Cat update: snuggle piles

As the weather gets cooler, the feral cats have been spending more time snuggling in the dry warmth of the shelter, as I’d hoped. At least some of them have spent most of the night, and sometimes most of the day in the shelter, though they typically go out patrolling during the day.

So this week, I’ve captured numerous photos like the following one, of several cats snuggled together inside:

But I do enjoy the odd goofy shot:

Nothing like a good stretch after a satisfying meal:

They don’t always snuggle together; here are four cats spread out inside:

Or sometimes some snuggle, but one prefers to be by herself:

But snuggling together can be dangerous:

As you may have seen in this video.

Another cat pile:

A breakfast queue:

This morning we were excited to see all five cats together; usually we only see up to four at a time, but in this screenshot you can see five: one on the deck, two in the feeder, and two in the shelter:

A later breakfast queue, with a bunch of Fall leaves:

Cat update: various vistors

Another week, another cat update! Yay!

This past week had visits from the raccoons and possum on most nights, as usual, plus the alien gray cat, and a new alien orange cat.

Firstly, here are a couple of our feral cats in the feeder, disappointed at the lack of food. I remotely dispensed more shortly afterwards:

Three outside:

Post-eating nap inside:

Watching a bird:

As mentioned, the raccoons have visited on some of the nights; about every second one on average. Usually they’re disappointed to find nothing, or only crumbs:

Too close!

The possum visits most nights… and once lucked out with lots of food, when few cats had turned up during the day. It can be hard to get the balance of food right, when the cats are inconsistent in how often they turn up to eat:

Looking at the camera:

Three inside:

Enjoying a morning sunbeam:

Spud on our front steps, where the feeder used to be:

Stretch!

The gray cat visited a couple of times. The first time, nobody else was around:

But the second time, two of our ferals were enjoying afternoon snuggles inside:

One of the ferals went to investigate, and there was some disagreement. The gray cat felt trapped in the feeder:

Here’s a screenshot of the encounter from my iPad:

As usual with alien encounters, there was some hissing and posturing, some threatening eye contact, some ignoring each other, then they separated without coming to blows.

But wait, there’s more! We also had a surprise new visitor; an orange cat that we hadn’t seen before:

Fortunately, nobody else was home at the time:

Finally, let’s conclude this week’s cat post with a funny pic:

Cat update: just cuteness

I mentioned in the cat update last week how a possum and raccoons had an encounter, and that I’ve been tweaking the food levels via the new food dispenser to try to ensure the food dish is empty overnight, to discourage the unwelcome visitors. Well, that has been going pretty well in the past week. The possum and/or raccoons still turn up most nights, but so far have been successfully disappointed by an empty dish, and quickly departed. I’ll keep on that; hopefully they’ll catch a clue in due course.

Not much else to report this week. The weather has been more cool and rainy, so several of the cats have been spending more time in the dry comfort of the heated shelter.

Enjoy a bunch of cute cat pictures:

Three cats in the shelter:

Tracking a bug:

Three cats outside:

Kisses inside:

One eating, one looking out the shelter window:

One upstairs, two downstairs (on the heating pads):

Looking at the camera:

Lick:

Sleepy snuggles:

Porcini outside:

Normally the cats are out-and-about during the day, but Porcini spent most of the day yesterday curled up in the shelter, and most of last night too:

Looking at the camera:

Breakfast rush:

Freaking out a little when the food dispenser activates (but they’re slowly getting used to it, and coming running when they hear the noise):

A still of playing outside; see the YouTube video for a fun (silent) movie of them playing:

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.

Cat house: the possum menace

Last night was rather eventful at the cat house. The possum turned up, as often happens, but the raccoons arrived while it was eating, and they had a bit of a disagreement:

It was a busy time (around 22:22, aka 10:22 PM), which I saw on my iPad cam app. A cat amazingly slept through it (or pretended to do so), while the possum growled and lunged at the raccoons:

Here’s a couple more shots of the encounter:

The raccoons retreated, and the possum continued eating.

