Cat update for week ending February 20

For Caturday this week: cat food, cabin cats, a raccoon, a possum, a GIF, a Paladout, and more.

As mentioned on my personal blog, the feral cat food dispenser was running on batteries during our big power outage, and reacted badly to low battery capacity by continuously dumping all of the food from its hopper:

Food dispenser

In that picture you can see the empty hopper and the top of the feeder tube, full of food (the dispenser is on a drawer I can pull out to make it easier to refill). Below, you can see the rest of that tube, and the big pile of food it has dumped:

Cat food

I scooped the excess back into the hopper after I replaced the batteries. It’s nice that it has a battery backup when not receiving power, but running continuously might not have been the best way to preserve battery capacity.

Here are Porcini and Poppy watching me approach on a rainy morning:

Porcini and Poppy

Poppy didn’t bother retreating; she knows I’m not a threat, so long as I keep my distance:

Poppy

A raccoon briefly visited Porcini in the cat house. She informed the raccoon that it wasn’t welcome there:

Cat and raccoon

The raccoon was just waiting for a possum to get out of the way:

Raccoon and possum

Bella in front of the feeder. I do wonder where she sleeps; she doesn’t avail herself of any of the heated shelters, unlike the rest of her family:

Bella

A cat in each doorway:

Two cats

Poppy arriving, with Porcini and Spud in cabins:

Poppy, Porcini, Spud

A GIF of Poppy going into a cabin with Porcini, Spud in the other cabin, and Bella walking behind the cabins:

GIF of Poppy, Porcini, Spud, Bella

Do you see three cats?

Three cats

Hint:

Cat jumping down from tree

Poppy and Porcini inside the cat house:

Poppy and Porcini

Doing my morning rounds, having visited the ducks, I noticed Paladout on the hidden path by the pond:

Paladout by the pond

Closer:

Paladout by the pond

Paladout by the pond

Three cats inside the house this morning:

Three cats

Finally, Poppy watching me from under our main deck:

Poppy

Cat update for week ending February 13

We are currently without power, which isn’t great for us, but also isn’t ideal for the feral cats, as their heated shelters won’t be as toasty.

Though they are quite used to snuggling together for warmth. Here are Spud and Poppy together in the left cabin, and Porcini in the right (back when we had power):

Three cats

Poppy watching me:

Poppy

Three cats again:

Three cats

The twins — Spud and Pommie:

Twins

Three cats at the cat house:

Three cats

Three cats

Snuggles inside:

Snuggles

Spud in his breezeway cabin:

Spud

Four cats at the cabins (Porcini, Spud, Poppy, Pommie):

Four cats

Some snow yesterday:

Snowy

Me refilling their heated water dish (which also doesn’t work with the power off; it’s now frozen):

Refilling water

Two cats watching me as I walk up the path to the bird food box, while it snows:

Two cats

Two cats

Four cats again (the same bunch as before, with Spud behind Poppy in the left cabin):

Four cats

This morning, a layer of ice covered by a layer of snow; here’s the frozen small pond by the cat house:

Snow and ice

The cat house:

Cat house

Cat update for week ending February 6

Some cats definitely feature more on my weekly Caturday posts: Poppy and Porcini in particular. They just hang around more. But Spud and Pepper are up there, too. The others, Pommie, Bella, and Pansy, are more reclusive.

A GIF of Porcini wiggling (might take a moment to load):

Wiggle

Let’s not forget the traditional Porcini and Poppy snuggles inside their house:

Snuggles

Spud emerging from a cabin:

Spud

Poppy and Spud:

Poppy and Spud

Peeking at Pepper in her nest atop shelving in the shop:

Pepper

A super-cute glimpse of Porcini while I was refilling bird feeders:

Porcini

Poppy and Porcini in their house; Porcini investicating something on the ceiling:

Poppy and Porcini

Poppy and Porcini

Something fascinating outside (probably a bird):

Poppy and Porcini

Why share a door window when you can have your own:

Poppy and Porcini

Porcini yawning:

Poppy and Porcini

Porcini and Poppy watching me as I approach up the path:

Porcini and Poppy

Cat update for week ending January 30

The last Caturday for January… or is it March 335, 2020? What is time?

