Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My new "she shed" and Barn Kitties

Before renovations
So I promised my cat story which isn't all that exciting or funny but maybe just ironic. We bought our property in September of last year but didn't move out to it until May of this year. Lots of things had to be put into place before we could move. We put in a septic system, we buried the electric line, we had a barn built and we had to finish out a cabin.

The cabin was only 288 sq ft but it was just a shell. No sheetrock on the inside, no floor (just a really poorly built sub floor), but it did have electricity and insulation. Now I have my writing cave or a "she shed" as they're calling these cabins now. More on my writer's cave later. Too fun.

After some of the renovations
After all of that, we moved and it's been an adventure ever since. On one of our working weekends, we noticed a gray cat, and wanting to make sure the cat stuck around, I bought some cat food. The next time we were out, we gave her a bite. A few minutes later, I called to my husband, "Look, babe, she has a kitten." A few minutes later, "Look dear, she has another." "Look honey, there's three." Needless, to say, five kittens later, we were putting out more food. They looked in need as they were scrawny little buggers.

A few weeks later, the dad shows up. I know it's the dad because it's identical to two of the kittens. And soon after, another black cat shows up, her tits full of milk. Ugh, so this one has a litter hiding somewhere. Two weeks ago we found the litter of three. They're about 5 weeks old now and that's my best guess. In the meantime, gray momma starts rounding out - she was very pregnant three weeks ago. Now, she's not. And we have no idea where that litter is or was. Since we haven't seen her in about a week, I think something must have gotten to them. Sad but that's how it is in the country I suppose.

So, my neighbor comes over and he says my biggest mistake was feeding them, that in the country, there is plenty for the cats to catch and eat. That's true. I've watched them in action. Tom Tom (the gray tabby on the right) caught a nice sized mouse the other day and they love snapping up the spring peepers (very small frogs) and crickets. He said they'd stick around whether I feed them or not and that nature has a way of weeding them out. We have hawks, eagles and coyotes around, not to mention bobcats and snakes.

Dad and 5 of the kittens (one is hiding behind the bench)
Plus, we've been having a great discussion on a western forum I'm on regarding what best to feed cats. 'Pears, I've been wrong in feeding them dry food as this tends to lead to health problems for cats. Their natural diet is raw meat. Needless to say, I'm now trying to wean them off me feeding them. I figure I'll just put out food during lean times like the winter. And I will continue to provide fresh water but I will be happy to just let them be barn kitties. By the way, they are feral. We can get about a yard from them before they run so they definitely aren't pets. More's the pity as I'm quite the cat lover.

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