ain't quite right there.

I said to tell them to quit preaching and start doing something useful.

I remember the evangelics. I got a bunch of cats fixed there. They were animal abusers. They let one kid they were "mentoring" shoot the cats when they came to eat, with a .22, from the window. She told me herself that her sister, also an evangelical, loved kittens and then, when they got older, would kill them in horrible ways. I said, "So that's how Jesus would behave, eh? So you're talking to me about God, right and wrong, but on the other hand you're doing this kind of shit. You behave like serial killers, like monsters."

I said, "God help us all." She later told me she thought about that statement, the "what would Jesus do" line, and said I was right, that they should be kind to the animals. I am not convinced they changed. I think she said that to me for my sake. I'll believe her when I see them being kind to animals.

It's all about stopping the homosexuals over here, and baby killing abortionists, while their own kids rot on drugs, have babies with this or that guy or several different guys, grow up on welfare, or roam the streets at night smashing car windows, and they screw one another's best friend's girlfriend or boyfriend, and move from one trailer park to the next seedy apartment, purge and repeat, sucking beers and popping any pill they can get a doctor to prescribe.

I suppose it's too hard to resist the urge to bring a lost soul into each one's personal fold, a trophy to march into church with. I don't consider myself a lost soul. I won't be anybody's trophy.

So I told the old woman I'd be in touch. I hope to sneak out there after dark on a really really freezing night, too cold for an old woman to be out recruiting new church members, and catch those poor kittens then, to be fixed.

Corvallis Poet Charles Goodrich and Me

Charles Goodrich is a Corvallis poet (click post title) whose latest poetry book, "Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden" is on the poetry best seller list. I never knew there was a poetry book best seller list.

His book deserves the ranking and probably a higher ranking.

I don't really know him. When I was doing time in Corvallis, living in the projects, life for me was a stinky pit. Benton Plaza residents had nothing to do 24/7 and it showed. We were also the disdain of the community, the lowlifes, the scum, the rejects. We felt that, too. Inside that converted high rise hotel, we turned on each other, gossiped, had each other arrested, screwed each other, stole from each other, attacked each other and lived as what we knew we were.

Sometimes we'd sit on the park bench across from the hotel, in the shade of the courthouse. We talked about the county Gardener when we had nothing more to say about one another. His name was Charles Goodrich. We didn't know his name then. So we called him Mr. L.L. Bean. That's because he dressed in clothes that looked like they came straight out of a Bean catalogue. We sometimes called him the constant gardener too. We sometimes made up stories about what his life was like at home. We were ever so bored and desperate, you see.

I ran into Mr. Goodrich twice more in my life. One time, it was at a potluck to do in south town. I wasn't invited. The OSU security guard I knew, who lived in that area, was, however. I knew her because whenever there were cats loose on campus she'd call and want me to trap them. She invited me to the "to do", a neighborhood yearly potluck in a fabulously decored and elaborately gardened backyard.

I felt out of place at once. Corvallis, for all its diversity talk is class conscious, but in a different way, I think, than in most places. Their very liberal citizenry needs the lower classes to patronize, to look down upon, to be seen patting on the head, so they can feel good about themselves. That's how I see it.

I took a lot of abuse in Corvallis. Terrible things happened to me there. Justice? Not forthcoming, not even any support. You can be a white woman there and get beaten nearly to death on a psyche ward and nobody will raise an eyebrow. But if you are born to pick up a rifle or strap a bomb to yourself in another county, end up a prisoner at Gitmo and Corvallis residents get a whiff of your sob story, you'll have them demonstrating in the street. As long as its a distant rights violation or sad story. They want nothing of anything close up.

Anyhow, after years of crap in Corvallis, ending up uninvited at this fancy dandy south town yard potluck made me nervous as a bee trying to grab some pollen out from under a homeowner strapped into his chemical kill pack.

