Morning cuddles

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a picture of Ginger!

Every morning and evening, at the sound of me getting my vitamins from my night stand, Ginger comes running for cuddles! This morning, I actually had a free hand to get a photo. 🙂

I don’t know why he has decided “pill bottle rattling” equals “time to cuddle the human”, but since it’s pretty much the only time he is so cuddly, I don’t mind at all!

The Re-Farmer

Ginger bug update: not a happy camper! :-D

I visited Ginger this morning, while starting my morning rounds and before my daughter came over with his medications and the new surgical shirt.

He enjoyed the visiting part, at least! I even managed to get several usable pictures.

Doesn’t he look completely malevolent? 😀 He’s actually really enjoying the scritches.

Then he started rolling around, and managed to give me a good view of both surgical sites.

I really wasn’t that interested in the one at his nethers, to be honest, but hey; it needs to be checked, too!

Is it time to groom, or time to eat? He tried to do both at the same time. 😀

When my daughter came in with the meds, I picked him up to hold him. He knew exactly what was coming, and tried hiding his face in my arm! He’s actually really good about taking them, even if he fights us off and sometimes projectile spits a pill halfway across the room. We managed to get him medicated. He seemed very offended by the whole process when we put him down.

He was even more offended when we got the surgical shirt on him.

After we finished tying it off, he scuttled over to this spot and flumped down like a sausage. Then stayed there. He was not at all happy with us!!

My daughter stayed with him while I finished my rounds, and when she left, he’d found a different spot to flump down like a sausage.

The shirt came with what looks like a feminine hygiene product to stick to the inside over the surgical site. We used it, though about half of the incision is actually higher than the neck line on the shirt. That’s not the part we’re concerned about, since it’s the lower part that gets the brunt of it when he starts rolling. The very end of the incision has a bit of a space after the sutures end, and it looked like there was the tiniest bit of blood near the wound. It was dry, but I’m more comfortable with having it covered now. Even if he isn’t!

He would probably be just fine without it, but I hope we can leave it on him for at least a few days.

Poor baby is torn between excited to see us and craving attention, and ticked off at us for making him take medications and wear clothing! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Ginger update: livin’ the life!

I think Ginger is doing just fine…

We can check on him, without disturbing him, through the bathroom window at any time. This morning, we forgot to unplug the heater bulb, and my husband found him basking under it! As the sun room warmed up during the day, however, he moved to follow the sun spots.

Yeah, he’s livin’ the life, all right!

The Re-Farmer

A furry standoff!

While doing my rounds this morning, I was joined by Nosey and the Spice boys.

Usually, I am joined by Potato Beetle, but I didn’t see him until I was going back to the inner yard.

Up in a tree.

Waaaaaaayyyy up in a tree.

Something seemed off about it, so I went around to the power pole nearby to see what was going on. Once I got around my late father’s car, I found the problem.

There was Nicky the Nose, on one of the bottom branches!

Gosh, he’s a big, burly cat!!

Looks like he’s been trying to assert dominance again, and it was a standoff. Nicky is too big and heavy to go any higher, but Potato couldn’t get down without getting too close to Nicky.

We’re not having that! I dug out one of the pruned tree branches from the nearby pile and waved it around at him, and he took a flying leap from the tree, into the snow and ran off.

It took a while, but I stayed outside long enough for Potato Beetle to get himself down from the tree, so I could cuddle him while bringing him over to the kibble house.

I don’t know how to feel about Nicky. I don’t want to turn away any stray cat that’s hungry. Nicky, however, does what dominant toms do; goes after the males to drive them way, to keep the harem for himself. The other toms that used to visit back when Nicky first showed up are gone. No idea what’s happened to them, but he’s the only one left. Even Creamsicle seems to be gone completely, now. Moved on to another farm, or dead, we have no way of knowing. As the kittens get older, he’ll be after them, too. So while I am more than happy to feed and care for any stray that shows up, Nicky isn’t just any stray. He’s causing issues with the colony. I don’t know if we should be driving him away, or if we should be trying to socialize him more, to put a stop to it!

