Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Too Old!

I am too old to be sitting in a freezing car all night, night after night, after those darn apartment cats.  They are hard to trap because everything they knew has disappeared.  The feeder tenant, once evicted for feeding and never fixing the cats, took everything, besides their twice daily food, including their beds.  If she would have caught them herself because they knew her, before she moved, and took everything that was set up for them, it would have been easy.

Now they are lost and forlorn and starving and totally spooked out.  Darn shit tenant.

That woman has issues.  She was dedicated to making the effort to save them fail.  I think so she could feel more of a victim.  Or just out of spite.  She should have been charged with abandonment.  Why she and the other tenants feeding would not get them fixed is beyond my capacity to understand.  Issues, I guess, and it is damn easy to thow out a bowl of food twice a day.  Takes no effort.  But trapping, that might take a little work.

So on and on it goes, as I succomb to exhaustion and bitterness, cursing everyone, including the darn city official I got into it with over these cats.

The two abandoned next door are now in Portland. Simone, the big Siamese, is old and has very bad teeth.   Mimi has a flea allergy.  Both were crawling in them.  That's a nonprofit low income housing project next door to where I am trapping, where they were abandoned.  Why don't low income projects have a fixed pet only policy and enforce it?  Why don't they charge tenants who abandon cats?  It is against the law.

Old, crawling in fleas, with bad teeth, abandoned in Albany.  Simone.  Now in Portland.

Guess I'm getting tired of the high rates of abandonment in this town.  The 8 at the nursery.  The two at the housing project.  And at least 11 ferals at this complex.  Yes, ferals can  be abandoned.  If a person feeds them, they're their cats.  When they walk off and leave them, that's abandonment.  I'd like to kick some of those asshole tenants down the block, I would.

Besides running the two abandoned cats to Portland today, I took two more apartment complex cats to Salem to be fixed.  Both boys.  A black tux and a black on white.  I had trapped another, a seventh, but she was one fixed last summer.
This is Booboo, a little female I originally trapped last summer to be fixed.  Now she's here again, this time to save her life.

Patches, a black on white male fixed yesterday from the complex.

Whitemouth, who looks so much like Booboo, a male, fixed yesterday, from the complex.

Jazz, a small skinny black kitty (a pregnant female, labeled "senior" at the FCCO clinic) I drop trapped last night at the complex.
 I drop trapped an eighth tonight, a little black one I've seen running around.  I used my old drop trap.  Is so much better than the one I bought with Christmas money.  The online store bought one is made from stiff wire.  The springs that hold the top on catch on everything and sometimes fall off.

Sure, it folds up, but the transfer door is on the side, so it requires more space, and the cats aren't as leery of my old falling apart wood and black netting drop trap that is now zip tied together since its seen years of high usage.  So I used it and caught the little black one.  I would have caught the preggie with it, but I slipped up when yanking the cord.  Too tired, caught my arm, so there was a hesitation, a couple seconds.  She heard the movement and bolted and I came home after missing on her.  I needed to come home.

What will be will be.  The manager there hasn't called me back or returned calls since I started trapping.  He wanted it done, but I wanted him to keep that end apartment under control nights but apparently that isn't a priority.  I will just send a request for a donation to the owner, appealing to right and wrong.

Fat chance that will work, eh?

So far, I've caught 8.  There are at least two black tuxes still there, one of them very pregnant.  As far as I can tell, there is not one person in that complex who gives a shit.  They want the cats helped as long as someone else does the helping.  That young man who is up all night, doesn't work, had the gall to ask if he could have the gray tux kitten I trapped.  I wanted to slug the lazy ass twenty something.  For gosh sakes, if he wanted that kitten, he would have to be the one sitting out there all night catching it.  That made me laugh. What a little bitch, man.  Somebody pampered him too much.

Well, maybe one day I'll catch them all and sleep for days and smile again.

I might be down to two, there's that, but the one is pregnant.  I have nowhere for the rest of the cats to go, from these apartments, not even the four in my garage, let alone the two left out there (or more).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What an Idiot

I'm a stubborn idiot.  I'm still trying to catch the rest of those darn apartment  cats.

How many more, besides the four I caught already, have I caught?

One.  That's right.  One.

The big male.

Spay day competitions end of month have their downside.  No space for spays or neuters to be found.

I hate holding a stinky unfixed male.

I'm wearing myself down and out and quirky, trying to catch these cats.  I operate through a haze of stubborn idiocrisy now.  Damn it I'm going to save all those cats.  And die doing so.  I got nothing left going for me anyhow.  My spay neuter days are pretty much over, and that's killing me because I see unfixed cats roaming everywhere and I just want to jump out of my car, chase them down and tackle them.  "Sorry about this, buddy, but you're not fixed and you have to be fixed."  Gimp foot.  Old age.  And chasing down, tackling cats.  Ok.  Sure.

I'm going to try to get the complex to make a donation for doing all this for them.  I want the donation to go to my friend, who is taking the cats from the complex on.  She usually tries to get $100 per cat take in fee, as she will care for them the rest of their lives.  Helps offset the costs of food, flea treatment, etc.  I bought over $100 in cat food, paper towels and cleaning supplies when I took up the first four, to do something for her, minus the intake fee.  It's not cheap to take on cats for life.  I need to raise that fee somehow for her.  Otherwise, its' just not fair to her.  Not that anything is fair.

The group originally taking them had a deadline that passed, for a home they had lined up.  I could not catch them all and get them fixed by the time they had to have them.  I could have, if the feeder tenant had done her part, but that didn't happen.  Again.

If anyone reading this would be able to make a donation to her for taking these Albany apartment complex cats, let me know, via comments, and I will send you her contact info.

I was too tired today to get the tame abandoned brown tabby female or the tame neutered huge Siamese, with no apparent owner either, to KATA.  I couldn't even get it together to get them out of the cages they are currently occupying in my garage.

The brown tabby girl is afraid she's going to be left alone again, abandoned.  She is highly attached to her soft bed, like it too will be taken from her and she'll have to sleep in a cardboard box, which was where she was sleeping, in the carport of the rental where she once lived with her people, after they left her.   I believe the Siamese likely lived there too.  Sort of lived there because they were assholes and probably barely noticed they were alive and not stuffed animals.

Anyhow, the Siamese big boy was rolling around while I petted him.  Then I touched him along his back and he charged at me, growling.  He didn't strike at me though.  I think he is constipated.  Constipation will do that to you, make you cranky.  If you don't know that already, you're not old enough yet, but you will learn that.

He's big enough to do serious damage, however.  So I didn't push it and left him alone and got  him high, on some catweed.  Why not?

In the end, I told the KATA woman waiting for both, could we wait til Monday?  She's going to be gone tomorrow.  She was easy and said "sure".  I thought I'd sleep and I did some, on my couch, using a cell phone alarm clock to wake up and go check the darn trap.

I thought I'd found people over there to check it but I really had not.  I found that out when they never called when the trap was sprung.  First it was Fred, the tame fixed Lynx Point in it, then it was the big unfixed colony male they call Patches over there.

