She’s back!

Rolando Moon is back!

We have not seen this lady in ages!

And she is HUNGRY!

The poor thing is so skinny. In the photo, you can even see the hollows near her hips. She has always been a big, beefy cat. This is the thinnest we have ever seen her.

When my daughters saw her, there was no food left in the kibble house, so they refilled the trays a bit. Unfortunately, that brought Potato Beetle over, and he immediately started a fight with Rolando. Rolando has always been rather mean to the other cats, but now they all seem to have it in for her. I’ve seen Butterscotch and Rosencrantz go after her, too.

So my younger daughter took one of the food containers over by the sun room and stayed with her as she ate like she was starving, keeping Potato Beetle away and giving her some love. Rolando would go from ignoring the pets while eating, or stopping to hiss – then lean in for more pets! She was always the sort that would let you pet her, then turn around an bite at you.

Later on, Potato came around and went after her, and just wouldn’t stop. She ran up a tree and he ran right after. Even when we got out the hose to spray him, he kept trying to fight her, ignoring the water. They were so high up, one of my daughters ended up climbing up a step ladder to be able to spray him more directly, and finally got him down, eventually shooing him out of the inner yard completely.

Last I saw, Rolando Moon was still in the tree, but she had gone down lower and was settled into a comfortable crook.

I do hope she stays around, and that we can keep the other cats from going after her. She is one of the cats that I have photos of from when my younger daughter and I had made a road trip out, staying here at the farm with my dad, back in 2015, along with Beep Beep and Butterscotch.

As glad as I am that Potato Beetle is back, he has not been good for the other cats. At least he doesn’t go after the kittens; just the adults. Rolando Moon is not a cat that we could ever bring indoors, but this old girl deserves some peace and love!

The Re-Farmer

Morning critters, and a break in the rain

I am happy to say that, yesterday, I was wrong in doubting we could get any of the predicted rain.

Very wrong!

It poured hard! This is the rain shooting off the end of the rain barrel diverter. Everything is getting so nice and green again. I might even have to mow the lawn again at some point! It’s a bit late to add grass clippings as mulch in the garden, but it certainly will be used, if we do get some.

One of the things I am happy to see when I first come out to do my rounds is Junk Pile’s kittens. They have been coming to the kibble house more often, and while they still run away in a panic when I come out, they are quicker to return.

Inside the kibble house are three of Butterscotch’s kittens, plus Junk Pile in the far corner, while Butterscotch is eating from the container on the ground. That is the container I’d been leaving out by the junk pile, and later the concrete steps, for her and her babies, but now that they are also coming to the kibble house, I brought it over. After taking the photo, I moved it to under the roof on the other side of the kibble house. I did see Junk Pile’s kittens in the kibble house with Butterscotch’s kittens, but with how shy they are, I figure having food on the other side would be nice for them. They come from that direction and, sometimes, instead of running off, they’ll squeeze under the cat’s house to hide. It’ll eventually join the other containers in the kibble house, but this will also keep things a little less crowded. Especially with the adult cats asserting their pecking order with each other.

Which is why I’m still putting food out by the other junk pile for Rosencrantz, Nosencrantz and Toesencrantz. It helps keep the peace, and they seem to prefer eating there.

I’d been moving the kibble container for Butterscotch and her babies around, to encourage them to come closer to the house. Having it on the concrete steps has been a bit of an issue, as I kept finding the container elsewhere. Likely dragged around by skunks. So yesterday, I put it in the slightly raised bed near the steps, where the cats like to hang out.

This morning, I found it half under the lilacs.

I also found this.

That corner is exactly where I’d put the kibble container. This is the first time I’ve seen this area dug up like that! The skunks don’t usually dig that deep. The larger hole goes under the wood, and was dug from the other side, too.

I suspect the rains brought a lot of grubs closer to the surface, and with this bed being so heavily mulched, it’s a lot softer than the soil outside of it. Snack time for the skunks!

Today, we are supposed to have a break from the rain, at least in our area. There are, once again “overland flow flooding” warnings near rivers. I should check out the gravel pit dugout again, later today. Light rains are supposed to return tomorrow, and again later in the week. After that, it should warm up again, a bit. We’re at 17C/63F right now, but in a few days, we’re expected to reach 20C/68F and stay in that range for at least the next couple of weeks. Perfect to get some big jobs done, outside!

For now, I leave you with one more photo. The adorable Nosencrantz, watching me as I checked on the potatoes!

She is such a cutie! And my younger daughter has even managed to pet her!

The Re-Farmer

Critter of the Day: breakfast

These are from this morning, when I brought kibble to the bowls I brought back to the pump shack.

Rosencrantz had already come out and looked to be heading for the house, but hung around when she saw me, then came to eat after I put food in the bowls. She comes to the house for food but, for some reason, Beep Beep and Butterscotch (especially Beep Beep) have been very mean to her and chasing her away. So even though I was mere feet away, I think she was glad to get food here!

Digital zoom, here. My apologies for the poor quality of the image.

She has the strangest dark patches on her cheeks, below each eye!

I had to walk past her to go back to the house, which made her nervous, but not enough to leave the food.

Where those noises I could hear in the pump shack?

Why, yes! Look who’s getting brave!

Since discovering them back in the pump shack, I propped the door open a few inches in such a way that it can neither blow open more, nor close, so it’ll be easier for them to come in and out. I think they like that.

Pump shack baby is also hungry!

I want to snuggle. That. Face!!!!

Bribery will get you everywhere

We have had little success in getting the kittens more comfortable with us, though we have been able to touch the odd one.

This evening, we resorted to outright bribery.

Wet cat food.

It worked.  Kinda.

Beep Beep and her kittens were out, and we started off with a can of paté.  They quickly finished it off.

So I brought out a second can of chunks in gravy cat food.

I even found a broiler pan in the old garden shed to put the food on.

Why there was a broiler pan in the garden shed, I have no idea.  But I will leave it there to put the cat kibble on, instead of in the dirt, until the kittens start regularly coming around the other side of the house to the food bowls there.

My daughter was able to pet BOTH of Beep Beep’s babies!

20180808.kittens

Once their bellies were full enough, they were no longer willing to let my daughter pet them.  The tuxedo is a little more willing, but it will step back and hiss when touched.  The tabby just runs off.

They are getting so big. 😀

We won’t be able to keep this up, since canned cat food is so much more expensive, but I hope we’ll eventually get them associating us humans with good things, and that they will become more socialized.

The Re-Farmer