Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Caught a Leftover at Very Old Woman Colony

Slant House Cat House, without lid!

This afternoon, I traveled to the Lebanon very old woman colony. I'd finished the Slant House Cat House. It's Fort Knox in construction! I made it from eave pieces discarded in Millersburg. That's couch stuffing as bedding, from a couch I tore up to get rid of, cannibalizing anything from it I could. It was so heavy to wrestle into my car, but somehow I did so.

I had some straw donated by two women over in SW Albany, whose stray male will be fixed this week.

I felt so bad for them. The roommate is the one I met, who moved here from NY state after she was laid off there, but has not found work so far here. She hopes to go to OSU, get retrained. But the woman she is now rooming with, lost her partner to cancer, then her job, and finally found another lower paying job. But the house is in foreclosure or will be very soon.

I felt bad just being in their house. That is so stressful, to have experienced such losses and now more losses. They have cats, then feed a few strays and they don't know where they'll find a place to live that will accept them.

Anyhow, I took the huge housing unit up to the old woman. Her son had just arrived. He comes up to visit routinely, from Grants Pass. He's very pleasant, but has severe asthma.

I was able to drop trap the final unfixed cat there, a brown tabby. I think it's a girl.

When I first arrived, I asked how the cats were doing. The old woman said they were all fine, then went inside. I looked across the yard and saw something in the grass. It was a dead black cat and very recently deceased, one of two black males I took to be fixed last September, but I don't know which, the younger one or the older one who had a severe constant chronic cold. I would guess it was him.

There was no marks on him. He had not been dead long. He was soaked to the skin. However, oddly, his head was not wet. There's a ditch full of water running behind her place. He must have been in that. He was just laying there, belly starting to bloat out from bacteria. I put him in a plastic bag and laid him by her garage and told her son.

One of the two very old calicos is drooling bloody pus from both sides of her mouth. How many times have I seen that here? Bad teeth. I wish I had a ton of money. If she can't have her teeth pulled, and nobody I know of has the money to pay for that and I don't know any vets that help out animals in need for a discount, she needs out of her misery.

I'll be glad to be done with that one and with this cat getting fixed, and her having plenty of housing units for her cats to stay warm, I'll be done once this one is returned. Yay!!!!! Yahooo!!!

That was the place where I spent a grueling all nighter, catching or grabbing or digging out 36 cats in all, 18 of them kittens. Safehaven took in the older litter of 8 and I handed out the other litter of ten to two Albany women, one of whom turned out to be a scam artist. The latter stole $50 from me, that was supposed to be used to take the kittens to the vet, then went silent. I only heard from her again when I ran into her at the Dollar Store. She said one kitten survived, but that she had others from under a shed outside her place that needed fixed. I made arrangements to get it done, along with two adult outside females of hers, and she never showed up and never answered her phone again. Somethings' seriously wrong with that girl.

Two others, that the other woman took in, survived also, of the ten, which is quite amazing really, considering the mothers' health, the fact she quickly abandoned most of the newborns and the fact she was nutritionally compromised to begin with and didn't have much to give ten kittens growing inside of her.

Of the other 18, four were teens, whom I adopted out, did not return and one male adult was euthanized at the clinic. So, of 36 cats and kittens, taken out in one day, only 13 returned. That's a lot of service to that neighborhood.

There was one tabby I did not catch. I was exhausted, transferring cats out of traps to carriers, trying to keep bottle babes alive, having to leave by 4:30 a.m. I left one trap set and went home to get three hours sleep, before leaving for the clinic, with 19 cats and ten bottle babes.

I returned on my way down to check that trap. Instead of the lone brown tabby left uncaught, inside the trap was a HUGE raccoon. And it was a small trap. I somehow got him out of there, and left.

But now, Ms. Brown tabby is caught and will be fixed and that will be that.
Big Orange Tabby who Sat Soaked in a Trap, all warmed up.

The big orange tabby tux who sat in a trap exposed to rain is all warmed up and looking happier.

It is very hard, to round up cats, to fill a specific number of clinic spots. You would think ferals would be the hardest to judge a number that will be caught, but its the owner delivered tame cats who are, because a good half the people who vow they want their cats or kittens fixed, then never show up with them.

Trying to juggle that, find out if they really are going to show up, trying to cover my butt, so they don't dump them on me, by giving false names and addresses, it is very difficult.

Trying to figure out back up cats I can catch, in case the owned cats are not delivered, so I don't end up out half the night before leaving for the clinic, to fill the reservations, it ain't easy.

Take Lancaster Bridge apartments, for instance. I got the reservations this week because people there said they'd have a lot lined up, including the culprit household, that has many unfixed cats. They claimed that man was going to call. He never did, nor did any of the other tenants there with unfixed cats. Not a single one.

One of the most unexplainable bailouts happened years ago. A storage facility's owners, who lived on site, wanted 25 reservations at a Corvallis FCCO clinic for cats they claimed to feed that came over from a neighbors trailer. I didn't know any better and offered to help them trap when the FCCO coordinator asked if I would. They were a pair of lesbians, I remember that, and said they'd even use one storage unit to recuperate the cats in. I delivered them the traps and they promised to feed in one. But when I called that Saturday night, before clinic, I got no answer. I finally went over. The property was locked up, but they finally came out. It was already late. I asked how many they'd trapped so far. "None," the woman said, like she was mad. "We better get started," I said, "you have 25 reservations that otherwise would have been used by other cats to be fixed."

"We're not trapping, we're busy," she snarled. When I expressed outrage, she threw one of the traps over her fence at me. That triggered an all nighter for me, out in search of cats, here and there, to trap for the clinic, as I was embarrassed for the FCCO and the volunteer vets, not wanting all those clinic spots wasted because of a couple of lazy selfish people. I told a nearby business owner about their behavior and he told me I needed to stay away from that pair, that he thought they were nuts and maybe dangerous.

There have been many such bail outs, by people who just don't care who they inconvenience by not keeping appointments.

Nonetheless I had two people from Lebanon with a combined four cats and two more households in Albany, each with a single female cat, all needing fixed. This evening, I can't get ahold of any of these folks. Except for one of the two Lebanon women, who sounded groggy when she answered. She said she hadn't seen the kitten in two days and maybe tomorrow she'd talk to neighbors to see if they'd seen her kitten.

I said "No, sorry, tomorrow is the day you were supposed to meet me with the kitten." She had not called to tell me the kitten was now missing and she wouldn't be arriving to deliver her to be fixed.

The other Lebanon woman's phone number says its out of service. She has not responded to e-mails for a couple of days. Did she change her mind, I wonder, or give them away, I wonder. She had claimed she was going to an overnight family reunion Thursday and might have to get the cats back on Friday. Then she said she had a house sitter who would receive them back. I asked for that person's name, then, and phone number. But I haven't heard from her for two days now, and am very nervous about this one, since she was trying to give them all away. I do not now think I will hear from her again.

I left messages with both Albany women whose females are to go to be fixed. Have not heard back from either. I only leave a message if I don't hear back by e-mail. I know. Lots of people now don't use e-mail. They text or message on Facebook. I should be in the age, and text them.

The number of cats I expected to take, and now doubt will be delivered, are down by four and possibly by six. All the tame owned cats. Therefore, I better get out there with my traps. I can rely on myself at least. However, not sure if the cats involved will cooperate. Some things are hard to count on. Cat round ups are not easy.

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