It started on Friday evening, when miraculously, I trapped the big tom cat we call UnPop. I couldn’t believe it. He was responsible for running off Junebug and Harry had fought with him several times (much to my horror). He sat in the trap — angrily — in the utility room until I hauled him over to SNAP to get him neutered, his ear clipped and a rabies shot.
Meanwhile, I made progress on the winter garden. I pulled up the weak green peas in the first bed, dug it out and put three bags of old leaves in the bottom of the bed. I built a rectangle of cedar pickets to give it depth. I refilled it, fertilized and then added some topsoil and organic soil additive. I decided to plant carrots and then put up some plastic screening that even Harry can’t jump over. (He had been jumping in the second bed where I had planted fennel and pooping in it — and killing the little fennel plants while covering up — argh!)
I had tried trans planting carrots this past spring, but it didn’t work. Hopefully just broadcasting the seeds and watering trice a day will work this time. Maybe I will have carrots by January.
I finally got the call that UnPop would be ready to pick up around 5:15. I was so anxious that I went early. The tech there told me to be careful, that he was a very angry kitten (!) and that he could scratch through the side of the trap. All of this I already knew, but I was polite and asked with interest whether he had hurt anyone. The tech said no. I was relieved.
I got UnPop back to the house and stationed him in the trap on top of a couple of upside down plastic pots with some plastic and newspapers underneath and went out the finish planting flowers in the front yard. You have to wait 24 hours to release neutered males, and so he stayed in there shitting and pissing and hissing and snarling.
Sunday morning brought a challenge. I didn’t know if I had enough soil to work the second bed. First, I cleaned out the kitten poop and put it in an extra litter box I have. I put some cheap litter in the box and then put it further back in the yard where the kittens have been pooping. (The long work of training them all to use a box begins!)
The second bed is larger and so after I dug it out, I put in four bags of leaf mold (and some huge earthworms) and built a cedar rectangle for this bed, too. I planted the beet seeds I had soaked and scattered some rutabaga seeds. I then closed it off as well.
I puttered around in the yard — taking pics of kittens — worked on the laundry — waiting for 5:00 to roll around, so I could deal with UnPop. I had picked a park to release him in, and I wanted to get on with it.
Finally, around 4:30, I got everything together — some cooked chicken skin which I heated up — heavy pants and a jacket, and some leather gloves. I headed out to the chosen park, only to find it very crowded. On the way to the second park, I spotted a very empty parking lot that bordered a very overgrown area. I kept telling myself that I was doing this for Junebug — my sweet baby girl that this monster had hurt and attacked more than once. I drove to the back of the parking lot, set out the chicken, and put on my leather gloves.
UnPop was still very angry and he scared me again, even in the trap. I was worried that he would hurt me when I released the trap, but as soon as I opened it, he ran straight for the bushes. I packed up the trap and breathed a sigh of relief.
Without UnPop around for the last couple of days, Mommy has moved her kitten away from the driveway and further back in the yard. This also helps me think I did the right thing. Also, Harry has been less aggressive toward the kittens as well. The little bold one is making friends with him now. Given that Big Guy (formerly known as Sad Grey and White Kitten) has taken up residence in the house we built for the little kittens and this has not been a problem, I think we are on our way to a happy kitten balance.
Pics of kittens and squash after the break.
Kitten puddle! Toes loves to join his younger sibs. Mommy is in the background.
Winter squash making it!
Finally, yellow squash plants that have made it .
Mommy trying to get away from kittens. She is trying wean them.
I like that they have all come further into the yard, instead of just hanging out on the edge.
There are pecans everywhere. I’ m collecting them as fast as I can, but the wind and crazy squirrels help more rain down. Sometimes they are like bullets.
It was a very good weekend.