Well… the first ones are here (sad update)

There was quite a crowd when I came out this morning. I think I actually counted 26 cats, though it’s possible I double counted one of the white and greys.

It was while I was by the cat house that I heard it.

The tiniest of squeaky noises.

It took a moment of standing completely still to listen, but the noise was definitely there, and definitely repeating itself.

After going around the other side of the cat house with the kibble, I was able to peek into the small window facing south. The window is half covered with frost, but there was enough visibility that I could see across the inside of the cat house, were we put a box with an old pillow inside for the cats.

Yes. There it most definitely was.


Our first litter of kittens of the year have been born.

I was pretty sure it would be soon, as when I saw the pregnant mama yesterday, she looked rather damp in the back. She is actually in the photo above; the tabby at the very top of the picture.

Alas, she apparently did not have her kittens in the cat house. At least not to start. We have the shelf shelter up against the shelf shelter, and the bottom two shelves have rigid insulation inside, and in front, along with extras like a cardboard box and cat beds inside. I always put a handful of kibble into the openings of each. The bottom one isn’t as open anymore, as the cats have slowly broken the insulation forming the front “walls”, making the opening larger and larger, and the top one has been used as a scratching post in one corner so much, the insulation is torn away with only the cardboard box inside keeping the weather out from the hole!

Going past the shelf shelter later on, I saw one of the white and greys in the bottom shelf, batting at something and looking very startled and confused.

It turned out to be a dead, newborn kitten.

It must have been further back in the shelf when I put the kibble in, because I couldn’t see it at all at the time. Other cats came around to check it out, also looking rather confused over the poor thing.

As the ground is too frozen to bury it, I wrapped it in some paper towel, and we were cremate it later. Poor baby.

I can say for sure there is at least one surviving kitten that I could hear and see moving, and one that didn’t make it. If there are any other survivors, I have no way of knowing. We’re not going to pop open the roof of the cat house to see, because the last thing I want is for the mama to get spooked and move them away. For a litter born this early in the year, their chances of survival are very low, but their best chance of survival is right where they are now. It’s unfortunate the mama is one of the more feral cats, or we’d find a way to bring her and the babies inside.

I suppose I ought to let the cat lady know about it, but she’s recovering from surgery right now and has enough on her plate. There’s nothing more we can do about them right now, anyhow.

One a completely different note, I found this interesting, while doing my rounds.

When we had that wind storm blowing snow two days ago, there was no new snow. Just what the winds picked up off the ground. Yesterday we actually reached 0C/32F, so things started to melt a bit. Now, you can really see that, along with snow, the winds picked up all sorts of dirt, too. Since most of the fields are still covered with snow, that would consist mostly of sand picked up from the roads. The blown in snow is incredibly hard packed, too. Part of my path to the sign cam was filled in, and the blown in snow is so hard packed, it actually holds my weight when I walk on it, just like the packed snow on the bottom of path!

We’re expecting more winds today, from the northeast instead of south/southeast, as it was during the wind storm. Nothing as severe as before, thankfully. We’ll still be taking the van instead of my mother’s car to my daughters eye exam this afternoon, though, just to be on the safe side!

The Re-Farmer

Update: Well, my daughter and I are back from her eye exam (and saying hello to some goats while picking up more eggs on the way home). As I was walking up to the house, I saw Rolando Moon start to go into the bottom of the shelf shelter, then back off strangely. I went to check but couldn’t really see anything, but I was able to reach in and pull out a cat bed we have in there. Sure enough, there was another dead kitten in there. Crud. I wrapped it up with its sibling for later cremation. Poor baby.

I topped up the kibble for the evening and tried to see through the small window of the cat house again, but no luck. The window is just too dirty on the inside. Wherever the surviving kitten is in there (however many there may be), it was no longer anywhere I could see. I was not about to keep mucking about, though. I saw the mama in there, then she went into the sun room to eat. The last thing I want to do is spook her into moving her surviving babies away.

More yard cats is the last thing we need, but we adore them anyway, and it’s always sad when the little ones don’t make it.

Running around

Today is the first morning with actual sunshine instead of fog for quite some time!

It’s been sunny all day, but while the high of the day is supposed to be warmer than yesterday, it doesn’t seem to be happening. According to the hourly forecast, we’re supposed to be -7C/19F right now, but in reality, we’re -14C/7F, with a wind chill of -26C/-15F Quite the difference!!

A while back, my husband told me he’d ordered a new heater. I had just picked one up to replace one of the heaters the girls use upstairs that stopped heating. The fan still works, just no heat. So we talked a bit about letting the girls decide which they wanted to use. He mentioned setting a heater up in the sun room, but personal heaters aren’t supposed to be left unattended, so that didn’t seem likely.

Well, it came in, and it turned out to be something entirely different. Why he didn’t correct my assumption, I have no idea, but he’d picked up one of those radiant “chicken coop” heaters we’ve been seeing on Amazon. I’d already looked at them and decided against getting one, but… well… now we have one.

I wasn’t up to setting it up at the time, having had a bunch of things to deal with already, so he ended up setting it up himself. Except he didn’t notice the open plug in the old kitchen wall, so when he ran the cord through the window, he use a power bar he’d taken from the kitchen, which we have to keep the breaker from tripping if we have two things being used at the same time. He unplugged the extension cord to the cat house so he could plug the power bar into the power bar on the wall, then plugged both the extension cord and the heater into the power bar he took from the kitchen.

Heaters aren’t supposed to be plugged into power bars at all. That was even in the instructions.

