Tuesday, October 08, 2019

settling into routines, finally

It's still an off day, in that Snowdrop is not yet back in school (out of an abundance of precaution for other kids, since up until last night, she was quite contagious), but we see light at the end of this rather peculiar month of temporary schedules, aberrations and now horrible infections, to say nothing of cat worries and adjustments and lessons in patience and perseverance.

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But here's the thing: everything looks grand in a day of blue skies and beautiful autumnal colors!

(Our "barn" cat contemplating the ladder)

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I set out in the morning to feed the cats. It's a nice stroll to the barn and sheep shed and I am hearing the lovely birdsong that is so typical in this season, as robins and who knows what else hit the crab apple trees and devour the red little fruits.

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One benefit of pushing the cats toward the area of the barn is that they've stopped using the crabs for their morning exercise. We've not noticed them to be birders (chipmunks and mice -- yes; and as you know, once there was this rabbit, but they seem not to care about the birds, possibly because they do get most of their food from us and are, therefore, less persistent in their hunt), but still, I'm sure the birds don't like to have cats in their favorite restaurant!

As I approach the sheep shed, I see one cat poking out of the cat door. Then another. Well now, they seem to have spent the night inside! That's no surprise. Yesterday, we closed the door on them (and put in the cat flap) and so Ed was willing to turn on the floor heat (he had installed radiant heat in the shed, so the cement floor is wonderfully toasty all winter long). I am delighted to see that comings and goings are not a challenge for the cats. One lesson was enough. (Just to make sure, I push the two littlest guys in and out a couple of times. They are clever each time about finding their way back.) The last step is to close the cat flap so that they have to exert a push to get in. That'll be tomorrow's game.

One of you asked for a photo of our set up. Ed props open the window and installs an extruded polystyrene insert with a cat door in its corner. He leans a board on the outside for the cats to climb and stacks a few bins on the inside to help the little guys get up to the window. Like this:


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I play with the little guys, I give them their food and (deworming) meds and then wave good bye.

At the farmhouse, breakfast.

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And later in the morning, I head out to pick up Snowdrop (and visit a little with Sparrow).

Hey, Sparrow! You excited?

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Tomorrow is a big day: Sparrow will be hitting the crucial sixteen month mark and so he can now start school. Going forward, on most days, I will be picking up both kids and bringing them to the farmhouse for the afternoon.

Today though, it's just Snowdrop and me...

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Doing the usual...

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Evening... The trucks stop rumbling (they're still moving dirt around in the construction site that borders us on three sides!). The cheepers make their way to the barn, the cats gather in the sheep shed. Animals and children, all in place for the night, resting, gearing up for the great adventure of another day.