Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cougie, Rogue Back Home

Strangest thing, last night, the snow had melted enough to reveal a glow beneath---the solar yard lights had been completely buried.  But when the snow began to melt away, they shined through even still under several inches of snow.  It was awesome.  I cleared the snow away by hand to free them.

Snow by last night on the street was melting fast.

I made it up to Sherwood to pick up Cougie and Rogue, who were by this time, not happy cats and very anxious to come home.

They relaxed some when they saw me.  People in the vet office oohed and awed over them, told them they were pretty and were just very nice.

Cougie had one very very bad tooth pulled and the rest cleaned.  Rogue's teeth were good just filthy in tartar.  He's been having trouble off and on since he came here, so I would guess they all came here, from that business, where they existed, with nasty mouths.   At least these two should feel much better now.  Will have to wait to see if their mouths will just gunk with tartar and inflammation again, which is common if they suffer from an allergy to the membranes lining their teeth.  We shall see.

But getting all the debris and tartar off sure won't hurt for now and they will feel much better after they're not mad at me anymore.

They were so happy to see home, when I walked in the door with them in the carriers.  They were totally relieved and happy.

My car didn't run so well and I'm wondering what's going on.  I had to add almost a quart of oil before I left even though I'd added oil under two months ago, and rarely drive it far anymore.

It's not leaking.  But the lack of oil is probably what made the starter make the noises.  I'd left the car in the driveway last Wednesday, with the hood popped but not up, because I was going to change the oil and filter.  That was the day before the snow came.  But it got very cold and finally I decided not to change the oil until it warmed up and closed the hood, tried to start it to go to the store and that is when the metallic grinding sound started.

Well if its not leaking oil but is using oil guess it might be burning a lot of oil, which might mean something is going haywire deep in the engine.

I got stuck in a line of interstate traffic just before my exit today, when traveling north.  But it wasn't a wreck slowing traffic in north bound lanes.  Rather, a big rig was overturned into a ditch along the south bound lanes along the city of Wilsonville, which is bisected by I5 just like Albany is.  I also saw numerous police cars and an inmate work crew truck.  Tonight, the news says that big rig plowed into the inmate work crew, seriously injuring at least one woman worker.  I don't know why the trucker did that.  Didn't say his excuse.

 Today, when returning, a trucker started losing his lane off and on ahead of me.  I finally sped up to get by him fast and looked up to see him with a plate or bowl of food propped right on the steering wheel.  OK.  Guess that explains his swerving.

The car ran badly on the way back, rough and every tiny bump I could feel.  The struts have never been changed and the shocks only once and I've carried a lot of weight in that car.  But also the seat cushion is nearly gone, which makes driving quite painful, and that could be part of why it feels so harshly every little bump.  But there's more, because I know my car.  The swaying, rocking, the feeling of impediment or heavy load on the engine or something.  I don't know.  All I know is I know my car and I felt for it driving home and wondered if it would make it, the way it was running.  Ragged and overworked, swaying, rocking, bouncing and straining.  What can I say?  I don't know.

I guess I need to start making some kind of a plan, for alternate transportation, watch for a cheap decent mileage car, something.  I've got so little money though.  All along I thought this will probably be the last car I'll ever own, because they're so costly, to drive, to maintain, to insure, to license, to renew registration, not to mention gas that keeps going up.

I think I'll call the auto mechanic department at the community college.  I have been told by people the students sometimes work on people's cars, to learn, and it might be cheap.  But I don't know they really do that.  Might be an urban myth as I've never actually run into anyone who has ever been helped with car issues there.  Can't hurt to try.

I used to work on that first car I bought for $200 or $100, can't recall now how much I paid for that old Ford Fairmont straight 6 wagon.  Now that was an easy car to work on. Rear wheel drive.  A car meant to be fixed by its owner.  No computer.  Everything accessible under the hood.  No specialty tools needed to work on it.  I even replaced the drive line myself.  I replaced the struts myself, using C clamps to compress the suspension spring--a daring endeavor I suppose (many people have been badly injured when suspension spring jury rig compression devices fail).  I always had the dash off in a constant state of rewiring it.  The gas gauge didn't work.  The heater didn't work.  Oh my, that was a wreck, but for the price I paid, worth it!  I suddenly had transportation.  Wheels.  A way to get out of town.  It was awesome!   Before that, I lived without a car, in a tiny constricted painfully lonely empty world.