Then he set it up in the sun room, turned it on and left.

Without securing it.

I found out about this when he told me to go into the bathroom, leaving the light off, so I could see into the sun room. The heater was lying on it back, and there were three or four cats trying to crowd onto it.

Nothing is supposed to be on the surface, which the sheet that came with it warned could get as hot as 75C/167F


Needless to say, I went out and changed things around.


There’s a reason I’d decided not to get this, and now there are more reasons.

For starters, it’s really small. The images all have chickens photoshopped beside it, with no perspective, making it seem larger than it really is.

But that would not be a problem if it actually worked.

I’ve got that thing set as high as it goes, but when I touch the surface, I feel only low warmth in one patch off to the side.

The instruction sheet, meanwhile, is in pretty bad Google Translate. Especially the “Profile” part at the time. As for the operational instructions…

  1. Turn the switch clockwise to turn on the heating panel
  2. Keep turning the switch clockwise to raise up the power and it will heat up faster
  3. The heat-sensitive sticher will turn red when the panel heated up
  4. Turn the switch anti-clockwise to reduce the power or turn off the heating panel.

Oh, and in the other warnings and instructions, it says to “Keep out of the water or wet area” and “Keep out of children.”

It’s number three that has me perplexed the most. First, I don’t know what a “sticher” is supposed to be. I figured I would see something turn red and that would tell me, but there is nothing that turns red. Anywhere.

There is so little warmth coming off that thing, the cats only go in front of it because I’ve moved a food bowl over.

So that was a waste of money. Yeah, we could probably try to return it or something, but considering the janky email included, I wouldn’t expect anything to come of that. Mind you, it wasn’t exactly cheap.

Ha! I just looked up the order. Check out this picture!

So… the panel itself is supposed to start glowing? Bahahaha!

And look at how big they try to make it look, behind those chickens. Some of the other pictures are even worse! Like this one!


According to the listing, 50% of reviewers gave it a 5 star rating, with a total rating of 3.8 stars. It’s also supposed to be suitable for chicken coops, dog houses, or under your desk.

Oh, too funny. I’m looking at the reviews. There are quite a few from Canada, saying “no heat” and “would never buy again” – but those reviews have 5 stars on them!

Several say they had terrible customer service and weren’t able to get refunds.

Why did my husband buy this again? 😄


Today I headed out to help my mother with shopping. Normally, I buy lunch first, but she told me not to, so I made sure to eat first, but still headed over early. I needed to run some errands, and also wanted to get a visit in, since I had to drive to another town to pick up a package at a Purolator depot. More on that, later! I wanted to get a visit in with her before we did the shopping, since I would need to leave once we were done.

I got there just after she finished calling me to come over sooner, because she was hungry. She was waiting for me, before having her own lunch! I reminded her she’d told me not to bring anything, and she was all, no, I made lunch! I told her that, because she said no to lunch, I ate before coming over. I’d just have a cup of tea.

She made me eat.

There’s a reason I prefer to bring take-out.


At least we had our visit. My mother wasn’t feeling up to the trip, though, so she had a list ready for me. I headed out and got everything on her list, which makes for a much faster shopping trip!, and was soon back. After helping put things away, I started to head out, only to get the usual lecture about how we’re always in a hurry, and if we come to see her, we need to not be in a hurry and be prepared to stay. I reminder her that I’d told her from the start that I needed to go somewhere else. That’s why I came early; to get a visit in, first.

She was not mollified. She simply cannot accept that we aren’t retired like she is, and have things that need to be done. She also can’t appreciate that we *do* take time for her – the fact that we’re there at all (my brother gets this lecture a lot, too) demonstrates that. In her mind, I guess we’re supposed to stay with her all afternoon. Of course, she is completely unwilling to reciprocate. She also expects us to call her frequently, but if we happen to call while Joel Osteen is on or something, she cuts the call off completely. Meanwhile, she does the guilt tripping thing, with how we won’t have her around forever, and when she’s gone, we’ll remember what she said! I’m glad we’re out here, so I can be the one dealing with her the most, rather than my other siblings! That doesn’t work on me. It does make my brother absolutely miserable. She has no idea how badly she hurts him with the things she says.

Overall, though, it was a good visit. She just saved the psychological manipulation for the very end, when she didn’t want me to leave. 😄

But I wasn’t sure where I was going, or the hours of operation. My daughter had placed an order from somewhere that had mailed her stuff out before, so they accepted our box number. However, it went to Purolator this time. They don’t accept box numbers. When my daughter got the notification, she tried to input our physical address, but it wouldn’t accept it. Which, of course it wouldn’t. Our physical address doesn’t exist on maps. According to them, we’re on an “unnamed road”. She tried the live chat and explained the situation to a real human being – who told her, they don’t accept box numbers. My daughter explained that she new that, but they don’t accept our physical address, either. Apparently, the person couldn’t understand that, and we’re out of their delivery are so…

In the end, my daughter said to send it to a depot the next town over.

The problem is, the place that used to also be the depot suddenly closed. Last I’d heard, the Purolator deliveries were switch to a garage, right next door. My daughter had sent me a screen cap of the delivery notification, which had an address, but no location name. Most of the places on that stretch don’t have addresses visible from the road. It was on the same highway, though, so maybe it was still there?

So I went there and…

It was closed. Not open on Saturdays at all.

There was no sign in a window or anywhere to show that this was also a Purolator drop off depot.

Also, I couldn’t find an address anywhere on the building. I ended up just putting it into my map app to look it up and…

It was clear across town. In fact, it was well out of town.

