Pushing her limits, and changes of plans

Now that we have the living room barricaded to the cats and turned into a plant room, we’ve decided that we will work on bringing Nosencrantz and Marlee in with us every now and then, to try and get them used to being outside of my office/bedroom, but not have to worry about other cats.

Yesterday, I was able to grab Nosencrantz and give it a go.

She was not happy.

I set her on the couch while setting up my tea and trying to find something to watch on TV for a while. Ended up watching The French Chef, because absolutely nothing newer appealed to me! Once I settled on the couch, I shifted her over against my leg, she leaned hard against me and did. Not. Move. for nearly an hour. When she finally did move, it was to tuck her face against my leg.

Which is an improvement from previous times we tried bringing her out. The last time I did, she crouched onto a step between the old and new parts of the house, frozen in panic, even as other cats had to basically jump over her to go through the doorway. She was so stressed, she shat herself. *sigh*

With no other cats around, she was definitely stressed, but not to that point. We’ll need to do this more often.

The frustrating thing is that, if I could just leave my door open, I’m sure she would eventually go exploring. As would Marlee and maybe Butterscotch. Unlike the other two, Butterscotch is not the least bit stressed out, has zero interest in leaving the room, and is very happily living her best life. If the door is open, some – not all – of the other cats come in and out, which would be fine…

Except for Turmeric.

While other cats will sometimes go for Nozencrantz in particular, or maybe even act aggressive towards Butterscotch and Marlee, it’s not much different from when they get ticked off at each other. Even with Potato Beetle added to the mix, aside from the rare altercation with one of the other males, his integration into being an indoor cat has been seamless. Why it’s so different with both the ladies, I just can’t figure out. Especially since, when Butterscotch and Nosencrantz were first brought into the house, Nosencratnz did leave the room and start exploring. Then some of the other cats got aggressive with her, and she’s been a bundle of stress and anxiety ever since.

Turmeric, however, is the one cat that is most aggressive. She’ll be absolutely fine, but as soon as she comes into my room, it’s like she’s hunting for the ladies. I tried having my door open last night, just because I was tired of having to get up every few minutes to let Leyendecker, Cheddar or Fenrir in and out, over and over. The other cats ignored the open door. Only Turmeric came in, saw Marlee in her favourite spot in Baby Jail (we still have the cage set up, simply because Marlee likes going in there so much, and Butterscotch likes to sit on top of it), and made a beeline straight for her, snarling away. She wouldn’t stop, and I had to close my door again. *sigh*

So we’ll see how it works, bringing them out for supervised time in the plant room. Marlee doesn’t like to be picked up or carried, so it might be a bit harder to get her in there.

All in good time.


My plans for the day changed a bit. I was debating whether or not to go to my mother’s today or tomorrow, as I had some things for her. Then I got a call from my brother. He just had a very strange call from my mother. She started talking to him about some disturbing dreams she had, then said she thought he should come visit. He told her he was taking a test right then, so that wouldn’t be a good idea.

The line went dead.

He tried calling her back, but her line was busy. After about 7 times trying to get through to her, he finally called me.

Only then did he realize he’d forgotten to pause his test. It’s a timed exam!

He’s really stressed out about this exam. The last I talked to him, there were no exam times available until next month, so getting to do it today had to have been a pretty last minute thing. He’s been working on this course for some months now, and he’s concerned that if he doesn’t pass it, it might actually put his job at risk. I can’t imagine him failing the exam, but understand the stress he’s feeling. His employer has paid thousands of dollars for this course, and the exam along costs over a thousand dollars – and if he fails, it’s another thousand + to take it again later.

My mother would have no ability to understand what he’s going through. It’s so completely out of her experience, and outside her ability to comprehend.

So he was quite concerned about her. He wasn’t sure if she’s accidentally hung up by pressing a button on the phone with her face, or if she deliberately hung up, or of something else happened. Especially with the line being busy immediately after. Even with calls between him and I in the past, we’ve had weird things happen with the line, and one of us would try to call back the other only to get a busy signal because, at the other person’s end of the line, it hadn’t been cut off yet.

I told him I was considering visiting her this afternoon, and promised I would check up on her. He, meanwhile, did try to call her again, and finally got through.

