Thursday, January 05, 2017

Oh, these cats

If I were writing a book today, the first line would be, "It was a cold and snowy day".   Maybe it would be a "who-done-it", with me searching for footprints in the snow.  There were no footprints in this morning's accumulation, though.  Most mornings, winter or summer, Jake-the-orange-tomcat wanders from back deck to front porch and back again, hoping I'll come out, go to the barn, and feed him.  This morning not a single footie-print did I see in the fresh, clean snow.  Buttons, the yellowish kitten, is often hanging around in back too.  He's developed a taste for the calves' milk replacer; he follows me to the fence where I stand to feed them and licks at the foamy milk-slobbers that drip from their mouths as they suck.  I took pity on the two youngsters last night and put them in the shop, where the temperature seldom drops below freezing.  They are about half-grown now.
Here they are waiting for me to dish up their canned food.  Can you tell they're impatient?  

I've always had cats around the barn, but I paid them little attention except to feed and water them.  Since I have less livestock these days, the cats are getting more of my time.  I'm learning new things about feline creatures.  For instance:  Cats don't like to drink water if it's too near their food.  After getting those two kittens, I was perplexed at the way the water in their dish in the barn (beside their cat food) never seemed to diminish, and yet as soon as they got in Cliff's shop, they'd run to the bowl of water the grandson keeps there for his great dane and drink for five minutes straight, as though they were thirsting to death.  I did a google search and found my answer HERE.  Once I moved the water to the other end of that part of the barn, the level went down significantly every day.  The boys do still seem to like to drink from the dog's dish, though, as though they think they're getting away with something.  Mama Kitty and Jake drink from the in-ground horse waterer most of the time.  

There's another sort of a problem with Grady that sent me to Google.  Keep in mind I had no experience with litter boxes in the past, so it was a surprise to me.  Buttons does a fair job of covering up his mess in the littler box in the shop, but Grady?  Never!  He poops and leaves, with no effort to cover it.  Once in awhile he actually gets in the litter box and then poops over the edge, onto the floor.  I had a REAL nice mess to clean up the other day on his account.  Honestly, is there anything that smells worse than cat poop?  Google tells me this is not an uncommon occurrence.  I found several theories, but I don't think anybody actually knows why it happens.  You can go read HERE, but there are many web pages about the problem with, really, no specific answer.

My hopes are that in summer when the shop doors are open all day, I can remove the litter box and the youngsters will go outside to do their business.  Yes, I know:  Man plans, God laughs (and so do cats).

I'll close with a picture of a fox we see almost every day, sometime between sunup and noon, in the pasture north of the house.  He appears to be hunting, probably moles:  I've seen more moles this year than at any time in my life.  There were mountainous molehills in our yard that I stumbled over in the darkness as I went to chore.  They are just as numerous in the pasture.  You will see Mr. Fox pounce every so often.  I always wonder if he was successful.  


This was taken at quite a distance and then cropped, so it isn't perfect.
Mama Kitty and Jake often come from the pasture with a mole, so with their efforts as well as the fox's, I hope there is a depletion of the mole population by next year.  

Peace!  Spring is only seventy-some days away.  


1 comment:

TARYTERRE said...

The only thing worse that cat poop is cat urine. It is the worst smell ever. If it is on something it NEVER ever leaves. Hope the fox doesn't get the cats. I had one named Buttons too once upon a time.