So I drove over there anyhow. The place turns out to be some sort of … marine garage? There were fishing boats parked on one side, and RVs parked on the other.

It was also closed.

They had been open today, but closed about an hour before I got there!

Again, there was no sign anywhere to show that this was a Purolator drop off depot.

I went home.

Purolator was supposed to phone after the package was delivered to the depot, but they never did, so we couldn’t even ask them directly. It’s not like there’s a number we can call to find out. All we have is a delivery notice.

I’ll have to try again on Monday.

Which leaves my daughter in a conundrum. She has to order things for her business. If it goes by post, it’s fine. It’ll get to us. But a lot of places are like this order: they accept a box number when you place your order, but then it goes to a delivery company instead of the mail, and they don’t do post offices. However, they also don’t deliver to our physical address, because we’re often out of their delivery zones (though not with all companies).

In the end, she’s going to try what my husband sometimes does. Give the physical address for the general store the post office is in, and have our box number as the “unit” number. Which explains my confusion, because I know I’ve picked up Purolator deliveries at the store, when I was expecting a mail delivery. Purolator, it turns out, does deliver to our little hamlet. Just not to us, because we are “out of town”.

What a pain in the butt!

Hopefully, I’ll actually be able to pick up that parcel on Monday.

At least I’ll have something better to pick up tomorrow.

I was wanting to make a trip to Costco to pick up some quality proteins, so we have more variety in our freezer. Well, I don’t have to do that anymore. At least not for meat. I had been buying pork from a homesteader that lives not for from us, who had been selling at one of the local summer markets. He wasn’t doing that at all last year, and we sorta lost touch. The last I spoke to him, we were talking about getting a half pig in the fall, but never got back about it. Then I saw him posting on a group we’re both on, about having whole chicken available.

Long story short, I’m going to be picking up a variety pack of pork and chicken, tomorrow.

We’re going to have to rearrange the chest freezer to make space! I don’t actually know what we’ll be getting. I just told him how much my budget was and asked him to surprise me with a mix of things to meet that amount. Since I’m picking it up tomorrow, I will finally have a chance to see their homestead! I’m quite looking forward to it. They’re doing a lot of things we’re still slowly building up to.


Still no word about the vehicle financing. I’ll have to send an email to see if I can get an answer, one way or the other, so we can just get on with things and start using the van again.

Tissue is still doing all right. She’s still not eating as much as I’d like to see, but she is eating and drinking. Giving her her medication this morning was amazing. She was sitting on my office chair, so I was just going to brace her while my daughter used the syringe to squirt the medication into her mouth. She got most of it in, with no fight at all, and when she moved to squirt the last little bit in, Tissue actually opened her mouth to take the syringe!!

We’ve tried to see her tongue wound. All I could make out was redness. She spends most of her time sleeping, and is currently burrowed under the covers on my bed. She still hisses at Marlee, Nosencrantz and Butterscotch. Much to my surprise, Nosencrantz mostly ignores her. She’s usually the Anxiety Bear, but right now, Marlee is the Anxiety Bear when it comes to Tissue. Butterscotch just sort of puts up with her to a certain point, then leaves. Tissue will even hiss at Cheddar and Leyendecker, when they come in, and they seem quite confused by her behaviour! I think mostly, she just wants out of the room!

Just a couple more days, and we can let her out, I think.

We shall see! She’s still clearly a bit rough around the edges, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering her much. Monitoring will continue!

The Re-Farmer

A bunch of updates, and this is $261

This morning, we had a combination of light snow and more fog.

Only now, in the late afternoon, do we finally have sunshine.

We still haven’t received a call about financing the replacement vehicle. By now, I figure there just isn’t a lender that will accept our application. I’m sure our credit score is pretty low. After my husband went on disability and we lost 40% of our income, we had to go under a consumer proposal to finish paying things off. That was ended a few years ago, but we have no credit cards, no mortgage and no other loans. Basically, no debt. Which means, nothing to improve our credit score. Rather ironic, isn’t it? We have no debt, therefore we have a bad credit score.

With waiting on the financing, I’ve been delaying our stock up shopping trip. We’re still good for most things, but I didn’t want it wait too much longer, or we’d start running out of things. Mostly cat food, since that’s the one thing we haven’t been able to stock up on. Since the van is still prepped for trade in, including the summer tires in the back, that meant using my mother’s car. Which can’t hold as much, even with the back seats folded down, but it’ll do.

Once on the road, the further south I went, the thicker the fog and blowing snow. I was intending to go to Costco, but by the time I reached the town my mother lives in, I changed my mind. The highways were fine – and the surrounding fields and trees were stunningly beautiful! However, I knew the city would be a mess. So I decided to go to the nearer city and hit a Walmart. It meant a smaller shop, but I could at least get the most necessary items.

I almost didn’t!

This is $261.11, after taxes.

Lately, I’ve been buying 10kg bags of kibble (about 22 pounds). The shelves with large bags of kibble were almost empty, and I had to get the 7kg (about 15 pounds) of economy kibble, instead. Four of those for the outside cats, and more wet cat food for the inside cats, and we were already at about $110.