It turns out that yes, she did hang up on him, and immediately called our sister, because she “didn’t hear what she wanted to hear”. So was our sister going to come over? Oh, no. She’s working today. I don’t think my mother even asked her to come over.

First, our sister works nights. She had plenty of time to come over for a quick visit.

Two, since he was in the middle of this test when my mother called, she was actually calling him while he was working, but still expected him to drop everything and visit her.

On top of all that, I don’t think she even considers how badly she hurt him, a few months ago. Frankly, it’s a testament to what a good man he is that he hasn’t cut her out of his life completely.

Yes, it was that bad.

And she totally doesn’t get it.


I had other errands to run, so I did those in my mother’s town instead of the one closer to us – things are noticeably more expensive where she lives, but for the amount I needed to get, it wasn’t worth the cost of gas to go elsewhere.

There were a couple of things I brought for her, and one that I made for her. I wasn’t sure how she would handle it. She kept saying she needs a new chair, to replace the one she uses at her little dining table. She said it was breaking, but it turns out that only the vinyl seat is starting to crack. So I got some blanket yard and crocheted a cushy for her tushy. Just a rectangle in waffle weave stitch, so it’s twice as thick as ordinary single crochet. I made ties at each corner, even though I couldn’t quite remember how the legs were on this chair. It’s got a metal frame, and the legs are all one piece of metal tubing, forming a triangle shape on the sides from the back for the legs. Turns out there’s just open space under the front half of the seat, so my ties at the front were too short, but I could at least tie the back to the frame. I told her it would hide the cracks until she can find a suitable replacement chair. She did laugh about it, but accepted the cover. I knew it would be either that, or she would get angry and rant about how she’s worth having a new chair, or that I wasted yarn or something. There’s no in between with her!

The bottom of the triangles that form the legs has also been leaving black marks on her flooring, from being slid back and forth constantly, for years. So I got some self adhesive felted floor protectors that came in a long, narrow strip that could be cut to size. I cut a couple of pieces and stuck those on the bottom of her chair, and she seemed happy about that, too.

Overall, it was a very good visit. She was definitely having one of her better days. It wasn’t until I was almost ready to leave that she started to tell me about her dreams. They were definitely nightmares, where she thought she was losing her mind, and needed to get home – but home was an area of the city my parents lived in, before they bought the farm – and so on. Then she started asking me if I knew what these dreams might mean. Which seems to be the crux of the problem. It’s not just that she had these nightmares (it turned out she woke from one nightmare, couldn’t sleep for hours, then when she did fall asleep, she had another nightmare). She thinks these dreams had some sort of prophetic meaning.

So we talked a while about dreams, and how sometimes things you worry about in the back of your mind can lead to disturbing dreams. I also described similar dreams that people often have, about needing to get somewhere, or trying to run away from something, but it’s like something is holding you back and keeping you from getting where you need to go. She practically lit up as I described these, as it was familiar to her. Knowing other people get dreams like this was a sort of revelation for her.

I think she felt better by the time we were done talking about it and I headed home. It’s hard to know. She might feel better about it now, but start feeling bad about it again, later.

Needless to say, as soon as I got home, I sent a message off to my brother to reassure him. As far as I know, he was still working on his exam at the time, so I don’t expect to hear back from him for a while. He’s got enough on his plate, that’s for sure!

Hopefully, she’ll ease off on giving him a hard time. Probably not, but it would sure be nice!

The Re-Farmer

Don’t let the cuteness fool you!

Check out Nosencrantz, all tucked up on her window shelf.

She had her face tucked into her front paws, but my trying to take a picture disturbed her.

This is her, in abject terror and anxiety. She freezes like this, and hardly moves.

I was vacuuming, and all the other hiding places were filled with other cats, so she just stayed on her shelf, frozen into an adorable loaf of anxiety.

She got lots of love and comfort after the vacuuming was done!

The Re-Farmer

Pretty much done…

We’ve got a beautiful day today! Bright and sunny and mild. While we did have high winds and blowing snow last night, there was just enough new snow on the ground for the fresh deer tracks around the cat houses and paths to stand out. Unlike other parts of the province that got hit with blizzard conditions last night!

I counted 23 yard cats this morning.

Perfect timing. Not only did I catch that grey tabby on the top left, just as he jumped up onto the roof, but I got a perfect tongue blehp on Pinky! Gosh, His fur looks so orange in the picture.

