Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Ending Kitty

Here he is, in his new home, as of this afternoon, and already acting like he owns the place, sleeping on their laps, and following them around.

I called him The Guardian, the big black male cat, tame and already neutered, living with ferals. But he so badly wanted a home. An old couple walk by that ramshackle property, where a trailer once sat, before it was demolished, after the woman who lived there moved and left 15 odd cats behind and two dogs. They walk by daily, on their walk. They saw the cats. At first, they thought all of them were wild. Until they met the Guardian.

The woman who took the dogs, after the other woman who had lived in the trailer abandoned them and the cats, kept feeding the cats. I came along and got them fixed and found all those homes. Except Sam and Oci, who are still with me.

Then more were dumped a tame male, and a tame female with one kitten. I got them fixed and the feeder's mom took in the mother and kitten.

But the feeder woman never called about the latest batch. It took an older couple, the daily walkers, who read a letter I wrote in the newspaper then contacted me.

It was they who discovered the black male was tame. They began petting him, then holding him. He did not want them to leave him when they'd go on with their walk. Meanwhile, I trapped the rest and got them fixed. 8 more so far.

The couple hounded me with guilt over the male who so much wants a home. I asked them to take him in. They had lots of excuses. They were "free" now to travel after their elderly cat died, but oh how they miss him. On and on, the excuses, getting lamer, weaker, as time passed. I put an ad in the paper and forwarded responses to them, for them to make the decision.

That did it. Today, after the ad had run only 1 1/2 days, she said tomorrow is her birthday and her husband told her they were bringing him home, sharing their home with him. She is ecstatic. I knew they love him. And he begs them to take him home, grabbing them around their legs, or neck, begging with everything he's got.

Bart has the best home ever!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Could Not Do It

I could not sign up with the one dental clinic in the mid valley accepting my insurance. I had a terrible experience there way over a decade ago, and I got scared talking to them.

Number one, the receptionist said they didn't need records from my old dentist. Huh?

Number two, they told me one dentist there had previously practiced elsewhere. I was asking how long the dentists there had been with them. And yet, I had already found online she graduated last spring from dental school.

After the receptionist wanted my insurance ID number for the 5th time, I disengaged, trembling, told them if I wanted to sign up with them, I'd call them back later. But I won't be calling them back.

It is just pouring here in Oregon, raining buckets! No good for trapping at all. No good for much of anything.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Change is Good

What do you think of my template change? Stunning, is it not, what black does for a background?

I like it. Yes, am bored tonight.

Rain is pounding Oregon. Not much one can do about it or in it.

I seem to have lost all my links in the change. Will need a redo.

When I changed the template, I looked at stats. I had never before looked.

In all the time this blog has been around, it has had 150k page views. That is not many, considering most of those were probably me. I don't mind much, although it does tell me not to bother writing a book about cat rescue experiences. Speaking of grand schemes to exit poverty, I submitted an invention to a website today. I doubt it will get chosen for further consideration. Dreams die hard. For some reason, I'd like to become unpoor for even a short spell before I die.

My options to achieve that are slimming down.

I've thought about writing a book about what I wish I'd done in my life. Now that might be interesting.

I figure the thing you have to do if you're writing your life story is to start with the end and work backwards.

Like, the end of my book would be my death. I could come up with some doozy ways to knock off. Reality however will probably be dull: routine car accident, skids off icy road, strange, they found 14 cats in carriers in the car with her. Or, cause of death--electrocution. Looks like she was changing out an outlet hot for some reason, didn't turn off the juice first. Ahhh, look, cat pee probably shorted it out. Might have become distracted. Look, she's still got the red wire clamped in one hand and the black one in the other. Sad they never found her for so long and those cats of hers starving so bad they took to eating off her, boy....too bad the neighbor has a smell disorder or she'dve been found a little sooner.

Or, what in the world was this woman doing up in the rafters of her garage at midnight naked? You'd think she was going after a cat up a tree or something.

There are lots of interesting ways to kill yourself off if its your own book and you've got the say so.

Or how about the usual dull, "She died peacefully in her sleep." With an add on, "but then her cats took to dining on her dead body. She don't look so peaceful anymore."