I went around on the streets behind the complex trying to see if maybe that tame Siamese really has an owner.  Almost no one would open their door to talk to me.  I don't blame them.  But I got pointed this way and that, to houses with cats and told who hated cats.  I was told there was a Siamese seen routinely on the corner.  Before I got there, a woman said her neighbors had a pregnant female and another unfixed cat, and she urged me to talk to them, maybe help get them fixed.  But when a young man answered the door, he said they had no unfixed cats.  I knew he was lying.  I'd been told by three different neighbors they always have cats there having kittens.

Can't force people.  Wish I could.  Because it's ridiculous to let cats have kittens these days.  Both local shelters are full now and kitten season hasn't even begun.  Only selfish people let their cats have kittens.  Cat haters really.

So I found the animal lover house for sure.  She thought the Siamese might be the stray she feeds so she followed me home to see.  But he's not.  And when we went back to her house there he was and he immediately walked up and spray marked my car.  My grill no less.

He has huge dark chocolate balls.  She said she will try to get him fixed this week.  She also feeds an orange male and I don't think he is fixed either.  A black small male, with huge balls and a collar, was trying to pick a fight with the huge Siamese and that would not go down well for that little black cat.  She didn't know who owned him, the house across the street she thought.

Within twenty minutes, I had discovered five more unfixed cats, in two blocks.  That's Albany for you.  It was depressing because every block here is like that.  Totally wiped the smile from my face. I'm lying.  I wasn't smiling to begin with.  Nobody knew the Siamese boy I trapped at the complex, who is neutered and tame, except for when you touch him near the back end.

I wish had so much money, millions.  No, trillions.  I'd get every fricking cat in Oregon fixed and pay off some legislators so they'd pass a spay and neuter your cats and dogs by four months of age bill.  And a ban breeders from Oregon bill.  That's right.  Exile them. Run them clean across the border.  We don't want them here.  Get out.  You're causing problems for everyone and suffering for the cats and dogs.  Go on, leave!

I generally don't support adding more laws to the books, but what the hell.  May as well.  They're not enforced but may as well.  Who could ever remember all the laws we have now?  Not me.  I probably broke a few today even and didn't know.

Speaking of strange things with laws, there's a red light camera intersection in Albany.  I'd never seen those camera lights flash before.  I was sitting at the red light, left lane, after checking the trap, and suddenly there are flashes, two of them, very bright.  I think it must be lightning, since it's been stormy and look around.  Then I realize it must be those red light cameras flashing.  But, the strange thing was, I didn't see any cars running a light.  The light had been red many seconds, going the direction I was facing and traffic was going through on the green the other way.  So what the hell?  Who is going to get a ticket from that for not doing anything, I thought to myself.  Then I get home and thnk what if they send me a ticket and I was just sitting there, still as a street sign.  Now that would be outraging.  They can't be that corrupt, can they, that lousy, those red light cameras.  Someone told me they just fire every now and then, to reset themselves. Yeah right.  I don't buy that.

My cars filthy.  I'm dirty too.  I'm beginning to feel like total white trash and discredited by the flap with the city official.

I feel like a mighty eagle is soaring over me somewhere and I'm a little mouse and that eagle is on the hunt for me.

That's what I get, paranoid, when I defy someone with power.

It's like my favorite cartoon ever.  Totally.  Big huge eagle is swooping in, talons out front, towards a mouse. That mouse is going to die.  That mouse is going to be eagle supper.  So how is that mouse reacting?  Is the mouse cowering?  Hell no.  The mouse has its middle finger extended straight up at the eagle.  The mouse is flipping off the eagle!   The cartoon is entitled "The Last Great Act of Defiance."

The Last Great Act of Defiance.  What will mine be?  What will be yours?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Frustration, Exhuastion. Seven Albany Cats Fixed Today.

I've been trying to catch the last cats at the complex.  Four left.  A rowdy group of night owl tenants, between six and eight of them, to one apartment, are making it hard.  In and out, all night long, they are.  By fours, by two's, by six's.  They leave four to one car, come back in two cars, 15 minutes later.  Nice cars.  Leave again in 20, come back in 15.  Over and over and over again.  They are fairly polite, but last night, mocked me, and would move towards the cats, to scare them.  It was very difficult.  I got into it with them after hours, and this the third night of this sort of thing.  The constant partiers, I call them.

I took four of them to Portland today.  The three not yet fixed got fixed.  I took the other to a barn home.  I stayed a couple hours to do some work there.  I bought supplies since she's doing me a favor on my credit card, because it was what I needed to do, to make it right by her taking them.  Fuck Albany. Oh my.  Swearing.  I do that more when having menopausal symptoms for some unknown reason.  At least the hot flashes helped keep me warm last night out trapping, all huddled up in my car.  I kind of ignore cold or wet.  Born in Oregon, I was.  Being wet doesn't get to me. I have never owned an umbrella.
This black tux from the complex was fixed today.  I don't know its sex for sure but looks male to me.  He or she is not returning to Albany.

This black tux kitten was also fixed today.  They sure are hard to tell apart.

Suzy, another black tux from the complex, was fixed the 10th and is now in a barn, soon to be joined by the other three.

This little gray tux kitten is the anomaly there.  The rest are black tux, except for one big male, not yet fixed, who is mostly white with some black.

I told her we should bill Albany.

I'd taken four other Albany cats to Heartland last night since I'd be gone this morning and have no helpers to transport.  Some woman called, said she had four.  Then it was five.  Then it was innumerable cats.   After I took the first four, she called me over and over, for no real reason.
Adult gray male from Albany fixed today at Heartland.

Gray male kitten fixed today at Heartland from Albany.  There were two all gray male kittens, an adult gray male and an adult gray female.

They are back home now.  Three boys and a girl, with many more there needing fixed.

I picked up a cat at the complex next to the one with the doomed ferals.  She got left behind, along with two others, when her owner moved out.  This poor girls woman also left behind two other cats when she moved, I was told, by someone who knows her, from a complex on the other side of the doomed ferals complex.  Her name is Sherrie and you never ever want to adopt to anybody in this area named Sherrie in case its her.  Spelling could be wrong.  She leaves them behind like trash.  This poor female was so starved, she'd been eating paper, then she'd vomit it up, like a hairball.  I was told one of the other two is a Siamese but I don't know what the third looks like.

She was scratching at the screen door of the rental where she'd lived before Sherrie left her behind.

I can't understand such people and I don't want to.  I can't understand partying all night every night and harassing someone trying to save the last four unwanteds, for fun, at the place next door either.  I feel like I must be living in hell.

KATA is taking the poor abandoned girl kitty who coughed up paper she ate to stave off her hunger.

Sherrie, you out there?  You belong behind bars.  You so belong behind bars.

So does druggie Ginger, who left behind the cats at the nursery.  You people shouldn't touch an animal and you need to get spayed and neutered yourselves so you don't fuck up kids too.

I am exhausted. Guess my attitude's bad tonight. Tired of trying to trap when there's no way to catch cats with the drug zombies doing their zombie thing all night there.

 I wanted so badly to save them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Worry--Sequestration and HUD

I never realized sequestration (love that word) could neutralize my life.  Naive me.

Well it could.