I picked up more cat food at Walmart yesterday, though there was still almost a whole bag left of the kibble I got at the feed store. For the outside cats, I got a 10kg bag of Meow Mix (they were out of stock for the 11kg bag in another brand), which is still pretty cheap per kg. I mixed up the two brands in the kibble bin, so they got a bit of both, and I can really see how much they prefer the other brand to the feed store branch.

Yesterday, I also finished assembling the cat barrier for the shelf, but as its held together with wood glue, I had to let it sit overnight.

I have only one clamp, so I taped the halves together, put the clamp over the side that was wonkiest, then weighted it down with the told tool box on boards laid across the frame. I did that in the morning, then in the afternoon, I removed the clamp and tape, flipped the frame around, then put back the boards and weight to finish drying.

The space it goes into has moulding on each side that made putting the frame in a bit tricky. I’d tested it out when I made the box frame half, but the extra thickness after adding the flat frame almost made it too much! I ended up not needing to add the self adhesive foam to a narrow end, and only one strip across the top to hold it in place. I pushed the box frame side right against the moulding on the living room side. This let me run the cord for the salt lamp – which is completely hidden by David in the photos! – through the wire. There are a few things we keep on that shelf, which is now all organized in a box, but otherwise, the space is available for the cats to sit on.

The girls finished the door for the entry, which took way more adjusting than it should have. There are large gaps around the door at the top and at the latch side. With the space so wonky, and even the floor being crooked, the gaps are noticeably different in size! The only problem remaining is that, when fully open, the weight of the door pulls on the box frame and it starts tipping at the top. Hooks will be added to the ceiling, and the box frame secured to the hooks, to keep the frame from tipping, while still being easy to remove when we need to.

With the door closed, only the more agile cats were getting in and out of the living room, through the shelf opening. Once I had it open to work on the small barrier, the cats took advantage of the situation. When I was done, Beep Beep was on her favourite spot on the warm light fixture over the big aquarium greenhouse, Tissue was in the sun spot on the seat of the exercise bike, with four more cats sprawled on the sun spots on the carpet below, like giant puddles, and two more on a shelf in the mini greenhouse frame at the window, all sleeping peacefully!

Oh, and two more were in the baskets on the piano.

They really missed not having access to the living room!

Well, they’re going to have to get used to it!

Once I have the heart to kick them all out again.

The Re-Farmer

Sleepy baby

Would you look at that face!

Of all the inside cats we’ve had over the years, none has taken to cuddling with me at night like Nosencrantz has! She is very particular about it, and she has actually started to “bully” me to get with the routine! She goes to her corner of the bed which, unfortunately, she starts kneading, which I don’t want because she’s going to put holes in my sheets. Then she sticks her face into my hand, demanding I pet her head. Especially around the eyes. And if I’m doing some last minute checking of my phone before putting it on the charger, she will bash at it with her face until I pet her!

Then she spins around, shoves her head into my hand again, then drops her body down on my arm, the back of her head and neck in my hand, and stretched out to my elbow, while demanding I continue to pet her face with my fingers cupped around the back of her head! Since she also starts kneading again, I usually end up having to use my other arm to grab her front paws to stop her. End result, she’s tucked into a nest between my arms, and happily goes to sleep.

Sometimes when I get up in the morning, she stays, even after I straighten the covers over her.

Of course, all my bedding is absolutely covered in fur. It doesn’t even wash out completely anymore, it’s so stuck into the fibres!

It’s a good thing she’s so darn cute, because she’s such a pain in the butt, too! 😄

The Re-Farmer

Another step forward

First, here’s a beautiful lady, saying hello!

Tissue is quite enjoying the warmth of the sun – and so far, none of the cats seems to have tried to destroy the smaller plants that have been temporarily moved onto the shelves that will soon be holding seedlings.

Soon, she will not be able to spend time on the window sill in this room! My daughter and I finally made it to the city to pick up what we need to make the cat barriers (which my other daughter is paying for, sweetheart that she is!).

And I’m looking forward to having a carpet that doesn’t get completely covered in cat hair and the bits of rope torn off their scratch tower, immediately after vacuuming.

We’ve got three sizes of boards. We were going through the cheap contractor grade pieces, and it was hard to find any that weren’t damaged, or wonky.

