Though my husband had been able to feed the outside cats this morning, when I headed out an hour or so later, I found some of the kibble trays already needed to be topped up. While I was doing that, I came upon some mysteries.
The most obvious one was the knocked over concrete pedestal. We often see a cat perched on top of it. It’s heavy, but because of the height, not as stable as I would like, which is why it’s not being used to hold the concrete Mary statue that I think it was originally used for.
This was more of a surprise.
The shrine was not maintained over the years, so there’s quite a lot of rotted wood, but what on earth could do this sort of damage? The cats like to go up here, too. Could there have been a massive cat fight? Even so, how could the cats have done this sort of damage?
Then there was this. That chicken wire is what had been protecting the cucamelon and gourd bed. Last night, it was in the upright wheelbarrow, waiting to be put away for the season.
If there had been a cat fight this violent and far ranging, we would have heard something. Wouldn’t we?
I continued my morning rounds, heading up the driveway to check the gate and switch out the memory cards in the trail cams.
I had lots of company this morning!
Though there are six cats in this photo, I ended up with eight of them, following me around!
I found it funny that Agnoos and … one of the ‘icouses (“Sadicous, I think)… found the frost covered plywood “bridge” nicer on their toes than the ground!
While the kittens kept their distance and explored the driveway and culvert, I had Creamsicle Baby, Nutmeg, Rolando Moon and even Butterscotch, all vying for attention! Creamsicle Baby in particular was so demanding of attention, he was not only winding around my feet while I walked, but even jumping up to grab my hands. I was carrying Nutmeg then, later, Butterscotch, so I couldn’t bend over to pet him. He would not let me pick him up when I tried, though.
While continuing my rounds, I made a point of checking out where our sign is going to be set up. My brother really wants to get those posts in before the ground freezes too hard. He’ll be coming out on Saturday, which is supposed to be warmer, and the posts will be installed right at the fence line, so as not to mess with municipal rules. He ended up getting four 8′ posts – two for the sign, and two, just in case. He decided to get the taller posts so the sign would be higher. If the posts are 2′ in the ground, then the top of the sign will be at 6′ instead of 5′, as it would have been with the 7′ posts he originally intended to get. Higher means more visibility, and it’ll be harder to vandalize. Sad thing to have to take into account. I’ve been sending photos of the sign in progress to my brother, and after one set of them, he answered by basically saying “it’s looking good… it’s going to get vandalized…”
With that in mind, he plans to use carriage bolts to attach the sign.
When I started working on this sign, I basically used whatever I could salvage. I found the piece of plywood in the barn, the white paint was left over from fixing the sun room door frame, I already had the reflective paint I’d bought for something else, etc.. The only money I spent was on the paint for the lettering, which I didn’t skimp on since it will be used for other things, too, and a set of craft brushes for the lettering. Since I knew the paint would ruin the brushes, I bought the cheapest ones I could find. Then my brother finds out what I’m doing, and suddenly he’s all excited about it and buying fence posts and carriage bolts! 😀 The posts, alone, cost more than what I spent! So sweet of him. I’ll just have to touch up the bolts with white paint, so they won’t be big black circles in the lettering.
With that in mind, when I came in from my rounds, I paused to finish painting the sign. This time, I used a much smaller brush and used it to straighten edges, fix some serifs, and basically make it look all nice and tidy. Well. As much as I can, with my shaky hands. It’s not perfect, by any means, but not anything anyone will notice from the road.
It’s not done, and the paint has a couple of days to dry before the sign will be installed. It’s much sooner than I expected, but that’s okay. Hopefully, our vandal will find it too chilly to try and damage it.
Speaking of which, I have a court date for our restraining order, tomorrow. It’s been over a year since I filed for it. Because of the repeated delays due to restrictions and shut downs, this time the judge actually wants me there to ask me questions. Hopefully, this means it will be finally granted, and our vandal will be required to get the mental health help he needs.
Once the sign was done, I finally sat down to check the trail cam files – and got a surprise!
A cow, walking up to the gate and checking it out.
The electric fence had just been fixed, yesterday!
The funny thing is, as I was walking up the driveway, I saw the hoof prints of a cow, frozen into the gravel of the driveway. I just figured they were from the cow that got caught on the trail cam, the night before.
As soon as I could, I headed back outside to check the outer yard fence line.
Clearly, something did go through here, pulling the wire into our side of the fence, but maybe a calf, not a full sized cow!
I then went to the section of fence they had gone through previously, and it was clearly where they had come through. The tall grass was trampled, and there was plenty of dung about. The one cow I saw on the trail cam clearly had company!
The time stamp on the trail cam video (it’s a good thing we have two cameras on the gate, because while both had their motion sensors triggered, the cow was visible in the dark in only one of them) was about quarter after 9pm, so by the time I was out this morning, the cows were nowhere to be seen, though I could hear them. I sent a message to the renters to let them know, being sure to tell them there was no urgency. We’ll just keep the inner yard gates closed.
The thing is; last night, while the vehicle gate was closed, the people gate was opened while my daughter and I worked in the yard. With the electric fence fixed, I didn’t bother closing it again.
So… could it be that a cow came into the yard, and did the things I found in the morning? There’s no chance of seeing tracks in the grass and leaves. I can see knocking over the wheelbarrow and pedestal, but how would a cow cause the damage to the shrine?
Is my mystery solved? Or not?