A garden preview, and kitty video

Much of today has been a total waste. I got almost no sleep last night, and it was basically all because of the cats! First, there was the constant stream of cats wanting in and out. I swear, even the cats that are outside the door have a sense of when I’m finally lying down and comfortable in bed, because that’s when they start scratching at the door again! As the ladies have been able to tolerate more of the other cats, that means more scratching at the door to be let in or out.

All that, because we’ve got two cats that always go after Nosencrantz, forcing me to keep the door closed to keep them out!

The other cause of interruption was Nosencrantz.

I have one small window I can open – a window with a deep sill the cats like to sit on. The screens on all the new windows are high quality, but the cats have still managed to damage all of them. With mine, I tried to have most of it blocked off with a window fan, a salvaged metal mesh window screen and a hunk of Styrofoam insulation, to protect the screen, but even when the fan was put away for the winter and the window kept closed, the screen would get clawed at. I finally removed it completely – then had to hide it behind the metal mesh screen – because Nozencratnz still wanted claw at it!

We ended up getting what is supposed to be cat proof window screen, and have replaced the screens on several windows, mine included.

Yes. It’s supposed to be cat proof. However, I don’t think even cat proof window screen can withstand a cat sitting up on its hind end and going at it with both front paws! Even if the screen managed to survive the attack without getting holes, chances are it would get yanked right out of the frame, eventually.

That’s what I was trying to stop all night. Nosencrantz is fixated on clawing on that screen! I even jammed the salvaged screen in front of it. It’s narrower than the window, and Nosencrantz would just reach around the metal mesh screen, to claw at the window’s screen! There aren’t even any bugs or blown in fluff that she’s after. She’s just after the screen!

So that was another thing that had me getting up repeatedly. Oh, and also the sound of cats using the carpet as a scratching post, instead of the scratching post… 😕

I’ve now stolen my husband’s box fan, which fills the window almost completely. I just had to stick some cardboard between the wall and a shelf to cover a gap on one side. Hopefully, at least that problem is solved.

The whole thing left me feeling awful by morning. A sleep repeatedly interrupted is far worse than simply being up all night. It’s not even feeling physically sleepy that’s the problem, though I was so physically tired, I felt ill. It’s the affect on mental acuity that really knocks me out.

The girls took care of feeding the outside cats and taking the transplants out so I could sleep in, but I still found myself constantly awakened and having to open and close my door. I finally gave up and tried to leave it open, cat fight or no, only to have the breeze from my open window slam it shut, over and over!

Yeah. I was pretty miserable this morning, and finally gave up.

The afternoon, at least, was better after indulging in my last energy drink. 🙄 I finally went outside to see how much work I could manage to get done.

Which turned out to be far more than I expected.

I took a significant risk today.

I did some transplanting of squash and gourds!

Normally, these would not go in until about the middle of June, but some of them were getting quite large. I didn’t want to keep potting them up, and they were getting so big that taking them in and out of the sun room to harden off was damaging them.

I took photos of the progress and will put together a small video later, but here is a preview.

Four of the transplants were climbers, so I cleaned up the blocks and transplanted them here. Because they all can potentially get quite large, I put them in every other block. In the foreground is the Zucca melon. I put it there so it has room to expand away from the others.

I thought the next one was also a Zucca melon, but when I took out the label, it said African Drum gourd. We have extra, much smaller, seedlings of both. The next two are the Caveman’s Club gourds.

All of them are long enough that I was able to get their tendrils wrapped around the chain link fence and start training them up it or, with the Zucca melon, away down the side. These all are supposed to have fairly large fruit, though with the Caveman’s Club, they are more about length than girth. If any of these reach the point of developing fruit, we’ll figure out how best to support them.

The next thing that had to go in were the Crespo squash.

Then went into the bed we had a hulless pumpkin variety in last year, near the old squash/bean tunnel. This will likely be the last year we use this spot for gardening, and hopefully we’ll be able to plant something for our food forest here, next year. We shall see.

The Crespo squash plants can get really huge, which is part of the reason they went in this far away bed. The old rain barrel I filled yesterday is nearby – but it was only about a quarter full when I got to it today! I couldn’t see if it developed a new crack, or if the seal on one of the old ones gave out.

We really need more rain barrles.

