Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Bathroom Full of Kittens

I have FIVE female kittens in my bathroom.

All were at one time various shades of wild, but I've got three of them almost completely tame now.  Two are completely tame, Winnie and Copper, and they are spoken for.  I just need to find somewhere to get them fixed.  It's not that easy around here to find that.


Besides Copper and Winnie, I have Meadow and Cheetah, also from McLagan.  Meadow is practically tame now and Cheetah is getting there.   Adding to those four, from McLagan, is Twilight from Harvest Drive. 
Twilight, the latest girl kitten in the bathroom.  She's from Harvest Drive.
Blizz and Rabbit, long gone now to Animal Rescue and Care Fund, Twilight's brothers.

Twilight is Blizz and Rabbit's sister.   After trapping Blizz, Rabbit, Jakarta and the kittens' mom Gypsy, I had given up, due to pouring rains, and catching too many possums and skunks.  There was nowhere specific to trap because they were not being fed.  So I returned Gypsy as she was the remaining kittens only chance.  Gypsy was fixed first, of course. 

When the home owners returned from vacation, they agreed to feed in a tied open trap until the kittens and Gypsy were eating in it, then we would retrap Gypsy and catch the kittens.  We caught Twilight night before last and yesterday afternoon, Gypsy.
Gypsy loves wet food, so when I took the couple wet food for bait, I knew she'd be next caught and she was.

I had taken three cats to be fixed at Heartland in a long standing appointment.  Two lucky kittens to be fixed hail from Columbus Greens trailer park, both black, both bottle fed by their rescuer, and now are fixed and she's trying to find them homes.  The third cat to fill those appointments was to be Copper, the buff orange girl kitten, but in the meantime, I'd caught Winter, the Circle K mom cat, who I'd been after forever.  So she was fixed.  I was to pick her up after she was fixed and meet my barn cat placement friend in Salem with her.
Here's Winter last fall, when I was trapping her last litter of four.  No, that is not a right ear tip, its just the way the photo turned out.

And Winter yesterday.  She looks big but she weighed in at under 7 lbs.

But then I got the call from the Harvest Drive folks that they'd recaught Gypsy, so I swung by and picked her up and took my friend both girls.  She still has Gypsy's daughter from a previous litter, Jakarta.  So Gypsy and Jakarta will be placed together.  And she actually adopted Twinkie, now named Pickle, one of Winter's kittens from her first litter this summer, whom I trapped at the Circle K dumpster.
This is Twinkie when he was still here, one of Winter's kittens from the first batch of three, spotted in the Circle K parking lot, near starved.  He was adopted by my barn cat placement friend and her husband, who now call him Pickle.  Ironic they now have Winter, his mom, there too.  But she will be placed as a barn cat.
And this is Jakarta, a teen girl, from Harvest Drive, and likely Gypsy's kitten from a previous litter.  She looks so much like Rabbit, the boy kitten from Gypsy's last litter.  She went to my barn cat placement friend, who still has her, so Gypsy and Jakarta will be placed together.

So that's the story of yesterday and how I came to have five kittens in my bathroom instead of four.   I hope to soon find somewhere to get Copper and Winnie fixed so they can go off to my friend who will provide them a great home.   That way I can better completely tame the other three.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Last night I set the trap again, for the Circle K mom. 

I did not think I would catch her, but why not try?

The weather was perfect for it, heavy fog, no rain.

I've been feeding her and who knows who else in that trap, tied open so it can't spring, back of the store, for almost two months.

I have caught other cats, one whom I knew.  I'd caught him to be fixed six years ago and had not seen him since!  He was not skinny!  I caught a fat possum.  Twice.  Same one I think, the way he gave me the look, half embarrassed the second time.

Last night, I scored!!!  I caught the gray mom cat.  It better be her anyway.

She's had two litters just this summer, both of whom ended up trying to scrounge food in the Circle K dumpster.  They're really nice there, try to help the animals, usually call me.  The first three kittens I caught that first litter, seen in the parking lot, were Twinkie, now with a friend of mine, Sitka and Wrangel.  My kitten taming friend in Lake Oswego took on the two girls and amazingly tamed them down and found them great homes.