Ah, well. We’ll figure it out.

Today is supposed to be another warm one, and then temperatures are supposed to plummet again on the weekend. We didn’t start working on the door yesterday. It may have been warmer, but we had some wicked winds from the south, and that door faces south. The winds were a bit much to have just a storm door, should we have needed to leave the inner door open for any length of time. In fact, the entire house was shuddering and whistling for much of the day. Today seems to be a lot calmer. We shall see how it goes!

The Re-Farmer

It’s still cold out there, and… on a more serious note

One of the first things I do in the morning, before heading outside to do my rounds, is check the weather.

This morning, at a time when I would normally be starting to head outside, it was -36C/-32.8F

Yeeeaaaaahhhhh…. No.

I waited a couple of hours before heading out, but it was still -28C/-18.4F At least there was no windchill, and the “real feel” was -25C/-13F

The wait meant I had a whole lot more cats to greet me when I came out! There were none at all, inside the cat shelter. They were all out and about.

They have quite a lot of food out, but still prefer the fresh kibble. Which they quickly abandoned, once they saw there was fresh, warm water!

One of them was eager enough to take a short cut through the snow! LOL

Once again, I skipped switching out the memory cards on the trail cams, but I did head out to the garage to double check that the vehicles were plugged in, and grab some sheets of insulation. We had used these to line the windows in the sun room last winter, when we were keeping the doors propped open so the cats could shelter in it. With the outer door fixed, and that cats having a lovely warm shelter of their own, we didn’t insulate the sun room this winter. That leaves the pieces available to use inside the fish tanks to help keep the seed trays warm.


It wasn’t a lot of extra time to do that, but even so, I could feel the cold in my lungs. Thank God I’m already a shallow breather, due to my chronic cough. In temperatures like these breathing deeply can injure the lungs.

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There may have been no wind chill this morning, but as I glance at my weather app, I see we’ve almost reached our high of the day, at -24C/-18F – but the wind chill is now -30C/-20F!

Thankfully, tomorrow we should be back to more normal temperatures, and be warmer than -20C. Which is good, because tomorrow afternoon, I am heading out to help my mother with her errands, and have to do a bit of grocery shopping for ourselves, too.

It should be even warmer on Friday, when I take the van in to the garage to get checked over. I really hope he finds why it has begun to stall and have troubles when fully loaded. We were already splitting our monthly shop into a couple of trips, and if the van has problems with just a half load already, and have to make more frequent, even smaller shops, we lose all the benefits of bulk shopping. Plus, our province has kept up a lot of restrictions, loosening some but increasing others, with no change in the mask mandates. There are still a lot of places that refuse to accept medical exemptions, and going out to shop feels like going out to battle, every time. Being surrounded by faceless people is also starting to freak me out more and more. I’m even playing Pokemon Go less. The game has things you can do right from home, without having to go places, and among the thing you can do is exchange gifts with people that are on your friends list. You get to see each person’s avatar in the process, and people are putting masks on their avatars. It’s bad enough that the option is even available, but it’s like a punch to the gut, every time I see a masked avatar. Every avatar represents the person playing, and that person just turned themselves into an NPC.

It’s one thing to know, intellectually, the sort of psychological damage this sort of dehumanization causes. It’s quite another to feel it. And rather surprising, considering how little we go out anyhow. I don’t even want to imagine how wigged out I would be, if I had to be surrounded by it every day. I completely understand my friend who has self isolated for months, because being surrounded by masks triggers her PTSD!

At least I know what the cause of the discomfort is. Most people would have no idea. And why would they? All they would know is that their stress and anxiety is increasing, and there are so many things contributing to that right now. Unfortunately, that cognitive dissonance would cause all sorts of anger, even rage, towards anyone without a mask, and they wouldn’t understand why.

