I’m happy to say that when I came out to do the cat stuff this morning (bringing 2 gallons of warm water, since we now have such a large heated water bowl), there was still liquid water left in BOTH heated water bowls!
The smaller metal ones were, of course, frozen. At this point, I think maybe we don’t even need them anymore, other than it allows for more cats to drink at the same time. It’s less of an issue with the water than the kibble. They don’t usually all try to drink at the same time, so having the four water bowls so close together works out. When the kibble comes out, though, they are all after the food at once. Not only do they not all fit in the kibble house (I counted “only” 25 this morning), but some of them don’t get along with the others. To avoid aggressive behaviour, along with the trays in the kibble house, I put a couple of handfuls of kibble into two of the shelf shelter shelves, a long line of kibble on the cat house roof – sometimes two, if I can reach – handfuls at three openings to under the cat house, the two trays under the water shelter, a tray just inside the entry into the cat house, a tray just under the eaves of the water shelter (the same spot it was in when the kibble house was there), and finally into a bowl under the shrine across the yard. Rosencrantz in particular prefers to eat at under the shrine, well away from any other cats. She’s gotten meaner to the other cats this year!
It sounds like a lot, but it’s still just a gallon sized container of kibble that’s spread out. This way, even the littlest, shiest and most picked on cats still get some food.
When I was finishing up my rounds, I found the bitty baby and Broccoli in the water shelter. Those ramps are being well used.
Broccoli got her name because she looked so much like Cabbages. This year, Broccoli had two calico kittens. (I think they’re both hers, plus a tortie. I’ve lost track!) I’m thinking we should call the new calicos Brussel and Sprout.
But I digress!
The bitty seems to be handling the colder temperatures really well, and has no hesitation about going outside and playing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see what the temperature was inside the cat house. The two south facing windows were frosted over on the inside, and the big east facing window…
… was full.
Actually, there was too much reflection in the window that I couldn’t see past, but it was really funny trying to peer in and realizing just how many kittens were crowded at the window! Including both of Broccoli’s calicos. Several had run away when I came close, but I can still see at least seven in the photo.
One of the things I made sure to do this morning was stir around the smoldering ashes from the branch pile, then bank it up again. The pile is slowly getting smaller! What’s interesting is that some of the cats have figured out that they can sit near it and keep warm. When I was first starting the burn, they were a problem, because they were so used to going into the pile and playing. Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep it lit, and had to keep chasing them out of the branches. Once it really got going, though, there was enough heat that they kept away. Now, it’s just a warm, smoldering heap, and every now and then I’ll look over, and see a cat or three, loafed on the snow-free ground around it, enjoying the warmth.
Speaking of warmth, I was just looking at the 10 day forecast on one of my weather apps. Apparently, we’re only going to have one day with the high dropping down to -10C/14F – but 10 days from now, we’re apparently going to get highs above freezing!
That would be a good time for the roofers to show up. So far, no word on when that is going to happen.