Kittens out and About

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Nick takes after his father Muir, hogging the feed bowl and letting everyone else know it’s his. For such a little cuddle, he really loves the food bowl. We’ll be working on temperament and good eating habits in the coming days. A lot of handling is crucial to cultivating domestication. This is true in the case of all farm animals; the more you handle them, the easier it will be when you really do need to hold them, like if you have to administer medication or check a wound. These two kittens are getting a lot of loving and care as they become alert to the world around them.

Nora is the more confidant of the two, stiking out early from the wood pile to see what was going on around her. She is more forward, and far more comfortable being out. The two kittens are named after Nick and Nora of The Thin Man series. Let’s hope they don’t take up a drinking problem, like this fictional characters who share their name. To better tell them apart, I can see that Nick is a shade darker grey than Nora, which may not be so easy to determine in a photo. The personalities of these two beings shines already, and it will be a pleasure this summer to watch them develop into fine rodent control around the farm.

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Muir and Lucia are taking a lot of time to teach the kittens as they come awake. Just this week, we moved them up to the porch from the wood pile to make sure they get enough dry food as they get weened from momma cat. The two young ones are prowling around their new digs with great enthusiasm. They are also learning good manners, like not clawing up the furniture or rugs. A little squirt bottle of water reinforces “no”. The kittens are quickly understanding that the porch is a visiting place, not their den.

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In the evenings, Lucia takes the kittens out to the gardens and sits quietly with them, listening and watching as the light fades. She is teaching her kittens to hunt, and silently lets them quiet down and join her before she heads out. Usually, the kittens stay on the porch and cry when she is gone too long, but the weeping is getting shorter every time, and I think the kittens will soon be on there own.

It’s a real treat to watch them play and romp on the porch together. Muir and Lucia seem happy to watch too, though Muir is spending a lot more time sleeping through the hot days now. I’ve still not heard any rodent activity under the house, so I am thrilled to have the cat family close at hand. The rat problem persists at the barn, and a new coop with better foundation construction should help. We’re loosing eggs to these rodents, and it’s not good for the hens to think their nests are being raided. Also, crows have found the coop, and wait every morning for the coop door to be opened.

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In another month, I’ll move all food back down to the barn, and keep extra water here on the porch. With the cats back at the barn more often, I hope to at least deter the rodents from the area a little more. For the young kittens, it will be a return to one of their old haunts, but not till they are big enough to fend for themselves. Here kitty kitty kitty!

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