So we’re planning on picking our kittens up in the next few days. So nap time rolls around and I force myself to stay awake in order to get out there and do the dirty work of cleaning up the chicken coop. I feed the chickens first, and start heading around to their various spots that they lay eggs. First hut outside, none. Second hut outside, 3. Time to head inside. I walk in and notice quite a few in the two spots they like to lay. So I head on into the actual pen and I hear a “SQUEAK!” Um, what? I seriously thought that a hen had secretly been sitting on a nest and we had new chicks. A quick scan on the floor revealed no chicks. “SQUEAK!” Oh no! It’s a baby rat somewhere! Gross! OK, follow the noise…..”SQUEAK”! Uh, it’s up high. Weird. And then I see it. And still don’t recognize it. Looking closely, it’s the tiniest black and white kitten I’ve ever seen. It’s up on top of something in the chicken coop, but clawing it’s way back up as it’s about to fall off the side! I wonder to myself, how did this little baby get here? So out of the pen I go, around to the other side and there is mama cat with a whole litter. *Expletive*. Not what I had planned.
I poked around and looked long enough to freak mom out, and away she went. I went inside and got a little bin to put them in. I don’t really want to come out another day and find a kitten hanging by the chicken wire.
OK, so let me explain why I’m so perturbed:
#1: This mama is a completely feral cat. I’m not sure I want her (unvaxed self) spending a ton of time in a place where my kids love to be. And when I say feral, I mean that. You can’t get withing 20 feet of her without her darting off. Completely untameable.
#2: She just had a litter of kittens this summer! The most I ever saw her with was 5, and that was when they were probably 6 weeks old. It wasn’t long after that the numbers starting dwindling and I actually found 2 of them dead. That was a summer litter. This will be a winter litter. To be honest, I don’t really expect any of them to survive. Call me cruel, but I feel like these kittens should just go away so that she can cut her losses and focus on surviving the winter herself. I just can’t bring myself to do that either, though.
#3: Back to the first sentence, we are supposed to be getting 2 kittens IN A FEW DAYS! I don’t want to back out and not take them….I don’t want to end up with 8 kittens…..I don’t want these feral kitties to make my tame kitties sick…..UGH!
I dunno what to do. I suppose do nothing. But there will definitely be food in the chicken coop for the older kitties we’ll be getting, so I suppose the mama and eventually her littles will be eating out of there too. I don’t want to encourage it but I don’t want them to die off either.
So anyway, in lighter news, I got the chicken coop most of the way clean. I also stuck Bounce dryer sheets in every crack, crevice and hole I could find. I read somewhere that it will repel mice, so I thought the same might work for rats??? Anyone??? Anyway, the box only cost me $2. It’s worth a shot, right?
In other baby news, our chicks are getting quite big. They begin each night roosting with mama, but after fighting over the little space under her wings while roosting, they all end up snuggled on the floor together. Eli is predicting we’ll have a lot of roosters, but we shall see. I hope not.
Today Fran put in the rest of the windows and sliding glass door, except for the one in the basement. We’re almost sealed up!
Eli borrowed Graham’s truck and headed out of town with Stanley to pick up our siding. Over the last few weeks, Eli talked and visited and haggled with a guy about some rough cut Hemlock we could use for siding. It is a lot more than we need for siding the house (like 3 times the amount) but it ended up costing the same amount as we were quoted for the wood siding we had originally thought about. So this bunch of Hemlock will be our siding, will probably side our future garage, will side our pigeon and chicken coops (gotta match the house, that’s my rule!) and probably even be our wrap around deck by next summer. Saving $$$ does not usually mean saving time, though. Eli and Stan spent all day loading the lumber onto trailers and driving it home. And it’s still sitting on the trailers. And there is still another load to go back and get.
But, at the end of the day, it’s so wonderful and heartwarming to think of all the people that are cheering us on and helping us get there. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably one of those people. A thousand thank you’s to everyone!