I got a container of black peppercorns, but they didn’t have the ground thyme and sage I was looking for, in stock. I had intended to buy more protein items, but ended up with just three different cheeses (of the 2 for $10 varieties), some pork chops, and some seafood for the girls. They also requested hot dog fixings, so I got a bulk package of wieners and some hot dog buns, as well as wraps. I got a box of granola bars and Kraft Dinner for them, too. That meant more milk for making the KD. The olives are more of a snack food for my husband, though I like to nibble on a bowl of olives, too. One of my favourite treats used to be a certain brand of sundried black olives, packed in salt, but I haven’t seen them since we moved, so… green olives it is. 😄 There’s paper towels and facial tissues, coffee creamer for the girls (my husband and I don’t drink coffee), and two boxes of Earl Grey Double Bergamot tea. It’s often out of stock, so I was happy to see it. Especially since the tea shelves were pretty empty, too!

Aside from getting this as Walmart, I was also able to swing by a Staples and get some ink for my printer. For some reason, I’m out of cyan again – why that one colour keeps running out, I have no idea. We don’t use our printer much. If the printer is out one colour, it won’t let me print anymore. Not even black and white. Frustrating! While there, I picked up some tax preparation software. NOT TurboTax this year. Hopefully, something that isn’t so frikkin’ counter intuitive. So that was another $55 and change in total gone.

The price of printer ink went up since I last bought some. The economy kibble prices also finally went up. I got excellent prices on some other things, though, so that sort of made up for it.

The unfortunate thing is, I’m going to need to do this again, soon. That kibble won’t last until the end of the month, though as things warm up, the outside cats aren’t needing to eat as much. We also need to get more stove pellets for the litter pretty soon, and that’s a Canadian Tire trip. If I’m getting both, I’d be taking the tires out of the back of the van and using that, rather than my mother’s car.

Another ironic thing, considering our major gardening plans. What I’d wanted to do, and will have to do when I finally make it to Costco, is stock up on quality proteins. We still have lots of our quarter beef in the freezer, but I don’t want to go through that too quickly.

I’ve mentioned more than a few times, that all four of us have various health issues. After much research and assessing of things, my husband and I want to try going carnivore. We’re not going to go cold turkey on it, but the more I look into it, the more convinced I am that our entire family would see significant improvement in all our different issues, by cutting out virtually all carbs. For my daughters, I especially think they need to cut out almost all vegetables. All plants have pesticides in them. It’s their natural defence, since they can’t up and run away from the animals and insects that want to eat them. Some people are sensitive to them than others. Ruminants are the best meat for a low carb diet, as they have digestive systems that ferment plant material, thereby removing those toxins and converting material indigestible to humans into high quality meat. Personally I don’t think I am sensitive to these plant toxins, and could probably do well on keto, but it seems the rest of my family is. My daughters, unfortunately, have been cutting meat out of their diet more and more – probably because of the cost, though one of them says certain meats make her feel sick. That this includes some cuts but not others, of the same kind of meat, leaves me thinking there is something else going on. Anyhow, what my husband in particular really should be doing is going completely carnivore, then slowly adding things back, as a sort of elimination diet. It won’t heal his back (which includes birth defects that were not discovered until after his back injury), but it should at least get him off a lot of medications. I’m hoping that, once they see positive results in us, my daughters will be more willing to go it, too.

Yet another reason why I want to include animals as part of our self sufficiency goals, and part of that includes growing their feed, because the cost of feed is getting pretty steep. If that means growing a garden full of animal food, then eating the animals, I’m good with that. But we have lots of preparation before we can start doing that. First, a chicken coop. Possibly some meat rabbits next. Then set up for a couple of pigs. For pigs, we would get piglets in the spring to be butchered in the fall, so we won’t be overwintering pigs, like we would with chickens. Pigs are social animals, so we’d get at least two. We might get milk goats at some point, but will likely keep buying our beef from the same ranch we’re getting it from now. I just don’t see us reaching a point where we will have our own cows – though we might get alpacas at some point. My daughter wants fibre animals.

Okay, so I’m getting off track here. 😄

Back to other updates.

I’ve been messaging with the Cat Lady. Her surgery was cancelled at the last minute. The new specialist wants to put her on medications, first. It’s so frustrating, but he’s convinced that if they do the surgery now, she’ll end up back within the year. She’s planning on going to the US for a second opinion and possible surgery in the spring. So frustrating! Months of tests and preparation, actually in the hospital and ready to go under the knife, only to have the whole thing turned upside down by someone she’d only seen for 15 minutes. The other specialist thought surgery was the best option. The health care system in this province really sucks. It’s not even the worst province in Canada for that, either, which is downright scary.

All that going on, and she’s worried about how Tissue is doing, too! I assured her that Tissue is doing fine. As I write this, she is burrowed under my sheets, sleeping. A few more days on soft food and medication, and we should be able to let her out of the isolation room again. 😄

On top of all that, I got a call from my mother. Her timing was perfect, as I’d just gotten home. The girls were still putting away the groceries!

I’m heading out again, to help her do her own grocery shopping trip. Then I have to head to another town to pick up a Purolator package. I thought they now had a depot in the general store our post office is in – I’ve picked up a Purolator package there not long ago! But apparently, no. Weird.

I’d love to finally get a call back from the finance lady. Even if it’s just to tell me that no, we can’t get financing. That’s better than hanging in limbo like this! But she’s working really hard to get us that vehicle! 😁 I do appreciate her efforts. But gosh, it’s taking a really long time!

The Re-Farmer

A Tissue update, and a bit of vehicle news

But first, let us enjoy this handsome blepping boy!

While I’ve managed to touch him briefly in the past, for the most part he won’t let us near him.


No such sadness when it comes to Tissue!