We start as we often do, with cute Porcini and Poppy snuggles in their cat house:

Snuggles

Poppy and Porcini on their deck:

Poppy and Porcini

Spud, Poppy, and Pommie at the cabins:

Spud, Poppy, Pommie

Poppy has been spending a lot of time in the cabins; here she’s in the left one, with Spud behind her, and Porcini in the right one:

Poppy (Spud behind), Porcini

Poppy returning to the cabins, with Spud and Porcini still there:

Poppy, Spud, Porcini

Spud sleeping on top of the ever-patient Poppy, and Porcini still in the other cabin:

Spud, Poppy, Porcini

Pepper watching me in the shop, while I was working on the duck island project:

Pepper in the shop

Pepper in the shop

Cat

Cat

It snowed a bit on Sunday night; here’s Porcini with a bit of snow on the cat house awning (the ground in front is fairly sheltered by trees):

Snow and Porcini

Porcini, Poppy, and Pommie at the cabins again:

Porcini, Poppy, Pommie

Spud arrived too:

Spud, Poppy, Porcini, Pommie

A glimpse of Poppy and Porcini in the cabins while I walk up the path to the bird box (visible on the left). This picture is useful for context, too — our main deck and gazebo is above the cat cabins, with the bird feeders off to the right:

Poppy and Porcini

Porcini leaving:

Porcini leaving

Poppy thought about leaving as I got closer:

Poppy

But returned to the cabin and watched me cautiously while I refilled the bird feeders:

Poppy

As a feral cat, she’s cautious of all humans, but I think she recognizes me as not a threat.

Another busy day at the cabins, with Spud & Poppy in the left one, Pommie between them, and Porcini in the right one:

Four cats

That evening, a little more snow, and two cats:

Snow and cats

Pansy trying out a different chair in the back of the shop:

Pansy in the shop

Spud starting to throw up:

Spud yawp

A possum was happy to clean up the mess (time-lapse GIF), supervised by Pommie:

Possum and cat GIF

Spud was fine, he just ate a mouse or something that didn’t sit well. Here he is in the breezeway this morning:

Spud in the breezeway

Duck island buoyancy

On Sunday I did some more work on the duck island project, focusing on the buoyancy aspects. It’s a bit of a guess on how much I’ll need to make it float at an appropriate level, but I figure more is better; having it sink would be not ideal, and if it floats too high, I can always pile on more dirt, or remove some of the buoyancy.

There are two components to making it float: four 5-gallon buckets, and a ring of 4-inch pipes.

Here is a bucket, with a bead of silicone around the rim to help seal the lid:

Bucket

As you can see, the lid also has a rubber seal, and clamps on to the bucket.

A stack of four sealed buckets:

Buckets

Next I moved the island onto my cart, up the right way; this is the first time it’s been upright. Placing it on the cart makes it easier to work with, and it’ll be ready to transport to the pond:

On cart

Another component of the buoyancy is a ring of 4-inch ABS DWV pipes. The sizing worked out perfectly; the pipes came in 2-foot lengths, and I didn’t need to cut any of them to make them fit:

Pipes

I put some pool noodles inside the pipes; I don’t know if that’ll help at all, but can’t hurt.

I sealed the pipes with ABS adhesive:

Pipes

Then I attached the pipes to the frame with pipe hanger straps:

Pipes and hangers

My ideal water level would be about halfway up the frame, at around the midpoint of the pipes, so the middle platform (where the tools are in the above picture) would be just under water. We’ll see if that eventuates!

Here’s a closer look at a strap:

Hangers

Once again, Pepper the shop cat was supervising my work (or really just waiting for me to go away so she could get to her food):

Cat

Cat

Here’s the current state of the island:

Island

Next up, I will add the pond liner to contain the dirt, and a third platform level above the pipes.

Cat update for week ending January 23

It’s Caturday! 22 pictures today… and yes, one of them includes Bernie. Probably the last time I’ll succumb to that meme. Probably.

