Friday, September 30, 2011

Bad News for Those Kittens Fixed Yesterday

When I returned the three kittens to the trailer park, the ones I named Mowgli, Trixi and Menage, for records, once again the woman did not answer my knocks, but the note I'd put on her door was gone. I still didn't think too much of it. There was food on dishes on the porch. But a neighbor was out mowing. I asked him where she was.

Well, she was hauled off by the police a week ago or more, to a psyche ward. She'd had a complete breakdown, they said, would even lay on her back in the street.

She had too many dogs, four, they said, who would go in and out, through a door she created on the trailer and they'd trashed the trailer and one big dog killed a younger one.

So...she got another puppy.

She also had two or maybe three cats of her own. They were fixed. Then she fed the outside strays, a bobtail black tux male I got fixed a couple months back. A long hair calico, who is a stray, and whom I got fixed, then a tabby on white mother, who was the mom of the six kittens, five of whom are now fixed. I don't know what will become of them.

I knew she was under a lot of stress. I ran into her again there, when helping a woman who'd lost her cat some distance away, but who was convinced he is somewhere in that trailer park. Why? Because of about nine calls from residents claiming they have seen him.

I don't think the cat is there. No one who claims to have seen him has produced proof, like a cell phone photo.

Anyhow, I stopped in to talk to her, then a couple weeks later, came by to get some of her cats fixed, four at that time, the bobtail male, the calico and two of the six kittens.

She was under stress. She'd injured her back on the job, but now was going back, but as a secretary and she didn't know if she could handle that. She didn't know anything about being an office worker or secretary she said. She had some boyfriend whom, she confided, she was having trouble with, but I'm not sure what kind of trouble.

When she was hauled off, they confiscated her car, the neighbors said, because of some trouble with that during her breakdown. If they let her out, she'll have no income and the liklihood of her getting a job is probably zilch. She will be unable to pay rent there, where she has lived, or get around, without a car.

So what will happen to those cats? Her son hauled off the dogs. The new puppy, the neighbors say, they think went to a shelter. I'd already turned the three kittens loose, not that I could take on more here.

I first me this woman when she called me, wanting help with four or five cats who needed fixed. I was shocked to find her living in a little shed, next to her former house, which had burned partially and been declared dangerous because her husband was a big meth dealer, until he got cancer. Later, he died. She was clean then, at least she said she was. I remember she referred to her former friends as "white powder girls" and said she was trying to stay clear of them, but that her entire family had a terrible name with law enforcement in the area, due to her husbands meth dealings.

She had no running water or electricity in the shed, where she lived at that time, and cooked on a little one burner propane stove. Yet she wanted to get those cats fixed. So I took them in to be fixed.

Later, I encountered her at a notorious Albany complex, known for drugs and crime and she had more cats. Later still, she told me she'd moved to the trailer park, and that someone outside Safehaven, who wanted Safehaven to take their cats, instead paid her $100 to take the two. She was there for free dog food. I asked what happened to those two cats she'd taken and she said she didn't know because they ran off immediately. I was not happy with her.

Then I ran into her this last time, when looking for that lost cat. I got the four fixed then, and wanted to get the kittens mom fixed, plus the other four kittens I had not caught that first time. I caught only three, last week, of the unfixed four kittens left, and they were fixed yesterday. And now, they probably will have nobody to look out for them.

People can say what they want about her, her past, her meth producing husband, all that. I never met that person. I only met the person who deeply cared about animals, any and all, and was extremely kind to the unwanteds, to the best of her ability.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zonkered! 12 Albany Cats Fixed Today

I went down to the clinic early this morning with 12 Albany cats. Shortly after take off, one of the big males did a nasty poo job. Mr. MacT, an Albany stray back tux male, could have won a stinky poo grand prize. Joker, an all white male, from the CloverRidge area colony, would have come in second.