Then came the next litter.  A post on craigslist alerted me they were there.  A zillion people wanted to help them, which was really wonderful in many ways.  I caught all four in the end and Animal Rescue and Care Fund took them.  I caught two adult males there also.  I thought the gray male was going to be the mom, since she is gray.  But nope, he was a he.  Both boys went off to live in the gorge.  The clinic who fixed them aged them both at just under a year.  I was told by people who knew when they were born that they are brothers and that the gray mom is their sister.  That was before the fire up there that destroyed so much of what everyone loves in the gorge, but it didn't get the boys. 

After that, I tried and tried to catch the mom.   I felt the pressure, knowing she'd have more litters if I didn't.  I left a trap back there, and fed in it every other day.  Yes, I'm a persistent cuss.  I don't know what giving up means.  Never understood that concept well.

Last night was my lucky night.  I got her. 

She'll be fixed Monday at Heartland instead of Copper, the girl kitten.  Kittens are easier to hold onto, to wait for fixing, than an adult feral female.

I'm happy!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Killing Fleas

Parasites suck, literally, and can carry all kinds of diseases.  You don't want parasites that feed on blood in your house.  They eat somebody's blood then could hop off and switch to you and infect you with bad things.

Fleas carry things like worm larvae, diseases like hemobartonella and even the plague.   They're not welcome here.

However, flea treating the crowd of cats, most feral, that haunt my place and cat yard, can be physically demanding.  They get the picture fast of what's going down, and after the first few cats, I have to bring out my fish net to get them.

I got most of them done yesterday, despite the difficulties of chasing down uncooperative cats.  I simply close the two bedroom doors, which locks most of them in their favorite places.  Then I systematically treat each cat, clean their ears, trim their nails, and worm them.   Some are nicer than others about it.  For the true ferals, I get them in my net with a towel over them they can hide their heads under.  If they can hide their head, they feel safe.  I'm quick about it.   For my sake and theirs.  I also had to shave off fat Oci's mats.

Oci is badly overweight and feral to boot.  She's been here ten years and is 10 1/2 years old.  At least.  She was left behind in Millersburg, with Sam and many others when someone just abandoned the trailer they lived in, kicking the cats outside with their kittens.  The kittens grew up wild and were all in their late teens by the time I got called on it.  Oci was near starved to death, with terribly inflamed eyes and the vet advised long term eye treatment.  So she stayed here for that.  And was not adoptable due to her feral nature and age.  I got her eye inflammation under control after a few months.  She wouldn't leave the food dish.  Most of the time, cats who have been starved, eventually slow down on the eating and realize the food isn't going away now. But not her.
Fat Oci, loves to nap, and has many many friends among the cats here.

I've tried various ways to get her exercise.  With so many cats, I have to free feed, so exercise was the option open to get her weight down.  I built the original cat wheel, and then a better one, years ago, for Oci, but she wouldn't use it.  Then I built the living room foster cage, just to contain her so I could limit her intake, but the shelves were too narrow for her.   My friend said, "she's happy right?"  "Yes," I said.  She said, "let her be."

I finally did.  With some lingering guilt.  But she gets mats on her back because she can't turn and groom herself on her upper back.  Yesterday, I shaved them off again.  I got some really cheap clippers on Amazon and they work so much better than anything I've used before, including some Andis clippers I got a few years ago that were not cheap.  You'd think the clippers are not even working they're so slow speed, but they trim mats like a charm.  I've never experienced the like!

The four Mclagan drive kittens are doing ok.  Winnie has lingering digestive issues, but the other three are thriving.  Winnie is too, I should say, gaining weight rapidly and playing like a kitten should and her digestive issues will resolve.  Takes time after suffering starvation.

Copper is the most delightful little girl kitten, (yes, she's is a girl.  I require reading glasses to sex kittens now and hadn't bothered with these four), and will be fixed Monday.  I have someone who wants her, hopefully that will work out.   The wilder pair, Meadow and Cheetah, are so funny and Meadow now arches her back and purrs loudly when petted.

