Monday, October 27, 2014

Two Lucky B#srds in the Middle of Nowhere

Yesterday of course was wood cutting day. I am still working on those downed Oak trees for my co-worker. Actually I am getting close to being finished. Last week I hauled out all the trunk sections that were too heavy for me to lift by splitting them on-site with my log splitter and I brought the splitter on home after that. What remained were four of the smaller trees with trunk sections 2 foot in diameter or smaller. Just about the maximum size I want to lug around and load by hand over rough ground on a steep hillside.

This is about a 40 mile one way trip so I am loading the truck and trailer down as much as I think I can get away with and I had her loaded DOWN yesterday let me tell you. I actually had to shorten the safety chains on the trailer so they wouldn't drag the ground. The one disadvantage to hauling so much Red Oak is that it is much heavier than a bunch of Elm or other woods.

I pull out on the gravel roads on my way home, take a few turns and come around a tight elbow turn intersection and there's this big red Chevy duelly blocking the road. The driver is standing by his open door and looks kinda surprised to see me. I am assuming he didn't hear me coming because I was moving slow enough to be kinda quiet and wasn't kicking up any dust. So this lowlife scum (and you will know why I call him that here shortly) jumps in his truck and pulls off unto the shoulder to get around me.

Laying there behind his truck in the middle of the road is this little ball of fur you see above.

Now I suppose I should give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he only stopped to see what it was. That kitten wasn't even dusty from the road yet when I pulled up to it. It could not have been there more than a few minutes and if he didn't dump it there he would have had to have driven over it and then stop. Even if he didn't put the kitten there he still had the same options I had.

1. Either high center the furball and hope it doesn't run under your tires.

2. Get out and move the thing.

3. Take it home.

I guess there is a fourth option but anyway.

The little cat doesn't know it yet but he was more than likely the luckiest kitten in the entire State of Missouri yesterday because I picked the poor, orphaned thing up and put it in the cab of my truck.

I figure what the hell we managed to find homes for 7 kittens this year what's one more.

So we been bottle feeding this kitten. His eyes were so matted he couldn't open them and since we have had to treat other kittens for eye infections we still have medicine for it. Called the vet to see if it was safe for a kitten this young. Made him a cage up with some of that special soft kitten food in case he want's to try solid foods and got the little mini-litter pan back out.

We estimate he is about four weeks old tops. Barely old enough to start using the litter pan unassisted. I was actually wondering if he would make it through the night but my son is playing nursemaid and fed him this morning already. He is now asleep in my son's lap.

So there was the first lucky bastard yesterday. The second was yours truly.

I am hauling this load of wood, pulling the trailer and trying to make sure this kitten doesn't get down around me feet. We are on paved roads now but every time I get the load above 55 MPH I begin weaving from the weight. We are coming down a steep hill when all the tread decides it's time to come off my left trailer tire.

Thank the Lord almighty the tire didn't completely explode or I would have been in a seriously bad position. 30 miles from home without a trailer spare. I would have had too unload the trailer just to unhitch it from the truck then taken the rim to have a new tire put on and come back.

After this close call I am mounting a spare on the trailer. I meant to do it years ago but never could find a rim for it. I am going to look harder now.

If I thought I was weaving before well all that weight on a tire with half it's tread gone made the rest of the trip quite an experience. I think the kitten was looking at me and thinking he had better chances on that gravel road at one point.

We finally limped on in at 35 MPH making a nice rhythmic tune. It also gave the Mrs. time to get the accommodations in order for the kitten.

Man I sure am glad that tire didn't go flat and I didn't hit any sharp rocks on the way in.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!



  1. i love you. and am glad that you and kitten survived. that is all.

    your friend,

    1. kymber - Much love to you and Jamby too :)

      I think the little guy is out of the woods now. I was a bit worried because he seemed so out of it but I am now thinking it's just that he is so damned young. My son just got done feeding him another bottle and cleaning his eyes out and the kitten seems happy just laying on his lap. Another week or so and I am sure he will be running around like a kitten should though.

