Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trip to Coast Photos

Early morn at the Elk rest area.

Looking west from Elk area.
Highway 101 Bridge into N. Bend.
Low tide in Empire.

Rebar Creature.

Rebar rock.

Low tide in Empire.

Kelp exposed at low tide.

Looking across the bay at low tide.

Bridge into N. Bend.

Buses through the bushes.

Crows at low tide.

Birds at low tide.


I got deflated. My joy, that is, my sense of accomplishment with those extremely difficult Albany side by side colonies.

Both have been difficult to trap. One because of the schedules and sideways location of where the cats are fed. The two adults work long hours at early shift jobs and have kids and are chronically worn out due to working so hard and having kids also. That one I understand fully. Nonetheless I've caught six, and when they're home, they let me know when a trap is sprung.

The other I don't understand. Man alive that has been difficult when it should be easy. They are retired and home all the time. They are big time church goers. How come the "righteous" or self-proclaimed are often the hardest to deal with?

He'd had another trapper try to help three weeks before I came on scene. She gave up quickly when he released the black female. He finally said he let her go because the woman didn't come get her when he called. Guess then she decided against helping him. I don't really know what went on, except he had nothing good to say about her. I'm sure he has nothing good to say about me either. The feeling is mutual.

I caught three there early on, three of four teens, born to a black mom. He went off on me when I returned them, yelling at me, saying they're weren't his and I was supposed to take them, even though I'd made it clear I could not take them, just get them fixed. After that, the sisters I know, from his church, who had referred him to me, said they'd intervene, talk to him, but they never did, and stopped returning calls or e-mails, I guess to avoid the issue of not doing what they said they'd do.

So, after consideration, I apologized to him, because I know people like him. It's all about him, so I made his yelling at me over bringing them back somehow my fault. It didn't really bother me like I thought it would. And it worked. He said he wanted the rest fixed, so back I went. I also begged him to feed the kittens, since at that time, it was freezing. I appealed to morality, since he's big on that. But after that, I walked on eggshells around him and trapping there. Wasn't easy. Couldn't trap like usual.

He would not follow any directions, like on feeding in a tied open trap for awhile, then me attaching a line to spring it on the right cat. With the usual people, I would have had no trouble catching them all very quickly. But this guy wanted to do things his way and his way was the right way and to hell with anybody who thinks they might know a better way. He'd move traps, close them, oh my gawd, not easy.

Nonetheless, I caught everybody but the black female, who is in heat and hanging around, was within 15 feet of me just three days ago.

Today, when I call, to say I found two of them homes, he's wanting to quit again, says that they're not his cats, that he doesn't care, that he wants them all gone, and the trapping over, to come get my traps.

I say "Oh really, because there will be more if you quit." But he's insistent, very insistent, so I tell him I will come get my traps but it's over, that I will waste no more of my time doing this dance, that it is bullshit he pulls on me, and that I don't want him ever calling me again if he quits now, like when the female has kittens.

I go over to pick up my traps, stomach churning because he's hard to be around. He's out there, kind of pacing, out front in front of my equipment, just waiting. He wants to fire off at me, tell me how lousy I've treated him. I was just going to wordlessly get my stuff and get out of there.

But him telling me how good he's treated me, again all about him, got my dander. I said, "You asked for help. I helped you out. You never donated anything. And now you want to quit, with one cat left to catch, the female, and there will be more, which means I've wasted my time here."

He goes "What money have you put out?" I think, "How do I answer that." I'm thinking of the countless hours, the driving back and forth to check traps because he won't, the bait, the gas over and back, over and back, and clear down to Coos Bay, the wormer, the feeding of them here, antibiotics I gave one, paying for shots for the little girl, all these things. Not to mention all the Poppa funds, money from other people, that went to pay for the fixes. And the 20 hour day, yesterday alone, trying to get them all in somewhere, to be fixed. Finally, I just say "gas, bait and tons of time and worry".

He's making accusations again, about how he has a right to stop this on his property. I finally said "You wanted help here, and I spent time, money and effort helping you. If you don't finish, it will start all over." He says, "You'll never catch that black female anyway." I said "Ha. You don't know me. I don't give up."

