Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Barn cats freed

Hi Everyone!!!  I'm excited to start blogging again and putting on "paper" what we've been doing around our new house. So...some back story, we moved here to Iowa from ...wait, you already know that, I did the garden thing and hatch day updates for my chickens our first year here. Well, we lived in that rental house for about 2 years and we had been thinking of buying a house pretty seriously. So, I found a house on Craigslist that had 3.69 acres and a bunch of outbuildings and stuff. So I looked at it the day after it was listed (end of October 2014). We then decided that maybe it wouldn't be very good for us for a few reasons. Then, a few months later, we changed our mind. Signed a contract to put in an offer for the house on December 6 (I remembered because it was the same day that we bought our first house in Utah back in 2004).  After some negotiation, we closed on the house at the end of January 2015!  YAY!!!  And then we were homeowners again! Woo Hoo!!!

Anyway, I would post pictures of the house, but I'm not ready to do that yet and all we will be concerned about is the barn for a while.  That's where the most fun is going on.  :) Here is a picture of the barn, it is 40'x100' and almost completely open (no stalls already there) but there is a little milking room in there at the entrance.

We have all sorts of animals and fun stuff in there now!  We have 4 rabbits, I think they're about 2 1/2 years old - I adopted them back in February from the Humane Society where I worked for a month.  We still have the same 13 chickens as we did before (except I REALLY wouldn't mind if the roosters disappeared).  We got 16 meat chicks about 6 days ago (I really don't like meat chickens, they gross me out for a bunch of reasons but I'm very excited to eat them).  We also have 7 little nanny goats that were born in March, so they are just over 5 months old.  And 3 barn cats.  I will definitely post pictures of everything as time goes on, but today we're going to talk about the cats.

We were chatting with the people who we got our goats from and they knew some people that had a bunch of barn cats, so we got a very inexpensive pet porter and caught them.  They arrived covered in milk and very unhappy.  There were 5 in the porter when they got here. One gray cat ran away when I was first opening the porter to put some water and food in there (so, later that same day).  In another day or two, we put them in this larger dog crate so they could be more comfortable for the couple of weeks they would be confined.  (I guess you are supposed to keep them confined for 2-3 weeks so they know where home is and will hopefully stay there, so that's what I did.)  When we were "emptying" them into the crate the little orange striped kitten ran away.  So now there are 3.  Here they are shortly after I put them in the dog crate.  We had a TON of flies in the barn, and they hadn't cleaned themselves up yet, so they're covered in flies in the picture.  (Not right now though!  They're clean and relatively happy.)

So there's the two black kittens and a white and black cat.  I've seen the kittens kind of doing stuff, but I've only seen the white cat lay there (in different places, but it doesn't do much).  The littler black cat I'm calling Hiss always hisses at me.  The other black cat is slightly larger and the TINIEST bit more friendly (ever so tiny!!!).  I haven't petted any of them really yet.  So, they've been living in this dog crate for about 2 weeks and 2 days now.  I've been figuring its about time to let them out and explore the area and start going to work (being mousers and bird-ers...).  Mice are common around here and in barns, so its not as gross and appalling, but they're still gross.  Anyway, a little bit ago I opened a big black garbage can that I had had our sweet goat feed in and some straw and found a little family of mice in there.  Awesome...not!  Well, I finally confronted it the day before yesterday, took the feed out and we put the garbage can down and next to the cat cage so they could smell the mice and maybe get some.

This morning, I was doing chores and fed the cats.  I looked over in the bottom of the can and saw a baby mouse come out of the hole and walk around a little bit, I figured this would be a great opportunity for the kittens to get some practice at their job.  So I opened the cage door facing the can and open on the other side.  They can officially get out now.  I'm super scared they'll run away, but I really hope they'll stay.

So, here is how it is set up now.  So, half the door is the garbage can, the other half is open to everything.  Its not pretty, I know and I need to clean their litter, but there we are.  They like to hang out in the box, which is funny, also its what I expected to happen.

And here's the open side...

After I opened the door, I looked around and made sure everyone else was okay and everything was done.  Then I looked back into the garbage can to see if I could see any mice and found this...

I like her style.  I'm not sure if its a boy or girl, but I like it!  It wasn't Hiss either.  What a cute little kitty...  And you can kind of see the little hole at the bottom right (where it kind of V's).  I wish they were more friendly, because that's freakin' adorable!!!

If I didn't have to go to work I would've watched them for a while.  But I was already really running late.  Dangit...  I hope they stay here.  They've just been laying around and been really boring the last little while, so I've gotten to the point where I didn't really care, but now they're playing a little and being curious.  I really want them to stay...Please stay kitties! Don't run away and don't get hit by a car! Just stay in the barn and the lower field.... okay?

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