From death, I can work backwards in my life story and change what I want, and see where I should have been where to avoid getting nowhere, like where I am now. If that makes sense. Could be a learning experience.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Got Big Bucks? Get Your Cat a Wheel!

Click the post title to go to the Cat Wheel company. They make cat wheels, like hamster cage wheels, for cats to run on. But you better have bucks. They cost over $400 with shipping.

Here's a home made cat wheel.

And another.

And here is a small one made from two plastic garden containers and a large lazy susan!

Cozy Christmas

I don't want Christmas to be over. I love the lights. I love the coziness of my lighted tree and decorations and the lights outside I hung with care from my eaves!

I know lots of people don't like Christmas for various reasons. I love Christmas. I love hearing from people I haven't heard from in ages or hear from just at Christmas. I love getting cards. I love the chocolate. I love the lights and general goodwill feelings. I love watching the same old movies, like "It's a Wonderful Life", "Grinch", both the animated and Jim Carey versions, "The Polar Express", "Christmas Vacation". I just love Christmas.

I have been making a cat house, a fort type cat house, out of eave pieces thrown out in Millersburg. I figured I wouldn't alter them much, just use them as sides to a slanted cat house, insulate those eaves, cover the open side, add a bottom, back, front and roof. I have been busy, so I never finished it, but am doing so now.Here's the Slanted Eave House. All it needs is a roof and shelf. Be done then, just have to deliver.
These are the eave pieces given me as scrap out in Millersburg. I have four. Two have become an almost finished Fort Knox type Slanted Eave House for cats.
Jade, also formerly of Millersburg. Jade is a peacemaker, the sweetest little girl! She loves Sam, tries to stop bullying, runs to any cat expressing anxiety or angst. Jade is wonderful.
Valentino!Calamity, orignally trapped on Lyons street, a few blocks from my house, where I got many cats fixed. She was one of three kittens born to a thrown out mom, who is now fixed. One kitten was killed before I trapped the two sisters, one of whom got a home. Calamity didn't and remains here. She torments Fantasia, attacking her in the litterbox, which has led to some litterbox issues with Fantasia. I didn't realize this was going on for awhile, and was angry with Fantasia for outside litterbox peeing.

This turns out to be a rather common bullying tactic with cats, to attack other cats while they use the litterbox. It leads to out of litterbox peeing. I had no clue before having so many. Now I watch for this behavior and isolate the bully for awhile.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gretal Gets her Teeth Gone

She's bacccckkkkk! Last four teeth are gone. My pockets are empty but the bill is paid.

She's feeling good on pain medication from the vet.

No howling right now! Now, a week on antibiotics and let's hope this is done with.

I'm going to make jewelry from her canines. From Val's too. I still have them.

Trap Fix

Lovely Valentino sleeps in the December sun!

I promised the old couple on the edge of Albany I'd fix their broken trap. Need to quite doing all these things for everybody else, I know. Anyhow, got it fixed today.

It had multiple problems. The stop latch that drops down from the top of the trap, to keep the vertical door piece in place when the trap is closed was bent and cats could bust out. But also missing, the plate at the base of the door, that keeps the spring that flips up the vertical piece of the door, when the trap springs, contained.

What to do. I fabricated a plate. That's a fancy word to say I cut a piece of tin to fit and drilled three holes in it and screwed it to slant metal part of the door over one end of the spring that flips up the vertical piece of the door. Without it, the force against the vertical piece when the trap springs is significant and would fling it against the drop down latch, which was also compromised and on! Allowing the cat to escape.The home made metal plate to keep the spring in place, made from roof tin I had from the Habitat Store.

So I took off the top drop down latch too and pounded it out with a hammer against a brick and the floor and used pliers and reshaped it before putting it back on. Re shaped drop down latch.

For good measure I fashioned a door catch wire, to keep the front vertical piece in place when the trap springs. If I had a welder, all these fixes would have been better and much easier. But oh well. My methods are crude but the results are good. It works.The new wire I added to keep the front part of the door in place when the trap springs.

