Our cat graveyard

Earlier this year wasn’t a good time for our cats; we had three cats die within a few weeks. Back in March, we lost the mother of the outdoor feral cats, Poppy. Then in early April, we lost Pepper, one of the two feral shop cats. And a few days later, our elderly pet Pippin rapidly declined.

We buried each of them in the little cat graveyard near our pond, around some grasses that were planted in memory of an earlier cat, Pixel, who loved them. Each of our cats is memorialized with an engraved stone:

Cat graveyard near the pond

It’s appropriately below a weeping willow. There used to be a katsura tree and catmint there too (yes, puns), but the deer destroyed those.

A closer look at the cat graveyard, with the three recent graves and others:

Cat graveyard

Cat graveyard

Here are all of the stones, from the most recent. Our pet cat Pippin, 2007-2021, buried next to his littermate Padmé:

Pippin 2007-2021

The shop cat Pepper, 2015-2021:

Pepper 2015-2021

The feral momma cat Poppy, 2016-2021:

Poppy 2016-2021

A non-engraved stone for a black alien cat that someone hit crossing the road in 2018:

Black alien cat

Pippin’s sister Padmé, 2007-2016:

Padmé 2007-2016

Our last cat from NZ, Pixel, 1999-2013; he was our oldest cat, which was remarkable since he had diabetes and insulin shots for half his life:

Pixel 1999-2013

Our first cat (who also came with us to the US, though isn’t actually buried here), Piwhacket, 1994-2007:

Piwhacket 1994-2007

It’s always sad to lose a cat, whether pet or feral. Giving them a respectful burial and memorial stone gives some sense of closure.

Flock Friday for April 30

For Flock Friday this week, some pictures of Betty and her nest in the duck house, a few pictures of other ducks, and some of the chickens.

Here’s Betty in her nest behind the feeder tube, as seen from the maintenance door:

Betty

Via the duck house cam, Betty in her nest, grabbing a bite, plus a couple of boys also eating:

Ducks in the duck house

Betty eating some spilled food to avoid moving from her nest:

Betty

While Betty was taking a brief break, I got a picture of the eggs with downy fluffs. These soft under-feathers are one of the things that make ducks so cold-tolerant. Nesting ducks pluck them to both insulate the nest, and to expose skin as a “brood patch” to provide more direct warmth to the eggs:

Duck eggs with downy fluffs

Feather fluffs

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks by the lawn:

Ducks by the lawn

Betty on a break, looking kinda scraggly:

Betty

Betty in her nest:

Betty

And at night:

Betty

On to some chicken pictures. Here they are roosting in the old coop, shortly before the pop door automatically closed:

Chickens roosting

Closed door:

Chickens roosting

Roosting in the new coop:

Chickens roosting

Another angle:

Chickens roosting

Kiwi eyeing me:

Chicken

Chickens in their run:

Chickens

In the veggie garden (they’ll be kicked out soon, when we’re ready to start planting):

Chickens

Flock Friday for April 23

This week one of our ducks, Betty, started sitting on the dozen or so eggs in a nesting box in the duck house. So we may have ducklings in a few weeks time!

But let’s start with some pictures of the chickens, the first of which you may have seen on my personal blog:

Chicken

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Chickens

Here’s Betty by the eggs, not happy that I was peeking in at her:

Betty on eggs

A couple of pictures from the duck house cam of Betty in the nesting box:

Betty on eggs

In this one, you can see Sonja joining her; she might be laying too:

Betty on eggs

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Jays grabbing peanuts from the feeder tray; I put out a handful of whole peanuts each morning for them:

Jays grabbing peanuts

Jay grabbing a peanut

Jay grabbing a peanut

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

Betty on the eggs again:

Betty on eggs

A time-lapse GIF of Betty in the nesting box, and other ducks coming in to eat:

Betty on eggs

Flock Friday for April 16

Some quite nice pictures of the ducks and chickens this week; sunny weather helps get better photos.

Some ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Duck butt:

Duck butt

Ducks on the lawn; I love Rémy’s shiny green head:

Ducks on the lawn

Betty peeking at me around the duck house:

Betty peeking

Chickens with treats (apple and kale this day):

Chickens with treats

Chickens

Chickens with treats

On another day, chickens expectantly waiting for treats:

Expectant chickens

Chickens with treats (cauliflower, grapes, and Brussels sprouts, in order of their preference):

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

The ducks continue to lay eggs in the duck house, but nobody sitting on them yet; we’re leaving them there for now, just in case:

Duck eggs

Bert on the duck house ramp:

Bert on the duck house ramp

Flock Friday for April 9

For Flock Friday this week, some ducks and chickens, plus duck eggs in a new place.

Some ducks in the pond by the duck house ramp:

Ducks

Others in the shallow end:

Ducks

Hey, look what I found: three duck eggs in a nesting box in the duck house! I wonder if they’ll lay more there; that is the ideal place to lay:

Duck eggs

Betty stretching a wing:

Ducks

Sleepy ducks:

Sleepy ducks

Ducks on the lawn, with chickens visible in the background:

Ducks on the lawn

Chickens enjoying apple slices:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Flock Friday for March 26

Chickens and ducks. You know the drill.

A new toy for the chickens: a mealworm treat roller, a container that dispenses mealworms as they peck at it, to keep them entertained for a while:

Chickens with mealworm treat roller toy

Ducks on the pond deck:

Ducks on the pond deck

Ducks on the pond deck

Ducks flapping wings:

Duck flapping wings

Duck flapping wings

Duck flapping wings

Betty:

Betty

Merida:

Merida

Chickens with the treat roller again:

Chickens with treat roller

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds:

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Look closely, and you can see more ducks next to the gazebo:

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Here are the other ones:

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

The two groups joining up:

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Ducks zooming over the pond to get treats:

Ducks on the pond

Martha is being broody again:

Broody chicken