I’m quite glad I found that one last hose in the old garden shed, so I could give this area a thorough watering. I’ll have to keep that up for at least a few days to make sure it’s damp through the new mulch, all the way down through the layers we put here, least year.

I’m reeeeaaallllyyy hoping I didn’t jump the gun by transplanting these so early. There is no sign of frost in the long range forecasts. In fact, June is looking like it’s going to be quite hot, and rainy. If, however, we do find ourselves with a frost warning, I think we’d be able to add covers to protect things fairly well.

After I was done and putting things away, I fed the outside cats for the evening (and chased away a couple of skunks eating their kibble!). Judgement is still limping, and the foot seems to be bothering him more. He still won’t let me look at it, so I tried seeing if I could sneak a look through my phone’s camera.

It didn’t really work, but I did get this video!

I did not get a response to my email to the vet, asking about being able to bring him in as we are able to catch him, without an appointment. I’ll have to remember to phone them, tomorrow.

So I did get at least something useful done today. If the weather holds, this early planting will make a big positive difference for things like the drum gourds and Zucca melon.

I’m not sure what I will plant in the empty blocks. Ideally, it would be some other climber, but since I expect the fence to eventually get completely engulfed by what just got planted, perhaps it would be better to choose a shade loving plant, instead. We’ll see.

I’m just happy to have gotten at least a bit of productivity in today!

The Re-Farmer


He’s back!

After none of us seeing him at all, yesterday, I was quite concerned about how Judgement was doing, so I was VERY happy to see him this morning! It looks like he spent our rainy night tucked warm and cozy in the shelf shelter.

His front paws look fine. I see no sign of injury. Not that I’m getting more than a glimpse, but he also followed me around while I did my rounds, as is his custom. No limping. No favouring of the paw. It’s as if there was never anything wrong! Whatever was causing him pain a couple of days ago seems to have worked itself out.

What a relief!

The Re-Farmer


When I headed out to top of the cats’ food outside last night, I saw Judgement coming over well after the other cats had gathered.

He was limping.

He was barely putting any weight at all on one of his front legs. He was also acting unusually nervous when I tried to come close – normally, he’s all for the pets! – but even when I did, I could not see an obvious wound. There might have been a puncture – possibly a bite – but there was no blood or anything like that.

Unfortunately, in trying to get close, I ended up spooking him, which made a noise, which spooked all the other cats, and they all exploded in every direction. Including Judgement.

Which meant he was running in a panic on an injured foot.

I let the family know so we’d all keep an eye out for him. This morning, I saw lots of kitties…

… but no Judgement.

The girls did their rounds early this morning, too, and saw no sign of him, either.

I hope he’s okay!

I did get a chance to look at the tuxedo’s paws as he followed me around today, and sometimes rolled on the ground. Yesterday, I’d seen a bit of blood on one toe, but there isn’t any now. He even let me remove a burr from his tail. Just one of the many stuck in his tail, but one is better than none!

I’m going to go worry about Judgement all day now, though. 😥

The Re-Farmer

Wounded boy

We’ve got a lovely day outside, and I was hoping to be able to do a burn. While setting up the burn ring, I noticed The Distinguished Guest was lurking about in the outer yard. He wouldn’t come near me, but I could still see that something was wrong.

I had to zoom in quite a bit to get this shot. That is a new wound on his leg. I sent the picture to the cat rescue lady, but since we can’t actually catch him, there’s nothing we can do but monitor from a distance. At least he’s still coming around for food. My guess is, the damage was done by Sad Face (AKA; Shop Towel). Sad Face has been quite aggressive towards TDG and some other cats, and he’s got the size and bulk to be the winner pretty much every time. I still see Sad Face around, but he runs off pretty quickly.

About the only positive thing I could make out is that TDG wasn’t actively limping as he walked around. He’s is such rough shape, though. He was a lot more social when he first showed up at our place, which is why we think he was dumped, but with Shop Towel beating on him, and likely getting chased away from other farms around us, he is a lot more feral now. I’ve only been able to get close to him when he’s been too hungry to be willing to leave the kibble.

He is not the only critter I saw today. When I first went outside to bring burnables out, I spotted a groundhog running away, first to the raised beds near the spruce grove, then skirting along the edge of the spruce grove towards the garage, then around the other side of the garage. Where he went after that, I couldn’t see. From the looks of the hole in the ground we found by the house when the snow first melted away, it’s possible it’s being actively used, and if it is, this might be the grog that’s using it.

