It started to snow last night, and continued all night. Where we live, it was still a light now – other areas got much more – but it was enough to be a test for the kibble house!
The inside is completely free of snow. 🙂
Unfortunately, three of the containers were on the ground – you can see the patch of grass on the left, where one of them ended up. It is most likely the skunks doing this.
I might add a narrow board across the front to try and prevent that. As long as the floor boards can slide under it, that should work fine.
The heated water bowl was still plugged in. 😀 There was almost no water left, though, so we had some thirsty, as well as hungry, kitties!
While doing my rounds and heading to the trail cams, I noticed this.
Though a light layer of snow covered the paw prints enough that I couldn’t make out what they looked like, I can be pretty sure that this trail was left by a skunk. They are low enough to the ground that their belly fur would leave that wider trail in the snow. 😀
Once I was done my rounds outside, I settled in to check the trail cam files.
I have since called the RCMP.
Between the still shots from one camera, and the video from the other, I have about half an hour documented. While the appliance repair guy was here, the gate was left open. Our vandal showed up in the driveway, going from side to side for a while, before moving the two sides of the gate. The video picked him up stepping in to grab one side of the gates that was open to the inside, pulling it all the way to the outside, then reefing on it. Because of where the hinges are set in the post, when opened all the way to the outside, the gate can hit the post. After repairing the damage our vandal did last time, and repainting the gates, I added pieces of pool noodle to cushion the gate. This way, even if the wind blows the gates all the way open to the outside, the foam slows the swing down, and they bounce gently, rather than slamming, metal against metal. It also reduces stress on the new hinges. So when he reefed on the gate, the foam protected it, but with his pushing it so hard, there is only so much the foam can do to reduce the stress on the hinges. (At this point, there does not appear to be any damage.)
The files then show him going back and forth a few more times, before we can see the appliance guy leaving and me locking the gate up. There is, however, a 14 minute gap, where there is nothing to show where he was or what he was doing; all I can say is, he wasn’t in front of the cameras to trigger the motion sensors.
I remember as I walked to the gate, seeing how the two sides of the gate were positioned and thinking it was the wind again. It was odd with the one side, because I’d deliberately left it open as far as it could swing, which means it was in the fence and on the old tire I’ve got as a bumper. That side is the one that the wind blows around the most, but not so much when it’s open all the way. Now I know it wasn’t the wind at all!
So I called the RCMP as soon as I was able, and started a new file. The person I spoke to went over my options with me, and gave me the name of the constable that would be calling me back about it. I then looked up and called the nearest court where I can start the process to get a restraining order (there are several types available, one of which includes damage to property), leaving a message. This is also where I would be going to start the process for a psychiatric assessment.
While I was writing this, the constable called me back. We talked about our options again, and after going over the past files, he didn’t feel that pressing charges of mischief again would be the most productive. If I did do that, they would arrest him, file charges against them, then let him go and the whole process that happened last time would happen again. That the charges were stayed after he’d finished whatever program he went through, the constable felt that this was highly likely to happen again. Obviously, it didn’t work last time. However, as long as there were charges against him, I would effectively have a restraining order, and would not have to apply for one. I could still apply for a psychiatric assessment through the courts, but if I did, a judge would throw out the charges, since basically he would be viewed as not responsible for his actions, and I would no longer have any protections.
One main difference between the restrictions he’d be placed under if I press charges, as opposed to getting a restraining order, is that with charges, he’d still be keeping his guns. With a restraining order, there is enough documented justification for his guns to be seized, and he would be required to stop drinking alcohol, which is another big part of the problem. I could apply for a psychiatric assessment, and it would not affect the restraining order the way it could with pressing charges.
So for now, I will wait until I talk to the court clerk before making a decision, but it looks like the most effective route to take is to apply for both the restraining order and a psychiatric assessment. And I’m far more interested in our vandal getting help for his mental health issues than I am in getting him arrested.
While we have seen him on the cameras doing things like walking to the gate and giving the finger to the cameras, or slowing down as he drives by to peer down the driveway, etc., this is the first time we’ve seen him come to the gate while it was open like this. Which means we now cannot open the gate and leave it unattended to let people like the appliance repair guy drive in and out. We now know that, if our vandal happens by and sees the gate open, he will do things.
This is so tiresome.
At times like this, I wish we lived even more remotely than we already do!