I ended up in the potluck line behind Charles Goodrich. I didn't want him to turn around. I would not know what to say to him. I knew he wouldn't remember me from the bench sitting in the court yard. But he might, I thought. I'd half escaped the mental health system by then. I'd tried to fight for justice after all the abuse in the mental health system but even the local paper editor at the time fought printing an essay I wrote and submitted about what I'd gone through.

There wasn't anything easy about being in the underclass in Corvallis especially if I wasn't kissing the feet of the right people or being a proper nod and smile peon. I did not exhibit proper peon behavior. For gosh sakes, I was a poor study.

I was at another free potluck once, put on by a group trying to start a local currency. At a vendor table, a family was giving away homemade "peace" buttons. The woman lost her son in the Iraq war and became extremely active, nationally, on peace issues. She was talking about the cost of war and all the money that could be saved if the US just quit involvement in war. I said "What would we do with all that money?" My question was tongue in cheek, because I know war takes a huge chunk of our country's taxpayer dollars. I wasn't inviting an answer.

But she gave me one. "Put it into social programs." I stared at her. My mind rolling over all I'd been through, in these revered social programs. I could not help myself. She obviously was ignorant on the subject. I said "Do you know what some of these social programs do to people?" Then I told her. I told her about being beaten and dumped out in a snow and ice storm. This made her uncomfortable. She didn't want to hear and immediately, as I was still talking, turned to talk to someone else. I tossed her "Peace" button back on the table and walked away.

I used to shop at the local True Value there. I chatted with and joked with the employees. The store was owned by a county commissioner and run by his son in law. They had a post office branch in the store, which I frequented.

One day, the employee manning the postal branch at the back of the store, accosted me when my turn came. He was furtive, eyes red, looked out of his mind worried. He said he had to talk to me right now, out behind the store and left his post it was so urgent. I thought he'd ask me something about cats, because that's all they knew about me there, I thought.

It wasn't about cats. He said he was in a bind, that he had a military reunion coming up and there was a bet on he had to win. He had to have a woman take photos of him in his underwear, and he wanted me to do it, that very night, after dark, but not at his house. He wanted me to meet him, and he'd drive me up to some god forsaken lake in Kings Valley where I would photograph him, in the dark no less, in his underwear. I went pale with disgust, with hurt because I knew he likely was going to rape and kill me, or that he owed somebody drug money, and as payment he was going to offer up me, for them to rape and kill. Nothing else crossed my mind except "danger" flashing and that he was asking me, because he figured I could disappear or be grossly harmed, and nobody would know the difference or care. My mind was reeling, racing. I needed a witness. I stalled. I told him I'd have to think about it. I got in my car, heart racing, trying to think who I could get to come back with me, how to do it. But then I couldn't function I was shaking in rage. I walked back into the store and very publicly yelled at him "NO! I'm not going to go out with you to some lake in the dark. I don't even know you." Then I went and told the manager.

The manager was initially sympathetic. He said he'd call the police and that no one should have to go through that when trying to mail a letter. But all this sympathy changed. He discovered I was a nobody and I figure, that they likely would not be sued by a nobody. He called me later to say the store employee admitted to what he'd told me, apologized to the manager (never to me) and that he had talked to the chief of police, with whom he was friends, who had told him I was mental case, and he said that fear of this guy was my mental problem. He derided me. So did his employees, defending the man as "a good guy".

I was so happy when the store went under. I drank a toast to the demise of the local True Value store, when I read they went under in the paper. When I saw the manager in a Christmas parade that year, our eyes met and my middle finger raised to meet his eyes. I never voted for that county commissioner again.

The poor and the disgusting exist solely to contrast with the rest of society, for their sake. I never caught on. At least not for a long time. I had by the time of the south town potluck into which I had intruded.

Mr. Goodrich was already a popular poet by then, having left behind the county job and had published his first chapbook "Insects of South Corvallis". Thankfully, standing in line behind him, he did not turn my way.

I used to go to writing groups. It is not easy to find one open. I wanted to be a writer back then. It was the only skill I had, back when I had nothing at all to be proud of, no family, no friends, and labeled like I was, stuck with a life of staring at walls alone and dodging the radar.

