Well, it was bound to happen some time!

While heading out to do the food and water for the kitties outside, I discovered the heated water bowl.

Frozen solid.

A quick glance through the entry, and I found the cord wasn’t just knocked loose from the outlet, but the hook I put in to hold the cord and keep the cats from knocking the plug loose.

Which meant I needed to lift the roof.

*sigh*

At least it happened on a warmer day, and not when we had our deep freezes!

I could take the weight of the snow off, easily enough, but there’s nothing I could do about the ice. The roof was much heavier to lift, because of it. For me to lift the weight is not the issue. The problem is that, as I lift it, I can hear the dry old wood the roof is made up, creaking and cracking. Thank God we found a way to put on a counterweight. The beam it’s attached to runs the length of the roof, so it takes a lot of that strain off.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to shovel under the counterweight after moving the milk crates that support it. The roof was just barely open enough for the centre of balance to keep it from dropping right back down again.

As you can imagine, I got that heated water bowl plugged in as quickly as I could!

Then the snow had to cleared to the ground, so I could put the crates back under. The brick is tied off so that the crates support it’s full weight, without having to lift it more than the few millimeters needed to clear the outer edges of the crate. Any higher, and the entire block needs to basically be picked up.

The heated water bowl was half filled with ice, so I didn’t even try to get it out. Any attempt to knock the ice out would shatter the frozen plastic, so I just topped it up with warm water.

We had some very thirsty kitties!

They do all seem to prefer drinking from the old frying pans we’ve repurposed as water bowls. One is steel. I think the other two are aluminum.

The aesthetics of using old pans for their food and water may leave much to be desired, but they work a lot better than anything else we’ve tried, except for the heated water bowl.

After finishing up from putting out bird and deer feed, I heard a strange scrambling noise.

Nostrildamus had clambered up the side of the kibble house, and was playing with the string! 😀

The good thing is, with the layer of snow on top now, the string is no longer needed to hold the tarp in place. Funnily enough, the tarp is there to protect the roof from snow until we can paint it. 😀

It wasn’t until I uploaded the picture that I noticed there was a spice boy in the kibble house, glaring at me. 😀

The girls and I have talked about the state of the cat shelter. In the summer, we will have to look at how we can reinforce the roof and attach a handle of some sort, to lift it from the side instead of grabbing it under the the edge at the top. Along with replacing a few more damaged pieces, maybe redoing the roof (I found a box of leftover shingles in one of the sheds) we should be able to keep it usable for many years.

The Re-Farmer

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