I got to the clinic in record time. I knew what I would do if stopped for speeding. I'd have the cop take a whiff of the inside of my car. I bet he or she then would have given me a sirens and lights high speed escort the rest of the way.

Was not pretty!

I took three in from the old couple. They are distraught over so many new ones being dumped, some with kittens.Napper, a white and black female, who had recently had kittens.
White boy Blanca. He does have a couple black spots on his back.Radio, brown tabby tux male, fixed today.

Two of those were males and one a female. The clinic told me, after her spay, that she had, very recently, had kittens. When I returned them this evening, myself and the old couple went looking. Suddenly I see two kittens, fat little things, about three weeks old, in a stall. By the time I find my way around into that stall, however, there's black and white female laid out in the muck nursing them. I grabbed them anyway, and showed them to the old couple. One boy and one girl. The girl hissed, which is so cute when they're that small. They're chubby kittens!

The old man tried to get me to take them, saying there's too many for us to feed. The old woman wasn't any happier. They're super nice though. I've gotten cats fixed twice before there. They don't last long. They get mowed down and chopped up in the farm machinery during grass seed harvest, they said, then cars kill them on the busy road.

These latest cats got dumped down the road. They said they first saw them all walking up the road together, six or eight of them. That's so mean of people to do that to cats.

Anyhow, I told them to take those kittens to Safehaven and just to keep trying, because maybe they have no fosterers one day and the next maybe they will.

So besides those three, a woman in town was feeding two stray big males, Mr. McT and Pips and she got both of those guys into carriers and they were fixed.Mr. MacTee!Pips!

Then I caught three more kittens at the N. Albany trailer park. I"d caught two awhile back. There were supposed to be six. I need to catch their mom. The woman who feeds was not home. I left her a note telling her I'd lost her phone number, then went ahead and trapped the three more there, since she wants it done.

Two were girls and one a boy.Menage, the boy, fixed today.Mowgli, the Maine Coon looking girl kitten, fixed today.Trixi, the calico kitten.

I also took in the Siamese mix female from the apartment complex. It was her sister who got damaged the last time I took cats up to the other clinic.Phoebe, the Siamese.

Then I took in a little torti an old woman, a former clown, took from some kids on the street.Baby, the former clowns' cat.

Last but not least, I took in two more from the Clover Ridge colony, a big boy, Joker, and little wild boy, Dusty, who had terrible tapeworms. His worm load was so bad I paid out ten bucks myself for him to be properly wormed. I asked them tonight to pay me back and they said they would. But didn't. So, well, hmmmm.

While down at the clinic, I trapped three cats the clinic wanted trapped, at two locations. They were all easy catches. They need some donated traps very badly.

I had time to drive to the Charleston harbor, which is not far from the clinic, and take some photos.

Harbor Seal in the water.
Dual allegiance.
Barnacles and algae on the docks.
Barnacles on a boat bow.

Harbor Seal in the water.
Sea lion on the docks.Cat on the harbor rocks.

Ear tipped cat at least.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Makes a Person Think its OK?

9:30 at night, I get a call. It's some Albany guy. He hates cats but has one going under his house. He staples the screens back on the vents but he claims the cat pulls them off and goes back under. I tell him there are probably kittens under there.

He wants me to solve this for him, but keeps going on and on about hating cats.

How dare he?

The self-centered leech. Calling me up this late to demand I solve his problem and take any cats. The self-centered fricking leech. I'd already told him this county is over run in lousy mean irresponsible neglectful people. I tell him to solve his own problems and hang up.

He calls back, asking how he had offended me, and I tell him exactly how he accomplished that. I said how dare you call me, late at night, a volunteer who works so hard to help cats. He knows I love them. How dare he violate my night with his talk and his selfish demands and his hatred of cats, spewed out to someone who loves cats. How dare he?

That's not nice. Why do people think they can call a volunteer late like that, wanting their problems solved, no pay involved. He'd been on my petfinder site, which states very clearly I don't take in cats from the public. Why do people read that and think that does not apply to them?

