Ted’s essays

alley dominated

In the grand war to make our homestead suitable, the alley between our house and garage has received little attention. The jetsam left behind by our squatters comprised much of what was heaped there, including the cat they abandoned.

I am known to be anti-cat, but really am just against indoor cats; house-cats. Marmalade is a cool cat. A poorly kept secret is that I like having her around.

She is a good rodent hunter, likes being scooped up, rumbles pleasantly when held, petted and fed, goes on walks with Mom, Missy and Scooter, handles herself with style, follows us around the yard, and is reasonably in control of her life.

She and I seem to have worked out a relationship. She does her cat-style pseudo-aloof thing while I feign disdain and semi-ignore her. (There is a difference?)

Missy studied up so we could build a state-of-the-art feral cathouse. She puts hot water in a metal bowl by the cathouse twice a day, but Marmalade seems to get all she wants out of the creek.

The creek is freezing over, and manually heating water could get overlooked. I hired an outlet put in and reorganized the alley to get the cat facility onto the same wall where the heated water dish power supply is.

EVERYTHING had to move. I worked steadily all day on it. The results are pleasing to all of us, including the alley resident who gets her old cathouse along with the new one – her choice. I call them her summer and winter cottages.

When I found the cool autumn breezes ripping through the alley like an arctic blizzard, I installed a plastic strip door on one end. My expedient installation left a major gap along the top. I will correctly install it someday. Meanwhile, it helps A LOT. It also keeps the chickens in their yard and off of our walkway.

The mass-market firewood holder was replaced with a larger custom bay that needed to be filled at the end of a overly long physical workday for this old guy.

Superwoman chipped in to reduce the abuse I was laying on my body.

Speaking of abuse, look what she is doing with a lightweight cart designed for little old ladies to carry a bag or two of groceries into their houses. Yeah. That is a quintuple-armload of firewood logs she has stuffed in there.

Here is the close-up. One of us ought to turn her in to the Lightweight Cart Protective Services Agency. I would, but she keeps relieving my workload with it … and I’m smart enough to appreciate that.