Let’s start with some cute snuggles inside the cat house:

Snuggles

Four cats; drinking, deck, eating, and background:

Four cats

Poppy drinking, Bella on the deck, and Porcini cutely peeking around the corner while stretching on the tree:

Three cats

Pepper supervising me while I was building the duck island in the shop:

Cat

Three cats:

Three cats

A couple of cats by the fountain garden:

Two cats

Bernie and a cat perched on the upturned bench:

Bernie and cat on bench

Too close!

Cabin cat

Three cats inside the house:

Three cats

Spud emerging from a cabin:

Spud

Cabin twins:

Cabin twins

Poppy emerging from the house when I went to refill their water dish:

Poppy

Porcini enjoying some sun on the cat deck, and Poppy drinking the refilled water:

Two cats

Poppy usually hangs out in the cat house, but a few times this week she has gone to the cabins instead; here she’s arriving, with Pommie already in a cabin:

Poppy and Pommie

Poppy and Pommie:

Poppy and Pommie

Porcini also stopped by to see what was so exciting:

Porcini, Poppy, Pommie

Poppy emerging in the morning:

Poppy

Spud and Poppy in the cabins while I approached to feed the birds:

Spud and Poppy

Spud in the breezeway cabin:

Spud

Poppy drinking, Bella enjoying a good stretch, Porcini eating:

Poppy, Bella, Porcini

It’s below freezing at present, so that heated water dish is really needed.

Spud emerging in the morning; sleeping in on the weekend:

Spud

Three cats enjoying the heating pads in the cat house on this sub-freezing morning:

Three cats

Duck island progress

Yesterday I made some more progress on the duck island project. See my previous post for an introduction.

Having bought some 4 inch ABS DWV (Drain/Waste/Vent) pipes and 45° elbows from Home Depot, I dry-fitted them within the frame. I’ll need to trim a couple to make them fit, but they should help add some buoyancy to the island:

Pipes added

Here’s a closer view of the pipes, plus a bucket that I’ll optionally use if I need more buoyancy (as I probably will):

Bucket

If needed, I’ll add two or four such buckets spaced around the island, sealing their lids closed with silicone. I should be able to add them after installation, once I see how well it floats. (The lid doesn’t match the bucket as Home Depot didn’t have the black ones I wanted, and only had orange lids, but they fit the green buckets; I’ll face the lids towards the center of the island, so they won’t be visible.)

Pepper was supervising me:

Cat

Next I used scraps of wood and clamps to measure the boards for the platforms:

Planning platforms

There are two levels of platforms; one should (hopefully) be right about at the water level, the second lower than that, as ducks find it easier to swim up then put their feet down to step higher. The lower ones weren’t in my original design, but I think will be a good addition.

I lifted the island to lean it on the shop door, so I could attach the platform boards; this is our first look at the top of the island, too:

Leaning on the shop door

Here are the water-level platforms, made from 1×2 boards, attached with finish nails:

Adding platforms

A closer look:

Adding platforms

Back down on the floor (and upside-down again), adding the lower platforms:

Adding platforms

I know they aren’t super tidy; I didn’t bother cutting the boards at angles, or trimming with a nice clean line, since the ends won’t be visible when underwater.

Here’s a closer look at the two platform levels, and the pipe:

Adding platforms

That’s it for now. Next time, I will trim the pipes and stick them together (I forgot to pick up the proper adhesive for ABS pipes from Home Depot, so ordered some from Amazon).

I will attach the pipes with some metal hanger straps, and add the pond liner that will contain the island dirt. I’ll probably also add a third platform level above the pipes to help hold them in place, hide the edge of the liner, and make another step for the ducks to jump to before reaching the dirt.

Then it’ll be time for installation! We’ll see how far I get next time. Stay tuned!

Cat update for week ending January 16

It’s Caturday. And birdyday, apparently.