I want to run away.

Now my mind is littered in empathy for that poor cat, taking refuge, probably with kittens, in the lions den.

I can't take in more. I haven't had any luck finding homes for the ones I have already.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is This an Idiot or What?

madeline, sealpoint siamese needs mate (albany)
Date: 2011-09-26, 6:17PM PDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

my gorgeous female, sealpoint siamese would love to have a boyfriend.. if you have an un-altered male siamese(any kind, short-med. haired)or, burmese, 2-4yrs. old(so they will play together) please, call susanna@541 2860741, after 12 noon. thank you, so much. if interested, when she has her only litter, you may have one of the kittens.

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

PostingID: 2619255734

Marketing Cats on Twitter?

My latest fumbling attempt at rescued cat and kitten marketing revolves around Twitter.

I've been searching out accounts in this area, then "following" them. If they follow me back, then they get my tweets which include cute fuzzy photos and stories of cats who need homes.

If I find even one or two cats a home in this manner, will be worth the time consuming task of going through thousands of local twitter accounts and trying to not follow the spam accounts.

I'm not very up on this stuff, but can't hurt to try.

My brother is going to have a tree guy come and cut off the bad branches above the cat wire, so I won't have to mess with re attaching it, which is super wonderful, given my current neck issues.

I so far have only two for sure cats lined up for the next trip to the clinic, but have three places I"m going to try to trap for the clinic. Hard to be in three places at once, however, which is the downside of all eggs in one basket (one day sporadic trips) to fixing clinics. No more can I say to myself, "If I don't get her tonight, I can catch her tomorrow and run her up to be fixed." Nope. Those days are long gone.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cheap Toy Cat (another Miss Daisy Vid)

I've discovered cheap thrills lately. The cost of everything, especially gas, means I don't get out much.

For exercise, I do catercize, lifting cats as weights to music. Valentino is my most hefty and therefore most catercize worthy cat, but his rolly polly belly makes him awkward to use in weight lifting catercize maneuvers.

I practice the cat hop routinely too, for exercise and necessity.

The litter box stoop also helps keep my back muscles in shape. I wonder how many calories I burn scooping litter boxes.

I don't watch much TV anymore. I can't find anything worth watching. Until....last night. I stumbled upon a PBS British comedy "The Children". It is funny and twisted and I am already hooked.

I also travel via google maps and street view. I've become quite the street view voyeur I'm afraid.

Tree Help Cancels

Here's why I know the maple is coming down, one way or another.On the side to which it leans, a crack has appeared below where the two heaviest branches split off the main trunk, which is also split to the bottom. You can see the cracks if you look closely.
The lower branch is about to go, I fear, and when it does, it will destroy my fence, allowing any cat out there to escape or killing some.
The tree is cracked all the way to its base and in this photo, sap is draining out the bottom. Also a problem, the trunk at the base of the leaning side of the split, is only a quarter the width of the diameter of the tree at the base, meaning that side with the wieght of those branches, can be gone at any moment. It's a time bomb.

Tree is too big, was the reply, after I sent the Portland cat people photos, somebody might get hurt. Which is true.

So it's off. I told her that's fine and it's not their problem anyhow.

To cut off the big branches, not take the tree down, just cut the branches that are leaning off at the top of the cat wire, so that doesn't even have to come down, the cheapest local quote, my brother said, was $700. That's more than it cost to take down the entire damaged Cottonwood, which was massive. These branches, are no more than a few inches in diameter, the biggest maybe seven or eight inches. The problem is their length, and the off branching of many smaller branches too.

You can climb a Cottonwood with spiked boots and a strap. You can't climb a wobbly maple with no huge trunk to spike into. You have to use a cherry picker if the tree lies in a crowded compacted suburb. Therein lies the excessive cost. And the danger.

