Oh, no, two!

It’s windy and damp and chilly, but I headed outside anyway. I wanted to keep an eye on the sudden kitten, and used that as an excuse to clean up the trimmed willow branches for the burn pile, and see what I could do with the wattle weaving.

I did not see any sign of the kitten I saw earlier, but then I found this.

The wind was blowing bits of plastic packaging from the shingles, and the poor thing was hissing and spitting at every movement.

I was able to go up to it and pick it up. Unlike the earlier kitten, which seemed okay with that, if more interested in finding mama, but not this one! This one was a little fireball, hissing and spitting and showing me claws. So I quickly put it into the cat house, where it immediately quieted down.

I hung around to see what happened. Caramel showed up and seemed to be looking around. Could Caramel be their mama? I was sure I saw Caramel with slightly older kittens, and that a little grey tabby that we’ve been seeing by itself was hers. That one looks old enough to be newly weaned, though, and these ones are maybe 3 weeks old.

After a while, I saw the first on emerge from under the cat house, looking around. It came out when it saw me, so I was able to pick it up and put it in the cat house with what I assume is its sibling.

Caramel looked around for a while, then took off. Whether that means she’s gone to bring another kitten, or they’re not hers, I have no idea.

One thing I noticed since we set up the water bowl shelter is that the water is not being drunk as quickly. Usually, I’d find at least the metal bowls mostly empty, and half the big plastic bowl gone, too, by morning. Now, they’re still almost full. One reason may be that other critters had been drinking the water overnight, and the new water bowl shelter is preventing that somehow. The other is, the floor of the water bowl shelter is a lot higher. I think the smaller kittens are having a harder time getting into it. I see them drinking from other places now, where they usually wouldn’t.

So, I tried this.

It’s one of the leftover scrap boards we used for the walls and floor of the water bowl shelter. One end is split, so I tucked that end under the sledge the cat house rests on, so it won’t be easily knocked about. If nothing else, the kittens will be curious enough to go up it and into the water bowl shelter. Once its roof is done and the shelter is positioned close to the kibble house, I’ll see if it’s still needed. Depending on how they line up, cats should be able to go from inside the kibble house up into the water bowl house.

I have a shorter board that I’m thinking of putting in front of the cat house entry, so the bitty kitties can use it to get in without help. I just have to find a way to stabilize it while still keeping it temporary.

As an aside, I shared a picture of our set up with the water bowl shelter added in. She asked if she could use the picture to show as an example of how to make cat shelters! She works with rural rescues only, so she sees a lot of farm cats that don’t get a lot of help. A lot of people say to let nature take its course, or to just shoot them. Well, with our outside cats, we know nature will take its course no matter what we do, but we can at least provide them with food, water and shelter by the house, and the closer they are to the house, the better their chances. She wants to use our set up to show people that they can still provide shelter for their feral and semi feral cats, using what’s on hand. Of course, I gave permission to use the photo, and gave more details about them that I hope are useful. Especially about adding heat in the cat house. Which I really hope will be enough for the newest babies!

I wonder if I’ll find another bitty kitty when I go outside again, later?

The Re-Farmer

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