A bit of a rant, there, I suppose, but that lack of awareness directly affects people like myself, who can’t wear a mask. Even in places that recognize medical exemptions, it’s the other customers that become more aggressive and abusive. I have been fortunate so far. I may have been kicked out of stores that refuse to honour medical exemptions (which is illegal, but then, so are the mask mandates), but I haven’t been harassed by other customers, yet. It has, however, affected familial relationships and friendships in a negative way.

I have never enjoyed shopping to begin with. Now, it’s like walking around with the sword of Damocles hanging over my head, never knowing if it’ll drop.

The Re-Farmer

Progress: sun room door and cat kibble shelter

There was quite a crowd of kitties this morning!

There are 12 cats in this picture. Happily, Rolando Moon is still hanging around, busily hissing at any cat that comes near. We haven’t seen Creamsicle in a while, though. I hope he is all right.

The cat butt sticking out of the entry is a hoot. That is Rosencrantz’s baby, and she seems to be the shiest of the bunch.

As you can see by the frozen blocks of ice, artistically embedded with leaves, it’s been getting a bit cold out at night! It did warm up a few degrees above freezing. Not good for paint, but it had to be done.

I can now officially say that replacing the door on the sun room is DONE!! I just came in from outside a little while ago, and the paint was dry enough I could close the door. What’s supposed to be blue is now blue, what’s supposed to be white is now white, and nary the twain shall have contact with each other!


No, I didn’t take pictures. I’m am tired of taking pictures of that door! 😀

The next project is the shelter for the cat food. It will be placed about where the kibble containers currently are. I want to position it so that it will also provide extra shelter for the entrance to the cat house. The heated water bowl can be plugged in, inside, but the bowl has to be outside, since there’s no way I’m going to be lifting that roof every morning to refill their water. 😉 The shelter for the food containers will help keep the snow off the water bowl, too.

It took a couple of hours, but I got the end pieces of the frame done.

Working with this wood we salvaged from the barn has been a challenge. Nothing is even, so about the only thing I can measure is length. After that, I basically just made sure all the pieces matched and lined up. Not being able to just take measurements meant I had to get creative in lining up the pilot holes. Just making the pilot holes was an issue! My drill bits that were the right diameter for the pilot holes are just barely long enough to drill through the wood. I went hunting in the basement and the garage and, while I did find longer drill bits, they were all too large.

Thankfully, the bits I did have were long enough that, after drilling the pilot holes in one piece, I could position them on the other piece, “drill” though the pilot holes again, and make a mark on the other piece.

It worked most of the time. With the uneven wood, there were a couple of spots where the bit just wasn’t long enough to leave a mark.

Once I’d marked the pieces, I could drill more pilot holes, then screw them together.

When we used this wood to make the goat catcher, I had 3 inch screws, and only used two per corner. This was meant to be temporary, but I still didn’t expect it to be so wonky, it would end up bending and breaking the screws! So this time, I got 3 1/3 inch screws, and there’s 4 in each corner.

That thing is solid!

I started by attaching the 2 ft cross piece on the bottoms. The first corner was screwed together manually. Even with the pilot holes, it was not easy – and with arthritis in my wrists and fingers, rather painful. Our new drill isn’t a quick release type, and I didn’t want to be switching from drill bit to screwdriver tip, over and over, so I decided to use an old drill that we “inherited” to put in the screws.

That worked much faster!

Once the cross pieces were in, I got out a tape measure and figured out how much of an overhang I wanted on the roof supports. I decided to make the roof supports 3 1/2 feet long.

Lining those up at an angle was a pain in the butt! Once again, it was more about making sure the pieces matched, because there was no way I was going to be able to take usable measurements. I managed to get them lined up and the pilot holes done. By the time I was putting in the last set of screws, though, the drill was starting to complain, so I set them as far as I could before the drill started having a hard time, planning to screw them the rest of the way by hand.