Click Here! Some 250,000 HUD vouchers of choice, where tenants find their own landlord, may be eliminated with sequestration, if it goes on, March 1, triggering across the board cuts in government departments including HUD.

The above link gives a state by state estimate of voucher numbers that may be eliminated.  Oregon's estimate is about 2700.  I think to myself  "should I be staking out space under a bridge somewhere about now?"  There may be quite a rush later.

I'll get warning, right, if it's me eliminated?

I can't think of another back up plan.  I've been going through that with my car, trying to think about what I should do.  Right now, with no other options clear, I'm letting the oil leak be.  I add about half a quart a week.  I can do that.  I hope it doesn't get much worse.  Of course it will but I can hope.

Also, I discovered a long ago denial can be a person's best friend ever.  The leak isn't there if I look away.

It also needs the air conditioner belt either tightened or replaced.  It shrieks dreadfully sometimes, but it's been doing that a couple of months.

I think the vibration is from shot struts.  I've never changed them.  This is a car with 217,000 miles on it and it has hauled some heavy loads for me.  So that's not that terrible if it is just the struts causing vibrations.  I sure wanted that wrecked Xa's front driver's seat.  Mine is worn to metal and I still want that seat.

I use a blanket or pillow on the seat to protect my butt, but it bunches up and scooches this way or that and gives me back and leg issues (more of them).

Anyhow I don't know what to do about the car, if I should pay out somehow to fix the rear main or let it leak til it pours.

And now with sequestration cutting HUD vouchers across the country, if that happens, I'm going to be living on pins and needles waiting to see if the axe will be dropping across my neck.  I don't want it to be me.

But if it is me, I need to have some kind of a plan going on in my mind of what to do then.  But what the hell kind of plan would that be?   To my knowledge there's nothing possible I could plan to do.   My brother probably wouldn't kick me out but I couldn't pay the bills.  Better to camp out here with the electric off, cooking over a camp stove, than to live under a bridge though.  I won't be able to consider fixing the car if I lose the voucher, but then the problem still exists, of how do I get groceries, cat litter, get around, without a car.  Except for reasons unknown I don't expect my car to ever quit running.  It's been so faithful, so wonderful, why would that ever stop, I think.  No reason.  That rear main seal leak could go on years before it's so bad I can't add enough oil to compensate, I think now.

 Oh man alive, I don't know how anyone affords to live anymore.

I don't want to be homeless.  I don't want to think of living totally in the rough, shutting off the electric so I could have a chance at staying here, no frig, heat, shower, but I could do it if I had to.  Be hard but I could do it.  I'd have to cut other things besides the electric also.  But for now my plan B will be, if I lose the voucher in sequestration, to immediately shut of the electric, to cut costs and go from there.  Gotta to have a Plan B, just in case its me.

I don't know how they're going to choose who gets cut out of a housing voucher if sequestration happens.  I hope they don't choose people who are born on sequestration day!  I want to have a big old birthday party this year.  Because it's like everything is getting harder and harder and why not celebrate still being alive through all this?

I saw some photos a few weeks back.  They were photos of China occluded in thick clouds of air pollution. People driving couldn't even see.  People on the street looked like they were walking in thick dense fog and people had to wear masks.  But it wasn't fog.  It was toxic air pollution.

When I saw those photos I knew we as a species are screwed.  When people exist in that kind of pollution and seem to accept it and don't rise up and demand change, or even when people or nations let that happen, you know our species has no future.  I became totally depressed after I saw those photos and made that realization.  Those photos changed me.

We're not going to make it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I am done.  I officially quit with the city in rounding up cats to be fixed under their grant, which is almost used up for this year anyhow.  It's all over those apartment cats.  Deadline is too close now to be able to get them caught and fixed for a relocation a group in Portland might have done for them.

 Relocations rarely work anyhow.  Relocation is brutal on cats and most of the cats over there are not yet fixed, including two mature males.  You can't relocate freshly fixed males.  Relocations rarely work.  They only work if you get the rare decent people, who actually follow relocation instructions and keep the cats confined in great comfort, where they can survey their new home, talk to them, work with them, name them, for a month or even longer.  Then whether they live or die or stick around depends on the area too and most areas in Oregon are over run in predators, cars, dangerous farm machinery and cat killing dogs.

 This is predator baby season too, upcoming, and predators often teach their young to hunt with small game, like rabbits and cats, that they disable, breaking legs or back, before dropping them near their young.  It's a brutal awful horrible terrifying death.

But the city was very unhappy about this and feel I should trap them anyway, even if I end up with them here since a city official talked to management about trapping, and told management I would trap them, which I was going to do, but by the time that happened it was too late.  I have no place to even get them fixed, should I catch them, until after the deadline has passed, meaning I'd be stuck with them, but this was of no concern to the city official.  Since they'd told management I would trap them, even though by the time that happened it was too late, then by golly I better do it.  I'm really sure I told her about the deadline. It is very difficult to accurately communicate via fb occasional messaging.

When I also told her my car is in bad shape and not safe to drive long distance anymore, with any surity I'll not be stranded, I was told that was my fault because I choose to drive to distant clinics instead of using local vets.  This was brutal and uncalled for attack.  Local vets could not have done the volume of cats I have been taking to be fixed, even if they were willing and would cut their costs to a quarter of what they normally charge or even less which they wouldn't have done.  That is why nonprofit clinics exist in the first place.

I realized what I am to them, a tool, not a human, just a tool, to be discarded if not useful.  When you get a gift, even a grant, I realize, there are expectations implied.  I got nothing from the grant at all.  Nothing.  The community benefited greatly, but I suffered under it.  The model is flawed, you see, with me sacrificing my time, my car, phone minutes, my sanity and my money.  It was really fricking stupid on my part.

My low self esteem and desire to please got me in this spot.  Well, not just that, I wanted badly to solve the overpopulation problem.  It's all I was good at.   The model sure wasn't an easy one, not being paid, having to use my own vehicle, come up with gas money up front and money for bait, then running into all these cats who would suffer and die if I didn't take them out of horrible places.  But I have no nonprofit myself, no help and no adoption venue.  So I'd end up finding most of the cats homes, from some terrible horrible place, but not all of them.  So they'd become part of the crowd here.

I felt under fire a year and a half ago when the city contacted me to help a local business with ferals roaming the property.  The grant was up for renewal.  I had told the city not to contact me when cats can't be returned. That I could not get involved in such situations.  I no longer do feral relocation.  But if I see the cats, then I'm a basket case, a total advocate for saving their lives.  So when one person from that business suggested maybe they would consider taking them back and feeding them, I took the bait.  But he wasn't even someone who could make that determination.  By then, I'd met the cats eyes with mine.  It's better for me to not even hear of situations where the cats can't return which is why I told the city not to refer such complaints my way.

 I didn't know what to do.  I'm not good with these things.  I wanted to please the city, so the grant could continue and, ok, so they'd like me.  So I trapped the cats and they're still here and I'm suffering because of it.  You see, I'm really not suited for doing what I've been doing due to my soft heart and low self-esteem and my lack of experience dealing with people and leveraging.

I do the best I can.  I blunder along.   But my gawd I've been in over my head so often.