Gretal is doing fine in surgery. Her teeth were pulled. Vet said her gums looked good and we all hope this is what is bothering her and she will be ok. She is a cat who does not tolerate mouth pain well. The vet gave a big break on pulling the canines, in price, so that is helpful.

All I want to do right now is sleep, after the night of howling and yowling!

Gretal the Howler

Gretal has been staying in my bathroom much of the time for the last week, so I can give her sub cu fluids and antibiotics and force feed her. This has not been easy. She is a headstrong kitty and does not like to be confined.

Once she started looking better, with the antibiotics and fluids helping her, I would let her out of the bathroom at night, so I could sleep. She would come out and immediately wander around meowing until she could find her best friends--Brambles, Soloman, Poppy and Shady.

Then I would put her back into the bathroom in the morning, to get her fluids, food and antibiotics. Last night, she had to be in the bathroom because she's going to the vet this morning. This was not an easy night. That cat can howl!

She did howl. Then she would tear at the bottom of the bathroom door trying to dig her way out. I finally went in and put water along the door to try to keep her from the digging at the crack under the door. She's no weakling.

I'm so happy today is the day, to get this over and done with. Sure, she'll have to stay in the bathroom a few days afterwards for her antibiotics and pain meds. But the end is in sight, for me and for Gretal.

Bad teeth are no fun for anyone in the same house.

Speaking of best friends, Suri and Grumbly both miss Pebbles terribly since she was adopted. Both have wanted held and cuddled and comforted. I hope Pebbles is fitting in over there. Have not heard an update.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I am Sick of Islamist Militants

I am sick of them and their violence and killings in the supposed name of religion. Go to the post title to read an article about the ridiculous Christmas message from one of these violence control freaks.

They want to control you and everyone, but especially women. No free thought allowed ever under them. They are terrified of freedom. Control freaks always are. Their arguments hold no weight under scrutiny or debate or among free thinkers anywhere.

You want to practice your fanatic religion? Then go right ahead. Just don't force others to believe like you. It is wrong.

Only control freaks and paranoids have a deep need to control others so out right or are so afraid of and jealous of women they must control every aspect of a woman's life.

I feel for women trapped under such men or who live in countries under the control of such horrible men. Women in those regions will need to take up arms.

As I Wrote That Last Post.......

I cannot believe it. Magic just occurred.

As I was writing about the cost of Gretal's dental tomorrow, and the fact cat food is not getting dropped off and money for vet bills is not falling from the sky, CAT FOOD ACTUALLY sort of FELL FROM THE SKY!!

Here is what I was writing, in the previous post, at the exact time as somebody was leaving cat food by my garage: "People aren't driving by and dropping off cat food and money for vet bills doesn't fall from the sky. Yeah, right, eh?"

I go outside, and find, 8 BAGS of Friskies and Purina Cat Chow.

No kidding.

I'm usually attentive to noises. I heard slight bits of conversation from outside, I thought, and the cats were charging out of the living room, so I get up from writing that last post to go see what's going on. I don't see anything, so I go out back.

That's when I saw 8 BAGS of CAT FOOD against the garage.

I'm staring, then thinking, "It's magic." I'm writing about my needs and it happened--I get cat food delivered, out of nowhere.

Now I'm going outside with an umbrella and a bucket, because I'm thinking money is about to start falling out of the sky.

Life is mysterious and beautiful.

I do not know who the angel is who left those bags. Whomever you are, THANK YOU.

I believe!

Cost Frustrations

Cost to treat rescued cats with health issues is a huge factor for little rescues all over. I was given an estimate for tomorrow's dental, for Gretal, her third since mid August, of $400. How do I come up with this money? I am scrambling, let me tell you.

These issues are a constant battle. How to even keep the cats fed, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms, while they wait, seemingly endlessly, for homes.

Before I get railed on, I never meant to do rescue. I was going to keep things simple and just do the round up of cats, to be fixed, which is the most efficient and effective way to help cats and stop the cycle of suffering.

What does one do, however, when in such pursuits, you run into cats and kittens who otherwise will die? Do you leave them to die, often horribly and slowly, or do you step in and hope for the best?

