Monday, October 31, 2016

"Happy Halloween"

She's waiting for YOU 
at the Mouse-house.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Around and about the mouse-house today.

We have had our first bit of snow
but it only stayed a day.
No complaints here.
But, the next day our biggest maple looked like this.
It won't look as pretty from my kitchen window now but I have added more feeders for the winter months ahead so that should bring many bright-coloured birds.

And here's a few of the visitors at the mouse-house today.

We had grey & black squirrels, 2 cardinals, chickadees, blue-jays, mourning doves,
nut-hatch and our comical black crows visiting.

After cat-sitting and taking care of the resident birds, it was a perfect day to tidy up around here before the weekend ends. 
There's a new toy here; a 55 inch tv. Oh, my word!
Can you picture that in the mouse-house?
I was a bit surprised (that's a nice way to put it) but
I won't be complaining tonight when the British drama series on PBS, Poldark, starts.

"Helloooo Ross."
I recommend you tune will be hooked.

I asked Audrey if she would like to join me but she declined.

She's tired after playing in the TV box.

Enjoy your evening,

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 29th is National Cat Day

I was recently inspired by a company called Cotopaxi to write a story on my cats for National Cat Day. After reading up on this innovative organization, I was more than happy to participate. Please drop over to read what these wonderful people do to create positive social impact in our world.

To celebrate National Cat Day (I'm posting a day early)  I would love to tell you the story of how our Annie and her off-spring, the Audacious Audrey, came into our lives.
Five years ago last September, I got a call from a friend asking if I could foster a cat or two as our local shelter had just brought in twenty-six (26) cats from one home and there was literally no room at the inn. I was told the cats were being caged in the stock room and many of them were nursing kittens. Ugh!

I drove up to see the situation and as I walked in the room my eyes immediately veered left to a cage that held an emaciated pastel torti and her one day old kittens. She looked defeated, scared and worn out. 
I walked up and down the rows of cats and looked at every one of them. I cried. So many were young, too young to be saddled with kittens, and they all looked frightened. 
I had to hurry along as the line-up of people coming in to do exactly what I was doing was getting longer. They were all there to help whatever way they could. Many of these cats were going to a home that day.

I went back to the torti and she looked at me for the first time. Her eyes were dull and her tongue hung out.
I told her to pack her bags as she and her family were coming home with me. I promised to care for her and give her a safe and loving home.

The story was that one old woman housed these cats, and although she may have started with good intentions, it all went to hell in a hand-basket in no time. She had no money and none of these cat were spayed or neutered. She could barely feed herself and was giving food like rice and bread to these cats. The inspector said there was no cat food to be found when they moved in and removed each and every cat that September morning. Luckily for these cats a neighbour of hers made the phone call. I thank her for that.

Annie and her three babes moved in to the closet of our spare bedroom that afternoon. The door was kept open for her to wander around the room, familiarizing herself with her new surroundings, and eat away from her kittens.

She soon saw our vet as she was too thin and her digestive system was a mess. She had to be checked for parasites. It took special food and medication to get her to hold down any food the first week. It was a struggle but we carried on and she eventually showed improvement. Still, through it all she was a wonderful mother cat. 

I spent far too much time in this room over the next few weeks. I worried about Annie so much. I put a radio in the room and read countless books while watching over her. She loved the company and purred in my lap. If anyone needed me they knew where to find me.
Eyes began to open

And they began to exercise their legs.
And beat mommy up
And pose for the camera

They flourished and grew cuter every day.

Annie did, too.

They were named Bree, Nigel & Audrey.

That's Nigel on the left, Bree on the right & Audrey

In time, homes were found for Bree & Nigel. 
Annie & Audrey were so bonded to each other that we made the decision to keep them both.

This photo was taken the day after Annie was spayed. Audrey never left her side.
 Now, finally, she could begin to fill out.

                          And here they are today.

Annie enjoying a sun-puddle.


                                the audacious one.

So, a happy ending for everyone. We feel very lucky to have found Annie and her family when they needed us most.  There's not a day goes by that Annie doesn't show her love and appreciation for a second chance at life; one that is love-filled and forever.
 As promised.

hugs, Deb

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

That face.

Sometimes nothing else will do but a good cup of hot tea in a favorite cup.

I'm sitting here warming my hands around a steaming cup and going over my day.

After cat-sitting this morning we drove the country roads in search of a farm/business that sells pellet stoves and all the accessories. We recently bought a stove and the retired-guy needed a part before firing it up in the garage.
Upon finding it, we drove up the circular drive-way and were greeted by a huge German Shepherd. My plan was to wait in the car but then I spotted a cat at the barn. Yes, that's all it takes.
The wind was blowing like mad and the little black cat was running towards me, getting side-tracked with every leaf that blew by on the ground. I scooped it up and gave it a hug while I headed towards the chicken coop. There I spotted a tiny orange kitten, perhaps two months old, lying in a tiny tent. It, too, got up and ran over to say "hi". I picked it up and put it inside my jacket where it purred it's head off; all happy and warm as toast now. It looked healthy enough; one eye a wee bit dirty but other than that, not too thin and lovely fur.
I walked around with it while it purred away and completely lost track of time.