We also got chicken wire, aka: hex wire, instead of the hardware cloth I wanted to get. It was the only thing they had that was wide enough and long enough for this.

We’re actually doing a simplified version of our original plans. Instead of a box frame for the entry, then a door frame inside, and finally the door, we’re just going to do a box frame and a wide door.

For the box frame, we’ve got 1″ x 4″ boards. The frame is meant to slide into the entry into the living room, with self adhesive foam on the sides to hold it in place, but still allow us to remove it, if necessary. The problem was, we couldn’t find the thickness we needed. There is moulding at the top and bottom of the entry, so the foam was supposed to fill that gap. After debating our options, we decided to go with the thickest they had, and we’ll remove the molding from the bottom of the entry and make the box fit top to bottom more snugly. It won’t be completely snug; when the girls measured the space, they found a half inch difference between the top and the bottom!

For the door, we’ve got 1″ x 3″ boards. We will also need to create a barrier for an opening in one of the shelf dividers, so we got 1″ x 2″ boards as well – one of which will also be used a side jamb.

We spent some time looking at our latch options and ended up going with a simple hook and eye latch. We decided against getting a handle. We had use the latches as handles, but if we really wanted a handle, I’m sure we’ve got something lying around the house somewhere.

Unfortunately, it does look like the hinges I picked up will be too wide. Possibly. If we do have to get smaller ones, I’ll be sure to pick up three hinges, not a set of two.

Securing the chicken wire was another thing we had to consider. We’d both bounced around the idea of sandwiching the wire between boards, but we’d basically double the wood need for the door, so we’re going to make it the same was as the barriers we’ve made for the basement doors; The horizontal boards will overlay the verticals, with the wire sandwiched between, and the rest of the wire will be secured with something else.

My thought had been to use small U nails (I think some places all them staples), but they didn’t have any small ones. The alternative is to use actual staples, but our staple gun isn’t very strong, and we’ve found the staples pop out way too easily. So we looked at staple guns, only to find that ours was there, and is a heavy duty gun. So we ended up getting stronger staples, instead! We’ll see if that works. If it doesn’t, I know where to go in town, where I can get what I was originally thinking of, in bulk.

I might need to go into town, anyhow. I think what we have at home is all too large for the size of wood we are using. The cats have knocked most of the boxes off the counter in the sun room, anyhow, along with all sorts of other things now scattered around the floor in there – and we won’t be able to clean it up until we can take things like the table saw and my husband’s walker, outside, so we can get at it all.

Meanwhile, construction starts tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get both the doorway and the shelf opening done, and we can finally have cat free space for more seedling trays, and not worry about them being destroyed! And hang the shop lights we will be using as grow lights from the ceiling without worrying about cats jumping on top of them. We have seeds that need to be started indoors 12 weeks before last frost, and that’s in four days.

In other things, I got an email from my bank this morning, congratulating me on getting approved for the low limit credit card I applied for (and approved for) last week, and letting me know it just got mailed. I was also informed that I could start using it right away – if I just get the Apple Pay app and set it up through my online banking.

No, thankyou!

For the card I chose, there is no annual fee, however there is also a 21 day interest free grace period on new purchases. As long as I pay off any and all new purchases within 21 days, and never use cash back, I could theoretically never pay interest on this card. Since I plan to only use it for purchases within budget, and pay it off right away, that should actually work out.

On another unrelated note…

One of the things we got done today was set up an eye exam appointment for my younger daughter. I was going to wait until my husband and I got our tax returns, and we’d get glasses for all four of us (which we planned to do last year, but ended up with unexpected bills, instead). Unfortunately, my daughter’s glasses have gotten so scratched up, she can actually see better without them than with! I’d been told that in our current province, eye exams are covered by the provincial health care plan, once every two years. When I called and asked about it, however, it turns out that it’s only partially covered – and the remainder that we would pay is $105. !!! I hate to think how much it would cost if it wasn’t partially covered! That is massively more expensive since we last got our eye exams. At least I’m still covered 90% by my husband’s health insurance, and I confirmed that they direct bill.

