We did get a little bit of snow last night. According to the past 24 hr data, we never dipped below 3C/37F. Which means the seedlings in the sun room handled the less severe temperature drop last night just fine, from the looks of it so far.
I had quite a surprise this morning, though.
While setting food and water out for the outside cats, I suddenly heard a very distinctive mewing sound. ALL the cats (only about 7 or 8 this morning) whipped their heads around to look! It took a moment, but I finally spotted Ghost Baby running across the snow by the storage house.
With a kitten in her mouth. A little, dark mewling baby.
Poor thing! It is way to cold and snowy to be having kittens this early.
Last year, I believe she had her kittens under the former workshop that is now stuffed with my parents’ belongings. How many she had – or how many survived – we have no way of knowing. I think one of the ‘iccuses is hers.
I figure she was trying to bring her kitten(s) closer to food, water and more secure shelter by the house. It’s unlikely she’d be bringing them to the cat’s house. The space inside it too big and open, and too many other cats use it. She was headed in the direction of the pump shack, where I know Rosencrantz has had kittens before – though last year she had her kittens in the junk pile near the chain link fence, which is why we now have a kibble tray under the shrine. I don’t think she was actually going for the pump shack, though, but just heading that way because my presence startled her.
We have a shelf by the sun room door with leftover pieces of rigid insulation covering the bottom two shelves, with openings, so that cats can use it as shelter. The “floors” have sheets of insulation, too. They’ve been pretty rough on the insulation across the front, and one side was almost completely broken up and off. It’s unlikely but, just in case, I found some more scraps of insulation and recovered one side, leaving smaller openings into the two bottom shelves. I think the spaces inside might still be too open for the comfort of a mama cat and kittens, and certainly there’s too much foot traffic, but if the adult cats use it, that leaves more hidey holes for mamas.
I did see Ghost Baby again, running into the kibble house to join the others for food. She came from a completely different direction. Another possible location for kittens is the junk pile at the edge of the spruce grove. I supposed I should stop calling it a junk pile, since we’ve cleared off most of the junk and it’s mostly a stack of salvaged boards. Butterscotch has had several litters tucked away under there since we’ve moved here. With Butterscotch now indoors, that leaves some prime real estate open. There’s also the space under the old garden shed, but there’s a lot of snow in the way, and there’s a groundhog den under it now.
With the cold and snow we’ve been having, the chances of any kittens born now surviving are not that good. I think Ghost Baby is a good mama, though, and has found a better place for her litter, however many there may be.
Meanwhile, as I was fussing with the shelf shelter, Potato Beetle got outside again! I let him be while I finished with the shelf, then snagged him back into the sun room. His appointment with the vet is this evening, so we don’t want to loose track of him! He is still favouring the leg, but moving around fairly well. I hope that means the injury is fairly minor. I think mostly we need to just keep him away from the other cats that are beating on him. He’s not the “top dog” anymore.
I think we’ll need to keep an eye outside today, and see what’s going on with Ghost Baby. If we can figure out where she’s put her kitten(s), we can move some food and water trays closer, so she doesn’t have to go all the way to the kibble house. Assuming we can get to where she is, through the snow.
The weather forecasts have, of course, changed. The predicted temperatures are a bit lower, and we’re now supposed to be getting small amounts of both rain and snow over the next few days. Tonight, we were supposed to get sleet, but now it’s saying “ice pellets”. !!!
As long as the roads stay clear and relatively dry. Not only do we have the vet appointment this evening, but I’ve got to go to court tomorrow morning. Hopefully, the judge will see our vandal has no case against me and throw it out, but the way things went with our restraining order application that took a year to finally get settled, it may well just be a 10 minute session to book a new trial date. My brother is taking time off work to be there as my witness, though, so this is a major inconvenience for him. Our vandal is retired, and has all the time in the world for crap like this, so he doesn’t care.
What a pain.
Well, it will be what it will be. Not much I can do about that now.
I’m going to go bake some bread now, and angst about newborn kittens in the cold.