Tilde is doing pretty well. She's not thrilled that everyone here doesn't have to go through her during the day, though.
We have more exterior doors now, so we're teaching her to do a walk through each evening when Dh double checks that they are all locked. She walks with him, and sits at each door while he makes a show of rattling the door. I'm not sure what it accomplishes, but she loves it! It's as if it is the job that she's always waited to do!
My thought, when I started it, was that she has less 'work' to do than ever. She used to be the keeper of our road, gate, and yard. Now, there's no road...aside from our road/driveway, and she's mostly on chicken duty, which is pretty boring by comparison. So, this works to give her something to do each day.
Mamou had gotten more comfortable in the house, but he stopped coming in suddenly, a few days ago. I think that we have to stop giving him dry food out by the cat house during the day to change that, but I'm not sure. There may be other factors involved, and one would be...
Tux. We couldn't get Tux to come up. Then, one day, Ds saw Tux on the landing. The landing is a small building pad 1/2 way up this driveway. The guys had thought that they might put a small workshop there one day. If not, I might plant fruit trees on it. It had to be there, because it was too steep from my house to the bottom.
Anyway, after that we didn't hear of him being sighted, nor have we seen him. Until a few days ago, when we heard a short cat argument. I thought that it was Mamou and Uhura, but it was Tux, as Dh saw him retreating. I assume that he wanted Mamou's food.
These days, Mamou sleeps like a rock. When Dh steps out the door, he doesn't stir. (I wish that he'd sleep in here, but at least the kitty house is the next best thing.) So, when the food bowl was full with kibble, and Mamou was still asleep the next time that Dh looked, and the bowl was empty, we suspected Tux. During the day, it was unlikely to have been a wild animal, which is why we don't leave food out after dusk.
Today, Ds came by to help Dh put up the trim for the painting, and when he drove up, he saw Tux under a trailer across from the house. So, he may be hanging out up here more now, and if he and Mamou can re-establish their relationship - they used to be together all the time - he can start having regular meals again, and maybe he will come into the house, too, like the other 2. I would like that.
As for Uhura, she's having setbacks, too. She had gotten, recently, to where she would sleep on, or next to, me for several hours before insisting on going out. It was a major improvement. Like Mamou, she gets her treat food in the house only, but unlike him, she also comes in the house for her dry food. She was really getting into a good routine, and I could see the possibility of her eventually living indoors. Also, unlike Mamou, she uses a litterbox in the house, but only for urine, for some reason. She insists on doing the rest outside.
But, about 3 days ago, just after Mamou stopped coming in, Uhura started acting out. She wouldn't settle down, instead jumping from her spot next to me, to behind me, to Dh's chair, to the floor...repeat, repeat, repeat, then yowling at the door to go out.
Last night she spent about 20 minutes sleeping next to me, but when something disturbed her, she jumped up and wanted out. I tried to bribe her back, then out-wait her, but she got more and more frantic. I'd rather that she came back another day, instead of spooking herself from wanting to come back into the house. I think that it's got something to do with how Mamou is acting, but can't be sure what, exactly.
I guess that, with Tux showing back up, they are having to jostle for position again, and re-establish territory. Mamou is acting like the class bully, which isn't helping at all.
On a better note, the hens are mostly doing well. We had the 7 older girls on one side, and the 13 younger girls on the other, until the younger girls can eat regular layer mix.
Well, 2 of my 7 older girls had feathers missing, so Dh put them in with the others, making 5 on one side, 15 on the other! But, in case they were being picked on, they were better off there.
As it turns out, they were not being picked on, they were just molting, as are the others now. I didn't really think that there was a problem with them getting along, but you never know when you put them in a new environment. Better safe than sorry.
The younger girls just turned 5 months old, this weekend, which means that when their baby food is gone, I can remove the divider, and put them all together!
Meanwhile, as I suspected would happen, having the older girls in with them, even just the 2, has done the 'kids' a world of good.
You might recall that the adults go into their sleeping box on their own at dusk, waiting for the door to be locked against animals. But, the youngsters just huddle on the cold, sometimes wet, ground to sleep. So, Dh has to pick them up and put them in, one at a time.
Well, since the 2 older girls have been in there, and go to bed on their own each night, more and more of the younger girls follow them. The first night it was 4 of them, the 2nd night it was 7. I thought that would happened; I hoped so anyway!
Also, they have learned to run down their ramp from the house to the ground, flapping for balance. The chickens seem to always have fun with that, and after going up the ramp and going into the house, they strut proudly before going to bed.
Ribbit and buddy are looking pretty good. They soak in their bath, and eat their mealworms happily. We stopped putting paper towels in their house, as they were getting wet from the frogs getting in and out of their bath, and that was a bad thing for their food.
Now, they have soil in there, and all is well. I'm still not sure when it would be safe to release them in these temperatures. Meanwhile, they seranade us several times a day, mostly at night, lol!
The crickets are fine, eating dog food, hen food, potatoes, etc. I know that their lifespan is only 3 months, so have steeled myself to the fact that they won't be with us all that long.
Well, that was a long update, but things have been complicated here. Especially with the cats.
Have a great day!
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