My apologies for the disruption of broadcasting. The lesbian sleepover went very well, all things considered, producing a goodly number of postcards, and of course the problems of the last day, waking up, “Where is my massage oil?” and “Have you seen my thong” along with, “Do you want to shower first, or shall we shower together in slo-mo mode, randomly shaking the water off our hair?”
There is a heat wave in Victoria, which means I am a prisoner of a small room. The room is with bookcases about 9 feet by twenty but I only sit in three by two feet: right by the air conditioner. Not even a window to see out. Because, for example, when I left that room to take some pictures for the blog, my legs turned purple, as I had vascular failure (my particular brand of Autonomic failure) in my legs, so yes, purple legs. And not only that, once they reached a high temperature, they were covered with Goosebumps as were my arms while my body went into shock. That was in an hour, in a room with an portable air conditioner and a fan. So yes, for all I know, the end is here, riots are going in the street and government as we know it has fallen. Someone cheer me up and tell me that is true, because then the Student Loan people will stop calling me trying to get me to sell my organs on ebay while I still ‘have viable assets’. Or do you think they have a secure bunker deep beneath the earth? That people will wander days to find a working phone for help and when picking it up, they hear, "Is that you Brad Bury? You are behind in your student loan payments, please seek a student loan officer at the nearest decontamination centre."
On Sunday by working hard on postcards I was able to go to the RSPCA Victoria branch, where I met with cats, and with the officer who does the inspections of anywhere that sells, trains or has public display of animals.
There was a shy by very cute 1 year old cat, if that. I got her a stuffie which they have around, and she was quite content to ride along with me for about half of my visit to the Cat Rooms. The cat rooms consist of about 40 cages on two walls, some of which are open some of which are just sitting spaces, then a two room wide outdoor and two rooms of indoor enclosure.
It turned out that Elizabeth (the white and orange cat), and Betsy and Murray (the psudo mother) had been adopted in the short time we were gone. I was a little sad and went to visit the one cat who I had seen a week or two ago, Jasmine. Remember how Jasmine liked to play ‘catch and eat the fingers’? Would she still want to play that? Geee…maybe.
I can’t tell if Jasmine recognized me or my fingers but after we played ‘gnaw on Beth’s finger” for a while she would lick it, which she didn’t last time and I took to be a positive thing. If you remember Jasmine liked to grab, then rip off the head of what she caught. It was a fun game.
So here she is in stalking mode, looking at the finger, her deadly opponent, sizing it up.
Then she pounces and comes in for the attack. Jasmine is just under two years old and is pretty lively. I have the added advantage of having peripheral neuropathy so I can’t feel what is going on except sometimes some extra pressure. I like to think that Jasmine remembered me, or my hand.
This Shelter, due to ‘Victoria being pet crazy’ is the best in Canada and while we thought we were seeing the cat area, the 40 cats we saw were nothing to the 200 housed in the building. These were the ones healing or ready for fostering or adoption. Kittens would go in days, but unbelievably, the majority of people who take kittens from the RSPCA bring them back once they become adults. Okay, this is not like a DVD rental store, okay!
The cats who were let out of the cages were of two types, first were the very friendly kind, who could stand the amount of people going through, like Rose and my new young (1 year plus) wheelchair loving friend I call Jasper. Jasper, seemed to have no problem with my new technology and soon adapted to hiding under it and watching the other cats.
The second form of cats which are let out are cats that it is too dangerous for them to be kept in a cage. This seems a little odd, but it comes from the RSPCA officer. Cats who cannot be fed, or helped in a cage need to be let out so they go find a place to hang out because they simply cannot be caged. So, the super nice and gentle and the near feral, and you don’t know which.
But the problem is that this is not where a cat is happy, anymore than one of us leaving our home likes to be in a shelter. We want a home, and they want a home: Not some place where they can’t have their own space, and people come through all the time. They would visit one another, and I suspect that ones like this who had to be shaved for disease or injury had bonded or made friends with this cat before.
