Well, most of what I intended to get done today, happened. Plus, some unplanned stuff got done. 🙂
There was quite the crowd around for breakfast – and not all of them are in this photo! Most of them came out of the cat shelter, which was quite gratifying to see.
They were hungry enough that the little kittens allowed me to pet them while they were eating, including the calico. I was also able to finally confirm that both orange tabbies are male. That leaves the two bigger kittens (behind the food bowls in the photo) that we don’t know the gender of, yet. We’re really hoping they are males, because we have had zero progress in getting those ones more socialized. At least with the little calico, there is some hope we’ll be able to get her inside before she goes into heat.
The water bowls were all frozen this morning, so I brought out some warm water for them. The cats really appreciated that! I’ll have to get that heated water bowl set up soon.
While doing my rounds, I remembered to try and get a photo under my mother’s car. It took quite a few tries!
The last time I drove it, I noticed something was loose underneath. I only saw it because of how I happened to be parked in an otherwise empty parking lot, as I walked to the car from a store. From a distance, I could see something hanging down near the front passenger tire, but once at the car, I had to look through the tire rim at just the right angle to be able to spot it.
When it was time to go to my mother’s to help her with errands, I left early so I could stop at the garage near her place. It is just a plastic shield, and it looks like a bolt probably vibrated off. Who knows when that happened, but it had to be recently, since I picked it up from the garage not that long ago. I have no way to get under there myself, but it’s such a small job, I didn’t even need to make an appointment to get it worked on. I was told to just give a call in the morning, then come on over. I will do that as soon as I can, so I don’t have to make my mother clamber up into our van anymore!
I was able to help my mother with several errands, and even get a bit of a visit. I was happy to see the mask exemption card I’d taped to her door was still there. Her municipality has a mask mandate right now, so we did get asked a couple of times if we had masks. Since I was with her, I was able to tell them we had medical exemptions, and there was no problem. Interestingly, while at the pharmacist’s counter, where they didn’t even bat and eye over our lack of masks, my mother did fish out a surgical mask from her pocket and put it on, saying she didn’t want any trouble – except no one was giving her trouble! I just cringed, because she has no ability to put one on properly. She only kept it on for maybe a minute, probably less. She didn’t even try to put it on when we got to the grocery store. I’ve helped my mother shop often enough, and the staff knows her well enough, that they talked to me about the masks, not her. It all worked out well. It was a real relief for me, given how much she struggles to breathe with a mask on. She still has a hard time understanding mask exemptions, and I could see she was concerned about being given a hard time, but the staff at all the places we went to were awesome. I did give her an exemption card to carry, but I have no idea what she did with that!
Once my mother was all set, I headed home and was expecting to hang the replacement door for the sun room back up. I wasn’t able to get another set of hands to hold it for me, so I instead worked on some cutting I needed to do. I had found a board in one of the sheds that I cut to length to make a couple of shelves in the entry. The pieces now just need some sanding and painting.
Then I started on cutting pieces that will be the frame for a cat kibble house. 😀
I’d made a rough and flexible plan for it. For the frame, I am using the pieces of wood from the frames I’ve been using to mark out garden beds. I also had a couple of extra long pieces we never used when we built the goat catcher.
I ended up changing the dimensions a bit, based on the wood I had available. All the pieces had one end slightly more damaged than the other, so I worked around that when making my measurements and cuts.
The short end pieces from the dismantled frames will be the upright pieces for the cat kibble house. The back pieces are 3 feet long, while I decided to make the front pieces 3 1/2 feet, instead of the 4 feet I was originally thinking of doing. The longer side pieces of the dismantled frames will be the length of the kibble house. I actually measured the group of kibble bowls and decided to make it 6 feet long, instead of the 5 feet I was originally thinking of. I then used the cut off pieces from those to cut cross pieces that will be the depth of the kibble house. They weren’t long enough to do the 2 1/2 feet I’d originally considered making it, so I cut them 2 feet long, instead.
I cut 4 of them, though I only need two, just in case I need extra.
The only pieces I haven’t cut yet will be the support for the roof. I will decide on the length of those later. I want a considerable overhang on the front of the roof. It can’t extend too far, though, because then it will be in the way when trying to reach the kibble bowls inside.
As for the roof itself, I’ve been finding sections of plywood in the barn and sheds that I should be able to salvage. Once I decide on how long of an overhang I want, I’ll have the dimensions I need to hunt out a piece that will fit.
The kibble house will also have a floor and three walls. For that, I plan to use wood salvaged from the junk pile. The pieces are pretty inconsistent in size, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be enough to keep the bulk of the wind and snow out. The roof will be the most important part.
As you can imagine, the noise of cutting the pieces spooked the cats quite a bit. Some of them, however, were spooked into the cat shelter. As I was putting things away, I looked to see that the indicator light for the timer was on. I could also see a little calico kitten, curled up under the heater! I am so glad the little kittens are using it. They are the ones I’m most concerned about for the winter!
Unfortunately, other critters have discovered the shelter.
Stinky came by as I was cleaning up! I had unhooked the hose, though it was too cold and stiff to put away, so I screwed it back on and used it to spray the skunk away. Long before the cats were willing to check out their new shelter, I could tell from the smell that Sir Stinks Alot had already visited. Nicky the Nose – the only one of the big toms that still visits regularly – has been seen coming out of it, too. We’re trying to discourage him from visiting, because he has been attacking our own male cats. Especially Creamsicle. 😦 If he’s in there, chances are he will chase away some of our own cats.
He’s also the daddy of way too many kittens!
I have come to the conclusion that Nicky the Nose is deaf, or at least mostly deaf. There have been a few times I’ve come towards him, even talking as I walked, while he was facing away, with no reaction. It isn’t until he turns his head and sees me that he reacts and runs off.
Tomorrow, barring some unexpected change in plan, I will continue to work on the cat kibble house, and hopefully be able to snag a daughter to help hang the sun room’s replacement door.
It’s starting to get pretty chilly out there, and there’s still plenty we need to get done before the real cold hits!