Tag Archives: Yard and Garden

07/28/2017 – Around Colehaus, Part 2

Dead fountain - © Colehauscats.com

Dead fountain – © Colehauscats.com

Back at the end of May, on Memorial Day to be exact, after nearly seven years of faithful service, our backyard fountain pump gave up. The fountain has been off ever since and Mom’s been a wreck with worry.

This isn’t to say there’s no water around the area. There’s a running creek down the hill just a block and a quarter mile over. Another yard or two have some kind of water feature running. It’s summertime so, people are probably running lawn sprinklers, even as we type this, and letting water go willy-nilly over sidewalks and down gutters. We are not a dry wasteland.

Every so many days, Mom puts some water in the lower fountain basin and at night, listens to raccoons play and wash themselves. Birds have no way to bathe themselves right now and the hummingbirds are fairly frustrated at the moment, but help is on the way.

Perhaps.

Dad purchased a new pump and someone is coming out today to install it. Fingers crossed all goes well and we’re back up and running. Of course, there has to be someone who’ll miss the dry fountain. That would be the Cat That Is Not Ours.

Teese naps in the dry fountain bowl - © Colehauscats.com

Teese naps in the dry fountain bowl – © Colehauscats.com

About the same time the fountain died (and our main sprinkler system valve started leaking because why let the dead fountain pump have all the fun, right?), the neighborhood lost Chunky. Mom learned a bit about his plight but we were unable to move fast enough to help.

Last photo of Chunky - © Colehauscats.com

Last photo of Chunky – © Colehauscats.com

Chunky was the huge boy who visited early in the mornings and came to muscle every other cat, feral or not, away from the feeding stations. One morning, he looked his usual self but we noticed he was dropping worms with every step. Mom immediately went on the hunt to find his home to talk to his owner and discovered something that still boggles her mind.

Chunky’s original owners dropped him off at the humane society to be euthanized when they moved from the next street over. The woman who bought their house learned of this and immediately rushed to save Chunky… and she did, only to then allow Chunky to roam the same neighborhood streets as he had for the past two years. She wished Chunky to be a “neighborhood cat” in which everyone else would look after him. She wanted to save him, but didn’t want him living inside.

Chunky, a visiting neighborhood cat - 2016 © Colehauscats.com

Chunky, a visiting neighborhood cat – 2016 © Colehauscats.com

Mom heard all this second- and third-hand from other neighbors for when she tried to talk to Chunky’s person, she was never home, no matter the time of day or night. Another neighbor who used to work with abandoned animals briefly took up Chunky’s cause and then suddenly, Mom couldn’t find Chunky anywhere. And no one wanted to talk about him. And that’s where things sit.

That was at the end of May. We’re thinking good thoughts about Chunky and thank him for visiting us.

A week or so later, another neighborhood cat went missing.

Visiting neighbor cat Z - © Colehauscats.com

Visiting neighbor cat Z – © Colehauscats.com

Z lives nearby with three other outside-only cats, all who visit regularly (when our fountain is running, that is). Z is the sweetest petite girl and just wants to be around people. So, it was tough to learn she had been missing for nearly a week, then two weeks. All kinds of thoughts crossed Mom’s mind and just about the time she had steeled herself to the real possibility this was just the way things were going to go this year, Z was found at the humane society by their owners. She was found some five miles away, still wearing her cat bowl activating collar that did nothing to help because she didn’t have a microchip. You can believe she does now! Her owners say she’s “legal and everything,” but she still doesn’t stay inside. *sigh*

Visitor Z spies a big bird - 2016 © Colehauscats.com

Visitor Z spies a big bird – 2016 © Colehauscats.com

One of Z’s siblings has also taken a liking to our dry fountain. B/P also likes that she blends in nicely with the surrounding boulders. Mom celebrated a first the other day when ultra skittish B/P let herself be petted.

B/P and her camouflaging fur - © Colehauscats.com

B/P and her camouflaging fur – © Colehauscats.com

Other happenings over our month-long hiatus (we didn’t go anywhere; we haven’t taken vacation since 2000):

– We rebuilt a set of backyard steps that our winter rains had washed downhill.
– We lost two good friends.
– Mom finished sixteen weeks of French classes… and still can’t speak more than a word or two.
– Ruby, Sunny, Quint, Miss Newton, and the Dad had their yearly checkups. More on this later.
– Entire neighborhood has been grilled asked if they know where Teese’s home is. No one’s admitting anything.

Still, this is not our cat:

Nope, not one of ours - © Colehauscats.com

Nope, not one of ours – © Colehauscats.com

Neither is this one:

Daytime visitor - © Colehauscats.com

Daytime visitor – © Colehauscats.com

Nope, not our cat - © Colehauscats.com

Nope, not our cat – © Colehauscats.com

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Previously on Colehaus Cats:

2016 – No post
2015 – Ruby Tuesday
2014 – Mancat Monday
2013 – No post
2012 – No post

07/14/2017 – Around Colehaus

This is not our cat - © Colehauscats.com

This is not our cat – © Colehauscats.com

First off, let us be clear about one thing: This is not our cat. More about Sweet Teese to come.

