Sunday, November 15, 2015

Winter Blah

Winter is here.   Oregon is back to its normal cold soggy gray.

We're getting adequate rain and the weather report says there is snow piling up in the mountains today, which will make the ski and  snow boarder people happy.

I've never been a skier.  It's an expensive sport.  For a brief while, primarily when I was living in Alaska long ago, I used cross country skis.  You don't have to buy lift tickets using those.  But they are a bit hard to control.

The maple leaves are all down now.  Thank goodness.  Most of the Cherry tree leaves are down.  The Birch out back takes the longest to lose its foliage.  Reluctant I guess.

The Maple in late October
The Maple today
Mourning Dove in the yard.  They like cracked corn.

English Sparrow huddled in the Butterfly bush.  English Sparrows or House Sparrows are a non native species and widely hated even by bird lovers, who see them as threats to Bluebirds and other native species.  House sparrows will kill bluebirds.  I have no Bluebirds anywhere in this area.  So the fact the English Sparrows come to the feeder, not something I worry about.   

Speaking of non native species, I got told the Butterfly Bush is non native and destructive because it spreads and takes over native habitat and that I should take it out.   Man alive.  Only a tiny part of me is native American.  Mostly I'm non native ancestry.    

Chickadees are my main visitors now, besides the Mourning Doves, also considered a pest species.  The Coopers Hawk was flying low down a block yesterday no doubt after a fat Mourning Dove.

The Doves are not great at quick exits off the ground, making them easy prey for the Coopers Hawk in most areas, but my yard has trees that provide cover and distraction from the Hawks abilities.
The kittens are still here.  The volunteer from another group who had told me about them said she'd take them if I caught them.  But at that time, it was thought they were tame kittens freshly dumped near the freeway.  When it was discovered they were born in the bushes, offers of help have faded.  It is difficult to find fosters who can adequately tame older feral kittens.  The ideal foster is a family with well parented kids between eight and 12, with someone home most of the time.  Then they get handled by lots of people which is what they need.  Or to find someone willing to adopt them wildish and work with them in the home they will be in forever.  Not such easy finds.  Regardless,  they will be fixed next Thursday at Heartland.  I have raised $100 of the $120 that will cost.

Tonka here is darling and a little boy.

Tonka, from the Berry Vines
Mystic, the torbi kitten
What will become of them?  Not sure.  I'm working hard to tame them, but often if only one person handles older wild kittens, they may become tame to only that person.

Helping homeless cats or kittens in trouble can turn into a difficult expensive undertaking.   There is little help out there.  Especially if they are wild. The three in the bathroom are my current dilemma but a few blocks from me another played out when a woman heard kittens crying and took action to help them.  The boy immediately showed her he'd been owned and played openly in the room she put them in within hours after she caught him.  She thought the girl, caught a day and a half after the boy, would be the same.  But on the day she was going to relinquish them to Heartland, although they don't usually take Linn County cats, she told me the girl was still hiding.  She'd given the boy to a friend. So the girl kitten remained with her.  But today, she contacted me and is anxious to have the kitten gone because its stressing her cats.  Tell me about it.

But then, she added that although the kitten is loving, she doesn't want held.  'Oh no,' I was thinking.  'That's not a shelter material kitten.'  I didn't know what to tell her after that.   Poor woman, poor kitten.  No good deed goes unpunished.

I know she'd like me to take that kitten.   I can't.  I have no place for the three now in my bathroom.  Too many mouths to feed now and I don't get many donations.  I'm also not an adoption group.  I understand her dilemma very very well.

In other news, is of course another slaughter by psychotics, this time in France.  It upset me so greatly I quit the TV and just went to reading books unable to stand the sadness of it.

I also quit facebook for the same reason.  I didn't close my page, I quit posting, but have to have it there so I can keep up The Happy Cat Club page.  It wasn't terrorists from afar that caused me facebook angst, it was manipulation and snarky insults from people I either didn't know at all, on other pages, or barely know.

I don't need that.

Winter is indeed upon us.  I feel the dampness to my bones.   The drizzle and gray have affected my mood.  Oh to be a bear, and hibernate through the icky months.


  1. What a great photo of Tonka - those little tufts of hair on his ears are so cute... and what BIG eyes! Yeah.. sounds like you have your hands full, for sure.

    1. I do have my hands full. Tonka is darling with those huge eyes and the ear tufts. At first I thought the black one to be a boy and maybe it is a boy. I haven't looked because he or she is the wildest of all and looking through black hair with bad eyes for sex---well I haven't done it yet. The smallish feet on black make me think it could be a girl.

    2. The black kitten is a boy, I just checked and now has a name: Winter.

  2. Love your cats.
    And hope you find solutions to the kittens soon.
    Pest species? Who introduced them without thought for the impact they would have? The same people who label them pests. They are surviving as best they can. As we do. And probably cause less damage than we do too. Climbing down from my soap box now.

    1. "THE English Sparrow was first introduced into the United States at Brooklyn, New York, in the years 1851 and '52. The trees in our parks were at that time infested with a canker-worm, which wrought them great injury, and to rid the trees of these worms was the mission of the English Sparrow." The prior I copied from a bird site about how and when the English or House Sparrow was brought to America.

    2. The Mourning Dove is a native species, sometimes called the Turtle Dove too. But their prolific breeding, sometimes six nests per year, has expanded their population to estimated over 500 million until most people think of them nearly the same as pigeons.

  3. Chickadees are too cute to be called a pest. :)

    1. I'm thinking that too! Around here, wineries label most birds pests and kill birds in large numbers as do seed warehouses. And yet people still blame cats for most bird deaths. Poor kitties and mine just like to watch them. I was out at a friends house. She has two old fat boy strays she feeds on her porch. There were birds flicking within inches of them. I say "What?" to my friend, because it was a bit pathetic. The birds knew they could harass the boys too. They nary raised a paw or even reacted. She said it had been going on for years, that they're just too lazy to even defend their own cat food..

  4. Bless you and your efforts. The world can be such a difficult place. I hope you are having a well deserved good day.

    1. Thank you Darla. Yesterday was terrific, today will be the same.