Our weather here turned deadly cold in November, for a couple of weeks. There was a light snow, then the temperatures took a nosedive down below 10 degrees F. And they stayed that way for ten days or longer. I'd just built a garage cage room, in a couple of days, despite a severe sacro illiac joint injury incurred out carrying a trap with an extremely heavy cat in it, at that colony. I slipped in wild turkey shit which coated the back yard area while off balance carrying that heavy cat in trap and that was it. I couldn't even lift an empty trap, or walk, for four days.
The moment I could get up for a bit I built that cage to hold all the cats from the colony I'd not found homes for. Then the cold hit, and I used space heaters in the garage to keep them warm. It broke me to pay that electric bill, as you can imagine.
But the birds outside were suffering in the deep freeze. So I started feeding them. And I never quit. I fed them through the deep snow we then had February of that year, that also lasted. An unheard of winter. Followed last year by the warmest winter ever! February was balmy!
Now I feed them partly for the cats enjoyment. My cat yard is contained so they can't harm the birds. I have cat runs along the top of the fence, so they can watch!
Last night I was out playing with the cats in the yard, near dark, when suddenly half dozen of them rushed up the carpeted 2x4 into the top of the 2nd maple. The 2nd maple began to split a few years ago and was taken down to a height of 10 feet. Now its regrowing, but I only let it grow so much. The branches get 25 feet tall in the summer and on the old trunk, I nailed a wooden platform, so they could be up high, as they like, shrouded in the shade of maple leaves. I also added a ladder and several shelves. The bird, alighted in the branches above the cat wire, very safe, but their instinctual reaction to the flapping as the bird settled to roost (likely a dove), was instant.
I rushed to get my camera. But when I came back out most of the excitement had passed.
|Juno stares up into the Maple.|
|Birdwatchers Juno and Mona Lisa, on lower right. Mooki is watching me.|
|Mopsy watches, not that interested.|
|Smolder is a lazy birdwatcher.|
|Angel needs a haircut again. She has a very fine undercoat and I have to shave her several times a year. Oci needs it too, for a different reason. She's too fat to groom herself.|
|I've got the Grays down now for sure, finally. This is Hawkeye, long hair, a sweet girl, and the last cat trapped at the colony, hence the name. (from The Last of the Mohicans)|
That's it for today. I've got to get myself in gear. Two cat haircuts are on the schedule and those are not easy on me. I have a pair of $20 Walmart clippers. With the ferals, I hold them in a net, with a towel over the top of the cat outside the net, then ease the net up, reach under to use the clippers. After a couple minutes, they settle into it ok. I've always done it that way, in clipping the ferals with long hair that mats. Most of the time it works out just fine.
Angel is easy, Oci isn't. Oci is feral and fat and will actually strike at me. She's going to be caged for the winter, a big big walk in cage I will build in the living room and I'll rotate her buddies in and out. It's so I can control her food intake and interact with her more. She's too fat, and being feral, makes it tougher to control her eating. I free feed here, I have to with so many.