I tried to find an outlet. Wasn't easy. In the end, I gave up. The writing community is discerning, you see, in Corvallis. And by then, rubbing shoulders with normal people in middle and higher classes, who had jobs and friends, was something that made me so nervous I was unable to relax in their presence.

That brings me to the last time I met Charles Goodrich, which happens to also be the last time I ever went to a writing group.

I had decided I'd try one last time to join up with a writing group. They were meeting at a house in N. Corvallis. I was nervous, sure, but by this time I had left the mental health system and felt slightly worthy. After all, by then I had accomplished feats like trapping over 200 cats at one seed warehouse. There, I'd climbed pallet stacks to the ceiling, in the middle of the night, flashlight in my mouth to net kittens, suspended 50 feet up with no safety net! I'd crawl back down with them hissing and spitting, attached to me with their claws only.

But there were no cameras documenting my incredible feats. Only my heart knew the extent of my bravery.

Regardless, I thought it would shine out of my insides there, in that room cramped full of proper people doing writing exercise, led by the now locally adored Charles Goodrich. He'd just made a big speech. I hung on every word. He was advising not to assume a reader is stupid and over explain detail in a story. It was my turn then, to read what I wrote in the exercise. My stomach was queezing and my voice shaking. All eyes were on me.

And I blew it.

I'd written a short paragraph-long story as was the instruction. The story detailed an alien debate on an overpopulation problem and what was to be done about it. Only I didn't let on it was aliens debating or that they were talking about humans. I made it sound clear to the last it was about a cat overpopulation problem and how best should it be resolved, by killing them or TNR'ing them. Then I sprung the trick, that it was aliens discussing how best to control the destructive overpopulating humans.

None of them got it.

There were gasps of horror as I described first targeting the preggies.

Dead silence when I finished.

I hung my head, stared at my feet, blushed red, looked for a way out, asked to use the bathroom, instead slipped out the door.

That's how I "know" Charles Goodrich. I don't know him at all.

His poetry is excellent. Buy the book. You won't be sorry you did.

The Stupidity of Blind Hope

That darn reeking recliner. It had to go. But how to get rid of the thing. That was my problem.

I eyed it for days and schemed. Why not, I thought, save the money the dump charges, to dump it, which is about $25 minimum now, and make some money by scrapping that heavy steel frame.

I figured I'd make about $6 or $7 on it and some other scrap metal I had. I didn't check scrap prices. I just figured that's what I would get and I wanted that $6 or $7 badly, wanted it bad enough to blindly enthusiastically take on the knuckle skinning task of taking that darn chair apart.

I used an old kitchen knife, blade not sharp brand new, I'd guess, to cut away the cushions, then white sheet insulation and then, beyond that, black thin clothe stapled all over the chair's wood and metal frame. Everything was stapled together, with very long staples, that made the chair even harder to get apart, never mind the layers of "skin" also stapled to each other.

Two days, in the searing 100 degree heat, I was at it. I bloodied my hands trying to loosen bolts and poking myself through on staples.

Finally, I freed the main heavy metal frame and rejoiced. I loaded my car up with that, other metal and headed off to the metal recycler. 44 lbs it weighed in at. My take, for two days hard labor? $2.60. I wanted to cry. I wanted to collapse into the dirt there amongst piles of junked twisted American trash and sob.

When I cashed in at the office, I bemoaned two days of labor for such wage. The cashier was unimpressed with this and shoved a business flier, listing the metals and appliances they take, into my hand. She wouldn't take a no on it. I recycled their flier at home, in the red bin, immediately.

It's not that big a difference. What really was the big deal in my mind, of expecting $6.50 and getting $2.50? It's four bucks, for gosh sakes. Well, I can think of useful things to buy with $6.50. I could have bought one 40 lb. bag of wood pellet fuel, which I use for cat litter, with enough left over for a nice cup of coffee somewhere out, for a couple things.

