Bedlam Farm Blog Journal by Jon Katz

19 October

SOS: Feral Rescue Needs Help With 21 New Feral Kittens

by Jon Katz

Hey there, an awful lot is happening, and there is so much need.

Here is another project: feral kittens, many of whom are gravely ill and who desperately need help.

People should only help if they can, and if it is comfortable, even small donations will help. You can donate anywhere from $5 to $100 or higher.

As you know I’ve been working with Salem Community Cats, a rescue organization that specializes in feral cats and kittens, of whom there are believed to be 70 million in America.

They are the forgotten animals of the animal rescue world, and they may be the neediest.

A month ago, we helped the group sell out an Amazon Wish List that enabled them to function comfortably until this onslaught of kittens.

We can’t help all of the feral cats, that’s why I agreed to help this one group. As with all the works of the Army Of Good, we focus on one thing and help when we can.

What we do is small acts of great kindness. This is in our wheelhouse.

Darlene Phillips, the leader of Salem  Cats, sent me this SOS yesterday. She’s looking for $700.

“The group is overwhelmed right now, they took in 21 kittens over the weekend and are seeking $700 so that they can feed, treat, and spay them. Some can be adopted out, all are in foster care.

“The last time I contacted you, our Salem’s Community Cats fosters were loaded with stray adult cats and we were struggling to provide for them. Your Army for Good bought out our Amazon wish list in no time, restocking us with much-needed supplies. Those cats have since (thankfully) moved on to permanent homes.

Now we are loaded with kittens. We have twenty-one as of today and calls keep coming in. Members of our group trapped four yesterday, and their new foster, Jess (who took them in without question and with no notice!) wrote this Facebook post last evening:

“Before you take that free kitten; they grow up, males spray and females reproduce. Today another ASAP came in, maybe they will be named the Three Musketeers; holy toes!

Today I have 10 cats because an unspayed free kitten can become pregnant and dropped when it becomes a “problem”. I have ten cats because someone didn’t realize how much it cost to neuter a male that was free.

The farmer pays enough to keep us fed, the population quickly becomes out of hand.

If you wonder why you should adopt; adopted kittens are spayed or neutered, they don’t become a family problem, a farmer’s headache, or a community burden.

They don’t end up being rescued.”

Jess speaks for all of us at Salem’s Community Cats. Six fosters are housing 21 kittens and we are struggling, both to recruit more fosters and to pay the medical expenses for these sweet little innocents.

Most of these kittens come in with runny eyes and noses, loaded with fleas and full of worms. Many have other issues on top of all this. Foster Tina took one of her litter of 7 to the emergency clinic Thursday night at 10 PM for severe intestinal distress.

Thomas O’Malley (the orange kitten in the pic above) came to us with a terrible eye ulcer. His eye was actually bulging out of the socket before we took him in. This past Thursday, Thomas tested positive for feline leukemia. He is a playful, happy kitten. What are we to do?  Further testing is required to ascertain the severity of his condition.  Each day seems to bring more challenges with these kittens.

So I am writing to you today for two reasons: to ask you once again to shine a light on our cats in hopes of raising much-needed funds for their care, and to ask you to use your platform to educate people on the plight of feral cats.”

I’m not good at giving lectures, I’ll leave that to Salem Cats. And I think most of you blog readers understand the issue.

But this is a worthy group and a worthy cause and I will send a donation and I hope some of you can also. But no pressure.

I appreciate the chance to help this group. We have helped a ton of people, why not some of the neediest animals?

Thanks for thinking about it. You can donate here. Any amount will help. You can visit their blog here for additional information. You can contact Darlene Phillips at

19 October

One Man’s Truth: The Day God Sent Trump To Save US!

by Jon Katz

One day, God watched his usual two hours of Fox News – he loved Fox and Friends, and then, later, Tucker Carlson before bedtime. Carlson helped him to sleep.

That morning, something went haywire, and he ended up watching the other channels and was stunned by what he saw. He watched channels for hours, then waved off the cable signal and urgently summoned Gabriel, his go-to Angel and Chief Of State.

