Look what I found!

The kittens that hang out under the cats’ house are getting more active and exploratory. When I came out this morning, there were three of them, playing rough and tumble on the laundry platform. As I did my usual back and forth, they would run under the cats’ house, but come out again more quickly.

This little one is being seen more frequently.

This one, we see most often. I wish I’d been able to get a photo a few second before. It had been playing on the step, and when it turned to look at me, it still had a dried leaf in its mouth! So cute. 🙂

Lately, while putting the kibble out, one of the cats basically starts growling at me – and other cats. She certainly is happy to see the food, but just seems angry about it, too. Very strange.

As soon as I could, I was back outside to start mowing. I focused on the areas I wasn’t able to do before, starting with the west yard and around the fire pit area. I was even able to mow paths to and around the Korean Pine, in the outer yard. I had to raise the lawn mower way up to be able to get through! After doing the north yard, I was able to keep on going and redo the south yard, including the area that had been under water in front of the outhouse. It started to rain while I was out there, but it was a light rain, so I kept on going.

When I got to mowing near the kibble and cat houses, I saw no cats or kittens arounds, so I paused to move the water bowls away. The heated water bowl was still plugged into the extension cord leading into the cats’ house, even though there is currently no power to it, so I started unplugging it to move it away.

I got growled at, from inside the cats’ house.

I sometimes put kibble just inside the entry, but I knew the bowl had been knocked upside down. Once I unplugged and moved the water bowl, I looked to see where it was.

I found kittens, instead.

I held aside the strips of carpet to take a quick picture, then left them alone while moving the water bowls. I then made a point to quickly mow around the area, so I could be away from them faster.

When I was done mowing and ready to return the water bowls, I grabbed one of the cat beds I’d crocheted and left in the shelf shelter and brought it over, along with some extra kibble. Looking inside, there was one kitten near the entry. The others had been moved away. I put the kitten in the cat bed, straightened out and moved the food bowl, then put the kitten back, bed and all, further in from the entry. The mama was growling at me while I did this, but then I put kibble in the bowl, and left so I think she was happy with that.

Looking at the picture, I can spot 5 kittens. They look to be just barely old enough to have opened their eyes, so I’m guessing about a week or so. Which actually ties in to how long the mama has been growling at me when I do the kibble in the mornings!

So now we have 4 kittens under the cats’ house, and 5 inside the cats’ house!

And there are still the oldest of the kittens, which had been born in the cats’ house then moved away. We don’t know where their new nest is, other than somewhere beyond the pump shack. Honestly, I would have expected those ones to have been brought to the kibble house first, given their ages. I do hope they are okay. There’s really no way to find out, one way or the other, until they start showing up for food!

I do enjoy seeing them when I come out in the mornings. They really brighten the day! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Brave baby

When putting kibble out this morning, I put the kibble for the kittens on the frame of the sledge under the cat’s house. Partly to entice the kittens a bit further out, and party to not have kibble on damp ground.

Not that it stays there long enough to be an issue.

One of the kittens is much bolder than the others, allowing me to get a bit closer. I still had to zoom in for the photo, but was not so far away that the digital zoom on my camera just messed everything up. 🙂 It will even sit there and watch me as I move around. For a little while, at least.

The Re-Farmer

Morning glare

Oh, Broccoli. You are so funny!

Would you look at that malevolent glare! I get that look from all the young mamas when I put kibble out in the mornings. They come running for the food, but give me THAT look if I don’t leave right away, or if I walk by while they’re eating.

Broccoli is one that runs from place to place to eat. Most of the cats will eat in the kibble house. Some prefer the tray under the shrine. Others prefer this tray outside the kibble house. Now that I’m putting kibble on the roof of the cat’s house, some clearly prefer that, too (no skunks up there!). Broccoli, meanwhile, has no preference, except maybe the roof. She just runs back and forth, from spot to spot!

I saw some of the kittens again this morning, playing around the kibble house. They hid as soon as they saw me. If it weren’t for the insane amount of mosquitoes, I’d settle in with a chair and start getting them used to me. I don’t want to do that while doused with mosquito repellant, as I don’t think the kittens would like that smell at all.

They do seem to be a bit more relaxed and playful around the cat’s house, though, so that’s a good sign.

I wonder when more litters will start showing up?

The Re-Farmer

A furry visitor

This big bugger is why we don’t have hanging bird feeders anymore.

After this picture was taken, a skunk joined it for a while. As I write this, the skunk it still there.

This looks like the big racoon I saw a few nights ago, when I came out to see what critters were snarling out the window. A big racoon made like it was going at me, then backed off, a couple of times, while a much smaller one was at the seeds.

With the storms and winds we’ve been having, we’re not seeing a lot of birds at the feeding station right now. Even the open ground where the seeds are gets filled with water enough to wash the seeds up against the grass.

