Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lots Going On!

This has been a pretty unique 24 hours.  Where to begin?

First, with 48 hours ago, approximately.  While at Jessica and Cory’s place for an awesome birthday BBQ for Lorna (whose birthday is the day after mine), we discovered a litter of feral kittens and their mom were living in the foreclosed house next door.  When the kids went over to investigate they found 5 kittens, one malnourished mama, and two dead kittens.  Operation Rescue was enacted, and two kittens were gathered up.  (Since then, Jessica has arranged with Forgotten Felines to borrow a trap to catch the rest and mama, get the kittens healthy, tame and re-homed, spay mama and make sure she is healthy, perhaps find her a home if she was domesticated at one point, or allow her to be free if she is truly wild.)

I couldn’t resist adopting one.  Since Tiger passed in May, Star Kitty has not been the same, and I think he needs a roaming and snuggle buddy.

The plan is for this little guy (below) to grow into a fierce barn cat that can keep up with Star as a mouser and pet.  We have named him Boots, after Puss-in-Boots from the Shrek movie with the incredible, heart-melting eyes.

Jessica kept him and his brother Sunday night and Monday, to allow us time to pick up our cat carrier to bring him home.  Because she needed to work late last night, she brought him to our house.  Poor thing was very frightened, and would quiver in our hands when held, until we had petted and calmed him down a little.  Last night and this morning, he is more of a kitten - he is purring, rubbing his head against our hands, rolling over in our lap for belly scratches, and turning into a real love bug.  He is eating well as of tonight (yay!) and used the litter box all on his own tonight, too (double-yay!).

Jessi took care of Boots at her work again today and we both took him to the vet for a check-up this afternoon.  She missed an opportunity for a fecal sample when he had an accident on Jessica’s co-worker Angie (sorry, Ang!).  He is healthy, 1 lb 2 oz, and doing really well.  I did discover last night that his tail is broken at the end.  (I texted Jessica after the discovery, “His widdle tail is broken. :-( " )  The vet said that it has started to form a joint, so it’s going to be a bit crooked at the tip.  It will give him character.

As if that weren’t enough, the bucklings are raging with hormones.  They have been getting stinky over the last few days, and when I came home last night, Ebony was blubbering and attacking his brother as if he meant it.  Salsa was very eager to get out of there.  I opened the gate just enough for her to escape, and she didn’t hesitate or turn back.  I gingerly put leashes on the boys and led them to their crate in the barn, which is now being secured with an extra lock so they don’t escape and impregnate the herd at night.  I am envisioning a leash threaded through a pole so that I can easily keep them at arm’s length, because all they want to do is rub their stinky bad selves all over me!

This morning there was no hesitation - they had to be separated from mom, period.  I put a new battery on the PermaNet fencing to make sure Salsa knew that it meant business, and after milking her, put her in with the rest of the herd.  She walked right in without hesitation, probably happy to be back to her more normal pre-delivery routine.  Imbri immediately challenged her, and they were still sparring when I left for work this morning.  Everyone seemed to have settled in well by the time I got home tonight.

The bucklings came out of the barn last, and again, I veeery carefully, and as much at arm's length as possible (while dodging them), put leashes on and kept their leashes long as we walked (skipped, humped, ran, dashed, stopped) down the driveway.  They normally run around the corner of the shed and see their mom at the gate, then pull hard on me to get there, trying to knock the gate open to get in and nurse after being separated from her all night.  Boy, were they surprised this morning!  They stopped stock still after rounding the gate, then walked to the gate yelling their heads off for her.  I had to go inside to get them in the pen, quickly unhook them, and leave them in, still confused and calling for their mom.  Salsa?  She was too busy head butting with Imbri to listen.  Later, I heard her, so I went out to check and see if she was going to try to breach the fence, but she was eating alfalfa, absent-mindedly calling back to them with her mouth full.  She was totally fine.

Tonight was the first time milking Salsa after she’d been separated from her bucklings during the day.  I have been used to her giving a smidge over 2 quarts in the morning, so figured that would be about what we’d get tonight.  I WAS WRONG.  I was milking away and the bucket was getting fuller and fuller.  I asked Becca to get me another one, because I could tell this wouldn’t hold it all.  The bucket was filled to the top so that when I moved it, some sloshed out.  I usually eyeball the measurement in the 2 quart or 1.5 liter jars and know that she gives about 2 quarts.  Tonight I measured it.  She gave a solid 3 quarts.  Shock.  This means over a gallon a milk a day is what we are going to have at the IBTC farm.  I need more milk bottles, and I need to get started on making stuff immediately!  More goat’s milk soap.  Yogurt.  Cajeta.  Ice cream.  Cheese.  We tried Quark at the Farmer’s Market this weekend, and I could make some of that.  I have some serious cooking ahead of me!

All in all, a very busy, different, couple of days.  I am exhausted.  Time to get a few things done here, get Becca set up for the first day of school tomorrow, and hit the sack.  Tomorrow, another new routine to start getting used to, and oh no - I forgot to get lunch stuff...

Guess we’re getting up earlier tomorrow than I expected.


  1. Laura~

    I really enjoyed reading your blog tonight! Definitely sounds like you have your hands full in more ways than one! Let me know when you'll be making the soap, I would love to come out and help. :)


  2. Thank you, Joni! I would love to play with making soap with you - that would be fun! :-)


  3. La - You really need to get an online store going for the soaps! They are of that quality.

    SOOO glad to hear about the kitty - especially after losing Tiger.

    Hope you find a good home for the bucks.