Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Total Humiliation at Albany Arco

I stopped in at the Arco, the one I always use, to get gas, after picking up a cat to be fixed tomorrow, behind Goodwill. I had $40 cash in my wallet. I ordered $20 in gas, cash.

But just as he began pumping, I looked in my purse. No wallet! I panicked, tearing out the contents searching, then yelled at the attendant, "Stop pumping! My wallet, I can't find it." I search the car, looking under the seats, everywhere, panic rising. He's put a little over $5 into the tank.

He tells me to go over and park in a parking place. Already, I feel like this is not going to be good. I tell him "I'll just go home and find my wallet, it must have fallen out of my purse, then I'll be right back." I really didn't see any problem in that. Why would that be a problem? I'm a regular cash customer there.

It was a problem to him. A huge problem. He was already seeing me as a criminal.

I begin to tear apart my car in a search for change. I come up with over $2.50 and keep looking. I tell him I'll walk home then, even though it is 2.5 miles one way, and come back with it, leaving my car. He says he can't let me leave and that he already has my license plate written down. He tells me to call someone to bring the money. My phone is again at home, charging, dead battery. I can't remember anyone local's number who might actually come to my aid.

I'm being stared at by long lines of customers in their cars, gawking at me and my plight, seeming to enjoy it.

I tear apart my car more, emptying everything out, in a desperate search for even pennies, tossing them out onto the pavement when I find them. I'm over $3 I've found now. He says I can leave, but only if I leave some major collateral, so I'll come back and pay the $2 I owe. I cannot believe it, am outraged already. I say, "You want major collateral for owing $2? I am not a thief." He says, "Or, we can just call the police." I say, "Go ahead, call the police."

He finally comes back and says I can leave. I do so, come home, find my wallet on a counter, rush back, give him $3, more than I owe. He offers no change. I say "You treated me like a fricking thief. He says "No I didn't." Sure, buddy, sure.

I go and gas up at 76. I can't stop sobbing at this point.

I understand some people drive off without paying. That's not me. I'm a regular customer. The amount I owed was tiny. My mistake, with my wallet falling out of my purse at home, unintentional. Arco you didn't need to treat me like that.

Heartless, ruthless, greedy, evil. Those are the only words I can come up with to describe that gas station, after what happened to me today at Arco.

More Photos and Some Updates

Feather, feeling better. She is starting to gain some weight finally.

Meesa on bed window cat run.
Jade and Meesa on bedside window cat run.
Starry on new window shelf cat bed, with others.

Electra, my ancient kitty, on right. Her best friend, one of them, Slurpy the Torti, is on the left.

Cougie, of the Business Nine, relaxing.

Yesterday, I stopped by a colony I helped trap and fix about seven years back. They have a neighbor with about 10 cats needing fixed and had asked me to help him out. They had given him my number but he had never called. So we called from there, and we are setting up appointments to get it done. I took this photo of a fat Lilac Point Siamese I trapped to be fixed at this colony, composed almost entirely of Siamese, with a few brown tabbies and calicos mixed in. I trapped that colony for fixing about seven years ago. Most are still there, fat and thriving and elderly. The couple bought the property unaware there were almost 40 cats that came with the place. The former owner apparently had a backyard breeder for a daughter.
Fat Shaggy Older Lilac Point Siamese, fixed seven years ago.
Valentino looking beautiful!
Rogue, of the Nine Business cats, sits in front of a favorite toy, a plastic cat tube, with ball sent to me by a Canadian! Thank you Elaine! Rogue, like Val, suffers from flea allergies.
Sam on the new cat shelf. I built a new cat shelf. The cats love to lounge in the windows, but the tiffing over prized sleeping spots gets extreme. So I built the shelf, from the discarded Millersburg wood, painted it with paint given me by a wrecking yard, found in rusted cans in the back of a truck and the cats love it already!
The second slant house eaves cat housing unit, in the making. I have someone who needs a housing unit for two outside cats. So the second eave slant house is in the making, with the discarded eaves from Millersburg and the bright burgandy paint from the wrecking yard. Those are three inch insulated walls and the floor and back also will be insulated. All I need to finish it is the insulation added to the floor, then the actual floor laid atop that, the insulation added to the back, then the second layer of wood for the inside back, and the top made. I will also add a shelf. Cats loves these. They have the side entrance hole, plus I leave a low down hole at the very front, the lowest point of the slant. The limiting factor is the length of time it takes paint to dry in my garage! It's like watching grass grow!
Geezer guy Val again!

