Mr. Mike is home

Mike got home late yesterday. He has a big list of what he can’t do and his blood will be monitored locally three times a week. Wayfarin is a pretty nasty drug regarding side effects. I have a long list of foods he can’t eat while on this medication. He is so bruised up- he looks like a domestic abuse victim. Taylor missed him so much. She had been sleeping with me in his absence, but now, I am once again chopped liver and he is the apple of her eye. She won’t let him out of her sight at the moment.

I Guess I have Been Told

Yesterday, I drove up to see Mike and didn’t get home until late. Instead of feeding the outside kitties, I fell asleep on the couch (my granddaughter would say “My Bad!”) This morning when I went out to feed, Blake and Sawyer were fighting among themselves which is odd because they get along just fine, and it is just the two of them alone in that huge stall enclosure. They heard me pop the can of cat food open and they just went for each other. Thank God they don’t have teeth at least not much to speak of. I guess all those years of neglect living with Karen is triggered by missed meals and I won’t do that again. They have dry food and plenty of it, the problem is they can’t eat it easily because of their mouth issues. I had been scaling back their wet food as we are running out of canned cat food fairly quickly. Lots of dry, just no canned. But they pretty much told me this isn’t acceptable for them. Putting liquid on the dry food doesn’t appease them and it just sits and gets soggy and full of ick when it sits for a few hours.

They both got the last two cans of wet food along with my apologies for my not showing up during feeding time last night. I have a few cans of tuna on the shelf- guess that will have to do for tomorrow. Cats, gotta love em!

Got a call this morning about a family of kittens found in an old shed. The woman was so excited, said they were so cute, the size of newborn mice but momma was hissing and spitting and wouldn’t let her near them. Hmmm I wonder why? :) I told her to just leave them alone, block the mom in the shed, start feeding mom about 5 times a day different things including kitten chow and cat milk and provide her with several litterpans since she won’t be getting out. They are going to block up the shed with some trellis they have on hand so they can give the cats air- and the way she was talking, I suspect she has already fallen in love with this unexpected family. I told her I would help her to socialize the mom but I couldn’t take the family right now. I did tell her to stay away from the new mom (a tortie) they are very tempermental and she could be nailed if she isn’t careful. I told her you can get nailed IF you are careful!

The Message……

Yesterday, as I drove to Portland to see Mike at the hospital, I went through the small town of Stayton. If you blink, you would miss this quaint town on the road, which would be a shame because of the Victorian houses that dot the town. As I drove past their vet clinic, I saw a sign on their billboard on the lawn. “Stay Calm, Just Love Your Animals.” That’s it- that’s all it said but it spoke volumes to me after witnessing for so long what someone’s rage can do to an animal. Someone who can’t get it together enough to pass on compassion and understanding to the innocent animal or human in their path. Someone so caught up in their own misery, self-pity-self loathing, whatever demons they battle- instead of seeking professional help they whale on their animals (or their children or spouse). A simple message, but quite profound brought about perhaps because the local paper recently carried a story about a 53 year old man who “lost it” when his brother’s pit bull who was eating out of his bowl nipped his dog who tried to steal the food. So enraged, this man lifted this pit high in the air and smashed it against the wall breaking the hips and the neck in one blow. And for what? Because the dogs were following the pack order and defending their territory and food? The saddest part is the other dog didn’t even bleed from the nip. It was a warning.

This morning, when I stepped outside at 5:00 a.m. and the cats came running to greet me, I made it a special point to greet each one in turn (generally I am petting two to three at a time). Those who tolerate it were picked up and given a big hug and I told each one in turn how grateful I am to be blessed by their presence. Stalker, a big gray and white male has decided I must be okay because now he will lay in front of my path and roll over and over in the dirt until I pet him. He is the one we hauled out of a hoarder’s home in a bedroom where a hazmat suit would have been necessary to have just to live in it. I remember tipping over the mattress (that was sitting on bricks on the floor) and seeing this terrified cat staring at me wondering what was going to happen next. Before he could even react, Kim and I swooped in, scruffed him gently and placed him in a carrier to take him out of hell. Now, he is a strapping, beautiful boy who is shy from people except for myself and one of my other volunteers Kyle. He takes his refuge in the blackberry bushes when he feels threatened. They are all so beautiful and I worry about each and every one of them in turn. Every day brings a new challenge of how to meet their needs on all levels.