We just have to get our taxes done. I picked up different software than the TurboTax we usually use and did try to get it started, but quickly gave up. I had to manually include the T4A to their list of different T4s (I had no idea there were so many), but while I could input how much he paid in taxes, there was no line for his disability income. The line number on his T4A simply doesn’t seem to exist in the software, which makes no sense at all. There was also nowhere I could input that I qualify for the caregiver’s tax benefit, nor anywhere for my husband to include that he gets the disability tax credit.

It takes a lot to be even worse than TurboTax.


Ah, well. It’ll get done, and the sooner the better!

The Re-Farmer

Getting ready, and a 2023 garden seedling update

First, my morning cuteness!

Butterscotch has discovered the window shelf! She doesn’t spend much time there, but enough to keep Nosencrantz from using it as often. 😄 So far, the only other cat that’s checked it out is Potato Beetle, and he does just that – checks it out, then leaves.

At the moment, I’m taking a bit of a break from preparing for spending a day and a night at my mother’s. This will be the first time I’ve been away from the farm overnight since we’ve moved here! Which means I’ve been spending a fair bit of time digging around, trying to remember, where is my travel toothbrush? Do I still have a travel toothbrush? Oh, there’s a case for a full size toothbrush. What smaller bag should I use to pack into, and how much will I have to dig to find it behind the barricade made to stop the cats from using the suitcases and scratching posts? Does my husband have an extra pill case I can use for my meds and supplements?

It’s just an overnight trip, but it’s an overnight trip to my mother’s which puts a whole new level of considerations. Plus, I want to stick to my Lenten fast while also not depleting my mother’s grocery supply, so I’m not only bringing food for myself, but enough to share with her. She won’t be able to eat for at least 4 hours after the procedure, since they are going to be freezing her throat, so she’s going to be hungry.

I ended up making a quick trip into town with my mother’s car for a few things for my overnighter, plus a few extras until I can make my next city trip. That will, at the very least, have to wait until after the tire on the van is fixed. Hopefully, our mechanic will find something suitable at the auction that the financing company will accept for the loan that’s already approved. So many things are getting delayed or side tracked because of all the problems with the van!

I am so thankful we have my mother’s car that we can use as a back up vehicle. It’s been needed often enough to be worth the extra expense. Living out here, having two vehicles is a necessity, not a luxury.


While tending the seedlings in the large aquarium greenhouse, I graduated the drum gourds that germinated first. They’re getting tall enough to need more space from the lights, so that one pot has been moved to the lower tray that the onions and luffa are on. I almost, kinda, maybe, think I could see new growth in the one last pot with drum gourd seeds!

Now, in theory, I really should thin out one of the seedlings in the pot I moved. The problem is, they are both so very strong and healthy! Meanwhile, the second pair of seedlings are still recovering from being stuck in the hulls of their seeds and are not looking anywhere near as healthy yet. So I am keeping both and, when it’s time to pot them up, will thin by transplanting one out into its own pot, while the other can be potted up without removing it from the biodegradable pot. Hopefully, the one that gets thinned out will survive. The more seedlings I can keep alive until it’s time to transplant outside, the better our changes of having at least one plant survive transplanting and maybe even enjoy a full growing season!

I took a closer look at the tiny little zucca seedling. There was still just an “elbow” showing, but something seemed odd about it.

Where those roots?


I very gently poked around in the soil and found the seed leaves were still thoroughly encased in the hull, which was trapped enough by the soil that instead of the leaves lifting up, the root end was being pushed out! So I very, very carefully and gently uncovered the seed hull encased leaves while covering the roots – only to accidentally reveal a second seedling working its way out, too! That one was also still stuck in the hull, so I loosened the soil over that, too. Once they’ve gotten large and strong enough to fully emerge and start standing upright, I will gently remove the hulls, like I did with the second pair of drum gourds that germinated..

I’m just babying these suckers! 😂

I am just itching to start more seeds but, for what we’ve got, it’s still a bit too early.

Well, break time is done. Time to go dig out a bag to pack for tomorrow.

The Re-Farmer

Fenrir: mighty hunter!

This is the face of a killer.

This winter, for the first time since I lived here as a child, we started hearing a very distinctive noise in the ceiling of the “new” part of the house. The skittering of tiny mouse feet on the tiles, running from one end of the addition to the other.

The cats were most definitely interested in that noise!

The only access to the space above the addition is upstairs and blocked by furniture, and the space is full of insulation anyhow, so there was no expectation that they’d be able to get at the mouse.