She had a quiet night in baby jail, which was actually closed up, just to be on the safe side. I had it open for a while in the evening. Tissue really, really wants out of the room. She even managed to escape briefly, when my daughter came in, not knowing she was out. Interestingly, any cat that is in the room with her, or is allowed in, she will growl at – but when she ran out of the room and was surrounded by cats, she didn’t growl at any of them.

She definitely has a hoarse “voice” right now.

She has been eating, but not very much. I imagine her tongue and jaw must be quite uncomfortable. Which means she’s not using the litter much, either. But she has her favourite spot in baby jail that she hangs out in, though just as I started writing this paragraph, she started trying to open the door. I will let her out later, when I’m able to supervise her more closely.

She got her medication this morning, which should help with the pain and, hopefully, she’ll eat more. She’s on the pain meds for a total of 5 days. I don’t know how long she’ll need to be on soft food. It all depends on how well she heals. Overall, she is calm (except towards the other cats in the room) and allows us to pet her and hold her.

Well, that’s interesting. I decided to open the door to baby jail in between writing the above. She went out, popped into a cat cave, then went right back onto her favorite bed in baby jail! 😄 She just didn’t like having the door closed.

Fair enough!

In other news…

I got a call from the financing lady about the replacement vehicle. She had good news and bad news. The good news was that we were approved for financing. The bad news was, they wanted a deposit of $3,500, first.

That’s about 40% of the cost of the vehicle!

Obviously, we don’t have that.

As we were stalking, though, she mentioned a Nissan.


We were looking to buy a Ford Escape.

Well, it turns out she was sent information about 2 vehicles, and the wrong one was applied to our application! So she input the correct information, with a much lower price, but a higher mileage, and resubmitted them to the lenders. One, she could tell me as she was doing it that it would be rejected, simply because of the mileage, and it was. It was automatic. The other one she sent it to, they had no such restrictions.

That one was tentatively accepted, pending confirmation of banking information.

Considering it was past office hours by then, that was as far as things got.

So I am expecting a call with an answer, some time this morning. She’s been trying really hard to get this vehicle for us, and it’s really appreciated! Ours has been a very unusual application.

Until then, we continue to wait. At some point, I need to go pick up some parcels at the post office. I’ll leave that for the afternoon, when the post office reopens.

I hope to get the call before then! This hanging in limbo thing really sucks!

The Re-Farmer

Stunning news!

I just spoke to the Cat Lady on the phone. She just finished talking to the vet.

Tissue is coming home today.

Not only did she survive the night, but she looks like she has only minor injuries. She might have a hairline fracture in her jaw, which only needs time (and soft food only) to heal.

The broken tooth is basically just a chip the vet says won’t bother her.

She has a cut on her tongue but again, that just needs time.

No broken bones.

No spinal injury.

Her back legs weren’t moving much mostly because she was so cold.

She did start to have crystals in her blood, but there is no damage visible.

The doctor is going to write up a report for other vets, about how they thawed her out.

She clearly isn’t happy there, and the vet wants her to come home to us, rather then go to the rescue for her recovery. He says we shouldn’t even try to have her spayed for at least 6 months. To which I say, forget it. We’re not getting her spayed at all.

We will get full instructions and any medications when we pick her up, late this afternoon, and bring her home. She will be on soft food, and in isolation in my office during her recovery. We’ll need to monitor her, of course, but she should make a full recovery.

This, just 12 hours from being at death’s door.

The best possible prognosis we could have expected. The vet is absolutely stunned.

Thank God!

The Re-Farmer

A bit of news. Do I dare say, hopeful?

We had another foggy night last night. While it’s clear and sunny now, areas to the south of us were getting fog warnings of sudden zero visibility!

The trees never lost their frost from when the first fog hit, so we now have frost on top of frost on top of frost!

I didn’t even try for a head count this morning, but I did manage to zoom in to get a picture of this elusive tortie! The girls call this one Phantom, because she has a sort of Phantom of the Opera mask. She is from Broccoli’s first litter, along with two calicos, which makes her big sister to the two tiny bitties we were finally able to catch and pass on to the Cat Lady.

I got messages from her while I was doing my rounds.

Tissue made it through the night. She is awake and alert.

That’s all we have right now.

Which means they will be fully assessing the extent of her injuries right now. It’s still possible her injuries are so severe, it would be just too much and trying to treat them would do her more harm then good.

Or, the injuries might not be as severe as we fear, and she’ll make a full recovery, minus a tooth.

There’s just no way to know right now. We just have to wait until we get work from the vet.

Tissue is such a strong cat and a real fighter. The Cat Lady and her husband have the wounds, and a torn apart car, to prove it!

Do we dare be hopeful?

The Re-Farmer

How did things escalate like this???

Okay, I just need to relax and breathe for a bit.

The last couple of days have been just crazy!

We have an update on Tissue, and it’s not good.

My daughter and I got back from the city not long ago, and we have been filled in with details that were really jumbled before. I’ll try and sort it out and make sense of it as best I can.

The Cat Lady and her family simply could not find Tissue in their garage. They even tore the new drywall out, just in case she’d gotten into the walls. With the trap empty in the morning, her husband considered putting flour on the floor, so they could see paw prints.

Well, it turned out there was a reason they couldn’t find her in the garage.

She wasn’t there.

I had thought they’d left their car in the garage, and only took it out to look for the cat, today. I was wrong. That was yesterday. They’d driven to the spay clinic and back, but never put the car back, because they didn’t want to risk Tissue getting out.

What they didn’t know is that she was already hiding in the car. In that “hidden compartment” by the muffler they knew nothing about.

Which means she spent the night outside.