I took away the carrier they used as a bed, in the bathroom, and hideout.  You have to do that if you want the wild ones to tame.

Look how the maple is repairing itself, after a branch tore off over a year ago.  It's forming new bark under the tattered old bark left after the branch tore off..  It's amazing to watch.  
Mostly the leaves have fallen now but a few remain, bright in color against the drabness that is taking over.

I really do love the county park even though the hours upon hundreds of hours I spent there was not so fun, trying to get all the cats fixed.   There are just the two boys left I feed every few days and I'm torn over removing them.  It's always best if they are left in familiar territory but going up there and feeding, is time and money costly.  But not that costly and I walk when I am there most of the time.  I need the exercise like fat Oci does and those cats give me incentive.  It is really a very beautiful park.

In the wind the other day, the neighbors basketball hoop was blown over and lay in the street, blocking at least half the road.   I knocked on their door, rang their bell, but no answer and finally, since it was late afternoon, and darkness comes early and this posed a terrible hazard, unable to lift it upright, I carried the lighter front end around to the curb.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Five Fixed Monday

Yup, five cats were fixed last Monday and I'm just now getting around to posting photos.

I realize it is important to create a record like this of the cats.  I was made aware of that today when contacted by someone in a Sweet Home trailer park, where I've gotten so many cats fixed.  The time before last when I went to pick up cats there, I just wanted to sob, seeing some, abandoned, forgotten, even complained about.  Those poor cats, made me so disturbed I could barely function that night.

A cat fight is going on there, over a cat, namely, who owns it.  I never really know.  I dutifully provided the solid records, which are reality, hard, fast, this cat was picked up at this place at the request of this person, with name, address, on this date, fixed at this clinic, returned.  That's reality, free and clear of distortion by human emotion.

 One party, who decidedly doesn't own the cat, should really focus on taking care of the ones they do own, like their orange guy who isn't fixed and they've lost track of him.   Like he no longer exists.   Or counts.  Or struggles.  Makes me so sad.

I found the records of who asked me to get him fixed and paired that date with a photo of him on this blog taken when I took to be fixed and that should be proof enough, in a normal world, of who at least cared enough to get him fixed and vaccinated at that time.   I do try to stay way clear of drama.  And stay focused on helping the cats.  I wish people could somehow see clearly through the harsh realities that make up many lives, the struggles, to be more.  To love the kids and care for them, and the animals who depend on them.

So anyhow, back to the cats fixed Monday.  Four were from Sweet Home, one place, and they were lovely cats, all of them.  Three boys and one girl.  There's a still a boy kitten there who needs fixed.

My photos are not too great this time, but I'll post them anyway.

Alister, an orange tabby boy, was fixed Monday.

Mango, another gorgeous orange tabby boy, also fixed Monday.

Emma, a gray tabby tux girl, was also fixed.  She was not a happy camper.  But her hostility would be the normal reaction to suddenly being whisked from all thing familiar, to the garage of a stranger, then a car ride, to a clinic full of smells of strange cats and dogs.  Hostility and fear are normal reactions.   So I thought she was awesome.  
  Stormy, a gray tabby tux male teen, was also fixed yesterday.  His photo is below.

.The fifth cat fixed Monday was the 7th or 8th cat fixed from a Sodaville colony.  The cats are tame but had been breeding out of control, with many kittens dying.  There is just one left to fix there now, after Raspberry was fixed Monday, a boy kitten.  We'll let him grow a bit first.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Windy Day

We've got a big windstorm blowing right now here where I live.

I heard something of it yesterday but there were not clear cut forecasts then.  That's my excuse for forgetting all about it.

I hope the maple tree holds, is all I can say, or ever say, if we have wind going on.

I tried to get some pellet fuel at the feed store for litter after dropping off five cats to be fixed in Salem this morning early, but the gates were locked. 

I went to the 7-11 then, thinking I'd get a cup of coffee, but the employees sat out front, to tell people they were closed because they have had no power since 2:00 a.m.  I figured then maybe the feed store has none either.