I left. What's the point anyhow.

Makes me sad for that female though, makes me want to cry. There's nothing I can do. I'm pretty tough. Lots of people who don't fix their cats are assholes or abusive or want to quit when it's not yet done. I get used to it pretty much. There are lots of nice people out there too.

I'm worried about my niece. She is struggling in med school. My brother says he's at peace with it, but it frustrates him, that his brilliant daughter is struggling so. Whatever happens happens. She has tried hard. What I worry about is that she signed on with the army so the army is paying for her schooling. She has to give the army four years, whether she finishes med school or not.

I don't want her blown up in Afghanistan or raped by fellow male soldiers. Lots of women in the armed services are sexually assaulted, with no justice. She's very capable. I don't want to see her damaged or killed or raped in one of these stupid wars. Serving in the military isn't what it used to be. We go into these countries without even declaring war now. Different and very pro-violence world we live in.

I am in the dark on why some people behave like they behave or how to deal with it. Totally in the dark. I go into situations/problems with a straight line point of view: get it done. Even if it takes awhile. Get it done. I don't see the fault in that reasoning. Sometimes good things take awhile to get done. But you still wait it out and get it done.

15 Local Cats Fixed Yesterday

I took 16 local cats to be fixed yesterday. Well, 14 actually. I had to find someone to take the other two to Heartland, where they were fixed. Both of those were ferals from the Albany Side by Side colonies. A KATA volunteer agreed to take them to Heartland early morning and pick them up after they were fixed.
Flawed, the big gray stray male, fixed yesterday at Heartland, courtesy of Poppa Inc. He just went home with the Lebanon woman who had the little stray sick girl that was euthanized. She fell in love with this big guy. Off he went for a trial run as a house boy.

Teen girl from the Spicer colony, the last kitten left unfixed there, fixed yesterday at Heartland. She went home with a KATA volunteer who wants to tame her. So she won't be going back to the streets either. It was a good day for the Side by Side colonies strays.

The other 14 traveled with me to the Coos Bay Snipped clinic, currently operating only sporadically as they resolve staff issues. They need a CVT! The excellent CVT they had, left for Arizona and a family emergency. Now, Snipped is open only when they can find a relief CVT who can come work the same days their part time vets are scheduled to work, who travel in from all over to work a few days. They've got some excellent spay neuter vets coming to work a few days now and then, too.

That is one challenging staffing issue for the director, stressful too I would guess. More later, must return some kitties to their owners.

The title is correct. Despite taking 16 cats to be fixed, only 15 were fixed. One Lebanon kitten, who had wandered up starved a week before, to a woman's residence, was euthanized over severe illness.
The struggling little stray kitten who died at Snipped.

Four of the cats were transported over from Adair. Two males, Ember and Creatures, along with two females, Dottie and Ashes. Creature, a stray, turned out to be already fixed, but at least he was updated on shots.
Ember, Adair male fixed yesterday.

Ashes, Adair girl spayed yesterday.

Creature, the black male from Adair.

Dottie, spayed yesterday.

Distemper is going around this area. It's in Albany, Brownsville and Lebanon. These are the towns where I've heard of cats who have come down with this highly contagious disease.

Vaccinations are important!

I picked up three tame cats from Albany, who were fixed: Jessie and two adult kittens from her last litter, both boys--Tinker and Paws.
Horrible photo of Tinker, the orange tabby male, son of Jessie, with a missing right rear lower leg and paw, from birth.

Jessie, mom of Paws and Tinker, fixed yesterday.
Horrible photo of Paws, teen black tux long hair male, fixed yesterday, son of Jessie.

Then four more ferals were fixed from the Side by Side colonies in Albany. Two from each colony. Flawed, the big huge gray male, was fixed. So was Birdie, the little gray and white teen, the last teen needing fixed of those four at that colony. Wonder, the huge long hair white and black male from Spicer Origins was fixed and so was Posey, the teen girl from same place. 12 in all now have been fixed from the two colonies.
Wonder, DLH black and white male, fixed yesterday, from Spicer Origins.

Posey, teen black and white super sweet girl from Spicer Origins of the Side by Side Albany colonies, fixed yesterday.