At the hospital yesterday one of the volunteers was asking me how come I rescue cats? Apparently she only loves dogs. She said she just didn’t understand how I could “waste my time not have a career” over something as “common as a cat.” I just smiled and told her with this type of attitude, she is losing out on a relationship with a wonderful animal who is resilient, forgiving and accepting of all our faults no matter what. She just looked at me as if I came from another planet. She’s young though and hopefully one day will meet a cat who will change her mind.

The house seems so empty today. I have so much to do and all I want to do is have a Mary Anne Day and sleep and relax and do nothing at all. Guess it’s not in my DNA or something, because I’ve already mentally been rearranging the back patio so the cats will be more comfortable come wintertime.

I got tough with Girlcat’s owner the other day. The deal was I was only to board her for 30 days and 30 days is long past. GC has resorted to once tearing her fur out of her tail so I have put her back on Shriener’s to help heal the wounds. She just wants to go home. Her owner tells me now that it will be 2-3 weeks more before she can come and pick her up. She has contributed nothing towards the care of this beautiful cross-eyed mackerel tabby and when I mentioned that, she promised a big donation. Right- color me skeptical. Been there done this to many times to take people’s words to heart anymore. I would rather accept the gentle hug of Girlcat around my neck and her purring in my ear as a show of gratitude. Animals carry no pretense, that’s why I love them so much.

“Dear God- May I have a Do-Over Please?”

This morning, the hospital called to say they were discharging Mike! I left the house at 7:00 and got to the hospital by 10:00. I had to laugh as I drove up, there were three window washers washing the windows of the children’s hospital. They were way up in the air and when I looked up at them, I did a double take. They were dressed as super heroes! Batman, Iron Man and Spiderman! What a cool thing for the sick kids to see out their windows.

I get to Mike’s room and we wait and wait and wait. Finally at 4:00 one of the vascular surgeons came in and told us that Mike couldn’t go anywhere. They had done an ultrasound of his leg late last night and they discovered a massive blood clot. It started at his ankle, went over his knee and was creeping up to his thigh! He will be on heavy meds and constant monitoring for at least two weeks.

I drove home to find my message machine blinking. The vet called and told me that Boo passed away this morning about 11:00. Apparently, she had a heart attack.

I am so sad for this blackness. She had no chance of a real life until she got into our sanctuary and I could only give her 6 months of love. I just hope it was enough for her to understand that love does exist.

Gump

Gump has been surrendered over to the animal clinic. A vet tech is going to take him home if he proves out to be non-combative under their care in isolation for the next few days. I am grateful because otherwise, this beautiful kitten’s ticket was going to be punched. I can’t have him here as a danger to Mike and the others, I can’t make him a lifer here without putting him on Prozac (not a fan) and I can’t adopt him out. My vet said they will euthanize him if he proves to actually attack the tech and her family or someone on staff. My bet is in a few days time, that attack will come.

Playing Catch-Up

A few nights ago when the supermoon was at it’s brightest and fullest over the house, I had fallen asleep on the couch. The front door was wide open as the heat was oppressive. I love our security door which allows us this luxury. I woke to the eerie sounds of the coyotes. Generally, they stay across the road, over by the Santiam River, but intense heat, little rain in this area has driven their prey to find their forage in front yards. We had six deer in our back pasture the other evening. They were taking full advantage of my lack of caring for the pasture and mowing it down. It’s just been to hot to mow.

Brandy, who rarely barks at anything (except other dogs and chickens) exploded and I put her on a stay command and grabbed our shotgun. I stepped outside. As I opened the door, the majority of the barn cats scrambled for the house! I was so surprised to see cats who have NEVER been in the house, suddenly seeking safety. I knew something bad was going on. I didn’t turn on the porch light- there was no need- the moon provided all the lighting needed.

Looking out toward the road, I gasped. I could see glowing red eyes and three silhouettes of coyotes right at the foot of our drive! I took a deep breath, prayed, raised the gun and fired straight up into the air a warning shot. They turned and fled back across the road. I quickly went inside and praised Brandi for her alert.