I have four cats left here, that I moved here with. Four. Those old days in Corvallis now seem like a dream. The most I ever had was 16. I did not know what i was in for, moving to Linn County. I knew it was bad over here for animals, but I had no clue whatsoever how bad it was.

In one sense, I'm glad I ended up here. I've helped thousands of cats and stopped terrible situations from becoming worse.

However, for me, personally, the results have been not so great, in that my struggles to stay afloat became acute. I ended up with so many cats from horrible situations, and there are so many of those situations over here, where they were going to die. I live on almost nothing. People aren't driving by and dropping off cat food and money for vet bills doesn't fall from the sky. Yeah, right, eh?

And then you get the cats with terrible health issues like Valentino and then Gretal. Maybe last summer I should have euthanized her when her teeth were so bad. Instead, a friend said she'd pay for her dental. That one didn't help much. Only a few teeth were removed and very quickly things went bad again. The same person offered to pay again, different vet this time. I was so grateful thinking this would do it. It didn't do it. And now she must go in for her third time around.

People stop contributing for another round. They start thinking my choices are bad with vets or maybe she has some other disease and decide, in their heads, "lost cause" and avoid me.

Valentino the same. I didn't want to take him in. I avoided returning the call in which some people who have caused many many cat problems and who are very demanding about getting free help, left a message that there was a "rabid cat" roaming around their complex in bad bad shape. I just didn't return the call.

Then the thought festered on my mind until I couldn't stand it. I knew the cat would not be rabid and that more than likely he had bad teeth causing him to appear to "foam" at the mouth. I drove over. There he was, in such shape, you couldn't believe.

I couldn't leave him there, drooling wads of pus, huge fleas that looked like beetles on his body, ears massed in ear mites. I tried to get someone else to help him, or to help me help him. But that didn't work out. The first vet who saw him said to just turn him out, since he was neutered there, that he had only a month to live with those bad teeth, that I'd done my duty by getting him neutered.

I'm not that way. I said to the vet, "If he's in that bad shape, please euthanize him." But the vet didn't want to do that either.

Valentino now has also had three dentals, all in under a year. The first, when he was in the worst shape, was a total scam. They took my money, told me they pulled five teeth when I picked him up. I knew he needed a whole lot more than five pulled. Two weeks later, when he was drooling pus again, I called and asked which teeth, since they were not listed on the records provided. The woman who answered said "the pointy ones". I asked for a more definitive answer. She could not provide one. It took the next vet, the next dental, to provide me that answer because that vet did a records request. Five incisors, the little nothing teeth I don't even think he had when he went in, were supposedly pulled in the first dental, when he had terrible rotten and infected teeth, that they ignored.

This next vet pulled seven more, including all four rotted, cracked and worn off canines, that came out easily, she said. She said all his teeth needed pulled. She didn't own the clinic, however, so could not offer me a deal or to let me make payments to get the rest pulled. Someone back east had raised $500 and sent it, through Poppa, to the clinic. That's how much work got done that day.

By November, he was drooling again. And had yet another dental. This time, all but four teeth were pulled. I have no doubt he will have to go in again to have those last four pulled but so far so good and he's looking good and feeling better!

Miss Daisy also once had to have three dentals in one year for tooth extraction. You start wondering pretty soon. What is up? I know homeless people whose teeth go bad, one right after the other. They know if one is bad very long, the resulting gum infection will cause the others to go bad. They try to find someone to pull them all, to avoid the constant mouth issues.

We have a vet college in Corvallis. I wish something could be worked out, so the upcoming soon to be vets could get some practice on live animals and the strays and rescues of this area could benefit too. With a vet college in the mid valley, seems so unfortunate half or more of the cats in this area never see a vet, or see only a spay neuter clinic because people cannot afford rent and food, let alone vet care.

I wish we could work something out with that college to benefit the animals of this area and the little rescues trying to help.

Be a big relief to the likes of me, now scrounging and scheming to figure out how to pay for Gretals' third dental and hopefully this will be the dental to end all dentals for her.

