Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Electra Chronicles

Electra, my precious little brown tabby girl, is almost 15 years old now.  How time flies.

She was my second cat.  I had Hopi already, rescued from the far side of the river.  I was by then volunteering with the FCCO, at their clinics, when I could.  I volunteered at a clinic held at an empty building in Salem, under construction it was.

That Sunday, a Salem trapper, Colonel Vince I called him, or Saint Vince, a retired Army colonel who had taken to helping cats, brought in a large group of lookalike cats from a hoarder sort out in Silverton.  He had two tabby teens in one trap.  I was asked to transfer one out to another trap.

The transfer room was the bathroom of the building.  However, it too was under construction and one side of the bathroom wall was open, with exposed wiring and circuit box feeding the whole building.

Somehow, the transfer went bad and one tabby girl darted away from me.  There was also a large hole that led into the wall and off to who knows where.  I hadn't seen that before I began the transfer.

However, the terrified teen climbed the walls and ended up behind a board tacked over the main circuit box, all that exposed tangled wiring.  Uh oh.  She could be killed instantly if she bit or clawed through a wire.  She could start the building on fire too.  I immediately threw off the main circuit, instantly shutting down electricity to the entire building.

I climbed up on a chair, and in the dark, reached back into that wiring tangle for that terrified teen.  My hand found her.  Her teeth found my hand.  She bit clear through my thumbnail.  I held on and pulled her out.

Due to FCCO standards, now she had to be quarantined ten days somewhere because she had bitten me.  I agreed to take her home to do that after she was fixed.  I figured Hopi needed a friend anyhow.

 That is how Electra came to live with me.  That was three rentals ago too.  I lived then over on Coolidge street in Corvallis.  After that place wouldn't pass HUD inspections, I had to move out of that dive, to another dive, where I lived for five years, before I was evicted from that slum shack, after the decrepit gas furnace failed, one freezing December.  That was seven years ago that I moved here.  Time flies.

Electra still likes to nurse and knead on my sleeve nights.  She loves her friends.  She has to have fresh grass at least twice a week to eat too, or her stomach is upset.

She broke her jaw once, grounded out jumped off something, probably caught a claw, and landed chin first, popping that fragile lower jaw joint, at the front, apart. She had it wired together and it healed.  But then the wire broke loose and migrated.  I could feel it's sharp ends poking through under her chin, as it moved towards her throat.  So she had another surgery to remove the wire.

My baby is old.  Her old friends, Hopi and Bangor (my third cat), are long gone.  Vision, my fourth cat, from my river cat family, is still here and 19 now.  As her old friends have died, Electra has made new friends.

Electra, with Hopi, who died of Cancer.  Hopi was my first cat.  This was taken way back when I lived on Coolidge street in Corvallis.

Electra with Bangor.  This photo too was taken way back when I lived on Coolidge.
On Coolidge.

At the West Hills shack, in Corvallis, where she and I lived for five years.

This too was taken at the Coolidge street rental, prior to 2002. 
On a cat shelf, at the West Hills rental.

Looking satisfied, as a rescued kitten snuggles against her.
Electra in December of 2008.

Electra in 2009.
Electra in 2010.
Electra in May 2011.

Showing her age in November 2012.

2012 again.

She's had a lifetime of love and many many friends.  Here she is on the upper right, next to Starry, to the left of her.  Slurpy, the happy torti and one of her best friends is in foreground sleeping with head across a rescued Siamese boy, now in a home.

Cattyhop loved her dearly.  Catthyhop died of a heart attack.

Electra with lower jaw shaved after surgery to repair her broken jaw.

Nap with a friend!

Nap with another friend.

And with more friends.

Could Electra's life have ended up any better?
Electra, March 13, 2013.

I Want

I want a fast car, an open road, with curves, and the cops all on vacation

I want a big car, packed in friends laughing, and an ice chest filled with expectations of the day to come

I want an overstuffed comforter, snuggled around me, warm cats purring, cold night, stars shining through the window, one light and a good book

I want the wind screaming, the rain lashing my windows, heat on, feet up and a mug of hot cocoa

I want a lawn chair, a lake rippled in fish after the bugs, hands out, campfire crackling and warm, smoke smell, dirt, camp food, stories, coffee in the morning, when my nose is cold, tin cup hot to warm my stiff fingers

I want to dig my bare toes into the wet sand of an Oregon beach, jeans rolled up to my knees, little kids dragging sea weed, chasing delirious romping dogs chasing waves

I want to weed my garden boxes, while the boys down the street peer under car hoods propped up, lazily, music blaring, like everybody loves them

I want to forgive everyone their sins, like a preacher or a priest, like god, like a clean slate for all, for me, so we’re free, all of us, to live this beautiful life.

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