Those thin diameter branches, being maple, are still heavy. They're long and split easily if cut into from the wieght of leaves and off branches farther up and out. They can still take out a fence, or damage a roof, tear off gutters, destroy plants and yard adornments, with ease, when they fall, if not brought down safely and deftly.

I don't think this is a normal tree. The branches on both maples often split out, forming a V, where they split and grow out and on from the V. The V's gather debris, which rots, and also acts as a wedge, forcing the V apart and introducing stress and rot. These are not good trees.

They have offered delightful shade, but they are like inbred or something, doomed from birth, the way they grow.

It is frustrating to me, to have a bad neck, and be unable to stop the inevitable by working to take down some of the really heavy branches and to not have the hundreds upon hundreds of dollars these local tree companies charge for such work.

I've told my brother about it many times, including this morning, but I don't think he has the money either. I feel embarrassed to even suggest he do it, since I live here and should take care of this myself somehow.

I like this house but maintaining it is beyond my financial and physical capacity.

Maybe the tree won't fall at all. I hope I'm a really lousy judge of bad trees.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two Dinners!

Last night I had dinner with one of my long time Corvallis friends. It was very good to spend some time with her. She is very sad about a cat who died recently of hers, Blackie, of kidney failure.

For a time, she took her in, for sub cu fluids and treatment, but Blackie hated it and fought her over it, and finally she let her be. She was diagnosed in May and lasted until last week. Blackie originates from the river front in Corvallis, one of the cats I trapped, fed by an old woman.

When I was trapping them, my friend came along and was parked in front of me in her mini van. It was only about 8:00 p.m. but along came the Corvallis police. They pulled in behind me, in my old car, which scared me because of previous encounters with the police. I couldn't see them anymore and suddenly one was shining his light into my eyes and asking what the hell I was doing.

It should have been really apparent. There were traps in the back of my car and one outside the car beside it. I'd been harassed recently by Corvallis police while trapping, which is why my friend would not let me trap alone in Corvallis.

They wanted my hands on the dash, the whole thing and claimed only murderers and robbers parked down here. I tried to be funny. I said "How'd you miss the mini van up front there?" I said that because I knew I was being targeted again. My whole car smelled like mackerel which I was using for bait.

My friend tried to get out of her car and come back but the police yelled at her like she was a big threat and told her to get back in the car.

Anyhow, finally they left and I was shaken up again, but did trap that kitten. After that, I was really scared to trap cats in Corvallis without witnesses with me, but because of the police. That's doesn't seem right. The police over here in Albany by contrast seem really helpful and if they contact me when out somewhere alone in the dark, trapping, when they find out what I'm doing they'll even say 'thank you'. That is really a wonderful thing, and makes me happy and feel respected.

R.I.P. Blackie. That leaves only three river cats still alive. They were my family when I lived, sometimes homeless, along the river in Corvallis. I still have Vision here, the grand daughter of Captain Courageous, the angel of the river. And my friend still has Scratch, Captain Courageous' sister and she has HalfnHalf, from the Mater Engineering Alley colony.

They're old cats now, all of them, very old, ancient as the river itself, tough as nails, happy as clams.

I had to tell my friend Adair has died. Adair was one of six cats I trapped in Adair Village, fed by my friend and a couple other people, abandoned by Adair residents. A Fish and Wildlife person happened along and saw those cats and immediately began complaining to the county over the birds they might possibly kill.

I asked my friend if that F&W person also complained miserably about the Frisbee golf course park that took out a lot of bird habitat and she said "not to her knowledge". It's always that way. Things, developments, activities that kill massive numbers of birds are overlooked by these complainers and they focus on killing a handful of pathetic out caste cats tossed like garbage.

Adair and Big Ben, both tame and wonderful abandoned males, were FIV positive. Poppa Inc.'s president, the saint, took them in. Adair got cancer and went to a better place, free of pain and assholes, two days ago. Adair, up at Poppa Inc. president Keni's place.