  2. You and the kitten both dodged a bullet yesterday. Did you happen to pick up a PowerBall ticket on the way home? :)

    1. RP - Now why didn't I think of that?

      Wow. I could have been rich!!!

  3. Sounds like there was a couple of guardian angels working overtime for you two. We had a similar issue with our trailer earlier this year and yes we now have a spare tire hanging there just in case.

    Is the kitten a boy or girl?

    1. Izzy - I have never had to take that trailer more than maybe 15 miles for use around the farm here so I never really thought about a spare for it overly much. When I couldn't find a rim to fit I just said "oh well one will come along". Guess I need to help that happen now.

      As young as it is I am not 100% sure but I think it is a boy. I didn't really understand just how young it was until I got it home and the wife pulled out her development book. I am guessing it's between 3 and 4 weeks.

  4. That red oak sounds wonderful, I don't have a stick of it here. You will have to call the kitty LB. That wheel looks pretty standard, probably could get one close to it at a junk yard.

    1. Sf - The trees they have down are actually a mixture of White and Red Oaks. I think the Red oaks are a bit denser than the Whites or it could just be that the Whites died quicker and the Reds are retaining the water inside better. All I know is the Reds I been hailing are heavy. I can only get about 3/4rs the load by volume without over loading the truck and trailer by weight.

      Ya I am sure I will be able to find one if I go out of my normal zone looking. As I said I really didn't give it much of a try just looked around my normal haunts.

  5. Well, I love you too for rescuing that kitten.

    1. Well thank you 12paws. As much as I complain about all the cats we seem to collect I hafta admit I cannot pass by a helpless animal and not try and do something. At this point though we are becoming kinda adept at finding homes for kittens and that makes it a bit easier to volunteer to help. However I am thinking this one may not be going now. My son has become quite attached to it already.

  6. PP,

    You are one great man with a big heart.
    I can't understand why a person would drop a helpless animal out in the middle of no where to fend it's self. We all love you for picking up and taking care of this little kitten.

    The man upstairs was looking over you while driving your truck with this trailer. Please attach a spare tire my friend, we don't want to see you stuck out in the middle of no where.

    1. Sandy - What pisses me off more is the fact that this kitten had zero chance of fending for itself. It was in fact completely helpless. It is barely mobile on it's own paws for more than 3 or 4 feet and anything faster than a shuffle is impossible. It isn't even old enough to be scared of humans or other animals yet.

      And yes I will get a spare for that trailer lol. I wasn't so much worried about being stranded but I would hate to have my trailer disappear while I was not with it.

  7. That scum that abandoned that kitten will get his someday. You did a wonderful, caring thing.

    1. Tewshooz - I have said it before but someone who dumps a pet is a lowlife yet I have seen a time or two where the person really had no choice. If they lived in a place that killed all animals turned in to the shelter or refused to take them after being evicted. I know I have kept friends pets for periods when they had to move or something so I am sure it happens and maybe someone really does think they are at least giving the animal a chance even though they really are only fooling themselves on that score.

      But dropping this kitten off was an almost zero chance of survival move and simply making sure the kitten suffered for a good long while before it died too. The poor thing can't even walk.

      The Rat Bastard.

    2. I'm so glad you were there to save that little kitten!

      On some not really having a choice about dumping pets... I might have agreed with you a few years ago, but I just can't anymore. Like you said, they're only fooling themselves. After a couple of years out here in the country, I have had the full "dumped pets" experience. Only one cat, and it doesn't bother us, but lots and lots of dogs.

      It makes my blood boil every time I see a new one. This dog gave that person companionship, maybe protection, and who knows what else. They reward it by dumping it out in the country. I guess they think everybody out here has so many dogs, what's one more? And besides, dogs are predators, and they'll instinctively be able to figure things out, right?