When I took the screw driver tip off the drill, I realized I was seeing smoke coming out of the drill!! I remember that happening when we used it before. This old thing overheats very quickly!

By then, it was getting too cold to keep working outside, so I will continue the rest tomorrow. Once I have the 6 foot horizontal supports in place, we can take some measurements for the floor and wall boards.

The good thing is, we’ll be using the scrap wood in the junk pile. They are a lot thinner. That means I can finally use the table saw, and do all the cutting at once. 🙂 Those will be nailed into place; in cleaning up the basement, we found an old ice cream bucket full of nails that are just the right size for this job.

We can also go hunting in the barn or sheds for something to use as a roof. The roof supports are 3 1/2 feet long, but I hope to be able to have a sheet that’s 4 ft. The roof will be the last thing put in place.

After that, it’ll be done for this year. It’ll need to be painted, but we’ll be using it right away, so that will wait until spring. The one exception might be the roof, depending on what we find to use for that.

I hope to get a lot more done tomorrow, but that will really depend on the weather! At least they’re no longer predicting snow flurries, but who knows what the day will actually bring!

That reminds me. We need to bring the sheets of rigid insulation stored in the garage, back to the house. We’ll have to find a better way to get the sheets for the sun room windows to stay in place, though. At least this winter, we won’t be keeping the doors to outside propped open for the cats to go in and out, now that they have their own heated house! 🙂

Lots to do before winter sets in, that’s for sure! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties!

Beep Beep seems to enjoy her retirement to indoor life. This is how I found her this morning.

She just loves this corner of the couch, so my husband has been making nests for her.

Because we’re not sucks when it comes to the cats. Not at all!


The kittens were out and about this morning, so I made sure to get some photos. These are for you, Silk! A bit of virtual kitten therapy. 🙂

Rosencrantz sharing breakfast with a grandbaby!

I was going through some old photos last night and found photos of a cat I had forgotten about completely. They were taken last October. We were getting sudden visits from a white and grey tom. He didn’t hang around long, but I think he must still be around somewhere. He and Little Braveheart look very much alike!

Rosencratnz with… another grandbaby (or baby?)

I wasn’t able to get good pictures of Rosencrantz’s baby with the orange spots, but she was out this morning, too. 🙂

I had to zoom in to take this photo, with the cherry tree between us, so as not to startle Butterscotch’s babies away from the food.

Seeing Susan watching them from the window is just too funny!

Gosh, these guys look so small compared to the other kittens!

Little balls of fluff is all they are! I was eventually able to sit on a step near them, without them running away, but the calico and and the orange and white one stayed hidden in the mock orange beside me.

This little guy seems very suspicious of me!

What a cutie!

I’m curious abut Tabby’s mark on her nose. I thought it was a scar, but there is no sign of an actual wound. It’s an unbroken line of white fur.

I just love the patterns or grey in her fur.

Kittens are always a great way to start the day. 🙂

The Re-Farmer


It was a gorgeous evening tonight, so I headed outside to move the metal ring back to the taller apple tree stump and burn it away, along with more of the branches we’d pruned away, earlier in the year.

Before I set up there, though, I topped up the various containers we use for cat food. With all the kittens getting so big, the amount of food that used to last until the next morning, is pretty much gone by evening.

As I did the ones near the old dog house, mystery kitten came out from under it. It didn’t run away completely, though. It just went behind the doghouse, then peeked back at me.

When I came back from topping up the container by the junk pile for Butterscotch’s kittens, I saw this.

Mystery kitten (the one with it’s head above all the others) started to run off as I came closer, but came back. Much progress, there!

I’m starting to think this must be Junk Pile’s third kitten. It’s hard to say for sure, since we only ever saw glimpses, but I was sure it had even more white than Little Braveheart. But it seems to be most comfortable with this little group.

I found Butterscotch and her kittens playing among the squashes! Which, by the way, seem to still be surviving, so I haven’t picked the last of them yet.