Before we leave Jasmine, I should note that Rose in my lap seemed to have a vivid interest in all the grabbing of my fingers and leaping on me and biting and paws coming in and out of the cage. A real fight fan, I wasn’t sure if she was rooting for me or for Jasmine.
As you can see, the wheelchair and technology seemed to attract the cats with Rose on my lap, Jasper under the wheelchair and now a new older cat checking out my oxygen concentrator.
Here is Jasper in my lap. As you can see, I am still having difficulty with them smelling my fingers, but ones with developed day vision like Jasmine have no problem attacking them and putting her scent on them but Jasper needed to smell the gloves I wore. Jasper is younger so thin and has a white paw and chest tips. Now tell me the truth Jasper, do you love my wheelchair and me for my winning personality…..or because of string?
Truth is that Jasper just LOVED being around the wheelchair period. We have many, many photos where I am wheeling forward and Jasper is just walking underneath the chair. Then outside, all was good until I wanted to go inside, and Jasper deliberately sprawled across the entrance so that I could not go inside. Jeez, subtle much? By this time, the older black cat seen examining the oxygen concentrator and a large dominant black cat I called Thomas with all white paws decided to team up and sort of ‘take over’ the wheelchair, or most importantly....the string.
By this time I was playing with Harley, and yes, that is his name. Harley plays rough and he likes to play with anyone who goes within reach of his claws whether they are just walking by or not. He also likes to play the catch with claws and then gnaw on game but being older the teeth fangs were longer and Harley just liked to play harder. He quickly stopped that moving finger by grabbing it with his claws.
Then Harley came in and took that plaything and grabbed it with both paws, claws out. Then it was into the mouth. There was also the roll-over technique for beheading. Since Harley was a lot larger, I was less worried for my finger but the owners would get lots of beheaded birds, animals, small children? Because this is what Harley looks like in full ‘play’ struggle mode.
At this point I had to stop, and take out my handy ‘Hello Kitty’ wet wipes because it turned out that two of my fingers had some flowing blood coming from them, and two others had flaps of skin hanging off. Let’s hear a hooray for peripherial neuropathy! Here you see me cleaning my hand and bandaging it, with Thomas in the dominant spot under the wheelchair string, with the other large black cat, and now poor Jasper is playing with the footplate and the outside of the wheelchair.
Blood? Well, yes, it turns out that out of ALL the cages there were only two that had padlocks on them just in case someone might accidentally let a cat out and those two were: Harley and Jasmine. Or as the RSPCA officer said, “Oh yes, Jasmine likes to express an opinion!” which I figure means likes to ‘play’ or beat up many of the younger or milder cats in play time.
You may also notice that I am not showing a lot of these cute cats, but a lot of the black cats. And while this cat is a cutie: it may be the one that was attacked by a dog and was waiting for the foster family to pick it up. The sad fact, says the RSPCA officer is that people can’t tell most black cats apart and so the other coloured cats are more quickly adopted, leaving a large amount of black cats, even cute, mild kitten type black cats like this.
If you look back to the picture of me with the three black cats playing with my chair, three pictures up, you will notice that Thomas, the dominant cat, is starting a shoving match with the other older black. Yes, unknown to me, the string from my h.naoto backpack had caused a dominant terrain issue and Thomas was saying, “Hey, this is my space, and I decide where I am going to sit.” It was kind of like watching a playground fight with a bit of pushing and then backing up. Oddly, I kind of thought it was MY wheelchair. Thank goodness Thomas didn’t figure out I thought that or he would have been up to teach ME a lesson like, “You can go, but leave the wheelchair!”
Well, that was pretty much our visit. And until the heat lets up, there isn’t much I can do as the heat causes all of my conditions to increase in intensity. So more TIA’s, more seizures, more headaches, more nausea, etc, etc. But no fear, once the heat wave is over, I will be FREE AGAIN to spread my own kind of…um…presence onto the city of Victoria.