Gretal is now fully recovered from her cold and Feather is doing well too and now released from the bathroom sick room containment.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Albany Female Fixed Yesterday. Heartland Takes her Kittens

An Albany woman had called a few weeks ago about a stray female she took in pregnant, who had four kittens in her closet. She wanted her fixed, but at that time, the kittens were only two weeks old. I advised her to wait.

However, she called me on Thursday, stating she was leaving for a couple of weeks next week, and needed the mom cat spayed immediately. She would have a relative feed the mom once a day while gone, but the cat goes outside to the bathroom, and she wanted the kittens gone too, or she'd have to give them away over this weekend.

I called Heartland, who not only agreed to spay the mother, done yesterday, but also take in the four kittens, who are seven weeks old, three girls and a boy.

This is the only boy of the four kittens.

The mom, Mini, spayed yesterday.

The three girl kittens. Heartland took in all four of the kittens.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Went to the Doctor

I haven't been to see my PCP in maybe three years. It's a fast food type office setting. You're in and you're out so fast you can't figure out what just happened.

That's why I quit going.

But, under review for SSI, I was scared since I've not been to a shrink in over ten years and my disability was mental. That's because of all the abuse I endured in the system. They wanted medical records for the review only of the last 12 months, which in my mind, makes it highly likely I'll soon be laying my blankets under a bridge somewhere.

What to do? Where to turn?

I turned to someone I knew ten years ago, when I lived in Corvallis who is now the director of the health department in Benton County. I asked him for help.

He set me up with a nurse practitioner at their clinic there. Today I saw her. If the review goes further, she said, then I have them contact her. I have a medical record again. She revised my old mishmash of psyche diagnoses, which were enshrined on me for life by this and that whomever, even by caseworkers who didn't like me.

She put me down rightfully as PTSD.

She was really nice, too. So I switched to her and that clinic for primary care, since I have no connection to the Samaritan clinic I used, other than some rather traumatic ones.

There were good people up there, don't get me wrong.

Since I'm scared of doctors, my BP was high when I first went in, but it went down nicely after 15 minutes or so.

She told me if I have no issues, I should make an appointment in a year and a half or so. I like that.

I had re-read the review paperwork which calmed me down some. They said once a person is older, they consider things like physical problems and the likelihood a person of a certain age might find work. That made me feel more at ease. It'd be really tough on me to suddenly move to zero income and also lose my place to live. I know lots of people are facing that now though, so if it happens to me, I have no cause for outrage, although it would make me very sad and worried.

I had been meaning to find a new doctor but it's really a very terrible thought to me, to do such a search. I mean, that's really personal and it's stressful to go looking and not finding. Still have no dentist.

This clinic is pretty laid back and decent. I was so relieved, to be set with someone I can see and feel comfortable seeing, should I need it.

So now I have a doctor. How do you like that.

And...I need to lose at least 36 pounds. I don't have a scale. I was actually really happy I didn't weigh more than that scale said today.

Valentino's Adoption Goes South

Valentino's adoption is off.

The couple may still consider adopting him if their roommate moves out. Their roommate is someone laid off and still trying to find work. There are so many in that position now. At least this person has a place to live until work is found.

As for Val and the rest here, we do our best and hope for homes for those most adoptable, so those not so friendly to strangers, can get the attention they crave from me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grumbly and Suri Get New Names at New Home, Doing Good

Houdini and Jasmine (formerly Grumbly Rumby and Suri) in their new home.