For $2.50, I can't think of anything significant, weighty, bulky, see with my eyes this labor equaled that, piece of anything I can buy. I stuffed the two one dollar bills in my pocket and I don't know where they are now, mingled in, somewhere, loose change.

So the difference meant something. Not much, but something. It would have meant I wasn't as stupid as I turned out to be, knocking myself out, bloodying myself up, for loose change.

Blind hope is stupid. I have the bleeding hands to prove it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

One Fifth of Pakistan is Underwater

It's hard to fathom a flood that large or the suffering that must be going on there. Where will the people go and what will they do?

Will the Taliban be helping their own people? How about the Saudis? The Iranians? How about Al Qaida?

I bet America will be. I know America will be. We always do. It's who we are.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sam and Sig, Formerly Peko and Machi, Doing Great in New Home

I just talked to the woman on the coast who adopted Peko and Machi, now named Sam and Sig. They're doing great, she said. She's already had them to her vet. She's just a real responsible wonderful cat person and I'm so happy to have run into her at the right time. She's even had excitable loud grandkids there all weekend and the boys have run around playing with them. She is taken with Peko (Sam) and the way he flops limp when picked up. I told her, those three, from N. Albany, have ragdoll tendencies. She's a believer now.

The other two, Starry and Nemo, have decided I'm mom and that means sleeping against me and playing on top of me half the night. I don't have to discipline for such bad behavior. Miss Daisy and Electra do it for me. They are so outraged over active kittens horning in on their "me" at night, when I am theirs. I do not belong to the kittens, is written all over their faces, and "how dare I bring them into the bedroom which is theirs."

"Whatever," I say to them, with a look. But I am punished later for my sins.

Electra has this constantly swishing tail, especially when irritated over kittens invading her space. And yet that tail is irresistable to a playful kitten. I try to calm things by putting a blanket over Electra's switching tail, so the kittens won't pounce on it, thereby earning Electra's wrath and sometimes a swinging paw, claws out, which oft misses the wayward and quick reflexed kitten and hits me.

I woke with a scratch across my forehead. It didn't come from a kitten.

Most of the cats watch the kittens like middle aged people might watch young kids at a skate park, with a mix of jealousy, memories and awe. Some join in. Calamity, Honey and kitten lover Brambles get overly excited to see kittens here. Zach likes the kittens. Sam ignores them when he's not showing off his athletic skills in front of them. Teddy growls, jealous. Shaulin hisses and spits and tries to gain my attention. Buffy attacks her brother in displaced outrage. Mops attacks her back because he always does anyway.

Comet has come in, from spending most of his time in the cat yard, to enjoy the kittens. Feather moves out of their way. Angel tries to mother them. The kittens are drawn to Dex, but she just wants left alone and held by me. Poppy likes to play with them. Gretal has too many issues from her past to care one way or another. Mooki loves to play with anybody willing. Jade just loves kittens and would hang out with them over any adult. Matilda is still out in the cat yard and likes it there.

Cattyhop is still looking thin, but has gained some weight and I don't know what is going on with her. For awhile, she had diarrhea, but finally she's over it, and should start regaining. She's a manx, and came to me as a tiny kitten with squirting diarrhea and every now and then, she gets it back. She has only small issues with rumpyhood from lack of full spinal innervation due to manxhood. Manx cats are abnormal and should not be bred. That tail is needed by cats.

Tugs and Mums couldn't care less who they play with. Button and Tweetie are hanging in the cat yard, with the good weather. Shady likes the cat yard too, most of the time. Today, I had to net her. She needed her ears cleaned. She saw me watch her scratching her ears and knew right away what she was in for. She began her mournful "I'm being tortured to death" howls before I even went to get the net and continued them as Sam paced around her, worried for her, and I cleaned out her ears, then treated them with miticide and clipped her nails. Then she sat and howled some more, and I petted her and consoled her and fed her a treat, which she ate, then moved off to seek sympathy from Sam and Stinod, while howling mournfully, and looking back at me like I am the devil. Later she wanted petted by the devil, me, and held, and given more treats.