Three cats, including Paladout:

Three cats

Poppy:

Poppy

A cam app screenshot with five cats; two in cabins, three in their house:

Five cats

I flushed Poppy out of her house again while refilling their food dispenser:

Poppy

Four cats, with three eating the bonus food I tossed on the ground for them:

Four cats

Pansy in the back of the shop:

Pansy in the back of the shop

Porcini enjoying a bath in a sunbeam:

Porcini enjoying a sunbeam bath

Porcini and Poppy:

Porcini and Poppy

A GIF of Bella on the deck, Porcini climbing a tree, and another cat running up, startling Bella:

Three cats

Spud stretching in the breezeway:

Spud

Porcini rolling around on the awning, Poppy drinking:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy snuggling:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy

A GIF of Porcini snuggling and rolling:

Porcini and Poppy

Paladout on a foggy morning:

Paladout

Spud in front of the cabins:

Spud

A Steller’s Jay grabbing cat food; such a pretty bird:

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

Cat update for week ending January 9

A pleasant Caturday to you.

The twins by the cabins:

Two cats by cabins

A zoomed photo of the cat house, with three cats visible — one on the awning, one inside the house, and a third on the deck. Quite likely one in the feeder too:

Cat house with 3 cats

A screenshot of my cams app, showing five cats — one in the feeder, one in a cabin, and three in the house:

5 cats

A time-lapse GIF of a raccoon encounter — a raccoon approached the cabins when Pommie was in there, then went behind them. She retreated, and the raccoon came between the cabins:

Raccoon and cat

Raccoon and cat:

Raccoon and cat

Porcini scratching while looking in the direction of the camera:

Porcini scratching

Porcini by the heated water dish:

Porcini

Poppy under our main deck while I refilled the bird feeders:

Poppy

Two cats in the evening:

Two cats

Spud and Pommie starting to retreat when I’m approaching to refill the bird feeders:

Spud and Pommie when I'm approaching

Pommie wonders if the coast is clear after I’ve gone:

Pommie

Four cats:

Four cats

A GIF of Porcini licking and snuggling with her mother, Poppy:

Snuggles

Porcini and Poppy snuggles:

Porcini and Poppy snuggles

Spud in the breezeway:

Spud in the breezeway

Spud in the kitchen garden, watching me:

Spud in the kitchen garden

A GIF of Porcini scratching the tree by the cat house, while another eats, and a third approaches in the background:

Scratching tree

Four cats (one barely visible in the feeder):

4 cats

Three cats enjoying the heating pads on a sub-freezing morning today:

Three cats

Poppy and Bella on a frosty morning today:

Poppy and Bella

Flock Friday for January 8

How about some pictures of chickens and ducks to distract from the chaos of the world? Oh, and some bonus cats.

Only three chicken pictures this week. Here are a couple roosting on top of the metal food storage bin in the old coop:

Chickens

Enjoying some treats in their run:

Chickens

Chickens

The ducks over by the edge of the flowerbeds, with the white gazebo in the background:

Ducks

Heading over to the back lawn, past the pond deck:

Ducks

Night ducks:

Night ducks

On the back lawn, with the brown gazebo and new chicken coop in the background:

Ducks

As mentioned on my personal blog, I noticed that Sassa, the gimpy duck, is actually a boy:

Sassa

So we need to come up with a male Swedish name starting with “S”. Got a bunch of suggestions via Micro.blog already, but if you have any ideas, let me know.

Along with a similar discovery last week, that means that of the six ducklings from the second batch last year, which were supposed to be all female, two were male, and four female. Which brings our totals to five males and seven females… not an ideal ratio at all. I hope that won’t be a problem in Spring when they start mating. Male ducks can be, shall we say, rather enthusiastic in their endeavors.

A couple more pictures of the ducks on the back lawn:

Ducks

Ducks

Yesterday when I went to the pond, I noticed the ducks on the back corner, and two cats off to the right:

Ducks and cats

Here’s a closer look at the two cats; a black one (hard to see) and the gray Paladout:

Two cats

Closer:

Two cats

The ducks sleeping on the bank:

Ducks

I went around that side for a closer look; here several of the ducks are tilting their heads to look at me (but Betty is sleeping by the seedling):

Ducks

I went behind the pond, and the black cat scampered through the fence (I’m pretty sure both living on that neighboring property):

Cat

Paladout is more used to me, and just watched from the top of the bank:

Cat

I wasn’t too worried that the cats would attack the ducks; ducks are too big for cats to want to tackle, unless desperate.