I was really hoping to not have to deal with grogs in the garden this year.

Ah, well. It is what it is.

I’m more concerned about TDG.

As for the burn, it’s all set up, but we’ve got too many wind gusts to do a burn today, so it’ll have to wait. The burn ring is getting so full of ashes, we won’t be able to cover and let it smolder this time, but need to burn it down as much as possible, then clean out the ashes. Since we are slowly burning away the rotten pallets cleared out of where the wood pile used to be, before an electric furnace was installed, there’s a lot of nails in there, so we’ll be using the soil sifter over the wheel barrow to catch things like nails, as well as larger pieces of unburned wood. Since this is all from litter pellet sawdust and garbage, we can’t use the ashes in the garden, but we can dump it in some of the low spots in the outer yard.

This post has been oddly difficult to type. For some reason, Fenrir has decided she really, really wants to sniff and lick my keyboard, directly under my left hand. Earlier, she was trying to do the same thing with my mouse and mouse hand, and when I tried to stop her, she actually got angry enough to attack my hand and try to bight me! I can’t imagine what she could possibly be smelling on there all of a sudden.

But I digress.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a calmer day and we’ll be able to get that burn done. If possible, I’d like to do a controlled burn of the outer yard around there, but for that, I’d want to make sure to have enough hoses joined together to reach, and the water tap’s shut off valve in the basement turned on. It’s still freezing overnight, so we’d have to make sure to turn the valve off again.

It may be dipping below freezing during the night, but not by much, so I unplugged the extension cord to the cats’ house and put that away, then unplugged the outside heated water bowl. I haven’t bothered to unplug the heated water bowl in the sun room, yet, simply because I like for that cats to have access to at least some warm water during the night.

Okay, this is weird. Fenrir is back. It’s not my keyboard she’s trying to get at. It’s my left hand. I don’t know what I touched that she might be smelling, and I did wash my hands when I came back inside, so I have no idea what’s going on! Time to give up trying to type, though. Every time I remove her, she comes right back and tried to eat my hand!

What a strange girl.

The Re-Farmer

Poor Baby!

Oh, my poor Pointy Baby!

While doing the evening cat feeding, I heard a strange meow in the distance. I went to the outer yard to investigate, but could see nothing, and the meowing stopped.

I heard it again when I topped up the water bowls. It was such a strange meow, I went looking again. This time, I slogged through the snow to the pump shack, thinking one of the mamas had her kittens there. There was no mama, though I did hear tiny kitten meows. Oddly, they sounded like they were coming from just outside the wall. The only thing there is an old, collapsing mini she’d with no roof, and some old junk appliances. I stomped through the snow, anyhow, but could no longer hear kitten meows.

I did hear the strange meow again, though. From another direction.

Looking over, I could see one of the white and grey cats in the “basement ” window of the storage house that keeps falling off. When I heard the meow again, it seemed closer. So I headed towards the chain link fence.

That’s when I could finally see him.

There is a spot along that fence where the yard cats (and skunks) squeeze under to get through the fence. Even in winter, they wear the snow down to access the space.

Pointy Baby was there, but something was wrong.

It wasn’t until I slogged through more snow to reach him, that I could see his head was stuck through the chain link fence.

As soon as I saw him, I realized he had to have been stuck there at least all day. When I did the morning feeding, he wasn’t there, which was a first. How much longer he was stuck there, I can’t guess. The poor thing had been struggling for some time. He had worn out an area around him in the snow, and his lower body was all wet with mud.

I lifted him slightly to look, but could see there was no way I could get him out. I ran to the house to call the girls for help, saying we would have to cut the fence. My younger daughter remembered the bolt cutters, so whle she got shoes on, I ran to the garage to get them.

Between the two of us, we were able to cut him free without adding injury. While I cradled him to warm him up, my daughter did a quick check. One eye was dilated, and she could see where skin was rubbed raw under his chin, but no open wounds.

We headed to the house, where my other daughter brought a towel to wrap him in.

Pointy Baby, meanwhile, snuggled into my arms.

We brought him to my room, where we can keep him isolated. The girls started cleaning him up, checking him over and tending to him, while I called the vet.

It’s Easter, so they were closed, but the message included a number for a vet for emergencies. I called it and spoke to the vet, describing what happened, and how he looked.