She was anxious and whining, and pacing by the back door not the front door. I opened the back door to peek out fearing the coyotes were on the back of the property as well. No coyotes- but evidence of deer (lots of them) out in the back pasture when I did a careful walk-through in the morning. Thankfully, no cats were harmed during this encounter, but it sent shivers down my spine at the boldness of these coyotes who are usually so elusive and hard to see. I talked to a friend of mine who used to work for fish and wildlife and he said starvation and disease will cause coyotes to act differently then instinctively they want to. These guys were lean and mean and I suspect they will be back. We have been advised to install motion detector floodlights along the front of our property and to keep the back pastures mowed short so as not to tempt the deer. Some of the normally outside cats are still in the house with no intention at this time of wanting out. So right now, the sanctuary and the house are a bit crowded as there are minor skirmishes as cats meet unexpectedly for the first time. But that’s okay. Change is good.

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and slipped outside to change out the litterpans. Mike was asleep and I left Brandi in the house, because to scoop 32 litterpans, well that takes time. I didn’t get back in the house until 6:30. As I turned on a small light, I heard Mike’s hospital bed vibrating. I’m thinking, what in the world? Then I hear him call out for a blanket! It was 70 in the house, probably 80 outside. I turned on the main light and his bed was just vibrating at a high rate of speed. It was strange as if it was possessed. Then my senses kicked in and I heard his teeth chattering and saw his body in just major chills. I raced for the thermometer but his teeth were chattering so hard, it only registered 97.1. I knew we were in trouble. He was coherent, but combative and I told him we were going to get in my car and go the hospital in Portland. He says “I’m not going!” I lost it- I told him either he was going to put his big boy pants on, get his shoes on and get his ass in my car OR I was going to call 911 and the ambulance would come and take him to the local hospital (which sucks when it comes to care) it was his choice. He decided Portland was a better bet!

We got there in under two hours which was a miracle because cops were everywhere. Yes, I was speeding but paying attention to the road- they admitted him for an infection in his leg. Whether it is a bone infection, they aren’t sure. His white blood cell count was extremely high- his heart rate was 110! They couldn’t get in much lower (which also indicates infection in the body). Brandi and I were at the hospital for ten hours with him. When I finally got home, I was so tired, but there was a message on my machine from a lady who wanted to adopt Mason.

I called her and we talked and she asked me to bring several kittens/cats to her home and see how it goes. Because I don’t know what my week is going to be like, I took Gump, Bentley, Chauncey and Mason with me to meet this family. I let all the cats out of the carriers in their front room and it was hilarious. Gump immediately jumped up on the condo snuggled down as if he belonged there! Ironically, he was the exact color of their design scheme in their living room. They flipped for him. I did tell them he is unpredictable and prone to attacking people with no provocation. Mason just explored- Chauncey immediately started jumping up on the counters in the kitchen have a kitty panic attack and Bentley dove under their couch you couldn’t even see the tip of his tail!

They were so interested in Gump, but he attacked all of them including me during the visit. So they decided against him. Bentley wanted nothing to do with the process and Chauncey was just beside herself looking for a place to hide. Mason stole the show. They adopted him but said that in a few weeks after Mason acclimates, they would like to adopt Gump and see if they can work with him. They were very cat savvy all of them including the young boy.

So my I-5 kitty now has a new home. My husband is in the hospital. My house is a wreck and tomorrow poor Boo gets all her remaining teeth yanked and some gum treatments to stop any future infections. Life as normal I guess- as normal as can be in my neck of the woods.

Boo

She is scheduled for her dental on Tuesday. They said I have been a client for long enough so small payments are acceptable until the whole bill is paid in full. Thank God for the kindness of some vets.

I don’t know how Dickens is doing it, but somehow he is finding a way out of the bedroom and joining the rest of the group in the cat enclosure. I did a double-take when I saw this kitten lying on one of the ramps out there. The problem with him going in with everyone right now, is some of our older residents don’t take to kindly to the antics of a kitten with a lot of energy. I was able to capture him and put him back in the bedroom and he is letting me know- he isn’t happy. Hopefully, this weekend, I will find a home for him and also for Mason. That’s the plan anyway.

Our I-5 Kitten

Here is Mason, so far I haven’t been able to find the right home for this brave kitten. I hope this weekend when I start to put the word out about him again, I will find the loving home he needs to thrive.

Of course Mike wants to keep him! LOL

Mason