Four came in from Brewster Road. Three boys--Mogilie, Bobby and Elmo, then Smokey, the girl kitten, who was euthanized.



Another male, Legalis, came in from between Lebanon and Lacomb.

Lots of boys.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two More Caught at Side by Side Colonies. Gray Male, Tipped or Not Tipped?

Face off Gray male, right ear tattered and beat up from fighting but not ear tipped.

Spicer Origins long hair black tux. The cat is large, but I'm not so sure it is not a girl. The nose and feet are smallish. She or he has a cold.

I caught two more cats at the two block apart colonies in Albany. I caught that big gray face off male and he is not fixed.

I caught one of the two black tux long hairs at Spicer Origins also.

I have too many cats now for the clinic reservations I have and don't know where to get them all fixed. Boy. I also have a wait list now of about 30 cats.

UPDATE: I think I was right the first time. I think the big gray guy is fixed. That ear looks like it is slant tipped, or tipped badly, on the slant, making it very difficult to tell. I tried to feel him up and he got mad. He's big enough he could do some damage. I felt no balls, unless they're super teensy. I think the big guy is fixed and somebody just ear tipped badly.

So is that an ear tip or not? The "tip" of the ear is still there, but the foreward edge does look cut. Are these merely fighting wounds or is it indeed an ear tip, that missed the tip? By comparison, the left ear has no such edges and is rounded on the sides.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Face off in the Fog

The cats at Spicer origins are hungry. I've had no luck with trapping there, last couple of days. This a.m., I left out some food and texted the caretaker asking him to feed again. Otherwise, they end up dead out on the road, crossing into the fields, trying to find food.

I ran into the big problem male at the other colony as I was checking that trap. There is still an unfixed female to catch there, then the big male prowls the entire area picking fights. He was at it this morning in a screaming face off with a gray male, who might have an ear tip. I only saw the possible ear tip when I uploaded the photos I took of the face off, from a distance, through my car window in the fog.

It was a classic face off, the big black and white male all puffed up and screaming right in the gray male's face. However, the gray male just stood there, not reacting, outside of look of horror across his face.

The old man came out, said he'd never seen that gray male before, but I think it's one I caught three years ago, when helping catch cats for the old woman three houses down.

The gray male has it down. If he runs, he's in for it. If he just doesn't react, as scary as that might be, the trouble maker gets nothing from the encounter. The bully wants a reaction.

Gray male stoically bears aggression.

Fixed male kitten, hungry, out in the frosty field.

I am still suffering the effects of chlorine exposure at the Albany pool. My skin prickles and itches if my hair touches it. My eyes burn and are still red streaked and itch. I have a rash across one side of my lower back.

The exposure seemed to trigger also, strangely, severe menopausal symptoms. Why would it do that? Maybe it's just coincidence.

It was stupid to enter a pool filled with water treated with a chemical that is toxic to me. I just wanted to have some fun. I love water. I love to swim.

I was explaining to the old man this morning, why my eyes were red, and he said he can't stand chlorine either and it's too much for he and his wife, the smell and taste of it, in tap water. So he got some filter that goes on his water line before the hot water tank. The filter only needs changed twice yearly he said and it removes the chlorine, so you don't have it coming out at you in the shower either. He said he found one at Fred Meyer for $30 when he accidentally broke his old one.

Albany is well known for its highly chlorinated water. It's hard to escape the effects. An effect its had on me is that I don't drink enough water, because I let it sit a few days, after filling bottles or jars, to let the chlorine escape, before drinking it.

I get depressed here. It's not just the chemicals everywhere used and accepted, on lawns, in the water, it's the smell of chemicals in the air nights from the industrial plants and its the dust and chemical mix in the air half the summer, from all the grass seed farms surrounding Albany.

I was born sensitive to some chemicals and cursed with a keen sense of smell. I want to move but I don't know where to go and I don't have any money. The industrial district smells are foul in the air nights. It's grown much worse in the last months. I don't know why.

I'm going to get one of those filters that goes on the water line though. They're cheap and the old man and his wife swear they take out the chlorine before it even comes into your house. That's one thing I can do.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last Spicer Kitten Caught. But Mom....

