Adventures of the Feline Kind

The cats have arrived in the desert. They were of two minds about the process. On the one hand, Denver is familiar and quite comfortable. On the other, the service provided by a full-time staff of two is far superior to service provided by a well meaning twice a week stranger. A known stranger, but not a day in and day out kind of knowing.

As the car is being packed full to the gills again. Unclear exactly where all this stuff is coming from and were it all goes once it arrives at the Quail Manor, but the car always seems to be full to the gills. Anyway, as the car is getting packed you could tell the felines didn't want to be forgotten, but really didn't want to go...

Well, they came. Our research indicated, and Ann's favorite sister the Vet confirmed, they would be much happier contained rather than lose in the car. And, seemed it would make getting in and out of the car easier if we did not have to worry about runners.

Here is the carrier with a cat (Mina) in residence for scale. The red pan is the traveling liter box before litter. The roll above the opening has a screen that zips into the place to contain the kitties. This thing was heavily discounted and the Amazon reviews were less than enthusiastic. Apparently it's not good for carrying the cats from place to place. We can live with that. And the zipper is prone to failure. Well, they must have undisciplined cats, ours would never break the zipper. They're good kitties.

The day of the trip arrives. Everything we'd read suggested, strongly, that several trial trips be taken so the cats get used to the carrier and the car. We're WAY better than that, we don't need trial runs.

As we depart, and I mean not out of the neighborhood, the cats start investigating. They are cats. Before we get to the interstate, they are playing with the zipper pulls through the screen. Before we are to County Line Road, 30 minutes into the 13 hour trip, someone (we think Wren, the big one) has (we think accidentally) leaned into the screen. It's 05.00 and dark, the cats are black, it's a little hard to see exactly what is going down. But the screen is now released. The zipper failed all the way around. The reviews were right.

Wren is standing in the opening with a look like ooopppps. Now how did THAT happen.

Now they start to investigate the car. Fortunately it is full to the gills so they can really only investigate their camping tent and the front seat.

Turns out they are quite well behaved. Just want to sit in laps, on the center arm rest or in the passenger floor board. They'd like to try under the brake peddle too, but that is discouraged frequently enough they get the idea that is not going to happen. Mina would really like to check out the top of the dashboard, which is now scratched and has cat prints and needs a treatment of lotion, but that too is discouraged frequently enough she decides to take a nap.

But now we need gas... We pull up to a pump, collect the kitties, and put them into the now unsecured carrier. Ann was driving, so she puts me out and stays with the cats. It's cold and windy, so unclear whether her staying with the cats had anything to do with the cats. They stay in the carrier. We finish, change drivers and carry-on. The cats emerge and settle back down for more naps. Ahh to be a cat.

The litter box is charged with litter, but thankfully never gets used.

At no time did anyone try to make a run for it and we make the Quail Manor on schedule.

The timing of this muses is a little off as I catch-up, but when we arrive, the catio is not yet complete. We put the litter box in a human bathroom and close the barn doors so the cats are constrained while we unload the car.

By the time we finish and reopen the barn doors, which is not THAT much time. The litter box has been used. A LOT. Good kitties.

Next day CtC arrives, the catio is completed, and the cats introduced.

Now I know there will be those who will not like to see cats on the counter. There will those that take great umbrage at the fact they get on the counters. We wish they didn't. There are those who will swear THEIR cats don't get on the counter. I'm willing to accept as a theoretical possibility somewhere there are cats that actually never get on counters. But those cats are either so fat they can't, or exist in a parallel universe. So the cats get on the counter. They love getting on the counter at the back window to watch the plethora of birds eating at the seed blocks and the humming bird feeders. Who's going to stop that...

We, OK, mostly Ann, clean. A LOT. We stay healthy. Unless we come down with the cold that would kill a lessor man. Which I don't think is a function of kitties.

So hold your comments. If it bothers you that much, first get a grip. Then don't visit or don't eat food prepared at the Quail Manor or Denver for that matter. It's just the way it is and will be...

The cats seems to have acclimated quite nicely to the Quail Manor. They would like to go outside and kill some of those birds. And they feel strongly there needs to be more square footage. But all in all their napping quota and general service needs seem to be being satisfied.

Here are some shots mostly of Ann's retirement gift from the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was commissioned from the mother of a woman who works or used to work at The Gardens. Her mother took up artistic welding at some point. As I understand it, D of DnT drove the general dimensions and a general design was created. The welding mother then took artistic license and completed the work. Quite nice. We did give Dave the Welder a heads up so he would not take offense. Two artistic welders may be one artistic welder too many.

DnT brought it down and hung it before we got here. Further, they charged it with a seed block so the quail would be in full force when we arrived. The quail seem to like it fine. We did hear a little grumbling that it was attracting a disproportionate number of customers from DnT's seed block. It was ascribed to the fact D was working in his yard. We accepted that to be polite, but I think the quail appreciated the effort of a custom dining feature. An unexpected feature is when it rains a couple of birds can sit on top of the block and be under the roof of the feeder. Staying high and dryish. They don't seem to eat while it is raining, but can get right back to it as soon as it lets up.

A pigeon took a liking to it too, but her sweetness kept chasing it off. I think the general bird population shunned it so in the greater good it stopped coming back. Pigeons are apparently a big down side of seed blocks. We've been lucky so far so fingers crossed the desirable birds with the occasional flailing outburst from her sweetness can keep them at bay. 

Your musist went out to find SWITBO one afternoon. It's like pretty hard to hide at the Quail Manor. She's sitting on the ground with the camera wanting to get a shot of a quail standing on the top of the seed block under the rusty metal quail. You will note, there are none of that picture. The quail just went to the upper block. Which careful observers will note is askew in the early shots. Can't have that at the Quail Manor. The dead tree was cut before the tree whisperer got his shot. It was not cut nicely. In whomever cut it's defense, it's not easy to get to and the wood is hard as hell.

We've previously tried various leveling techniques. All have proved unsuccessful. Careful observation will yield a new adjusting screen approach that seems to be working nicely. 

We had a couple of freezes over the holidays. We covered things before we left when we were down in early December, the Adventure in Moviing trip. DnT were down before Christmas and managed covering and uncovering. Now we, OK, Ann are managing covering. It appears once we get into January, the frequency of freezes goes WAY down. Mostly in the last week or two of December. 

Ann's been out putzing in the grounds. Kind of like April in a real climate. Will do an updated set of pictures, but suffice to say stuff is growing like weeds.