I’m not seeing the groundhogs very often anymore, either. I think their dens are flooded out, and they’ve moved on. There was the one that dug a den under the mock orange against the house I was seeing more often. I’ve been pushing the dirt back into the hole regularly, and I think I’ve finally won the battle. It hasn’t been re-dug for a few days. Hopefully, that means our garden is safer from them this year!

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties

The mamas are regularly out in full force in the mornings.

I’ve taken to leaving small amounts of kibble on the cat’s house roof, too. Because skunks can’t climb.

No sign of kittens today, yet.

We’ll have to remember to switch out the frozen water bottles in their bowls several times today. It’s supposed to get quite hot.

Not this hot! This is what the bean tunnel thermometer was reading at about 10:30am. Our high of the day is expected to be 26C/79F, and it’s already 24C/75F as I write this. The weather app says the “feels like” reading is the same but, clearly, it feels a lot hotter while in direct sunlight!

It looks like all of our male cats have disappeared. The only ones left are Sad Face and The Distinguished Guest – and they hate each other and often fight, so they tend not to be around at the same time.

Speaking of fighting, I heard some snarling outside the living room window last night. I headed out with a flashlight, and a huge racoon was near the window, snarling and warning me off. It ran off, then back again, then snarled in a different direction, which is when I saw the second, smaller racoon at the feeding station.

I left them be.

The Re-Farmer

Matched set

I have started to leave my door open during the day, in hopes the cats will start getting along with Butterscotch and Nosencrantz. If nothing else, they are just too hot to fight!

Cheddar always steals my butt spot. Turmeric joined him. They are such a matched set! Cheddar is about 3 times her weight, though. 😁. Turmeric is such a tiny thing, and Cheddar is a burly beast.

Turmeric is the one that has been the most dedicated to going after Nosencrantz. We have no idea why. Meanwhile, she gets along so well with Cheddar. Of course, Cheddar gets along with all the cats. He’s a special one!

On a completely different topic, my keyboard woes just got worse this morning. Out of the blue, while I was in the middle of doing stuff on the computer, I suddenly lost use of the y u i o keys. I ended up making drafts of posts with just the images I want to use in them, and am now using my phone to complete them.

I really dislike using a touch screen! But, hey. Whatever works!

We’ll be getting an identical replacement ergonomic keyboard as soon as pay comes it, since I can’t seem to be able to use any other type right now. Meanwhile, I tried cleaning the keyboard. Pulled out a small animal’s worth of cat hair. Made no difference.

*sigh*

The Re-Farmer

Kitten surprise

After finishing my morning rounds and coming back to the house, I spotted kittens under the cats’ house again. I put some food out for them, then waited.

At first, I just saw the little tabby on the left, but I did briefly see the calico taking a peak off to the right. I’m happy to saw the eye that looked injured is now open, and she’s looking much better. I put a bit of food where I saw her, but the third, darker kitten came to eat, instead.

I kept slowly coming closer, so they’d get used to my presence, and tried to take some video. Which is when we had a kitten surprise!

There’s a fourth kitten!

It has much longer fur than the others. We might have another “David” out there! Long haired yard cats are very unusual.

I did see one more kitten, today. I came out of the sun room with frozen water bottles to put in their water bowls and startled a mama going by, carrying a white and black kitten. I ignored her, since she was already quite unhappy that I was there, so I didn’t see where she ended up going with the kitten. She was gone so fast, I thought she had to have just gone under the set up we made to harden off the transplants. We’ve left it there, to provide a little extra shade and shelter for the cats.

Which makes a total of five kittens I saw this morning, with two that I’ve never seen before!

The Re-Farmer

Three

The kittens we saw yesterday were back this morning! It is now confirmed: there are three of them.

When I saw they were under the cat’s house again, I put a scoop of kibble in the open spot they were peaking through, then hid away. The kittens were very enthusiastic about solid food! Then mama – the white tail tip confirms it’s Braddiccus – came over to stand guard. And have a bit of a snack with her babies. 🙂

The little calico didn’t come out all the way, though I did catch a glimpse of her one eye that’s got something wrong with it. Her siblings were bolder today, with one of them checking out the big water bowl. After they were gone again, I moved that bowl away, gave it a scrubbing, and left it closer to the kibble house. That left the 3 metal pans that we use as water bowls for them to drink from. Less chance of a kitten falling in, on those!

So this would be the litter that was inside the cat’s house, with Junk Pile’s litter, earlier in the spring. I’m surprised these ones are being brought over to the house first, when Junk Pile’s litter was born earlier. I would expect the mama with her older kittens would have been here first. But then, maybe she is, and we’re just not around to see her!

The Re-Farmer

Kitten sighting

While coming back to the sun room door after working in the garden, I spotted some unexpected movement.

Kittens, dashing under the cat’s house!

One of the mamas brought her babies to the kibble house, and they are not kittens I recognise.

