Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Astoria with Cats

Yesterday was a very long day, from awakening after restless sleep and too little of it, at 3:30 a.m..  I'd already wrangled my two companions, Honey and Calamity, into live traps.  They were ready in the car, when I hit the road at 4:30 a.m. grasping a cup of coffee.

Calamity went.  She's 7 years old now and had not had a dental checkup.  She ended up having mild tartar and two teeth removed, along with a rabies update, since she had previously had only one rabies vaccination.

Honey has been losing weight.   She would restlessly walk, around and around, look at food, mouth it, but not eat much.   Something was terribly wrong!  She'd had a dental about a year ago, one tooth pulled, so I was not thinking she'd have a mouth full of bad teeth.  I hoped she didn't have cancer of the mouth or digestive tract or some other horrible disease.  I tried to catch her for two earlier trips to the clinic but had failed.

Yesterday she went.  I had a consult with the vet and we agreed on a plan.  If after she knocked her out and looked in her mouth, and saw no obvious problems, she would call me and we would figure a plan of diagnostics.

No call ever came.  Honey did have a mouth full of bad teeth.  The vet pulled 19 in all.  Means at most she has ten teeth left, since cats have 30 teeth.  She also got a convenia injection, a steroid injection, a pain injection and droncit.

Because of restless sleep the night before, I was tired.  Besides it rained off and on.  I drove to the south jetty parking lot, which isn't that far from the clinic.

Once there, I spread out my sleeping bag in the back of the car and napped.

I also took a short walk in the dunes to the south of the jetty.

I found two snails in the road, and told them sternly that they were going to get crushed out in the road like that.  I moved both off the road.  No doubt they went right back out on the road.  You know how snails are.  They just don't listen.

I suppose its like young men.  They do dangerous things.  You say "don't do that", so they do that.  Like Riley Zickel.  He's 21 and now missing in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness area.  The sheriff's search and rescue looked for him for a week, as his frantic loving family gave hopeful updates.  But he's not been found.  The sheriff was asked if he climbed Mt. Jefferson, as he had mentioned he might and they claimed he wouldn't have done that because climbing conditions are so bad up there this time of year.  Immediately I think to myself "he did that and that's where he is, somewhere on that mountain".   I think about him out there, at night mostly, and of his mother, and her nights now, consumed with thoughts of her son, wondering if he is alive or dead.  I still hope he's found alive.  It's huge country and looking for a single person is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  They have not found a camp and he wouldn't climb Mt. Jefferson with his backpack on.  He either left the trail and is lost or he fell and either died or became incapacitated from injury and is dying slowly.  Finding him alive now will mean a miracle.  I hope it happens!
I went to a favorite spot.  The Hammond City Hall and Library is terrific.  And popular!   You can buy used books there on the cheap.  An entire grocery bag full for $5.  I bought 3 books.

I encountered elk again, near the wetlands.  They are common in the area.

Artsy Fartsy Elk
I encountered this as I neared I5, to head south, back in Portland........also common to the area.

I was so tired and my back hurting so bad by then I pulled into the rest area with Calamity and Honey in traps, starting to be wakeful from anesthesia daze, and napped beside them for an hour.

I arrived home about 9:30 p.m.  I was exhausted but very happy Honey had bad teeth and not cancer.  You can pull bad teeth, which is what happened with her.  I am grateful to the clinic and very very happy for Honey.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who donated so I could get Honey the care she needed and Calamity got her dental cleaning and updates on shots and worming also.

Calamity was born a few blocks from here, in a neighborhood with too many cats.  A developmentally disabled woman cared for her and somehow found me, and together we got them all fixed and whomever we could, into homes.  Calamity's sisters, who were Siamese, got homes, but she never did.

Honey came from a homeless camp in Corvallis.  I got 52 cats and kittens fixed in that one camp, and eventually removed most of them.   I adopted Honey out once, but after two months, she was returned.  Too lonely, the young woman said.  When she put Honey down, she was so happy to be "home" she ran in circles then rushed to touch noses with all her friends here.  This scene of her overjoyed reaction to coming home, after a failed adoption, to her family and friends, completely overwhelmed and astonished me.   Cats form extremely close bonds with other cats and their home.  So Honey stays here, her home, and we love her.
Honey, on left, with Brambles

Honey gets a bath from Fat Oci


  1. A pretty satisfying day for you, I should think. I love the look of the library. Is that someone's home, made of sticks?

    1. No, people make driftwood shelters for the hell of it. We did, as kids.

  2. Best wishes to you all, and Riley Zickel. Wow! Never a dull moment. And you always share excellent photos, as well. Take care!

    1. Thanks Darla, was a long day, still trying to recover today from it. Don't handle the marathons like I did when I was younger. But I survived it, needed done and it got done. That's my take.

  3. I am so happy that the problem was teeth and not cancer. And is now a past problem.
    And loved the beauty you found in your very busy (and productive) day.

    1. I was very very relieved EC, thank you.

  4. I get my cat's teeth checked every year and cleaned when necessary, but one of mine just had to have two of them pulled. The main problem was the reabsorbtion that cat's do with their teeth. Leo had lost weight and hopefully this was the reason because everything else looked good. I was relieved just as you were. Last fall, the news was not so good with his sister, Lucy.

    I have totally fallen in love with Honey after your story.

    1. This time it was stomatitis, probably bartonella caused, as that can be contagious when cats live closely and groom one another. A few of the cats have had reabsorbtion, which is so painful, too. I read up on that after they were diagnosed and their offending teeth pulled. Its so strange to think of a tooth being reabsorbed from the inside out. Miss D had that, tooth after tooth, so finally I had them all pulled since she's so old now, it isn't that safe for her to be under anesthesia. It is a relief when a cat is having some sort of trouble for the problem to be fixable, like bad teeth. I'm so sorry about Lucy. Honey is a total dear who has endeared herself to me and to so many of the cats here. She has many many friends.

    2. I never knew how many illnesses cats could suffer! I'm grateful for the information as well as the rescue efforts.