Porcini is vocalizing and stretching, and gets licked by Pommie, then sits on Poppy, who isn’t entirely thrilled, but then they snuggle happily. Just another day in the feral cat shelter.
Just a few hours on the berry cage construction this weekend: installing the welded wire on the new fence portion, that divides the berry cage from the rest of the veggie garden.
The rightmost portion has an angle to accommodate the slope:
Right side done; working on the left side:
A view through the doorways:
The left side also has interesting angles for the slope:
Next up: replacing the wire on the old portion of the fence, with this smaller gauge wire.
It’s time for more cat snuggles!
And a bunch of staring off into the distance:
But let’s not forget the (disappointed) possum menace:
Interestingly, there was a cat sitting in the doorway, and just watched the possum walk by, without retreating:
There is a water dispenser inside the feeder area, but since it has been below freezing lately, I decided to add a heated water dish outside. This dish warms up the water just enough to prevent it freezing, and only comes on when cold enough to be needed (I have a larger version of this for Rory’s dog water on the deck):
Another visitor, this time a raccoon; again, was watched from inside by a cat:
Stretch and snuggles:
Can’t have too many stretches (watched from the window):
A meeting outside, and an observer inside:
Porcini staring at the camera. Oh, and if you look closely, you may notice an addition to the images from now on: I’ve added a watermark as a copyright notice and URL of this blog. I use the excellent Retrobatch app to convert the large BMP images from the cameras to a more compact HEIF format for importing into the photo library, so I now also add the watermark to ensure the images have proper attribution if shared:
A pile of three cats snuggling, and another greeting with a lick:
Staring off into the distance again:
The older Rhode Island Red and Leghorn chickens emerge from the old coop first, since the automatic door opener on that coop gets more sunlight (it has a light sensor to open and close the pop door), and come over to the new run:
Meanwhile, the chickens in the new coop are waking up, and having their breakfast:
Then their door opens, and they start to emerge into the run:
Then the old chickens go into the new coop to eat that food (even though they have their own):
Here’s me doing the morning rounds, about to give the chickens a treat (leftover pasta):
They were very excited:
I hope you enjoyed this post, that’s a little different than the usual ones.
An invasion this past week: a couple of raccoons went inside the shelter, and one even went onto the upper level (which I hadn’t seen before). Fortunately, no cats were present at the time:
A couple of cats peering out the shelter windows:
Another raccoon visit, this time with a cat in the shelter doorway:
I added a second screw to each of the thermal mats on the upper level, to stop them flopping down over the edge:
With the sub-freezing temperatures overnight, the cats have been spending a lot more time on the lower level recently, directly on the heating pads:
All five cats inside:
A sequence of three stills of Portabella falling down while playing; always impressive the way cats twist around to land on their feet:
Did you watch her playtime in the YouTube video?
A deer walks by, watched by a cat in the doorway:
And more snuggles:
Portabella looks at the camera while waiting her turn for breakfast:
Porcini and Pommie (or Spud… but I think Pommie?):
Portabella is ready for her close-up:
That’s it for this week!
The weather last weekend wasn’t great, and it’s going to pack in again next week, so I decided to spend some days this week on building the berry cage in the veggie garden. An advantage of being self-employed is that I can shift my time around as needed, in this case to take advantage of decent weather during the week.
I ended up doing four days (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday), which is equivalent to two weekends, so all works out. I’m working on the weekends to offset that time.
Anyway, I started by making a simple wooden stand out of scrap wood, to help support the 10′ lumber when cutting it with my table saw:
Then I continued installing the poles and roof beams, starting work in rather frosty mornings (and the highs were only around 45° F / 7° C):
Here’s a pole in a hole. The 10′ poles are about 2′ underground, 8′ above ground:
As before, I used boards and clamps to hold the poles straight:
I also added a post level, that is tied onto the pole, which is much more convenient than using a straight level, plus a string to line up the posts:
Here’s a view down a pole, showing a temporary block clamped to the pole, making it easier to position each horizontal rail board by myself:
Here’s a board resting on the block, ready to be nailed:
Another new acquisition was another stop ladder; a new 8′ one, in addition to the older 6′ one, very kindly picked up from Home Depot by Jenn. Having two ladders really saved a lot of time when measuring, positioning, and nailing two ends of a rail, and no doubt had safety benefits, not having to move a ladder as often:
The last pole:
I didn’t want to bother with covering my tools with a tarp, or carrying them individually back to the hoop house shelter at the end of each day, so I put them in one of our carts. Including keeping the air nailer compressor in the cart, which makes it easier to move around as needed, too. Here it’s all loaded up, ready to go back to the hoop house for the night (you can see the hoop house in the background):
A view of the roof beams:
Completed poles and roof beams:
Adding bottom and middle rails on the front fence:
I brought the welded wire over to check the position of the middle rail:
An extra rail on the sloped part of the fence:
Fence rails done:
A view of the front and back doorways:
Another view of the finished poles and roof beams:
Next up: adding the welded wire fencing!
One of the feral cats, Portabella, plays around inside the shelter, and gives an opportunity for an instant replay.
It can sometimes be a challenge thinking of a title for the #Caturday posts, since they’re typically an assortment of cats doing cute things, and sometimes wildlife.
This week, no wildlife pictures (a few visits, but nothing notable). But there seems to be a number of pictures of the cats staring at things, and showing teeth while either hissing or yawning… and as always, lots of snuggles.
Here’s an example of the eyes, briefly concerned by some noise outside:
Having a playful moment:
More eyes, of all five cats this time:
All five again (and a wet back):
Another playful moment; Spud-like behavior, but it’s actually Pommie:
All five cats; can you see all of them?
Two on the awnings, two on the deck:
More teeth, this time a hiss, as Poppy was startled from a sleep by Porcini wanting to snuggle:
But she quickly relaxed, as they licked each other:
And snuggled for quite a while:
I hope you’re not getting bored of snuggly cats! Always makes me happy to see that.
In my latest #Caturday post, I wrote about how I can’t tell Pommie and Spud apart. (Or Pomegranate and Potato, if using their full names.) I thought I’d do a bonus post with several more photos of those two.
In the following pictures, Pommie is on the left, and Spud on the right, as identified by seeing their genders when they arrived. Although there seem to be some minor differences, I can’t spot anything about either of them to reliably tell them apart. Can you?
A little more progress on the berry cage project.
I started by moving some of the holes a little, as was mentioned last week, to position them better. Here’s my earth auger, which makes digging holes much easier:
I then temporarily placed poles in the holes:
Next I removed the top course of wire from the existing fence, since I need to add boards to attach the top of the new wire, and the roofing wire:
I also extended some of the poles that were a bit short:
Here’s the new top beam; that will be the height of the roof (about 8′):
Finally, I carefully positioned the first new pole, bracing it with boards and clamps, and attaching the two roofing beams — one with the board in a vertical orientation, attached to the side of the new post and an original fence post, another with the board in a horizontal orientation, 5′ from the old fence (for the width of the fencing wire):
Here’s a closer view of those roof boards:
Next time I will continue placing posts and their roofing beams.