Now my car has too many miles and I've beat the hell out of it hauling cats.  It's dripping oil and vibrating and making noises, but it's got heart, that's for sure.   I'm no good at hobnobbing or ass kissing.  If I don't like the way things are going down, sooner or later, I'll mess up and it will come out.  It came out tonight via facebook and I did need to put an end to it.

I was going to try to help those apartment cats out, but the tenant screwed things up, didn't help catch them, made it very unlikely they could be easily caught, even as the deadline loomed on that barn home and I wrestled with the knowledge feral relocation is usually lethal to cats anyhow.  Inadequate communication using fb instead of the phone, further complicated the situation with the now angry city official.

Too bad.  I'm a volunteer.  I don't have to do anything but I've done plenty and I cannot take on more cats here I don't care who promised who what.  Here's a thought, city official, it's six fricking cats.  Tell management to get them fixed and leave them alone or even feed them.  How about that as a solution?

I'm done.  Myself and the city official had a fb messaging face off.  It was all over her promising the manager I'd trap and remove those cats.  Sure, I was going to do that, when I had somewhere for them to go, but there was a deadline on that, after which I could not remove them without having nowhere for them to go.  About time I quit.  I couldn't continue at this pace.  My car is a basket case now.  So am I.  Guess I always was.

It's over. Done.  But it needed to be over and done.  This was not a sustainable model of doing things for me. It is good it has ended to save what life is left in my car and to relieve me of a burden that otherwise I seem unable to shrug---helping all the unwanted cats in this area.  It's really too much for a person to do without a support system and money.  I have nightmares. You get all cynical and PTSD'ed out seeing so much animal suffering and abuse.  You need a way to vent, a support system, people to talk to, to be able to deal with it and I don't have that.  It ended in sort of huge fireball shockwave that broke all my windows.  I'll have to fix them.  And breath.

It had to end one way or another.  Sooner or later.  It's hard, but life isn't easy.

What can I say.  Onward to Infinity!

Update:  I found somewhere else for the cats and sat there until 3:00 a.m. this morning, in my freezing car, uncomfortable and cramped, and caught three of them.  I now have four of the cats in hand, with I think three more to catch.  Then they will go north, forever leaving this area, like I wish I could do!

The person taking them will get the unfixed ones fixed, as I don't have anywhere I can get that done for two or more weeks.

Sometimes I think I should quit the blog too.  If I was only doing it for page views, I would quit.  The new page view numbers stat is humbling.  I believe the most pages views for one post is just under 500 and the average for any post is under 30.  Most of those views are probably me being counted as I edit a post.  I would estimate I might actually have 8 to 10 people see a given post.   Oh well.  Mainly I have kept this as a record of cats fixed, when, where and their photos, for later reference.  Has been very helpful in that last regard.  Worth it for that alone.  Gives me cause to seek some other form of entertainment for myself, as my cat wrangling days wind to a close.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I'm way behind on projects.  I have to DIY everything in my life.  Takes a lot of youtube how to video watching.  Sure does.  A lot of making snarky know it all comments on DIY video channels only to be outsnarked by some 12 year old genius nerd DIYer.

This weekend I intend to make some shoes.  I need them. I've put off learning to shoemake then actually shoemaking for at least two months. They'll probably be unsightly.  People who stare at your shoes are weird anyhow.  Well, I tend to stare at people's shoes.  But only out of envy.

Then, I need to learn how to remove a car engine, with mostly home made tools.  How hard could that be?  I mean, really?

Then I'll need to either repair the engine or rebuild it, or just build a new one from scratch.  While that's in the oven, I will pound out and repair all my car exterior dents and scratches after reading some how to's on ehow and watching youtube DIY vids.  They make it look easy, I swear.  Sort of.

Then I need to get cracking at learnin (Yeah Pat Sajak, I did say "learnin") how to make home made anesthesia.  Hopefully I can find plants that will work for that in my yard.  Or a neighbors yard (after dark).  After I learn that, I'll study up some on surgical procedure, online of course (why not) and do my own dentals on my cats.  Think how great that will be.  I can practise on myself too, since I so far still have not found a dentist and have little specks of black showing up around one front tooth filling that partially fell out.   Then I'll make jewelry from any teeth I extract. (another project).

And then I'm going to make that couch.  I must have watched 20 couch making youtube videos this week alone.

And after that, I have to get that biodigester going, to break down all the cat shit flying around here into something useful, instead of a garbage bill.  Methane!!!  I could possibly blow up this house, or better yet a neighbors, if I make it wrong, so I'll have to study up good before I start out (watch even more how to youtube vids).  A good biodigester might make enough methane during the hot season here (when the biodigesting is good) to light a couple lightbulbs.  Hallelujah.  Man, think about that a minute.  OK maybe don't.

Motivation hasn't been high lately. I mostly open and close the frig to see if anything has magically appeared there.  Then I give up and eat a handful of almonds in a bag down on the bottom shelf.  This evening I wanted to buy some catnip.  I know I should have grown enough of my own but I didn't.  I have only three stalks left hanging to dry in my closet.  Three lousy stalks.

I went to Walmart after catnip.  I like to get my cats high.  How bad could even Walmart mess up a jar of catnip?  Really bad, I found out.  The dried out brown cut ups in the jar looked more like crunched lawn leaves and had the same moldy smell, too.  I told the clerk, "I don't think this is even catnip in here."  I tried to get her to smell it but she wouldn't which I thought was lazy.  They should care, I think. I said to her "Look---Made in China" and pointed to that with a smirk, like that was enough to convince her it wasn't likely catnip in the jar that said it was catnip.  She took the jar from me and stuffed it down somewhere out of sight to shut me up.

I also started down the auto DIY aisle.  Why not?  I started looking at all the promises made on the high mileage oil and I liked those promises even though I'd already read online reports that said those promises are lies.  So I bought two quarts of the cheapest highest mileage oil.

I was a little jealous of the meteorite hitting in the small town way out in Siberia.  I suppose they deserve their 15 minutes but I was jealous.  I thought it should have hit here.  Everybody would have had a reason to talk to one another after it hit here.  At least for awhile.  If someone had like a cut they got from like slipping in dog shit left by a neighbors dog in their yard, they would say "Yeah, the blast knocked me off my feet and I hit my head."   Like that, you know.  Provide an air of drama to our lives here, for gosh sakes we need it.

Maybe I would have been out along a road and would have gotten it on my camera and made money selling that to like CNN.  Maybe Anderson Cooper would have called me up on the phone to ask me if I was scared when I saw it passing over and coming my way.

 I used to have a crush on Anderson Cooper.  Back when I had no life.  I guess I have a life now.  I'm told I do.  I'm not sure what it is.   Then my brother told me Anderson Cooper is gay.  That was mean.  I probably don't read the right places to have ever have found that out on my own.  So I told him Jillian on Biggest Loser is gay because he has a crush on her.  So he told me "She's not that gay because she likes Bob".  Then he told me he read that she said she will love whomever she is attracted to, male or female.  So he wins and gets to keep his little crush but I don't get to keep mine?

So the meteorite missed Albany and headed off to dazzle Russia.  Darn it.  It was SUV size I heard.  Probably the football field size one will make a Uturn and come back to take out Albany.

