Monday, February 13, 2017

Trying to Turn Lemons in the county park To Lemonade

When life keeps stomping you down, there's only one thing to do--hit back!

I swear that county park is going to kill me!

Been after that last unfixed teen.   Then the one park host who fed the cats in the berry vines, including the lovely India, got fired.   She was going back to feed, but won't be doing that soon.  Panic set in.

With a full schedule of trapping elsewhere, Saturday morning I went to the park, worried for those poor cats.  I wasn't there five minutes when the other long time camp host comes up, says, "oh, glad to see you.  We're leaving and we're leaving our five cats."  Shit.

Those five cats include Bootsy, whom he has fed for years, plus two of her kittens from litter before last, whom we got fixed, and whom he wouldn't relinquish then.  But now he's leaving them?  Plus two grown boys KATA got fixed for them years ago?  Up and leaving cats he's fed for years?   How does one do that?

Disgust, panic and sorrow washed over me.

Nonetheless, I set about trying to trap the brush cats the other camp host fed.  In several hours there, I caught just Kujo and Little T, two of four fixed brothers, siblings of the unfixed teen.
Young male Kujo is out of the park and safe now.

So is Little T, his brother

And so is India, mom of the Little Heathens

Autumn, unfixed until today, won't go back either

Sonar is now safe, and with his brothers, Little T and Kujo

I made a stupid move.  I bought a campsite for the night, to try to catch the rest.  Stupid, because I had pay out for it, when I'm sitting there catching those cats for them as a volunteer.  I so want that county park in my rearview mirror!

Julie took the two boys.

Off then I went to Sweet Home, to trap a colony there, for reservations on Monday.   I drove in off the highway, past a business, and down a muddy rutted driveway, following a cat, because I wasn't sure where I was going.  In front of me, was a trailer, quite trashed, with many camp trailers in various states of disrepair, most full of trash, beside it.  "Uh oh," I thought, "drug country."  I called the woman who wanted help.   She said "No, you're at the wrong place, get out of there if you want to live."   I drove on, to another property, also with many junked trailers and vehicles.

A woman and her husband greeted me.  Cats were everywhere, coming out of the wood work.   Then, out of another trailer, limps a quintessential cat lady, if I've ever seen one.  Gray hair, not combed, in a robe, cigarette hanging from her mouth.  I had the drop trap set up and she says "What are you trying to do, catch those cats with that?"   And she shakes her head like 'how silly' and picks up a black tux, who yowls in protest, but only briefly, and stuffs him down into a trap.  She repeats this with a meowing fat Siamese.  Then tries it with a big gray boy with runny eyes.  He squiggles free, but I just pull the drop trap down over him, then transfer him out.  I catch 8 in no time at all.

I see a neighbor walking the road.  I had asked these folks to talk to neighbors, to see if they have cats, to keep them in.  They said they hadn't talked to neighbors.  I ask why.  They said because the neighbors don't like them.

I go talk to the walking woman.  She claims the cats are all fixed.  Another neighbor comes up, who has a tame orange tabby, and says "no they are not, we still have kittens getting born everywhere around here."  The other woman still claims some other person got like 100 fixed before moving.   I don't know who or what to believe and go back.

I take the 8 and leave.  Once home, I unload them fast, because I have to go back to Waterloo for the camp night.   I call KATA though.  I figure they'll know if some are fixed there.  Sure enough, they do.  They got about 12 fixed last fall and warned me about the very property I drove up to first off.

Thanks a lot for the warning.  A little late.
Commander was fixed, a boy.

This boy turned out to be already fixed.

Gramps was fixed too, another boy.

Jackson got fixed too, another boy.

Jader was fixed at Heartland, a girl, with lice.

Omni was fixed, a little boy

Silly was fixed, a post partum girl, so they have to return early, in case she has kittens.

And Wily was fixed, a girl.

Off to Waterloo after throwing my sleeping bag in the car and a chair.  That was the extent of packing for a night in the county park.  It turned out to be a freezing night, too cold to catch cats as bait quickly froze.  I'd wake up shivering and the windshield was frozen over.  I can't say it was a pleasant night.  I'd had to pull the traps anyhow when the raccoon troops arrived.

But Julie came by for awhile, brought some firewood, soup, even hot chocolate and cookies.  We had some laughs before she left and I went to my freezing tomb for the night.  I need to fix the sleeping bag zipper or get a new one!  Wish I'd had my wool sweater too.

Bleary eyed and exhausted the next morning, at the point of tears, I see the old camp host drive up in her RV.  She says she staying one night.  I call Julie up to tell her and we make a plan.  Julie will pay for her to stay five nights if she will feed the cats under the drop trap so we can catch them.  I leave the drop trap and Julie comes to pay for the site.

I'm so tired I can't even think straight and want to yell at both camp hosts and the county for all this pain and suffering and expense and sorrow.

I go home.  Julie catches India.  Texts me her photo, takes her home with her, to join the boys.  This news makes me happy and lets me sleep.

This morning, after the cats have seen the familiar RV, of the person who used to feed them, and they're feeling good under the drop trap, Julie catches two more, including the unfixed teen and Sonar, the third of the four brothers.   I rush up with more traps, and to pick up the unfixed teen girl.  I've already taken seven cats from Sweet Home to Salem to be fixed, plus one more from that colony to Heartland to be fixed, plus two girls from Albany, and a boy from Lebanon, all to be fixed.  But Heartland says to bring over Autumn, the teen muted torti and last unfixed cat at Waterloo park.   She was fixed today and won't go back there to that park of starvation.  She's currently recuperating in my garage.
Autumn, now fixed, was the last unfixed cat in Waterloo park.

These two girls, a mom and daughter, were fixed from Albany.  The family has it hard right now, one son with cancer, and they have to go back and forth to Dornbechers in Portland, and one daughter with autism.  So at least their cats are fixed.  A friend of mine along with a friend of hers arranged it all.  Heartland even fixed one girls' umbilical cord hernia.  I love Heartland Humane.

Big Foot, above, was abandoned by a neighbor in Lebanon.  So someone else is taking care of him.  He not only got neutered and vaccinated but rid of his tapeworms and even his hair mats.   He got a nice hair cut.  This photo was before his hair job.  Like I say, Heartland is really good.

Julie is taking the cats the one camp host fed, but the fate of Bootsy and the the other four, fed by the other camp host, is up in the air.   All these tribulations and challenges and seeming complete apathy by pretty much everyone, to their fate, can make a cat trapper sob.

I am still hoping to find somewhere for all of them.  Can you take any?


  1. Once again, a post filled with good deeds. Around here they nick the ear of any stray that's been neutered. Do they not do that in your area? That would save you time and trap space, as you could release any already-fixed cats you capture.

  2. I'm groaning with my inability to help, so far away in Ohio with sick geriatric kitties under my care. Bless you.

    1. I wish you lived closer.

  3. It is hard to believe that people don't think you are the best thing since sliced bread for what you do. No doubt some do really appreciate what you do and at times they say so. Well, I hope they do.

    1. I rarely hear anything nice, Andrew. People who don't fix their cats are generally not normal people, however. Who feeds cats and watches them breed more and more cats when you can easily and cheaply get them all fixed, at least where I live? Not normal people.