Last week, the old catmobile sold.  Not for much but it is gone and the money went directly to the woman who gave me the loan for the new old car. I still owe her quite a lot.  Makes me nervous.

 The new old car has problems now too.  The electronic door lock for the drivers side sometimes does not let me out of the car, only popping halfway up, not fully unlocking.  Then I have to crawl out the passenger side.  Most of the time it works, half the time it doesn't.

It might be related to a badly installed DVD player in the back seat roof area of the new old car.  It doesn't work and the clip holding the screen part of it up is long broken so the screen sags down.  Sometimes it is lit up and sometimes not, so I assume bad wiring job and it needs gone.

The kittens are doing well rescued from the middle of a rural road, the ones who were so dehydrated and starving and cold.   Four in all.  I finally settled on names.  The only boy, the buff orange tux, I call him Copper.  He was the last one rescued and he owes his life to a Circle K clerk.   Then there's Winnie the gray tabby girl, and the classic torti, Cheetah and the muted torti, Meadow.




I'll get photos up later of the five cats being fixed today. Four are all from the same place in Sweet Home, then there is Raspberry, a Siamese female, and number 8 I think it is, fixed from around one trailer near Sodaville.  One more to get done there and they'll all be fixed.  But at least Raspberry is getting done, leaving only one male kitten unfixed there right now.

So I'm happy about that, no more kittens born to die there, and the fixed remaining cats are looking really good.

In other news, the leaf collectors haven't come yet, during this pickup period, which extends from the 6 to the 17th.  They have to come at some point during the next four days.

My pile was long and high but I swear its half composted out there on the street by now.  And the piles others have put out are blown half around. 

Well, I hope the tree branches stay on the trees and my power doesn't go out.  This storm will be gone by evening.


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Lucy Goes to the Vet

Lucy made the long trip with me to the coast clinic yesterday.

I was also going to pick up Miss Daisy's remains, her ashes.  But they were not ready yet.
Old Lucy, after a bad haircut I gave her last spring.

I did pay off her bill.   And Lucy's.

Lucy had ear issues unrelated to ear mites.   She kept accumulating debris and they smelled but I couldn't tell if that was from her mouth or ears.  Also, I'd hear her teeth click sometimes.

I headed out early after a full nights sleep and got there just five minutes before the clinic opened for surgery patients.

The weather was wildly windy and rainy, as is usual for Oregon in the winter.

After dropping off Lucy, I spent most of the day at one nearby beach or another, parked, just reading a book I keep in the car or watching the wild waves.

I had a piece of pizza from Costco for lunch.   And finally found a cheap remedy to long johns.  I usually have long johns for winter but mine fell apart after 20 years.  They were silk and comfortable.  But I can't afford silk long underwear now or merina wool.  Both products are very good for wet areas as they retain warmth when wet.  At Costco I found 32 Degree brand long joins for $6.99.  They don't look that durable and are neither silk nor wool but don't contain cotton at least.  Cotton is a useless fabric for staying warm in wet climates.  At that price, I decided it didn't hurt to give them a try.

I had already gotten my socks wet and my jeans wet and probably shouldn't be killing time in a store when already cold.   But I didn't feel very guilty spending that little and then the $1.99 for a piece of pizza.  Now I'm on the hunt for some affordable yet efficient rain pants. In the winter when its raining I often wear long johns and rain pants over them. That was until my long johns fell apart and my rain pants vanished. I may have left them somewhere.  It's not a bulky way to go but keeps me warm and dry.

I went back to the south jetty to eat my piece of pizza and read my Harry Bosch novel.  The wild wind was slamming waves into the south jetty in spectacular displays.  Then I spotted the coast guard helicopter going back and forth near the mouth of the Columbia and wondered if they were training in this bad weather or really searching for a distressed boat.

There's a warm security seeing them out there, a pride too.  I want them on the job!  I know they're the best at what they do.

She's got to be from Oregon.  Tie dye.  No coat.  Out there right by the jetty, to take photos of the crashing waves.

