Posts Tagged ‘farm cats’

Newborn kittens

August 18, 2009

Yesterday we got a closer look and it turns out Mama Cat has a litter of 4 kittens. Two are orange and white tabbies, one is gray and white, and the other seems to be gray/brown/white/black. I had told Aidan about the kittens, but not Moira. That seems unfair, yet he is older and a bit more responsible with the kittens. However, this morning Aidan went out to look at them and Mo followed. So now they both know and are quite excited about the cute little kittens. Mama Cat did move the kittens down to the ground, which seems safer than the box that was on top of a stack of boxes. I admit I was a bit worried about that spot yesterday, so I’m glad Mama Cat is as smart as she is and decided to move them. This morning, the kids picked up the kittens and Mama Cat was fine with it. I did tell them to NOT move the kittens anywhere. So far, so good.

Peeking in at Mama Cat

Peeking in at Mama Cat

Four fuzzy kittens

Four fuzzy kittens

Kittens!

Kittens!

Nursing

Nursing

Cats and kittens

August 14, 2009

OK, today you get pictures of cats and kittens. (Tomorrow might be snakes. I know you are all very excited!)  These were taken almost two weeks ago, so the kittens have grown a bit since then. They are still cute and playful, though.

Here is one of Little Gray nursing two of the kittens. The kittens are about 3 months old in this picture. They eat plenty of hard food so are obviously in the process of weaning (and have been for a while!). I find this interesting because I know that when people sell kittens, they sell them when they are around 6-8 weeks old. Clearly, they will nurse much longer when given the chance.

Little Gray nursing Captain Gray and Tubby Boat

Little Gray nursing Captain Gray and Tubby Boat

This is Tubby Boat. She has some beautiful markings and is pretty friendly.

Tubby Boat

Tubby Boat

This is Swirly, Jr. He is the only kitten who has the privilege of going both indoors and outdoors. We bring him in at night so he is safe. He sleeps on our bed and plays with our toes and snuggles and purrs. We are all totally smitten with this kitten! 🙂

The cutest, sweetest kitten in the world.

The cutest, sweetest kitten in the world.

This is Swirly. You can see why the kitten is named Swirly, Jr. as they have almost identical markings. The biggest differences are that Swirly’s eyes are a beautiful amber color, whereas Swirly, Jr.’s are a little more brown. Also, Swirly, Jr. has a thin white stripe on his head. Of course, at the moment Swirly is much bigger than Swirly, Jr. We have other names for Swirly, such as Big Swirly or Uncle Swirly. Sometimes we call Swirly, Jr. Little Swirly or SJ or

Swirly rolling around on the sidewalk

Swirly rolling around on the sidewalk

This is Vicious, one of Mama Cat’s second litter. I thought Vicious was a girl, but now there is no doubt Vicious is a boy. He has turned out to be pretty friendly, considering our rough introduction

Much less vicious these days

Vicious, who is much less vicious these days

Here are Little Gray’s kittens playing.

Kittens playing. From left, Captain Gray, Swirly, Jr., and Tubby Boat

Kittens playing. From left, Captain Gray, Swirly, Jr., and Tubby Boat

A closer view of Captain Gray. He’s the least friendly, but I am sure that he will get friendlier as he gets older.

Captain Gray, one of Little Gray's kittens

Captain Gray, one of Little Gray's kittens

Garden covers

June 3, 2009

If you’ve looked at the pictures of my garden, you probably noticed the covers on the garden frames. These covers are necessary to keep out critters of all sorts, including rabbits and deer, raccoons and opossums, and cats and chickens. The cats and chickens seem to get in the beds the most: the cats to poop and the chickens to take dust baths or to peck at bugs and sometimes growing plants. This is not good, thus we have the frames. So far they seem to be working well to keep everyone out. A couple of weeks ago, Karen at ChickenSense commented on the garden covers. I figured it was worth a post to show how they are made. I can’t claim much credit as the idea is from All New Square Foot Gardening and the work was done by Tim, with a little bit of help from the kids and me.

Tim started with 2″ X 2″ pieces of lumber and cut them into 4′ sections. Then he used a screw to connect the corners. This part made a square and is the bottom of the cover. It is the part that rests on the the 2″ X 6″ pieces of wood that we used for the frames. Next, he took the chicken wire and stapled it onto the wood. This is the hard part since the chicken wire is in a roll and he had to hold the frame down while unrolling and stapling the chicken wire to it. Tim did this by himself more than once, but said it was easier when I helped him. 

Corner of garden cover

Corner of garden cover

Chicken wire stapled and zip tied together

Chicken wire stapled and zip tied together

After the sides of the cover are stapled on, it’s time to cut two or more pieces for the top, depending on what size chicken wire you are using. We used zip ties to connect the top pieces with the side pieces. The little white things are what is left of the zip ties after Tim clipped off the part hanging out. 

Zip ties to keep top and sides together

Zip ties to keep top and sides together

Side and top of garden cover

Side and top of garden cover

Zip ties holding top and sides of chicken wire together

Zip ties holding top and sides of chicken wire together

The great thing about these covers is that they are fairly quick and easy to make, while also being inexpensive. You need wood, zip ties, a staple gun with lots of staples, a few screws, and some chicken wire. The covers are lightweight and the kids can lift them so they can get a little snack of lettuce while we are in the garden. I’m not sure the covers would keep out a determined raccoon, though. I say this because we did see Swirly try to climb one and it kind of caved in. The garden is pretty safe from deer, rabbits, cats, and chickens, though. 

Eventually we plan to fence in the garden, but these covers work well. The frames can also be used to provide shade for garden plants or, if covered with the sort of plastic used in greenhouses, could be used to extend the growing season. So even after our garden is fenced in, we will still use these frames.

Friday Cuteness

May 1, 2009

I have updated the Who’s Who page to include pictures of the new kittens. Here’s another one of Vicious, which you can see is aptly named.

Vicious the Kitten

Vicious the Kitten

Mama Cat nursing her kittens

Mama Cat nursing her kittens

Little Gray had her kittens either yesterday or this morning. She wasn’t around for dinner last night and didn’t come this morning until Tim went to disturb her in the garage. When she came to eat, it was clear that she had given birth. She was not as round and she had some matted fur near her bottom. So we found the kittens in the garage in a box up on top of a dryer. Here’s a picture, though not necessarily a good one. It looks like there are four kittens in there, two orange tabbies just like Scotchy and Swirly and two grayish ones.

Four newborn kittens

Four newborn kittens

And last, but not least, our 7 week old chickens:

Two roosters or a rooster and a pullet?

Two roosters or a rooster and a pullet?

Enjoying some free time

Enjoying some free time

Chickens in the garden

Chickens in the garden