She advised to to keep him warm, offer him soft food, and monitor him for an hour. If he got worse, to call her back.

During that time, my daughters kept cleaning his lower body with warm water, and looking him over. His mouth looks like he was somehow managing to bite the chain link. The corners are red and swollen.

We was completely placid the hole time. Even when my daughter started trying to brush out mats for fur.

Aside from the redness from the fence wire, there was a spot I saw before that was getting red because of his fur starting to mat so much. We started cutting the mats out, too.

He purred, even as multiple people worked on him at the same time.

He has shown no interest in food and water yet. In fact, he fell asleep while my daughter and I carefully sheered the huge mat that started under one ear and wrapped around the front of his neck.

It’s entirely possible that mat prevented worse damage to his neck.

Other mats we cut out still had burrsstuck in them.

After a while, he seemed to loose patience a bit. We got the worst out and cleaned up.

We have the baby jail set up for him, which means closing it to keep Marlee out.

For now, though, he is sleeping in my arms.

He’s wrapped in a towel, but I wanted to use my own body heat to keep him warm. I am using my phone to make this post, because I can’t use my desktop right now.

He seems to be sleeping peacefully right now. He would be recovering from shock. My only concern at the moment is that his dilated eye won’t close all the way. Every now and then, I have been gently holding the lids closed, so his eye won’t dry out.

Poor, sweet baby boy!

I will feel much better when I see him eating and drinking.

The Re-Farmer

K, I’m exhausted, plus hard times for kitties!

Today I took my mother for her follow up appointment with the specialist, to tell her how her scope went.

The one she still thinks didn’t happen, because she doesn’t remember the procedure.

The one where, even after the explanation by the pharmacist that seemed to mollify her, she still thinks prescribed her new medications, replacing other medications she suddenly now things worked so well (which rather contradicts why she went to the doctor over concerns that lead her to this specialist in the first place).

It didn’t help that, once we got there, we ended up waiting in the examination room for an hour before he came to see her!

My mother wasn’t at her worse behaviour towards me, but she certainly wasn’t having one of her better days.

I am so exhausted.

As for her procedure, they found no problems. No damage to her esophagus or trachea at all. No, he didn’t change her medications on her and did not give her any new prescriptions.

As for her not remembering the procedure, he talked about the medicine they put into her IV (she’d never mentioned an IV to me; only the throat spray) and how he’d talked to her about not finding any reason to take any samples…

It wasn’t until we were driving home that something finally cleared up for me. After her procedure, she talked to me about how a doctor she’d never seen before had spoken to her and told her they didn’t “finish” because she was on blood thinners, so she was convinced that taking samples was THE reason she was there, but they didn’t do anything at all, because she didn’t stop her blood thinners.

On the drive home, she suddenly asked me, was this the same doctor that we saw last time?

Yes, it was.

She didn’t recognise him. It must be because he was wearing a mask.

No, he wasn’t. No one at the clinic was wearing a mask.

Which is when I asked her if she hadn’t recognized him at the hospital. There was a pause, and I could almost hear the “click” in her brain, and she said, no, she hadn’t.

All this time, she thought the procedure had been done by a completely different doctor she’d never met before.

Once she realized what was going on, she commented that she’s been having a harder time remembering faces.


There was a whole lot of other stuff we talked about during the hours I spent with her, and most of them were not pleasant. Even telling her mundane stuff, like how we had to replace the parts inside the toilet tank, and need to call a plumber for the bathroom fixtures, she suddenly went off on a tangent about how I only ever talk about “bad” stuff, and how if I only went to church, we would have blessings and nothing would ever go wrong anymore. *sigh* She’s been watching too much TV prosperity gospel. Particularly stuff by people on talk shows, selling their books. God is not a magic genie in a bottle, there to answer our wishes.

It gets really mentally exhausting trying to keep up with the sudden changes in topic or getting blindsided by illogical assumptions.

It made the hours seem so much longer, that’s for sure.

But, it went over okay overall, even if she went off on how she wished she never saw this doctor, and that the procedure was a total waste of time, etc., etc.

I was more than happy to get home.

Before I settled in for the evening, though, I decided to feed the outside cats, first.

When I go into the old kitchen, the cats in the sun room hear the noises I make and get pretty active. I started to hear a very unusual meowing, though. One I did not recognise. I opened the inner door to see, and discovered The Distinguished Guest was there.