Suri's new name is Jasmine, which fits her well, while Grumbly's new name is Houdini, which fits him also.

Their adopters contacted me today to say both are doing well. Houdini remains somewhat shy, but now has a bed in the living room and is in it watching them and out, in the evening. They said he is doing fine and even purring. What a relief!

I am ecstatic, and if you could see me, you'd see me doing the happy dance.

Still hoping the Valentino adoption goes through. Great woman who just has to convince her husband on it. It would be too awesome to contemplate that Val might also get a permanent home finally.

If my brother adopts Sam and Smolder, although I thought that was going to be this week, and he has not yet set a definite date or time, I'd be down five adult cats. (he's sick) Well, two of them technically teens.

My birthday is coming up soon. Let's see, am not a date keeper, but it's a week from tomorrow. (looked on my calendar). Getting Val, Sam and Smolder homes by my birthday would be about the best present I could imagine.

Suri and Grumbly getting a home together was something I had started to think would not happen. When it did happen and when they were not returned and I'm told, doing well, oh what a feeling.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The Portland woman who had originally contacted me interested in adopting him is indeed still interested and may come down this Saturday, to take him home. She's a real animal lover and I have no doubts about this adoption, if it works out for her.


I am excited for Val also because of his flea allergy and so many cats in and out here.

I hope it works out. Cross your fingers!

Gretal started drooling pus again, but, turns out, this time it's a sinus infection. I got some antibiotics today and she'll begin on those. She will join Feather in the bathroom, whom now I believe is clogged in hair. I am convinced enough of this to begin her on stool softeners. I had to be sure her rather rapid weight loss was not due to diarrhea, because then, it would only make things worse.

I got the Poly sand today!!! Yay and thank you. I also acquired a flat enclosed plastic oil collection tank. They went on sale, down from over $20 to just under $10. Now, to rig the whole thing. I have to figure some fittings is all and make a cabinet to hold the litter box above the tank, not such a problem with the flat oil collection tank which is max five inches high.

I would like to have acquired a larger plastic storage container, as a covered litter box, but I have not found one at a thrift store or discarded and they're too expensive to buy new. So my prototype will be small.

I will attach homemade charcoal filters to the inside of the litter box. I get charcoal in plastic jars at Walmart. You just put the charcoal into a nylon then into a plastic container with holes drilled in it. That charcoal can be washed and even frozen to kill bacteria every now and then. Another good odor absorber--coffee grounds!

I will have to perfect my litter box over time and with observation. Most of the cleaning up I do here is cleaning litter boxes and the tracking of litter around the house. Much of my expense here is buying litter and disposing of it. If I can only eliminate litter from my life, I'll be a happy camper!

If Valentino ends up going to this Portland home, I will really be a happy camper. These are dedicated animal lovers and good people.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The World Newspaper in Coos Bay covers Hoarder House Story

The hoarder house clean up event was covered by Coos Bay's newspaper. Click the post title to read the story.

The story is interesting in that the couple already had a collector mentality before they began helping cats. They could not get rid of stuff. Their three car garage looks like many of the garages around here, crammed top to bottom with useless items from fans, to bedframes to old bedding, to tools and cages and broken TV's. I counted at least three microwaves visible in the garage.

They began helping cats with a flawed plan. They had an adoption center at a mall. People who wanted to rehome their cats could drop them off in the morning at the mall and if the cats were not adopted during the day, they were to pick them up in the evening. But most people never picked their cats up, dumping them on the couple.

As recently as five years ago, the house and cats were well cared for. Then came the decline in their health and litter boxes were literally never cleaned again.

In addition, they refused to give up any adoptable cats to local groups (no kill groups).

Anyhow, I hope the article generates some donations to help cover the costs of garbage haul off. S/nipped and FOCCAS did an incredible job cleaning up that awful place and getting the cats out. They left them their treasured dozen, their oldest cats, who have been with them since they lived in California.

