Thursday, November 01, 2012

The End is Coming. (For Poppa Inc. and My Self-Appointed Job)

Poppa Inc. is closing first of next summer.  When Poppa closes, my self-appointed mission, to save the feline  world in the greater mid valley region of Oregon, through spay neuter, will also end.  Vets and clinics don't fix cats for nothing.  Poppa Inc. has funded my spay neuter efforts for years, often to the tune of $20k or more a year, paying vet clinics directly.  Unless I win the lottery, my job is over with.  Done.

I hate the thought.  I cringe at the idea of having no more purpose, nothing to scheme over, plans of action to create, to get such and such cats fixed.  I'll have no way to get cats fixed anymore.

I'm trying to think of a way also to save myself from the boredom and self doubt and sheer isolation to come.

So far, I can't come up with anything.  I've scoured lists of area nonprofits, looking for meaning, another way to pass my time and to make a difference.  I don't want to clean litter boxes at a shelter.  I don't want to foster more cats.  I have plenty  here.  I don't want to volunteer at a nursing home.  There are few volunteer opportunities that offer any real interest to me in this area.  So many are joined with churches and I am no church lady!  I can't even fake it.

Cat wrangling has been my life, my identity, provided me meaning, usefulness, something to do that I am very very good at doing.  Cat wrangling is my only source of human contact, too.

There's a pit in my stomach, hollow and growing.  How will I pass the days after Poppa closes?  How will I deal with the hordes of unfixed cats in this town after that, when I can do nothing about it?  Why will I get up in the morning at all?

Poppa Inc. is based in Beaverton, Oregon.  I met them when their president offered to take in some barn cats.  I'd just gotten a $200 crap car, and began going up to Recycled Gardens, their fund raiser, a nursery out at a barn on Cornelius Pass road, once a month to mow the lawns then, and have stuck with them ever since.  Three years ago, when they scaled back, after Recycled Gardens had closed, and they were basically running out the money, since they never meant to run Poppa longer than ten years, I became their primary fund user.  Thousands upon thousands of mid valley cats have been fixed and helped through Poppa Inc. and me.  Having a purpose, meaning to my life, a way to make a difference, finding something I was good at, changed me, and helped me escape the horrors of my past and the decades of my life stolen from me, when I was thrown into the mental health system, when young, then abused further inside that despicable system.

I owe so much to Poppa Inc.  But their closing, in a few months, has me panicked inside.

My car, the real Catmobile, is nearly ruined, with over 210,000 miles on it, all from carrying cats to be fixed to clinics.  When my beloved stinky scratched and dented up car dies, I won't even be able to get to a vet with my cats or buy cat litter or cat food or groceries.  I'm too far out in concrete suburbia.  My car has helped transport so many cats to be fixed, prevented so much suffering and death, that I feel it should be bronzed and turned into a statue, a tribute.  I love that car.  I've used it like a truck.  I've had 27 cats in it at once.  I've slept in it many days and nights, out trapping or transporting, exhausted, crawling in the back at a rest area, or in a parking lot, and pulling cage covers or blankets over and around me and falling fast asleep quickly.

I have no regrets, however, using the car as I did.  The faces flash before my eyes even now, all those desperate lives, saved, helped, fixed, through Poppa Inc., my car, and me.  I would not change a thing if I could go back.  Poppa Inc. saved me.  Now I have to figure something else out.

I'll go insane with nothing to do, without any purpose or meaning in my life, without human contact.  I must find something.

What will I do now?

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