The Food Fight

The fight for the right of these cats to eat on a daily basis continues. Thanks to one blog follower who helped me design a pretty effective letterhead for CATS I have distributed those letters to nearly every grocery store in the three towns surrounding us. One major chain has stepped up and said he will call me when they get any broken bags or boxes. I will take it and hope the calls start coming in soon.

We were recently blessed with the arrival of all these canned food for the kitties so we have been mixing the dry with the wet to help make it expand and last longer. It’s getting a bit dicey now feeding in the wee hours of the morning when the more elusive ferals are about and hungry. So, unfortunately awake at that hour are the skunks, the coons and the possums. I always know when these animals come to the banquet table, because in the mornings, the trays are tossed about- the water bowls are muddy and floating in the water is dry kibble (no longer dry). I am thankfully able (so far) to talk to the skunk babies until they slide back under the shop or the shed and then put the food out without getting sprayed in the process. I lay out the eggs for the skunks, hoping the food they should be eating will be the food they want instead of dry cat food!) My friend has chickens free range and keeps us in eggs most of the time. But it seems lately, the skunks prefer the ease of eating dry cat food instead of cracking an egg!

So the fight continues on our end. Some cat lovers in the neighborhood after my ad went online- has called and pledged on bag of food a month- which we will also take. We will just have to see how this goes. Currently, we have 8 cats in the house and main enclosure. Nineteen free roaming cats who have access to two enclosures 24/7 and 5 new strays recently dump one who I fear is pregnant- Pushing for this cold weather to continue to finally stop the mating cycle. This cycle has not stopped here in Oregon for three years now!

MK’S Moment

We have been working slowly with MK (Mystery Kitty) since first contact a few weeks ago. This morning, MK sidled up to me at feeding time and head bumped me! I picked MK up, brought her  in the house and proceeded to de-mat this beautiful girl with a seam ripper, a comb and plenty of patience.

Because she is long-haired and I suspect also has Persian in her- she does mat every year, but until now, getting close to her was near impossible. I was able to gently extract dozens of mats and overjoyed that the entire time we spent in this grooming session- she never once got grumpy, tried to swat at me or bite. She growled a few times but that was when I was working in her nether region which was really matted and bad.

I took a quick photo and put her back outside and now when she sees me she runs! LOL  But that’s okay- I removed enough fur and matts on her to know she will be fine throughout the winter. Mike asked why I didn’t shave her? I don’t want her losing heat in this cold weather 32 again this morning- so the seam ripper did the trick. I love the ripper because unless you truly just poke the cat in the skin- you can’t hurt them removing the matts. Unlike the scissors that can cut their skin- or the clippers that can burn their skin. Using the ripper to loosen the grip the mat has on the skin then combing it out is a way for cats to not hate being groomed because it doesn’t hurt.

Here is our girl relaxing after her session:

I wish that I could keep her indoors but as the session wore on- she made it quite clear that outside life is best for her. She will never be adopted- she sprays like a fire hose and always has. (Yes sometimes, females mostly those who got pregnant before they should will spray without it being a health issue)- but she will always be loved here.

Maybe I Should Just Surrender?

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of non-support and discrimination against cats and people who care about them in this area. I could make everyone of you weep if I shared with you some of the stories these cats will carry in their lives due to abuse, neglect or hatred of the species. But the discrimination doesn’t end there- it flows over to the people who give a damn about these stray and feral cats and ty to do something about the issue. All of my neighbors save one dislikes cats. We have had our cat enclosure broke into and the cat litter and cat food dumped on the ground mixed together. We had beds slashed, litter boxes upended as one demented person whose cats we rescued and rehomed miles away “searched for his precious cats”  seized after a meth raid. We have had fireworks intentionally thrown on our driveway, at the cat enclosure- we’ve had cats systematically killed and laid out on our lawn as a message to us. I don’t get it? We don’t hurt anyone, we just wish to coexist and allow these cats to have a life here without prejudice or future abuse.

Yesterday, they lifted the burn ban and in the afternoon when I got home after picking up only two bags of food- I started the pile. You could burn till 4:30 so at 3:00 I went out and started putting water on the pile. The pile was bigger than normal due to the tear down of some of the buildings as we remodeled. Our maintenance man who is no longer here was supposed to have burned down the pile to a manageable state, but again, he is no longer allowed to come here. Long Story- at any rate, I put 4 hours of water on the pile and it still wouldn’t go out. I asked Mike if I should call the fire department and he said no, it would burn out. But I knew I wasn’t going to sleep much last night because I would watch it and douse it when it flared up again. It took forever to get going and now it wasn’t going out.

At 10:30 our house was lit up by a Christmas tree- and the fire marshall is banging on my door.There’s a fire truck in the front driveway and I hustled into clothes and showed them the fire and told them all I had done to try and put it out. One of my cat-hating neighbors called them and even they said the fire posed no danger in spreading- but I asked them to please just put it out. Too many fires to take a chance- and again, it was a bigger than normal pile. So they did. They said I wasn’t in trouble but I was sobbing while they were talking to me. There is no way anyone on the road saw this fire the fence obstructed the view as well as outbuildings. It was a neighbor and sadly, I know who it was without even being told. And ironically, I have clashed with him in the past for burning all the time, even during burn bans. I never reported him but that didn’t matter- after all I am a crazy cat lady and I need to be “watched” or that’s what his wife said to me once during an encounter we had years ago.

