Friday, October 19, 2018

Long Productive Day

I went to the south coast Wednesday.

With 12 cats.

Just a road trip with cats.

All 12 came from the Brownsville farm colony.  In all, myself and another woman trapped 15 there.  I used the tried and true method of catching a large colony fast.   I left the drop trap there for the folks to feed under for several days.   I arrived Monday morning and first used a regular live trap to get the tame black female.  Not quite tame enough to grab and stuff into a carrier or trap quickly, as I was in a hurry.  The woman's husband was in the hospital with pneumonia and by Monday, not expected to survive.

The female got her claws caught in the mesh of the trap and she panicked and went into a seizure, which caused me great concern.  But she came out of it within a few minutes.

I then caught 8 more under the drop trap, at once, and transferred them into live traps.   After that, I caught two more under the drop trap, one at a time.  Up to 11 then.  I left traps set, but only three, out of sight of one another.

The other woman then took over, who lives just about 3 minutes away.  She checked the traps every few hours, refreshed bait.  One big boy was caught in one of the traps I left set very quickly after I left.  Another adult female, not long after that.  Leaving only two orange kittens we'd not seen but had heard were there.

She faithfully checked traps and refreshed bait and saw an orange kitten in one trap, grabbed the trap, went home and low and behold both orange kittens were in the trap.   No other unfixed cats have been seen since.

I had reservations down at the Coos Bay Snipped clinic for the colony, up to 12 I could bring.  Wednesday I headed out early and made the three hour drive with 12 cats.  Left behind--the adult tame black female and the two orange kittens.  They'll be fixed at whs on Monday.

It's been years since I went to Snipped with cats.

A clinic founder and board member had made a donation on account there for me to use.  That was wonderful.  I wanted to see my brother too.

After I dropped off the cats, checked them in, I went to Sunset Beach, a favorite haunt of mine, but I really needed to use a bathroom and change my shirt since I'd spilled coffee on it during the drive down.

I went and met an old friend, from the days I used to travel to Snipped often with cats, for breakfast.  Was great to see her and catch up.  She had to get back to work so we didn't have a lot of time.

After that, back out to Sunset Beach, but just drove on by, and on to the Simpson Reef over look.  I watched Sea Lions by the score, with other tourists, hauled out on rocks.  The landscape is surreal, with rocks rising from a kelp dotted ocean, waves breaking sideways on the reefs, and a much large rock island now and then appearing, muted, from the fog.  It's beach was crowded in lions.

We used to go out there, as kids, at low tide, and search the tide pools for interesting creatures.  We'd push our fingers into sea anemones, and giggle as they closed over our fingers, all soft and squishy.  But we had to know the tide tables and the time, so we were not caught out there when the tide came in.

I drove on to Cape Arago then.  I took a brief walk down a short steep switch back path, to an overlook, fenced at its end,  to attempt to thwart the dare devils who climb off trails, endanger themselves and destroy the area.

There was not much to see.  Fog had moved in.  The ocean roars there, over rocks and through chutes.  I love the sound.

Then I drove back to meet my brother for lunch.   He was late, due to work, so I wandered a bit, in waiting.   Steve Prefontaine is immortalized in Coos Bay, where he grew up.  He was a runner when I was growing up down there.  My father hated him, called him a long hair hippy radical.  My brother has the same if not worse opinion.  He was a long distance runner that went on to run at the University of Oregon, where track is king.  He ran in the Olympics but did not win and died in car wreck, so his career was short lived.    That was a long time ago.   But Coos Bay still worships him. The mural shows him wearing his Marshfield High jersey when in high school, his U of O jersey, then his USA team jersey.

You can buy all sorts of Pre souvenirs.
My brother and I had an enjoyable lunch.  Short also, since he had to get back to work, but at least I got to see him.

After that, I went to walk on Bastendorf Beach.  I worked at the campground as a teenager.   I had a kite with me, a simple cheap easy to fly kite and the wind was good so I spent about 20 minutes on the beach flying the kite.  I had little time before needing to pick up the cats.   

The drive home was harder than the drive down.  I was tired.  It went fast, however.  Once home, I had to push myself to unload the 12 cats and get them fed and comfortable.  The next morning, I realized the Snipped feral package includes only a rabies vaccine, not a three-way to protect against three viruses including distemper.  I was horrified.   So, before returning some of the cats I used a net to contain them, releasing them into it, and vaccinating them, since I had vaccines in the frig.

Today I'll return the rest, except for some kittens they don't want (which did blindside me since I thought they would take all back, no problem), and the black female who is not yet fixed.

For some reason, I am not being allowed to add captions to the photos.  Instead, when I click "add caption" the photo deletes.  So I'll tell you the first photo is of male kitten Buddy, the long hair tabby, and black female kitten Ebony. 

The next photo is of big black tux Bobbie.  The next is Betty, a long hair brown tabby female kitten.  Then Tahiti, a black tux male kitten.  Then there is Sasha, a black male and finally Tiki, a female black tux kitten.

These were the seven I tried to return yesterday only to be told they didn't want them all back.  I finally took back four kittens---the two long hair brown tabbies, Buddy and Betty, along with the two black tux kittens--Tahiti and Tiki.  I'd already released little Ebony, along with the adult males Bobbie and Sasha.  

Shoot, I thought, as I drove off, what am I doing.  It was awkward for me there, and I wanted out quickly, as they are going through a lot, with the loss of a husband and father to pneumonia.   I felt I should help them as much as possible but also wished I'd known they didn't want them all back.  Anyhow, I'll do my best with the four.   Today I need to return the other five fixed Wednesday.  So I better get a move on.  I'm still moving slow and sore, from the long trip.


  1. I'm getting ready to take one of my cats to the vet. He does a long, mournful meow the whole way there. I can only imagine what driving three hours with twelve cats must have sounded like. Was it as loud as I imagine, or did they settle down?

    1. there was some meowing but by and large wilder cats stay quiet so as not to attract attention to themselves. Tame house cats are a different story. They complain loudly.

  2. Not surprised you are moving slowly. I think I would be bed-bound.
    Glad you got to revisit some places in your memory bank, and meet up with a friend and your brother.
    And, as always, thank you.

    1. Well I'm still moving slowly, ha!

  3. I commend you on all you have done to help them. I wish they could all have forever homes, but at least they will have better lives.

    1. Many homes around here are not so great, to be honest. At least they're fixed, being fed, and with family members in their familiar home.