Monday, May 14, 2012

Doomed Cats of Millersburg

UPDATE:  Apparently the car was not moved off the property, but instead was partially moved and stripped by metal and parts thieves.  This is good news for the cats, at least for now!  I'm very happy I didn't go out there last night in the night, to try to trap some of them, to get them to safety, because of all the night animals most dangerous I fear to encounter, humans are top of my list.

Six or seven Millersburg cats are apparently doomed.  Was told by the couple who walks by where the colony is fed daily, that the new property owner, a developer, has moved out an old car.  The old shed will likely be taken out next, which is where the cats sleep.   Then the bulldozers will come in.  The cats are doomed.

I'm not happy with the feeder woman, who, number one, despite two other previous sets of cats living in that area, failed once again to get the latest cat to show up fixed, so she had kittens.  She has known the property sold, too, once I got them all fixed this third time around, but failed to get the cats out and safe.  You can't just throw down food for cats and nothing more.  That's a feel good easy thing to do.  You have to actually take some responsibility, if you feed them.  

First time around, there was a trailer there.  The woman who lived in the trailer got thrown in jail for like her third DUI.  After she got out, she left the trailer, even leaving dogs locked inside.  She had like two dozen cats too, all unfixed of course.  OF COURSE.

So somehow the feeder woman found my number and I trapped the cats and relocated all but a couple, one of whom was struck and killed by a car.  I still have Sam and Oci, from that place, here with me.

Second time around she didn't notify me again either, not before the latest female had kittens, all of whom died but one.  There was another black tux male, too, but it was unclear if he was owned somewhere in the hood, but he got fixed, that's for sure, when he went into my trap.  The mom and kitten were taken in by the feeder woman's mother or friend of her mother's.  I don't remember which.

And then there was the third time.  I was notified about more cats there by the couple who walk by there daily.  I got seven fixed, the seven pictured below.  I also trapped another a couple blocks away, eating in a friend's shed.  And finally, later on, the couple trapped the gray and white long hair fighter male, who was FIV positive and late stage in the game, to boot, so he was euthanized.  So it was nine total this last time.

A tame fixed male, abandoned at the colony, went home to live with the couple who walk by there and is doing great.  He loves them so much for saving him.  Now what to do about the survivors, imminently in danger, sounds like, of having their lives ripped up, when the property is bulldozed to make room for more houses.  I don't know if the black long hair male is really part of the colony.  But the other six are--a brother and a sister, and the four teens, three of them girls.  I can't take in six more cats.  I just can't.

If you can, or know someone who can, house and feed a half dozen ferals, no trouble really, (they've been fixed since last November) let me know.  This is a close knit family unit.

 Black tux adult male, fixed in November 2011, also needs a new place to call home.
 Adult black tux female, the mom of four teens, three of them girls, fixed last November and now in danger from development.
 Black tux long hair female teen, fixed last November.
 Black tux short hair male teen, the last fixed at the colony and fixed in December of 2011.
The black tux female teen again, with her two sisters, one black medium hair and one black long hair.

Big black adult male, fixed last November.

I also took over food last night to the homeless camp.  I hadn't been over in a long time, due to lack of money to buy them cat food, for the ten or twelve cats left back in there, and the problem of development all around the camp.  To the north, to the west, huge developments going in very rapidly.  The strange thing is, the development is being laid over wetlands, that, in the winter, were fields I couldn't even walk through, with water knee deep or more in places.  I'd cut across one field, after parking along a dead end street, to more easily access the camps.  Now big old huge buildings are being built in that same field, the field where a year ago, I watched a coyote.

Where will all that water go now?

Richard is in the hospital, Phil told me.  Phil was laid out in his tent and I startled him.  His cat, Biker, whom I got fixed over three years ago, was behind the tent, eying me with suspicion.  So was a little long hair brown tabby I also got fixed three or four years ago.  I'd seen Sabrina, Richards' cat, in his tent, looking hungry, so I poured out food for her, then peeked back later to watch her eat it.