“Gabriel,” he said, “I’m very shocked by what I’ve seen. Earth is a wreck. I’ve had it with these lost souls. I’ve got this wild idea. At breakfast, I read the Ten Commandments out loud as I always do. Then I remembered, I know a guy who has broken every single one of them and gotten away with it his whole life! I have a mission for him.”

God shook his head in wonder.

“He’s perfect for this idea I have. As I said, I was reading over the ten commandments,” he said, eyes flaring, “and he has broken every one of them. I thought I had sent him away, but he keeps coming back. He’s broken every one of them!  He worships himself, not, me, he builds monstrous idols to greed and excess, he takes my name in vain every time he opens his mouth, he never has kept the Sabbath, he dishonored both his father and mother, he kills people with lies, he commits adultery every few years, he steals what is not his, he bears false witness every day, and he covets everything he does not have or earned.”

“He’s perfect. I want you to call this man up from the netherworld and bring him to me. I want to send him down to earth and wake up those people, those lost souls, things can’t go on like this.”

God said he’d been watching Fox News for several years, and he didn’t know anything was wrong until his cable got screwed up and he got the other networks.

“It’s horrible down there,” he said to Gabriel.

“What do you want this man to do, Lord?,” asked Gabriel, used to God’s sudden mood swings and impulses. He saw he was all fired up about this idea.

God spoke, and the earth shook. He opened his heart up to Gabriel, and the other angels waiting.

“Open your eyes, Gabriel. The world is melting, burning, boiling, and flooding. Fires and floods everywhere, and they’re not coming from me this time. These fools are trying to bring coal back and fossil fuel oil back. They are awash in a tidal wave of lies and are losing any understanding of or respect for truth. The poor and the vulnerable are starving and dying and suffering and no one is lifting a hand to help them. They blame the poor for being poor, the refugee for being helpless.  They seek to jail their enemies. There are smoke and flames and water rising everywhere.  Is this the world I created for them? Is this what I thought they would accept?

“Freedom is in danger, Mother Earth is calling out in pain, women and black people – my children all – fighting for justice and equality, science and learning, and the meaning of truth and freedom are at great risk. I gave them the gift of intelligence and they seem to be getting dumber by the day.”

“And do you know about Big Pharma! You’ve got to be shitting me! People can’t even afford medicine. I thought I won the struggle with this man years ago, not Lucifer.”

(Gabriel shut his eyes, so he wouldn’t see the wrath of God.)

“If they think I’m going to sit still for this,” God fumed, ” they are even dumber than I thought. I won’t stand for another Dark Ages, been there, done that! What mess. Plagues, marauding Vikings, corrupt Popes, Inquisitions!”

But wait, argues the Angel Gabriel, “a lot of people who claim to be Christians are saying you would send someone to save them and stop abortions and sin!”

I know that, says God, visibly annoyed at Gabriel’s obtuseness.

Why do you think I am doing this? The claim that I sent someone to save those Jesus-frauds is the biggest lie of all! But it gives me a way to flank them. Handled right, my idea could save the idea of love and compassion, and community.  This man knows how to get people’s attention even more than me. After a few years of him, they’ll be crying out to save the planet, rejecting lies and conspiracy theories, firing up the women’s movement, helping the needy, getting all those slugs to vote, and coming together again in the community to save human’s freedom and way of life. I also want them to revere the truth again, as the Bible says, and as I have commanded them to do, again and again!”

A bold idea said Gabriel, who had learned not to challenge his boss too much. Make them see what they have lost, how they have screwed things up.

But Boss, he said, “do you really believe that someone who has broken every one of the Ten Commandments can help you save humans from their own stupidity and selfishness?”

Nothing else has worked,” said God, “look at the mess they are making of the world. I’ll send in the most powerful weapon I can think of the only thing that will get them off their big butts and on their feet and away from those screens!”

But what, sir, asked Gabriel tentatively, are you thinking? Who do you want to see?

There was a silence in the clouds, a waiting, a stillness.

“Trump!” thundered God.

Gabriel heard the gasps all around him.