No more dirt covering sidewalks - © Colehauscats.com

No more dirt covering sidewalks – © Colehauscats.com

While we were on hiatus and away from the Internets, Mom finished her long, three year project of removing yards and yards of extra dirt from around Colehaus. The extra dirt came from years of decomposed bark mulch of which she used to be a huge fan. No one tells you you’re actually adding mountains of future dirt to your plot of land, dirt that will rot fences and foundations, slide down to cover sidewalks and bury plants and bushes and choke tree trunks. And the bark slivers embedded under the skin! *shudders*

Mom's 3 year dirt removal project done - © Colehauscats.com

Mom’s 3 year dirt removal project done – © Colehauscats.com

Along the way however, earthworms will love it and earthworms are much appreciated around here. The native soil has vastly improved away the original century-old, overused cow pastureland, to workable and almost loamy in spots. Roots are protected from drying out and from freezing completely in the winter. Weeds are suppressed (for the most part), and bark mulch adds a finished look to the beds that would otherwise be sun-hardened, clay-packed dirt.

Mom asks, “But did we need so much of it?” No.

Enough yard work babbling. On to the interesting stuff, already!

Not our cat - © Colehauscats.com

Not our cat – © Colehauscats.com

Did we mention this is not our cat? Yes? Okay, good. Just wanted that to be clear.

Old Happy looking better - © Colehauscats.com

Old Happy looking better – © Colehauscats.com

Old Happy is still around and looking better every day. We are certain she is partially blind and mostly deaf and we feel so lucky to be able to provide food and a safe haven for her…

Patches' babies 2017 - © Colehauscats.com

Patches’ babies 2017 – © Colehauscats.com

… especially because Happy is a four times over grandmother this year! Say hi to great, great, great granddaughter Patches and her three babies.

Raccoon Patches and one of her babies 2017 - © Colehauscats.com

Raccoon Patches and one of her babies 2017 – © Colehauscats.com

We’d wondered if we’d see babies this year. Mom had noticed a raccoon that had ratty-looking fur with a section missing on her back hanging around during daytime hours over a month ago, which means nothing but can also mean it’s a pregnant female looking for extra food to help supplement her diet. So far, we’ve been right five years running!

Patches is a gentle mama and her babies are roly-poly fur balls. And yes, Mom keeps forefront in her mind these are wild animals. She’d never stick her fingers out there, no matter what.

Elusive kitty still elusive - © Colehauscats.com

Elusive kitty still elusive – © Colehauscats.com

The new-ish kitty with the pretty fur is still coming around occasionally and still just as elusive as ever. We’ve yet to get within thirty feet of him and we’re not sure if that’s ever going to change. We don’t know that it is a him, exactly. We’re just running with the notion that it is, kind of like running with scissors – we know we shouldn’t but sometimes the thrill of doing so gets the best of us.

Visiting boy cat - © Colehauscats.com

Visiting boy cat – © Colehauscats.com

Here’s someone new, walking along the back fence. Um, no mistaking what gender he is.

Another visiting boy cat - © Colehauscats.com

Another visiting boy cat – © Colehauscats.com

And another visiting boy cat. Yes, it’s a he and he’s marking our back bushes as his. Thanks, gray guy.

Visiting feral boy - © Colehauscats.com

Visiting feral boy – © Colehauscats.com

This boy showed up about a month ago and while his fur doesn’t look bad, he is every bit as skittish as any feral we’ve come to know. We’re also wildly happy to report he’s staying, on and off, in one of the feral shelters (Spitty’s Place), and seems to really like it.

Visiting feral boy - © Colehauscats.com

Visiting feral boy – © Colehauscats.com

Notice his round face and beefy jowls? That apple-shaped head is usually a sign he’s unneutered. Thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be many females around; non-spayed females, that is, but that won’t stop Mom from trying to gain his trust. Perhaps a snip might be in his future. And a name, too. Let’s call him… Mac.

We’ve got more to report but this post has already gone long so, we’ll save some things for later. In the meanwhile, here’s some photos from around the garden. Thank you for visiting us and reading!

Blueberries - © Colehauscats.com

Blueberries – © Colehauscats.com

Blue Hydrangea - © Colehauscats.com

Blue Hydrangea – © Colehauscats.com

Pink Dianthus - © Colehauscats.com

Pink Dianthus – © Colehauscats.com

Red Strawberries - © Colehauscats.com

Red Strawberries – © Colehauscats.com

Wild Daisies - © Colehauscats.com

Wild Daisies – © Colehauscats.com

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Previously on Colehaus Cats:

2016 – No post
2015 – Ruby Tuesday
2014 – Who’s Knocking?
2013 – No post
2012 – No post

04/28/2017 – Around Colehaus

Our old visiting raccoon, Happy, who is partially blind and mostly deaf, is looking much, much better than she did a couple of weeks ago and we think that’s due to having access to good kibble. Sure, the food is out there for the daytime visiting strays and ferals, but we’re okay with her chowing down if she’s hungry.