Phil said Richard couldn't breathe and went and got a taxi somehow to take him to the ER.  He's not come back.  He quit smoking awhile back, Phil said, because he couldn't breath anymore if he smoked.  Richard has smoked everything in his life, from tobacco to weed, to much harder drugs.  Lately, as he is now old for a wet brain, he's very limited and smokes mainly tobacco, rolled, from a can.  I asked Phil if he has cancer or maybe died of a heart attack, and Phil mumbled about something unrelated. His brain is fried.  But he offered to help me carry the two big bags of food back to Stacy's camp, at the very end.  She was out can hunting he said.  He says she does that all the time now, trying to find enough to get cat food since that's all she thinks about anymore, taking care of her cats.  I said "Well, she's going to be surprised, coming home to find two big bags."  "Yeah," says Phil, "make things easy on her for awhile."

The thing is with Richard gone, things will be hard on Stacy, who gets no money at all, and relied on Richard helping her out, with his disability, for food and supplies, like jugs of water.  In return, she did all kinds of stuff for Richard. "He's messy," she told me once, "doesn't keep his camp or hisself clean."  Stacy's a very very clean camper.  I want Stacy to make it out of that life.  I keep urging her to try, to go into rehab, say "Stacy it's not too late for you."  

"You think I have a chance," she'll say, through many missing teeth and leather sun hardened skin.  I tell  her "Yes, you're the toughest person I've ever met.  You could do it."   I wish so much she would.  I'd take out every one of those cats left there, to ease her mind they'd be cared for, if she'd give it her all in a try.

I ran into Hal on the way to the camps.  I knew Hal from when I was homeless and lived with the cats myself down along the river down from Mater Engineering.  I forgot to tell him Vision, one of those river cats, is still alive.  That would have amazed him.  She's at least 17.  My bus driver friend still has two of them also--Scratch and Half-n-Half.

They're tough as nails cats.

Hal worked in the Mater building and was very kind to me, whereas most people were just the opposite.  He and a coworker one Thanksgiving came out when I was crouched along the rocks and gave me a huge basket full of food, including a smoked turkey.  I never forget such things.

But as for Mater Engineering people themselves, they were not nice to me or to the cats.  In fact, when Stripe, a river cat who lived in the alley, was badly injured, either by dog or car, and took sanctuary in the Mater maintenance shed, directly behind their building, Scott Mater told me I could come down and he'd let me into the shed so I could catch Stripe and get him help.  When I arrived, armed with a net and a trap, Mater refused me entrance.  Later, Stripes remains were dumped into a box in the alley outside their shed with a terrible mean note attached by a Mater employee.  Scott Mater later died quickly of a rare and aggressive cancer.  Old Ray, who used to feed the river cats, called it the Curse of the River cats.  If you crossed the river cats, you'd get gotten, by the curse.  This was not an isolated incident.  I became a believer in the curse.

I met Old Ray along the river.  He fed the river cats but wouldn't lift a finger otherwise.  He was self-proclaimed (accurately) lazy and probably drank too much from way back.  He was an ex OSU prof, with issues.  Have sure met lots of those. He described how he and his fellow OSU researchers would take off mid day on their bikes to a tavern in south town and just never go back to work.  He'd be down every morning on the rocks, down from Mater, strip naked, and take a dip.  Then he'd feed the cats who would watch his morning skinny dip from the rocks.  The city tore up the river banks for their little edification park project that also destroyed the cats and the  wildlife along the river, although of course the city claimed the opposite, even put up a statue, artwork! of a river otter, at least one of whom they killed in the project, which was highly hypocritically laughable.   I remember one day, after they made the river front "presentable" with the park project, Ray on his old bike, me beside him and we see a bunch of yuppies in fancy clothes walking the bike path.  Ray drawls, "There goes the neighborhood!"

So Hal asked me last night, if I was still helping out the cats.  I said "Til I drop dead."  He said, "I should have known."

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