Friday, January 14, 2011

Dead Ended

I am dog dead tired. Despite getting in so late last night, or rather, early this morning, I had to be up at 7:00 to get the five nursing home cats going to be fixed today at Heartland in separate traps, out of two rabbit hutches.

They were carted off to be fixed by a Corvallis woman involved.

So over on 34th street, a woman I've helped before says there are like ten more unfixed outside ones now.

There are still the five or six left to trap at the nursing home. And a couple at that campus colony.

It is highly important these cats all be fixed before kitten season.

I know some Millersburg people who now say a business nearby is feeding a mom and kittens, only sporadically. They got their number and I called them, but they did not return the call, about getting them all fixed. I've worked so hard and so many places in Millersburg, would hate to see things get out of control again.

Right now however, I have to sleep. I'm worn out. I have no bait left. I still have three nursing home cats in my garage, fixed through Poppa Inc. yesterday--the kitten, the black female and Littlest Fluffy, the brown tabby teen long hair male. I have to pick up the second kitten later on today once fixed, because Poppa has a volunteer to foster those two nursing home boys.

That will leave the culpable party, the woman who fed them but did not get them fixed, nine to care for until they are rehomed. That ain't bad. That's until the rest are trapped and I am hoping someone in Corvallis will step forward, since I"m now so broke from gas expenditures.

I don't have a lot of sympathy anymore for those who feed strays for years, without getting them fixed. There are so many programs in this part of Oregon to help accomplish that, that really there is no excuse. I just can't conjure up the sympathy anymore.

One woman helping said the woman who fed contributed by feeding the colony. I retorted she only made it worse by feeding them without fixing them. The Corvallis woman was defensive of the colony caretaker's behavior, saying she'd fixed many over the years.

The notion is nice, that they were "community cats" and that the community should take care of them and help get them fixed. This is a great concept, except the community isn't contributing to the expenses incurred in trapping them and getting them fixed. Not that I know of anyhow. I took a financial and labor exhaustion hit to help. That isn't a community helping. That's me shouldering most of the burden.

However, the concept is beautiful to think about if now only conceptual. I wish communities would band together to distribute the labor and expense of fixing and caring for "community cats" like these.

I don't feel any sense of community care over what's gone on with these cats, however. None at all. Maybe I will when better rested, maybe that glow will come of "community", but I don't think so. Not with the cash and time I laid out on these cats. It's always the same. Nice words in framing a problem and solution don't mean anything changes. It's too bad.

I want to catch the rest and get them fixed. I'd love it if the community got involved and helped, financially and with the labor of catching them. That would be so excellent and hopeful.

This colony is harder to trap because it's what I call hostile environment trapping. The cats were fed behind a business but the business didn't want them fed and hated the cats and those who fed them. They have to be relocated, which is terribly hard on feral cats, who do have a strong sense of community and family. Their family ties and friendships are broken when relocated seperately. It is terrible on them. It's hard on me to look at them and know their lives as they knew them are gone. Most relocations never work out.

People won't hold them for an extended period, keeping their litterboxes clean, and reassuring them, even though they will promise to do. They fail to understand how the cat must feel, being torn from all things familiar, and in many cases, beloved family members.

People also seem to think barn homes and country living is ideal for a feral cat, when in fact ferals in the country often live very short lives. Most country locations are over run in predators who kill them quickly and in horrible fashion. Or there are neighbors who shoot anything alive. Or free roaming dogs who kill cats. Or nearby country roads where people drive like demons.

So I don't like trapping a colony for relocation because most of those cats are usually dead cats walking. I don't like looking in their eyes and knowing. I hate it.

I did myself in over doing it. The location and driving time is a bitch, then having to hold them here, care for them, after getting home from trapping, and still transport the next day, cats to be fixed---the added labor on top of labor, the added expenses of driving, bait, food, litter, laundry...I did myself in.

What can I say in my defense, but it needed done. And it still needs done. If there is anyone local over in Corvallis who can help those Corvallis folks catch the rest, please, speak up. They need help getting the rest caught, then decent homes for those poor cats once fixed.