Lucy had a split tooth pulled and her ears cleaned out.  She has to be on ear meds, as she may have an infection going on with her ears, and she is now on antibiotics.  Her senior blood work came out normal.  I was relieved.

I drove straight home then, trying to do exercises with my legs and shoulders to keep from being sore the next few days.  I would just tighten a muscle and then release, trying to relax it completely.  The drive home was through extreme down pours in the dark.  The usual stuff for an Oregon winter.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Lost Girls

They were first seen over a week ago, at night, in the middle of the road.  The caller thought maybe eight or ten kittens.   They had to shoo them out of the road, so they would not be hit.

I went out the next morning, the 30th, and found two alive and one dead on the road.  The two I found, Sparrow and Wren, were in bad shape.  Dehydrated, starved and very very cold.  It took days to get their fluid level to normal.  The Harvest Drive boys, who hail from not that far from where the girls were found, helped give them confidence.

Then, improbably, another was found, this one about 3/4 mile from where they were first seen.  She was in horrible shape, same thing, dehydrated and freezing cold.  Also starved nearly to death.  I call her Meadow.

And then another was found, night before last, this time an orange girl.  The Circle K clerk who found her had to keep her warm that night by sleeping with her and tying a scarf into a sling so she could carry her against her body.

I gave her fluids once I got her.  She cried hoarsely, pitifully, like a kitten who had already been through far too much trauma and suffering. 

Sunshine and Meadow last night, in my bathroom.  I put a space heater in there, because they are slow to warm and want it like 80 degrees.

This is Sunshine yesterday.  After getting fluids then eating, all she wanted was to sleep on my lap.

It's hard to show in photographs just how skinny they are.

I think all four will survive.   Sparrow and Wren are now thriving in fact.

Yesterday I took five cats up to be fixed at Willamette Humane's clinic.   I'd gone clear to Sweet Home to pick up two of them, from two different trailer parks.   I had to chase Sidekick all over one trailer.  He'd been an outside feral boy, lured finally inside by this woman and then tamed, mostly tamed.  He finally let me scruff him and back him into a carrier.   But only after I climbed over the woman's disabled mother to get to him.  That was the buff boy Sidekick.
Sidekick was neutered yesterday

From another Sweet Home trailer park, with endless new cats showing up, I took Aqua, a pleasant young girl.
Aqua, fixed yesterday too
From rural Albany, I took Mia, a young girl too.  Her people are moving shortly to Lacomb, and across from them, lots of feral cats fed by some man, they said.  I gave her my card to give him.  At least they could be all fixed.
Mia, a sweet brown tabby tux girl, was spayed yesterday

From Albany, another black male trapped at another trailer park.  Seems endless there too but the area where this guy came from, we think they're all fixed now.  I named him Shady.

Shady, from Albany, a big black male, was fixed.
The mom cat I got fixed there late September actually did have another litter just before I got her fixed.  They spotted them out on their back porch a few days ago.  Immediately they caught them however, a little boy and a little girl.  Both have front leg deformities.  The little gray boy has both front legs deformed and the little girl has one front leg deformed.  They're keeping them both.
This is the little boy.  He can get around with those turned in at the elbow front legs just fine.  This is a genetic defect likely from inbreeding.
Also fixed yesterday was a Brownsville boy who showed up at a home near some stables where a friend is getting the cats fixed.   So she brought him up and Smokey got fixed yesterday.
Smokey from Brownsville was fixed yesterday
After I dropped off the cats at the clinic, I headed north to Wilsonville.  Animal Rescue and Care Fund was ready to take on Blizz and Rabbit, the two Harvest Drive boy kittens.  So long kittens!  Good luck!

They were a little nervous about the change, in the carrier on the way up.

They had enjoyed destroying my bathroom, but....time to move on.

Also yesterday, my barn cat placing friend had room for Jakarta and I did not want to miss out on that opportunity.  I was tired by then, but after picking up the five cats from whs, I headed north again, this time with another former Harvest Drive kitty, teen girl Jakarta, a wild thing and met my friend in Aurora.   Jakarta will make an excellent barn cat.

So long Jakarta!