26 June 2015

lost and found

Early this week the cats vanished.  One evening we were outside and didn't see much of them, then no sign at all.  Mama cat wandered past, and her new friend a bronze tabby! - but the kittens were gone.  I picked up the play toys and food trays and we mourned their brief time with us; I had expected more time to decide if we could make their stay more permanent but it appeared the decision was made.

After a long and exhausting yesterday I saw mama and kits over by the big garage; apparently they had a new home in the wilderness.  Then this morning they sat near the corner of the house watching me as I shot the beautiful sunrise.  Like nothing had changed!  So out came the food which they gratefully devoured.  Curious.

This image covers all the bases nicely.  One adventurous kitten closer to me than to his/her mama, one near mom & one under cover.  'Clyde' has always been the most inquisitive and daring of the three, 'Inky' (brave brave Sir Robin?) the most likely to flee at any hint of danger, and 'Pinky' the in-betweener.  

And so the decision begins.. again.

Oh yes - that beautiful sunrise?  The solstice has just passed, and it turns out the far-north sunrise is adjacent to Rainier!  That's quite the ogham stone to use, Ireland would be jealous..

St. Helens at dawn

14 June 2015

a fortunate turn

One factor to remember when living further out of town is the value of self-reliance.  In the big city one can shout "hey can you help me?" and several neighbors are in earshot.  Out here that's less likely!

Our car battery died over the weekend, but we didn't go anywhere so it was good and dead today.  I don't even have normal jumper cables at hand, far less any other easy options.
Oh wait I sort of do.

Once upon a time I bought a power center with multiple purposes.  For one it could power a items via 12v power plugs; it could also convert to 110v and power telescopes and other items used in remote areas (its primary purpose for us).  It could also inflate tires or air mattresses - for a while, but that broke early on so it was put out of sight and therefore out of mind.  Its fourth purpose was to jump-start a dead battery.  I've never tried that part!

Now to find it in our two garages of mostly-unpacked items...

I went out to our large garage and found the orange box, and plugged it in to get back to its full capacity.  One of the first general-garage boxes I looked into had the jumper-clip cable - amazing since that alone could have taken an hour or two!  Then it was time to wait and let it gain strength, as it probably had not been charged in over a year.

My first attempt went poorly, as the cables must be done in proper order along with switches on the power station.  Once I puzzled those steps out the car brightened up, but insufficient power left it dead.  About a half-hour later I tried again, and was successful!!

This was a valuable lesson, and I'm glad it happened in good weather and when all parts fell to hand at the earliest moment.  This could have been so much tougher.  Hopefully I'm surrounded by neighbors who are familiar with such trials and could have fixed me up -- but so nice not to need help for a problem that anyone in the wild lands should be able to fix!

07 June 2015

family of four

Back in November or so I noticed a black cat with an off-center white stripe hanging about.  I later suspected he was under our house for the winter, as I would see him dart around a corner of the house, but when I got there - no cat.  What me worry, we weren't using the area under the house anyway!

Over the last week I began seeing more of him.. well HER in fact.  I learned that when a small mirror-image kitten looked out at me from the corner of the house where a small gap led beneath.  Later two other faces popped in: another white-stripe face and a very dark one.  An occasional view of a black cat in the area causes me to suspect I've met the father!

Since we still had a decent supply of food from Sadie's time with us, I set out a bowl or two and some water.  They clearly weren't going anywhere so why starve them?  My reward has been two mouse bodies in two days, so I guess they weren't exactly starving; mom is clearly quite the hunter!

What's next?  Hmmm we'll see.  We have yet to actually touch one since the kittens have several safe places to hide plus mom as first defense.  Therefore no gender ID - they enjoy solid food though, so they're beyond the nursing stage.  The one white-face (here in the downspout drain) is the most social, the all-black least commonly seen.  All three were having a fine time among the pea-vines this morning though when I came out the door!
A shot of our fuzzy family!
In memory of Pac-Man, here are mama Blinky (eyes often shut in photos),
Clyde (brown spots on nose), Pinky (all-pink nose) and Inky.