So the cats here are used to the in and outs, the rescues, the ragamuffins, the hissing mother ferals and their babies, here for sanctuary, a rest, a respite from the storm, before they return home, or are adopted out. They watch them come and watch them go and most are greeted like long lost friends, like family.

We all miss Peko and Machi, but we are also very happy they are gone, to be honest, and are in such a wonderful home now. Good luck, Sam and Sig. You don't really need it. You scored a great home.

Hotter Than Blazes and I am Bored

I am bored and it's hot. Very hot.

I started a new hobby. I look up people with the same name as me and try to contact them. So far, none of them have replied.

The recliner someone gave me, years ago, already very very used, and smelled up by their cats, needed out of here. I can't get used furniture from people who have had their own animals. It begins the pee marking.

Anyhow, it is too expensive to take a big old recliner to the dump. It would not fit in my car anyhow. So, I've had to take it apart. I recycle the metal parts, give the scrap wood to someone who has a wood stove and the rest is garbage material. I'm about half done and it's a pain in the butt but has to be accomplished that way. It was a hot day to start doing that job, in my garage, yesterday. But, I had to get going on it.

I got sick to my stomach last night. Probably from eating my own vegetables. I've been eating my garden food, tomatoes, beans, onions, lettuce, kale, collards, squash, etc. I didn't plant many plants but boy have they produced.

The squash plants took over the front yard with runners. Most of the acorn squash blooms at first did not get pollinated. No bees! Several other home gardeners I talked to had the same problem and were pollinating by hand.

So I tried that but also the dahlias started blooming and so did my catnip plants, which brought in a few bees and a few bees is all it took to pollinate the rest of the squash blossoms. I already ate most of the zucchini I got from my one plant and froze the rest. Now the acorns are coming in like crazy. I'll be cooking and freezing a lot of the squash meat. I plant squash because it gives bang for the buck. You get a lot of food for very little effort and space. Course I love the yellow bush beans, too.

It's supposed to be a hundred degrees again today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Great Post on Craiglist Pets Eugene!!!

Someone was whining about posts being flagged. The whiners got the following response from someone down there. One whiner had said those flagging the breeder and free kitten ads must be fat smokers with OR Trail cards in their pockets. Not! I love this response!

Flagger response

Date: 2010-08-14, 2:00PM PDT
Reply to: comm-3fq3r-1898999404@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]


A few things about me.

Not fat
No smoking!
No Oregon Trail card
2 lovely cats whom I love and are cared for very well
A fantastic job
Great kid
Wonderful husband
I also volunteer with an animal rescue and see what happens to these animals when they are no longer cute. I see what happens when people hoard animals, I see what happens when animals are dumped on the side of the road. I see a million kittens that could have been prevented with a $20 surgery. They sit in a cage most of the time just hoping someone will pick them up and take them home. Take them somewhere they can stretch out, somewhere they can lay in the sun and somewhere where they have a warm lap. Then I see people breeding on purpose, just to make money. You are irresponsible bastards and people who buy from them are no better. Hundreds of animals are in a cold metal cage waiting for love. You are making the problem worse. So fuck you.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Goodbye Little Tabby Boy

I got a call from a really wonderful potential adoptor, takes great care of her animals. Her own cat recently died. She came over, but Echo and Fantasia acted like brat girls confined suddenly to the spare bedroom. Feral mom, with her one hissy spitty boy, was hissing and spitting inside the rabbit hutch in the spare bedroom. Nemo and Starry were acting like their laid back super purry selves, even though Echo and Fantasia, mad about confinement in the bedroom suddenly, were growling at them and every now and then attacking them for good measure.

Boy, I thought, this doesn't look good for an adoption.

The super smart spoken for Tabitha would not leave the woman alone. Tabitha's brain power and curiosity impresses everyone. Tabitha is scheduled to leave the 19th. Slurpy, Tabitha's sister, was spayed Wednesday at the NS clinic. I had to have her spayed, because she is approaching four months of age and will go into heat. She has already started "slurping" again, which I knew would happen after spay. The vet suggested long term doxycycline treatment and so I have begun that. Three weeks, twice daily, but the vet is confident that will help. Am crossing fingers. Otherwise, she's going to end up a permanent here.

