Thanksgiving lunch, mulch experiment and outside kitten progress

Lats this morning I headed over to my mother’s place with a turkey dinner to have lunch with her.

On the way out, I spotted three sets of ears in the window of the cat shelter.

Tiny sets of years belonging to the little kittens! I didn’t dare go closer for a picture, though, because I didn’t want to startle them away. There may have been more cats inside with them that I couldn’t see, too. I’m so glad to see them in the shelter, rather than hiding under it!

My mother and I had a very nice lunch and visit (how visits turn out is always touch and go with my mother! LOL). I brought a mask exemption card to tape to her door, and another she can carry with her. Hopefully, that will help reduce the harassment from the caretakers. Unfortunately, I think more has happened than she is telling us, because she kept insisting she “doesn’t want a war” and even started asking me not to call the housing department responsible for her building to talk about the caretaker’s abusive behaviour. She wore a mask – under her nose! – to meet me at the side door that’s very close to her own apartment door, and even in that short distance, by the time she was back in her apartment, she was struggling to breathe. She had also mentioned to me on the phone, waking up and struggling to breathe again. So I brought a foam wedge we got for my husband that he ended up not being able to use. Depending on how it’s positioned, it can be used under the knees, to lean against while sitting up in bed, or to sleep in an inclined position. The doctor had recommended trying to sleep more upright to see if that helped. When she saw it, however, she flat out refused to even try it and told me to take it home. Eventually, she said it was because it looked ugly! Which I highly doubt is the real reason. Frustrating!

Still, it was a good visit and my mother was very happy I was able to come over. I think the pandemic social restrictions are really getting to her. There used to be many events and gatherings, either in her own building, or in nearby venues, that she attended. Now, there are none. It seems the only real “social” interactions she’s getting these days are with the nasty caretaking couple. The restrictions seem to be bringing out the worst in people. I think she is getting very lonely, and some serious cabin fever!

Once at home, I took advantage of the warmer weather. With the garlic ready to be picked up when the post office opens tomorrow, I was thinking of how I wanted to mulch the beds. The straw is not breaking down as I had expected, and I decided to try an experiment.

Using the new push mower to chop it into smaller pieces!

The bag filled up very quickly, but it wasn’t until I had already started that I realized I’d forgotten to check the height of the mower. It was at 7; the highest setting! So things weren’t quite as chopped up as I wanted.

I lowered it to 3 and that chopped things up much better.

It took only 2 bags to fill the wagon, it’s so fluffy. LOL I laid out a tarp near the beds the garlic will be planted it, to make it easier to work with when it’s needed – plus I can fold half the tarp over the pile to keep the wind from blowing it away.

Unfortunately, I had an unexpected problem.

The new lawn mower stopped starting.

Right from the beginning, it was harder to start, but every time I had to turn it off to empty that bag, it kept getting harder to restart it until, finally, I just couldn’t start it at all. It had been so easy to start, before! In the spring, when we had so much rain, I was using it a lot and had no problems. Then the rain stopped, and the grass never really got long enough to make it worth cutting again. So it’s been sitting in the garage for the last couple of months. That on its own should not cause the problem. I couldn’t find any reason for it. It just won’t start. After getting only 2 1/2 wagon loads done, I finally gave up.

I will just have to take it in to the small engine shop in town to get it looked at, later in the year.

So the experiment worked, as far as chopping up the straw to make a finer mulch. It was just the lawn mower that failed!

After giving up on that task, I took the time to take the sun room replacement door off in preparation for painting the frame. I plan to get at that as soon as possible tomorrow morning, then go to the mail to pick up our bulbs. I will get the garlic in, while the girls will be doing the digging to get their flowers in.

While working at the door, I spotted this.

That is two little kittens in there! One of the orange tabbies, and Creamsicle Jr. As I walked around after taking the picture, Potato Beetle came out of the entry. I hadn’t seen him at all in there!

So I decided not to go inside after taking the door off, and stayed to see if I could get the kittens to play.

I had a target in mind.

This little lady. In the interest of trying to reduce future litters, we are hoping to get her friendly enough to bring her inside.

Yeah. I know. We have too many cats inside already!

Nostrildamus, meanwhile, couldn’t get enough attention! It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were lucky if we could pet him at all. Now, he’s all over us, asking for pets! He still doesn’t like to be picked up, but he does like chewing on fingers!

The two napping in the shelter eventually came out to see what was going on, and joined in on the play. I was able to pet the little orange one – the smallest of the 4 younger kittens – and even managed to pet Creamsicle Jr. a bit. The calico, however, would not let me touch her! However, my daughter came out to join me for a while, and she tried to play with them. Not only did she get the calico close enough to pet, she was even able to pick her up! Only briefly, and she didn’t like it, but she didn’t run away after jumping down, either.

Aside from Nostrildamus, we seem to be having a better time of socializing Butterscotch’s second litter than the older kittens. Though it didn’t help that Butterscotch was around and growling all the other cats away, including her own babies!

Still, we have made some socialization progress!

The other little orange kitten came by later. That one, the gender is still in doubt, but from what little we’ve been able to see, I suspect it is female.

I thought it was supposed to be rare for orange tabbies to be female, but here, they seem to be the majority! Of the older kittens, Nostrildamus is the only whose gender we are sure of. His one confirmed sister is now inside, but with the luck we’ve been having, his other sibling and Rosencrantz’s baby are also female! And we can’t get anywhere near any of them. 😦

Ah, well. We will just have to do what we can. Mostly, I’m just really, really glad the little kittens are going inside the shelter.

The Re-Farmer

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