As for me, back to the community concept, that's all foreign fluffy wuffy mythological stuff to me. I lived a hard desperate life in Corvallis. There wasn't anybody sticking up for anybody else over there, in the circles I lived. I never felt any sense of community, just a sense of "every man, woman, child and stray cat for themselves", which I think is reality.

It's why I started helping strays. I was one myself without anybody backing me up. The strays need someone to have their back. That's why I sat out there behind that nursing home and probably will again. Somebody has to do it and I don't see any show of hands by people willing to do much of anything to help.

You know one of the worst things, trapping in a hostile environment? No bathroom. That's a killer. Hey, I am so tired I just am rambling away half heartedly. I was in a bitch mood this afternoon and now I feel guilty over that, but not that guilty. People should find a way to fix any cat they feed. They are going to reproduce. That will become a problem. The consequences always hit the cats hardest. I can whine and complain but I'm not laying up scared silly in some shed not knowing what is going to happen to me now.

Anyhow, the very first cat trapped there, was this handsome guy, being fixed today:

I took over the last two here, to Heartland, where the same Corvallis woman who picked up the cats this morning, I thought, was going to meet me, but I had gotten that mixed up. She had e-mailed the kitten would be ready at 4:00 p.m. So over I went, but actually, he hadn't been done. They were just in the middle of fixing the nursing home cats. The two all blacks were both girls, the skinny short hair being fairly old and probably had put out many litters. The brown tabby short hair also was a girl, while the pretty Himilayan and the second kitten were both boys. So in the eleven caught so far, there have four girls and seven boys.

I waited around about an hour and a half, and finally was able to return with the kitten. I did not know the Corvallis woman has to work until 8:00 and the colony caretaker didn't want to pick them up due to problems driving and night and claims the traps with cats in them are too heavy for her.

I hope she can at least bring empty traps back to me tomorrow. I am running on empty, exhuastion wise, but also money wise. The cost of gas has now, here in Oregon, gone over the $3 per gallon mark and in fact, is $3.19 per gallone most places. I had to borrow money to get gas today to get over to Corvallis.

The cost of gas makes taking cats up to be fixed a $16 round trip expense for me. If I have to come back, during the day, rather than hang out at the rest area, double the gas expense per cat transport trip.

Add in costs associated with back and forths to trap or pick up and it's quite high, just to catch/pick up cats and trasnport them to be fixed. Add in costs of bait and flea treatment for each cat, for me, and I'm hurting, man.

Inflation is killing a lot of people. I guess it's this month that the 14% increase in power rates takes effect. Likewise I think it's this month the sewer/water rates in this town are going up 7%.

When the costs of basic services go up, like energy, gas and water/sewer, businesses have to make ends meet paying these same costs and increase costs of goods. Catch 22.
The government says there's no inflation. That's just baloney. Everythings' gone up drastically.

I have fears living where I do about my car. If it breaks down while I'm driving it, what then? Being towed costs hundreds of dollars and it's usually towed to either a garage or wrecking yard, where holding it, even a day or two, racks you up more hundreds in fees. I tried to talk to my brother about my fears, that I have no way to pay for a tow, if I break down, or repairs, and what do I do when that happens. He shrugged off my fears as nothing, but they are real to me.

I worry about the car situation. I live in what is called a car dependent area, due to the distance to any grocery store. I didn't have a car for a long time when I lived in Corvallis. I had one for a short while, however, and I got inundated weekly with people begging rides, wanting me to take them here or there, grocery shopping, pets to the vet, etc.. It was nonstop. That car broke down and needed an expensive repair I could not afford. So I sold it.

If you don't have a car, you have to beg rides from anyone you can to get what you need. Isolation sets in. You're cut off from any recreation or visiting people. If you have a job or volunteer job, you lose it, if you can't get to work.

I know people in this section of town who don't have cars. Many resort to grocery shopping at the Circle K. Some take taxis once or twice a month to get groceries. Most beg rides off friends or family.

We live in a car necessary world. Our entire society structure is built on the premise of car transportation. It's too bad, because they're so expensive and oil comes at such a high cost.

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