Cat pile, totally flat, and enjoying a quiet day

My husband got this picture last night.

Just mashed together in that corner! Adorable. Later on, the entire bench was covered, and there was even one on the camp chair next to it.

This morning, I couldn’t even get a head count, they were all running around so much. It wasn’t any warmer, yet, but they seemed to be really enjoying the bright sunshine!

While doing my rounds, I made sure to check on the van.


What I found yesterday that looked like was the likely damage is now completely hidden. I’ve contacted our mechanic to let him know I won’t be home on Monday, when he was hoping to call me if he’s been successful in finding us a replacement vehicle, and also let him know we’ll be bringing the van back to get the flat fixed sometime next week.

I don’t even want to think about it right now.

Tomorrow, I’ll be prepping for staying overnight with my mother, including bringing my own food. Probably drink, too. I’m hoping she’ll accept my Lenten fast as the reason for that, but it’s not her idea of fasting, so I’ll probably be given a hard time about it. I also just don’t want to be eating her grocery supplies!

So today, I’m going to basically take a break and enjoy a quiet day. It’s going to be a while before I get another one!

The Re-Farmer

Fuzzy grub

I was a bit startled while putting the kibble out for the cats this morning. I did not expect to see a tiny, fuzzy orange grub, under the water shelter!

It ran under the cat house, but when I came back after the kibble was all set out, I found it again.

There is something about its fuzziness that make it look like some kind of caterpillar when it moves!

After I got this photo, I was able to reach out and pick it up for the first time. I was careful to just hold it close and give it ear skritches and gentle pets, so it would associate human contact with warmth and pleasant feelings. Then I put it onto the kibble tray inside the entry to the cat house, rather than back in the snow. Yes, I could have brought it inside, but this was the first time it was held, and I didn’t want to traumatize it by taking it away from its mother and siblings so suddenly. I’d rather go slowly, while that’s still an option.

The cold has set in today; as I write this, we’re at -23C/-9F. The weather app says we have a wind chill of -33C/-27F, but we seem to be sheltered from that. It was nice and sunny, with no wind, so I was able to do some shoveling around the cat shelters and the south side of the house. Amazingly, in less than a week, the forecast now says we are supposed to have a couple days at 0C/32F!! Talk about temperature whiplash!

Right now, I need to talk myself into going to town. We have a couple of our water jugs waiting to be refilled. I just don’t want to go anywhere.


The Re-Farmer

First snow

Overnight, we got our first real snowfall. From what the live feed on the security camera showed, it looked like we had a storm, but it was just high winds blowing around a small amount of snow – just enough to cover the ground and stay.

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to reach a high around 5C/41F, so it should all by gone soon.

It made for a new adventure with the kittens! While I tried to do a head count, I found quite a few didn’t even bother coming out of the cats’ house, including the bitty baby. I do wish they wouldn’t knock the water bowl out of reach. I’d love to make it so that they could have water along with food in there.

I think I counted 29 in total, but I’m not completely sure.

When I was done my morning rounds, I checked on them again. I could see them balancing along the edges of the water bowls, and doing the cold toes dance at the food trays below. They don’t do that in the kibble house, thanks to the sheet of insulation under the floor.

The water levels were still low, so I heated up some more water to finish topping them up. I also raided the bin with scrap pieces of rigid insulation. There was one that just fit the length of the water shelter, and three water bowls could fit on that. Another piece went under the big heated water bowl that doesn’t work, next to the ramp. There’s an old crocheted blanket in the corner that used to be inside the cats’ house. I’d tossed it into there to get it out of the weather, then left it when I found the cats were using it. A couple more scrap pieces of insulation went against the walls in the corner, held in place by the blanket, for a bit more shelter. More pieces went under the kibble trays on the ground below. The trays will keep them from blowing away. I’d have added more, but at the time I didn’t have anything handy to weight them down without getting in the way of the cats.

Before I did all that, I had fixing to do. The tarp on the far side of the shed we’d covered had come completely loose from their nails, and some of the nails had even fallen out. No surprise, with the high winds we had last night. The only thing that kept the tarp from being blown off entirely was the weight from the length of PEX pipe that had been tied along the end! The only thing I had to improve the situation was a box of large cup hooks. After straightening out the tarp as best I could (it had bunched up along the pipe), I screwed in the hooks and tied the tarp down more thoroughly than before – I hope. It would be good to replace those with stronger eye hooks later but, to be honest, I don’t know how much good that would do. The cup hooks are not very strong and are likely to break if the winds are high enough, but the wood is so weakened with age that stronger hooks would get torn right out of the wood.

We really need new sheds to replace these old ones. Or one large building to replace them all, including the barn. One of those would probably cost less than multiple sheds.

Something else for the list, after we pick up our lotto winnings!

Oh. I suppose that would require buying a ticket, eh? 😉

It was about -5 or -6C (23 or 21F) at the time. Not particularly cold, but chilly to be in for as long as it took to get that tarp tied down again! Of course, I’m always fretting about the littlest kittens, so I made sure to check on them again.

Yeah… I think they’re good.

The Re-Farmer

Wet, wet kitties!

It’s been raining pretty steadily all night, and it will continue through today. Thankfully, it’s been a moderate rain, and not any severe downpours.

When I came out this morning, I was greeted by a whole bunch of wet rats.

By far, the wettest was Broccoli, who is still pregnant, but she kept running away every time I tried to take a picture.

I finally got a picture with her in it – and an even wetter Potato Beetle!! He looks like he went through a puddle, and had straw and burrs caught in his tail.

Wise boy that he is, he soon followed me into the sun room.

He’s still there, as I write this. 😀

I wasn’t able to see much of the kittens through the biggest cat’s house window, but when the girls went out later, they were surprised to see several adult cat heads, peering at them through the window! They were able to see a kitten behind them, but didn’t want to stay too long or get too close and disturb them. I’m surprised about the other cats. Since Junk Pile had her kittens, I’ve only seen her in there.

Hopefully, this means that Broccoli will decide to have her kittens in there, too, and that the other adult cats will continue to leave the babies alone.

The Re-Farmer

Seventeen? Eighteen?

My husband and been able to feed the outside cats this morning, so it wasn’t until I went out to top up their kibble trays that I was able to see a lot of them.

Since the newcomer – whom the girls call our Distinguished Guest – showed up, we have been up to 20 yard cats.

I think I see seventeen, here.

Or is it eighteen?

We have four orange cats right now. Rolando Moon is in the foreground. Toesencrantz is in the middle of the kibble house. Creamsicle Baby is against the back. I took several photos and, even zooming in on the full sized files, I can’t quite make out if there’s a Nutmeg mashed between Creamsicle and the back wall!

Well, if he’s there, he would be number 18. I’d dashed out without bothering to put on a coat, so I wasn’t about to hang around too long to get a head count!

The Re-Farmer