Saturday, August 04, 2012

Seven Albany Cats Fixed Yesterday

Yesterday, I took seven Albany cats up to be fixed at the FCCO.  I took up four trapped at a colony in Albany (two males to catch still there), a stray male a couple had taken in, but needed fixed, a female taken in off craigslist very pregnant, who promptly had kittens, and another female from a house with lots of kittens, kids and unfixed cats in general.

There are still many people out there who have no understanding of the overpopulation problem and its costs, to cats and to shelters, rescues and communities.

Orange tabby female, also a mom, fixed yesterday, taken in pregnant. Now needs a home.

Black tux Albany female, mom of six kittens, fixed yesterday.

Lucky Albany male.  Was a stray, taken in by a couple, fixed yesterday.

Gray tabby adult female fixed yesterday, mom of two male gray tux kittens.

One of two long hair male gray tux kittens fixed yesterday.

Second gray tux long hair male kitten fixed yesterday.

White male fixed yesterday.

After I dropped off the seven cats at the clinic, I headed out to Sauvie Island.  Someone at the clinic suggested I try the beaches there.  I had never been to Sauvie Island before, but I still have a photo my brother sent me years ago, of him and his daughter, when she was very young, out at the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island prior to Halloween.  That, before yesterday, was my only attachment to Sauvie.  Except for the news.

When Kyron Hormon went missing from his school over a year ago, end of May, and his step mom came out as the most likely culprit in his disappearance, Sauvie Island was searched several times.  Guess she had connections there.

There are still signs along Highway 30 and on Sauvie about Kyron.  He's still missing and no one has ever been held accountable.  Kyron's bio mom has now filed a lawsuit against the step mom, for millions, hoping a civil case can garner information since the criminal investigation has floundered from the start.

Looking west along the Mighty Columbia.  I always refer, in my mind, to the Columbia as "Mighty", because the Columbia  River is too big for my mind to comprehend, too awe inspiring for me to otherwise describe.

Sauvie Island public beach.

I drove the entire island, to get to the public beach.  It is farmland, primarily.  There is even a you pick lavender farm, along with blueberry farms, wheat farms and cattle.  The beaches are along the Columbia River.  For the privilege of using these sandy strips, however, the public must pay a $7 day use fee, that goes to the Fish and Wildlife service, for god knows what.  The porta potties there, interspersed along a lengthy parking area, were filthy.  The two I tried to use were stuffed in people's trash, brimming in shit, and filthy.  The beach sand was littered in cigarette butts.  The bathrooms, the butts and the hefty use fee were enough to turn me off and around.

I was happy to be able to see Sauvie Island for myself, with my own eyes.  It is a great place, I could  understand quickly, for farming, for wildlife and for bikes.

I decided to cut my losses and head to my usual spot, Hagg Lake.  I cut across from highway 30 to highway 26 via Cornelius Pass road.  Cornelius Pass road also invokes strong memories.  Used to be, Poppa Inc. ran  a nursery there, in an old barn, up on the hill, not far from West Union's intersection with Cornelius Pass road.  Recycled Gardens.  To glance up the hill now, see that once vibrant barn shrouded in brush, made me gulp back a rush of horror.

I spent a couple hours at Hagg Lake.  There is also a user fee there--$5, but worth it, as far as public lands user fees go.  We, the public, now must pay hefty fees to use our own lands.  Because they are not ours.  They belong to the government and the government and its employees are no longer us.  So we have to pay them to use anything or get on our knees and beg.

I was already in my old old shorts and a T-shirt.  I had my $4 boogie board, bought at Goodwill years ago, in hand.  I waded into the muddy water, churned by other feet, by dogs, kids, fishermen and moms chasing kids.

I swam across the arm, then back, then with my body in the water, rested my head on the boogie board, floating, and lazed.

Mostly, this day, there were fishermen.  A black family's elder father sat in a chair on the bank with a pole sticking out beside and beyond him.  His grandson sat nearby.  Three older kids from the same family were tooling around in a small metal boat with an electric motor.  The wind came up shortly after I arrived, tossing float toys into the air.  Kids chased them.  One man grabbed a flying float toy in mid air and returned it to its owners.  The black family decided to leave.  Grandpa had a cat fish he'd caught on a line through its gills and offered it to anyone who wanted it.  I thought about taking it, making cat food of it, but I had no ice and the fish was still alive.  He took the line out and turned it loose back into the lake.

Hagg Lake is a haven for swimmers, fishermen, boaters, kayakers, hikers and bikers.  One can park, unload their bike and peddle in peace, free of horrific killer road traffic, around the perimeter.  One can also hike a trail around the lake.  An entire end is devoted to a no wake zone, leaving those in rafts, canoes, kayaks and swimmers safe from roaring speeding motor boats.

Traffic back to the clinic on the east side was awful, bumper to bumper, on the Sunset across the Fremont Bridge.  After I picked up the cats, the traffic back through Portland was bumper to bumper.  Took me over an hour to get south of Wilsonville.  Was so miserable I began making up alternate realities in my mind.

I'm not here, I told myself.  I'm really on some tropical beach.  This is a beach, I repeated to myself dreamily, drifting there, losing here.  I turned the cars into boats, dolphins and buoys.

Finally, finally I got out of the traffic mess to encounter another north of Salem.  Everyone going somewhere else. Too many of us and our cars, and the car trails too narrow for everybody.  Reminds me of the top of Everest, where, it is said, so many people are climbing there are huge jams of people waiting to cross narrow  areas of the trail on the way up and back.  Even the tallest mountain in the world cannot hide itself from our numbers.

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