Well, it’s no longer a problem.

My older daughter regaled me, in a most entertaining way, of how she came to the kitchen this morning and noticed Fenrir behaving oddly. She was growling at the other cats (which is not odd, really) and moving around in an unusual manner.

She was also carrying something in her mouth, and she clearly didn’t want the other cats to have it!

Of course, my daughter checked it out, and discovered she was carrying a dead mouse.

After confirming it was, indeed, dead, she got it away and garbaged it. The last thing she wanted was for someone to end up stepping on a half eaten mouse.

With so many cats, inside and out, this is the first mouse we’ve seen/heard indoors in the 5 years we’ve been here.

Fenrir took care of that for us,

What a good girl!

The Re-Farmer

After a tease, winter is trying to come back!

As I type this, we are currently at -20C/-4F, with the wind chill at either -32C/-26F or -29C/020F, depending on which app I look at. Our high of the day is still supposed to reach -14C/7F, with a wind chill around -25C/-13F

Yesterday, we were supposed to reach a high of -1C/30F. I have no idea if we ever did, but what we did get was incredible winds. Whiteout conditions on many highways, with some of them closed due to the blowing snow. Today is a significant improvement!

The long range forecast has changed, of course. We went from expecting much milder temperatures for the rest of February, with the coldest days having highs just a little colder than -10C/14F, to now getting forecasts with highs colder than -20C/-4F, all with significant wind chills.

Winter just doesn’t want to let go quite yet!

Thankfully, with the current wind direction, our front yard is quite sheltered, and the cats and cattens are making good use of the cat house and the sun room to keep warm.

This morning, this little guy was absolutely determined to get stepped on.

When I first go out in the morning, there’s usually several cats right under the threshold of the old kitchen door. I have to carefully push the outer door open (while holding the kibble container) with one hand, pull the inner door closed behind me, while trying not to step on any cattens trying to get into the old kitchen at the same time. They make if VERY hard not to step on them, as they keep dashing right under my boot every time I try to move around them.

There are now three white and greys, all male, that come for attention, but this one here was making life quite difficult for me in the process! Absolutely suicidal around my feet! I do wish we didn’t have to keep the kibble bin in the old kitchen. At least there, they don’t start milling about my feet until I’ve got it open and am scooping out the kibble, and I can get in and out of the old kitchen doors with less risk of stepping on a cat!

I was able to count 24 cats this morning, but then I saw Sprout by herself next to the cat house, and I wouldn’t be sure if she was among the others I’d counted or now. So there might have been 25. No Distinguished Guest this morning. I haven’t seen Sad Face (aka: Shop Towel) for a while, either. The toms are probably visiting other farms in their range. Hopefully, The Distinguished Guest is doing better. That cat needs a vet visit. 😥

We have some progress among the inside cats.

Marlee and Ginger, sharing prime nap space! These two are hilarious. They hiss and snarl at each other, all the time. Then Marlee will flop down next to Ginger, often dropping right on top of him, and they settle down for naps together.

Nosencrantz is figuring out that the new shelf at the window is available for her, and I woke this morning to find her sitting on it. Unfortunately, what woke me was the sound of her batting something off the window ledge.

No, I don’t have anything on the window ledge the shelf is against. She went after stuff on the other half of the window!

My craft shelf next to her spot is where I store envelopes in a variety of larger sizes. She decided those were something to chew on, so I had to find a way to protect those but, otherwise, it’s been working out as hoped. I may not even have to shorten the legs, after all. No other cat has shown any interest in the shelf at all.

With how well this is working out, I should actually be able to clear and reorganize the rest of my craft table and even *gasp* use it to do crafting again!

What a novel concept.

With the temperatures dropping again over the next while, it’s a good time to catch up.

The Re-Farmer

Huge progress!

Do you see this lady?

This is Fenrir, calmly chilling on my bed, and NOT trying to attack Nosencrantz!

Yes, we have made HUGE progress.

Of all the cats, none are so determined to get into my office/bedroom – the isolation ward – than Fenrir. So many times, I’d open the door and she’ll teleport through in the blink of an eye.

Then immediately go searching for Nosencrantz and try to attack her.

Well, I’ve been trying to let her in more often, kicking her out as soon as she started behaving aggressively. I think she’s learning.

