Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bad Tires. Five Cats Fixed Regardless.

I took five cats up to the Portland FCCO clinic from Scravel Hill today. Four of the five were girls. Four of the five were kittens.
The only adult amongst the five fixed today. She's probably their mom.

Black female kitten fixed today.

The adult tabby again.

I do things on the cheap. I have to. I don't have much of an income. When my tires are bad, I looked to my wrecking yard friends. I love wrecking yards. They're like car morgues. I wander the rows of junky trashy smashed up unwanteds cars. I like to look inside the cars, trucks, vans, boats, most filled with junk that speaks of their life before. Before they died somewhere, along a road, or left in a field to smother in grass or berry vines before somebody hauled them out and to the wrecking yard.

Some could tell tragic tales of horrible last panicked moments, of human lives lost or maimed, blood tinged into carpet, lives if not lost, changed for sure. Some tell their tales by their load of broken bottles and old rusted crunched smelly beer cans filling back seats and front seats whose upholstery is worn and torn and spotted in dark cigarette burn rings, white stuffing showing through each little perfect dark circle.

I like to wander these car morgue fields, of bodies lined up neatly in rows, waiting. They await the price of metal, rising and falling like a chest breathing. Their final act will play out on the rise.

Their death is short lived. Resurrection will be swift and I might never know the cat food can I flip top open and dump onto a plate, for eager cats waiting, knows me from my wanderings back at the morgue.

I get my tires from car morgues. Usually.

My size is hard to come by, not easy. I ended up with a size bigger than standard, just because I couldn't find the right size back when they went bald last time.

The fronts went bald again. I put my feelers out, looking for something used, maybe even free, off some dead car anywhere. My tow truck friend, he found me some off a truck out in the neatly lined corpses in the field. His worker pulled them off, with a little help from a can of WD 40, two days back, and slapped them onto my front wheels. They looked good! Off I went happy!

But I drove five Scravel Hill cats up to be fixed today, at the Portland FCCO clinic. When I was nearly up there, I got a wierd feeling off the road. Like I couldn't stay put in a lane. I figured I needed to find somewhere to get those fronts balanced. He couldn't balance them at the morgue there, where they came from, not even with his bubble balancer, because the wheel hole was too small to fit over the the fitting. "They just need balanced," I told myself.

I dropped off the cats at the clinic and headed back down I5. I didn't get far. I had trouble maintaining control. I couldn't figure out what might be going on. I didn't exactly feel like a flat tire, but what could it be? No vibrations like those fronts were out of balance either. But it must be something with those fronts, freshly on, just two days before, I decided, but something bad.

I had to exit the freeway quickly. I wandered, lost, not knowing the area. My cell battery had died. I'd left it plugged into a wall outlet to charge at the FCCO clinic. My cigarette lighter outlet doesn't work, never has, so I can't charge a thing in my car.

I spotted a Schwab and pulled in. Optimistic to the core, I said, cheerfully, "I think my new used tires need balanced." The girl questioned how the car felt and told me "that doesn't sound like a balance problem. We'll switch them side to side. Maybe that will help."

But then, later, after I'd eaten a bag of free popcorn, the technician came in from the bay, looking stern, like a doctor about tell me I have cancer or am just really too fat for my own good. Something like that.

He says, "There are a couple of things...." Went down hill from there. He showed me the right rear tire, bald in the middle and bulging. It was lumpy and showed it when he spun the tire. Uneven, like a pot holed road, from the underside. He said the air pushes at the weak spots, bulging them out like that. And the tread is seperated. In short, blow out material!

I asked if they could get a couple that size, the 195's. 185's are standard to it. He said they don't carry that size and he didn't know where I might get them. I'm feeling a little over heated at this point, a little worried. I had no phone. That tire was unsafe to drive on. What if nobody close by had the tires?

Schwab was no help with what I could do at this point. I think they saw a very ratty old stinky car with 200k miles, mismatched brand bad tires and me, and wanted no part of that scene.

So I limped out of there and pulled into the next tire store I saw--Firestone. Now they wanted business, even mine. They called around and found four 185's, at another store. They did not have two 195's which would have made things cheaper on me. I settled for the four brand new 185's, the standard size the car's supposed to wear anyhow.

I didn't want to drive with 185's on the rear and 195's up front. I draw my lines.

So, that's the story. I'm decked out four around now. All four the same brand, same tread, same age. Now that's something I'm not used to. I'm in debt. I won't blow out on a lonely road though with 15 cats in my car. I'd say that's a happy enough ending.

The five cats got fixed. I brought back two of the tires, the two from the front, to avoid the tire recycle fee at least on two. Always the penny pincher.

I'll give them back to the dead at the morgue. If my friend can use them, that is. I don't want him to have to pay to recycle them himself, after pulling them for me like he did.

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