Monday, June 29, 2015

Onward to Finish!

How blindly optimistic I can be sometimes.

I called the old woman last night, to be sure she is feeding under the drop trap. She wasn't.  "You must be strong" I chided in jest, "resist those demanding cute little faces.  Make them go under the drop trap if they want wet food."

"I'm out of wet food," she says, deadpan.  "Can you get me some?"

"Oh gosh," I'm thinking, going over what I have left here for mine, how much money I have, the whole shebang.  I get obsessed however with finishing a colony, and not missing a single cat, who then can go on to reproduce and start it all over again.

So I took her some.  Fortunately, a Heartland worker, told me to come over today, see what they can spare, from their pantry.

Thank you Heartland.

While out there, I took some photos, anxious to sort out the colony, discover who is left to be fixed, how many, what sexes, when they show to eat.  A camera can be a cat trapper's best friend, especially a cat trapper who is getting old and doesn't spot slight differences and ear tips from a distant as easily as once she did.

It's important to know the colony, so you don't miss cats.

Guess who I saw!  BigVee and Jack, the two black tux boys fixed last Thursday.  BigVee was out and about while Jack was just napping beneath the grape vines.


BigVee and the trailer park bears.

And BV again.  He has a white tip at the very end of his tail, which is definitive for BV.
Freshly neutered Jack, napping beneath the grape.
This black tux girl is pregnant and not fixed, obviously.
This black tux is lactating and still unfixed.

There is this tabby female, with her older kitten.  The mom has been in heat again, but now doesn't seem to be any longer.  The still unfixed big black male now isn't following her.

She leaves the boy kitten on his own mostly, then feels guilty and comes to find him and play with him.  He's the only survivor from her last litter.

He tries to nurse but she doesn't want it.

And she pushes him off.  Here, you can clearly see the sex of the kitten.

So he plays by himself along the trailer next door, and considers following their cat inside through the cat door.  My guess is he's already done so, and the neighbors just don't know about it.  He's lonely and doesn't play with the black kittens.  There are six kittens I've seen, five about the same age, but from different mothers.  Four are black and then the Siamese.  Two of those five are now fixed, leaving four kittens, that I've seen, of fixing age, to catch, including the loner, the tabby boy.

This is the other adult tabby and I don't know its sex, but since it is often with the other tabby I believe they are siblings, or this one is the daughter or son of the female, from yet another of her litters.

This black is also unfixed, but, too small to be the big unfixed black male.  These photos are mostly taken on maximum zoom, through a window.
So, to summarize, I know there are two black tux females still needing caught.  I saw a black tux male, too, at the south end of the park, walking a fence line, big balls hanging, so if he ventures north, he needs fixed too.  That makes three black tuxes I know of.  I know of two black adults needing fixed because I've seen them, the big black male and this smaller adult.   I know of the two tabby adults. I know of four kittens ready to be fixed.  These are just the unfixed cats I've seen, with my own eyes, to know of but there could be more.

That's seven adults and four kittens, 11 more.

That I know of.

The guy called me, from a colony I fixed.  I've given him cat food off and on, since then.  I'd trapped ten and my friend in Portland fostered the five kittens, so only returned five, two males and three females.  He says now, when he called, he should have told me not to return the males.  I said "where do you think they'd go?"  I'm a volunteer and cannot find places for every unwanted Albany cat.   He said one of the big males, the black and white, scratches himself and is losing hair.  I said I'd bring flea treatment, if that would help.

I went over with it, although I was miffed already, that the guy wants me to do everything for him and treats me like his servant. I could have said "no" but I didn't, because I worry for the safety of the cats.

The big black and white is tame, but his skin was a mess.  I immediately thought "staff" because one of the rabbit people's cats and they are very close by, had a skin staff infection.  If cats have fleas, they scratch themselves, but if they've walked through filth, then when they scratch, they put that into their skin.

I didn't say anything, because he would just want the cat killed I think if he thought it was an infection or ringworm. He'd already told me one of the females I'd gotten fixed was dead, hit on the road.  The gray and white.  He told me this completely without emotion.  On the other hand, I immediately see the car coming, feel the panic, as I try to run, feel the tires.....feel the rush of horror of her sisters, her family, as they run, too, and hide, breathing fast and hollow from the loss and not knowing how to deal with it.
I guess this girl, fixed last November is dead now, hit on the street.  It's just one block long, the street, but people drive crazy on it.

 I gave him flea treatment for both the males, then he demanded I take back the feral housing units I had made for his cats, that they were making his house look trashy.  Damn, I thought.  I'd bought those containers to help him out, for the cats for the winter out of my pocket and they'd loved them and now he demands I take them off.

 I told him I wasn't his servant and to quite acting like I am.   After I left, I felt guilty for telling him off (to stop acting like I was his servant), wondered if he could handle it and if that's how he acts to everyone and its just one of those things.  It's not about him or me personally, it's about solving a problem and inflicting personalities into solving a problem, i.e., the male cats' health issues, is inefficient.

 I took two of the housing units away.   I feel for that poor male but I have nowhere for him to go.  I don't think he has ringworm, fairly certain he probably has staff, like the other did, but I am not a vet and do not have the money to take him to a vet, and if I took him off, then the man would never take him back.
It's this huge male, also fixed last fall, abandoned by someone, turned out to be tame, who wants in the guy's house, wants petted and loved, and the guy just wants him gone.  His skin is horribly irritated, he's missing a lot of hair now, and he may have a skin infection.

The cats situation makes me cry nights and haunts me because there is so little compassion out there for other people, let alone for a stray cat.

Like the old woman said last night when I was there.  She'd seen something on TV, said marchers were proclaiming "It's all about love".  She said "there's no damn love in this world! People are all about me, and what I can get for myself."

Which is not quite true.  I mean, look at her, poor as a church mouse, yet feeding all those strays, denying herself basics to do so.  If that's not love.....

Well, I hope at least to get all the cats at the park fixed.  I hope.

UPDATE:  Heartland Humane in Corvallis is going to take the black and white male, once they have room.  They will give me a relinquishment date.  If that skin problem is something unsolvable, he will be sent on his way to ultimate peace.  He can't live the way he is, however.  If it's staff or something that he will get over, they'll get him over it and adopt him out.   I left the man who feeds him a message to that affect and also apologized for our spat yesterday.


  1. What a strong calling you have to keep going in such difficult circumstances. Keep up the good work. It is appreciated.

  2. I hope the man you apologised too reciprocates. And doubt it.
    Thank you so much for all the work you do.

    1. I stoop very low sometimes, EC, to keep options open for somebody suffering,as is that black and white.

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for all your toils. I don't blame you for the reaction to that man. You deserve more respect, my dear. Thank heaven for Heartland.

    1. Thanks Darla, I have some issues about being treated like dirt. Nobody should be treated like dirt. Yes, Heartland is a lifesaver, helping local rescues and cats, even though this isn't their county.