Mid Winter Updates

Here we are the middle of February and so far our winter has been an easy one.  We had a few cold nights in mid December and early January, but since then it has been mild and dry.  Our snowfall total for the season is under 10″.  This weekend and for the next 7 days, the temperatures are to be in the 60’s with no rain!  I have had the daffodil stalks up from the ground for over a month and just today I saw some with flower buds.  This morning while feeding the cats, the birds were singing!  I just hope that old man winter doesn’t decide to rear his head in March.

Of course with this nice weather, the outside boys are very happy.  They have been out and about a lot at night and they prefer to use the magic boxes instead of the heated houses during the night.  After breakfast they have been so tired that they all retreat to the heated houses and sleep for hours.  Today with the sunshine and temperatures near 60, I am sure they will prefer the warm sun on the deck.

I have been trying to bring them into the laundry room a few times each week.  I did this mostly when the temperatures were cold or when the wind was really blowing.  Even though I had to leave the door cracked, it was so much warmer for me.  Hampton is always the first inside.  He loves to snuggle up against me and is even starting to allow me to place him in my lap.  Stellar also loves to come inside too.  Shadow has been quite ambivalent.  The space is not large and it might feel too cramped for him with me and two other cats.  He will often come inside when the others are not around.  Hampton and Stellar have been enjoying some playtime inside too.  They love when I hide the feather wand under a towel.  Both will pounce on it, bite it and dig.  Here is a picture of the two of them:

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Hampton and Stellar

Cisco continues to progress.  For the past week, I have been bringing him downstairs to the den for an hour or more at a time.  I first had tried allowing him time in the family room, but the open floor plan was just too overwhelming for him.  He needed to start small!  The den is the perfect size and has a wall of windows for him to look outside.  I am able to work on the computer or read for a bit while he is in the room.  Jake and Marvin rarely know he is even downstairs.  Cisco is also starting to do better with my husband.  It’s small baby steps, but at least he is moving in the right direction!

When we adopted Jake, our first cat, my husband and son built Jake what they coined “the apartment”.  It is a homemade cat tree that is on the shorter side, but also on the wider side.  It has  top, middle and bottom levels that are interconnected by holes.  Jake loved this as a kitten.  He would flip and flop from top to bottom.  As he grew, he wanted up higher so we purchased a few cat trees for him.  When Marvin came along, he was definitely a bush dweller and does not jump high or want up high at all.  It was in his room when he first came inside and then we moved it to the den for him to enjoy.  He sits on it each morning to watch the birds and squirrels and cats in the back yard.  Jake and Marvin will still play in it a few times each month.  Now Cisco has taken a liking to it!  When in the den with me, he will sit on top and look outside.  Then I hear a bump and he has gone down the top hole to the middle level.  He also enjoys hiding when he hears a loud noise in the bottom level.  I do think another “apartment” will join the household soon!  It would be perfect for Cisco’s room. Here is Cisco enjoying all 3 levels!

This winter, the wildlife has been steady.  My favorite deer group of Gimpy, Big Mama and Weeble and Wobble do not come as often.  I do see them about once a week.  Each night I have between 5-8 bucks come through the yard.  When it is cold at night I leave a bit of corn out for them.  Most mornings it is gone.  I also have two heated bird baths in the yard which all of the wildlife drink from.  I have to fill both each morning.  Here is a clip of the bucks participating in “reindeer games”!

 

The bluebirds arrived again this winter.  I saw the first one in mid December and now have between 5-8 that come multiple times each day.  They love the mealworms and the suet ball.  They are my absolute favorite bird and remind me of my dear friend, Bob each time I see them.

 

We also have a few fox that frequent the yard.  They often come through the yard during the day stopping to get a drink of water.  They are not a threat to my cats as they prefer to eat small rodents and birds.  I did have one come up onto the deck, but Stellar hissed and the fox went running.

Hopefully my next post will have more great updates and continued warm weather!

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