I have been using the food and water bowls outside to slowly get the little kittens used to coming to the cat house, where they will hopefully get curious enough to go inside and discover how nice and dry and warm it is in there.
There had been quite a crowd at the food bowls earlier, but they ran off as I walked around. There had been a couple of Butterscotch’s kittens there, though the others were hanging around near the door to the house, where one of the containers had been for the past week or so.
Nostrildamus is comfortable enough with me to not run off. Normally, Little Braveheart would be there, too, but…
I’ll get to that in a bit.
Yesterday, I was going to take a break from digging garden beds. Partly because I still haven’t decided if I want to make a third one, and partly because it feels like I’ve pulled all the muscles in the backs of my legs. Nothing major, but I figured a couple of days rest would be a good idea.
Which was good timing, because I got a call from my mother, asking if I could drive her for groceries. It was a bit chilly to walk.
So I headed out in the afternoon and did that. I’d forgotten that her municipality is under a mask mandate now. Even in the lobby of where my mother lives, they are supposed to wear masks. Which is so bizarre and arbitrary. Especially considering how low the numbers are right now. But, the goal posts have been moved again, and masks are now the thing.
The problem is, my mother shouldn’t be wearing a mask. She has long been complaining about breathing problems, and we haven’t been able to track down why. I tried to talk to her about it, when she asked if I had one and I told her I can’t wear masks, but it was not a conversation she could handle. She put it on before we left, leaving it under her nose, but as we were driving, I could really hear her struggling to breath. Meanwhile, no one batted an eye at my not wearing one. *sigh*
Unfortunately, my mother was in “fine form” this time. While chatting before we left, I tried showing her some pictures of the garlic beds I was working on, and she became incredibly angry. I shouldn’t be doing any of this, because it should be plowed or tilled. She saw the straw layer and, even as I tried to say I’d added compost first and what I was doing, she kept cutting me off and asking why there was straw under there. Then she got mad about the wood walkways, and said I need to take those out and plant things there, because it was a waste of space. Because apparently, there shouldn’t be room to walk in a garden. ??
That was just the start of things. After shopping, she wanted to go to a restaurant for a quick bite, and that got cut off short when my not living the way she wanted turned into a racist rant (my husband is Metis).
It was not a good time.
When I got home, the girls had the van ready and filled with stuff for the dump, so I basically switched vehicles and did that. When I was finally able to come inside to stay, I noticed the door to the new part basement was closed. Since all the cat food and most of the litter boxes are down there, I commented on it. I was informed that my younger daughter was down there.
With Little Braveheart.
While they were loading the van, she was able to pet and pick up Braveheart and Nostrildamus. She was also able to confirm that Nostrildamus is male, and Braveheart is female.
In the interest of reducing the number of future litters, Braveheart was brought inside.
We now have 15 cats in the house.
Braveheart is semi-feral – and still more feral than semi – so she’s been spending most of the time hiding somewhere. While in the basement, my other daughter would slowly introduce other cats downstairs. Braveheart had been meowing plaintively when Two Face first came down. They instantly got along, and meows became purrs as they ate together. Over the next while, she met the other cats and seemed to get along much better with the dudes than the dudettes! Fenrir does not like her, but she isn’t particularly friendly with any of the cats, so that’s not unusual. Beep Beep batted at her, but Beep Beep is in heat and has been randomly batting at all of the cats.
I’ve been putting the word out on local Facebook groups to try and adopt cats out, but have had zero responses. No one wants cats right now, apparently. Our next step is to print out posters and drive around to different towns in the area and put them up.
Today I hope to finally get my day of rest. I did start soaking down the garlic beds last night; I plan to do that again today, and will continue wetting them down over the next while until the garlic comes in. I want them to be soaked through the compost layer before planting. I’m leaning towards not doing a third bed and, if the two beds we have now are not enough, we can plant garlic in the retaining wall blocks in the old kitchen garden. Of course, that assumes our back order comes in in time!
I have also been keeping an eye on the various materials I’ve been finding lying about, and I think I have what I need to make a quick little shelter for the outside food and water bowls. I want to keep those by the cat house, but don’t want them to be buried in snow. We’ll have the heated water bowl plugged into the second outlet in the cat house. The cord should be just long enough to reach outside the entry, so I’ll want to set something up there to keep it from getting snowed under, too. Last year, it was set up inside the sun room, so that wasn’t an issue. I will be working on plans for that, today, and hopefully will start building something tomorrow, when it’s expected to be warmer, and not raining.
We’ve been very fortunate this fall, so far. Last year, we already had a snowfall by this time, and a blizzard on Thanksgiving weekend. The long range forecasts have us warmer, with rain every now and then. I’ve heard predictions for both another bitterly long and cold winter, and for a long, mild fall followed by a milder winter. So far, the longer, mild fall seems to be the one that’s coming true.
I’ll take all that I can get!