Anyhow, this woman wanted a very young kitten whom she could train to get along with her bird, who likes kittens. Even though she thought Nemo and Echo and Starry were adorable, she wanted a kitten much younger than they are, fearing they might hunt her bird.

I usually don't adopt out unfixed kittens. But when she spotted the super friendly little tabby boy, the opposing twin of his brother, the hissy spitty tabby kitten of feral Siamese mom, it was love. I knew she would get him fixed. She attempted to call her vet right from my place, to take him in right away but the office was closed.

I couldn't let this excellent home pass for this little boy, so off he went. It's a violation of my own policy, of not adopting out kittens unfixed, but rules are meant to be broken sometimes, when common sense should rule. This is a great home with a wonderful kind hearted woman and that little tabby boy, born in a boat, is lucky!

So am I. I am feeling really happy to find one kitten even, a home.

He's the one in the photo next to mom, in my last post. Now, he's moved on.

The Siamese Mom Fixed Yesterday

The hissy spitty Siamese mix mom, called Laurel by the woman who feeds her, was fixed yesterday. In exasperation, last night, over too many cats to care for, I put her two boys back in with her, even though one of them is just like her, hissy spitty beyond all reason. Must be genetic. The other little boy, in the photos with his mom, below, is the exact opposite and cannot seem to understand his mother's hostility nor his brothers'. I want to return her, so the one boy has a chance to learn socialization, but it's turned so darn hot, supposed to be 100 degrees today. I am hesitant. Maybe tonight.

None of the cats have long lives if allowed to free roam in that neighborhood. It's bad. Free roaming druggees, drunks and criminals everywhere. Free roaming vicious dogs, on occasion. But the worst of all, is the free roaming attitude of "we don't care about anything but ourselves." It's prevalent in the felony flats district. I don't know exactly how many cats I've gotten fixed in a five block area there. Tons! Not that far from where I trapped Laurel is where Tiny Tim flopped up the sidewalk, after being attacked by a dog, rear knee shattered. But the injury was old and nobody had taken it upon themselves to help him.

And at that place, Black Pearl was abandoned pregnant. I ran into the man of the couple who feeds those strays. I didn't recognize him. I've only seen him a couple times briefly. That's because I have to sit in my car to trap there. He wasn't present when I went into his utility room to net Meesa and her four kittens. Meesa is still here waiting for some sort of home option, where it might be safe to live, and so are two of her four kittens, Echo and Fantasia.

He said to me, when I ran into him last night and could not recall him, "You'd remember me if I was a cat." And that is probably true. He then said, "You got about 8 fixed for us in down town." I remembered then. I corrected him. I said, "Actually it was 24 cats, and I've still got three of them." The first time I trapped there was when their vet gave them my number and told them to get those cats they fed fixed. I trapped ten. All but one were big boys. The only girl was a torbi, and Meesa's sister.

Next time around, I trapped three more, again all boys. The next time I was there, was when they called wanting me to take Black Pearl and her kittens. They could have called when she was dumped pregnant, but they didn't. So I took in Black Pearl and her three kittens. I took in Tiny Tim and returned two other males I trapped, after they were fixed, including Meesa's only surviving kitten, from her very first litter, a black and white long hair male, a teen then. That was last November.

Meesa herself was thrown out with her three siblings a few houses down from there. I'd gotten a female cat fixed for a couple. They had a back bedroom waist high in trash and junk. Their cats kittens, four of them, lived in the trash there. I couldn't get to them. They promised to socialize them and call when they were big enough to be fixed. They never called. I left notes on their door, phone messages which were not returned and finally ran into the woman who told me the kittens scuttled out the back door and she figured the neighbors dogs killed them.