Last kitten caught at Spicer colony. Mom still needs caught.

This morning, as now is my ritual, I get up at 5:00 a.m., dress while hot water is heating on the stove, grind my coffee beans, and sit the plastic filter atop my cup. I then add a brown cone shaped paper filter and a couple teaspoons of freshly ground coffee, pour the hot water through and enjoy my first cup of coffee.

That's as my car warms up. I sit inside, air so cold my breath clouds out, as the car idles in the driveway. When it's warmed up, I flip on the headlights and head out. Already many early risers, heading off for their early shifts, are on the roads.

I park across the street from the Spicer Origins colony. Sometimes the couple, each with early morning jobs, are both gone and sometimes just one by the time I arrive.

I check the trap I've left set on their porch. Not touched. I add some fresh bait, curse under my breath, get back in my car, and pull around the corner, to the next colony, merely a block away. I get out my mag lite for this one, and creep in past their trailer.

This morning, eyes flashed back at me, from my trap, nestled in under the back of the trailer for weather protection, and wrapped in a clear plastic mat. I got a roll of that, at the mercantile in Empire, last time down.

This time, it was a tame medium hair black tux, from the block behind the owners of the house that feed the four stray teens and their mother.

I let him go and reset the trap, again cursing quietly.

An early morning slow jogger, whom I've encountered before in my early trap checks, jogs so slowly by my car, I try to engage the bundled up miserable looking frowning form, in conversation. I say "Good for you out exercising like this in such cold weather." The form does not respond. Not a facial muscle twitches. Not a muscle turns my way. She slogs on at a snails pace, determined. I watch her go, unfazed by the snub, guilt rising in me, as usual. Joggers do that to me. This one is hyper skinny already. I feel the fat bulging at my own waist then try not to think about all I should and should not be doing.

An hour later I return. Eyes again peer at me through the end of the trap. I am used to this and dare not think I might have the one kitten of four, not yet fixed.

But I do! I have the fourth kitten, caught, snug and safe, in my trap, until she can be fixed. Now, to catch the darn mother. She's been hanging around again, the old man told me later today, when I returned, triumphant, with another trap, to set again, to start the routine all over again, to catch that black mother cat.

The other colony isn't so easy. The cats show up only very early morning. I am tentative at that hour, with the couple rising so early, working so hard, like they do, and the two teens there also, and the dogs. I tip toe onto their porch to check the trap. Yesterday morning, it was the little Siamese mix already fixed male inside it, which sets me back. I let me out. He tore off.

I don't want to wake the humans or disturb them or hassle the humans in any way. I just want to catch the rest of the cats. I've seen at least one more younger short hair, maybe two. I thought only one long hair black tux needed caught but this morning, I saw another. Then there's the troublesome male, the big guy, who shows up only sometimes, and beats up everybody he encounters.

I've caught ten now, between the two colonies. The little girl from Spicer Origins I caught is in my bathroom. She was sick, with conjunctivitis and a cold. I hold her and pet her and her little butt with the three quarters length tail goes straight up. Her face is flatter than it should be. She's soft and skinny and pathetic and how much I hate taking her back there, once fixed.

My mind skims for possibilities for her and at least a couple of the others, but the skimming produces a big flashing "No Results for your search 'options for semi feral precious teen female'".

So I hold her, give her antibiotics, fluids, eye ointment, anything I can, to prop her up, get her strong, for her hard life once back.

This morning after I caught the gray tux kitten, I went on over to the nearby brand spanking new huge Walmart super store, which opened a couple days ago. I immediately saw a former Circle K clerk. I said "So you got a job here." "Yes," she said, "I get more hours and higher pay here."

I was happy for her, and many others who got jobs. When the only jobs open are part time low wage jobs at Walmart and people are happy to get those, tells you how bad the job situation is around here.

Walmart sells the same stuff Kmart sells who sells the same stuff Target sells. And so on. I pushed a cart around the store like I might buy something but same old--Walmart is far more expensive on food than Winco, and the real food section is very very small (as opposed to the fake prepackaged formed food section).

