Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Barn Cats

I have an Agricultural Rodent Control System. It occasionally needs maintenance. The former owners never maintained it, so it grew out of control. Over the past few weeks, I've been removing extraneous parts as I find them, and once I got it down to a manageable size, I took the rest in to a specialist and had periodic maintenance performed. It should no longer grow out of control.

Except that there was one more extraneous part that I had yet to remove or get fixed. I knew it was out there, but I didn't know if it was the sort of part that causes uncontrolled growth on my farm, or the sort of part that visits other farms and causes uncontrolled growth there. Yesterday I finally got eyes on and discovered that it was the first type. Unfortunately, my preferred specialist is all booked up till the 10th, and there's no way I can keep this one contained until then, and if I let it go, I may never catch it again. So, I'm taking it to a different specialist today, at twice the price.

I need cat names.
  • Mama cat, Leanne calls her "attitude tabby". She's a turtleshell, looks about 2 years old, knows how to hunt, the vet said she's had multiple litters. Fixed.
  • Pissed off female tabby. Very wild. Was pregnant with her first litter when we had her fixed. I've never touched her. Kinda scared to try. Fixed.
  • Younger female tabby. Not as wild as the above kitty, but still pretty feisty. Looks just like the older one. When she gets bigger, I'm going to have a hard time telling them apart. Fixed.
  • Hubert the male tabby kitten with huge ears. Borderline retarded. Fixed.
  • Male black kitten with a white chest. Avoided me long enough that he didn't go on the mass trip to the vet. Not fixed.
  • Female tabby kitten. Started out feisty, but after I gave her some food she decided I'm an ok guy. Getting fixed today.
  • Orange male kitten. He had fleas and worms so bad that he nearly died. If he wasn't orange, I probably would have culled him. Lucky him, he's orange, so we took good care of him. He's doing a lot better now. Fixed.
So that's my barn cats. We've also got
  • Fritz the persian male who's been with us since Germany. By day he's the big happy fuzzball with a side dish of cuddlecat, but by night he's the Great White Hunter and can take down pretty much anything his size or smaller, including other cats that challenge him. Fixed. Not declawed.
So, eight cats. Fritz is the biggest, and he eats about 1/8 pound of food per day. Bulk cat food costs $5 for 18lbs at the local grocery store. That works out to about $100/year for cat food. I suppose I can deal with that.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I Has This Farm

I guess that makes me a farmer.

Here it is in Google Earth

As you can see, there are four main sections: forest, north pasture, farmhouse compound, and south hayfield.

Forest: There's quite a bit of terrain in there, sloping downward to the north. One tire pile. One assorted trash heap. Beer bottles everywhere. All must go.

North pasture: The former owner had sheep. The fence will contain sheep. It will contain nothing else. I need to work on the fence. It's a bit rough, with ruts and stuff. Right now I have nothing eating it, so it's pretty overgrown. There's a barn out there with electricity, in pretty good shape, although it needs a good cleaning out.

Farmhouse compound: One farmhouse build in the 50s, one brand spanking new singlewide, one root cellar, and three old chicken coops that need torn down. We also have a sizable "back yard" area that I find absolutely useless and will be adding into the pasture area.

South hayfield: It's a hayfield. It's very flat, with a gentle slope downward to the south. A round pond sits at the south edge, and immediately to the east of the pond is a marshy area that came to exist when someone bulldozed it out to make the berm that holds the pond in. There's a little bit of forest on the south and east edges of the hayfield before you hit the property line.

I have plans for everything. Eventually.