They didn’t find out until her husband looked out the window and saw her sitting on the hood!

She ran under the car when they came out. They could see she’d tried to get into the office window, which is where they’d put her until it was time to take her to the spay clinic. They took the screen out and left the window open, but she never went for it again.

Nor did she run out to the open, or even to the nearby cat house they have.

Long story short: they knew they couldn’t leave her out there. They couldn’t move the car into the garage without injuring her, and she’d already spent a night tucked into cold metal. They ended up calling Nissan (they bought this car just a few months ago!), who sent someone over. They actually dismantled the car to try and reach her. She kept getting more and more aggressive, attacking anyone who tried to reach her, biting hoses and metal around her. By the time they got her out, her paws were bleeding, she had at least one broken tooth, her mouth and nose were bleeding, and she was so stiff and cold, her legs weren’t moving anymore. She was also blue from the cold. Her pink toe pads were blue!!

Before they got her, I’d wondered to the Cat Lady if it would help for us to come out, and in the end, she took us up on that. We had to take my mother’s car, as the van is prepped for trading in (we still don’t have an answer to the financing under my name instead of my husband’s). Shortly after we left, we got a call (my daughter came along and was able to answer the phone for me) asking to meet at the veterinary hospital in the city, and updating us on Tissue’s condition, so far as they knew at the time.

Once at the vet, we got the tentative prognosis. The vet said she was about 10 minutes from death when they got her, but she was stabilized, on IV, cleaned up and treated as best they could, so far. She may have a broken jaw, possibly other broken bones, and they’re not sure about her back legs right now. It could just be pinched nerves and inflammation, or there could be spine damage. The jaw may need to be wired together, or it could just have been dislocated.

After talking about it, it was decided to keep Tissue overnight in the hospital. If she survives the night, she will be further assessed, and the Cat Lady has permission to make decisions based on the prognosis. If the damage is too severe, it might be better to let Tissue go. We shall see.

While we were there, my daughter spent most of the time with Tissue, petting her. She actually seemed to respond and relax, even though she was still partially sedated when we got there.

Someone came to weigh her while we were there, and Tissue actually moved around and meowed complaints about being take out of her warm nest. After she was put back, my daughter asked if she could wrap her in a shawl she brought. She’d been wearing is under her coat. This is a shawl she’d crochets for herself out of a fuzzy yarn. She’d wear it while at her computer, and Tissue would crawl into her lap under it, and go for a nap. When it was on her chair, Tissue would spend hours napping in it.

When my daughter wrapped the shawl around Tissue, she actually moved around to let her, then immediately tucked her nose into the shawl and curled her paws around her face, just like she does at home. The technician even commented that Tissue was looking/acting noticeably better. I’m glad my daughter was able to come along. She and her sister were both really sick today.

So now we wait and see until tomorrow morning. I’m just glad we were able to get out to see Tissue, as it seemed to help her.

Writing this post has taken a lot longer than usual. I’ve been messaging with the Cat Lady at the same time. Not only is she dealing with all this, but she is slated for major surgery, the day after tomorrow – unless it gets cancelled. Not only is the hospital full, along with a shortage of doctors and nurses, but a new specialist on the surgical teams wants to do more tests, because he thinks surgery is too soon, and may do more harm than good.

Nothing like getting conflicting information, just 2 days before major surgery!!!

The Cat Lady was absolutely devastated by what happened with Tissue. In absolute tears! She feels so guilty and keeps second guessing herself, with all the things she feels she should have done differently. There was nothing they could have done. They simply didn’t know enough, and Tissue’s behaviour was not only out of character for her, but unlike anything any other cat has done, including the wildest ferals.

Oh, wow. I just found out that their vet is allergic to cats. They had used a hair dryer to help warm up Tissue, and he kept sneezing and his face started swelling! He must really love his job!

Okay, I need to get to bed. It’s been such a long day, and it’s taken me hours just to work on this post!

Hopefully, I will have good news of some kind, tomorrow!

The Re-Farmer

ps: please excuse any typos. I’m too tired to try editing right now! 😄

One step forward…

… one step back, shuffle to the left, take another step forward and do-see-do!


What a day yesterday was!

But first, let us appreciate this handsome boy.

Gooby followed me out to the gate while I was doing my morning rounds. This little boy LOVES attention and wants to be held.

Nothing like having a cat claw its way up your leg, while you’re trying to switch the memory card out of a trail cam!

Once in my arms, he happily burrowed into my neck and violently started licking my nose.

He has a thing about noses!

As I was heading back inside after my rounds, I was greeted by this.

Walnut’s siblings and cousins, minus one. The three smaller ones (two in front, one in the back) are siblings. The three larger are from a slightly older litter, as is the one that was elsewhere when I took this photo. The one with the orange head is called Pinky. His fur is an unusual combination of orange and grey that sometimes makes him look pink! The little one in the back has spots that are almost completely black, rather than the grey tabby markings the others have.

Walnut, meanwhile, did get spayed yesterday and, while it took a long time for her to wake up, is doing very well. Walnut and the bitties are all getting treated for ear mites, and getting medications to treat upper respiratory infections. Itty Bitty Bobby was found to have some fluid in his lungs, but Sprite has just “uncomplicated” URI.

Oh, and guess what?

They all already have homes waiting for them!