“You can talk to those people until they are blue in the face, but they don’t listen,” he said of humans. “All they need to do is look out their windows to see what’s happening to their sister, the earth. I warned them in the Kabbalah not to let the earth go to ruin, or I would come after them. They are about to get punished in a way even Adam and Even couldn’t have imagined. I’m sending our baddest bad boy, he hates old people, poor people black people, women, heroes, and anyone with compassion. He will break every commandment I have ever issues. This punishment will be worse than the flood and last for four years!

He shook his head. As a punishment, I took the truth away from him, and he can only lie, poor soul. I thought this would be the end of him, but his life is full of riches and fame. The lying really worked for him. I hadn’t planned on that, but I can use it.

This is extreme, said the Archangel.

“Yes, it is. I need to do something dramatic, something so offensive and disturbing the people of the earth will awaken, believe me. I won’t have to waste any more storms or lightning bolts to try to get their attention. And big floods and arks are way too expensive these days.”

There was a hushed silence among all of the angels, and Gabriel fell to his knees.

“He couldn’t even say the name. Trump, was the whisper that filled the sky.

The name that can’t be spoken,” he said, hushed and humbled.

I can speak it,” roared God, “I created him to test humanity. Now I need to let him do his work.”

But will Trump to down to earth and undertake such a difficult task asked Gabriel, fearfully?

“Are you kidding? He’s sure to get Rush Limbaugh’s talk show after Limbaugh goes down to the other place! And he can do what he loves to do best, just be his self, be the biggest asshole on the earth, annoying people on every continent! I’m releasing him from the netherworld. He will be greeted by hordes of angry spirits who will cheer him on and buy hats from him and ride the waterways of the world in big boats with flags. You know, give them some pageant. They’ll pretend to be human. They love a parade.”

Gabriel stood up now, his eyes ablaze. I get it, he said, “it is pure genius.”

But then he added, “but can he come back if it works?”

“No, silly,”   snapped the Lord, “Lucifer only will release him if we promise to never to let him come back. He says the guy never shuts up for a minute and can’t utter a sentence without lying. He says he’s driving even them crazy. Besides, we’ll make sure the people know if they mess up like this again, he’ll be their leader. That might keep them on track for once. And punish them for their sins at the same time.”

And suddenly Donald Trump himself appeared, stepping off of a cloud, and he accepted the offer instantly. “Wow,” he said, “I get to lie all the time. And be loved for it. Think of all the people I’ll meet who love lying and think it’s OK!”

He instantly agreed to sacrifice himself in this wonderful work.

“And for God’s sake,” yelled God at Trump, “make sure they open their hearts again to the refugees, and to the needy and vulnerable of the world. Make sure they understand that a rising stock market is not the same as a rising soul! Don’t they remember a God damned thing I ever commanded!”

Then he glared at Gabriel. “I want you to keep an eye on this Gabe, and don’t fail. If you do, you’ll be punished by being the next Chief Of State of the White House in Washington, D.C., working for a man and a woman named Ivanka and Jared.

Hmmm, mused God aloud, perhaps they love apples.

The Angel Gabriel fell to his knees, sobbing. “No, anything but that.”

Gabriel was getting it. “But what if they don’t respond? What if they don’t see the light!”

The fire flared right out of God’s mouth now. Gabriel was just surprised at first.

“Then,” said the Lord, “I will make sure he wins election for another four years to be their leader!”

I get it, said Gabriel. “You’ll send them all to Hell.”

“I won’t have to spend the money,” chuckled God, “they’ll already be there.








19 October

Still Life: The Pill Case

by Jon Katz

I never took many pills in my life – vitamins only, I think – until my open heart surgery. Then I had to get a pill case. The case sits upon the mantel and it’s organized by days – morning and evening.

I never thought of it as beautiful until I saw the morning sunshine on it and light it up with the window behind it.

My theory of photography is that everything is beautiful, the challenge is to see it and capture it. For me, still lifes are about life, real life, not just fruit in a bowl.

19 October

Flo Meets Paper Bud

by Jon Katz

Our friends Kitty and Charlie came over yesterday for a back porch socially distanced lunch, which was great fun.

Kitty brought me a belated birthday present, a papier-mache figure of a Boston Terrier, which I appreciated. I named him Paper Bud.

This morning, Flo, the barn cat – she does not get along with the real Bud – came over to check him out.

She seemed to like Paper Bud more than the real one.

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