Except they weren't dead, they just moved down the block so they could eat, for gosh sakes. And went on to reproduce. Actually, only Meesa got the chance. I caught the torbi sister before she ever had that chance. The long hair orange tux male is fixed. But the fourth kitten, now almost two years old, a short hair orange tabby tux, I never caught. It isn't that easy there, to catch the cats. I have to sit in my car, use a remote control trap or the drop trap, because there are so many fixed ones. I just never got to it, was fed up with people who feed but won't get involved in fixing. Like the man I ran into last night.

He said "They're thinning out." And by that he means they're getting killed. Maybe that neighbor is killing them, that he gave permission to do so. I don't know. I'm just burned out from all this horror.

Not that far either from where Laurel was trapped I trapped cats another woman fed next to a disgusting boarding house full of drunks. That same property owner owned a small house behind the boarding house and that is where Hope lived, before she was abandoned with her kittens. She is the one whose eye was knocked from its socket in an act of blunt force trauma after which she retreated through the hole in the foundation and up through the hole in the floor inside the house where she'd lived with the asshole who left her behind. With her kittens. She knew me, from getting her spayed, so she came out to me, when I tapped on the window. It was a horrific sight, her eye, swollen so, and touching, to see her, still trying to care for her kittens, under such horrible circumstances, clinging to the only thing familiar, that wreck of a house.

I was her savior, the one she trusted in this mix of characters. I took four teen kittens from there also. 8 cats in all, including Hope and her kittens, who brought ringworm into my place. The cats were crawling, no, alive in fleas. Poppa's president still has three of those other four. I left four fixed adults. When I was back, trapping Laurel and her family members, I wandered by there, while traps were set at the other place, to remember the scene with Hope.

Same woman was on the porch of the boarding house and she was still drunk. New men, however, drunk and obnoxious. They told me the neighbor on the other side of the house of the woman who fed the four remaining cats hated the cats and killed them. I said "What?" The big drunk Mexican guy says, "What's the problem, they're dead now and who cares anyhow?"

"I do," I said. "I care. And you should too. But that bottle is all you care about."

The common denominator in most of these instances of animal neglect, abuse and abandonment is meth. I hate meth. I hate meth producers and dealers. Meth kills people and produces far reaching affects on everyone around the meth user, from kids to animals. Kids born to meth users are often damaged from birth. Meth users, the ones I've encountered, never are quite right again, even after years of abstinence. I've become very harsh in thoughts regarding meth producers and pushers. I think they should be executed or jailed for life. The damage they do is so far reaching, ruining even the next generation born to users.

I don't like to set foot in that neighborhood. It makes my stomach go tight and my skin to crawl and go cold. I don't like it at all. But I remember Hope and her kittens. I remember Black Pearl and Toby and Tiny Tim. They needed help and love and a kind hand to touch them. And I'm glad I did touch their lives. Very happy I touched their lives.

All in all, however, despite the traumas I go through, being affected as I am as witness to so much suffering in the cat and human worlds, I have a dream life, one I could never have imagined when deep inside my own horrors living within the mental health system.

I could never have imagined being in a position to be able to help so many cats and their people into better circumstances. I owe almost everything to the cats and to nonprofit Poppa Inc. Those people believed in me, were kind to me, supported me with their nonprofit's money when they didn't have to and still don't have to. I love them.

I work in frantic mode sometimes because most of my life was lost to the mental health system and its dark hole. I was hopeless then, with no hope of a better life, being told that by caseworkers, that this was my life, to accept it, to never dream of anything better. But I did dream.

Those decades were stolen from me and I can't ever get them back. I can't ever get what some might call a normal existence back for me, of having a family, a job, decent income, all that. So I'm doing what I can, for my community, for the people who live here, for the cats because it was the cats who saved me, who got me out of that hopeless existence inside the mental health system. I can never lose sight of that fact.

People have mocked me when I say that, that the cats saved me, and became my family, when I had no human on earth to turn to. However, it is true. They led me out of the darkness into the life I have now. When I stop to remember, I can only be grateful.

I could be dead. I would be dead if I had remained in "mental health care".

I need to ignore the hardships involved and continue on, with gratitude and humility.