Then he turned to walk towards an empty food bowl.

Using only three legs.

He wasn’t putting any weight on one front paw, if he could avoid it. I couldn’t see any blood or obvious injury, but recently we’d heard a cat fight outside, and when my daughter checked, she saw it was Shop Towel and TDG again – the two toms that wander in and out, but don’t live here.

I’m so glad we brought Potato Beetle inside.

Poor TDG is having a really hard time, but he won’t let us near him. He was hungry enough to not run away completely while I was putting kibble out, but he did keep running off to other trays, as I moved around.

I’m still sure that he used to be a pet that got dumped. When he first showed up, he did allow us to pet him, but now he’s gotten completely feral.

I really don’t know how to help him. I don’t want to contact the rescue about him. For starters, we have no way of knowing when he’ll be around, so it’s not like we can count on trapping him. Plus, she’s still recovering from major surgery.

She did contact me last night, sharing about how Cabbages, the bitties, and the other outside kittens that got adopted out.

Including Plushy, who just went through some major surgery, too!

Thankfully, he went to a family of means!

He had been perfectly fine until one morning, he threw up and there was blood. They immediately took him to a vet. They X-rayed him and found an intestinal blockage, from a twist. It’s the sort of thing that can happen randomly and has no specific cause. They put him into surgery immediately, and found all his intestines were messed up. It ended up taking a team of 3 vets 4 hours (and $6000, up front!!!!) to save him. Apparently, they were amazed he didn’t die as a kitten, with how is insides looked. !!!

He is now on special food, because his intestines are now shorter, but is doing fine. In fact, other than throwing up blood that one time, there had been no sign of any problems at all! While he was living with the cat lady and getting vet care, there was no sign of problems. Of course, while he was living here, when he finally decided that human contact was an enjoyable thing, we saw no issues, either. Yet, apparently his insides were messed up and, while it’s not actually unusual, when it happens, they usually die as kittens.

The Cat Lady even commented about how so many cats from us have had problems. With Tissue, it was behavioural. Cabbages had her major health problems (she’s doing fantastic now, and angry at the Cat Lady for being chastised after stealing a chicken leg off the counter), Muffin is a total homewrecker that is all over her husband, but won’t let the Cat Lady come near her, and of the two bitties they still have, the tuxedo turns out to have a “grade 3” heart murmur, which is apparently the most common type. Not a major issue, but still something to keep an ear on.

The bitties are going to be fixed during spring break, and they are totally loving life with the Cat Lady and the other rescues!

I wonder if we’d ever even discover they had issues if they had remained yard cats? Yard cats tend to have such short life spans, we’d probably never know if they disappeared because of something like this, or if a coyote or eagle or something got them.

I’m just glad the family that has Plushy now was both willing and able to have her taken care of!

The Re-Farmer

Tissue is home!

This is so totally amazing. Just look at her!

You wouldn’t even know she was injured!

Yesterday, the right side of her mouth and cheek were all red. They’d cleaned her up, so that was from being so swollen. Her front paws, as well.

While she has a hairline fracture in her jaw, the cut on her tongue is actually the worst injury. We’ll have to monitor it, in case it starts getting infected. If it does, we’ll probably smell it before we see it. We’ve got medication for her for the next five days, to be given with food, and she’s on soft food only for a while. We currently have her in baby jail, with the door closed, and Butterscotch has taken it over from Marlee. This way, we can also monitor her food.

She was completely calm during the ride home. We had to use my mother’s car again (still no word on the financing for the replacement vehicle, so the van is still prepped for trade in), and my daughter road in the back with her. She was able to open the door and hold her paws, while Tissue used her hand as a pillow.


Currently, she’s behind me, growling at any cat she sees. Even Cheddar! It’ll take her some time to calm down.

Her bloodwork came back perfect. We will also keep an ear out for her lungs, because she was so frozen.

Speaking of which…

… this is where she got up into the engine compartment. The car was put together (car! ha! It’s a Nissan Armada. A perfect vehicle for our winters!!) enough that the Cat Lady was able to drive it, but she still didn’t have any heat. That will be fixed later. Somehow, Tissue squeezed her way up, basically into the fan belt, and got stuck. They could only see her tail. If they had tried to start the vehicle, the fan belt would have killed her. If they had tried to put it in neutral and push it into the garage, she would have been crushed. The only way to get her out was to dismantle the engine. By the time they got to her, she was unconscious from the cold. At the vet, they had to put stuff on her eyes to protect them, because they wouldn’t close or move.