It took some patience, some hiding behind the hand rail near the sun room door, and my phone zoomed in, to finally get some photos. This was the best I could get, and it’s cropped quite tightly.

As so often happens, I see more in photos than I could in the moment. In this case, it was finding that there is something wrong with the little calico’s eye. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing when they’ll even be back at the kibble house again, never mind any chance of catching it to get a better look. That doesn’t look like the usual eye infections we sometimes see in the yard cats.

Hopefully, we will have more success socializing this year’s kittens than last year. Hopefully, whatever is wrong with it is something that will heal on its own.

Poor baby!

In the end, I think I saw a third, darker kitten, but I’m not certain.

The Re-Farmer

Rough morning

I could really use a full night’s sleep!

Got awakened by cat shenanigans in the wee hours, repeatedly.

Don’t they look so innocent?

Actually, only Cheddar was responsible for some of the noises. David and Ginger are among those who can’t be in my room overnight. David is sometimes allowed in, but Nosencrantz and Butterscotch hide from him. Ginger actually becomes aggressive towards them! Cheddar, they are content with, but he has a terrible habit of scratching at the door to be let out – but when I get up to let him out, he runs over to the food bowls and starts begging, instead! Nosencrantz, meanwhile, has troubles getting to a spot on the shelf that she likes. Normally, she can go from my vanity to the window sill to the shelf, but the window sill now has a fan in it. What she hasn’t figured out is that she can still get to the spot on the shelf by using the office chair, but she won’t do it. The noise of her attempts to get at the shelf, and the things that get knocked about (including the fan, in spite of it being braced) is getting very tiresome.

And that’s just the start of the nightly interruptions – but it’s still better than all out cat fights!

I eventually gave up trying to sleep and headed out to do the morning rounds a bit early. Nice and cool, but my goodness, the mosquitoes were insane!

It looks like we have one, maybe two, losses among the sweet potatoes. They don’t look like they’ve been eaten by anything. One just looks withered away. The other still has a leaf trying to grow, while the rest has withered away. The rains might have something to do with it. I don’t know. We did have two extra slips in our package, though, and the grow bag is probably too small for 3 plants, so this is not necessarily a bad thing.

I don’t think we got more rain last night, though we are very humid, so everything was soaked by dew and there is still standing water in a few places. I’m hoping things will dry up enough to get some weed trimming done, if not actual mowing. We are supposed to reach a high of 19C/66F today, which shouldn’t be too bad to work in. People are getting a bit freaked out because we’re supposed to hit 31C/88F in a couple of days, as if this was some new thing. Which I don’t understand. The record high for today was 37C/99F, set back in 1995. The record high for the day we’re expected to hit 31C/88F is 32C/90F, also set in 1995. As far as I know, most of the people alarmed by the predicted highs are old enough to remember a much hotter June in 1995. As much as I dislike the heat, it’s still preferable to today’s record cold of 4C/39F, set in 2001.

Then, just to make my morning even more “fun”…

The enter key on my keyboard stopped working last night.

Which is when I discover just how constantly that key gets used. In some places, like on Discord, it’s not even possible to post comments, because there is no “post” button to click on. The family has a Discord channel we use to message each other, as it’s the one app we all have and use regularly.

So this morning, I went digging around for spare keyboards. We have some from upgrading computer systems. We never use the keyboards they come with, as they generally suck. My own keyboard is an old Microsoft ergonomic split keyboard. It’s painful for me to type on anything else. When I wore off the keys from my original one, my husband got me a split keyboard with letters that lit up, so that wouldn’t be a problem anymore, but I wasn’t able to use it. So my husband gave me his keyboard, which was identical except you could still read the keys. He tried the light up one but had issues with it, and ended up using my old one. He doesn’t use the alphabet keys as much as he uses the number pad and arrow keys, so not being able to read the keys wasn’t a problem for him.

Yes, I do touch type, but sometimes, I just need to see those keys.

While digging around, I found the original keyboard for my husband’s desktop and tried that. It is way too tiny, and hard on my wrists. My husband found the split keyboard he’d bought me, so I tried that again. Typing on that was worse than the standard keyboard. All the keys are slightly off, but worse of all is that they split the space bar, so it’s under the hand instead of across the middle. I went back to the standard keyboard, and soon gave up trying to type on that.

I ended up going back to the one with the enter key that doesn’t work. I’d completely forgotten that there is an entre key with the number pad. That one still works.

I’m willing to put up with that, so I can finally type again!

I do find myself wondering how long I’ll be able to type at all. The arthritis in my fingers is getting worse. The pain isn’t as much of a problem as the reduced mobility. I’m slowly losing the use of my hands, and fine motor control is being lost even faster.

Frustrating.

Bah. Enough of the negative stuff. I have work to do. I can still do that!

The Re-Farmer