I cut my hair Wednesday night, in stages, between watching the newest Survivor.  They have so little content on that show, with huge long commercial breaks.  You could read half a book during a Survivor commercial break, I swear.  I propped a little hand mirror in the window.  It's about four inches across.  I held a flashlight and used kitchen scissors.  Came out Fabulous of course as it would under such circumstances.  Looks cut in an expensive French shop, I can almost imagine.

So I took the two calicos down to a Eugene rescue today.  I was super relieved to find out they would take them on.  I will try not to worry about them getting a rotten terrible home with some lousy two bit loser.  I'm sure they're good at screening out people like that.  I tried to imagine my car was a plane on the drive home. It was making terrible noises, vibrating and there was a distinct burning smell again coming through the heater system.  So I pretended I was in a plane flying far far away and that at my destination, I would disembark, be handed car keys, toss a suitcase into the back of a convertible, shake myself,  which would automatically  throw off my old jeans and T-shirt under which would be shorts and a flowery feathery blouse and sunglasses.  Then off I went, driving along a cliff, sun above, palm trees on either side, and an azure ocean far below.  I'm there now, I think.

Well, my cats are fighting so I have to sign off.  They would not be fighting if Walmarts catnip didn't look like flood damaged shredded newspaper.  They'd be high right now, rolling around, eyes wide, ignoring everything bad in the world, loving one another.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tilly NoTail Black (TNT) is Tame. Home Wanted!

UPDATE:  Tilly Notail Black went directly from surgery at Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis, to remove what was left of her tail, a skinned section about six inches long, to a grand new life and home with a friend of mine who lives near Corvallis.  Heartland was so good to that little girl, doing that surgery, providing pain meds and antibiotics afterwards, it is heart warming to think about it now.  Tilly has her home!  Also, three more Albany cats were fixed today, two girls, a long hair calico, Nala, with a severe heart murmur, and a chubby brown tabby teen, plus a big boy, Leo.  I did not get photos this time.  Forgot my camera.  And, as an added wonder, to my life, the two calicos are leaving also, to be taken in for adoption by West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue of Eugene.

Tilly Notail Black, the newly minted manx, wants a nice cozy home.  Her skinned bloody tail is being amputated today.

I was putting food in the rabbit hutch, where I've had her housed since retrapping her in S. Salem a couple days ago, and she head bumped the food plate.

I thought, "Hmmm.  I think she wants her chin scratched."

So I put down the food plate, reached in, and started scratching her chin, then her ears.  She shifted into it, flopping on her side.  The purring began.

Tilly Notail, whom I trapped a few months ago, in a large colony carelessly bred by irresponsible humans, who then left them all behind, is tame!

This sweetie is not going back there.  No way Jose!

I'm going to need helping finding her a  great home.  Spread the word!!!

Tilly NoTail is sleek gorgeous and today, she loses that bloody hanging stump, what's left of her tail.  Three or four inches of her tail already dropped off.

This was her back when I trapped her to be fixed at the FCCO.
I'll get a really nice photo of her after she gets home tonight.  Temp home, ok, not permanent here.  I have too many.  She needs a real home, where she can get all the attention she wants.  There is one out there for her.

Marketing issue alert.  Let's find her some good people!

I'm not so great with adoptions.  I haven't had an adoption since last fall.

So I need help to help Tilly NoTail Black!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dangers of Life

I trapped a Salem colony a few months ago.  Shortly thereafter the couple and their kin moved out and left every cat.  19 of them.  It was the daughter of the elderly neighbors who had asked me to get them fixed, since the woman who was allowing them to breed would do nothing.  The woman even was a no show at spay appointments set up and prepaid for by the neighbors daughter.  How's that for abhorrent behavior?

Now the old couple is left caring for them.  One of them, a young female when I got her fixed, lost part of her tail recently and most of what is left of the tail is skinned.  This could have happened if her tail was run over.  It could have happened if she was seeking warmth inside an engine compartment and the car was started.  She could have been grabbed by a dog as she was running away too.  Today I drop trapped her and Thursday, she will either have her tail stump amputated or she will be euthanized, at Heartland.  

Life is full of dangers.   Especially when you're born unwanted.  And born because some asshole junkie didn't see the need to fix any of her cats and left them all behind when she moved.   There are plenty of heartless assholes out there.  Many of them are on drugs and just no longer have any use for their brains.  They are the walking dead among us, zombies, bodies and minds no longer theirs but taken over, by a drug.  They serve only the drug now.

Am I in a mood?  I am in a mood all right.  I zombify drug addicts because they end up treating animals and kids badly.  They reproduce and bring up their kids in angry hovels of trash and the kids have to take care of their own parents when they're "sick".  The kids, seeing no other way, end up just like them.  It's all they know.  Then they have kids.  On it goes.  Seems no way out of the cycle.

But is the other side any better, slaves to money, making more and more, sacrificing family and any real values other than working to get more.  Is that any better?  There must be an inbetween, where happiness lies, where the pressure to be the American dream, to work harder and harder, is laughed about, mostly, and people buy what they need and no more. And are not such slaves to working for somebody else.  Is there that?

She looked like this when I got her fixed, not that long ago.

And now what is left of her tail looks like this.

And this. 
 I've begun to think those who break all rules in this life are rewarded most.  From lying cheating big banks and businesses, like those three big credit rating companies, in the latest sleaze scandal, who have been operating above the law for who knows how long and we, the little people, are at their mercy.   On the ground and in the trenches, little people are called to task for the tiniest of infractions, while the movers and shakers do what they like.  The poor are blamed and tweaked and pecked at more.

A grand illusion.

This little girl's suffering will end, one way or the other, on Thursday.  Because there still are people out there who give a shit, that a little life is having a really rough time of it out there in the big and dangerous world.  The old couple feeding these unwanteds, the discardeds, both have health issues.  Their daughter, who masterminded getting them fixed and this little girl retrapped came all the way from Portland to make sure it happened. Her foot was just operated on.  She's hobbled.  She and her husband are suffering from a business deal gone bad, someone took them for all they had, and vanished.  Despite all that, she rose above, as I rose above to go help, all my issues and stress of late.

See, some of us do that, despite it all.

Despite getting crushed like bugs all the time.  We unflatten off the pavement, like cartoon characters, to rise again and go help a little stray cat.  Despite all our hardships and issues and boy we got plenty of issues.

Assholes of the world, large and small, take note.  We're stronger than you could ever imagine.

We, the little people with the warm hearts.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hard Day in a Cold Car. But.....Six More Local Cats Fixed!

Yesterday wasn't easy on my beat up body.  I spent the day crunched up in my cold stinky car waiting for cats to be fixed at the Portland FCCO clinic.

I had 12 reservations.  I had a call from an Albany couple who thought they were feeding ten or twelve cats, mostly males, along with a neighbor around the corner.

I only caught two and then, for whatever reason, everyone else disappeared.  In fact, I never saw any other cats besides these two, caught quickly.  That put me in a bind.  I didn't want to drive all the way to Portland for two cats.  It's not an easy trip for me.  I rarely have anything to do during the day, in colder weather, and often must sit hunched uncomfortably in my car for the day.  Often I sleep or read.  With my foot sore, I could not even go wander around stores and shops.  I did not want to put myself through more suffering for little reason.