I stopped in tonight at the Mormon sisters place, just in time for pizza and they immediately welcomed me in and offered me some, even though I arrived unannounced. Their mother lives with them now. She used to live with another sister and her husband, but that sister got early onset Alzheimer's, which runs in their family, and her husband and her moved back east, to their home territory, where she grew up, so she could be closer to her adult children.

So mom lives with the other two sisters now. Another sister and her husband, who live in Lebanon, were there tonight also. I have come to love the entire family like my own. It was really good pizza!

No, they haven't converted me to Mormonism, or even tried. They know I'm a heathen and always will be.

Also I know people who go to all different churches. I know Catholics and Baptists and Lutherans and even Muslims. They can believe what they want. I like people or don't like people for different reasons than what church they might attend.

I am posting photos of the cat house I just finished, remodeled from one built by that Albany business, but there was no way it was usable as built. The bottom, made of particle board, was not even painted. It was not insulated either. Anyhow, long over haul.

For insulation this time I used pieces of the foam cushions from a couch I took apart. I painted and used old fence boards to cover the insulation and for the bottom. I used cut in half plastic planters as covers for the entrance and exit holes. This unit I gave to the cat feeder on the Albany street of strays.

Looking down into the inside, after I covered the insulation layer with old fence boards and added a shelf.

Also I forgot to say, my tow truck friends let me go through the back of an old truck at the wrecking yard and pick out a bunch of bottles and cans. They'd been there awhile and some had labels so faded the bar code would not register, I knew. But still, I picked a lot of cans and bottles out of there. Got half a tank of gas out of that, after returning them for deposit.

I am attracted to wrecking yards. To see those wrecked out trashed cars, trucks, boats, RV's, row after row of them, to wonder how they came to be owned in the first place, someone bought that vehicle with pride and what money they had. Who and where are they now? Then to see them now, rotted, wrecked out, sometimes full of trash, some just shells, and then to wonder about the story each could tell.

They're corpses in various states of decay and wrecking yards are cemeteries.

I wander among them and sense histories passing, friendly chatter and the laughter of children when I pass this one, screaming and fighting, the smashing glass when I touch that one. What might have been before, the roads traveled, the sights seen, the occupants and their lives, as they age, live and love, laughing, crying, yelling, and finally, this twisted metal and the end of a sequence, like a scene ends in a play with a characters death. But then the play goes on.

What mysteries and stories reside deep within the past of these twisted shells. If I could only speak their language and unlock the living intersecting tales.

I went to Corvallis today. I wanted to post cat adoption fliers, which I did. I was also going to attend the Fall Festival and listen to the bands. I walked around and looked at the booths full of fabulous crafts and art of all kinds. There is no lack of creativity exhibited at the Fall Festival. There were beautiful crafted items of all kinds. But I had not checked the football schedule.

Why? Because I'm not into football. I should be, because of the traffic snarls home games create both in Corvallis and on every freeway and highway when the Ducks or Beavers play homes games. I forget every year. I got in the fray of extreme traffic exiting Corvallis when the Beavers once again lost a football game at home. Then comes the patience thing, because you just have to wait it out. Nothing else one can do.

I hope the fliers produce some calls. I made two different fliers, one advertises Rumby, Pebbles and Suri and the other--Sage.

It's really too much to dream about, but I do really wish I could find some magical person who would desire to adopt all three VV colony kittens still here. Would that not be absolutely wonderful?

Well, I lucked out with that Corvallis couple who adopted Kenji, Pepper and Peter Piper!!! So they're out there. It's not totally impossible.

My big problem in adopting out cats is marketing. I have to market them better. I have some great cats here. I need to study up on marketing.

I still hope that grass seed farm I helped out will take a few of the business cats. The problem with warehouses that have cats is workers talk, tell their friends, or just mention it to friends, and then assholes go out in the night and dump their unwanted cats. So they end up with more.

I don't regret getting them fixed out there, because the kittens landing all over the place, and then reproducing with the people who took them in, creating a bigger peripheal problem.