So this morning, I wake up feeling embarrassed and foolish and relieved that no fines were issued. One of the firemen said when the call came in, they just kind of looked at each other and went “really?” But they came anyway engine in tow.

I told my friend when she called worried that she went past the house and saw all the emergency vehicles and the house lit like the fourth of July that maybe I should just put up my hands and surrender already? But in the next instance, the word that came out of both of our mouths simultaneously was “Never!” Which made both of us laugh and that finally dried my tears.


Food is Arriving

Thank you nameless ones 🙂 We have bags of cat food arriving almost daily and although some bear the buyer’s names, others do not. I cannot thank you enough for your generous spirit. Small boxes, big bags, it matters not- it all is going for the good of the cats here. I keep seeing new strays all the time and I am puzzled and figure they were just dropped here. The strangest part about it is all the new strays are orange or orange and white or calicos? Not a common color here usually. One gorgeous girl looks young and very pregnant. I am hoping to trap her fairly soon but so far, am only trapping the cats already fixed here. This little girl looks to be about 6 months old, she is long-hair and likes to peek out at me from under the deck or behind a tree. She is gorgeous though- hoping soon to be able to blog that we caught her.


Mike is not doing well. This morning I went and talked to his doctor (he has an appointment tomorrow afternoon) I have asked the doctor to either put Mike in the hospital or in Respite Care. As selfish as it sounds- I need a break. Also he is NOT doing well. He is barely eating, he sleeps almost all day and he is weak and has been re-diagnosed with MRSA. He also has another serious problem that would be TMI if I shared it. He needs to be in a hospital to get the best care. We will see how tomorrow goes after the idea is approached to him.


And it isn’t even Halloween Yet!

Yesterday, I had such a fright. Mike fell getting out of the shower and was unable to gain his footing (no pun intended) This man did not call out to me until he was on the floor for 15 minutes! I went in there and it looked like a mini murder scene. 🙁 I called 911 and four paramedics had to assist Mike back up his chair. They all strongly suggested he go to the hospital, but he refused. You know, sometimes I wonder why I even bother? If he doesn’t care about his health, then why should I? I’m sorry guess it sounds like I want to throw a pity party but it is so infuriating when he doesn’t take accountability for his condition and be proactive in trying to make it better.

The other day at the dog park, I happened to meet a lady who is the same age as my husband. She is the last known polio victim in the United States and she has not lost one leg- but both. Instead of crawling into the corner and letting it overtake her and yes, she weighs probably as much as Mike does- she is out and about- running her dogs in the park and has the brightest outlook on life. I told her that I wish Mike and her could meet and talk but he’s not interested (I asked him when I got home). It’s hard to watch someone you love just give up on himself. There’s not much I can do about it- had he knocked himself unconscious yesterday, he WOULD be in the hospital.

Kota alerted me to the fall- I think he smelled the blood and got anxious because Mike wasn’t making much noise at all. 🙁 Sorry to vent, but sometimes, I just feel like I am going to explode backward and fly out the door never to return whole again.

Unable to Escape Rescue

Although we have had to make a conscious effort not to actively rescue (until we can secure a place to get weekly donations of food or a donation that allows us to secure the food needed) Our phone still rings off the hook from people pleading for help. One such call from the Parks Department sent me to a local park where some lowlife decided to dump a manx kitty  not very old. I tried to set up a cat house using leaves, ivy and tree branches to hide it- as the kitten was seen close to a hiking trail. It has taken a few days but I finally captured the little darling and she was covered in fleas and dirt and has since had a bath, been de-wormed- de-flead and given groceries. She is quite skinny I am calling her Winter and I know that once she gets spayed, she will go to a home rather quickly because Manx mixes are highly desirable.

Here she is and I am so thankful I got her quickly as the temperature is unseasonably colder than usual (in the 30’s for pity’s sake!)

Sometimes, Words Just Aren’t Enough

I am saddened beyond belief at the recent events in Las Vegas. An old, dear friend, her daughter works at the Mandalay and thankfully, when I reached out to Tracy, Taylor and her boyfriend were traveling on vacation and were far away from the madness that unfolded that night. I worked in Vegas for three years- no I wasn’t a dealer, I was a field editor for the phone company training sales reps on how to do their job. But Vegas was always so alive and vibrant watching it grow dark in memory of the fallen victims was life- altering for me.There is a song trending now, you can also find it on YouTube by Maren Morris and Vince Gill called Dear Hate. If you haven’t heard it- look it up and bring kleenix. Prayers to the city and the victims. I don’t think they will ever find out why this happened. I just hope it never happens again.

It’s Sometimes Surprising Living off a Main Highway

I met the nicest woman this morning. Coming back from town, I noticed in the Narrows there was a person walking with a baby stroller. Not an unusual sight- the highway is the only way in and out of town. But this stroller displayed an American flag and the front part was covered in a thick vinyl as if to keep supplies from getting wet. A baby or a pet wouldn’t be able to breathe inside that set-up. So I wondered what the story was behind the walker.