Then I was called by a Lebanon woman who had called me before about a stray female and her kittens living on her porch.  She had then told me she thought the female was pregnant again.  I tried to go over at that time, about three weeks ago, but could not find the woman.

 I went over this time after she called again and got the two teens,  but the adult female could not be coaxed out of some bushes.  Later, she called to say she had the adult female inside her place.  A Lebanon friend picked her up and brought her here.  When she picked her up the woman said "Now don't bring her back, find her a home and could that woman bring me some cat food."  My friend explained I could not take on more cats and was very poor so not to expect me to supply her with cat food.  I later told her about the Safehaven food bank.  She has no car, she said, to get there.

However, the cat lucked out and an FCCO volunteer who has a rescue took her on, to adopt out.  Thank you Wilma!  The cat turned out to also be already spayed and is very probably not the mother of the two teens.

The two teens are a boy and a girl.  The Lebanon woman will take care of them.

Lebanon gray and white female fixed Sunday.

Lebanon male teen fixed Sunday,.
The Monmouth woman trying to get all the strays she feeds fixed also called, by chance and wanted to get more fixed.  She had borrowed traps and was trapping.  She caught three, but two turned out to be already fixed.  The only one of the three not already fixed was a big feral brown tabby male.  Now he is fixed.

Monmouth brown tabby male fixed yesterday.
I had been devastated last summer, confounded actually, by antics at an Albany apartment complex.  I was first contacted by a tenant last spring, who asked if I could get the cats she and a neighbor fed, fixed.  I said I would.  But then she claimed that management would likely kill them and if they couldn't go somewhere else, probably best to not bother fixing them.  At the time, I had a vineyard that wanted cats so I told her I did have a place.  But she declined the relocation opportunity then, and also help getting them fixed.  This was crazy.  But it got crazier.

I was contacted by a different tenant there, late in the summer, who was moving out because of the drama of the cats and the tenants who fed refusal to get them fixed.  She was anxious for the cats to be fixed and willing to sign an anesthesia release even though she was moving out that weekend.  I spent most of the night there trapping, with great tenant inteference.  Was like a circus to them, I guess, but it greatly impeded efforts to trap.  I caught six cats, but only two true ferals.  The other four were males, three of them discarded by other tenants who had moved and left them and the fourth actually owned by tenants in the adjacent complex.   They agreed to him being fixed.

Later, I was told, that the feeder woman found homes for the other three tame abandoned males I had taken to be fixed.  I was really happy about that.  But not so happy the rest had not been fixed.  One of the females had a litter late last fall.  Two of those are still there also needing fixed now.

The main feeder woman promised to use her own trap to catch the four other ferals. I rigged it for her to make it easy to selectively trap.  Afterwards, however, she would not return my calls.  I finally went over, a month later, to see what was up, to find her trap on her front porch, with the rigged device attached.  She had not even tried to feed in it and catch the others.  She was hostile to me.  I asked the other woman, who lives next door, and is home all day, to then selectively trap.  She said she would but then never contacted me back.  It was frustrating and futile.

Then I got an e-mail from someone whose daughter lives there.  Management by late October had decreed the cats could no longer be fed.  There was nothing I could do, since the main feeders would not contact me or return calls but I forwarded the e-mail to the city.  I heard nothing more.

Until the mayor contacted me a couple weeks back, to say the feeder tenants had been evicted and the one with a trap wanted to donate her trap to me.  I thought, "oh gosh" and told the mayor because of that woman with the traps' behavior, I didn't want it.

 I contacted Meow Village and despite lack of funds and overwhelming demand, they were willing to take these cats if they could be caught.  The feeder woman returned my call this time, when I told her about Meow Village being willing to take them and we just had to catch them, so the unfixed ones could be fixed, and then all taken to Meow Village.  That was ten days ago.  She was all gung ho, said she was out of the apartment there, due to her eviction, into a new place but had paid an extra month so she could hopefully find the cats a place.  I thought she meant it. She said she'd do whatever it took to catch them. I told her I had reservations this Sunday for the unfixed ones to be fixed and set it up for Saturday night.

Everything had changed by Saturday night.  I urged her to start setting the trap early.  But she did not answer when I called her.  She was supposed to have been feeding inside her own tied open trap for the past 8 days.  They should be easy to trap if she'd done so.

I finally got ahold of her late and again urged her to set the trap.  She caught one cat.  I went over to pick her up and transfer her to my trap.  The cat was freaked out and I was fairly sure had been left out uncovered in the trap.  But I said nothing and urged her to reset the trap.  Well she tried, but the plastic piece in the trap was over the trigger plate so the trap would not set.  I pointed this out and she got mad and snapped at me.  I then saw that she was using about one tiny flake of tuna as bait, dropped into an empty cat food can and suggested she use a paper plate, so the bait could be seen and much more bait than one tiny piece of tuna.  She again snapped back at me.

I had had a hard day.  This was too much.  To have been so eager, in thinking she was totally into catching them this time, even had said I could be in that apartment to do it, believing her, believing she had fed in a trap for a week, which would make it so easy to catch them, and suddenly to realize none of this had taken place and that it was last summer all over again and that she may be dedicated to making this fail and maximizing my suffering in attempts to help her and these cats out, I wanted to sob.  I said nothing. But I knew it wasn't going to happen.  I left, with the one cat.

I had to be in Portland early with the cats I had.  Nine in all.  She didn't catch any cats all day Sunday. I don't think she even tried.  By Sunday night, she was texting me her excuses,  intent on blaming me and her work schedule.  I was upset. They could be saved. I knew now that was not going to happen and she had saddled me with a single cat, who cannot be relocated alone and what was I going to do now.  This was all so unfair, to me and to the cats.  It still is, although the mayor is going to ask management if I can just be there and trap them.  Haven't heard yet.  It really all totally sucks.

The lone female was fixed yesterday.  Also fixed were the two females I caught at the supposed ten cat colony, where I only saw the two, but at least they are fixed now.
This is her and I don't know what is to become of her if her family members cannot be caught.  You cannot relocate a feral alone, without their family.  Feral relocation rarely works anyhow, but if you do not relocate a family together, the cats are as good as dead.

Tame abandoned Albany female, fixed yesterday.

This is the one surviving offspring of the Siamese mix tame female, abandoned in Albany.  This tabby on white teen girl was fixed yesterday.  Her brother was hit and killed on Salem Road a few days ago.

I feel like I failed the cats in both situations. I am tired today, tired like I've been run down by a bulldozer.  Half of that is the despair over what happened with the apartment cats who could have been saved were it not for their lord and master, the woman who was evicted for feeding them, but would not get them fixed, back last summer and seems to not want them saved even now.  I cannot understand.

While in Portland, uncomfortably shifting around in that car, cold and cramped and sore, I got out and hobbled around a little to take some photos.  The clinic is located in an industrial area of Portland.  People dump trash, as they do here, in locations where they feel they can get away with doing so.  This area is one of those trash dump sites.