I have found with cat hoarders, leaving at least two fixed cats really helps prevent and recurrence.

I need to remember their story. I am alone here and should I have a health decline, which is inevitable as we age, what would become of the cats here? I don't know of anyone with cats who does not think about this.

I have a list of the cats here, with photos, on my frig and instructions on personalities, who likes who, what type of home would be best, for each included along with directions on how to find all their med records on my computer files.

But what of the ferals here, what would become of them, and who would take any of them on, and not kill them, should something happen to me?

I have an agreement with a neighbor and one woman, to care for them, if they get a call that something has happened to me, on a temporary basis, and of shelters I don't want them taken to, because they would be killed. So far, that's all I've come up with, as a solution. Besides, of course, trying to find the adoptable ones homes.

In that vein, I have a message from the Portland woman who may still want to adopt Valentino. Crossing fingers. And so far, no return of Grumbly Rumby and Suri, which is really a happy thing for me.

Did precious Rumby finally find someone to love him forever?

Gloom Day Over Tires

I'm in a mood today. It's the tire thing. They had not been balanced properly and the vibration driving on them was quite something else again.

Today, I went to Corvallis to have them properly balanced. I also threw the two tires into the car taken off the front, when I got the new tires, to return to the wrecking yard to avoid paying for them. I had not paid for them yet.

I had asked Firestone Tigard to put the two removed front tires, Toyos, into the back of my car. They bagged the tires in plastic and put them into the back of my car. I had not looked into the bags and had no reason to believe they were not the right tires.

Until I looked today. One was a Prime Well, off the rear of my car, and the other a Toyo. Useless! I was very upset, to say the least. Who in the world could make such an idiotic error?

I call Tigard from the Corvallis Firestone. The guy says he'll check the pulled off tires to see if he can find the Toyo and call me back. I get no call back.

The wrecking yard won't take back just one. Useless. He's writing a bill out. If I can't get that Toyo back from Tigard Firestone, I have to pay for the wrecking yard tires. I am about at the edge. Pay for Tigard Firestone's mistake.

What happened to business competence?

And for them to say they'd call back, then not call back, that too is rude.

Corvallis Firestone re-balanced my new tires for me. Two of them were slightly off they said. Seems to drive with less vibration now at least.

UPDATE: Since Tigard Firestone did not call me back, I called them. I get someone else who tells me the pulled off tires were taken away by the tire recycler this morning, so there's no getting that Toyo back. He gave me their FAX number and suggested I FAX the wrecking yard bill to them but also said the manager won't be in again until this Friday so there will be nothing that can be done until then and then it's up to him.

Well, shit happens. Hopefully it will work out and I'll get reimbursed. I'm still worn out from the trips, Thursday to the FCCO and Saturday to S/nipped then working on the cleanup despite exhaustion already. Feather, in my bathroom, experiencing possibly severe health issues, has me worried also. She has lost weight rapidly in the last two weeks and was very dehydrated. But why?

She won't let me look in her mouth to check for a bad tooth.

Other than that, if a young cat loses weight and is dehydrated, I start thinking intestinal blockage, gut infection, lymphoma, or FIP.

She'll eat only small amounts before quitting. Why's that, I think to myself. Cancer? Blockage? I have yet to see her poop, although she pees. I am giving her fluids and force feeding her nutrical. I have no money for a vet visit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photos of the Seven Cats Fixed Yesterday

I took seven local cats down to be fixed yesterday. Six of the seven came from the same Albany household. They have seven others who will need fixed. Five of those are kittens. The sixth is their mom. The seventh is a big tabby male, constantly roaming, whom they claim rarely now comes home. He's prime candidate to catch and spread diseases like FIV and Felk, so I want them to find him, confine him when he comes home, and get him fixed, for the sake of other Albany cats.