      I don't know what they're. But these dogs rarely have a good end. I have a cousin up the road who has rescued several, and they are very lucky. One was quite starved by the time my cousin found him. So much for being able to take care of himself. I know someone online whose father was considering dropping off their Shih Tsu in the woods, because they couldn't afford a needed vet visit. A Shih Tsu! I'm guessing he's not thinking about the dog being picked up and shredded by an owl?

      We've had dogs harass our chickens (which they can't get to), the stress resulting in lower egg production. They've also harassed our meat rabbits (which they also can't get to), the stress resulting in two aborted litters and us having to put down our only buck. One of them ripped the tail off of a neighbor's rooster in our yard. These dogs have been harassing other people's livestock in the area, too.

      These people who drop off their pets because the shelter would put them down might be surprised to know just how many people around here are waiting for the opportunity to put them down themselves. I'm sure one dog dumper would be more than a little dismayed to know that their dog, once we chased it off of our property, was promptly mauled to death by another dog somebody else dumped.

      I'd think a shot at the shelter would be a lot more humane.

      Just in case I sound like I'm mad at you, I'm not. Not at all. I get mad every time I think about the position pet dumpers put us in.

    3. Miss M - I didn't think you were mad at me at all. My only reasoning at giving any pet dumper the benefit of the doubt a bit comes from the fact that I have never been in a position in life that I had to make those choices. I was lucky in that I always had a home so I can only imagine if someone suddenly found themselves homeless. I have also always been lucky that a sudden ballooning of unwanted pets could be handled in the proper course of time. We have had a couple of mother cats dumped on us and suddenly found ourselves with (like this year) six or more to find homes for and more importantly a barn available if we didn't and the funds to allow the cats to be spayed or neutered.

      We spent almost 400 bucks last year on stray animals alone.

      I guess I try and see it the way some city person might. They know little to nothing about nature, they don't understand they are effectively killing the animal by dumping it, and in a probable violent manner, but they do know, because they have been told outright, that it will be killed if they take it to the shelter. This is why I don't think shelters should announce what they are going to do nor should they be able to turn people away.

      Now all that being said I have found that since 2008 I have lost a lot of my tolerance and empathy for pet dumpers. Before it would happen once every few years tops, and we could handle it with little trouble, but since 2008 it has been multiple animals (mostly cats) year after year. What scares me the most is what would happen if we didn't have instant vet service available to at least get these cats spayed and neutered. It would be a mess and I would more than likely have to do something I wouldn't like.

      Lastly I can speak from some experience here that some people become pet owners without actually trying very hard too. It is easy to blame people that they shouldn't get a pet if they are unable or unsure they can take care of it for life but I have a cat sleeping right here by my elbow as I type this that wouldn't take no for an answer. She was a stray of course, showed up in 08 and broke into my house. She would squeeze through my basement door and then climb up the plumbing and come through the access panel until I finally just relented and let her become the first house cat I had in almost 10 years. After that she would bring me her kills until I finally got so tired of having still alive snakes and such dropped on my foot that I fixed her entry way. She was already fixed when she was dumped but what if I had been a city dweller and she had been two weeks pregnant?

      I am not defending pet dumpers here at all. I am just saying I can see how misguided people can come to the conclusion that dumping at least gives the animal a chance. They are wrong of course and I am sure it is only a very slim number of them that might deserve some benefit of the doubt though.

  8. Many years ago we fostered a kitten for the local shelter. It was about 3-4 weeks old also. He loved my husband. He would crawl up under his chin and tuck into his bread. Than he would suck on his chin. Crazier thing you ever saw. Now me, the woman that fed and cared for him, he hated. Would lie in wait under furniture, jump out as walked by, sinking his claws and teeth into my calf. Than when I yelled in agony he would jump off and run back to his hiding spot.
    First time he got out of the house he never came back.

  9. I should proof read, beard not bread and craziest not crazier

  10. I told you. God is a cat, and she smiled upon you that day!
    Glad you're both ok.

    1. Carolyn - I just wish the cat god would start sending some high note bills attached to a few of these chosen ones :)


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