Berry vine buried street sign.

Razor wire protected.

I watched 60 Minutes last night and it was depressing.  More complete dishonest nonsense from big business.  This time, it's the three big credit rating agencies that hold Americans by the balls.  This report exposed the massive numbers of mistakes on consumer credit reports held by the three large credit rating companies.  Your credit report gets checked when you apply for any loan and often when you apply for a job.  One out of ten Americans has a credit report error.  And, there is no real method for a consumer to change mistakes.

60 Minutes interviewed whistle blowers whose jobs had been working for the big three credit report companies, to review consumer attempts to right wrongs on their credit report.  It was just shocking.  There is no checking out consumer error complaints or remedying errors.  The three former employees always  judged in favor of the banks who made the error.  They never made calls, or did any investigating of the errors.  It's terrible, horrible, fraudulent and, according to one state attorney general, against the law.

They hold your fate in their hands and they don't care. It's ridiculous and depressing.

You can view the report here.

Oh, and by the way, the credit reports sent to you, when you request them from the big three credit report companies, are not the same reports they send to creditors who request them.  Yeah.  Fraudulent all the way.  You can forget that common suggestion made that you check your credit report once a year.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nine More. Nine More. Nine More.........

Life is hard here lately.  Blueberry is better, but life is hard.  Mitzy and Colors are still here, hoping for homes, of the 8 cats abandoned in Albany by a drug addict.  The other six of the 8 went to two other rescues, but I couldn't find another, to take the last two lost girls.

I still hope before the cascades of free kittens crowd craigslist, to find someone to love Mitzy and Colors.

In the meantime, I took 9 more local unfixed cats to be fixed Friday at Heartland.

I took five more girls from the 23rd street house.  I took three from an apartment on Jackson street.  And I took in the latest yard stray, although he has been around in and out of my yard for some time.  However, lately, he'd taken up residence in a neighbors shed and was spray marking, driving Peeman Sam into a frenzy of indoor pee marking in response.  I could not go forward, so Roger Roger, the name I gave this latest male, got himself trapped and fixed too.  It will be three weeks before he doesn't smell and act like an unfixed male.  Three more weeks of hell.

AC, one of the 23rd st house outside twin tabby girls, fixed Friday.

DC, the other outside tabby twin from 23rd street fixed Friday.

Harley, one of three sisters from the 23rd street house fixed Friday.

Molly, another of the three sisters, fixed Friday. I did not get a photo of Nixi, a torti, and the third sister.
Bagira, a medium hair brown tabby female, was also fixed, from Jackson street.

Bitsy, another Jackson street kitty fixed Friday.

Mocha, a big Siamese mix boy, also  fixed Friday.
Last but not least, Roger Roger, the yard stray, was fixed.
That's six more girls and three more boys who won't be making more unwanteds.  Breeding season and soon kitten season are upon us already.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

To a God Unknown. Book Review

I like John Steinbeck's writings.  I like Cannery Row especially.  But this book was a little harder to read.  I was not sure where he was going with it or what he was trying to say, if he was trying to make a point.

The book is about Joseph, an earthy man, who feels the earth as himself and does not feel, as Christians seem to, a distance from the earth, or a need to be rescued from it, as if the earth itself is sinful and dirty and humans something special and higher and pure and chosen.

Joseph leaves his father, who is like him in thought, leaving his father in his old age, to travel to California to make a land claim.  There, his claim thrives in the first years, and after his father's death, his brothers come to join him with their families.  Joseph becomes bonded to a particular tree and feels his father's spirit has travelled, after his physical death, to join him, taken up in the tree, to watch over him, advise him, and share in his life.

Each character in the story uses different beliefs and strategies to engage or survive life.  The youngest brother engages in liquor and womanizing.  His death is barely registered by his clan.  Thomas, another brother, tames wild animals, and finds comfort among animals, far more so than he is able to find with humans.  Burton, yet another brother, is a very stern and devout Christian, who is unyielding in his beliefs and catches Joseph talking to the tree, taking the tree food and offerings, much as local Catholic Mexicans would light candles and count the Rosary and go to mass with its sacred objects.  He confronts his brother, and calls him a pagan.

Burton in the end condemns Joseph and kills the tree before taking off with his wife and children to build a house elsewhere.  He is almost apologetic before he leaves in his judgemental doings, telling Thomas and Joseph he was too isolated at the claim and would be better off near people of his own beliefs.  None of the brothers come across in this book with even any color, when I think of them as I read or now, after I have finished the book.  I only remember them in black and white.   I remember all the book's characters as dull, with the exception of Rama, Thomas's wife.

Joesph takes a wife, Elizabeth, who grew up with a mean spirited father in Monterrey, before she became a school teacher where Joseph found her and courted her.    She is much like Joseph and with him, freed of constrained beliefs that bound her before.

After the tree dies, the story turns darker.  Joseph is keenly in touch with the land, the weather and its animals.  This is a story of farmer, a rancher, whose success and failure depend on his skills reading the land and the sky.  He was told when he made his claim about the dry years.  He lives in worry that they will come.  After the tree dies, and after Burton leaves, the dry years come, scorching the earth, and taking all life from it.  Their hay is soon used up and the cattle are starving.

Elizabeth and he go for a ride to a glade.  She climbs a rock, chatting and happy, slips, and in one moment, breaks her neck and is gone.  Joseph, who is so disconnected from himself and the human world, carries her back to the settlement on his horse.  In one second, all the opinions, all the hopes and dreams, and past and skills and talk, all that was his wife is gone.  One simple slip and all that was Elizabeth is gone forever.

Elizabeth's character in the book, is the one most like a blooming flower, the only character that gives the reader some optimism about the story.  When she is crushed out, so is hope.  I thought of her as fresh water pouring into a moldy stagnant pool.  The brothers and their wives and children, so set in their own beliefs, gone sour with the stagnancy of their ways and thoughts.

Here is a quote from the book, that very much encompasses the reasons I like reading Steinbeck.  He has very briefly described Elizabeth's childhood and father, who is harsh.  She has studied to become a teacher and taken her county exams and has been quiet and stays shut up and silent near her outspoken angry father.  The quote:  "it was a decent means of leaving her home, and her town where people knew her too well; a means of preserving the alert and shatterable dignity of a young girl.  To the community where she was sent, she was unknown and mysterious and desirable.....The people among whom she went to live did not know her baby name".  So Steinbeck, in three paragraphs, describes how she was, how she left that fate, and pursued another, how she became someone else entirely, exactly who or what, was up to her, in a community where she was not known.  He is adept at deep character creation in very little space!

Later on in the book, Joseph will ask Elizabeth if she thinks much anymore, about the books she's read or all the things she learned in school.  And she will respond that she doesn't, that she just lives now, and thinks about her tasks at hand or things she sees in front of her.

Rama, Thomas' wife, is a gypsy by nature, with deep homey earth skills and has recognized Joseph for what he is from the beginning, his pagan beliefs and deep connection to the earth.  She is similar in her beliefs but they are not born of need to connect with the land as are Josephs'.  Her beliefs are more passed down, as women give birth and talk, and superstitious connections are made up to exist merely through coincidence of occurrence.