Of the six who were fixed from this household so far, three were girls, one a very prolific mom, and three were boys.
Poof, Albany long hair tabby female, fixed yesterday.

George, Albany brown tabby male fixed yesterday.

Hiccup, big black male, fixed yesterday from the Albany house.

Tabby, a prolific female from the Albany house, fixed yesterday.

White Paws, tabby tux male, fixed yesterday from the Albany House of cats.

Lily, torbi tux female, one of six fixed yesterday from the same Albany household. They have seven more cats who need fixed.

I also took a male kitten down to be fixed from Corvallis. The man has been evicted. I don't know the details. He said his girlfriend died. She must have had the apartment in a low income complex out off 53rd.

It's really beautiful out there. Some of the houses on Meadowlark although tightly packed are what you think a house should look like, with front porches covered and big enough to accommodate chairs so one could sit and visit with neighbors or read or just kick back on a lazy evening.

When returning the cat there this morning, memories of life in Corvallis, although very hard on me, came wafting back. I felt resentments, for all they have over there, the wonderful parks and bike and pedestrian paths. When I was evicted from that horrible slum shack, I could find nowhere cheap enough to rent.

And when my brother stepped in, willing to buy a house to rent to me, with my share of my parents estate, he could find nothing even close to affordable to buy. So I ended up here. He vowed to sell this place within a year. He knew it was not my style to live in a cul de sac surrounded in concrete, but he never had the time.

I do feel caught in a trap here. I have been unable to make connections of any kind and lost most of those I had when I lived in Corvallis. I am lonely here and cannot find avenues for recreation either. Fish out of water I am. Flopping around on a sidewalk, gasping.
Kiki, the Corvallis male kitten, fixed yesterday.

The man who owns Kiki met me downtown Corvallis with the kitten Thursday evening. He had made a carrier from a gear net and a basket! I didn't ask him what will become of him, once he has to vacate the apartment by the end of this month. He had told me he would be couch surfing for awhile. Kiki he thinks will stay with a friend, who insisted he first be fixed. It was an emergency to get Kiki fixed so he'd have a place to go end of the month. Heartland had referred this man to me for help.

His plight reminded me to be grateful to have a roof over my head. I may be lonely here, but I have a roof over my head.

Speaking of which, the Sunday paper listed nonprofits in our area that bring in over $200,000 per year in donations. The Oregon AG office wants state nonprofits to meet the standard of spending at least 65% of incoming funds on their mission. Heartland made the grade. Safehaven didn't.

Last I heard from Suri and Grumbly's adopters, Suri was doing good while Grumbly was still scared. I am so glad, actually, that I don't have to list Grumbly anymore. I don't have to deal with the breed people anymore, the ones who want him really only because he's Siamese.

They would ignore completely my listing information that he could only be adopted with one of his friends. What kind of people are these, I think to myself. Just so glad I no longer have to deal with them. So glad the people who took him actually were interested in Suri, and took Grumbly because they felt bad for him and knew him being adopted with Suri was likely his sole chance of getting a home. Character!

If Grumbly is returned this time, he will no longer go up for adoption, to save him the trauma and me the trauma of dealing with the breed people.

My new tires seem to be causing some rather disturbing vibrations, especially at speeds between 40 and 60. I will have to find a Firestone and go in, make sure they are balanced ok and find out why the vibration.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

North Bend Hoarder House Trip Adventure (And Seven Local Cats Fixed)

Window sill poop and hair.

Allegedly once a mattress, used as recently as last night.

Grabbing lunch in a hail storm.

Frig unknown. And it jiggles!

Filthy vent in front of fridge.

Wall scrubbing. All walls were scrubbed and wiped down, as were the poop covered floors.

Patio poop.

Ripping sheets into rags to use.

Kitty slept on this mattress.

Soaking the stove before scrubbing.

Filth at the bottom of the fridge.

Brave fridge cleaner kid.

Hairy door.

Dirty fan. Dead mouse inside.

