Today is Christmas Eve. In our family, we celebrate our non-traditional Christmas Wigilia feast today, after the first star shines. I have a terrible habit of starting the turkey too early, though, so I’m keeping myself busy writing this, before I go spatchcock the turkey. We had gotten to enjoy brining the turkey in the past, leaving it to sit in the brine using our largest stock pot and leaving it in the old kitchen overnight.
It’s just too darn cold in there, and since I’ve discovered spatchocking is much easier than I thought it would be, we are quite enjoying doing it that way!
But first, the cute things update!
Walnut has settled right in. I now have three cats to fight over for my office chair!
Things were a lot calmer last night, and I actually got some sleep. It wasn’t until about 5am that the noises started. The bitty tabby (we need to come up with a name for that one!) was wandering around, squeaking. I was eventually able to gently catch it and hold it close. It does NOT want human attention, but even though it clearly wanted down, it did start purring as a cuddled it and pet it.
I got a message from the Cat Lady last night. She had gotten home from a long drive, delivering Plushy and Princess to their forever home. They settled right in! I can’t post the picture she sent me, but they were both curled up on the crossed legs of their new human, lounging and stretched out, like it was nothing new or strange at all.
Heading out this morning was definitely something I had to work myself up to.
This is the temperature after I was done; -26C/-15F with a wind chill of -42C/-44F I don’t even try to switch the memory card on the sign cam right now. The batteries would be frozen, anyhow. I did do the gate cam, though. We definitely need to get more of this solar powered type. The batteries on that still read 100%. It’s being powered entirely by solar – though it does need clearing of frost or snow, frequently! If this were one of they kinds where the solar panel charges rechargeable batteries (which many trail cams specifically say not to use) instead, it’d be dead right now.
I’ve been making a point of putting out most of the kibble in the sun room instead of outside these days, with various impromptu containers scattered around, so as many cats can eat at the same time as possible in there. I’ve also been topping up their food in there more often, and adding hot water to the frozen water bowl, to melt the ice and they can drink without having to go outside.
When I went outside, I found there was still kibble on the roof of the cat house – no surprise they don’t want to eat there right now! – but there was also a surprising amount in the kibble house trays. The trays under the water bowl shelter, however, were empty. They seem to prefer eating under there, which I am surprised by. There’s little to cut the wind under there, but it is a less open space, I suppose. I find myself wondering if we should modify the kibble house to make a “second floor” across the middle. That would enclose the kibble trays more and give them more of a sense of security, and we could maybe even add more kibble trays to the top, so more cats can fit in there and not be fighting over space around the food.
Something to think about, for the summer.
While the large water bowl had its usual crown of frost around the edges, the small one was completely frozen across the top.
The bowl is still working; there was plenty of liquid water underneath, but the cats couldn’t get at it!
So I took this bowl and set it up in the sun room, where I could plug it in. There’s no outlet in the sun room, so we have extension cords going through the window from the old kitchen. Usually, I use the two outdoor power cords, one of which powers the cat house, and the other powers the ceramic heat bulb in the sun room, but there’s also a household extension cord that was here when we moved in. It was run up and around the door frame, and I’ve been using it to charge my baby chainsaw (battery powered pruner). That puts the water bowl well away from food bowls, but that’s okay. Plus, I still topped up the broken heated water bowl, which just had ice in it.
I did see flashes of the little soot sprite. I’m afraid my last attempt to catch the tuxedo bitty has made him even more nervous to come out when I’m in the room. Normally, I’d try to lure it with treats or wet cat food, but with so many other cats around, that can’t really work. I’d be fighting off too many other cats!
Well, it’s supposed to start warming up tomorrow. We’re supposed to have a high of -17C/1F. After that, things are expected to keep warming up, though not as much as earlier forecasts were predicting before. It’ll still be almost balmy, compared to today. The yard cats will likely be running around outside a lot more, so I hope that will give more opportunity to catch the bitty tuxedo – and maybe Broccoli! Yes, they’re old enough to wean, but it would be so great to reunite them with their mama!
Well, it’s time to start getting things set up for tonight. It’s going to be a very quiet Christmas, with just the four of us, and I’m quite happy with that.
I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and may 2023 be a year of peace and joy for you all!