A few hours later, the possum visited again, and this time invaded the shelter, where two cats were sleeping. They quickly evacuated:

Fortunately that encounter didn’t scare the cats off; they were back later, and cleaned each other then slept for a number of hours:

Breakfast time queue:

I really hope the new food dispenser will let me eliminate the excess food, so the possum and raccoons stop coming. Makes me regret not building an elevated feeder and shelter.

Cat update: RIP, new feeder, cuteness

It’s been over a week since the previous cat update. Many apologies to the zero people eagerly awaiting another update. (Actually, there may be a non-zero number; I have had some nice feedback on the cat posts, which I greatly appreciate.)

Firstly, some sad news. You may recall the alien black cat that has been visiting our cat house (pictured in the above-linked post). Unfortunately, someone hit this cat as it was crossing the street, and we found it dead by our front fence. We figured it was a feral or stray (since it didn’t have any collar), so we gave it a respectful burial in the little graveyard we have for our pet cats. A few days later, Jenn saw a sign asking if anyone had seen a black cat, so she called the owner to give them the bad news. They were appreciative, and I’m sure it’s best to have closure, but we know how sad it is to lose a pet cat.

Here’s our cat graveyard, overlooking the pond, with memorial stones for our previous cats, some grass that Pixel used to like, and cat mint:

On to other topics. We’ve still been visited by raccoons and a possum regularly, as they’ve learned they can often find food left in the feeder:

Though sometimes not:

Possum:

So to try to eliminate that temptation, I have replaced the automatic feeder with an internet-connected model. This new one will dispense on a schedule like the old one, but also has an app. So I can have it dispense an amount of food that the cats are pretty much guaranteed to eat, then use the app to manually (and remotely) dispense addtional portions as needed, ensuring that they don’t leave any food to attract the unwanted visitors.

Here’s the new feeder in the cupboard above the feeding area, along with spare food, the light remote, an Eero internet router (to extend the Wi-Fi range), plus camera and heating pad plugs:

The app lets me adjust the schedule, dispense custom amounts manually, see the feeding history, and other info:

I just installed that today, so I’ll fine-tune the meal amounts till I figure out the right amount. Hopefully I’ll be able to eliminate leftovers, and thus phase out the non-cat visitations. We’ll see!

Anyway, that’s the news of the week, so let’s close out with an assortment of cute cat pics:

New shrubs behind the cat house, to eventually make it a bit less exposed:

Cat by the beehives:

One year of feral cats

Yep, it’s another week, so another cat update.

But more importantly, it’s been a year since we first found the feral cats, or rather the kittens, and their mother, Poppy.

Here’s a picture from my first blog post about the kittens, published one year ago today; click the link to see more:

My how they’ve grown!

You may recall from last week that I turned on the heating pads and held open the door to the shelter part of the cat house, hoping that they’d start sleeping in there. This has worked out well. Most nights, at least one cat has spent most of the night, and often several.

Here’s the first guest, Porcini:

The following night, three cats:

Two of whom stayed all night:

However, Spud got a bit curious about the camera, disloging it from its magnetic mount (hanging on by the power cable):

Two mornings running:

Cute angled shot:

Here’s what the camera looks like:

To prevent further issues, I built a wooden enclosure, that both holds the camera in place, and protects it a bit, much like I did for the feeder cam:

Here it is installed:

We also had an encounter between the alien black cat and one of the mushroom girls:

Some words were exchanged:

And a bit of posturing, before the black cat made a hasty retreat; they didn’t actually come to blows:

Makes you want to bury your head:

Another exciting development was when we saw all five cats at once; we hadn’t seen more than four at a time for months, so had wondered if something had happened to one of them.

Here’s a screenshot of my iPad, showing one cat outside, two in the shelter, and two in the feeder:

Let’s finish off with some random interesting pics.

Mirrored sleeping cats:

Poppy:

Stretch:

A snuggly pair:

Hunting:

That’s it for now.