Monday, March 17, 2014

Life Goes On

I miss my Electra kitty.  She liked to curl next to my head with her back against my hair, for warmth, nights, while Miss Daisy would be curled a bit lower on the pillow, to my right also, but against my face, often with her chin laid across my cheek.  I didn't dare move or the whole pile would be disturbed.  Often I had to move.  My sacra illiac inflammation is still causing me great pain at nights, interrupting my sleep, waking me.  Then I moan and groan awhile, before drifting off again.

Miss Daisy and Starry miss Electra, a best buddy of theirs, the most.  Yesterday Miss Daisy would not let me from her sight without loud howls of distress.  Starry last night was moody and distant and woke me with dreams where she twitched and cried and was happy when I touched her awake from them.

Starry still seems to think she will be find Electra sleeping in the bathroom sickbay and is disturbed to find Fantasia there instead looking miffed and guilty together, as she often does, to be discovered.

Starry is a giving cat and also needy.  She was left on her own in N. Albany swamp with her brothers.  They were all sick and all would have died.  Although Peko went to a home and it stuck, Nemo was returned from another home after two months and nobody ever wanted Starry.  Except me and she's welcome here for her life and loved and she knows it.

That's why I've got to find a way to fund the cats here, keep them in food, litter and vet care.   They are happy here, loved here, and not just by me.  They have an entire family here and they get that and it is a clan of very happy cats.  They worry about nothing at all at last.  I do the worrying, about finding the money for the basics, because that's all we need here, the food, the litter and the vet care.  That's it.  The rest I can make or make do without.

Speaking of making.......a few months ago, during that first cold spell, three raccoons suddenly showed up in my driveway.  They were playing, of all things.   Those three never returned after that, but a big male has shown up, but not often, about every two weeks.  So I knew I would need to make a stray feeder.

Raccoons can't jump vertically.  Neither can skunks or possums.  If you feed outside cats, do it on a platform high enough up a raccoon can't stand on its back legs and pull itself up on.  Use metal or plastic legs so the raccoons cannot climb it either.  You can put a jump stool out a couple feet from the platform for smaller or older cats to use to jump from it to the platform.  I don't put out much cat food anymore, since I found the dead neighbors cats homes.  But I put out some, for the barely cared for cats from a block away and for one stray I got fixed who still returns now and then for a snack.  But I don't want to feed raccoons.  The stray feeder is done!

I just used 2x2's for legs because that's what I had, so I hope it holds up.  Then I slipped sections of old sewer pipe I had over them so raccoons can't climb up.  The platform itself is a metal cage tray I got free when Heartland was getting rid of junk they had accumulated.  The roof is also an old metal cage tray.  I painted the top of it white to reflect heat.  And the rest, just scrap wood.  I think it's awesome, for being made of stuff in the garage already.

I also made this yesterday from an old cage bottom, and trimmed branches from the cherry tree, used for legs and supports.

Rain started yesterday afternoon, really pelting soaking rain, so I quit on the cherry tree roller cart.  I need to add lashing to strengthen the cross pieces (now just nailed to the legs) and add more supports.  This will be lined with garden screen, filled with dirt from the compost pile and I hope to grow salad greens in it.

Also, with gardening season coming up, I made my first slug trap.  It's just a two litter bottle with the top part sliced off, then turned inward with duct tape around the edge.   I put cheap beer in it, if I can justify, because even cheap beer is expensive now, maybe too much so to waste on killing slugs.

Slugs like beer.  Lay this on its side in the garden, with beer in it, and it's soon full of drowned happy slugs.  And other bugs.  Otherwise, I kill slugs the hillbilly way.  Slugs are lazy and when they leave the safety of their daily hide out, at night, to go eat plants, they like to travel easy.  If there is cement around, they'll use that for travel to and from.  That's where I engage in slug stomping.  Yeah, I know how that sounds---white trash.  I don't care.  I go out, maybe 11:00 or even midnight and stomp on the traveling slugs.  It's a quick death.  You think salt is easy on a slug?  Or poison?  I wouldn't use either.  Beer or stomping, the humane ways to kill slugs.  Or, you can slip them into a neighbors garden at night.

The Lebanon colony cats are settling in and acting like they've always been here.  Not that I'm still not trying to find them safe homes.  I am. But they're looking good, that's for sure.

Mopsy McMuffin and Vino

Willy Wonka, who is irresistibly cute and annoyed by the camera.  The two photos below are also of him.

Willy's still shy and kind of a momma's boy.  He likes the security of one of the older colony cats.  Usually it is Huckleberry, the laid back adult muted torti, but Vino will do too.  He forgets himself sometimes and comes right up to me, wanting petted, then suddenly its like he recalls he's not a house boy and fluffs and arches up which I ignore, mocking him and teasing him and handing him a treat, which he sniffs and fluffs down and tries to look like he never acted all scared to begin with.  He's on that edge, wanting to be a big confident male like Vino but still kittenish and needing reassurance.  Look at the size of those paws of his though.  He's going to be huge when he grows into them.  He's going to be awesome and those distinctive down arcing white whiskers make him just adorable.

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