"There you are. I'm ready to go."
"What have you got there?" he said.
"A kitten. Look!"
Then three more orange balls came tearing out of the barn. All the same age. 
"Aw geesh, we have to go."
"Would you just look at this face.", I said. Two little gold eyes with the familiar tabby M on the forehead looked back at him.
"Cute", was his lame response.
I got more reaction from the goose that walked by.

So, I put wee little sweetie back on the ground and it went tearing after the leaves as they blew by the coop.
Now I'm sitting here thinking about that little orange face staring up at me from inside my cozy warm jacket.
I worry about barn kittens. Not so much cats as they are more rough and tumble and can usually handle their surroundings but not kittens. They are too silly and fragile for barns, I think. It's hard and sometimes dangerous  for them to make their way in a barn. Too many obstacles. That's just how I feel.
So, I'm thinking about that little face.

Oh yes, and this face.

"Where's my stinky goodness?"

"Oh, geesh."

hugs, Deb

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cat-sitting and winter preparations for our feathered friends

Cat-sitting for families gives me the opportunity to meet some lovely people. I provide the service of caring for the cats, tailored to their daily needs, while people vacation or travel for business. Sometimes it can be family emergencies that take them away or they may be unwell themselves and need someone to care for the animals while they recover.
For the last two weeks I have been caring for two very cherished, albeit confused and shy, orange kitties.
Their owner is fighting a terrible diagnosis of lung cancer and is unable to provide them with the care they are used to. That's where I can help and I'm so glad I can. 

The weather has changed to wet and windy days and nights and I am already thinking about the care of Simon and the resident birds this winter.
Simon will hibernate off and on but the birds will be relying on food every day as they struggle through the many cold months ahead. Did you know that chickadees can lose up to a third of their weight just from shivering throughout the night. Imagine. And we can have -30C temperatures for much of our winter. And they have to find enough food each day to replace that weight or they freeze. Just knowing that keeps me filling those feeders all winter long. It's time now to make and provide the suet for them to pack on some weight. And this week I will pick up one hundred and fifty pounds of seed from a local farmer. That will do 'til January... maybe.

                           Home-made Suet
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup lard
2 cups corn meal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups rolled oats
Mix together and heat on medium. Once mixed, add seeds, peanuts and cranberries.

Line muffin tins
with plastic wrap
Fill tins and pop into freezer.
Once frozen, remove suet cakes and place in plastic bags. 
Keep frozen and use when needed.

Note: You can also use up stale, sugarless cereals by adding them to your suet just to make it go further.

Here's the finished product. Photo taken last year. They are smaller than the commercial suet cakes but, oh boy, the birds really prefer these.

For now I keep the feeders full and leave some seed & apple under the sumacs at the back on the table. The blue-jays love eating here mostly. 

I cover Simon's eating spot now with our adirondack chairs against the attack of hungry hawks. I see them hiding in our trees on occasion and I know why they are visiting. I can't protect him everywhere but at least while he's eating he is safe. His den is under this old pump.
Simon has stayed in his den for three days with all the rain and wind we've had. He's probably dining on his stash and will be needing to replenish it later. Did I mention he has enough apples down there to make a pie? Uh huh!
He's lived under the old white pump for three years now.
I have no idea where his friend, Simone, is hiding out.

                                         =^..^= =^..^=
                                  Sun-puddle worshipper.

Today the sun returns, as it always does, and clean-up of the property will commence. Lots to do in the fall around here. :)

Enjoy your day. 

hugs, Deb

Friday, October 21, 2016

The minis stole my heart

                                    Annie & I took a selfie. 

But I like the photo I get when I sneak up on her.

Yes, she's as adorable as she looks.

I wish I could fit a mini or two on our property. Mini being mini horse. We took in a country fair three weeks ago and I fell in love.

I won't bore you with photos of a fair. It was fun and I came home with home-made jams & candy apples which we devoured. :) But no mini horses. 

Enjoy your day.

hugs, Deb

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our little trail...

Come take a little walk with me.

We have to find some pumpkins somewhere.

Our little turtle trail is now transformed for Fall and will only get better as the red, yellow and orange leaves keep falling to the ground.

You are always welcome.

The weather has been beautiful; sun and cool breezes.

Along the path, you'll see our 150 year old OH has been decorated for fall.
I do believe there is a family of chippies living in there.

I wonder if they'll get some trick or treaters. 

Meet you at the stone wall.

See it up there?

Here we are.

This is the end of the teeny weeny trail, but as you can see, we can make it longer if we want to. And we do.
We just have to veer to the left.
A little project for next spring.
The grandittles love it back here.

Simon was out on his porch waiting on breakfast this morning.
I got a scolding for being late. 
He's happy now as cheeks are full.
"Have a fun day, Simon."

"Where's my Treats?"

"Oh, Geesh....."
"They are hidden in the cupboard but I put a few in the little white porcelain dish with the pink and baby blue flowers."

"She knows I HATE that dish."

non nom nom nom...

hugs, Deb