Rama is like the rock of the story.  I knew she would not be killed off and could not be.  She was the interesting solid steady side character and while Joseph's beliefs got the better of him, I knew all along Rama's would not. She is well-grounded in the needs of reality.

At the end of the book, all has been lost.  Thomas has driven the cattle far towards the coast in attempts to save some of the herd from starvation.  He is gone with his family, and the hired Vaqueros.  The claim and its barns, once high in hay, its gardens lush in vegetables, and its once filled houses, all empty, in ruin--deserted.  Joseph has been swallowed by his ritualized beliefs and dies at his own hand.  His suicide he justifies with his  beliefs. But his end really comes as all his hope fades.  He is unable to disconnect his beliefs from life reality  or find a way forward once they have failed him.

The book is dark and distant from its own characters.  Belief systems, from paganism, to Christianity to Catholicism are portrayed as arising from various needs, hopes and fears, either individual or group and though different, conceived for similar reasons.  They are useless in the end, as tools to manipulate greater forces and fate.

When I'm in the mood, to curl up, on a stormy night, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea or hot cocoa nearby, and reach for a good story book, I'll bypass To a God Unknown and grab Cannery Row or Tequila Flats instead.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Rear Main

My car is leaking oil still.  Rear main seal.  Let it leak, is what I say.  My brother advises that also.  The car has over 216,000 miles on it, almost all cat miles, from transporting cats, mainly to and from spay neuter surgery clinics.  My angelic car has probably transported over 7000 cats to be fixed.  And it smells like it has.

It isn't worth the high cost of replacing a rear main seal.  Unfortunately, nowadays, cars are built hard to work on and to replace the rear main on my type of car comes with a hefty "get to the part" labor bill.  Either the cars engine or trans axle thingy has to be pulled.  The mechanic told me even the sub frame, whatever that is, would first have to come off.

It's a grand or more in good cold cash.

Yikes!  On a car that may start money pitting me with other failures due to its mileage age.

I love that car.  I want buried in it.  I can't bring myself to speak of its "diagnosis" anywhere near it.  It might "know".  The car has a soul, I think.   Because it has been faithful and true to me and rallied beyond its Toyota given capacity for me.  I'm in awe.

Far cry from the cars I had before this one.  I had to carry survival gear, food, water, tools (lots of them), repair manuals and be prepared for a breakdown anywhere.  I broke down everywhere in my former cars.  None were reliable.  Until this car took charge. This car has carried me places I never dreamed I would go.

The car loves cats.  The car has heart.  The car bleeds courage.

What's not to admire?

I've drug it's rear bumper down the street and when I heard the scraping noise, leaped out and popped it back into place.  I've done the same with the front bumper.  I turned down streets in the dark to avoid high water, in last years flooding here, only to find myself in higher water, water so high my car should have sucked it in and drowned itself.  But it didn't.  Did my car hold its breath until I could drive up onto a sidewalk?  How did it survive that plunge?

How I love that car!  I knocked the electronic mirror silly on the edge of the garage backing out. It broke.  I taped it back together.  One night, sitting in a dark parking lot at an apartment complex, a guy comes out and is messing with a pickup right beside my trap.  I sit back, watching, hoping he doesn't notice the trap, from the other side of the parking lot . He finally does.  I have to yell at him to please leave the trap alone.  He comes over to my car window.  It's after midnight.  I know I have to be a good talker because it's not a good complex, full of drama, full of people whose lives are hard with big huge issues.  He finally wants to give me his number, in case I know of work he can do.  He claims he's a certified union carpenter and mason.  He writes his number on the back of one of my cat fixing business cards.

A few months later, I'm in Mill City trying to put up fliers to promote a Corvallis FCCO clinic.  I stop in at the sheriff office and give him one.  He says he's glad to know there are programs.  I talk about what I do, personally, and he asks if I have a card.  I give him one.  He looks at it, then turns it over.  On the back he sees the name of that guy and his number.  His face turns a funny color.  I didn't remember I hadn't thrown out that card with that guys name and number from the parking lot.

The deputy asks how I know this guy.  He starts talking about when he arrested him and where and for what. "Oh shit," I think. I'm frazzled and suddenly nervous, not wanting the deputy to think that me and the guy in the parking lot, who was obviously a criminal, are friends in any way.  I'm scared of cops.  I try not to be, but I am.  It's the time I spent in Corvallis, in the mental system, getting hauled away by them, the stunts they pulled on me, as someone nobody gave a shit about.  Some of them understood well they could get away with anything on people nobody gave a shit about.  Sport hunting.  Me a prey animal.  Worthless.

 I tell the deputy how I came to get the guys number.  I just want to get out of there now, away.  I tell him about trapping in the Albany complex and that the guy claimed he was taking photos of a pickup he and his brother bought to fix up and sell and how he asked me, there after midnight, in a dark parking lot, if I wanted to buy that pickup cheap or how about a BMW.  He took me for either an idiot or someone who wouldn't mind taking advantage of a cheap car likely stolen.  Opportunity knocking!

I said to him if he's so good at fixing cars, how about fixing my side mirror then right then and there.  He messed around with it a few minutes, after which it dropped and hung and I thanked him and grabbed my trap and got the hell out of there.  It was after that encounter, when the guy truly finished off that mirror, so there was no hope of fixing it, that I ordered another from ebay motors.   And installed it myself.  For $30.  That's all it cost.  An entire new mirror with housing and wiring.

I got out of Mill City too, after giving the deputy by accident the card with the car thief's name number on the back.  My whole feel good thing, handing out and putting up fliers, trying to drum up cats to be fixed for the Corvallis FCCO student coordinators, now had turned into a feeling of unease, a feeling the deputy now thought I too was a criminal and not helping cats at all.

Off I went, my car reliable, sure, windows down, stereo blasting, making everything ok, laughing.

The rock of ages.  The one sure thing.  The connector of all things.

Let my little car leak.  I'll clean up after it in its old age.  I won't even tell it it's dribbling.

Now, let's switch to cats!!!  I still have two of the eight nursery abandoned cats here.  They need a home, somewhere nice and loving!  Come on now.  I know there is someone who needs them like they need you, somewhere out there.  It's a matter of finding you.  For now, I've named them Mitzy and Colors, but I'm not set on those names.  Waiting for them to tell me their names, if you know what I mean.

Blueberry is still in my bathroom.  Her last day on metronizadole for gut bacteria overgrowth is today.  Her stools are still loose, however, and I hope she "solidifies".  I finally fixed my clippers so I could clip some of her long fine fur. I'd accidentally clipped the cord itself, resulting in interesting sparks when the bare spot of wire touched the floor.  I bought a cheap plug, cut off the cord  before the damaged section and put the new plug on the wire.   I'm not much good with the clippers.  Blueberry's fur mats in the undercoat, like Hairy's fur does.

Blueberry, back now cut shorter.  She is very patient with my clipping.

Stiletto, of the Business Nine, looking cute.
Since Gretal had all her teeth pulled, a year ago, she has gained weight and made friends.
Sam and Buffy are long time friends, but sometimes Sam pushes the limits.