Morning kitties

I think the outside cats are getting to that point where they are starting to build up some winter fat. When I come out in the mornings, all the places we leave kibble don’t even have crumbs left, and they are all acting so hungry. We put out quite a bit of food for so many cats, twice a day, but this morning, before heading inside, I actually had to top up one of the kibble trays!

This one.

Rosencrantz and four of her babies were so hungry, I was actually able to pet all four of them! Just briefly, and they acted a bit confused about the whole thing before moving out of reach, but they were far more interested in food than running away.

The tortie was at the kibble tray by the spirea, along with a couple of calicos.

I noticed something about the litters this year. This is the first time since we moved here, that there are NO orange tabbies. Not a one. When we first moved here, it was almost all orange tabbies. The males would all disappear in the summer, but there would be more orange kittens the next year. Right now, the only ones left are the ones we brought indoors.

I spent some time on the bench with the rope toy I made for the kittens and have several of them playing at my feet, including the tuxedo. I was able to touch him, too, though he would move out of reach when I did. Its black and white sibling was curious about the toy, but would not come any closer to play with it. Instead, he put himself on a pedestal to watch me from a safe distance!

Our yard is just infested with furry adorableness.

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties

Last night, I finally did it.

I turned up the thermostat, so the furnace would turn on.

We’re still stuck with a hose draining water from the washing machine, running through the storm door window. The gap in the window is covered with duct tape, to keep the insects (and tiny kitties) out, but we can’t close the inner door. Right now, there is a sheet of rigid insulation in front of the door, so we’re not losing heat quite as badly. The entryway has no heat vents in it, anyhow. Nor does the kitchen. They both have built in electric wall heaters, but the breakers for those are shut off. They haven’t been used for so many years, I’d want them checked by an electrician before I try turning them on! The kitchen one has a shelf in front of it now, so we still wouldn’t be using it.

We had covered the eggplants and two of the apple gourds last night, as the forecast had been for a low of 1C/34F, however by the time I checked my app before bed, it had changed. Our low was only 6C/43F. So covering them wasn’t necessary, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt them, either.

My pain levels have been pretty high still, and I had a rough night. I ended up sleeping in – as did everyone else in the household! – so I was later than usual for feeding the kitties outside.

They were very happy to see me!

I was happy to see Rosencrantz’s babies this morning.

Here are four of her five kittens. Later on, I was able to pet and pick up the one that’s fully inside the food bowl, though it wasn’t too sure about the whole thing. The other three still run off.

And where is the fifth one, you may ask?

Why, right here!

Yes, the kitten with the orange head was at the kibble house! In fact, we saw it running around by the house yesterday afternoon, too.

I’ve even started seeing some of the kittens from the pump shack, creeping around under the spirea to the kibble tray we have out there. I do still have a tray at the pump shack door for them, too.

It won’t be much longer before we have to set up the extension cord to plug in the cat house, with its light sensor on the timer set to turn on the heater between dusk and dawn. We’ll need to test the battery on the smoke detector, too. There are a lot of very small kitties this year, that will need all the help they can get to stay warm!

The Re-Farmer

Newfound baby, and a follow up

I have been avoiding going into the pump shack for the past while, because I was pretty sure there was a litter in there, and didn’t want to disturb the mama. They tend to move their litters further away when that happens.

Last night, I figured it was long enough to check things out.

Look what I found!

I only saw one, but could hear others. This one looks a lot like most of Rosencrantz’s babies, except smaller. Which makes it pretty clear who the daddy is! I’ve been calling him Sad Face, because he has this permanent tragic expression. I found out recently the girls have another name for him.

Shop Towel.

Because he is the daddy of Tissue…

*face palm*

Given the size of the kittens, I decided to bring one of the kibble trays over. I was going to leave it in front of the hole at the bottom of the pump shack door, but it was still raining and the roof overhang isn’t enough to keep it dry. So I tucked it inside for now.

I still think there is at least one more litter we haven’t seen yet, either in the collapsing log building or the threshing machine, near the fire pit. All I heard was maternal “mama is here” type noises, though, not kitten noises.

Being born so late in the year, these babies are going to be at much higher risk over the winter, no matter how many shelters we provide for them. Hopefully, we will be in the area expected to have a mild winter this year, rather than the area expected to have exceptionally cold temperatures. We’re in a sort of ambiguous border between the two areas, and the lake effect can change things dramatically.

On another note, my brother is taking the roofing estimates to my mother today. I pray my mother will actually follow through with her promise to pay for a new roof, and not choke once she sees the numbers and back off, as she has in the past. She still thinks things should cost what they did, 50 years ago. I well remember how, as part of our deal to move out here, she agreed to pay for the movers, only to try to back off when it came time to actually fork over the cash. Even when she finally did, she refused to pay the full amount, and my brother was kind enough to cover the balance. My mother can be very cruel and manipulative. My brother has already told her that if she starts doing that sort of thing again, he will not put up with it, and will stop the process completely. The last thing we need is to hire a company to do the roof, only to have her refuse to pay after it’s done. Neither my brother nor I can afford to cover the cost if she does that sort of thing again.

If she does follow through, we are looking to have the roof done in November. Which would be so amazing. I am afraid to hope it will get done, though. I’ve got too many knives stuck in my back as it is.

The Re-Farmer

A puddle of fur

After doing my evening rounds yesterday, I spent some time in the sun room, being violently cuddled by two kittens.

Other kittens were not so aggressive in their cuddles.

Of the three in the box, only one of them is socialized, though the calico does sometimes let us pet it.

I’ve found at many of six kittens shmushed together on the pillow in that box, including some of the oldest, biggest kittens squished in with the smaller ones!

What an adorable puddle of fur.

The Re-Farmer

From above

With the cooler nights, I finally closed my bedroom window yesterday.

This was more complex than normal.

The cats like to sit on the window ledge, but with the window open, they could attack anything that blew or flew by. Nosencrantz in particular was getting very destructive. Even when I got the window fan and set it up, she kept trying to get at the window, knocking the fan down. I had cord running through the handle, and more across the window, to keep the fan from being pushed off the ledge, but she would jam herself in behind. I finally had to grab some of the old window screens we used for drying mind leaves, needing 2 of them to cover the window and the fan, along with a cut-to-size piece of 2 inch Styrofoam between the top of the fan and the top of the window sill. She still kept clawing at the screens (which, thankfully, we metal mesh and stronger than the window’s screen). I had to come up with a rather elaborate barricade to block access to the window, and still allow air flow and use of the fan. That included creating a barricade around the shelf near the window she likes to curl up in, because she would actually pull one of the screens out of position.

I was able to take the fan down a while ago, but still had to keep the barricades. Nosencrantz was very, very determined!

To finally close the window, I had to remove cords, that piece of Styrofoam and the extra screens. Then, once the window could finally be closed, I had to remove its screen and tuck it behind the other ones to further protect it. Then I could finally move away the barricade around the shelf.

Which meant that Nosencrantz could now access the top of the shelf again.

This is what I get to see, now.

She has such and expression. Like she’s analyzing, and trying to figure things out.

The Re-Farmer

I give up. A bit

As I was finishing up my evening rounds, I noticed this mama.

Well, that explains why I keep finding the netting pushed in at that spot!

What was really funny, though, we seeing this as I was going in through the sun room.

It’s a kitty hammock!

At least it’s not touching the ground. The spinach is struggling to grow, and the first seeds I’d planted had germinated, only to get flattened by cats. They did not recover. The second sowing is coming up, but very slowly. The netting is the only thing protecting them from being rolled on by kitties!

The Re-Farmer