The mechanics were amazed by the damage. When they first called the dealership garage, they thought the Cat Lady was talking about a squirrel stuck in there, because the space is so small. So was the space she first got into, by the muffler. That spot, where she would have been when they drove around, could not be seen. She would have been quite cozy in there, though it would have been a tight fit, and kept warm by the muffler while they were driving, but once the vehicle was off, that metal would have sucked the heat right out her. They asked about having the space blocked off, so no other animal could get in, but it’s there for a reason, and can’t be sealed off.

She was able to get out of that, at least. The space into the engine compartment was smaller, then once she got stuck, she just panicked and started destroying anything she could reach. As for the damage to the hoses, the mechanic said that was the sort of damage a racoon might make. That it was done by a cat was astonishing.

She did $3000 in damage to their vehicle.

When the cat lady paid the bill, I hear the receptionist saying it was something over $1,300.

I feel so bad. All this over what was supposed to be a cheap spay!

Meanwhile, as far as she knows, the Cat Lady is still scheduled for major surgery tomorrow. Whether is gets cancelled at the last minute, it’s still hard to say.

While at the veterinary hospital and talking to the staff about Tissue as they called up the billing information, they started talking about how much they were going to miss her. It seems she was very affectionate, and all over the staff. My daughter described her habit of spinning around while being pet, and they just started nodding; she was doing the same thing for them!

She’s acting like she’s got no injuries at all. The Cat Lady made sure to stay out of her sight as best she could, in case Tissue associates her with trauma now. She was calm in our carrier, the whole time. Not that she’d be able to break out of this one. It has clips to lift the top off, but since it has a door at the top, we never use them, so we added the screws to hold it together. Even if the clips get opened, that thing won’t come apart without a screwdriver.

Everyone is just amazed by her recovery. Especially the staff at the vet’s.

Now that Tissue is home, she’s here to stay! Adopting her out is now out of the question, as is taking her to be spayed.

No, she’s not out of the woods yet, but it’s mostly just observing her, and giving her tongue and jaw time to heal.

Under the circumstances, we couldn’t have gotten a better prognosis.

The Re-Farmer

Good news!

I just got back from taking Potato Beetle to the vet, and we’re much relieved!

The poor thing did NOT like being there. The vet quickly found a wound on the leg he was favouring – one we were never able to spot – but he had to be sedated before she could shave the area and get a good look at it.

Part of the area was already hairless from a scar, but hidden in the fur were two puncture wounds. One is barely visible in the photo. She thinks the critter that did it (and I have a good idea which one it was!) hit a tendon while yanking the way critters do. My guess is that one fang basically got hung up, causing more damage than a simple bite would have done.

The vet gave him a thorough examination and spotted another wound.

This was on his other paw, and probably causing him pain, too. She was thinking he probably had a hard time deciding with leg to limp with! It’s an older wound, though, and scabbed over, so she didn’t want to poke at it too much.

After a cleaning, both wounds got some antibiotic cream on them. Then, because as friendly as Potato Beetle is, he’s still very much a yard cat, he was given a 14 day antibiotic. He also got a 24 hr pain killer. We talked about the possibility of a pain killer we could administer at home, but that’s just not going to happen. He’ll have his 24 hrs of relief, and that’s it. We’re not going to torment him, trying to give him oral medications.

She also put a gel on his eyes so they don’t try out, since he wasn’t blinking while sedated. The sedative should wear off in a couple more hours.

I had arrived about half an hour early, but they were able to get us into an examination room right away. By the time we were done and I was paying the bill – which was quite a bit lower than we feared – we were leaving just minutes after the actual appointment time. Bonus!

For the next few days, we’ll continue to keep him in the sun room, continue to keep the wounds clean and use antibiotic cream on them. He should recover just fine. When I brought him into the sun room with the cat carrier and opened the door, I left him be and brought the food bowl closer. He actually got up and left the carrier, but kept slumping down every few steps. I put him in the soft pillow nest we’ve got for him in there. He rarely uses it, but it’s in a box and is a more secure spot. I’ve also left the cat carrier in there for now, in case he wants a “cave” to curl up in once he’s more active again.

