shirebound: (Default)
[personal profile] shirebound
Today is my final day of cat wrangling for my sister-in-law's two indoor cats, countless outdoor ferals, and Odin the Insistent, who stretches alllll the way up as far as he can reach on the outside door so I'm SURE TO SEE HIM and NOT FORGET that he gets his food in a different bowl than the other outdoor LESSER CATS beneath his notice. It's been fun getting to know them, learning where Sweetie likes to be scritched under her chin, and how seriously Leonard supervises the "opening of the food cans" ceremony twice a day. No wonder sis-in-law doesn't take many trips! That's a lot of little lives for which to be responsible.

It's been weeks since I sprinkled grass seeds over a large portion of my bare back lawn, and I've been watering, fretting, and talking to them constantly. I even asked Yavanna for a special blessing, in hopes of balancing out the lack of wisdom I have regarding getting things to grow. And... wee, delicate grasslings are starting to spring up all over the place! It's working! My biggest fear was that the birds coming to the feeder would eat all the grass seeds before they could germinate, but they haven't even noticed them. My Master Plan to keep the feeder full and the ground around it nicely sprinkled with bird seed to distract them seems to have actually worked.

For those of you with knowledge of backyard birds, what can I put outside that they can use to build or strengthen new nests? Or don't they need any help? I thought about shredding some raffia I have, or even filling a container with Pippin's infinite shedding hair.

Shiremom and I watched "Stan and Ollie" yesterday -- last year's film about the later years of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. I'm a Laurel & Hardy fan from waaaaay back, and used to attend gatherings of the Sons of the Desert (an international appreciation society for The Boys). I found the film very moving, perfectly acted, and a truly fascinating look at the real people behind the sweet and funny films they made. What a friendship -- and ohhh, what it took to keep it, lose it, and find it again. A wonderful film.

Odin must have an alarm clock

Apr. 17th, 2019 12:53 pm
shirebound: (Pippin bonnet)
[personal profile] shirebound
I'll be taking care of my sister-in-law's cats while she and my brother are on a trip. I'm happy to do it, but I'm not used to catering to the needs of more than one furry personality! Here are the instructions she left me...

For the two indoor cats, Sweetie and Leonard:

* Make sure they have fresh water.
* Split a small can of food between the two bowls in the morning and again in the evening. They each insist on their own bowl, in their own place. Make sure Leonard's is near the kitchen sink and Sweetie's is near the ceramic sheep in the sun room.
* Make sure the dry food bowl always has something in it.
* Scoop the litter boxes and empty clumps into plastic bag. Check the house in case Sweetie's pooped somewhere. She doesn't always use the litter box for poop. If there’s no poop in her litter box, she might like to go out back for awhile.
* Leonard's toys are in the living room. He likes company.
* Brush Sweetie, if she'll let you. If she wants to be brushed, she'll let you know how long to do it. If you stop before she's ready, she might try to bite you, so be careful.

For the five outdoor feral cats:

* Make sure their water is clean.
* Fill the dry food container in the morning and split a large can of wet food between the bowls in the evening.
* Odin gets his own bowl filled separately. You'll know which one is Odin because he'll be staring through the backdoor at 8 a.m., waiting for you to feed him. He likes the food in the purple can.

Nature stuff

Apr. 10th, 2019 07:44 am
shirebound: (rainbow)
[personal profile] shirebound
When I glanced out the window yesterday evening, my first thought was that I was looking at a huge fire! But it was an unusually vibrant sunset, glowing golden-orange behind big, dark clouds.


I've been busy spreading soil and hand-scattering grass seed over half of our backyard, which is sparse and not at all lawn-like. The nights may still be too cold for the seeds to germinate, but I'll diligently water them and hope for the best. It would be so lovely to have a green lawn for the first time since we moved in! Thankfully, so far the birds haven't been eating the seeds. (I put a plastic scary-faced Halloween pumpkin in the middle of the lawn as a scarecrow, but I doubt the birds and squirrels have given it a second glance.) I'd love so much to lie in a hammock out back where there's GRASS, watching Pippin run about in GRASS and listen to the GRASS grow.

My next project is to enlist my sis-in-law's help in scraping the peeling, ancient paint from around the front door and re-painting the wood a clean, fresh white. Then I need to fix one of the shutters, find out what it'll cost to have the crumbling driveway repaired, weatherstrip a drafty door, plant some flowers, try to cement a few broken bricks back together, clean up piles of branches and leaves left over from last year, sweep up the new-roof-debris in the attic, spackle and paint kitchen ceiling cracks, and.... Whew, I never dreamed that I'd still be fixing the house for two solid years. And don't tell me that houses are never completely repaired! Of course they are. Once I get my list finished, it'll be FINISHED, and NOTHING will ever need fixing again. Yup.


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