Supposed to be about $400. I got a check from the Wilsonville clinic, that damaged those Albany cats I took there last summer, for spay neuter. I'd ended up paying out $130 on the remaining balance of the bill to treat them at a Corvallis vet. I got a reimbursement check for that from the clinic on Christmas Eve, which nearly sent me to my knees in relief, because that money will go on Gretals' bill.

I got a $100 gift card to Freddies for Christmas. I went in there today and tried to buy a $100 Visa gift card with it, because that I could use at the vet clinic, but they said you can't buy gift cards with gift cards. That was devastating.

So I sold the card, full value too, made me happy, because that is another $100 that can go on Gretal's bill. I am closing in on the money needed for Gretal's vet visit tomorrow.

I am happy she will soon be out of mouth pain, all teeth gone. The struggle continues for people like me who are trying to help out the cats of Linn and Benton Counties.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

There is nothing better than starting off a morning with a mug of peppermint coffee or ending the day with a cup of steaming hot mint cocoa or peppermint tea.

My friend in WA state, who adopted the handsome Samson, a Siamese from a Lebanon collectors trailer, from me, years ago, sent me a Starbucks mug with a few individual packets of peppermint flavored coffee! Am in heaven I think.

Last night, the Mormon sisters gave me another mug, peppermint cocoa, and a lollipop straight out of the movie Willy Wonka's chocolate factory!!! I think I am living in a fairy tale!

Merry Christmas everyone! And, as Nick put it last night, when we were going around each telling a Christmas tale or two, as we get older, gifts mean less and less and Christmas becomes more about fond memories and being with family and friends.

And, about chocolate, peppermint cocoa and morning coffee surrounded by kitties!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I spent a warm and fun Christmas Eve again with a pair of sisters, their mom, cats, another sister, her husband and two of their grown sons. They welcome me in as family. It is home made lefse, salads, punch, and laughter. After dinner we sat around the tree and each of us said what Christmas meant to us or told one particular memory. Except Riley who wanted to pass! More laughter, opening of small gifts, then dessert and eggnog. Just plain fun and a companionship that I treasure This is my third Christmas Eve with this family.

There is nothing that calls one in like the warmth of a Christmas tree.
Their neighbors have a beautiful light display.
Their mom, next to their beautiful tree.

Their mom put their cards up around the door frame.
My friends' neighbor's house lights again.

Gretal May Not Live

Gretal, taken December 14.

She can't eat or drink, with her mouth so painful.

Finally, knowing she is severely dehydrated, I used my trusty net to contain her and pumped her full of fluids and force fed her, along with antibiotics.

Her bad mouth may kill her this time, due to the fact I can't get her in until Tuesday and she won't drink or eat. It's the pus bothering her and seems to sting her throat too.

I'm doing all I can and I told her if she won't drink or eat, that I'm sorry, but I will be netting her twice daily to get fluids and food into her. I don't know if it will save her, since it's now been a few days, but I will try my best. I took a photo of her December 14 and she looked then fat and happy. However, the infection probably had begun by then. Sure went downhill quick with the bad mouth again by the time it was bad enough for me to notice (i.e. the drool). I wish all her teeth had been pulled last August.

I wonder how much her kidneys can take, with mouth infection, then dehydration because she won't drink. I'm going to do it for her, with sub cu fluids now. Might have waited too long. I'm going to make sure she gets enough to eat also with nutrical twice daily. A one inch ribbon daily is supposed to give an adult cat all the calories and nutrition they need, if they won't eat.

Goodbye Pebbles

Pebbles left this morning, adopted by a great family. I have no fears on this adoption. I took this photo, below, today, before she left. Look at Grumbly on the side, carrying a cat toy. He loves doing that!
Pebbles was so adorable! I grabbed her out of a filthy shed up there, along with her brother, Bambam. They were tiny, sick, and very dehydrated.

Rocky, Giggles the laughing calico, and Pebbles. Rocky was adopted out by Heartland, who had taken in three boys from me from that situation, but they were on "No Put To Death" hold, to save them from euthanization, if they got sick or ringworm or anything like that. The three boys were--Rocky, Billy and Happy, a brown tabby. I was left a message one Friday evening, that Billy and Happy had been exposed to ringworm and I needed to come get them now. I was very upset, worried they had been killed already over there, since it was a message left and I'd been out. I raced over and retrieved the boys.