In other good news, today turned out to be a very lovely day. While my phone’s animated display thinks we’re snowing, it’s been a lovely, sunny day. We even reached a high of 5C/41F. Things have been melting away quite nicely.

As for tomorrow’s cancelled court date, my brother chose a reschedule date that worked for him – in November. We should get a letter in the mail, confirming the date. Maybe over the next few months, our vandal will realize he has no case and withdraw the file. I doubt it, though. He’s doing this out of maliciousness, not reason. Whatever. It’ll work out. I’m just bothered by the fact that my brother keeps having to book days off work for this, and nothing is moving foreword.

I might still make the drive, though, if only to get to a Walmart or something, and hopefully find another big bag or two of kibble. I was only able to get one big bag, locally. The Walmarts have been out of stock on cat kibble a lot, too, but at least I’ll have other places I can try. We’ll see how it works out.

For now, I’m just happy that Potato Beetle was not hurt too badly, and should heal up soon. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Ghost’s Baby!

We did get a little bit of snow last night. According to the past 24 hr data, we never dipped below 3C/37F. Which means the seedlings in the sun room handled the less severe temperature drop last night just fine, from the looks of it so far.

I had quite a surprise this morning, though.

While setting food and water out for the outside cats, I suddenly heard a very distinctive mewing sound. ALL the cats (only about 7 or 8 this morning) whipped their heads around to look! It took a moment, but I finally spotted Ghost Baby running across the snow by the storage house.

With a kitten in her mouth. A little, dark mewling baby.

Poor thing! It is way to cold and snowy to be having kittens this early.

Last year, I believe she had her kittens under the former workshop that is now stuffed with my parents’ belongings. How many she had – or how many survived – we have no way of knowing. I think one of the ‘iccuses is hers.

I figure she was trying to bring her kitten(s) closer to food, water and more secure shelter by the house. It’s unlikely she’d be bringing them to the cat’s house. The space inside it too big and open, and too many other cats use it. She was headed in the direction of the pump shack, where I know Rosencrantz has had kittens before – though last year she had her kittens in the junk pile near the chain link fence, which is why we now have a kibble tray under the shrine. I don’t think she was actually going for the pump shack, though, but just heading that way because my presence startled her.

We have a shelf by the sun room door with leftover pieces of rigid insulation covering the bottom two shelves, with openings, so that cats can use it as shelter. The “floors” have sheets of insulation, too. They’ve been pretty rough on the insulation across the front, and one side was almost completely broken up and off. It’s unlikely but, just in case, I found some more scraps of insulation and recovered one side, leaving smaller openings into the two bottom shelves. I think the spaces inside might still be too open for the comfort of a mama cat and kittens, and certainly there’s too much foot traffic, but if the adult cats use it, that leaves more hidey holes for mamas.

I did see Ghost Baby again, running into the kibble house to join the others for food. She came from a completely different direction. Another possible location for kittens is the junk pile at the edge of the spruce grove. I supposed I should stop calling it a junk pile, since we’ve cleared off most of the junk and it’s mostly a stack of salvaged boards. Butterscotch has had several litters tucked away under there since we’ve moved here. With Butterscotch now indoors, that leaves some prime real estate open. There’s also the space under the old garden shed, but there’s a lot of snow in the way, and there’s a groundhog den under it now.

With the cold and snow we’ve been having, the chances of any kittens born now surviving are not that good. I think Ghost Baby is a good mama, though, and has found a better place for her litter, however many there may be.

Meanwhile, as I was fussing with the shelf shelter, Potato Beetle got outside again! I let him be while I finished with the shelf, then snagged him back into the sun room. His appointment with the vet is this evening, so we don’t want to loose track of him! He is still favouring the leg, but moving around fairly well. I hope that means the injury is fairly minor. I think mostly we need to just keep him away from the other cats that are beating on him. He’s not the “top dog” anymore.

I think we’ll need to keep an eye outside today, and see what’s going on with Ghost Baby. If we can figure out where she’s put her kitten(s), we can move some food and water trays closer, so she doesn’t have to go all the way to the kibble house. Assuming we can get to where she is, through the snow. :-/

The weather forecasts have, of course, changed. The predicted temperatures are a bit lower, and we’re now supposed to be getting small amounts of both rain and snow over the next few days. Tonight, we were supposed to get sleet, but now it’s saying “ice pellets”. !!!

