Posted in Homesteading, Kitten dramas

October: a fleeting month

October has flown by us here in Minnesota. And the trees have just been stunning:

Seriously? Now, you’re just showing off, tree. 😛

We’ve had some unusually balmy days this month (in the upper 70s) juxtaposed with cold, cold rainy/breezy days and our first snowfall (all day yesterday)! Overnight lows dropped below 30 degrees (finally!) but this year my beloved incoming winter weather holds one drawback. (Yes, just one, I truly love the snow and cold.)

This is “Honey”.* She’s a beautiful and affectionate feral kitty that’s been “hoteling it” on our back deck for about a month. And now that the overnight lows are dropping, my kitty-mama heart worries about Honey being safe & warm through the cold Minnesota nights. The hubs genuinely saw my bleeding heart and decided to give me one of my birthday presents a couple weeks early. This weekend, we are installing a warming cat bed that has fancy sensors to turn on when an animal is resting on it. It will heat up Honey’s little paw-paws & body to the cozy, kitty-resting temperature of 102 and will turn off when she’s not sitting on it. My husband is just the coolest. I had no idea such a thing existed!

Meanwhile, our indoor cats are being extra snuggly.

That is, when they aren’t engaged in outdoor cat observation, of course. I bet you all can quickly discern which cat response belongs with which cat:

Cat A: Observes Honey’s use of room & board with curiosity & eager friendliness, “A new friend! Hi!!!! Do you smell like the outside?!?! I like the outside!!!”

Cat B: Obverses Honey’s use of room & board as a threatening affront to his way of life, “That’s MY kibble you’re eating! Stop rubbing on MY human! Get away from MY window! No! You can’t come in!!!”

Lol. And yes, Honey has burst into our kitchen from the back deck many times. Rudi’s reaction: “Who’s this!?!?!” Toby’s reaction: “WHAT!? NO!!! NOT ANOTHER ONE!!” Honey’s reaction: “Ooh! It’s warm in here! Is this where the kibbles are? Who’s this grumpy fat cat? This skinny one is kind of nice.”

We already stressed out Tobycat by adopting Rudi last year. Nayt & I both agree that bringing in Honey would tip Toby’s sanity over the edge. So, for now, we’ll keep her warm & fed outside our home while we try to find her the perfect furever home. Feline Rescue helped us last year when we wanted to adopt Rudi. So, hopefully they’ll be able to help Miss Honey too.

Until then, we basically have 3 cats. And I’m loving it…until I worry about Honey being too cold or Toby’s heart exploding with self-imposed anxiety. 😉

It’s not all bad, Tobycat. Sometimes even Rudi is tolerable…when you’re already asleep…and unaware that you’re being warmed by his presence.


Cat drama: always free, always fun.


Enjoy what’s left of your October, all. With stunning tree beauty and cats to snuggle, I know I will!




*I started calling feral kitty “honey” because she was so sweet and would rub her little face all over our legs and purr and head-boop us. I know these actions are simply her tools to extract kibbles from the nice humans. I don’t care. She’s a sweetheart who will often jump into my lap when I sit outside so I can pet her. Seriously, who cares if her affection is manipulative? She’s cute and furry and tiny and sweet and hungry. And I want to make sure she doesn’t die this winter. She’s wormed her little furry face into my bleeding heart. I will always want to love all the cats all the time. Case end point. That’s all she wrote, folks. 🙂


Posted in Kitten dramas

Rudicat -satellite & clown

Over here at the Brookes’ homestead, we have one sad little furry. Last week, we discovered a sore on Rudi’s hind leg. After some advice from our fantastic veterinarian’s office and a few jokes that this cat will bleed our bank account dry, we purchased a soft e-collar for him.

My friend Sara says “e-collar” is short for Elizabethan Collar, as it resembles the costumes worn during that time period. Elizabethan cats. So regal! So ridiculous! And so smelly!

It’s amazing how quickly cats turn into big smelly greaseballs when they aren’t consistently grooming themselves. We have been giving him 10-15 minute respites from his “cone of shame” so he can take a daily bath. But his leg would be healing faster if he didn’t keep ripping the scab off this sore every time we do so. Punk cat!

Meanwhile, Rudi has made a reluctant peace with his e-collar. On his own, he figured out how to get it from “satellite” mode into “clown” mode. We now have a couple more nicknames for this crazy furry of ours: “radio cat”, “circus cat”, etc.

Thought I’d share some silly pics so you can laugh too…


Poor Rudi.
I could not stop laughing the first night we put this on him. He kept bumping into walls and leaping to try to escape the cone.
If he can’t reach his fur, he’ll settle for the next best thing…
Rudi is annoyed but easily pacified by rubs to the head.
Posted in Homesteading, Kitten dramas

Squirrels gone wild…

Squirrels are going nuts over here on the old Minnesota Brookes’ homestead. We’ve got 4 cheeky buggers running all over the front banister and flower boxes hunting for treats. Naturally, the felines are intrigued…




But what had me rushing to get the camera wasn’t the insane squirrels who seriously looked like they were staring into the house at times…it was to document the proximity between Tobycat and the kitten.

Lookit that closeness! They are, like, TOUCHING.

I’m callin’ it. They are now (drumroll please)…


Thanks, you nutty squirrels, you brought my furries together!

Posted in Kitten dramas

Kitten vs. Toby: the unfolding drama

I know you all are dying in wait for kitten drama updates. Do not worry. I have photojournalism in store just for you!

Toby has begun to tolerate eating near the kitten…

There is a reluctant peace between the kitties thus far. The kitten is 100% all about being friends. Toby is barely tolerating Rudi’s presence. We’re making progress. 🙂

Learning to share…
Toby wants the benefits without having to be near the kitten…
Toby is annoyed that the kitten gets to have all the fun (Rudi! attack the hand!!!!)

Toby’s major problem with Rudi is that he is a kitten. Rudi has SO. MUCH. ENERGY. When he comes into the room, he runs. He skips. He makes noise. He will unexpectedly jump on things. Toby no likey. He reacts by growling and meowing when the kitten comes near him. Or if there is a showdown on the stairs (i.e. Toby is sitting, watching the kitten and the kitten wants to get by), Toby air punches at Rudi with his paw, like, “THESE STAIRS ARE MINE!” Jerk cat.

But I am encouraged that Toby is slowly tolerating more and more time with the kitten. BOTH of them were cuddled on me Sunday while I was in the throes of the worst migraine of my life. Granted, they were a “safe” 2 feet away from each other, Toby taking my feet and Rudi on my chest, but I was impressed!

So, for now, I will sum up the kitten dramas with this final picture:

Toby is Emo. Rudi is Elmo.