While tending the fire, I had Potato Beetle with me the whole time. Which did make things a bit difficult, since he insisted in being in my arms!

Also, he is very sharp.

He doesn’t hang around as much, lately, and I think Butterscotch has something to do with that. While she will tolerate Creamsicle around her kittens, she has all out attacked Potato Beetle, even when he was just sitting on a log, nowhere near her kittens, minding his own business!

Speaking of Butterscotch’s kittens…

I had all 4 of them playing with me!

I have a log set up as a seat next to this old planter. It was cut at an angle and, the way it’s set up, I can’t sit on it and face the planter, because it’s tilted the other way. It makes it a bit awkward to play with the kittens when they decide to go into the planter, but there is one benefit to having to twist around to face them.

One of the orange tabbies has discovered I have a braid. A couple of times, he made a leap up at me, to try and get at it! He also kept trying to get my hand and fingers, batting with his claws retracted.

Not even our inside cats do that! 😀

Finally, as I was heading to put things away in the sun room, I had my biggest surprise.

Success has been achieved!

The tabby kitten was contentedly INSIDE the doghouse, watching me go by.

Though I have seen Creamsicle inside it, none of the other cats seems to want to go in, other than to reach the food bowl in the entrance. I am sure adding that big blanket we used for them in the sun room made the difference. I think they just didn’t like the flax straw inside very much.

I think we can now officially start calling this the cat house, instead of the dog house!

The Re-Farmer

Morning cheers

Today was a day to work on a whole bunch of little things that needed to be done or started – and a surprise breakage. Rather than do one huge post, I’ll split them up into a bunch of little posts.

But first, here’s something that cheered me up this morning.

Of course, there was checking on the babies.

It’s going to be interesting in the basement, when these guys start getting more mobile!

While doing my rounds, I had my furry escort, including Creamsicle…

He’s about 10 feet above my head in this photo! Of all the cats, he seems to be the one who loves to climb the most. 😀

What a great way to start the day!

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties, and keeping warm

Beep Beep was doing a good job of keeping her babies warm on this chilly morning.

She didn’t come out at all while I topped up her food and water

The basement actually maintains a pretty constant temperature, but while we didn’t get the predicted thunderstorms in our area, we did get quite a bit of rain, so the humidity has gone up a fair bit. The sump pump is doing its job, though, so that’s good.

Yesterday evening I spent some time working in the basement, leaving the door open. At first, only two of the upstairs cats came to check things out, which was a bit of a surprise, considering how interested most of them are over that door. Eventually, the others discovered the open door and came to visit. Beep Beep, however, preferred to check out what I was doing! 😀

Then she demanded cuddles. 😀

We did get the rest of the cats out for the night; they might be ignoring the babies for now, but why take chances?

Temperatures have gone down quite a bit, today, and it looks like we had rain on and off all night. As I write this, the temperatures outside are 4C (39F), with a “realfeel” of -2C (28F), and it’s expected to warm up only a couple of degrees. I am happy for the rain, but even though the sun room is still pretty warm, I decided to put the seed trays into the mini-greenhouse along with the light I used as a heat source for the cats’ water bowl last winter. Just for a little while. I don’t have grow lights, but I can at least give them a bit more warmth.

Even when doing my rounds, I didn’t see any of the outside cats at all, until I was coming back to the house and found Rosencrantz had come out for food. They’re all holed up somewhere, keeping warm and dry.

My daughter has her one shift of the week today, but other than heading to and from town, this will be an inside day, for sure. Definitely not going to be getting any work done on the new garden plot. Tomorrow is supposed to be just as chilly, but no rain, so by Tuesday, I hope to be able to get back at it. Things are not supposed to get actually warm again until the middle of the month. If all goes well, it will stay warm, I’ll have the new garden plot finished, get the carrots planted, and we’ll be ready to do transplants by the end of May.

Assuming the seed starts do well. I’m not too encouraged by what I’m seeing of the fennel. 😦

The Re-Farmer