Walnut will be going to a household that has one cat – a rescue the Cat Lady placed awhile ago. The bitties will stay together, going to a home with an older couple, and first time cat owners! They’re going to be hooked on cats with those two. 😊

Tissue, on the other hand…

I’m still waiting for word on whether or not she’s been caught. They found no sign of her. The garage is being renovated, so there’s not a lot in there, but they even opened up the drywall, looking for her. Nothing. Not even a peep. There’s no possibility that she got outside, as there was no access to outdoors. They did finally open the garage doors, with the workers all standing there, to back the car out (after checking to make sure she wasn’t in the engine block) and look again. Nothing.

It’s a heated garage, and they set a trap up. Hopefully, they will find her today, but I’ve not heard anything yet. Once they have her, they will leave her in the trap, and we will meet in town. We will take her back, trap and all, and hang on to the trap until we connect again. The vet, meanwhile, as offered a free spay near the end of February, but if we want to get Tissue done, we will have to take her to and from the vet ourselves.

Honestly, at this point, I’m not worried about getting her fixed. Clearly, she is not adoptable, and I just don’t want to put her through that again. She will stay with us, indoors, permanently.

As for her escape, they are utterly amazed. We knew Tissue was a burly girl, but they were astonished by how strong she is. She was in a hard sided carrier that they’ve used to transport ferals. They’ve never had a cat break out of it before. The Cat Lady had set the carrier down to open her car door when it “jumped” and Tissue was gone. The door was torn off and the carrier broken apart.

The Cat Lady is just beside herself with worry over Tissue. They’ve all been looking for her, off and on, all day yesterday. All they could do in the end was set the trap and leave it. At least they can look into the garage from inside the house, through a window, and check regularly.

For now, it’s just a waiting game.

While that was going on, we heard from the financing company about our application for the replacement vehicle. Since my husband is the one with the income, we were doing this all in his name. He got an email from them, saying it was tentatively approved. They just needed some banking information to confirm our income on the application, an ID such as a driver’s license, health care card or passport, and a few other little details confirmed.

Well, my husband doesn’t drive anymore, and we never got his driver’s license transferred after the move. The one time he went in to try, they wouldn’t do it, because his name on his old license didn’t perfectly match his birth certificate. In my husband’s family, no one uses their first name. Tradition is, everyone has three given names, and uses their second name. This was a bit of an issue when he was in the military, but all they did was reverse his first and second names on some paperwork. Everywhere else, he just used his second name and surname. Well, that’s not okay here anymore, and after much painful waiting, he was finally told he needed to change his legal name to…. His legal name. We did eventually contact the ombudsman who confirmed my husband only needed to have at least two bills or bank statements with his full legal name on it, and he could get his license. By then, however, he was in no condition to go physically go back and go through the process. Not even to just get a photo ID.

Well, it turned out the bank the financing company works with wanted a driver’s license or passport – our health care cards don’t have photos on them. He has neither.

So we had to transfer the application to my name. The financial information didn’t change, since it’s household income and we’re working with a joint account, however they not only needed my driver’s license, but the banking information we sent needed to have my name on it. Which doesn’t show up on the paperwork unless I selected the print option, with letter head. We’ve been sending in phone scans of the required documents, which does make things easier.

It took a few tries to get something legible but, by then, it was late in the evening. On top of that, yesterday was a statutory holiday, which meant few staff and everything was slower. Which is understandable. We’ll find out today whether the application, under my name, is approved.

Oh, one of the things that they needed to know is what “company” I worked for. Which confused me until she mentioned that we said we had a custodial arrangement, leaving us with no rent or mortgage payments. She thought that meant we were the custodians of a building, like an apartment building or something, owned by a company. So I explained that, and now my brother’s name is on the paperwork as the company/owner we have an arrangement with. They don’t need to contact him. They just needed something on the paperwork. I also explained to her that I can’t have my own income, because anything I earn would be deducted from my husband’s disability payments. That cleared up some confusion on her part.

Meanwhile, a daughter and I went out and emptied the van of our belongings, then put the set of all-season tires in the back. We won’t need them anymore, and with dozens of tires scattered around the farm already, I didn’t want to add to the piles! If the approval goes through, I can just grab the van and go, and come back with the replacement vehicle.

If it doesn’t go through, well… we’ll just put the stuff we need back, and keep going as is.

I’m really trying not to get my hopes up about getting this vehicle. True, we’d do better with a truck or van but, my goodness, even a 2013 Escape will be the most luxurious vehicle we’ve ever owned if we get it! We’ve never had a vehicle newer than our 2007 Grand Caravan, and that was quite a few years old when we got it.

Well, we shall see how it goes.

Hopefully, we’ll get all sorts of good news today, both about the vehicle, and Tissue!

The Re-Farmer

Yikes, Tissue! What’s gotten into you?

But first, let’s take a moment to admire this handsome boy.

This one will sometimes let us pet him, and it more tolerant of us coming close in general.

Which makes sense for a semi-feral cat.

You’d think it would be different with a house cat.

This morning, I started getting some rather frantic messages from the Cat Lady. It seems Tissue has been acting full-on feral! She’s been hissing at them and even attacking, and so stressed out, she’s been panting and drooling. So I was asked if I could pick up Tissue straight from the vet today, because they were afraid she would harm herself during the recovery period.

Of course, I said yes.

Then I got more wild messages, and things got really crazy!

In a nutshell, they got her in the carrier and were loading her into their vehicle to take her to the vet, along with the littles (who are apparently right as rain), when she ripped the door off the carrier and escaped into their garage.


Ripped the door off.

That carrier had a crack at one corner, but still! The whole thing came apart.

So, as of right now, Tissue is still somewhere in their garage – which is in the middle of renovations! The Cat Lady is so worried she might hurt herself on something. They’ve set up a trap to try and get her.