As the garbage was bagged and removed from the house, the pile got bigger outside. Now, the organizers need donations to cover getting a huge dumpster to put it into to be hauled off.

These were out on the patio which was just horrible and slippery in poop.

Volunteers escape a hail storm that hit right at lunch break.

More patio poop.

Poop and urine covered furniture was the first out of the house and piled outside. Most of it too needs hauled off.

I drove to North Bend this morning. Number one: I had seven more cats in need of fixing. Number two: I wanted to be part of something, the clean up of the North Bend hoarder house.

You can't really call Kitty a hoarder. Her cats were fixed and she has not added to the bunch for many years. She was a rescuer, but then she became disabled and got dementia. Her husband never really chipped in with the work load around the house and that didn't change after his wife became disabled. A recipe for disaster.

I hope I'm getting the history straight.

So S/nipped organized a rescue of Kitty. They got most of her cats out. Most went up to Oregon Cat. They got donations to get the ones medical care who needed it. Many were quite old.

Then they organized the Great Kitty Clean Up for today. The cleaning supplies were Dollar Store bought. Dollar Store brooms, brushes, dust masks, sponges and cleaning supplies. Also on hand, surgical masks and gloves from the S/nipped clinic and clove oil to put on the masks to help mask the smell inside.

The smell was awful. Poop covered the floors, cabinets, furniture, counter tops, beds and deck. It was yukky and that is a severe understatement.

First off, all the furniture got hauled out. Volunteers then began bagging garbage and urine and poop soaked items. Even dishes were poop crusted and the frig was something else again with items inside outdated by half a decade! It was a young boy who tackled cleaning the frig. In fact, several kids were there working their butts off at a very stinky awful job. I was impressed!

But my day began even odder. Just west of Scottsdale, on highway 38, in the dark, early morning, on my way down with seven local cats, six of them from the same Albany household, I saw red tail lights up ahead and slowed. Two trucks and a pickup with a trailer were stopped in front of me. I got out of my car to see what was going on.

Up ahead, in the darkness, a great oak had given way under the onslaught of rain and crashed down across the road probably five minutes before.

Not to worry. Amongst traffic starting to pile up from the other direction, was somebody with a chain saw. We soon heard it roar to life and within 20 minutes, those guys had one lane free of debris. As I drove by them, I rolled down my window and said "Thank you!" One guy, lanky, lean and young, answered with a smile and a "Yup."

First, I had endured driving rain. Then intermittent hail. Just south of Winchester Bay, going up the hill, a deputy flew by me, lights flashing. I was coming down the hill, and right there at the bottom by the first curves, was the deputy. And snow!! On the road.

A car had hit those curves, probably going too fast and slid around backwards and off the side of the road and down a short shallow embankment.

The snow on the road lasted only a quarter mile. But I hit more just south of Tenmile, another short stretch of snow on the highway.

After that, smooth sailing.

I registered the cats at S/nipped for surgery and went off to join the clean up.

Hail hit us there too, right at lunch. Tamara's husband had just brought pizza and set it up on a table and wham, down comes hail, hard and large chunks. People ignored it, although finally most went to eat their pieces of pizza under a tree.

A reporter for The World newspaper came and took photos of the house and interviewed Tamara and Kitty, the woman with dementia who lives there (with her husband).

I left about 3:30 and went back to S/nipped to pick up the seven cats. They have a shower at S/nipped. I used it to wash off the stench of the day and change into the clean clothes I had brought with me.

Then it was back to Albany and delivery right back of six of the cats. The seventh will go home tomorrow.

I took down four boys and three girls, six from one Albany household. One of the females has already had many litters including cats fixed in two previous trips to S/nipped from another Albany household. It was that household who convinced this woman it was time to get her cats fixed. She has another female who needs fixed but right now, she has five young kittens. She has another male too, but he rarely comes home anymore, she said.

I was happy to be part of the Great Cat Clean up in North Bend. It was an honor. And it was fun.