I've always seen the cat problem as supply and demand. Reduce the supply of unwanted cats and kittens through targeted spay neuter efforts and you get more demand for rescued cats and kittens, sitting in shelters waiting.

Thought I could make a bigger dent by now, and really increase adoptions for everybody in this area in so doing.

The people who took in the sister of the Siamese teenager who ended up in trouble after spay, with the last group I took up to the Wilsonville clinic, they called me, wanting her fixed. I couldn't believe it and was happy.

Those two, plus an orange male kitten, were offspring of a female owned by another tenant. He had four unfixed females. I got them fixed but the kittens were too small and when I checked back, he had handed out the two girls to other tenants. I got the boy fixed, then the one Siamese, who had the problems. And now, the other will be fixed before she ends up also producing more cats there. I filled all my traps too there, into the night, catching five stray males, roamed in to impregnate the man's females. They too were fixed. This woman when she called said she didn't see any more unfixed strays roaming. That is at least a bit of good news.

The cats there, most of them, never will see a vet again, although I usually give the owners a hand out about vaccinations and the four most common parasites. I always hope they'll take their cats for checkups and vaccinations. Nobody has any money.

There's another spot I see different cats all the time, outside this one house, along a street. Normally, I'd stop and talk to them, but it's been harder lately, since I can't take the cats in immediately if they need help getting them fixed.

I am wary now of trapping, because so many people expect me to take them away and not bring them back, and if I get involved at all, I start getting weak, feeling so sorry for the unwanted cats. But if I don't at least get them fixed, this leads to those cats breeding and the problem just expanding.

I wish there was an answer. This is a widespread issue among cat trappers--what to do with the kittens or tame strays, when no shelter will take them in. It'd be so nice to combine efforts with a hot shit shelter that would immediately tackle getting feral kittens tamed, fixed and adopted out, or other unwanteds, working with those doing the door to door round up, so that the cat wrangler doesn't also end up burdened with adoptions.

Many cat trappers, doing massive service to their communities and to the shelters by reducing the numbers brought through their doors, have had to stop, because of this exact problem. I'm one of them. I've scaled way back on round ups in attempts to figure out a solution on finding homes for the cats here.

I heard from another couple in Albany, advertising a cat they'd found, who also get cats fixed and have taken in many many strays. Sound very nice.

I don't know what is going on with that NE Albany colony. I took in three of their cats to be fixed, then returned them. Then helped them catch ten more, that they took to an FCCO clinic to be fixed. I told them about going down the last time, but they never caught any others. There were seven or eight more adults and hordes of kittens still needing fixed between the two houses. Maybe they took another load up to the FCCO clinic. They were quite enthusiastic about the program after that trip.

Many of the very young kittens living outside the other house involved were really ill, with gunked shut eyes, and just a cardboard box to sleep in. No towel even in the box.

I also ran into some guy, who lives on a street near Heatherdale Trailer park. He said he was like me two decades ago, and took in maybe 2000 cats to be fixed from a four block area over there in about ten years time. He said, in the end, he didn't care if the cat was owned or not, he got so disgusted with people and would just get it fixed. Also in the end, he and his wife gave it up.

VV Colony Kittens Still Here, Waiting for Homes--Rumby, Suri and Pebbles

If you know anyone wishing to adopt a pair or triplet of kittens, these are the kittens for them. I very much want to find them homes or a home quickly.
Cousins happy to be back together. Pebbles and Suri.
The cousins quickly reunited once Suri was returned and once again dominate the house, as a wild hard playing hard sleeping pair. Rumby, by comparison, is mild natured in his play.

Kitty Photos

Rumby sniffs out cat treats.
Rumby, looking crazy.
Suri, after her return.
Panda, from Lebanon.
Starry, from the N. Albany wetland.
Starr, Teddy's sister, is a large and gorgeous cat.
Teddy, formerly of the homeless camp, looking regal.
Comet, originally from Heatherdale trailer park.