They took a different vehicle to take the littles to the vet, so they wouldn’t have to open the garage, and gave the renovators the day off. Their kids continued to try and find her while the littles were dropped off at the vet. The vet gave the Cat Lady until noon to bring Tissue in. After that, it’s just too late to do the spay.

I’m just amazed by Tissue’s behaviour. I know she didn’t like being in the carrier when I brought her to the cat lady – she was upset enough that by the time we got there, she’d thrown up in the carrier. Still, even that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Even after we snagged her and brought her inside, she never behaved like this. However, she’s also never been out of the house since then, and hasn’t really been around other people. When we have company, she is one of the cats that heads upstairs and waits until they are gone. This is a cat that loves to cuddle with my daughters, and sleeps with my younger daughter at night. During the day, she likes to sleep on my husband’s hospital bed, and will often demand attention from him, too. I don’t see her as much, since I have to keep my door closed, and she’s not one of the cats that has any interest in checking out the new additions.

It’s just crazy! I feel so bad for the Cat Lady. She’s so worried Tissue might hurt herself!

Well, whether she gets fixed or not, we’ll bring her home. It’s just a matter of how and when that will happen!

What a morning!

The Re-Farmer

A Cold Christmas Eve!

Today is Christmas Eve. In our family, we celebrate our non-traditional Christmas Wigilia feast today, after the first star shines. I have a terrible habit of starting the turkey too early, though, so I’m keeping myself busy writing this, before I go spatchcock the turkey. We had gotten to enjoy brining the turkey in the past, leaving it to sit in the brine using our largest stock pot and leaving it in the old kitchen overnight.

It’s just too darn cold in there, and since I’ve discovered spatchocking is much easier than I thought it would be, we are quite enjoying doing it that way!

But first, the cute things update!

Walnut has settled right in. I now have three cats to fight over for my office chair!

Things were a lot calmer last night, and I actually got some sleep. It wasn’t until about 5am that the noises started. The bitty tabby (we need to come up with a name for that one!) was wandering around, squeaking. I was eventually able to gently catch it and hold it close. It does NOT want human attention, but even though it clearly wanted down, it did start purring as a cuddled it and pet it.

I got a message from the Cat Lady last night. She had gotten home from a long drive, delivering Plushy and Princess to their forever home. They settled right in! I can’t post the picture she sent me, but they were both curled up on the crossed legs of their new human, lounging and stretched out, like it was nothing new or strange at all.

Heading out this morning was definitely something I had to work myself up to.

This is the temperature after I was done; -26C/-15F with a wind chill of -42C/-44F I don’t even try to switch the memory card on the sign cam right now. The batteries would be frozen, anyhow. I did do the gate cam, though. We definitely need to get more of this solar powered type. The batteries on that still read 100%. It’s being powered entirely by solar – though it does need clearing of frost or snow, frequently! If this were one of they kinds where the solar panel charges rechargeable batteries (which many trail cams specifically say not to use) instead, it’d be dead right now.

I’ve been making a point of putting out most of the kibble in the sun room instead of outside these days, with various impromptu containers scattered around, so as many cats can eat at the same time as possible in there. I’ve also been topping up their food in there more often, and adding hot water to the frozen water bowl, to melt the ice and they can drink without having to go outside.

When I went outside, I found there was still kibble on the roof of the cat house – no surprise they don’t want to eat there right now! – but there was also a surprising amount in the kibble house trays. The trays under the water bowl shelter, however, were empty. They seem to prefer eating under there, which I am surprised by. There’s little to cut the wind under there, but it is a less open space, I suppose. I find myself wondering if we should modify the kibble house to make a “second floor” across the middle. That would enclose the kibble trays more and give them more of a sense of security, and we could maybe even add more kibble trays to the top, so more cats can fit in there and not be fighting over space around the food.

Something to think about, for the summer.


While the large water bowl had its usual crown of frost around the edges, the small one was completely frozen across the top.

The bowl is still working; there was plenty of liquid water underneath, but the cats couldn’t get at it!

So I took this bowl and set it up in the sun room, where I could plug it in. There’s no outlet in the sun room, so we have extension cords going through the window from the old kitchen. Usually, I use the two outdoor power cords, one of which powers the cat house, and the other powers the ceramic heat bulb in the sun room, but there’s also a household extension cord that was here when we moved in. It was run up and around the door frame, and I’ve been using it to charge my baby chainsaw (battery powered pruner). That puts the water bowl well away from food bowls, but that’s okay. Plus, I still topped up the broken heated water bowl, which just had ice in it.

I did see flashes of the little soot sprite. I’m afraid my last attempt to catch the tuxedo bitty has made him even more nervous to come out when I’m in the room. Normally, I’d try to lure it with treats or wet cat food, but with so many other cats around, that can’t really work. I’d be fighting off too many other cats!

Well, it’s supposed to start warming up tomorrow. We’re supposed to have a high of -17C/1F. After that, things are expected to keep warming up, though not as much as earlier forecasts were predicting before. It’ll still be almost balmy, compared to today. The yard cats will likely be running around outside a lot more, so I hope that will give more opportunity to catch the bitty tuxedo – and maybe Broccoli! Yes, they’re old enough to wean, but it would be so great to reunite them with their mama!

Well, it’s time to start getting things set up for tonight. It’s going to be a very quiet Christmas, with just the four of us, and I’m quite happy with that.

I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and may 2023 be a year of peace and joy for you all!

The Re-Farmer