I checked the traps again moments ago. I'd come home tired. I bought vaccines at Heartland. I'd given all the ones I had to a Brownsville woman who had an outbreak of distemper, so she could quickly vaccinate or boost others in her household and prevent more deaths. I hadn't one single vaccine left, which made me nervous. So I made the trip to Corvallis.

Then I fell asleep in my cold house in my clothes, coat still on, on my bed and just woke up, an hour ago. Off I went, to fulfill the routine, although I know by now, this hour has never produced a cat in a trap at those locations.

Persistence, I tell myself, the pep talk. Don't give up. You've trapped ten already in two difficult colonies that otherwise would be exploding soon. Good for you, I tell myself. Good for you. Persistence, that's all it will take. Keep at it. Keep it up. Don't give up, just don't give up. You'll get them and you'll be happy you did, once they're caught. Be worth it, right?

Breeder Overloads Heartland

Click post title to go to the story. A Monroe rabbit and Guinea Pig breeder decides it's not making her money and turns over dozens of animals to Heartland.

Breeders suck in so many ways.

Last year, many cat rescuers/fixers/shelters called it "the year of the Siamese" because so many of the strays and even feral colonies were Siamese. These generally result when people get an unfixed Siamese to "make money" breeding them and become backyard breeders. They abandon the effort and often the cats, leaving them to continue to breed as feral colonies.

When someone overloads a shelter like this, other animals already there or about to be brought in suffer overload results and sometimes get euthanized when they otherwise wouldn't.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A List of Things I Wish I'd Done (or hope to do)

Here is a list of things I wish I had done in my life. Some things I might still be able to do! What is your list?

--Become an astro physicist
--Travel into space
--Build a completely off the grid sustainable cabin, producing my own energy, catching and using my own water, using a compost toilet and growing my own food, trading for what I can't produce.
--Learn to fly a small plane. Buy my own small plane. Go everywhere.
--Learn to fly a glider.
--Fly a hang glider.
--Learn to platform dive.
--Live in a beach shack on a tropical island.
--Learn to surf.
--Travel the world.
--Go on snow camping snow shoe trips.
--Become comfortable with public speaking.
--Learn to dance the tango and rumba and salsa.
--Write songs.
--Visit the canyon country of Utah.
--Visit the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Death Valley.
--Learn to sail.
--Learn to make fantastic french pastries.
--Learn how to con and ensnare some of the people who have seriously abused me.

Well, my supper is burning on the stove. Will work on the list more later.

Went Swimming. Had a Blast!

I went swimming today at the Albany pool. I had a blast. The woman invited me whose three teens I trapped a month and a half ago. There was an exercise class she attends, but I slipped over and swam a few laps.

It was so fun. But afterwards, within minutes of exiting, my skin began to prickle and itch. My eyes went red and the familiar effects of chlorine on my system set in. Within minute my eyes couldn't bear sunlight.

Inside my enclosed car, the fumes of chlorine on my wet swimming clothes and body were overwhelming. I'd taken a shower once out, but I took another once home. I wish I could swim and not have the chlorine affect me so badly. Even my taste is off for hours after exposure.

I took an antihistamine to try to alleviate some of the effects. I probably won't go again, due to the problem my system has with chlorine, but today was fun, despite the aftermath of itching and red eyes.

Pampered House Rescues

Grumbly with his mouth full of cat toy.

Fantasia, of the Quirky Sisters, likes her basket bed, a prized fought over bed space.

Best friends and cousins, Suri and Grumbly Rumby.

The other half of the Quirkies, Echo.

Gretal, doing so much better with all teeth gone.

Cougie, one of the business cats.

The gray and whites--Honey on the top, Mooki on the bottom.

Quirky sister Fantasia.

Albany water rates are going up next month by 3% and sewer rates this summer by 9%. That's a 12% increase by summer on the water sewer bill, that comes as one. Garbage rates already went up last year, too by I don't know what percentage. Electric rates increased 13% last year.

Just in two years, these four things: electric, water, sewer and garbage combined, with their rate increases by summer, will have increased costs to people within city limits for utilities by about 30%. That's a hellish utility inflation rate for a couple of years.

Don't even mention the increased costs for food and gas in the last two years. How are we supposed to survive?