Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Excellent Adventure

Yesterday, off I went, with Barcellona, the benign laid back and grateful black smoke older boy from the Stayton trailer park.   He has bad teeth and needed them taken care of before he could move on with his life.

He's enjoyed the last week, laid out in a cage in my garage, listening to me babble at him through the cage wire, as I take his litter box out to scoop out soggy litter or clumps of poop.  He had a space heater aimed right at him.  Barcellona, who has never in his life had anything easy, curled his paws and stretched out his lanky thin legs to absorb every bit of the warmth from that heater.  I knew that heat flowing out and into him would cost me in the electric bill from hell but I didn't care right then.  I'll worry over how to pay that later.

For now I drew great content from watching Barcellona love the heat.

Barcellona, who has never had enough to eat on a single day, gulped wet food, can after can, no matter what flavor in the can I popped open and deposited into a large shallow dish as he watched intent, and happy.

I like Barcellona.  He's not a problem cat, he's a grateful cat and a laid back cat, from the shadows kitty, now out of the shadows which can be awkward and frightening.  He's been noticed.

How do you act, so you don't blow it, when you're freshly noticed?

What did he think when I closed the small carrier door on him, and loaded him into the car yesterday morning, so early the birds grumbled in the arborvita behind the empty house next door, for the disturbance, as I backed out, headlights on, exhaust steaming out of the cold engine into the rain wet air.

Everything was ok on the drive, as I stared ahead, keeping my lane, like some zombie, painting between the lines.

Then I headed west, towards the coast, out of Portland's daze of a city waking to the first dawn in a week where ice or snow was not clogging its crucial arteries.  And up I went, towards the first summit, the taller one, in the 3000 foot range.   I chugged through dense fog, pouring rain, slush on the road, some ice, passed a snow plow, dodged tree debris broken and ripped from the bodies of trees by a viscious wind.

But I didn't see another car headed my way and it was smooth sailing at least in that regard.  I was still going slow and dodging the debris.  Until I see a line of red light pairs ahead.  'Damn,' I thought.  I was so close to 101 and the coast I could smell salt in the air.

It was dark.  The line of cars was long and since I'd seen none in my drive over I figured they'd sat there in that line awhile.  I had no cell reception bars.  there is no cell reception across the coast range.  The wind was howling.  I could hear trees in the dark, beside the road, popping and branches falling.  Made me nervous.

Finally an ODOT truck came by and rolled down the window to talk to the man ahead of me.  The ODOT man said "I'm sorry for your luck," and grinned, setting the man at ease.  He had to be in Astoria by 8:00 and was not going to make it.   The ODOT man told him to take 202, that at least it was open.  I stepped up and said "where's 202?"  And the man ahead of me said "Follow me."

I followed him.  Maybe I should have asked him first how long it would take to get there via 202.  It took awhile, maybe 40 more minutes, on a long windy steep narrow road, just the roads I like!    It was an adventure.  I saw places I've never been before.  They were beautiful.

I thought, "even if I'm too late and they won't take Barcellona for surgery today, this is great!"  That's what I was thinking.

Well, they did take him, because they're that way there, practical and not judgmental nor do they want to mess with people or make their lives harder.  I like that about them.

After I dropped him off, I headed out to the south jetty parking lot.  It was very windy and often poured down rain.  The wind would shake the car violently.   I slept awhile in the back in my sleeping bag. I read.  I made some soup on my sterno stove.  I went to the Peter Iredale wreck beach and watched the sand blow across the parking lots.

I picked up Barcellona at 4:30.  They had to do the poor guy last because he tested positive for FIV and they throw out the equipment they use on FIV cats.

The drive home wasn't as bad except for dense fog coming down from the first summit, the tall one.  I stopped at my friends place to leave Barcellona there in her garage in a nice cage, bigger than the one he'd had at my place.  He'll be spending his days with Odd Cat Out, I believe in her hospice room and its warm.  Barcellona will like that.

And finally, at about 9:00 p.m., I was home.


  1. Barcellona looks like such a lovely boy. I am so glad he is getting a better life. Warmth, food, freedom from pain.
    Thank you. And Odd Cat Out.
    Those winds do look (and sound) amazing. Glad you had a good and successful day.

  2. What an ordeal! You are a mensch, my dear.