When the walker passed our house, I hailed the person and asked what the story was about? Initailly, I couldn’t tell the sex of the person because devoid of make-up and  jewelry and spouting an Amy hat, she could pass for a male. Her name is Erin Parate, she is an Army Veteran and she started her walk in Rhode Island! Her end point is Newport Oregon which is about a 110 miles from our home so she is almost done!

She dresses gender non-specific for a good reason. She doesn’t wear makeup, tight shirts, or skinny jeans- she looks like a guy until you hear her speak. She doesn’t want to be assaulted or messed with by the crazy people of the world, she just wants to meet other balanced, creative  individuals as well as other Vets.  She is 43 years old and in great shape!

She tried to do this same Walk Across America last year but was wearing inappropriate shoes and ended up breaking her foot! She showed me pictures on her phone of her feet that had developed these huge blisters between each toe! She said that because of the blisters, she was compensating for the pain by walking more on the ball of her foot instead of the front and her ankle bone just shattered! The blisters were huge. I have never seen blisters like that between toes,

She said she wasn’t doing this for a cause, she just wanted to always walk across America and then write a book about her experience. I’ll bet she finishes both dreams and I bet I will buy her book and walk across America within her pages with her.

My friend Midge came over with her camera and we did a short interview with photos. Hopefully, our local paper will print out her story and maybe inspire someone else to follow their dreams.

I had to laugh, when I brought her in the backyard. We were talking and she looked under the house and said “Wait, is that a skunk?” LOL Sure enough- little Stinker had stuck her nose into the cat’s tray and was eating to her heart’s content. I also told her what I do here with the cats and she met Kota. Mike was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up so we stayed outside.

What a trip- walking across America to fulfill a dream. She said that when she was going across Nebraska it was so hot that she only could travel at night. She said she met a woman who turned out to be the Chairman of the American Women Journalist Organization and this woman made it possible for her to find homes in other towns (of other female journalists) and she never had to sleep outside the entire time across that state! I think that is awesome.

You can find her on Facebook. It’s a far cry from the last person I talked to while he was walking on the highway. This guy was dressed like Jesus- he had a wheelbarrow he was trundling along the highway and a sign that read “Dump your Loved One’s Ashes Here!”  There were some ashes in his barrow, but I didn’t ask too many questions- this guy was wacked out of his head. Thankfully, Erin is a fully functioning delightful human being!

On the Topic of Cat Litter

It is extremely expensive to ship litter to us- BUT if you award CATS Inc., points from Fresh Step, we can order the litter with the points and they pay for the shipping. That works for us- so just wanted to put that out there for others to consider.

This morning while feeding, I saw a stray I am not familiar with feeding. She is in bad shape- possibly pregnant- a long-haired gray with a wound on the back of her leg (probably from a tom) I am going to set my traps tonight- please pray that I don’t capture other wildlife instead of her. Probably only get another one of our free-roaming sanctuary cats. I have taken Bentley out of so many cat traps lately! You would think he would learn not to go in them-but he loves the wet food too much I guess. He has his own supply of wet food in the 24/7 enclosure but that doesn’t seem to deter him from robbing the traps of their wet food! This gray kitty looks quite young and her wound is pretty severe.

It’s Been a Real Wake-Up Call

This yanking our cat food and litter out from under us has been a real eye-opener for us. It showed us just how dependent we were on those pet food donations and that in a blink of an eye it can be taken from us. We are having to buy food and litter now to supplement everyone- which has depleted us to the point we can’t pay our non-profit fee right now. It is only $50.00 but there is only $27.50 in the account at this time. Like I said, a real wake-up call.

Thanks to Daniel B- Maureen B- Haley and Mercedes and  two others who wish to stay anon. we had enough dry food this month to carry us through. I wish I could pull the food in at night- but visits to the feral feeders in the early mornings have revealed several unknown feral cats feeding from the trays. I don’t want to take that food away from the cats- there is one yellow cat that looks to be in pretty rough shape. I put up some slippery slant boards to foil the coons- but that ended up costing us dearly afterwards. The raccoons got so angry at being denied their free meal that they upended the ice chest that I store the dry food in and spread the food all over the backyard! So back to putting the stored food under lock and key at night. This morning, our donation of food consisted of one 16 pound bag of Friskies and two small bags of cat litter. We have heard nothing from the stores where we dropped our letters off hoping they would start to donate to us.

The skunks are eating the food as well but at least they don’t get angry and throw the food all over the place like the coons are doing.

Two days ago, I had to take Kota outside about 3:00 a.m. so while I was out there, I was refilling a few trays under the house. I felt a nudge at my hand, and so I stroked the fur and thought to myself- that feels really rough for a kitty. I looked under the wooden door and saw that I was petting a baby skunk! Thank God they are used to me feeding them so I didn’t get sprayed. Kota was in his pen so he didn’t get sprayed either- but it was a close encounter I don’t think I want to have ever again! I ended up setting out some scrambled eggs for the babies in thanks for not spraying me.