You think I knew anything about mechanics?  No!  But there was an old urine soaked repair manual under a seat.  Urine soaked because the woman who had owned it would store her poor dogs in the car.  Even the spare tire well was pooled in dog urine. I dried the thing out with a blow dryer, because I needed it.  It was a great simply illustrated and detailed repair manual.   I used to be seen along the road, where it had broken down, with that repair manual out reading it by flashlight, and trying to rig fixes with dollar store tools.

But this car is so different.  Computer.  Front wheel drive.  Engine cross ways.  Not even a distributor or carburetor.  Everything jammed up tight together in the engine compartment.  Specialty tools needed for almost everything.  And I can't get my hands down in there, its so tight, to even change a serpentine belt.  Built to be in shop repaired with the vast costs of mechanic labor, that's for sure.  

But the alternative to no car is to hole up here with no hope of any sort of life other than in this house and resort to begging for rides to get groceries, cat food and litter or to the doctor or vet when needed.  No dreams of visiting other people or family or going anywhere.  This town has no center, no community.  It's a place to live or shop and very spread out.   You got to leave to find recreation.  And if you don't have family, it is very lonely.  So life without a car here, that's no life at all.

I worry about it.  I have nobody around here if my car suddenly breaks.  I'm high and dry with no way to get anything I need.   It weighs on my mind with the car acting out lately.  I shouldn't have run it into the ground like I did, helping everybody else on earth, not even thinking what I'd do, when it quit.  Like an idiot.
I knocked my toe against the bed post twice and now it's a funny color and quite painful.  Darn bedpost anyhow.  An Australian blogger, whom I follow, just broke her toe.  Must be some sort of epidemic sweeping the earth.
Well that's a really yukky photo to end with.  I'll go find some cute cat, curled up real sweet sleeping, take a photo, then come back and upload it.  That would be a better less gross end for the day and this post.

I'm so happy Cougie and Rogue had their teeth cleaned and Cougie got that bad one pulled.  So happy Odd Cat Out is run by friends who offered the help.  I talked to her yesterday, from the vet clinic.  She was in tears telling me Annatude, a gray long hair girl, originally from Albany, had been adopted finally, by a lovely couple.  "The barn is the only home she's ever known," my friend who runs OCO was saying, through tears.  "When I'd visit her at the Petsmart, she'd climb into my arms and hug me.  She wanted me to take her back home."

It's hard on her, adopting out the tame ones, but she does it with the help of an adoption group called Felines First.  Annatude was one of six gray long hair female kittens I found when fixing cats in Albany.  The woman, who was into drugs, had two unfixed female cats, both with litters of unwanted kittens, and an unfixed male.  I called every local rescue and shelter and no one would take the six kittens.  I could see only trouble ahead, when someone who doesn't really care for her cats anyhow, had six female kittens who would never be fixed, once old enough, if left with her.   Poppa's president, now running Odd Cat Out, was the only one who would help.  So up they went.

Sure enough, within a month after I helped her get the two adult females and one male fixed, and removed those six kittens from the older litter, she was evicted and moved in with her parents.  She abandoned her male cat, who at least was fixed.  I tracked the woman, found out where she was currently, with her parents, because the other litter of kittens she had kept from the other unfixed female needed fixed.  Once I tracked her down, I got them fixed with Poppa Inc. funds.

 There's only one of the six kittens, now adults, still without a home.  The other five girls have been adopted.  She had told me the couple who adopted Annatude were getting her groomed professionally first thing.  "Keni," I said, "think of it.  That little girl with her sisters, living in a run down rental, covered in fleas and ringworm, not a chance in the world for any future and now getting professionally groomed?"

 I was about to start sobbing too, talking to Keni there at the vet clinic in Sherwood on my phone, staring into a carrier at Cougie, who had just had a terrible painful infected tooth pulled and the rest cleaned, a cat who had been a throw away from birth.  Odd Cat Out is awesome!

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