As long as the roads stay clear and relatively dry. Not only do we have the vet appointment this evening, but I’ve got to go to court tomorrow morning. Hopefully, the judge will see our vandal has no case against me and throw it out, but the way things went with our restraining order application that took a year to finally get settled, it may well just be a 10 minute session to book a new trial date. My brother is taking time off work to be there as my witness, though, so this is a major inconvenience for him. Our vandal is retired, and has all the time in the world for crap like this, so he doesn’t care. :-/

What a pain.

Well, it will be what it will be. Not much I can do about that now.

I’m going to go bake some bread now, and angst about newborn kittens in the cold.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: moving into the sun room

You know how it gets, when you start one thing, then end up doing more, or go to check on something only to find yourself doing a bunch of other things, just because you’re there, anyway?

Yeah. That was most of my day. 😀

One of those things happened while preparing to write my previous post, and I noticed some deer on the security camera, running up the driveway. I went to check on where they were going and, sure enough, one headed for the kibble house.

The sun was blinding me while trying to take the photo, so it wasn’t until I went out to chase off the deer from eating the kibble, that I finally saw the skunk!

The skunk quickly ran off and, within moments, the cats were back in the kibble house, eating.

Then Potato Beetle politely asked for cuddles, so I stayed in the sun room holding him, which is why I was there to see the deer try and return, several times!

This deer was going for the kibble house because it had been chased away from the feeding station by the three deer I’d seen running up the driveway!

Then, since I was in the sun room anyhow, I started working on the shelf we’ll be moving seedlings onto. With Potato Beetle still being kept in there, I moved the warming lamp to the bottom shelf, which we will leave clear for him, then emptied and set up a higher shelf. That shelf doesn’t get as much light, so the little bins with the tulip tree and paw paw seeds in them got moved up (still no idea if those will ever germinate).

Once that was ready, it was time to go through the big aquarium greenhouse and the mini-greenhouse to collect the largest seedlings and transfer them to the sun room, using some of the bins I picked up.

The two Wonderberries turned out to be too tall for the shelf!! so they got put into buckets and joined the first one on the shelf. They are in biodegradable pots, and I didn’t feel like fussing with aluminum foil, like we did for the first one.

I also had to prune flower buds off the little Wonderberry plants!

It’s not in the photo, but while clearing the extra shelf, I brought down the pot that my daughter buried the cucamelon tubers in. I set it up in the window with the Wonderberry and watered it. Who knows. We might have some cucamelons this year, after all!

Here, the Canteen gourds, two of the Crespo squash, and three of the Cup of Moldova tomatoes got set up next to the trays with the onion seedlings.

A bin with all Cup of Moldova tomatoes got set up on the next shelf down. If they look all bent over, that’s because they were starting to get crowded in their shelves in the mini-greenhouse! A piece of rigid insulation that had been laying on the shelf next to where the bin was placed, got set up to create a wall.

Just in case Potato Beetle manages to get onto the other half of the shelf and decides to do a Susan on the seedlings, and try to eat them.

Hopefully, Potato Beetle won’t be in the sun room for much longer, and we’ll be able to use that bottom shelf, too.

This afternoon, however, he was quite content to watch the activity from the comfort of my husband’s walker!

Once everything was set up, the bins and trays got watered, the reflector was put back in position, and I turned on the shop light that’s hanging on the inside of the shelf, where things are in shadow. It was 20C/68F in there, so I left the warming lamp off. It’ll get turned on again when things start cooling down.

Hopefully, the seedlings will do well in the sun room. I’m still concerned about those overnight temperatures. There’s only so much that little light we’re using for its warmth (as is Potato Beetle!) can do, and there’s no safe way to set up the ceramic heat bulb without some sort of metal frame, since the frame of the mini-greenhouse we used before is being actively used as… you know… a greenhouse.

The mini-greenhouse now has two completely empty shelves and, after re-arranging things, there’s even room in one of the trays for more pots. There will be room for the next seeds we will be starting this week, though I think the Kulli corn, which will be in bins, will be going straight into the sun room. We’ll see how whether the bins can fit in the big aquarium greenhouse or not. There is also still the small aquarium greenhouse. Seedlings don’t thrive in it, but it should still be suitable to keep pots until their seeds germinate and, hopefully, we’ll be able to move any seedlings out to a better spot soon after.

It feels like we’re juggling pots and seedlings! Which I guess we are.

The Re-Farmer