They said Rocky had been adopted out. Happy was adopted by my neighbor and Billy, whose new name is Mini Cooper, now lives in Corvallis.

That was a trying time for me, trying to save 23 kittens from that one situation alone, with my limited resources. The only ones who died, were two bottle babes taken in by Heartland. It's very hard to keep bottle babes alive.

Giggles, the calico, was adopted out with Bambam, Pebbles brother, who was amazing.
With Miss Daisy.
When she had a little cold last fall.
Also taken today, Rogue in the background.

Pebbles with her cousin, Suri, still here, waiting.

Goodbye Pebbles. We will miss you here. But we're all very happy you got a home!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The good news is....

Gretal is reverting back. I've been petting her for a hour. By hand!

I started with the "long distance brush" which is a brush I tape to the end of a rod. She LOVED that. Then I decided "what the heck" and just reached in and began giving her a massage. The purring began. Medicating her now is not a problem.

I just hope bad teeth is all she has wrong. When she opens her jaw, she seems to have trouble closing it. I hope it's only because it hurts, not some tumor or bone break or something dislocated.

Sports Bra Cat Toy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Sorry Saga of Gretal's Bad Mouth

This is Gretal drooling blood on August 14, before her first dental. It's coming from the upper left.
This is Gretal drooling again, taken a few minutes ago, again drooling from the same location. Maybe the upper canine has been infected all along. I don't know.

It's eery, isn't it? To see the two photos, drool from the exact same location, taken months apart, two dentals inbetween.
She is miserable. The gums around all the canines look inflamed and in this photo, there almost appears to be a fifth tooth, behind the lower left canine, if you zoom in. Can't be. She's supposed to have only four teeth left. But sure looks like another tooth.

Gretal is having difficulty again. Again she will go to the vet, to have the last of her teeth pulled this time (I hope). I think she's allergic to her teeth and just needs them all gone and long term antibiotics. I hope anyhow. I knew the last four would also be bad since all the others were. She's had two dentals since August and in both cases, had trouble within a month. Maybe if all the teeth are gone, well, let's hope.

In both cases she did really well for a couple of weeks after tooth removal then began drooling and working her jaw again. I think that's about the amount of time it takes infection to set back in.

Her appointment is in a couple of weeks, the first I could get in. Unless I find another vet who can do it sooner. Would like to get it done with. I hope she doesn't have something worse, like jaw or throat cancer or something. I guess the vets would have found that in November if that was there. I hope she'll be ok.

I really want to find a vet who can see her sooner than January 12th. It's too distant. She's in too much pain.

Say Goodbye to Pebbles

Pebbles is getting a home. I had hoped the family would also take Suri, but that was a no go. They're a great family and have one cat already so it should work out ok with time. We will miss her here. She is leaving Saturday.Say goodbye to Pebbles, who is leaving Saturday.Shaulin, from the Albany Bengal man colony.
Sam, playing happily with a cat toy made by and sent to me by Midori of WA.
Sam with the catnip filled cat toy again.

Ancient Electra really got high on the catnip toys sent by Midori.

I have almost completed treating all the cats here with Revolution, to combat ear mites. The vet suggested I treat them each three times two weeks apart. I've accomplished that with most, but have not even treated five of the cats once, who seem to have figured out my scheme and keep eluding me. Yesterday I got the mischievous Shady, who somehow knows exactly when I'm after her and will start loudly meowing in protest and trying to hide. How in the world can she know it's her I'm after? I try to be sly, sidle up, hiding the Revolution, but she knows before I get close. How? She's always been horrible to medicate, howling like she is being murdered in horrible fashion if I approach with eye meds, hidden in my pocket. I conclude I give her body language and attitude clues.

I'm done with Christmas shopping and sent out boxes to my brothers' families two days ago which were supposed to arrive yesterday, according to the PO, but did not. Big shock, eh?