Sunday, January 10, 2016

Birds, Cats and Amenities

I have a bird feeder and also throw out seed on the drive for the birds.  I began this in a frigid spell over two years ago when I felt sorry for the birds.  I continued to do it for my cats entertainment.  They are contained, don't worry, and cannot get to them.  But then I began to greatly enjoy the birds.

The Mourning Doves, when they come, usually come in flocks.  More have been here lately because a neighbor at the end was taken away by ambulance before Christmas.  He had fed them.  He's back home now, thankfully, seems just fine.

The Mourning Doves draw the attention of Coopers and Red Tail Hawks.   They're slow on take off, which makes them easy targets.

There is not a great variety of birds who come.   Oregon Juncos, English sparrows (an invasive), Chickadees, Scrub Jays and Mourning Doves.   But this is more diversity than when I first began filling the feeder.   I clean the feeder once a week and use a shop vac to vacuum scattered feed once a week so diseases don't grow and get shared.

Whenever I say Oregon Junco, I often slip up and say Oregon Junkie.  We have lots of those in the area too, but not at the bird feeder.

I did replace the laborious monster in the bedroom, the homemade bunk bed, with a light weight metal bunk bed, distributed by Walmart, although I got it through Amazon.  It's awesome.  I can move it to clean.  Lightweight and comfortable.

However, I already cut up some of the wood that was in that old frame and made a new shelf for the cats.   It's not that easy for me, sometimes.  I don't have many tools and those I have are from the dollar store or used goods stores.  I cut my arm when a small hand saw slipped.   I was trying to cut down half through a 3 1/2 inch by 1 inch board to create something to hold the shelf bracket.

There are proper tools for doing this but I don't have them.  I resorted to a small saw I got from the dollar store years ago. Fortunately its not that sharp anymore.

Saw wound

The new bunk bed frame

The new window shelf for the cats made from the old bunk bed frame

The bunk bed had nothing to hold a head board in which to put stuff.  So I improvised, using a bath cady attached to a board that used to be part of the cat wheel.  I also got a plastic over the door hook from the dollar store to use.

I also made the shelf, in above photo, to add to a cat climb, from a piece of the old cat wheel.  I tore the cat wheel apart, so my car could continue to fit in the garage.  But then I had all its wood to use all over again.

Same with the old bunk bed wood.  I get excited to think about it, because there's lots more left.  However, after I do these projects, takes awhile for my hands to recover.   Osteoarthritis.  My finger joints swell.

The carpet on the shelf is from a roll I got at the Habitat Restore, a lot of carpet for $4.00.  However it's slightly brittle on the backing, which is what I test when getting scrap.  It will last awhile.

Now all that's left is the "Cats" part of the post.   I'll give you two!

Buffy, for one.  She is older and often sports a sour attitude.
Bluebell never has a bad day

I figure, if push came to shove, I could eat Mourning Doves myself.  I'm always trying to think of ways to survive, if things get worse.  They're bad enough already in Oregon.   A new article in the Oregonian states costs of living in Oregon, for rent and food, are highest of all the states except Hawaii.   I don't doubt those figures.  I rarely eat meat and would hate to end up the huntress, but don't think I wouldn't, if it came to survival for me and my cats.  I accepted road kill awhile back, a wild turkey, from some Corvallis folks, who saw it hit, and immediately acted so the body would not go to waste.


  1. Ouch on the saw cut. It may not be sharp, but it did some painful looking damage.
    Love your creativity, and perseverance.
    I am pretty certain I wear Buffy's expression some days...

    1. Buffy has great expressions. I practice them in the mirror, because I'm envious of how she can shrivel another with one look. Another look she gives will turn any other cat around to go the opposite direction.

  2. Yeah... that saw wound looks sore... take care of it. You know, in the south (probably elsewhere) doves are in season for hunting. I've heard they are tasty, but it seems to me it would take a few to make a meal. Maybe stuff a dove into a grouse... a grouse into a chicken... a chicken into a duck... a duck into a turkey (you know... like the Turkduckhens they sell in Cajun country during the holidays). I always had cats and always had a ton of bird feeders... there must of have some casualties, but mostly the cats went after mice and chipmunks. Such is life.... Oh yes... love that bunk bed/kitty arrangement... quite innovative!

    1. Such is life. My friend has two outside boys so lazy birds flit around their heads and they don't even swat their direction. I told her they're so pathetic, it would make a great video! Not much meat on any bird, really, not flying birds. Not hardly worth the trouble.

  3. Lovely photos! And I appreciate when roadkill doesn't go to waste. Best wishes to you and all your charges, my dear.

    1. Wastefulness is wantfulness. Or something. I forget the old saying. It is a shame when something goes to waste. When I die, I don't mind if I get eaten.

  4. We get mourning doves here, but usually just two at a time. I don't remember seeing a flock. The are such pretty birds and calm. My husband and son have gotten some pretty good tools at yard sales. Maybe when the weather gets better, you can look for some. Tools are pretty sought after, so if there are going to be tools, they usually advertise it. That should help some with the looking.

  5. I had to google. Oregon Juncos are a nice plump little bird.

    1. They are cute. No photos of them on the blog today, nor of chickadees (black capped) or Scrub Jays.