Last night, I let her in, and she just found places to nap. Or crawled onto me while I was trying to type. Before my room became the isolation ward, that was her favourite thing; to curl up on my chest while I was at my computer, and make it difficult to actually get any work done!

I even had her in the room while doing the evening feeding with wet cat food. She ate from a bowl right next to Marlee – Marlee!!! – and they didn’t growl at each other. She was even okay around Butterscotch, one of her adopted mothers. She behaved so well, I allowed her to stay in the room overnight.

Which worked until about 3am, when I was awakened by a cat fight next to my bed, and out she went.

With Fenrir behaving so much better, I’ve even tried leaving my door open and allowing other cats to wander in and out. Marlee isn’t too happy with that, but most of them ignore her growling.

Except Turmeric.

Turmeric may have calmed down a LOT since she was spayed, but she will still go after Nosencrantz and Marlee, with no provocation at all. I don’t see her going after Butterscotch, but I suspect that has more to do with lack of opportunity.

Still, getting Fenrir to the point that I can actually leave her in my room, with the door closed and unsupervised, is HUGE!

At some point, I want to be able to leave my door open so Marlee – who is very interested in the rest of the house – and Nosencratnz can go exploring. Butterscotch, too, though I don’t expect her to. She’s enjoying her retirement too much.

Now, if we can just get Turmeric on board.

The Re-Farmer

Keeping warm!

We have been so spoiled by the mild winter we’ve had so far!

As I write this, it’s coming up on noon, and we have warmed up to -28C/-18F but the wind chill has gotten colder, at -40C/F (it’s the came in both Celsius and Fahrenheit at that point!). It’s bright and sunny out there, with clear skies. As I look out my window while writing this, I don’t see even a light breeze in the trees, but it doesn’t take much to drive the wind chill down at these temperatures.

When I went into the sun room this morning, the wall thermometer was at about -18C/0F, while outside it was at about -31C/-24F. I had made sure to top up the heated water bowl in the sun room yesterday the evening, and it was a bit less than half full this morning – with a sheet of ice starting to form on the surface! When unfastening the cord holding the doors propped open, just enough for the cats to squeeze in and out, I had to be careful not to touch the metal door handle for long with my bare hands. Tending to the outside cats was all I did out there this morning. The trail cams are probably frozen. With the sign cam, which is batteries only, it typically stops recording when the batteries get too cold, but starts up again as they warm up. It has fresh batteries, so it should be good. The solar powered trail cam is still on its first set of batteries, and they’re still showing as 100%. It’s in full sun, so it should actually be warmer than ambient temperature (the images include a temperature display, and it’s internal temperature is always at least a few degrees higher than the actual temperature). How it does in these temperatures will be the ultimate test for it. If it does well, we will be getting more like it, to replace the older ones that are starting to glitch out more often. We won’t be able to get the exact same camera, as they are no longer available, but there is a new version from the same company.

There was no way I was going out there to switch out the memory cards, though. Not today!

I didn’t even try for a head count with the outside cats, but the last I looked out the bathroom window, the swing bench was covered by a mass of multicoloured fur!

Even the inside cats are feeling it. Though I turned down the thermostat a bit, the furnace has been going almost constantly. That vibrating noise is sometimes there, mostly not. Of course, most of our heat vents has a cat on it. While tending the greenhouse aquarium, Fenrir wouldn’t even wait for me to put everything back before she was trying to climb onto the light fixtures – which were one on top of the other at the time! Once they were in place again, she settled right in.

Belly warmer!

She looks like such a Sphinx in that pose!

Beep Beep was also quick to climb on. Fenrir is actually looking at her, out of frame, sitting on the end of the fixture, trying to figure out why Fenrir is in her spot!

Those fixtures stay nice and toasty, and the more agile cats take full advantage of that.

That, and body heat. Especially upstairs. The girls have their heaters going, and usually several cats each, curled up against them all night long!

Meanwhile, I popped onto Facebook this morning, and saw a friend post a screencap of her weather app. At 8am, she was at 19C/66F.

She’s also just moved to Puerto Vallarta.

After living in the Yukon for several years.

Funny. I find I know an awful lot of Canadians who have either moved permanently South, or are planning to do so over the next year or two!

Days like today, I find myself thinking that sounds like a pretty good idea!

The Re-Farmer