Happy at lunchtime - © Colehauscats.com

Happy at lunchtime – © Colehauscats.com

A couple of weeks ago, we were certain Happy wasn’t going to be around much longer. She was sneezing horribly and looked so ragged and thin. And she walked so slowly, it was painful to watch. Now, she’s no longer sneezing and she may even have gained a pound or two! She still walks slowly, but not as slowly as she did weeks ago. Maybe she has arthritis and if so, the cold, wet weather can’t be doing her much good.

Happy at Dinnertime - © Colehauscats.com

Happy at Dinnertime – © Colehauscats.com

After months of whining about how our area is breaking all kinds of rainfall records (yet another record smashed for the month of April just this week), last week we had one and a half sunny, warmish days, in a row, and half of the flowers in the garden seemingly opened all at once.

Our east side backyard - © Colehauscats.com

Our east side backyard – © Colehauscats.com

In our backyard, on the east side everything tends to bloom at once. About three weeks later, things bloom along the back. Lastly, about three weeks after that, things bloom over on the west side. It’s all about sun exposure, someone once mentioned. Okay… we’re just happy everything doesn’t bloom all at once, even though it might seem like it is.

Bright Tulips - © Colehaus.com

Bright Tulips – © Colehaus.com

Azalea Crater Lake - © Colehaus.com

Azalea Crater Lake – © Colehaus.com

White Trillium - © Colehauscats.com

White Trillium – © Colehauscats.com

Pink Rhododendron - © Colehaus.com

Pink Rhododendron – © Colehaus.com

Soft lavender creeping phlox - © Colehaus.com

Soft lavender creeping phlox – © Colehaus.com

Creamy Pink Rhododendron - © Colehaus.com

Creamy Pink Rhododendron – © Colehaus.com

Though possible, we don’t get too many rainbows during the winter months – not enough sun. But during spring, our weather goes from sunny one minute to a downpour the next and a brilliant rainbow after that. Sometimes, two or even three rainbows are seen.

Double rainbow from a back window - © Colehaus.com

Double rainbow from a back window – © Colehaus.com

Our squirrel feeder hangs on the fence and if, from inside, you lean over the corner kitchen sink and look though the west side window, you can see whether the feeder is occupied or empty. If a squirrel is just sitting there looking at you through the window, you can bet the feeder is empty. Okay rodent, we’ll get some nuts out there soon.

A curious squirrel - © Colehauscats.com

A curious squirrel – © Colehauscats.com

Oh yeah, this is supposed to be a CAT BLOG. Okay, we’ve had three new visitors this month.

1 – A solid gray tank of a cat, we suspect a true feral by the looks of him(?) and how terrified of people he is. We’ve yet to see his face but could identify him in a lineup by his backside alone.

2 – A gray and black tabby with white socks cutie who we think is less than a year old. It walks our fence occasionally and we’ve yet to get out there in time to call to it.

3 – This black and white fluffy one who sadly, we have only seen once and couldn’t get within twenty feet of.

Someone new - © Colehauscats.com

Someone new – © Colehauscats.com

Someone new close up - © Colehauscats.com

Someone new close up – © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese still visits twice a day, once in the early dawn hour and once later in the afternoon. The thing with Sweet Teese is… she’s a drooler. BIG TIME drooler. Just say her name twice and she gets all lovey-dovey and slobbers all over the place. Could this be why she’s an outside cat and not an inside cat? Could be. If she were our inside cat, we’d have to mop the floors hourly… but we’d take her to the vet first to make sure some condition wasn’t making her drool so much.

Petting Sweet Teese - © Colehauscats.com

Petting Sweet Teese – © Colehauscats.com

Lastly, if you remember, we took down our bird feeder in late January because there are just too many outside cats in our neighborhood now. Cats plus birds at feeders equals bird feasts. Most of our regulars have flown the coup permanently and other than the occasional blue jay fly-by, there’s not many birds out there now. But that’s not to say we don’t notice an odd one every now and then. Like this…. this… thing that we think might have been a turkey vulture. Eeks!

What is that thing? - © Colehauscats.com

What is that thing? – © Colehauscats.com

What is it? - © Colehauscats.com

What is it? – © Colehauscats.com

It was sitting for over an hour on a skylight at a neighbor’s house and we took these photos from our kitchen window (which was as close as we could get). The good thing is we saw Happy and all the new visitors after we saw this bird-thing so we weren’t worried too much about what or who it might have been eating. Even so, people, keep your pets INSIDE. Turkey vultures are about!

That’s about it. Have a great weekend. See you again in May!