But first, the fun stuff.
Butterscotch and Nosencrantz are still being kept apart in my bedroom/office (which is about twice the size of the sun room they just spent 2 weeks in), but we are allowing some of the more chill cats in and introducing them.
Nosencrantz will sometimes hiss at cats when they come too close, but not always. Lots of tentative sniffing going around. Then I put Nosencrantz next to David, and she lay down beside him, all snuggled up, for a while.
David is a favourite snuggle cat. It’s not unusual to find two or three other cats using him as a pillow, or mashed up against him.
Butterscotch, on the other hand, has discovered the laundry basket bed in the corner of my closet, and moved right in. The few times she’s come out, she’s tucked herself under a chair and snarled at any cat that comes into view. Which seems to confuse the other cats, because they typically didn’t even notice her until she made noise. However, if I am petting her as they go by, she is fine and even allows some sniffing to happen.
The forecast we had for things to slightly warm up turned out to be completely wrong. Early this morning, we hit -40C/-40F, and that was without the wind chill. So I waited until things “warmed up” to -27C/-17F before I headed outside. I hoped the cats would stay in their shelters longer if I did that, but no. They were outside, waiting for me, when I came out! They are made of sturdier stuff than I am!
Nutmeg is tired of winter, too!
I got word back from our mechanic about our van. It’s going to need a new alternator and, after taxes, we’re looking at close to $600. So that’s going to have to wait until the end of the month, and we’ll have to juggle our budget to pay for it. Until then, we will thankfully be able to use my mother’s car.
This morning, I decided to move it from the addition on the garage it gets parked in, and into the main garage area where the van is usually parked. Where her car is, the doors don’t open well, one of them is breaking, and it barely fits. We pull in closer to the inner wall, which means if I have a passenger, they have to get out before hand, because the door can’t open. The outer wall has shelving and a counter against it. I park at a bit of an angle, so that I can open the driver’s door enough to get out comfortably, without the door hitting the edge of the counter. If we have anything to unload in the back seat, it has to be unloaded before doing into the garage.
Which is a distraction that can lead to forgetfulness.
After clearing the snow and opening the doors, I discovered I made a dumb.
I forgot to plug in the car.
No surprise that it wouldn’t start.
I plugged it in, then continued clearing in front of the garage. It’s just light snow, but not something I want to build up.
Because we are now getting blizzard warnings, too!!!
Today is Thursday. Apparently, it’s supposed to start snowing tonight, and keep snowing through Saturday, when it’s supposed to warm up to -12C/10F, and get as much as 10cm/4in of snow.
Before heading inside, I tried starting my mother’s car again. It sounded better, but still wouldn’t start, and I didn’t want to push it. It sounds like the battery is frozen. My mother’s car has a block heater, battery warmer and trickle charger, so it should just need a bit of time. I’ve left the south facing doors open, so that the sun can warm up the black car a bit, and will try again later.
I can’t believe I forgot to plug it in. 😦
This is not a minor thing.
Years ago, while living in BC, my husband and I rented a car to surprise the family with a Christmas visit. The rental car didn’t have a block heater; no rental place we called had cars with block heaters. We stopped for the night in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, when temperatures plummeted to -61F/-78F with the wind chill. Much to our surprise, it started in the morning, but broke down soon after we reached the highway. This was in the days before cell phones, so my husband got out to walk for help. Stupid dangerous, but he got picked up by a tow truck. We spent another 3 days in Swift Current, waiting for the car to thaw out in a garage, before finally taking the train the rest of the way. We eventually learned that the engine block had cracked in the cold.
Thankfully, we haven’t hit temperatures that severe, but it can still do damage. And with the van at the garage in town already, this is our only transportation.
After coming back in and talking about it with my husband, he told me something I hadn’t known. My FIL had forgotten to plug in his car, the night my MIL had a brain aneurism, shortly after New Year’s. They didn’t live far from the hospital, but the car wouldn’t start, and he had to wait for an ambulance. Given the circumstances, it would have made no difference if he’d gotten her to the hospital sooner, but for a long time after that, in the winter my FIL would regularly ask my husband if he remembered to plug in our vehicle.
This is not something to take lightly. Especially when living as relatively isolated as we do, now.
I will give it a bit more time, then try and start it again. I’m supposed to go into town to pick up some things at the grocery store today. Before the blizzard hits! We’re running low on cat food again.
February is always the hardest month of winter. Everyone is so tired of the cold and snow by then. This year, we had those few really warm days that teased us with hints of spring. Looking at the long range forecast, immediately after the blizzard is done, temperatures are supposed to drop again, then slowly get milder through into March.
Which would be nice, if it happens.